Ahh the good ol’ days. Toxic Avenger, Full Moon movies, and FX heavy indie horror movies that went all out with outrageous creatures, blood sprays, green goop, and crazy story-lines. I miss these films so much and that’s why I enjoyed Brain Damage films DEAD ON APPRAISAL so damn much.
It’s a movie that the filmmakers took their ideas, no matter how crazy, outrageous, or far-fetched and ran with them.
DEAD ON APPRAISAL is an anthology film consisting of three different stories melted together by a wraparound story about a guy trying to sell a house and all the gruesome, strange things that has happened in the house.
The first segment titled The Morning After is about a bunch off kids having a party while one of their roommates (some sort of scientist) ignores the party and focuses on a strange pod like cocoon that could be a new life form. Well the pod hatches or does whatever a pod does and consumes the scientist. From the pod a creature appears to reek havoc on the party-goers the morning after the party.
This segment, directed by David Sherbrook is a terrific throwback to the old Troma films we all loved back in the eighties and nineties. The action, creature, and characters are all over the top. The goo and effects are cartoony and yet fun and certainly aplenty (see clip below). The character’s are constructed well, yet they don’t take themselves to seriously which fits perfectly into the tone of the film.
This was my favorite segment of the three (well besides the end of the wraparound story).
Segment two is titled Fatherland, is more of a serious, dark psychological horror film. It focuses on a kid who returns home from the military and something is just not right about him. His father tries to get him help but his behavior just keeps getting stranger and stranger. Until the cool ending which I won’t give away.
Fatherland directed by Sean Canfield, is the least effects heavy segment of the three. Though it’s not as Tromaeque as the other it certainly has some great shots setups and camera movement. The acting is spot on and really makes this segment work.
The last segment, Freddie and the Goblins, is even more FX heavy than The Morning After, which I wouldn’t think possible in a short film.
This segment is about a guy, Freddie who’s the singer in a rock band who is sitting around playing cards with the rest of his band mates. For some reason or another his band mates turn into, well goblins for lack of a better word. Freddie is upset that they keep telling him is songs suck, so he ends up slaughtering them.
Directed by Scott Dawson, who also did all the practical and CGI effects, went all out. One of the Goblins turns into a Cyclopes, unicorn, with tentacles arms creature (yes you heard that right) that just made laugh my ass off. When Freddie goes to town on the goblins there’s a no holds bar gore fest which is just pleasantly amazing.
The end of the wraparound segment, well I don’t even know what the hell happens and I don’t care, because all that matters is that a demon appears and just annihilates every character in the room, and is just a blast.
I have no idea how they pulled off all these effects with such a modest budget, but I’m glad they did. When it was over I couldn’t help feeling giddy, smiling from ear to ear, but also nostalgic for these types of films that I loved as a kid. As a kid I would have to scurry to horror conventions to find these types of films. Luckily we have the internet and you can pick this gem up by clicking the link below.
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