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Film Review: Theatre of the Deranged II (2013)

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SYNOPSIS:

Damien Shadows introduces you to 5 blood curdling horror films, all of which are actually enchanted and or cursed. Damien shows you how to ward off the spirits after each terrifying tale in this anthology. From demented sisters, to panty raids gone wrong, to killer mimes and bad periods, this film will take you on one wild ride!

REVIEW:

Theatre of the Deranged II is a horror anthology sequel from 2013.  It contains five segments and some wraparound buffers between each.  The easiest way to write about the movie will be to separate it into the 6 parts, so get ready for a bunch of miniature reviews within this review.

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First up is a short segment called Tag.  This Shane Ryan directed segment is about a woman being tormented by the grown up spirit of her sister or friend who died at age 6.  The spirit urges her to cut herself in the same way that the girl died.  There isn’t a whole lot more substance to the story than that.  It was presented in Japanese with subtitles.  When taking the title of the anthology into consideration, this segment is fitting.  It is weird and intriguing.  There may not be much to it but it is short enough at barely five minutes that watching it isn’t a problem.

The next segment is Panty Raid.  Directed by Shawn Burkett, this segment follows a man with two personalities going into a sorority house in an attempt to steal panties.  Along the way, bodies stack up.  This is a decently entertaining segment that relies a lot on skin and humor to push itself forward.  The deaths are violent without being gory.  If you’re into short, semi-effective horror with female nudity, masturbation, and pillow fights, this segment should work gangbusters for you.

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The third segment in Theatre of the Deranged II is called Unmimely Demise.  James Cullen Bressack directed this segment about a mime that killed his wife for cheating on him and came back ten years later to kill the man who slept with her.  The concept was great, silly fun in this segment, with the mime only able to attack people with invisible mime weapons.  It wasn’t played completely for comedy.  The concept was taken seriously enough to feel realistic, though it was a wacky idea.  This is an idea that could make for a great feature length film if the material is handled properly.

Segment number four is called My Aunt is Coming to Town.  Director Christopher Leto follows a couple as they date and have sex.  When the woman’s aunt comes to town, things get demonic on the couple.  There isn’t a whole lot of meat to this segment.  The couple have a good night out then the next time, there is blood.  Oh, and there’s a talking vagina because what’s not fun about that?  It’s not a good segment and probably the weakest of the bunch.  It is uninteresting in ways that none of the others were.

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Finally, there is Plate Face.  This fifth segment was directed by Dustin Mills.  It is the standout segment of the entire movie and a solid note to finish on.  Plate Face is presented in the style of a silent film, with audience cheering, gasping, laughing, and such added in to good effect.  The twist is that the characters all wear white masks with drawn on facial features throughout.  It makes the body language mean a whole lot more.  This creative choice helped to put weight behind every action.  It made the climax hit harder than it would have with words and angry faces.  It had more feeling behind it.  Plate Face works very well.

The only thing left to talk about is the wraparound segment.  The host of Theatre of the Deranged II was Damien Shadows.  He is a paranormal investigator who is using the different segments to teach viewers how to fight off supernatural beings.  Following each segment he talks about what kind of being got released and suggests weapons to counter them.  It is goofy, funny, and a good source of comedic relief between the deranged shorts that the audience watches.  The jokes are cheesy, but a good kind of cheesy.  You can tell there was some effort put into making the wraparound entertaining.  That’s not something you normally find in anthology films.

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Theatre of the Deranged II is an anthology film that works fairly well.  There are no segments that are mind-numbingly bad.  They are at least watchable, which is saying a lot when you compare this to many of the other horror anthologies that are out there.  As a whole, the movie is a decent little horror movie with some interesting ideas and some fun segments.  That’s all that a viewer can ask for.  Not everything is going to be great, but when the good outweighs the bad, you know the people behind the movie did something right.  Theatre of the Deranged II did something right.

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