Directed by Lenny Lenox [segment ‘Turnout’ / Other horror films: N/A], Neil McCurry [segment ‘Night Screams’ / Other horror films: N/A], Lance Polland [segment ‘The Range’ / Other horror films: Crack Whore (2012), Werewolves in Heat (2015)], Steven Richards [segment ‘Dead Letters’ / Other horror films: N/A] & Vito Trabucco [segments ‘The Exterminator’ & ‘Wraparounds’ / Other horror films: B-Movie: The Shooting of ‘Farmhouse Massacre’ (2002), Visions of Horror (2007, segment ‘Hooligan’s Valley’), Bloody Bloody Bible Camp (2012), Never Open the Door (2014), Happy Horror Days (2020, segment ‘4th of July’)]
When I first saw this film, I knew I found it below average. What I had forgotten in the years that passed was just how below average this mess of an anthology film actually was.
In Slices, we have five stories plus a framing sequence. Of these six total stories, maybe two are acceptable, and the other four all range from tepidly bad to downright awful. You certainly get a variety here, what with a vampire story (‘Night Screams’), a slasher (‘Turnout’), a zombie story (‘The Range’), and torture porn (‘The Exterminator’). The last one (‘Dead Letters’) is sort of a Monkey’s Paw-like story, slightly unique in that is occasionally uses what seems to be claymation.
So you do get a variety with these entries, but as very few of them are worth watching, I don’t personally think it means much. Look at ‘Night Screams’ and ‘Turnout’ – both have needlessly dramatic narration (I don’t even know why they thought ‘Turnout’ even needed narration, but whatever) that doesn’t really add much. It’s pretty bad for ‘Night Screams’ because the monotone narration about ‘My life has been molded by a series of bad decisions. Tonight turned out to be another one’ was about as non-enthralling as you could expect.
Also, a bit of the 1968 classic Night of the Living Dead is shown here. They don’t try to pass it off as part of the actual movie (such as O.C. Babes and the Slasher of Zombietown did) but just because the film’s in public domain, it doesn’t need to be seen in every other low-budget horror movie. It gets really old; I’m just saying. Also, it might be advisable to give your stories a conclusion, but as ‘The Range’ lacked one, perhaps that’s just my point of view.
The best thing about this film is Trent Haaga, playing a Svengoli rip-off named Lucius Phibes on Theater of the Macarbe that the framing story’s based around. Haaga did fantastic as the over-the-top and cheesy horror host, and while pretty much nothing else in the movie was worth much, it was great seeing him having such a fun time.
Otherwise, Slices can likely be placed in a Top 10 worse anthology horror film list. There are worse ones out there, don’t get me wrong (such as The Telling from 2009 and Nightmare Alley from 2010), but Slices is pretty inept. Also, this is worth noting, I had no problem with the lower-budget nature of the film – had the stories been made with more money, they still would have sucked. Slices just isn’t really worth it.