Psykik Junky Pictures horror anthology has returned with another low-budget thrills collection of chilling tales. “Treasure Chest Of Horrors III” has brought together some pretty interesting talent in the Indie community for these short films. Directors Robert Beihn, The Cousin Bros, James J. Coker, Shawn C. Phillips, Brendan Mitchell, Shane Ryan and Doug Waugh offer up some devilishly wicked stories. The anthology is framed in a wraparound that features two siblings, a brother and a sister, discovering the chest belonging to old uncle Chuck. Now for my thoughts on “Treasure Chest Of Horrors III” .
The wraparound-“"Uncle Chuck's Horror Tapes", at times, was more irritating than entertaining to watch. Mostly because of the almost incoherent babbling of the brother, which bordered on idiocy. I just wanted him to form a humorous, and understandable set-up, with a smart punch line, or shut the fuck up and put in the damn tape! That being said, this seg was well shot and worked better than the TCH2 wraparound. The last act of the wraparound was cool, and very fun to watch-even though it was pretty predictable. Now for the first tale of terror in this trove of horrors, “So We Killed Our Parents”, a pretty wild ride through some delusional, psychorama vengeance. It was fun, creative and dark. Maybe the format or artist style of the cinematography could seem a bit distracting, for the depth of just how sinister the story was, but really I am thankful. I wasn’t wanting to get that intense right out of the gate with this anthology edition. It was filmed in a series of almost psycho –surrealism, madhouse catenations that pulled from the story’s edgy content. It could almost seem at moments to glorify the nature of the acts, but luckily the director managed to keep the tone subdued just enough that the short was not too egregious. Second up in the anthology was “I Dare You” . This short was not all that great, although kudos for Shawn and Brendan for using the story to put focus on themselves in such an exposing way. Dealing with the overweight topic, and addressing insults that apparently come up at times online from some hurtful people, they manage to take the topic and make a fun little joint. It allows them to take control of the issue, and shows how cool the guys really are. It just seemed a bit too Youtube-y for me.
In the third short “Knockers” a young guy deals with door-to-door holy nuts. This one is really low rent in quality, but the way it plays out is fun and pretty humorous. It isn't the best quality but the whole VHS styling of it made me like it a lot. Now “Fatal Fantasy” was hilarious and twisted. The short had a woman trying to spice up a relationship, but man- it comes about in some pretty twisted ways. It was fresh and very entertaining. Still on the really low budget side, with no real stylistic components that stand out, but it was fun. After that twisted flick something quite amazing happens-a truly dark and chilling short comes in to play here-“Sane-The Story Of The Boredom Killings”. This short film was so captivating that I instantly catapulted by affection for “Treasure Chest Of Horrors III” into likable superdom status. It is a found footage/video diary nightmare that brings home some pretty chilling issues, much like the films of the 90’s Gen-X, psycho-slacker era of Indie films. That whole real world nightmare realm, filled with the dark realities that surround suburbia, and youth-gone-loco aspect of society. It was both horrific and fascinating. There were moments that it felt like watching real crimes unfold, and it managed to create a little more-"fear of the children"-in my very adult ass. An awesome short film indeed.
Thank goodness for “Fatal Error” after “Sane…” because I needed a little humor to bring me back up. This short film plays on the homage/spoof mentality of the whole SYFY obsession with bad CGI alien/ monster/creature features. It wasn’t outstanding but with the humor and very ridiculous nature of the story it seemed to provide a very acceptable quality of entertainment. All in all I have to say that “Treasure Chest Of Horrors” shows a great improvement from the first two editions. The title/end credits were great and the soundtrack creepy. The shorts offered more entertainment and twisted fun than disappointment. This is really a pretty good low budget anthology with some very excellent material and talent displayed.