Deadtime Stories (1986)
Directed by Jeffrey Delman

Starring Cathryn de Prume Nicole Picard Scott Valentine

Not to be confused with the new "George A. Romero Presents Deadtime Stories" anthology film that was being produced in 2009, this was a slow moving anthology horror film from the '80s. The original "Deadtime Stories" isn't a movie that has gotten much better with age. But it has gotten a bit better. All '80s horror movie have.

Produced after the height of '80s came in 1985, this made-for-the-VHS-market release comes with a cheesy synth score and an even cheesier pop-rock theme song -- which opens up after an uncle with a bad attitude announces he is going to be reading a collection of bedtime stories to his son -- "Deadtime Stories" opens with the strongest of its three stories, which isn't saying much. It's the medieval story of Peter, a young man who is taken in by two witches, for warlock training.

But his heart doesn't seem to be in it. The old crones hope to resurrect their dead sister with a virgin sacrifice. When he frees a kidnapped young victim instead of sacrificing her like he's supposed to, he pisses off the old crones who have been taking care of him.

Some impressive, "Hellraiser"-like non-CGI effects -- especially of the skeleton-to-flesh resurrection of their dead comrade -- makes the segment worthwhile. But it lacks that "Twilight Zone"-style twist ending that anthology horror tales are supposed to have.

It's followed by the film's most famous tale -- a retelling of "Little Red Riding Hood" set in the modern day with a hot high school cheerleader (Nicole Picard) substituted for the title character. Jogging through the suburbs in a red hood, then having sex with her boyfriend, she's stalked by a werewolf. It ends with one of the worst punch lines in horror anthology film history.

The final tale, a take on "Goldilocks and the Three Bears," delivers more of the idiotic humor of the first two. When Goldilocks -- a twenty something hottie (Cathryn de Prume) who kills off guys who try to pick her up -- is confronted in a shower by "three bears" (hoods), she screams and shouts: "You were expecting perhaps, Janet Leigh."

All in all, this is a bad horror and bad comedy film. But it is a somewhat interesting time capsule. The film's theme -- taking faerie tales and turning them into horror -- is something that has been done seriously well by films like "Snow White" with Sigourney Weaver.


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-- Review by Lucius Gore

USER COMMENTS

Posted by cinemascribe on May 26, 2009
On-target review. Fun ,but in a cheesy "what exactly where they thinking?" kind of way. Believe it or not , this was actually a theatrical release. Itcan remember the ad appearing in a local newspaper back in the day. When all was said and done, "Deadtime Stories" ran in a few of our area cinemas (some of which no longer exist) for maybe two weeks. Man I miss the 80's, when scare cinema such as "Deadtime Stories" ,"The Kindred" , "The Mutilator" , "Killer Party" or "The Outing" could actually rate a short -lived theatrical run based on their genre and a trailer highlighting cool practical effects. The trick was to catch a show before they disappeared. I was fortunate to to be a horror-hungry teenager during such a terrific era and saw just about all of them nestled comfortably in the back row of many a theater !


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