Indie Flix: Dead on Appraisal (2014)

This anthology concerns a house that just sits on the market because of some rather mysterious occurrences that left a lot of residents dead and the cast a shadow over the house ever after. Real estate agent John Dante (Mike Pffaf) has been stuck with the property and despairs over his inability to sell it. Of course the vignettes all take place within the framework story as John relates all the horrible events that have taken place in the house and his ongoing ordeal to sell it once and for all. The house’s woes range from killer bugs to vets suffering PTSD and even includes an up and coming rocker who’s pickled himself. The house survives bombings, flamethrowers, an assault by armed robbers, a boozer party, and a goblin attack. Eventually the true source of the house’s trouble comes to light during an open house John is hosting with his girlfriend. Five years later and the real estate market is still a killer.

The cast pull double and triple duty through out the vignettes titled “The Morning After,” “Father Land,” “Freddie and the Goblins.” and “Closing Costs.” The acting isn’t horrible for an indie production at all with most giving a workable performance and no one really standing out as really good or truly terrible. The effects are a mixed bag of practical effects and makeup, stop animation and CGI. The effects can be shaky at moments and aren’t fantastic by any means but they throw buckets of the red stuff to try and help it work. The picture really struggles when it is subjected to a digital filter and looks like it is ready for Instagram. The puppets in “Freddie and the Goblins” really made my day though. Those things were awesome and reminded me of the creatures in Rock n’ Roll Nightmare.

While the movie isn’t going to wow with effects or story–the story is there it’s just not too exciting–it was an okay flick overall. The reappearance of players, the whackiness of the plot, the anthology structure itself and the heart everyone shows help make this a bearable film to watch. It is easy to see that the young filmmakers were eager and excited to produce this comedy horror collection. If you happen to come across this title and have nothing going on check it out. It’s an okay flick. Dead on Appraisal is released by Brain Damage Films and the special features include two trailers and two behind the scene featurettes. It’s available direct or through other retailers on DVD or VOD. The trailer is below.

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