A sinister video shop holds the key to a collection of terrifying VHS related tales, told by a collective of the best UK indie horror filmmakers including MJ Dixon (Pandamonium), Michael Fausti (Exit), Andrew Elias (The Numbers), Tom Lee Rutter (Day of the Stranger), Sam Mason Bell (The Millenial Killer) & Alexander Churchyard (The Allotment). With fake trailers from Tony Mardon & Geoff Harmer.
Horror legends Dani Thompson (Bad Moon Rising, My Bloody Banjo), Laurence R. Harvey (The Human Centipede II) join the cast, along with Martin W Payne (Monstrous Disunion), Hannah Paterson (Horrorscopes: Vol 1), Ayvianna Snow (Vampire Virus), Annabella Rich (Hacker), Chris Mills (Terror at Black Tree Forest), Cy Henty (Cleaver: Rise of the Killer Clown), Eve Oliver (Mask of Thorn), Charlie Bond (, Dead Air, Powertool Cheerleaders vs The Boyband of the Screeching Dead), James Hamer-Morton (Dead Air) & Glyn Angell (Tales From the Great War). are only some of the names included in this packed feature length film which treats horror fans to a wonderful mix of insanity and style.
As part of the ‘wraparound’ we enter Video Dungeon, a video rental library (yes remember those! I do. I owned one and worked in one) and in this anthology film Video Shop Tales of Terror we are introduced to The Proprietor (played by Martin W. Payne) and the stores new employee Clara (played by Hannah Paterson) who will take care of us, the viewing horror fans as we are treated to six ‘segments’ made by some truly wonderful UK filmmakers and feature great cast. I could delve into a lot of detail about each of the short film, their plots, their styles etc, but I think that does and would take away from a lot of the experience of watching each of the half dozen short films. Whether you watch the short films as short films or watch the entire Video Shop of Terror in a single session (which is the way I did it), It works either way. After each film you treated to a mix of either fake trailers (and I actually hope that many of these films do end up being made some day including Witchfinder Actual and Don’t Sit On His Face, fake ads, or just insane video customers who wander into Video Dungeon.
The choices of films are such a great and fun mix with psychotic surgeons, vampire noir tales, masturbating video store customers (thankfully not something I had to clean up when I ran a video store), time travellers (or not), and so much more. Whilst I do suspect the six short films were all created independently and then assembled after production, that is only a guess. It could also be that meetings took place with ‘briefs’ and the filmmakers then headed out to make their films using those briefs. Whatever was the process for this project, the process works with each of the films standing alone, but also working wonderfully as part of the feature length picture.
The cast is filled with names I recognize and is a proper who’s who of the UK indie film circuit. Rami Hilmi from the film Colin, Laurence R Harvey from My Bloody Banjo, Kemal Yildirim ( from Malady), Charlie Bond from Dead Air, Faith Elizabeth from Powertool Cheerleaders vs the Boyband of the Screeching Dead (which also features Charlie Bond), Ayvianna Snow ( The Lockdown Hauntings) and of course Dani Thompson who has several roles in Video Shop Tales of Terror and who definitely should think about a Paula Valentine film franchise. We get crazy nuns played by Andrea Sandell (from I Scream On The Beach), so many names feature in Video Shop Tales of Terror that I could fill an entire article just with cast lists. (but I wont)
Its definitely worth giving a shout out to the directors involved in the film though as their films alone are definitely worth checking, out and so its a super treat to have them all features in a single near two hour film. A huge thank you to MJ Dixon (Egghead), Sam Mason-Bell ( The Red Lipped Moon), Andrew Elias ( Fleurs du Mal), Alexander Churchyard and Max Davenport ( Mary Whitehouse, you’re a…), Thomas Lee Rutter ( These Burnt Children) and Michael Fausti (Vergessen) You have all done a wonderful job and I have eight words for you “Video Shop Tales of Terror :Volume Two please”
Such a blast! and those familiar with video stores will chuckle at mentions of ‘did you rewind’ and drift down memory lane at the mention of membership cards. Video Shop Tales of Terror is put together lovingly but people who remember video stores and who im sure spent a lot and lot and lot of hours wandering up and down the aisles trying to find that perfect film for any given night in front of the screen. A huge thank you to all involved making Video Shop Tales of Terror. Now get cracking on Volume Two!
Video Shop Tales of Terror will make its screen debut January 21st 2023 as part of Horror-On-Sea Film Festival and I highly recommend you check it out. (and there is a post credit sequence, so stick around)
Check out the Horror-On-Sea Film Festival’s website for more information and ticket information.