Friday, 22 May 2020

Creepy Tales of Pizza and Gore (2014) - Horror Anthology Film Review

Creepy Tales of Pizza and Gore is an Italian horror anthology from director Lorenzo Fassina. All good anthologies, whether they be written or on film, require a decent concept to tie the stories together, and with this one you have a couple. The biggest one is that there is not a single line of dialogue to be found here. Each of the five short films play out with no speech, the only noises characters make being screams, groans or growls. Due to this it can be enjoyed universally as the shorts are shown in a way that are very easy to understand. Also joining these together is the punk like attitude, the shorts all share a visual style and sound that brought that whole ethic to life.

There is vaguely a wraparound story for these five films, before each one starts a demonic creature growls a couple of lines of dialogue. I'm assuming what it is saying was a made up language, I guess it could have been Italian, but the screener didn't have the option of subtitles, and going by the fact none of the shorts have any speaking I'm assuming it wasn't saying anything intelligible. 

The first proper short is Screaming Ghost. In this one a man browsing his laptop receives a message telling him to listen to an audio file. He does so and hears just screaming, but alarmed by the static image for the file seeming to move he quickly turns it off. Later that night a ghostly figure leaves the file and starts to haunt the man. I liked the effects used for the ghost in this one, it looked effective and cool. I also liked the facial expressions of the ghost, he really seemed to be in to his performance. With the cartoon like text titling this, and the over the top gore effects used this set a precedent for what to was to come.

Devil of the Night was the second film, and this one was my least favourite. Here a skateboarder finds himself kidnapped by a serial killer, the killer appears to want to sacrifice the man as part of some sort of Satanic ritual. The gore was in full effect again here, and were some nice moments. My problem with this one is that there wasn't much of a story at all, so it felt a bit aimless, fizzling out rather than doing much else.

Alone in the House was the third film. A woman wakes up to hear footsteps in her property, going to investigate she discovers a robed figure. With no other option she decides to take drastic measures. Again the vivid and thickly red blood was everywhere. I liked how this one was almost two shorts in one, the initial part in the house, then an outdoors scene that brought to mind The Evil Dead, ends on a messed up and fun note, I enjoyed the final shot of this.

The penultimate film was Wood. A man picks up a hitchhiking woman while driving alongside some woods. It isn't long after that they accidentally hit a strange creature. Leaving the car to investigate the pair come under attack from some sort of monster. This was my favourite one here. The initial part of this felt a bit pointless as it seemed to have no bearing on anything. From when the creature makes an appearance this was fun. Some nice gross out moments such as a character puking up onto the bloody body of an injured character.

The final short is also the most silly. Killer Tape sees a man tidying up his bedroom in anticipation of a girl visiting for some 'special time'. Part of this clean up sees the man chucking out a VHS cassette tape he finds. The problem with this is that the tape is none too pleased about being thrown away. It enacts a plan to get back into the house and take out his revenge on the man and his girlfriend. Obviously the story is bonkers but it was entertaining to watch, It was cool how the tape was filmed in such a way to make it appear sentient. It shouldn't have worked, but it did, leads to a nice finish to a very indie and nicely made anthology horror.

At about an hour long this anthology is soon over, but with the variation the shorts bring, and with the unified style each one shares this was a pretty crazy ride. Personally I found the heavy punk music to get a bit exhausting when each of the shorts uses a similar type of music, it made me thankful for the more silent moments. I liked the look of this overall, and had some nifty editing and effects used. Despite my average score I wouldn't be surprised if others who watch this love it, it just wasn't my cup of tea personally. Creepy Tales of Pizza and Gore is now available on DVD thanks to Bayview Films, check here for more details.


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