I’ve stated this once before, but I will reiterate it now: I am so thankful and glad that independent filmmaking is alive and well. Hollywood is great, and I would love to one day make big-budget films…but the heart and soul of true cinema is found in indie productions. There is major talent out there, too. I am constantly amazed by what production teams can do nowadays with practically no budget. HORROR ANTHOLOGY MOVIE, VOLUME ONE is an excellent example of this. Spearheaded by Mike Lyddon, this horror collection is a true gem, and it deserves a spot of recognition in every genre-fan’s library.
If you are not familiar with HORROR ANTHOLOGY MOVIE, VOLUME ONE, here is the plot synopsis courtesy of the film’s official website:
6 Original Horror Tales featuring:
The Cordyceps Principle – A sociopathic photographer dreams of killing his indifferent, domineering wife. One day on a shooting expedition he discovers something deep in the southern swamps which just might do the trick.
Five Miles Straight Ahead – During World War 2 four soldiers are sent on a scouting mission for a German squadron, but instead find something far more terrifying.
Thing In The Shed – Late one dark and stormy night Stanley gets a late night visit from his old friend Martin, who arrives disheveled and carrying a mysterious black box. Before the night is over they will discover it’s horrifying secret.
Section 49 – A Theater. A Tank. A Technician. A Hooker. A Hustler. That there was a time before, of this there is no doubt. But then IT came.
Blood Of A Saint – Tormented by feelings of sexual inadequacy, Monty enlists the aid of the nefarious Dr. Benweise. The doctor’s unorthodox method of curing Monty’s affliction leads to a chain of events as absurd as they are horrifying.
Footage Found, Arabi – Found footage within footage found. Writer H.P. Lovecraft visits New Orleans in June, 1932 and we discover some of his works of fiction are based upon blood curdling reality.
I think what impresses me the most about these shorts is the fact Lyddon has a hand in every one of them. He wrote and directed all but a couple, but helped produce the rest. This facet shows talent, skill, and dedication to his craft.
The films are all shot well overall, however some look better than others. They are all low-budget features, but the production crew does an outstanding job of making good use of their budgets, especially when it comes to special effects. There’s quite a bit of gore in this collection, and it looks superb.
Likewise, the acting is really good as well. The usual low-budget stereotype of poor acting talent does not apply here for the most part. This is yet another testament to the talent pool indie films can draw.
The stories themselves are the big winners here, though. My favorite is the first one, “The Cordyceps Principle”. I first read about the Cordyceps fungus several years ago, and it is certainly the perfect basis for a horror flick. If you don’t know what this is, just wait: you’ll get a good lesson during the film.
My least favorite of the collection is “Section 49”. This film is just way too abstract for my tastes. It has some quirky ambient sounds that are meant to disturb, but they simply irritated me more than anything. I see where the film tries to go, but it never quite makes it there.
HORROR ANTHOLOGY MOVIE, VOLUME ONE is a huge win for me, and I can’t wait to see how Lyddon ups the stakes for volume two. According to the film’s website, volume two is set to start filming in March of this year, so we’ll hopefully see it materialize in the fall. But be sure and check out this first volume; it is chocked full of up-and-coming talent on both sides of the camera. The film is available now.