Screamtime (1983) UK
I could just sit here and type the alphabet and that would be just as scary as this movie was. This might be, and I say MIGHT be scary to a five year old but that's about it. Saying 'Don't believe the rumours about all the dead bodies... they're the people who fainted watching!' is just plain... sad. And a giveaway that this is a UK product. It is a three story anthology supposedly in the style of Creepshow - yeah, maybe the ones from the 50's.
The wraparound is a couple of slackers who steal three videos from the rental store (That dates this right there, doesn't it?) and since they don't even own a VCR they go to a friend's house to watch them. And, big sigh, here they are:
1. That's The Way To Do It: How do the kids of today live without the good ole' fashion domestic violence of a Punch and Judy puppet show? Oh yeah, they murder hookers, zombies and each other in video games. Well, for this story, it's domestic violence so shut up. An older man with a younger wife and stepson makes a meager living putting on these horrid shows for the little ones to someday emulate in their own families. The wife has had enough and the boy, being a teenage jerk as is always the case in these things, brings his friends to a show to make fun of the old geezer and burn down the stage, and part of the puppets inside.
So you know he's dead. Sure enough on the beach he looks back in horror as he hears a kazoo blaring... no wait, that's supposed to be the puppet screeching as he's beating him to death with a large 2x4. Umm, what? A teenager that's scared of a puppet and a board they could easily grab away from their attacker and do some real damage? Sigh.
The wife gets it next, the husband gets scared he's going to die but then... the girlfriend shows up and almost becomes the next victim - of the old man who has been acting like the puppet all along. You didn't think a puppet 5 inches high could carry a 2x4 did you? Really? So according to the gods of extreme coincidence he chases her up on a roof, does a swing-and-a-miss and falls into a perfectly placed trash compactor which of course is on and... nothing. That's it.
2. Dreamhouse: A newlywed couple move into a house given to them by his parents and they're total jerks about it. They snipe about everything that's wrong with it. I was hoping for a slow, awful death for both of them, but instead we get to be tortured by watching their sorry asses. As these things go, the woman starts to see things - first just a boy on a bicycle in the yard that disappears whenever she brings attention to him, then more violent things - blood, murder, screams and all kinds of.... YAWN. Sorry about that but we all know what's going to happen.
Since these things have to twist, after the woman goes crazy and gets institutionalized, the husband sells the house to a nice family - with a boy on a bicycle in the yard, the same people his wife saw and... he gets in his car and the escaped psycho killer (we know he's a killer 'cause it's on the front page of a paper sitting in the front seat) looking suspiciously like Mark Knopfler slits his throat before going in to chop up the family... see, if he'd only got there a couple days sooner, both ungrateful house owners would have gotten their comeuppance and we wouldn't have had to watch this lame story...
3. Do You Believe In Fairies?: Do you believe in stupid stories that knock off every stupid story you didn't want to watch in the first place? Old ladies with evil intentions? Evil garden gnomes? Ghosts that come out of nowhere with no explanation to rip ones clothes off and then leave? Two brothers decide to rip off the old ladies and gee whiz, we've got little light blots floating here and there, plus some weak zombie action in the garden... you know what? If my life depended on it, I couldn't tell you what the hell that was all supposed to be about. Not. One. Clue. Just that thankfully it's not long.
So our stories are over - except for the wraparound. To end things with a BIG YAWN the scumbags who stole these movies are killed by the different characters in them. I guess. The cold truth is I was really paying more attention at that point to my Facebook page.
Hello to all those faithfully reading and hopefully enjoying this effort to make even the worst horror movie more watcha... aw, screw that - I'm not that good. If a movie makes you cringe because yet another batch of unlikable teens that are pushing 30 are inching toward their deaths, having a party no one does anywhere ever, a paranormal movie is boring you to tears with unending pans of empty rooms, or thanks to CGI technology when people finally bite it, their blood squirts everywhere except on the victim, the ground, the people next to them... you're in good company and this is the right place for you.