Capturing lightning in a bottle is difficult, and that’s exactly what the 80’s was for horror films; pure, unadulterated terror, in your face sexuality, and production value that lacked typical Hollywood glamour. As with anything, we tend to forget about our history in hopes of making our future a better place, and the lightning that once struck the Earth becomes nearly impossible to see again. I say nearly because, very rarely, someone manages to capture the essence of that element, and Weird Fiction is one of the very few films to contain an atmosphere reminiscent of the 80’s. The upcoming anthology from Fame Cinema and Slaughtered Bird Films is the closest thing you’ll get to retro horror in 2018, and it feels like a lost movie that was recently discovered in an editor’s basement in California. And, even better, writer/director Jacob Perrett stars as The Collector, a horror host, an integral part of a horror anthology that’s hard to find in this generation of film-makers. It’s a win-win situation, and I thoroughly enjoyed Weird Fiction.
I never heard anything about this production, even though I’m the senior editor at a website that specializes in independent horror titles. I went in blind, and came out on the other side with nothing but warm things to say. Weird Fiction is comprised of four short film – a psycho-slasher “Goodnight, Daddy,” starring Carson Jones, Matt Nale, Isabella Rodriguez, Taylor Rhoades and Christian Styborski; a monster under the bed exploit “Night of the Sitter,” starring Taylor Rhoades, Matt Nale, Danielle Rhoades, and Mackenzie Anthony; an egotistical and erotic downfall “The Incubus,” starring Taylor Rhoades, Torri Bouslough, Caleb Bish, Rose Spencer and Ashley Smith; and the start of a global takeover “Cosmic Terror,” starring Isabella Rodriguez, Rylee Prenatt, Taylor Rhoades, Colten Phillips and Roe Spencer. Each segment captures a subgenre of horror that was highlighted and championed in the 80’s, culminating in a film that effectively delivers devious delight to every kind of viewer.
The acting is hit or miss, and there’s a lot of odd lighting and rough cuts, but honestly I’ve seen worse. And in a case like this, this is what these kind of movies are supposed to be like. They’re supposed to be rough around the edges, serving only as a retro homage to one of the greatest times in horror cinema history. Kudos to writer/director Jacob Perrett and producer Taylor Rhoades for crafting a successful throwback that took me by surprise. I think it’ll take you by surprise, too. Weird Fiction is chugging away towards release, with an Indiegogo campaign and a comic coming later this month. If you’re a fan of delectable horror anthologies that take you back to a better time in horror, then Weird Fiction is the film for you. A film where its weaknesses are actually its greatest strengths, I’d highly recommend Weird Fiction to any viewer who misses the good old days of studying the shelves of old VHS stores and looking for a gruesome new release. Walk back in time with this unexpected masterpiece. Final Score: 8 out of 10.