A couple of years ago, we reviewed a movie called Volumes of Blood and loved it. It was a great exercise in true independent filmmaking coming out of Kentucky. The same team is back again to bring us the second installment of this indie franchise-in-the-making, entitled Volumes of Blood: Horror Stories. Dark Cuts in association with Blood Moon Pictures released this film on August 1 and I urge you to check it out. Featuring a multitude of directors (Sean Blevins, John William Holt, Jon Maynard, Nathan Thomas Milliner, Justin Seaman, and James Treakle), they bring us another anthology film worthy of such classics as V/H/S, Tales From The Darkside, Trick r’ Treat, or Creepshow.
The story of this one centers around a young couple checking out a house for sale and taking the grand and gory tour given by a sketchy real estate agent. As they go through each room of the house, we’re able to see through flashbacks, the horrors that once unfolded and burned into the house’s horrible history. If those walls could talk, they wouldn’t. They would be traumatically catatonic. Each tragedy is associated with a holiday or some sort of special day which gives great context of each story. It’s a clever way to tell the story and help the viewer mnemonically associate the rooms with each story. The entire wrap-around story begins on the heels of the first film. If you haven’t seen the first film or just don’t remember, it centered around the brutal massacre of an independent film crew shooting a horror film in the local library. In the same vein of the first one, it continues with this Inception-like concept of a movie within a movie as the opening of this one. It then moves into the main story surrounding the house.
I caught up with producer/writer, P.J. Starks, to see what he had to say for the film.
“There were more stories involved, which meant more locations, more actors and more directors. The death toll is 30, which means the kills are more elaborate and visceral. We spent a lot of time on the effects…”
I can attest to this. The kills in this movie are amped up and more memorable. It’s inspiring to see films still using practical effects as much as possible. If you fancy gore, you’ll walk away satisfied from this one. The clear increase in production value from the first movie is a good indication that these filmmakers are trending in the right direction. When I asked Starks what his favorite part of putting this production together was, he responded
“It’s an expansion of the universe I created with the first VOB. We got to bring in a more diverse group of actors and directors, so it’s was very cool getting to work directly with other film makers like Justin M. Seaman who created The Barn or working alongside Moses J. Moseley who’d worked on The Walking Dead.”
Overall, the movie is definitely an improvement from the first one and it will only get better. The only criticisms I have for this movie is that it’s running time goes a little longer than expected and some of sophomoric humor doesn’t quite hit home with me. I can take a dick joke as good as the next guy, but I do have my limits. If you’re a nostalgic person, then you’re in store for several references to classic horror. It actually put a smile on my face a few times. There’s a neat little Easter egg in one of the vignettes where you might catch a certain weapon of a certain nightmare, so keep your eyes peeled. This is a great effort by all filmmakers and artists involved and there’s more in the future.
“Devil’s Knight: Volumes of Blood 3 is going to finish out the overall story arch happening on a larger scale, but fans of the series can expect more badass killers, crazy twists and turns, even more elaborate deaths with copious amounts of gore and just a good ole time watching a horror flick. I think everyone is in store for a treat with our third and final outing.”
You heard it here first, folks. Volumes of Blood will have a third and final installment coming soon, so stay tuned for the bloody finale in the little town of Owensboro. Look for copies of Volumes of Blood: Horror Stories at your local Walmart, Deep Discounts, DVD Planet, and other outlets. It’ll hit VOD next month around Labor Day weekend through Dish Network, Vudu, Google Play, iTunes, Amazon Prime and others. If you want to learn more you can check out www.facebook.com/vobanthology, www.twitter.com/volumesofblood and www.instagram.com/volumes_of_blood.