Sexual Parasites, Disembowelment, Zombies, Serial Killers, Demon Children, Violent Vixens, Rabid Office Workers and Angry Embryos all spring to life from the flesh covered sketch books featured in Anthony G. Sumner’s SLICES OF LIFE. Mira (Kaylee Williams) awakens in front of a seedy roadside motel with amnesia. She searches for clues to her identity in the pages of three bound sketchbooks, in which each book represents a different aspect of everyday life, maybe her life. Convinced that the characters from these books are roaming around the motel, Mira’s reality begins to crumble. Are these visions real or is she going insane? Desperate, Mira turns to the motel caretakers (Marv Blauvelt and Helene Alter-Dyche), only to discover the true evil bound in the flesh covered books and the destiny they hold for her. (from Slices of Life website)
Directed by: Anthony G. Sumner
Written by: Anthony G. Sumner, Eric Richter, and Alan Rowe Kelley
Starring: Kaylee Williams, Jack Guasta, Toya Tunner
Anthony G. Sumner’s Slices of Life harnesses three short films in one, as a young Mira(Kaylee Williams) tries to piece together her own life with tidbits of stories of the lives of others. The three gory tales that encompass work life, home life, and sex life make up the three deadly partitions of human existance.
Mira awakens in front of a seedy hotel, and is immediately retrieved by hotel patrons Irma(Helene Alter-Dyche) and Tiny(Marv Blauvelt) who lead her into the hotel lobby to recollect who she is via three sketchbooks stitched in human skin. As she views the three sketchbooks, she is drawn into the stories that the books tell. The first story that portrays Work Life “W.O.R.M.” has a lonely office worker, William(Jack Guasta), that is frowned upon and bullied by his fellow workmates at Nimrod Corporation. He finds pleasure in viewing webcams, but has problems being accepted by even the unattractive women online. He devises a plan to upload an email virus to control the minds of those who bully him, and when the virus spreads throughout the company’s network, plans goes awry when things do not go as William hoped for.
The next sketchbook Mira views is Home Life “Amber Alert,” where a very pregnant Vonda(Toya Turner) lives a stressful life of hearing about little girls rapidly becoming missing in the Chicagoland area. She also rarely sees her husband Lamont(Thurston Hill), who is also a detective that keeps his backyard shed obsessively hidden from his wife. Vonda begins to see ghosts of young girls, and correlates one of the phantoms with a missing child sign she sees hanging up on a post. Vonda’s home life worsens when her husband becomes more secretive, and less understanding to her nosiness and obsession with the missing girls. Vonda must decide whether to ignore these creepy spirits, or to follow them to the truth that is harnessed within the shed in which her husband hides in.
The last sketchbook features Sex Life “Pink Snapper,” where Eric Ballard(Galen Schloming) comes home to his sister Susan (Deneen Melody) being raped by their drunk uncle. Eric knocks his uncle out cold with a frying pan, and Susan and Eric frantically try to figure out how to dispose of the body. They stop at Edgar Nadasdy’s(Bruce Varner) creepy mansion, where they find a young Elizabeth(Judith Lesser) tied up in the basement after taking Edgar to the hospital. Thinking that Elizabeth is harmless, Eric is seduced by the beautiful female but his sexual urges get the best of him when he learns of Elizabeth’s dark secret. Slices of Life ends with Mira’s compilation of all three storylines, and the shocking realization of Mira’s livelihood.
All three short films within the movie have blood and gore elements, leaving “Pink Snapper” as the goriest featuring a creature that comes out of a woman’s vagina and being able to dismember human body parts. “Amber Alert” is creepy as it features children and adults alike with faces that morph into disfigured monsters. There is a pretty disturbing gore scene where a man’s face is smashed by a sledgehammer, but lots of CGI elements that take away from the realism of the film. The beginning credits sounded eerily like the credits from Showtime’s Masters of Horror series, which set the mood for watching a film with different shorter segments within. I enjoyed “Pink Snapper” the most out of the three shorter films, as it was gorier than the other two integrating an Elizabeth Bathory reference into the present. Mira’s purpose/storyline is overall confusing as she is costumed in 1960’s attire, but Slices appears to take place in the present.
Sumner’s Slices is a great adaptation to the Tales From the Crypt/Masters of Horror series, that is heavily promoted at horror conventions/film festivals around the Midwest. As much as the film is highlighted within events, there is not much that stands above all the other independent horror genre flicks that circulate within festivals.
Slices of Life (2011)