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Tag - Volumes of Blood: Horror Stories

4LN Movie Review – Volumes of Blood: Horror Stories

While trying to come up with the best way to describe Volumes of Blood: Horror Stories, a line from a song I’ve always loved came to my mind. The song is called “Shake, Rattle (Snake), and Roll!“, by A Girl A Gun A Ghost, and the lyric is, “We’ll spill your blood. We’ll haunt your dreams.” Like, it’s so fitting that it should be on the film’s poster. The only way a lyric could more perfectly capture the tone of the movie is if there was a song called “Just A Whole Bunch Of Gore”, and the lyrics we’re something like, “Hey girl, I like your pretty face. But I’d like it better in pieces all over the place. Hey boy, that’s a cute smile you have. It’d be a shame if someone gave you a Colombian necktie and then literally stabbed you through the a**hole with a butcher knife before also repeatedly stabbing you in the chest and abdomen areas.” (I’m still working on the melody, but these lyrics are straight fire. Maybe I can the film’s composer Rocky Gray to help me track it.)

Last year I reviewed this film’s predecessor, Volumes of Blood, and called it “a clever, creative, and gore-tastic piece of film-work…” I genuinely love VoB, and to this day I 100% stand behind that review. I’ve been eagerly awaiting the release of VoB2:Horror Stories, excited about how it would expand on the original film, but what I couldn’t have imagined is the level of complexity that the filmmakers were weaving the story into this time around.

(There are potential MINOR SPOILERS ahead, but I’ve genuinely tried to avoid revealing too much. Read on at your own risk though.)

At it’s most basic, the plot of Horror Stories is about a house that harbors some dark secrets and terrible cruelty. Really though, the overall plot structure is actually very intricate. So much so that if you start trying to think about how all the segments of each film fit together to make up the entire picture, as it were, you will go absolutely insane. Like, Jim Carrey in The Number 23 level of insane. It’s like if Saw and Inception had a torrid love affair that produced a child, and that child grew up watching nothing but 80’s slasher flicks and then had a child of it’s own with another hypothetical movie-child that was the product of a one-night-stand between Donnie Darko and Memento, THAT child would be Volumes of Blood: Horror Stories. It’s almost as complex as this analogy.

There’s kind of an “anti-point” to the the film’s use of story complexity though. It’s intricate for fun, not to be pretentious, or because you actually have to know the timeline in order to care about what’s happening. All that really matters is the blood; and, by god, they don’t spare one drop.

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The movie is a blood bath. Literally. One of the segments is titled “Blood Bath” and it is about a killer bathtub. That’s f**king brilliant. I’ve used that term for over half of my life and the idea of an actual murderous bathtub never once dawned on me.

I don’t particularly *like* choosing a favorite segment, but if you twisted my arm (to the point of snapping it off and showering all those in my direct vicinity with blood) then I supposed I’d have to say it was “Fear, For Sinners Here.” This segment takes place around Christmas, and is about a woman who is clearly suffering some great anxiety, but you’re not entirely sure what. She’s greeted by some carolers at her door, which briefly lifts her spirits, but she returns to her anxious state once they leave. Coincidentally, her name is actually Carol. Later she hears singing again and believing they’ve returned she opens her door, only to find one, lone, ominous woman in a hooded cloak singing to her. This woman turns out to have some less-than-merry intentions toward Carol, and proceeds to deck her ever-loving halls. I’m trying not to give too much away here, but I wanted you to know about it enough for me to say that the actress who plays the Cruel Caroler, Julie Streble, was absolutely fantastic. The entire thing was amazing, and both women did great, but the way her character has almost two completely different personalities was well crafted and she executed it perfectly.

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There’s no way I can go into giving each and every segment of VoB2 the praise it deserves because this review would end up being 20,000 words long and none of us have time for that. Besides, once you see it you’ll understand why. The movie is summed up best in it’s final 10 or so minutes. It’s a barrage of violence that isn’t pointless, but is senseless in the most satisfying way. Allow me to explain what I mean… Most horror movies need a reason or point, or at least a slasher/killer that has one. Jigsaw has his need to impose self-righteous “lessons” to those with moral turpitude. In It Follows the “entity” is killing teenagers that have sex. Even Classic horror films aren’t exempt from the formula. Pinhead murders for punishment. Freddy and Jason are both basically killing in the pursuit of revenge. (Michael Myers is arguably the only one that seems to murder out of genuine instinct. He kills for the sake of killing, not for any tangible reason. But that’s a lengthy discussion for another day.) The VoB series has “The Face”, and he clearly kills with no real discrimination. In the last section of the film he serves up a spree of slaughter so excessively gruesome and hilariously violent that it makes Chucky look like a Monster High doll.

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If we gave out some ostentatious score or rating I’d certainly mark this one high. VoB:Horror Stories doesn’t pretend to be other movies, but it pays homage to the films that influenced it. It knows exactly what it is, and it indulges in it’s own self-actualization. You’ll cringe. You’ll laugh. From story to story you’ll find yourself enthralled and captivated. Assuming, that is, you have the stomach for it…

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Keep an eye out for Volumes of Blood: Horror Stories and make sure you catch a screening if it plays at a film festival near you!

UPDATE! Volumes of Blood: Horror Stories Teaser + VoB Blu-ray Release News!

UPDATE (4/29/16)

Volumes of Blood is officially out to buy! You can get it at LeglessCorpse.com or at Amazon. It’ll be available at Family Video across the US and Canada starting in June. They’ve also created a brand new trailer for it too! Check it out, and make sure to get your hands on the best anthology horror films in years!

 

(Original story below)

 

The production of Volumes of Blood: Horror Stories recently got under way, and we already have our first look! Check out the first teaser trailer below!

 

In other VoB news, the first film has just been picked up for distribution by Legless Corpse Films and will be released on Blu-ray in late April! You can place your pre-order here!

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There’s still time to make a contribution to the films funding, so if you haven’t yet, please consider doing to today!

Blood and Metal: An Interview with Rocky Gray

Many moons ago, before 4 Letter Nerd was even a twinkle in our eye, I wrote music reviews for a distribution company’s monthly catalog. My job was basically to convince stores to order more “underground” albums than they were used to ordering by convincing them that younger people would buy them. I was pretty damn good at. One month, would’ve been back in 2008, I decided to review the new Soul Embraced album, Dead Alive. I loved the band, and it had been about 5 years since they’d put out their last album, Immune, so I felt like it was my duty as a fan to spread the Gospel of Soul Embraced. Well, in spite of my good intentions, that turned out to be a fatal blow for me, as one women, from one store, wrote the company a letter complaining about the review and the nature of the album. I suppose she wasn’t a fan of metal and the cover offended her. The president of the company gave implicit orders that my column be removed immediately and permanently. And that’s the story of how Soul Embraced got me fired from a job. But you know what, if I had to do it over again, I wouldn’t change a damn thing. I was proud of that article, I loved that record, and I’m not sorry one bit for telling people to buy it.

Fast forward almost a decade and I find myself getting to talk with Rocky Gray, who founded Soul Embraced. In addition to that, he’s also in one of my other all-time favorite bands, Living Sacrifice, and was a member of Grammy Award winning, multi-platinum selling band Evanescence. Rocky and chatted about his career, his work doing film scoring, and who makes the best cheeseburger. Check it out!

4LN – For those that don’t know, you actually started playing in bands (most notably, Shredded Corpse) back when you were roughly 15 years old, if I have that right. What was your introduction into metal, and what bands or musicians influenced you to want to be a musician yourself?

Rocky Gray – Motley Crue, Twisted Sister, W.A.S.P., early 80’s bands, that was the start of my metal education. Before that I was really into Kiss. Kiss is what enticed me to become a musician. Metallica is what kept the dream alive.

 

4LN – Your musical versatility is quite impressive, what with you having the ability to play pretty much any instrument you put your hands on. Have you found that any one came more naturally than others, or is it a fair balance of “practice makes perfect” with all of them?

RG – Drums came to me very naturally. Guitar took some work. Still working on the keyboard.

 

4LN – Of all the amazing albums you’ve been a part of crafting and creating throughout the years, is there any one that stands out as being especially memorable?

RG – The Evanescence record Fallen changed my life. You grow up hoping to accomplish all of these things in the music world and to be able to see a lot of those dreams come true is amazing and something I don’t take for granted. Its a blessing.

4LN – Now that we’ve talked a little about your past I’d like to move on to what projects you have going on now. Specifically, it was recently announced that you’ll be doing some scoring work on Volumes of Blood: Horror Stories. How did did this opportunity come about?

RG – I had followed the original Volumes of Blood and the progress of that film and the success they had with it so when I saw that they were doing a sequel I wrote the producer, P.J. Starks, and told him if he needed a composer to get in touch with me. He got back to me and we started discussing what we could make happen. So far I’ve done the Theme song and am scheduled to score director Justin Seaman’s segment of the film. Not sure if I’ll be doing any more than that but were still pretty early in production.

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4LN – Is film scoring something you’d ever considered before now, or was it just more “Sure, I’ll give this a try”?

RG – I had wanted to work in movies for quite a long time now. I had always been too busy with the different bands to take the time to figure out what I had to do to get into that world. After We Are The Fallen took a break I got a call from a producer in California and he asked if I would score his film and without hesitation I said yes. It was a great learning experience for me and from doing that one I knew I wanted to keep scoring movies. Since then I’ve scored 2 more movies, 2 video games, a commercial, and the theme to Volumes of Blood:Horror Stories.

 

4LN – Can you tell us about any other projects you’ve got right now, or might have on the horizon?

RG – The Barn original motion picture soundtrack is out on vinyl and cassette right now from Lunaris Records. I recently did the score for Eric Stanze’s new film In Memory Of that is in post production.

The Barn - Original Motion Picture Score LP

 

4LN – This next section is our lightning round questions. Just answer with the first thing that comes to mind. Since you’re scoring a horror film, my first question has to be, what’s your personal favorite horror film?
RG – It’s a tie between Halloween (original) and the Exorcist.

4LN – If you could only listen to one band for the rest of your life, who would it be?
RG – Metallica

4LN – You’ve spent a lot of time out on the road, touring and eating food from all over the world, but what place has the best burger you’ve ever eaten?
RG – The Cheeseburger from Buffalo Wild Wings in the good ‘ol USA!

4LN – What up-and-coming band, or bands, that we might not have heard of yet should we be listening to?
RG – I’m so out of the loop on new bands. If you haven’t heard Born of Osiris or Thy Art Is Murder maybe check them out.

4LN – Which tour van’s always smelled worse, Living Sacrifice or Soul Embraced?
RG – Living Sacrifice!

4LN – For my last question, I want to bring together both horror and metal to ask… If you we’re putting together a Death Metal Super-Group with slasher movie villains, which slashers would you choose to slaughter the ears of the world alongside you, and what instruments would you put them on?
RG – Ghostface on vocals, Jason Voorhees on drums, Cropsy on guitar, Michael Myers on bass. Ill run front of house for them.

 

I want to thank Rocky for speaking with me. Make sure to check out his website Rocky-Gray.com to stay up-to-date with his projects. You can also contribute to helping Volumes of Blood: Horror Stories get made by checking out their Indigogo campaign.

Join the Blood Drive! Help “Volumes of Blood: Horror Stories” Get Made!

Last year we reviewed the indie horror film Volumes of Blood, and to our shrieking enjoyment the makers of that film have just announced the sequel, Volumes of Blood: Horror Stories. Along with the announcement comes an Indiegogo campaign that gives you, the fans, the opportunity to help makes this gruesome nightmare come true, and even reap some extra benefits while you’re at it. Follow the link below to check out the Indiegogo site and contribute whatever you can. Let’s keep supporting great indie horror films!

Volumes of Blood: Horror Stories – Blood Drive