Dead Time Tales (1998) – By Brian Morton

If you enjoy science fiction or horror or the macabre then you’ve probably seen an episode or two of The Twilight Zone, and in the movie and TV world there are quite a few pretenders to that particular throne. There are a ton of these movies and most aren’t worth the videotape they’re recorded on, but once in a while one pops up that’s actually worthy to be included in that esteemed company. Dead Time Tales is allowed to be included in that company.

Dead Time Tales is a trilogy of stories adapted from classic horror tales. The first is a tale that wraps through the whole movie, it’s called Crystal Gazing. It’s about a down and out antique dealer who buys a lot of items that includes a huge crystal. When he looks into the crystal he can see another world. The crystal begins to slowly become an obsession for our dealer. He discovers that the crystal takes anything near him if he claps, it takes a sandwich, the it takes someone who his wife tries to sell the crystal to, then finally the crystal takes the dealers wife after, in a fit of rage, the dealer kills her. What he hasn’t realized is that the crystal is an intergalactic charity collector looking for food to send to the planet that can be seen inside it. When, finally, the crystal sends something back, it’s a human body, stripped of all it’s flesh, he realizes that the food the aliens really crave is human flesh, and now they’re coming through into our world for a little grocery shopping!

The second story, Cold Feet, involves an antique postcard with a picture of a dominatrix. When a young man comes into the antique store to buy a gift for his angry fiancé, he sees the postcard and becomes obsessed with the girl in the picture. When an accident transports our young friend to the world where the dominatrix dwells, he’s made an offer. He can have her, but only if he allows her the use of his body for one day. It seems that she’s tired of being trapped in her postcard and wants to wander free for at least one day. When the day is up and our friend is returned to his body, he discovers that his deal wasn’t such a good one, his fiancé and her family have been killed…by him! Teaching him a valuable lesson, sometimes a fantasy should stay just that…a fantasy.

In the third story, Bestiality, a gangster enters the antique shop at the same time an African man is trying to buy back a tribal worship ring. The gangster takes the ring as part of his protection payment, but it too has a higher price than he expected. The ring isn’t to be worn, for whoever wears turns into a beast. When the mobster is transformed into the creature he kills the mafia’s big boss. When he’s turned back into a man, he has a change of heart since he’s seen his what he believes is his true nature, and realizes the errors of his ways and walks willingly into a mob hit to atone for his disrespect to another culture’s beliefs. And, as a final justice, the tribal member who was disrespected turns two of the gang members into beasts and set them on each other for beating and torturing him. Another case of don’t play with things you don’t understand.

Dead Time Tales are based on stories by H.G. Well, Mary Shelley and Rudyard Kipling and they’re good fantasy tales. The tale of the antique dealer is the bridge that ties the other two together, while being a story on it’s own. Each story is a tale of horror and fantasy, using science fiction, horror and fantasy elements as well as any Twilight Zone episode. If you enjoyed Amazing Stories, The Outer Limits or The Twilight Zone then Dead Time Tales is right up your alley. Its just good storytelling. If you’re interested in Dead Time Tales, run on over to http://www.RonFordFilms.com and check it and the rest of Ron’s Fat Free Features. And until next time, remember any time a tribal leader wants his totem back, just give it to him and…the best movies are bad movies!