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Realms Of Blood (2004)
Movie Review by The Mortician

Realms Of Blood (2004) It seems there is just an avalanche of anthology horror movies coming out anymore in the shot-on-video scene. Exactly why this is, I'm not sure---but I suspect it's easier for the moviemakers to keep cast and crew together for a few short bursts than for one long 'feature' haul. Director Robert J. Massetti seems to be trying to carve out a career in shorts for some reason. After mastering the genre with his superior PHOBIAS anthology movie last year, you'd think he would move on and do a feature, and that's really my only complaint with his latest movie, REALMS OF BLOOD, which is ANOTHER anthology movie!Don't get me wrong---with all the junky anthology movies hitting the scene from Falcon Video and 4th Floor Productions and every new video kid on the block---REALMS tears 'em all up in production value, content, slickness, and directing. Set during a BLACKOUT (an ode to Massetti's PHOBIAS segement?), two characters try to scare each other to death in TWILIGHT ZONE mode ('wanna see something REALLY SCARY?').Up first is the stylistic slasher opus, PAINKILLER. A Gulf War vet, injured beyond belief, returns home to get revenge on his estranged wife. The photography is as slick as you can get in the indie scene, the suspense mounts, and the gore is pretty decent, particularly a nasty decapitation. My only beef is that the killer just chokes his victims---if only there were some inventive kills in all this, we might have had an A + segment here! Instead, we're left with a B-, wishing for more. Still, it's a fun piece and the killer's makeup is the best I've seen since Freddy the K hit the scene back in '83.Up next is the best and most original segment, called THE COLOGNE. Nick Colameo (easily the most accomplished actor in the movie) plays Freddy, a computer nerd who can't seem to get a date from his office co-workers. (The scene where Freddy offers to take a secretary out for a 'sub' is priceless, as is the part when he has porno mags fall out of his mailbox while a shapely young neighbor watches in disgust!) Anyway, our hero gets ahold of an aphrodisiac musk (you know, as seen on TV!) and becomes a sex machine, attracting all the girls of his dreams! The 'gettin' it on' scenes are priceless and had me rolling in hysteria! But as with all stories with a twist, there is a price to pay for such activities, and good sex = death, to put it mildly! This segment truly is the high point of originality and execution in REALMS...Finally, the last segment, BLOOD RUNS COLD, is vampiric in theme, a subject that has been so overdone to death in the indie scene that it makes me want to scream! This one isn't too bad (though it does feel overlong) and adds some original twists to things when a priest is called by God to fight a local group of bloodsuckers. Massetti's style here is almost like a young John Carpenter, dishing out plenty of folklore, atmosphere, and good vs. evil stuff PRINCE OF DARKNESS style. There's also an excellent 'family twist' to the proceedings that I didn't see coming, and the downbeat ending was most welcome. Sheyenne Rivers shines as the lead actress in this piece, she's ever so pleasant on the eyes and has a lot of passion and talent in her part(s).Like I said, this is a credible, entertaining production that kicks the tail out of the competition. It's obvious that producer Jon Fish and director Robert J. Massetti have perfected the craft of making horror shorts, they just need to get on with a feature because I think they will blow viewers away when they step into that arena. Anthology movies are very much like book compilations of short stories---entertainment from a bygone era. The days of CREEPSHOW and TALES FROM THE CRYPT are long over and overdone in terms of audience demand and endurance. For now, though, REALMS OF BLOOD is (hopefully) a foreshadow of things to come from some very talented moviemakers. Quirky, violent, twisted, and slick, REALMS OF BLOOD will satisy the most avid devotee of horror stories, so it's definitely worth a rent when it comes out. I hope these guys are able to muster up a feature film soon!
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