Director – Mathew Kister (The Eyes of Isabelle)
Starring – Steve Eaton (The Grand Horror), Megan Shepherd (Coulrophobia), and Jim Brodhagen (Black Lines)
Release Date – 2015 (Filmed in 2011, 2012, 2013, and 2014)
Rating – 4/5
Tagline – “Your last wish will be…for death!”
Indie horror is an amazing place for some and a true fucking nightmare for others. For some, if you make a film with no story, nice tits, tons of gore, and throw in some experimental music and camera angles then people will hail you a horror prophet and treat you as a god among men. However, if you are a filmmaker with an original or fun idea for a film that has blood, gore, nice tits, some laughs, but nothing extreme then people shun you and treat you like you are a hack.
I recently came across the horror anthology Shivers Down Your Spine from Dead Lantern Pictures and director Mathew Kister. This anthology looked pretty fucking impressive and the film’s artwork (pictured above) definitely grabbed my attention. I reached out to Mathew and he was kind enough to send a link to the online screener my way. Thanks Mathew for letting me check this one out!
**Spoiler Alert**The film begins with a young man (Eaton) who finds a lamp in his microwave. He rubs it and a genie (Shepherd) appears to offer him three wishes. She appears nude and he asks for her to cover her tits up (this made me want to punch him in the fucking thyroid). After doing so he asks her to tell him some stories and she delivers.
These tales range from a woman who breaks up with her boyfriend only to be stalked by something inside her home, to a man lying to get disability and finds a genie, to a mystery noir involving a spirit and the murder of a young woman, and even a slasher set on Christmas. There is 8 stories in total and it would be very, very time consuming if I was to pick them all apart separately.**Spoiler Alert**
I’ve said this so many times before and I will continue to say it now, I fucking love anthologies. I grew up onCreepshow, Twilight Zone The Movie, Tales from the Darkside: The Movie,and Tales from the Crypt. I love how each story is connected by one wrap around segment that serves as a transition story between the stories but also bookends the entire film. Most of the great horror anthologies have this. Shivers Down Your Spine borrows the same format as The Offspring and Tales from the Darkside: The Movie and follows someone telling these stories. That was great and immediately let me know I would have a damn good time.
The acting in this one is amazing with no weak links in this chain. The entire cast does great with no one star outshining the others. I do have to say that I commend Megan Shepherd for her role which consists mostly of staying in character while topless. This takes a tremendous amount of guts and dedication to do this and not feel uncomfortable.
The stories for this one varies in quality but all are fun to watch. The film’s high points are A Christmas Horror Story, Shortly After Nightfall, andConvention Girl while the film’s weakest story are I Dream of Djinni, Birthday Dinner, and Deadbolt. Most of the stories are ones we have seen before but they offer up unique spins on these already told tales that often end in Tales from the Crypt style twists. This anthology has a story for everyone.
Finally, the film does have several on screen kills ranging from slasher styled kills, vampire bites, shotgun blasts, and more. Most kills are plainly visible and look great. Some have great practical effects while others needed a little better camera work to make the gags work. These kills are not enough to satisfy the gorehounds out there looking for the next Italian ripoff but for it is just enough for the fans of all horror.
Overall, Shivers Down Your Spine is one of the funnest movie experiences I have had in awhile. The film has laughs, drama, blood, slashers, and boobs. My god, does it have boobs. This is one film that you will have to see. However, clocking in at over 2 hours, you will need to set some time to the side.