TREASURE CHEST OF HORRORS 2 promises “Six sick and twisted Tales of Terror” on the cover which is adorned by a busty red head in a bikini. Like video marketing since the dawn of the media this cover offers a whole lot more than the actual anthology. This is part of the reason some folks don’t give independent horror a chance. Sometimes filmmakers try to go tongue in cheek too much or in this case they schlock it up to the point of slapstick. The Phillips family shows up scattered through out all of the shorts cheesing it up big time. While not a fan of Shawn’s work, I have seen him in films, Moongoyle’s films THE LIMB COLLECTOR and THE DEMON OF CASTLEBURY come to mind, where he is used in small doses or reined in and it doesn’t compromise the overall picture. This may as well be the Shawn C. Phillips show, but I have to give the guy credit-he has to have some brass assed balls. That is for sure. Brace yourselves, at least one of these segments (“The Caged Girl?) has been sitting around for several years and finally found somewhere to land. Well allow me to be your Virgil through these six brief circles of hell.
In “Trendish” the entire Phillips family hams it up as they fuck up a short. Christmas is coming and their less popular son (Ethan Phillips) wants a hat to make him cool but they never get him anything he wants. So he flips out and goes on a murdering rampage when his brother Kyle (Shawn C. Phillips) gets all three DVDs he wanted.
“Baby Cakes” is about a baby from hell. This time it’s Shawn C. Phillips playing a grossly over sized baby that shits himself and eats female babysitters while murdering the males. His parents call on a celebrity baby trainer who also used to be an exorcist in South East Asia. Will his efforts be enough to give the parent’s some peace? If you’re that vested you should watch the thing.
“Bloody Hell” A group of friends load up into a van and head out into the country for a prospecting trip. They bring along a couple of shovels and seven feet of pipe to pull that black gold out of the woods while being stalked by a backwoods gork. No clue what was going on with the camera angles. Poorly shot. Terrible. Makes the other vignettes look competent in comparison. Probably because it looks like this was done by a bunch of twelve year olds who haven’t seen a horror movie.
“The Prom” Well “Bloody Hell” doesn’t really help make this one look competent. It’s Shawn C. Phillips again with M. Kelly. They play Don and Murph who have been invited to a prom and panicking about what to where to whatever prom they’ve been invited to for their reviews. It makes as much sense as…well I can’t think of anything. No one else is at the thing and they show up in graduation gowns and are menaced by someone with a plastic knife. All I can look forward to are two more vignettes…hopefully without any of the Phillips family…and ogling the hot red headed Penthouse Pet chick they have in the wraparound.
“The Caged Girl?” Well shit. M.Kelly is back along with Shawn C. Phillips in this one. So far we’ve seen Shawn in a diaper with a bib, a gown and now in a dress with a blonde wig. A trench coat wearing goon kidnaps her and locks her in his basement. Telling her what a good boyfriend he is while waving a knife (a real one this time) around and even feeds her sauerkraut for breakfast. At least there are some memorable quotes from Phillips, “I smell down there. Like fish” during a prolonged discussion about her smell.
“A Pain in the Gums” Shocker. It’s about a guy with mouth pain. The cause of the pain is a bacteria that talks to him and shouts things that only he can hear. The bad part (relatively speaking) is that I can’t understand what the hell the voice is trying to say. Eventually Oren (Kevin E. Scott) is driven to the point of self mutilation as he tries to make the voice stop.
“Mona’s Movie Night” is the wrap around and stars Veronica Ricci as Mona Screamalot. She settles into a family movie night with her sideshow of a family. Each segment ends with the family mostly unimpressed and they tend to destroy the discs after each viewing. Some of you may recognize James Cullen Bressack as the pot head brother.
This was not a good anthology. It wasn’t even so bad it’s good enjoyable so much as so bad it’s infuriating. Some segments were shot alright, the ones with some Phillips in them, while “Bloody Hell” and “A Pain in the Gums” were nauseating as it looked like someone handed the camera to an orangutan with an extra chromosome. Maybe watching with a group of drunk friends would help but I doubt it. Hopefully the first TREASURE CHEST OF HORRORS is better. Ya’ll know me. I’ll watch any ol’ thing once or twice. Definitely not for everyone but it did get a fairly deluxe release. The Wild Eye DVD is loaded with extras including a commentary with some of the principals, a three part behind the scenes for “Baby Cakes,” an interview with Shawn C. Phillips and M. Kelly, three extras for “The Caged Girl?” and a teaser trailer.