I learned about Graveyard Stories from my writing mentor and friend Brian K. Morris, a novelist and comic book writer whom I met 2 years ago at a convention. Brian urged me to pursue my dream of writing. Awhile back, I saw a post where he casually mentioned that he had a small role in a horror movie called Graveyard Stories. A couple of days ago, I found out that it had been released and that it was an indie horror anthology starring Lloyd Kaufman and Jim O’Rear. The director, James Ian Mair, was kind enough to send me an early screener to check out the film. Read on for my thoughts.
Graveyard Stories was written and directed by James Ian Mair (The Shadow Zone 2016) and features a cast that includes Troma’s infamous Lloyd Kaufman, Jim O’Rear (Volumes of Blood 2015, Nightblade 2016, Deimosimine 2017, Monsters Among Men 2017), Virgil Franklin (Bloodstone 2009), Jeff Angel (Creeporia 2014), Mark Dessauer (The Devils Gold 2015), C.A. McGregor (A Whisper In The Dark 2 2017), Melinda Beverstock (Night Crimes 2015), Gregory Lee Allen, Brian K. Morris, Tara Bixler (Bloodstone 2 2011), Grant Karazsia, Cassie Hauser (A Whisper In The Dark 2015), and Deron Morgan (A Whisper In The Dark 2 2017).
Two masters of horror, Lloyd Kaufman and Jim O’Rear, take you on a chilling foray through pure terror in this throwback to schlocky ’80s B-horror movies!
Lonely traveler Vincent (Virgil Franklin) is picked up by a mysterious storyteller (Jim O’Rear) while in the middle of a barren wasteland. To pass the time, the storyteller weaves fascinating tales of shock and intrigue, each one more vile than the last. Could there be some sort of message in these stories? Has Vincent, in fact, walked right into hell itself?
Jeff Angel, Mark Dessauer, C.A. McGregor, Melinda Beverstock, Greg Allen and Brian K. Morris also star in this sick and twisted anthology that is sure to become a horror movie fan’s nightmare come true!
The first segment in Graveyard Stories centered on a town that was being terrorized by a killer. This intersected with the story of a teenage girl and her abusive stepfather. I was pretty sure I had the story figured out around the halfway point but I couldn’t have been more wrong. The direction of the story, as well as its ending, caught me completely off guard but left me with a twisted smile on my face. There was some nice gore including a pretty nasty throat slashing in the first few minutes.
The second segment in Graveyard Stories centered on a professor who had recurring dreams of being killed by a mummy that was kept in the attic of the building where he worked. Saying any more about the plot would ruin the fun, so I won’t do that. But I really enjoyed this segment. The mummy looked great considering the budget and there was some awesome gore, including a man having a hole punched into his stomach and his insides getting ripped out.
The third segment in Graveyard Stories followed a mother who was prepping for a birthday party for her young daughter as weird things started to happen. I wasn’t sure where this segment was going for most of the runtime but it was definitely a fun one, even though it doesn’t give you all the answers outright. There is no gore to speak of but there are some cool and creative doll effects that look better than expected. Usually, when you see a segment involving dolls in a indie horror film, the movements look weird or you can see string, but that wasn’t the case here.
The fourth segment in Graveyard Stories was about a woman who got lost on her way home and stopped to ask for directions. She met a man who told her two ways to get home: An easy but long way and a quick way that could kill her. You see, local legend has it that a goblin sits under the bridge and kills and eats anyone who is too slow to make it over in time. This has got to be bullshit, right? Or is it? I figured this would be a fairly basic “girl gets eaten by a goblin” story, but that isn’t what happens at all. No gore to speak of but the goblin looks pretty fucking cool.
The fifth segment in Graveyard Stories followed a crooked cop who had a habit of killing people who didn’t follow his orders. This all caught up to him when he found himself confronted by his various victims. Can he deal with the guilt? This segment reminded me of the final segment from Tales From The Hood, which is cool with me as I love that movie. The cop in this segment was a real piece of garbage. He thought he was doing the right thing, even going so far as to call himself a superhero. I loved seeing him suffer at the hands of those he hurt and the ending just made his fate so much better.
The wraparound segment for Graveyard Stories was fairly predictable, especially for hardcore anthology fans. It featured Jim O’Rear in a cowboy hat with a funny accent chewing scenery like there is no tomorrow, which was fun to watch and appropriate, given the B movie nature of the film. Lloyd Kaufman does the intro and outro to Graveyard Stories. Who doesn’t love a Lloyd Kaufman appearance?
Graveyard Stories is a fun and creative indie anthology film. The plots featured some twists and turns that I didn’t see coming and I applaud them for having the balls to attempt the use of creatures that aren’t easy to pull off on a low budget. They actually made them look pretty damn cool. Graveyard Stories is a solid horror movie that delivers the goods. If you are interested in picking up a copy, you can do so here.