Monday, March 28, 2011
Slices of Life (2010)
Slices of Life (2010)
Director: Anthony Sumner
Writers: Anthony Sumner, Eric Richter, and Alan Rowe Kelly
Sexual Parasites, Disembowelment, Zombies, Serial Killers, Demon Children, Violent Vixens, Rabid Office Workers and Angry Embryos all spring to life from the flesh covered sketch books featured in Anthony G. Sumner's (Gallery of Fear) SLICES OF LIFE. Mira (Kaylee Williams) awakens in front of a seedy roadside motel with amnesia. She searches for clues to her identity in the pages of three bound sketchbooks, in which each book represents a different aspect of everyday life, maybe her life. WORK LIFE A lowly clerk at a nano technology firm unleashes a deadly virus at the office headquarters, giving new meaning to the term corporate zombie. HOME LIFE As local girls begin to disappear, a young pregnant woman is haunted by visions of evil demonic children hell bent on stealing her unborn fetus. SEX LIFE A young brother and sister on the run from a sexually abusive home life, take refuge in a countryside Victorian manor- only to discover the monsters hidden in this house have been looking for a new home. Convinced that the characters from these books are roaming around the motel, Mira's reality begins to crumble. Are these visions real or is she going insane? Desperate, Mira turns to the motel caretakers (Marv Blauvelt and Helene Alter-Dyche), only to discover the true evil bound in the flesh covered books and the destiny they hold for her. Written by Slices of Life
I have been waiting to see Slices of Life for quite some time now, and I believe that my slowly building anticipation may have only added to the sheer enjoyment I felt while watching it. I felt like it was really worth the wait. I have been looking for a great anthology for a while, and this one fits the bill. I could sit here and say that it holds a lot of similarities to other great anthologies like Creepshow or Campfire Tales, but in reality its on a level all of its own. Sumner and Richter manage to put together one killer trilogy of terror, only this trilogy is wrapped up inside a fourth and equally as terrifying as the other three. The only way I can break down this review is to go section by section and give you my thoughts.
Work Life: W.O.R.M.
Unfortunately, and I don't mean this in a really bad way, but I feel like Work Life is definitely the weakest of the four stories. That might only be because the others are so incredibly good. I really felt like Work Life was the story that wanted to be insanely crazy, and go as far from believable as it could get, and it worked, and after you read about the other stories, you may ask yourself why. The truth is the overacting, although bearable and forgivable, was abundant. The co-workers were hilarious and insanely brutal as Work Life pulled no strings in the originality department. The story was inventive, and the execution was in a playful manner, but about as gory as any movie I have seen recently. Being strangled by someones intestines is the first thing that pops in to my mind. William Robert Moss (played by Jack Guasta) was a good pillar for the story, and it is because of how easy it is to relate to him. I'm a nerd myself, so I had flashbacks of middle school as William was picked on relentlessly. To top it all of we get a special appearance of the insanely talented Alan Rowe Kelly as an online sex video chat vixen, and she is relentless! After watching Alan's mangled face screaming for more, I don't think I can look at Alan the same way again, haha.
Home Life: Amber Alert
This was such a complete turn-around from Work Life, that it completely shocked me. I was half expecting another half goofy but insanely gory film, but what I saw was a film full of raw emotion. The fact that Vonda (Toya Turner) is pregnant really amps it up a bit for me. I am a father of two wonderful boys and to see her go through the course of the film turned my stomach in ways I don't usually feel. It also didn't help that the premise of the story is about a slew of missing children, who come back like demons or ghosts, looking to take Vonda's unborn baby. I don't mean this out of any disrespect towards any of the other actors in the film when I say that Toya's performance was hands down the best in the film. She was very believable, and never lost her character. Lamont (Thurston Hlll) was the perfect companion character for her as the husband, and played his role respectfully. As for the demonic children, they probably steal the show. They were able to be horrifying without totally grossing you out with blood and guts, and that's why I commend this story as much as I do. I always love a good scare without having to be shocked or disgusted about it.
Sex Life: Pink Snapper
This little section was the perfect to round out the core trilogy. It knew all the right moments to be serious, and when to be fun. Deneen Melody and Galen Schloming as the brother and sister were perfect together, and played off each other very well. The story itself was set up very well, with the sexually abusive Uncle Jack (Mike Tracy), and having to run away for fear that they killed him. I really don't want to say so much about this film, for fear that I might give something away, but it has plenty of twists and turns. This one gets my vote for best blood splatter and ridiculous plot line of the year. It was awesome!
Sketcher was the glue that held the stories together. It starts the film, narrates in between the films, and ends the film on a strong not. This helps the film never trail off course. Sometimes you will have films with narration, and that narration to the stories is so boring you forget about what happened in the stories. Sketcher uses Mira (played by the awesome Kaylee Williams) as a way to narrate the story using actions, while becoming a story all on its own. Kaylee did such a wonderful slowly transitioning her character in to fully understanding the books she found before her. Marv Blauvelt as Tiny! I never though he would go with this "short" joke, but it works for him. Marv is always fun to watch on the screen, even if he does to mostly small roles, but he played the part of Tiny very well, and made me laugh along the way with his ridiculous accent, dress attire. It was the perfect character to accompany Mira, and Irma (Helene Alter-Dyche). I think without this segment, there other three stories would just be a confusing mess.
From start to finish, Slices of Life captivated me as a horror writer, and a horror fan. They are such imaginative stories and feel like they are taking seriously. I can't count the number of times I have received screeners of independent films to watch, and had them turn out to be pure garbage that I didn't even care to review... So I didn't. Slices of Life is not that film, and you could tell from the solid opening credits and professional level film score, this was going to be a professional and respectable film.
Worried at first, Slices of Life never let me down, and had me fist pumping by the end. Great job to Mr. Sumner and Mr. Richter on putting together one hell of a film that will stick with me for a long time to come. I WILL be purchasing the DVD!
Entertainment Value: 9/10 Exploding Heads!
Cinematic Value: 8/10 Exploding Heads!