Low-budget horror anthology: ALIEN ZONE review

I love anthology films. This one is made up of 4 stories linked together by a central piece about a man who is having an affair with a married woman. He gets lost on his way back to his hotel and ends up being invited in by a creepy, old mortician to wait out a storm. To pass the time, the mortician shows him four coffins, while looking rather bored and depressed, and as he opens the lid of each one, the movie cuts to a short story about how each person ended up there. Pretty cool huh? The first story is about a mean spirited schoolteacher who is harassed by some angry, murdering children in Halloween masks (They freaked me out!) Up next is a story about a serial killer who lures women into his home and kills them while filming it, and the third (and easily best) story here is about two of the world’s best detectives seeking to outdo one another.

The fourth story is about a selfish “Ebenezer Scrooge” who is held captive in an abandoned store that has been turned into a trap with a wall of nails and stuff, sort of like Saw. There are no aliens in the film, so the title Alien Zone is somewhat confusing. It’s also known as ‘House of the Dead’, which is more appropriate, but when one thinks of that title you probably associate it with Uwe Boll’s film (the less said about that tower of shit the better). I prefer the title Alien Zone. They were obviously going for something that sounds like The Twilight Zone, meaning strange or unknown rather than being from space. The film is too cheap and gore-free to be great. You never even get to see the faces of the dead people in the coffins! But overall, I was surprised by it as I had very low expectations. Most of the film makes an easy-going and pleasant watch. The various segments vary in quality, but it’s got a cool setting, a lot of atmosphere and it deserves a look.

Alien Zone (Aka. The House of the Dead)
Release year: 1978
Country: USA
Director: Sharron Miller
Stars: John Ericson, Bernard Fox, Ivor Francis, Charles Aidman
I love anthology films. This one is made up of 4 stories linked together by a central piece about a man who is having an affair with a married woman. He gets lost on his way back to his hotel and ends up being invited in by a creepy, old mortician to wait out a storm. To pass the time, the mortician shows him four coffins, while looking rather bored and depressed, and as he opens the lid of each one, the movie cuts to a short story about how each person ended up there. Pretty cool huh? The first story is about a…

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