Two stories of filth are tied together through their gruesome violence, sadistic sex and horrifying horror. In the world of television you never know what's fake and what's reality.
A few years in the making, "Double Dose of Terror!!" (I choose to write it like that, but the real title is "DOUBLE DOSE OF TERROR!!", but I would feel like I was shouting at you then) is an anthology movie by Michael Todd Schneider ("I Never Left The White Room", "...And Then I Helped") and Tyler Tharpe ("Return in Red") that I've been excited about for a while. Everyone knows my status on Michael already, but I have been just as interested in Tyler's segment. His film "Return in Red" wasn't a movie I liked a whole lot, but it was very well made and had just more gone on in the movie I think it could've been a very good horror movie. Because of that I wanted to see what more he had in him.
First we're shown a trailer for "Double Dose of Terror!!", which then takes us into an opening gambit by Max Almeida, titled "Home Captive". There is no doubt that this one sets the tone of the movie with it's kidnapping and sex dealing. This one really ends before things get too dirty, and it takes us back out to the cinema where we originally ended up before the opening gambit.
Tyler Tharpe's "Bowling Night" kicks off and is about two guys who are going to go out bowling, but they never come that far. One of the men has just killed his wife and the other one is about to find out why. Starring Eric James and Tom Colbert who both do a great job to create a tension. This one is pretty down to earth compared to Michael Todd Schneider's segment. The effects are great, but my biggest problem is that the editing in these scenes (a gunshot scene in particular) made it so sudden that you never could enjoy the gore as much. Basicly you never react to the gun being drawn before blood starts spurting from the gun wound. It does make it a more powerful blow because you weren't prepared for it, sadly it left me not really reacting to what really happened in terms of story.
"Our Devil's Night", which is Michael Todd Schneider's segment, is much longer and takes up maybe twice or more as time as the previous segment. This one is about a wacko family going on to a Halloween party. The family consists of the beautiful Nikki McIntyre, her on-screen-cousin Justin Alvarez, and then Ben Tatar as grandpa, "Gram Paps". In full Halloween costumes they go out and create chaos for the other party guests to suffer through. This one is no doubt the most crazy one of the two, and features maggot creatures, lots of sex, incest, violence. But most of all some really strange editing work by Mr. MagGot. And I am a fan of experimental editing, but this one is literally all red, and add that to the blurred out VHS tape look the entire feature has. It makes much of the film hard to see. So for most of the party scene we have the camera just spectating what is going on but much of the time it's hard to make out what really is happening. And it makes it hard to focus on who is who. This segment is also very slow to begin with, but when it finally kicks in with it's exploitation-ness there are some great scenes, especially a rape scene that was kinda creepy.
"Double Dose of Terror!!" is a different kind of anthology. It melts the stories together through the silver screen, TV's and whatnot. It makes it hard to know where one starts and the other ends and I think that gives it a different feel entirely. Especially when there are different director's involved, because usually you get a change in quality with that, but in this one it feels as one. And with the VHS look that Michael put on top of the entire feature, it almost melts them together literally.
I am a little disappointed by "Double Dose of Terror!!". It is crazy as fuck, that's not disappointing at all. But I had hoped for "Bowling Night" to have been a little longer and maybe show more of the gore since there is some fantastic looking shots in it. And "Our Devil's Night" was just so strange overall, especially with how at first it just let's us spectate the party for the longest time before things really get going. But the biggest issue with this one was indeed that everything is so red that it's hard to make out things. Gore, effects and nudity especially. There is plenty of fantastic effects in it, and when the intro to this movie said it's a double feature of "sex und death", it wasn't lying. "Our Devil's Night" especially is focused on these things. And that's what I came to see, but with the editing it was really hard. I don't know what the intentions were in this department so I have no way of defending it. But at least towards the end of the segment it was much easier to see and follow the story.
So, while I am disappointed in it, I still think this is worth checking out. It's different that's for sure. And it features some absolutely fantastic special effects and for the most parts that what I felt made it worthwhile. I especially love the ending and the end credits. The VHS feel isn't a problem but a solution because it ties it together so much better, but during "Our Devil's Night" it made the red even harder on the eyes since it also blurred it a bit. It's safe to say that you are better off getting this double feature than any other out now. At least it will leave you wondering what the hell you just watched. It does work perfectly as a filler between "...And Then I Helped" and whatever the next feature Michael finishes out of the bunch.
P.S. I am also very happy to have heard music made by myself (with Jason Baluszek under the name "Groronodor") from way back in 2004/2005 in "Our Devil's Night", as well as see a short sequence from my own film "Récompence" thrown into it. It's an honor since Michael is the reason I've started making experimental films myself.