deadtime stories volume 1Showcase Entertainment

Horror master George A. Romero keeps you too scared to sleep with these chilling tales about a woman’s frantic search for her missing husband, a lonely man finding a strange companion, and a mother seeking medical treatment for her peculiar son.

While perusing the various horror titles offered upon the online streaming one night, I came across the two volumes that comprise the Deadtime Stories anthology, a two DVD set released separately, each DVD containing three films, all introduced by George A. Romero himself.

Volume One comprises of the short films “Valley Of The Shadows”, which involves tribal cannibals stalking some travelers on the, um, Amazon-like river, I guess; “Wet”, which involves a mermaid (MUR-mai-DER!  Sorry…); and “House Call”, kind of an interesting take on a vampire tale.

Of the three presented, “House Call” is the strongest one going, as it was actually interesting.  Problem was, I had to sit through the first two short films to get to that one.  “Valley Of The Shadows” was just boring, with a couple of very unintentionally funny moments.  And “Wet”, while having some decent creepy moments, had some serious pacing issues, and I caught myself glancing at the duration clock more than once.  Never a good sign.

Having the Master himself – George A. Romero – acting as a Crypt Keeper of sorts, a master of ceremonies to these low-budget nuggets was a stroke of…well, it was a good idea.  Slapping his name on the title didn’t hurt, either.  It got my attention.  Here, he greats everyone, introduces the films, and bids us farewell, looking and acting like a gleefully twisted grandpa who likes to play with his grandchildren’s minds.

Overall, I’d say the first volume of Deadtime Stories is a step up from mediocre, being only one-thirds interesting in the end.  Watch solely for “House Call”; otherwise, bring caffeine.