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Case Number 09964: Small Claims Court

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Tales From The Grave

Koch Vision // 2004 // 85 Minutes // Not Rated
Reviewed by Judge David Johnson // September 5th, 2006

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All Rise...

Judge David Johnson dressed as a vengeful ghost for Halloween once. He got like eight pounds of candy corn, which is, of course, delicious.

The Charge

Some tales can not rest in peace.

The Case

This nasty trilogy of terror bits comes courtesy of Koch Vision, and for the life of me, I couldn't track down its history. I'm guessing it was a straight-to-video release back in the day, because the content is hard-R. Regardless of where it was birthed, it's been reborn on DVD in a bare-bones, straightforward release. Is it worth a look from you, the horror fan? Maybe. Maybe.

• "Beyond Death"
A wannabe film crew shoots its big debut creature feature in the bowels of an abandoned hospital. The set is perfect, they have buckets of Karo syrup, and they're pumped to put together a kick-ass horror flick. But they make their fatal mistake after running across a mysterious coffin. Thinking it would be a great prop to have in the film, they open the it up and, lo and behold, inadvertently resurrect a demon corpse.

After chewing up one poor dope, the ghost summons some more monsters from the underworld, and the race for survival is on. A bite-sized slasher film ensues, as the crew is systematically wasted in increasingly messier ways by the demon horde.

I dug these 30 minutes. The blood was copious. Blatantly fake, and overwrought, sure, but the sinewy mayhem was highly enjoyable in that campy throwback to '80s horror kind of way. The characters are simple bloodbaths waiting to happen, but they overact like no tomorrow and revel in their respective slaughters. Plus, the ending is sweet, no matter how corny the visual effects are. A nasty, messy little number.

• "Brides of the Dead"
When a jackass millionaire sponsors a depraved reality show starring a slew of beautiful women, he thinks he's hit ratings paydirt. Of course, he's way off and will end up dying violently, because he's unleashed a malevolent spirit of his own. Now this sinister specter, clad in all black, is running through the house, smoking anyone it comes in contact with. And that's really about it.

Similar to its predecessor, "Brides of the Dead" takes the enigmatic slasher formula and inserts pretty ladies into the prey roles and a dude in a black cape in the killer role. This one isn't as much fun as "Beyond Death," but there's lots of fake gore, including an overused intestine gag that looks more like angel-hair pasta soaked in marinara.

• "The Rotting Dead"
The final entry into this gooey triple-threat features three pranksters who find themselves besieged by a crazy old witch for a joke they pulled a long time ago. For crying out loud, they just killed the lady's pet. But the true nature of their prank is unknown to them and they're just faced with trying to survive the old bag's repeated attempts to screw them over.

Those attempts become literal, when the witch discovers a way to become young again, and then seduces each guy before offing him. The final confrontation between the now-hot witch and the last man standing will answer all questions and provide the viewer with an extended sequence of a woman slapping around a fake skeleton.

This one's not as messy as the others, but still packs some fun into its allotted 30 minutes. The mystery is decent and finishes off with a nice twist, though the finale was anti-climactic. A bit too much elderly nudity for my taste, though.

Nothing else to speak of on this disc. No special features, a gritty, underachieving full frame presentation, and a 2.0 stereo mix place the burden of proof squarely on the shoulders of content. Luckily, that holds up pretty okay.

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Scales of Justice

Judgment: 80

Perp Profile

Studio: Koch Vision
Video Formats:
• Full Frame
Audio Formats:
• Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo (English)
• None
Running Time: 85 Minutes
Release Year: 2004
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
• Horror

Distinguishing Marks

• None


• None

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