Five sinister stories, ranging from the macabre and comedic romance in "My Undead Girlfriend" to the gruesome life of a serial killer in "Genital Genocide".
Kim Sønderholm is no stranger to indie horror or anthologies, having directed and acted in several. For example, the three "The Horror Vault" anthologies, of which we've reviewed two. In that sense I was sort of prepared for what this would offer, especially as it also features a segment by the Branbomm company which we've covered a bit in the past as well. In a much more "Creepshow" and "Tales from the Darkside" vibe than "The Horror Vault" came off as, the general style of the anthology feels more improved and complete, though lacking in inventive and original stories.
Start off with my favorite of the five is "Succubus", directed by Kim Sønderholm. This one is really simple, and that's also why I enjoyed it the most - while it wasn't original in the least, it was so basic that it's a bulletproof concept. It's about a succubus seeking men in a bar. She finds one and brings him to a place where they can fuck, and she turns into the bloodsucking bitch that she truly is - fangs, wings and all. It's just a short based on the very familiar concept of a succubus, and I don't think it needed to be inventive. I'm sure a lot could have been done to make it more exciting, but for a segment in an anthology it was just enough. Effect-wise it feels a bit costumey.
From the guys who gave us "The Dead Chick in the Closet" comes "My Undead Girlfriend" - the comedic segment of "Sinister Visions". Starting off with a little intro about the origins of the zombie infection, which didn't seem necessary to the following story unfortunately. Once it finally kicks into the main story it's quite an amusing segment, but mainly feels like a tribute to zombie flicks like "Braindead". A man finds out his girlfriend is a zombie but still goes on to a dinner with her parents. They notice something a bit off about her, but it's not perfectly clear until she's already chewing on her lovely parents. Fun story, not too bad make-up, but basically it's a sort of zombie flick we've been through before. Not only that, but it stands out too much because none of the other segments are comedies.
"Mother Knows Best" is yet another Kim Sønderholm segment, but instead of diving into the devilish, this shows a more exploitation/slasher style. A dead mother's son (think "Psycho", I guess) brings women back to kill them off in the basement when it doesn't "work out". Meanwhile his mother continues to control him even after her death. Boobies and some blood, yes, but nothing too exciting with this one.
Kim Sønderholm's last segment and probably the least memorable segment has to be "A Woman Scorned" - essentially a woman's revenge (without giving too much away). It's not that this is poorly made or even a terrible short, but it literally offers nothing that stands out against the other segments. It feels more like a time-waster between "Mother Knows Best" and the final segment. The core of this one might actually be the most effective idea out of the bunch, but it's executed with little logic and care for the protagonist (or is she the antagonist?).
Finally, "Sinister Visions" ends with a bit of a bang. "Genital Genocide" is by a man named Doug Gehl, who I believe is pretty new in the field. This one tells the story of a serial killer on death row who recalls some of his most cherished memories. Flirting with the extreme, this features cannibalism, self-mutilation, a little lesbian scene and so forth. It's not as exciting as it sounds, but after the two previous exploitation-esque segments above, this feels quite effective. It could have been very effective, had it taken itself more seriously. There's no real problem with the effects for horror of this standard, but you won't be flinching or get disturbed when it's mostly being silly.
In the end, "Sinister Visions" is a mediocre anthology. If you enjoy Kim Sønderholm's work in general than this is a great purchase, but as an anthology and horror movie it's pretty weak and predictable. The most entertaining segment to me was the first one, but that might also be the least original one. It does offer plenty of boobies (sometimes just because they felt like it, it seems) and effects of varying quality. It doesn't feel like a complete anthology because I get a feeling that they just threw a bunch of shorts together to make them available.