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Screamtime Reviews

The heyday of the horror anthology--a mostly British phenomenon, dating back to DEAD OF NIGHT (1945)--was around 1970, with films such as TALES FROM THE CRYPT; ASYLUM; and THE HOUSE THAT DRIPPED BLOOD offering three to five little shockers framed by one connecting story. Here the tradition is revived in an inferior effort, opening as two lowlifes (Vincent Russo and Michael Gordon) steal three videocassettes from a Times Square shop. They take a subway to Brooklyn and go to a girl friend's apartment to watch their new tapes, "Killer Punch," "Scream House," and "Garden of Blood." "Killer Punch" concerns a Punch and Judy puppeteer (Robin Bailey) who, with the help of Mr. Punch, takes his anger out on his wife and stepson. "Scream House" is the story of a young couple (Ian Saynor and Yvonne Nicholson) who move into a big house whose halls are haunted by the image of a knife-wielding homicidal maniac. The final and best episode, "Garden of Blood," tells of a young handyman and gardener (David Van Day) whose new place of employment, an old house owned by two spinsters, has a strange garden haunted by fairies, gnomes, and a 16th-century femme fatale. Not a shock or scare to be found anywhere.