This first anthology in a proposed series is a collaboration between Kevin Lindenmuth’s Brimstone Media Corp. and Alexandre Michaud’s Helltimate Studios, and consists of two 45-minute tales, introduced by Uncle Dodo (Sébastien Croteau), and accompanied by a frenzied death metal soundtrack by the likes of Anonymus, Willow Wisp, and Seasons of the Wolf.
The first tale is entitled THE HOLY TERROR and concerns Glenn (Robert Harvick) who is convinced he is possessed by a demon, when he starts hearing strange voices and displays signs of stigmata. Accompanied by his best friend, Charlie (Brendan McNamara), Glenn visits the house of an occultist, called Hector (Chris Mortimore) who attempts to summon the demon; instead Hector’s Gothy female priestess is disembowelled. Glenn flees to a local church, where the priest (Jacque Freydon) hears his confession of murder but is unable to provide absolution, as Glenn won’t turn himself in. Once Glenn has left the priest contacts a secret society of Catholic demon hunters, whose work entails destroying demonic entities along with the possessed host, as all recent attempts by the Church to perform peaceful exorcism have failed. Also on Glenn’s trail is a satanic guardian (Miles Beardsley Banwell) who offers to take Glenn under his wing.
HOLY TERROR’s director, Augustine Arredondo admits the script was influenced in part by Iglesia’s DAY OF THE BEAST (1995). For a first time effort it’s pretty good, containing decent performances from the cast and several splatter effects by Brad Palmer that should appease the film’s target audience. The scenes set within Satanic circles are convincing, and special mention must go to the production design that includes surreal paintings by Polish artist Lukasz Banach that bring a definite touch of mysticism to proceedings. Most of the shooting was conducted without lighting due to financial shortages, but this doesn’t hinder the production and, if anything, adds an air of further menace.
BESERKERS rounds off the first collection and stands as writer/director/producer Lindenmuth’s tribute to the films of Lucio Fulci. A mother (Susie Vestevich) and her two kids (Piers Burrill and Wynter Burrill) find themselves stranded in the woods, after a fruitless search for the father. They stumble across an ancient Viking burial ground, (if Kevin had set the film in the year 2000, it would have been pretty apt as Vikings landed in North America in the year 1000 AD); unfortunately it would appear the place is inhabited by a number of zombies, who have fallen prey, over the centuries, to a resurrected Norse warrior. The family flee to a nearby farmstead but are attacked.
Twelve years elapse and the zombies have invaded the rest of the world (odd that it should take several centuries for the undead plague to get beyond the graveyard, and then just twelve years to take over the earth). A hot-air balloon, carrying two women (Christina Geyer and Kristin Seta) and a guy (played by renowned fantasy/horror illustrator Matt Busch), crash-lands in the same woods and come across the farmstead which is now home to a weird survivalist (Nathan King) – who has his own dark reasons for staying in the vicinity.p> The zombies (latex make-up by Lindenmuth) are pretty hunky specimens and recall to mind Savini’s make-up for John Amplas in the “Father’s Day” segment from Romero’s CREEPSHOW, other gore effects and the main Viking make-up are supplied by Roger Beckett. Whilst the acting isn’t of the same calibre as THE HOLY TERROR it’s above average for such a low budget production (apparently, intended several leads failed to show up for filming and Lindenmuth, ever the improviser, ended up utilising the talents of family members), the forest scenes are suitably atmospheric, and this is definitely one of the director’s better efforts.
I look forward to the second instalment in the GOREGOYLES series, rumoured to contain segments by Ron Ford and Alexandre Michaud, in the meantime I recommend you join deranged host Uncle Dodo (Death Metal fans may recognize Croteau as former vocalist for 90s band Necrotic Mutation) in his video parlour for this entertaining throwback to the nostalgic terrors of EC comics, TV horror hosts, and the Amicus anthology series.
Carl T. Ford
THE HOLY TERROR directed by Augustine Arredondo / BESERKERS directed by Kevin Lindenmuth / Introductory sequence directed by Alexandre Michaud
SPECIAL DVD FEATURES
A Brimstone Media / Helltimate Com Production
GOREGOYLES - FIRST CUT