Volumes of Blood
Written by Todd Martin, P.J. Starks, and Nathan Thomas Milliner and directed by Jakob Bilinski, Nathan Thomas Milliner, John Kenneth Muir, P.J. Starks, and Lee Vervoort.
I am first greeted with the following screen:
The following anthology was an experiment in fear.
Nearly one-hundred artists came
together to volunteer their talents to create
This is a true endeavor of independent cinema
VIEWER DISCRETION IS ADVISED
Immediately, I was elated. I have said it before, horror needs more anthology movies! From the ABC’s of Death films, Creepshow, the V/H/S series, to the lesser, but still enjoyable effort, Tales from the Hood (A guilty viewing pleasure of mine from time to time). I have always found that the anthology style format suits the horror genre well. So when I had the chance to view an indie horror film anthology, I jumped at the chance. I have viewed many smaller budget independent films over the years, of all genre types. From every extreme end of the spectrum. Most times, I am left under whelmed and dissatisfied overall. However, I am very pleased to say, that is not the case with Volumes of Blood.
The first scene opens up with a subtitle that tells us that it’s Friday October 13th (18 days till Halloween). We see a knife wielding killer lurking in the shadows, watching a couple making out in a Corvette. When the couple began their dialogue, I have to admit, I was worried. Way over the top acting and quoting every 80’s film cliché cheese phrase imaginable. “I’ll be right back. It’s the Rodster, I’m no stranger to danger,” or “I’m no sucka emcee.” Following the “rules” of the 80’s slasher was front and center. I thought to myself, “Here we go.” So when the camera pans away and you see that it’s a movie, Murder Death Killer 3, someone else is watching on a phone, I had breathed a huge sigh of relief. I said it again, “Here we go.” But this time I didn‘t say it with disdain, I said it with delight because it was from that point that I knew I wasn’t in for the typically stale horror, by the book film, that can even come from the creative, outside the box, playing field that is the indie genre.
What we have is a main story plot, 4 stories being told, and a sort of “frame story” plot that reveals itself towards the end and is executed brilliantly. Not one story held anything over the next. They were each memorable for their own charms. I literally had fun watching this film. It was evident the major focal point was to entertain the audience over taking itself too seriously. My favorite character had to be P.J. Starks himself, playing himself. This is where the real comedic value of the film came into play. It was refreshing to see a director take this stance of the stereotype. This was a very enjoyable and satisfying piece of independent film making. This is a must see for any fan of indie films, self referential films, fans of anthologies, or anyone just looking for something different and unique. I haven’t seen a piece of independent film making that I enjoyed as much as I did this film. At all times clever, crafty, and effective.
My grade for this film: A-