Welcome to Dreadville V: Souls of Mischief (2010) – By Cary Conley

The guys at Bublenutz Productions are at it again and have created a pretty nifty installment in the ongoing saga of Dreadville, a town where just about anything can go wrong. This time out, two friends, Timon and James, pay a visit to their old Catholic school for a night of drinking and reminiscing before the building is torn down. But as they stand on the roof and survey the streets, who should arrive but their hated primary schoolteacher, Father O’Malley. O’Malley’s presence brings back old memories Timon and James would rather forget. As two rambunctious youths, they both suffered under Father O’Malley’s strict discipline, and their memories are not very pleasant.

Curious as to why he would be at the school the day before it goes under the wrecking ball, the two friends break in to spy on the old priest. What they accidentally find horrifies them both. Apparently, O’Malley has kidnapped a young girl and has her tied to a chair. The priest appears to be torturing her. Needless to say, the two friends are quite angry. They catch the priest and tape him to a chair and go in search of the little girl. But the terrified girl disappears into the depths of the old building as soon as she is untied while the priest manages to slip his bonds as well and begins chasing Timon and James with a fireman’s axe and demanding the little girl be returned to him. Vowing not to leave until they know the girl is safe, they play a cat-and-mouse game with the crazed priest even as they search for the girl. Is the priest just another pedophile getting his jollies off, knowing that the building is going to be demolished and that the girl’s body is likely not going to be found? Can Timon and James locate the girl and escape the clutches of the priest–and his large axe? To reveal more would be to ruin the ending of the film.

Writers J.D. Scruggs and Jason Patfield (who also directs the film) have devised a very tight little movie here. The production quality is excellent and is the best in the series, as is the very good musical score by DC McAuliffe. The minimal effects are also very good for a low-budget film and the acting is also above average, with the only low point being Kendyl Lynch playing the young girl being victimized by the priest. The 30-minute film looks and sounds terrific. The good folks at Bublenutz have really learned a great deal and it’s obvious they have applied those lessons as this series has continued over the years.

The writing is also solid and the film has a good plot with a bit of a twist at the end. I don’t want to give anything away, but let me just say that on one level the film functions as a reminder that a brief glimpse of something or a snippet of conversation you may hear can easily be taken out of context. It serves as a warning to viewers to be careful making judgments before you have all the facts. Having said that, if I have any quibble with the film, it might be that it is a little too predictable. I normally am in the dark all the way until the end of a film, but I guessed what might be going on fairly quickly in this one. That really didn’t detract from my enjoyment of the film, as the entire effort is really quite solid, but for some the twist ending won’t be much of a twist if you are good at guessing plotlines.

If you are a fan of the Dreadville series, I think you will be quite pleased with this installment; if you aren’t, then you should take this chance to introduce yourself to what has become a unique, interesting and fun series of films. You can find out more information about Souls of Mischief and the entire Dreadville universe at www.bublenutz.site50.net.