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DIRECTED BY: Brian Cottington
REVIEWED BY: Mario Dominick

From aspiring Pittsburgh filmmaker Brian Cottington and Daggervision Films (creators of Samhain: Night Feast and Caustic Zombies) comes this short mini-horror anthology consisting of two gruesome and chilling stories.

The wraparound of Tablet of Tales stars Daggervision’s own Johnny Daggers as Fritz Allister Murnau, a storyteller who spends his time in a coffee shop foretelling the horrifying futures that await unsuspecting unfortunate ones who are trying to escape the troubles of their lives.

The first customer that meets with Fritz is a college girl. In this first story, Fritz’s nightmarish vision presents a scenario in which she’s trying to make it big in a college play. Frustrated, cynical, and fed up with everything in general, her nerdy roommate tries her best to be a friend, all the while she has to take medication to help with her mental state. When she forgets to take her medication, things take a turn for the worse and by that, a turn in the most horrific direction imaginable.

The second customer of the coffee shop who comes to Fritz is a young man who is foretold of his future soul mate. In this story, he meets a girl who’s rather unusual to say the least. One night they have a run-in with a thug looking for trouble. When the trouble becomes unavoidable, the man’s newfound love uses a seemingly supernatural power to off the attacker. Waking up from being knocked unconscious, his love takes him home. Only when he wakes up the next morning, he finally learns the terrible truth behind her supernatural existence.

For a short anthology film (30 minutes), Tablet of Tales manages to be very entertaining and has some cool effects and production design. Brian Cottington has shown himself to be a willing and competent filmmaker with the efforts of his I’ve seen. I believe he has a good future ahead of him as one of Pittsburgh’s microbudget film auteurs. It will be interesting to see what he does with more money and a longer running time.

Tablet of Tales is now available from Brian Cottington Creations and Daggervision Films. The DVD contains a commentary with Cottington and star Johnny Daggers, audition footage, a bonus short film, and trailers for other movies from Daggervision Films and E-Nertia Global.

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