Friday, October 08, 2010

Twisted Tales 2 – review

Director: Santo Marotta (section Knight Beat)

Release Date 1997*

Contains spoilers

Twisted Tales 2 is a cheap, video shot, anthology film that does not appear on IMDb. The DVD I have is Dutch in origin and has hardcoded Dutch subtitles. *When it comes to dating the movie things get tricky, the DVD box carries no date marker and the film is not on IMDb as I mentioned. The vampire tale in the set – Knight Beat – does have a copyright date of 1997 and so I have taken that as the date of the set.

Of the five shorts, two are directed by Kevin J Lindenmuth (including the most interesting short, “If you love me”) and two by oft-Lindenmuth collaborator Mick McCleery. Knight Beat is directed by and stars Santo Marotta, who would later star in Lindenmuth’s Rage of the Werewolf.

opening comic
The film begins with comic strip presentations of the cast and then we see cops Sgt Jim Barrett (Santo Marotta) and officer Don Garcia (Robert Gomes) sent to an island by their Chief (Hollis Granville) as a lot of homeless are living in the disused asylum and the place is to become a tourist location. They find a body (for body read Halloween mask of a corpse) and then… well essentially the main vampire is Count Orlock (Isaiah Caston). Okay, it’s a Halloween get up but it actually looks rather good (comparatively).

Isaiah Caston as the main vampire
The same cannot be said, however, for the video reproduction through the entire film. Low-grade straight to VHS, and then ported onto a DVD, with little apparent care, the entire thing looks shoddy. Not as bad, however, as the sound, where louder volumes have been distorted (and it is just a pity that I don’t read Dutch, if I could I might have got some of the dialogue that had been lost). Anyway…

bad mask
The next day they are on the island with another couple of cops – read cannon fodder – and they find a tied up man called Simon (Paul Zielinski) who says he is one of the homeless, tied up by Father Luke (Bill Giganti) who has gone mad. As night falls they split up – the cannon fodder taking Simon to the mainland, but the bridge is up and they are eaten by vampires (most of whom wear Halloween masks, be it a man-bat type or a Lon Chaney London After Midnight-esque one).

Bill Giganti as Father Luke
Jim and Don find a reporter, Susan (Maria Trejo), and are then attacked. Bullets do nothing, but the flash from her camera scares the vampires away. Simon appears and they head to the church. Simon wants to lead them astray and Don realises that he can’t step on the Hallowed ground. He shapeshifts into Orlock. They meet Father Luke and I wish I could relay what he said but his voice was indistinguishable from the sound distortion that accompanied it. Anyway, Jim is off to the asylum to kill the baddy…

dare you face the crap DVD?
And that, as they say, is that… or at least as far as I have patience to go. The story is run of the mill, the photography (beyond the crap transfer) was awful and the sound diabolical. There was some effort put into the comic strips at the beginning and Orlock looked quite good. All in all though I wouldn’t go out of my way to find this. As always the score is for the vampire section only. 1 out of 10.

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