Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Terror Eyes - Campfire Satanthology

Terror Eyes
D: Eric Parkinson, Michael Rissi, Steve Sommers
W: Eric Parkinson, Vivian Schilling

S:  Vivian Schilling, Daniel Roebuck, Lance August
Not rated - Approx 90 Min
Park-Schilling Productions Inc.

 - No more films... no more horror... what's the Devil to do?

Alternate Titles:

"It was wonderful, just wonderful....superb....just lovely....double thumbs up.  Just like the Wonderful World of Disney.  Let me ask you all a question:  Where's the guts?  Where's the gore?"
                                                          - Richard (while possessed)

Terror Eyes was a blind buy off of Amazon.  I was hunting around for random VHS tapes, just for kicks and giggles.  Terror Eyes popped up for 99 cents.  I figured, "What the hell!  Why not!" and plunked it down (virtually of course) with the rest of the tapes in my cart.  That was a few years ago.  I finally got a chance to sit down and enjoy this little ditty in my new media room/office (Yeah, I'm moving up in the world!) and I've gotta say, I was quite surprised!

This is an anthology film, comprised of three separate stories and of course the obligatory wrap around story. The wrap around revolves around a young advertising executive who is assigned to write a horror screenplay for a horror film during a writers strike.  Let's not get too far ahead of ourselves though.

Troy is playing poker with a stuffed monkey.  Seriously.  He is.


Late nite snack attack?
The opening story is about a young couple, Starla and Troy, who receive a mysterious book (called The Book of Life) by a shady car-salesman-looking-guy (played by Daniel Roebuck) that contains their entire life history and future.  Unfortunately for Troy, that future is not going to last very long.  According to the book, he's going to kill himself soon.  Troy (being your typical,  testosterone fueled dude) forbids Starla to read the book anymore.  Starla (being your typical, defiant type) just can't leave it alone.  Troy decides to put an end to things once and for all, first attempting to throw the book out in the dumpster.  When he gets back into their apartment the book is back sitting on the table.  He tries to rip the pages out, but to no avail.  He tries to burn the book, but it won't burn.  Finally he decides if nothing else will work he will dissolve it with acid.  Naturally, I won't spoil the end of the story...but "Starla" wakes up and we discover it was all a dream.

Starla's real name is Eva and she is the advertising executive.  The shady guy that gave her the book is (in waking life) her husband Richard.  Eva is frustrated because she isn't a writer and doesn't have the first idea how to write a horror screenplay.  She was hoping maybe she could use her dream but after waking she couldn't remember it.


Hmmm....something is off about Richard.

Eva and Richard go on a camping trip with some friends and while sitting around the campfire, having a a grand old time, Richard goes off to take a leak in the woods.  It's there, in the dark of the woods, taking a leak that he is possessed by a demon (or Agent of Hell as he's called in the film).  When Richard returns he starts acting like a total Dick (see what I did there?) and is trying to force Eva to come up with a horror story.

Their friends (none of whom seem to notice that Richard has changed from a sweet, caring type to a major douche nozzle) attempt to help Eva out by telling stories about scary stuff that's happened to them.

Mannie doesn't know what he's getting into....

Neither does his bookie!

The next story involves their friend Mannie (played by Dan Bell.  You might know him better as Neil in the Wayne's World movies or as Smiley in Darkman!)  Back in the day, Mannie had a bit of a gambling problem (especially when it came to betting on horses) and ended up owing his bookie a lot of money.  Instead of breaking his legs in twelve places, his bookies offers him and alternative:  Steal money and jewels from his wife's safe and they will split the loot.  Not really having much of an alternative, Mannie agrees.  What follows is a twisted sort of time travel/Groundhog Day tale in which Mannie keeps reliving the same day over and over again as his bookie continues to murder his wife and attempting to murder him.

Hey, she found Bobby Fischer!

Hey now, my kinda video game!

Never bring your fists to an axe fight....

The final story is about a woman named Alex who wins a chess championship and publicly announces that she will be using winnings to fund a campaign against a video game company that sells games that glorify rape, murder and other unsavory acts.  She is kidnapped by the head of the video game company and is placed in a real life game of life & death where she must solve a series of puzzles before ultimately ending up in a ghost town where she must play a final cat and mouse game against the crazed gamer designer, old west style.

This game is can get a bit dicey.....

She's heading for the 90's living in the wild, wild west!

The wraparound concludes with the Agent of Hell revealing himself, some carnage and then of course the obligatory feel good ending....which is fine cause we're not really here for the wraparound anyway.


I've heard of FLASH mobs, but this is ridiculous!

Gunned down by a demon with invisible guns.....

There's some red stuff, but not a lot.  There is a pretty nice melting flesh effect in the Book of Life story.  In the Groundhog Day segment, there are some gun shot wounds, and the same goes for the Video Game segment.

No skin in this one, amigos.

The Agent of Hell is an interesting make-up (also rendered on the box art) with horns coming out from behind his eyes.

I had an awful lot of fun with this one.  It's a hell of a lot of fun and the performances are all extremely campy, especially Daniel Roebuck who wrenches up his performance to an eleven once he's possessed.  Terror Eyes (to the best of my knowledge) has never been released on DVD.  This VHS only gem is well worth hunting down a copy and firing up your VCR.  You could also watch the film in it's entirety on YouTube, but I think that would be far less fun.  VHS OR BUST BABY!

Back of the VHS box.  Just don't make 'em like they used to!

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