"Voices From The Grave"
Directed By: Richard Stoudt & Laurence C. Holloway
A man walks into a bookstore...
Featuring 3 separate segments, with a wrap-around centering around the above mentioned bookstore, "Voices From the Grave" rises above it's low budget, anthology horror brethren, not by being ferociously original, but by preserving a look and feel that just scream "retro" without the self awareness that usually dooms projects like this.
And this crew isn't shooting for "grindhouse" (oh! how I loathe that word now!), nope, these guys shot for, and hit, the 60's-70's anthology films from Amicus and Hammer. "Voices" is straight up "Tales From the Crypt" and "Vault of Horror" (the feature films, not the HBO series). This lofty goal is achieved through superior writing and a brilliant soundtrack--this film flows and sounds much better than it should!
The 3 shorts contained in "Voices" all take place during the Halloween season, but play out more EC Comics than "Trick 'R Treat", and feature the "twist" endings and "shock" sequences that we know and love from the vintage fright flicks of yesteryear.
Subject matter runs the gamut--you get: the vengeful undead, a party to die for, and a haunted Corvette (would it have killed you guys to have the girlfriend wash it?? Seriously??). Every part is entertaining, creepy, and lots of fun--great stuff kids! The only knocks are some terrible acting (?) by some of the bit players, and a murky overall look to the film. The murkiness may have been intentional, because it really lends to the "shot on film" feel of the feature, but it kind of makes it hard to see what is going on, especially in the first segment. Other than that, this film is a great viewing experience!
The pacing, direction and writing all work together nearly flawlessly to make "Voices" a production that truly sets itself apart and belies it's modest budget. Smart, fun, creepy and nostalgic, "Voices From the Grave" ranks right up there with your favorite Halloween popcorn flicks! Check it out!
---Scream King Tom