Sunday, 28 February 2016

You were all magnificent, better than I could have ever imagined.

Trapped Ashes

Reasonably dire anthology horror bringing together an eclectic mix of directors (Joe Dante, Sean S Cunningham, Monte Hellman, Ken Russell and, er, visual effects guy John Gaeta) to service a ropey screenplay from Dennis Bartok.

This was the last feature Sir Kenwood was involved in, which is a shame. At least he went out true to form, as his segment involves copious shots of Rachel Veltri’s tits. In service of the plot, of course. The Girl with Golden Breasts finds her aspiring actress attempting to get ahead in the biz through breast enlargement, only to discover her augmented mammaries have assumed a carnivorous bent. I guess this might have worked with a suitably absurdist quality but, aside from Ken’s cameo as Dr Lucy, it’s desperately weak.

Cunningham, veteran of Friday the 13th and Deep Star Six, appears to be trying something vaguely arty in Jibaku, a blend of animation and necrophilia in which Lara Harris falls for a Japanese corpse. It’s mostly rather dull, as is Hellmans’s Stanley’s Girlfriend, in which John Saxon recounts a ménage a trois. The final segment, My Twin, The Worm has Michele-Barbara Pelletier recall a comatose tale of her symbiotic link to a tapeworm.

Most of the segments feature breasts and gore, none of them are remotely scary, and none of them have really clever twists (or even vaguely clever ones); that’s reserved for Joe Dante’s wraparound (although, again, it’s not that clever), in which Henry Gibson’s tour guide at Ultra Studios assembles the various storytellers at an on-the-lot house where they find must tell a true tale to get out again. Gibson’s great, of course, and Dick Miller naturally cameos. As such, Dante’s involvement is the most involving part of Trapped Ashes, but it’s still not really all that.

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