The Carnage Collection (2015) – Jim Morazzini

 

I happened upon this film by pretty much by chance, one of the directors,  Bob Ferreira posted to a Facebook group looking for reviewers. A friend saw it and tagged me and next thing you know I’m watching it. Did I get a lucky break or walk into a trap? It all depends on your taste really…

As you can probably guess from the title The Carnage Collection is an anthology film. It begins with a homeowner being offered a special package of cable channels, The Carnage Collection,  it’s shows are the body of the film. And of course we come back to this lucky viewer at the end of the film.

Like many recent films of it’s type it’s composed of a lot of very short segments, something I’m not overly fond of although I seem to be in the minority on that point. I find the older anthologies with just a few stories that are a bit more developed to be a lot more interesting. To many of the stories in this film just happen, there’s no explanation or reason for them to happen, they just do. For example the first tale deals with a life size plastic Santa that comes to homicidal life. We’re never told how it becomes animated or why it has it’s lusting for blood instead of delivering presents. Or how it got the ability to teleport for that matter. Of course if all that matters to you is the stalking and killing then this is well enough done with a great smashed in skull effect as well. If, however you like a bit more plot and explanation of what’s going on it’s a bit unsatisfying. And that is typical of the rest of the film, the actual horror part of it is well enough executed, but without context it loses a lot to me.

One segment that does however stand out involves a drug fueled nightmare/trip. This is very well shot,  the camera zooms, tilts and provides some makeup assisted distorted images that resemble the best of the sixties and seventies freak out scenes. The audio for this segment is just as twisted and unsettling making for a disturbing few minutes. It’s a pity they didn’t incorporate more of this into the other stories, especially considering it’s not the only one the deal with drugs.

Also worth noting are the film’s gore effects. Ryan Nicholson was the effects consultant on the film, (some scenes from his film Gutterballs are used between the segments), and they must have paid attention to whatever he told them because there is some very effective carnage in the film. The segment dealing with a masked sadist slowly carves up a bound woman in particular. Fans of the Guinea Pig/American Guinea Pig/Hostel films will love it.

The stories do cover a wide range of topics, a killer Santa, killer clowns, ghostly gypsies and serial killers all show up. The final story is an odd and in it’s own twisted way almost touching tale of a disturbed, child like woman and the lengths she’ll go to in order to have a friend. This one goes off the beaten path a bit and is better for it.

Several of the cast turn up in multiple episodes, and while probably a result of a low budget, about $5000, according to IMDB, it does give the feel of watching tv and seeing the same actors pop up in different roles.

So while The Carnage Collection wasn’t entirely to my liking it is a good film with a lot going for it. Those who like the newer style anthologies should love it however. The film is available for order at the company’s website and the trailer is there too, http://www.pointandshootfilms.com/ It’s reasonably priced and you could do a lot worse with your money.

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