[REVIEW] Treasure Chest of Horrors (2012)

TREASURE CHEST OF HORRORS features four short films, from three of America’s most indie directors. It starts with Percival the Pirate (Paymon Seyedi), hunting around an empty beach for his grandpappy’s hidden treasure. Very quickly he finds it and inside the chest there are four VHS tapes, which are the four short films that are being featured.
The first segment was Doug Waugh’s ROTTEN CLASSMATES, a tale of a student being tormented by a quartet of bullies. This is until another student who witnessed the bullying changes into his alter-ego, which can only be described as ‘Gas-Man’. He then stalks the bullies and kills them in quite interesting ways. I don’t think I’ve ever seen (or imagined) someone have their face compressed by a mop wringer before. There was little to no speech in this short film too, I really enjoyed this aspect as it made each characters actions so much more enjoyable.
Next up was VAMPIRE LUST, from duo; Shawn C. Phillips and M. Kelley – both directing and starring in the film. Kelley plays a 28 year old man still living with his parents, until one night, he gets bitten by a bat. The rest of the film shows his transformation into a vampire, which was actually really funny. Comedy was the only thing this film had going for it though. The make-up was ridiculous and smeared down Kelley’s clothes, the acting was so bad, I was cringing every time someone spoke and the plot was all over the place.
Doug Waugh’s second short film, RESIDENT EMO, is about an ‘emo’ that cuts himself with a cursed blade and then turns into a zombie. I found this short to actually be highly offensive when dealing with the topic of self harm. I know its part of a bizarre horror/comedy anthology, but even so, it just went way too far with its alleged humour, and ended up being distasteful and degrading. There were only two aspects of this film that I enjoyed, and that was Lloyd Kaufman’s cameo and the toilet humour. In one scene, Saree Waugh (who is credited as ‘The girl who shits everywhere’ on IMDB), gets diarrhoea, rolls around in it, then proceeds to throw it off a zombie to protect herself. Incredibly funny.
Lastly was MAMA IT’S A MANNEQUIN, from Doug Waugh and it was definitely the best segment out of the four. It’s set around a girl’s 18th birthday party, the mannequin she wants as a present and her family being terrorised by it. The best scene in this short is when Murphy (Doug Waugh), tries to rape the mannequin and he calls it by the wrong name. By doing so, the dummy comes to life and rips his balls off, which is always entertaining. Unfortunately (and this goes for the rest of the shorts in this anthology), there was a lot of corpsing from the actors. It’s expected in a film where the actors are all mainly amateurs, but it really puts the viewer off and makes it substandard.
For a film that was made on literally no budget, it didn’t turn out too bad, but only fans of this subgenre should watch this. It does have some original ideas, but with a bigger budget, it would have been so much better.

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