For diehard fans, every day is a good day to watch a horror flick. That doesn’t make the month of October any less special, however. As Halloween approaches, that extra little chill in the air causes just about everyone to get into the spooky spirit. This makes it a perfect time not only for horror flicks of course, but Halloween-themed horror more specifically. One that I have been looking forward to for quite some time is the anthology film, 10/31 Part II.
Malvolia, The Queen of Screams is back to present her loyal fans yet another Halloween Monster Marathon full of chills and frights with entries from a number of talented independent filmmakers.
10/31 Part II was first announced as part of a crowdfunding campaign on Indiegogo probably about a year ago. As soon as it was announced, I knew I wanted to be a part of it. I gladly chose a perk I knew I would enjoy and gave my support as best I could. Luckily, it was enough, as the filmmakers behind this sequel project were able to meet their goal(s) and then some!
In hopes to get viewers into the mood for what is about to unfold, 10/31 Part II starts off with a few faux trailers created specifically for this picture. Filmmakers Zane Hershberger, John Hale, Robert Lanphere, and Brett Dejager each provided some of their creativity and gave viewers a nice mix of the scary and the silly. Any one of these could be turned into a full-length film that would probably be pretty entertaining in its own right, so be on the lookout… you never know what these up-and-coming directors have up their sleeves next.
As soon as the last trailer ends, we are greeted by the lovely Malvolia (Jennifer Nangle, who also happens to have produced and directed the wraparound segments) who prepares us for another wild ride in the form of this year’s Halloween Monster Marathon.
First up is Tory van Buskirk’s “A Samhain Liturgy,” a story of a babysitting gig gone horribly wrong. It is full of evil children, satanic cults, and monsters in the basement.
Next, we are treated to a rideshare from Hell in Stephen Wolfe’s “Dead Lift,” where an unsuspecting driver picks up a ghoulish stranger. This ride could only lead to a very bad place…
10/31 Part II continues on in a more comical fashion with Max Groan’s “Apache Hatchet Massacre II.” This comedic slasher is the shortest of the bunch, ending rather abruptly after only about six or so minutes.
Moving on, viewers are presented a different brand of comedy with Drew Marvick’s “Overkill,” a story that features not only one crazed killer, but a whole slew of them, battling it out for their fair share of partying victims.
Finally, capping things off is another from Tory van Buskirk. This time, van Buskirk graces us with a shocking tale of a nun who has an extremely dark past, one that is exposed as she wanders her home on Halloween night and recounts her haunting memories. Pay attention closely here, as there is a nice surprise at this short’s climax, bringing everything we’ve seen prior full circle.
Full of various strains of horror, 10/31 Part II is much more impressive than its predecessor in almost every single way. As I was preparing for my first time viewing of this 2019 sequel, I decided to give the first film another watch. As I was advancing through each segment, I remembered just how disappointed I felt the first time around.
I love anthology films, as I’m sure most horror fans do. The formula is brilliant, allowing multiple stories to be told in rapid succession, most of the time with a nice little wraparound story to hold it all together. This type of equation always leaves room for one or more weaker links in the proverbial chain, but sadly, I was quite displeased with the majority of the films used throughout 10/31.
On the contrary, 10/31 Part II quite frankly has no weak links whatsoever. It seems the time between both projects proved to be a great learning experience because everyone involved this time around did an amazing job.
10/31 Part II is an entertaining anthology flick packed with various types of horror given to us by a myriad of talented filmmakers.
The acting throughout the film’s 1 hour and 45 minutes is much better than I anticipated, making things that much more enjoyable.
Each short film contains creative storylines and, more importantly, practical special effects! There is slicing and dicing, evisceration, decapitations, and more seen throughout, and all are presented in beautifully bloody fashion.
It is hard to do, but if I had to choose a favorite from this anthology sequel, I’d have to choose van Buskirk’s first offering, “A Samhain Liturgy.” A close second would go to Marvick’s “Overkill,” with my least favorite being the shortest of the bunch, “Apache Hatchet Massacre II.”
If you are one of the many people who supported 10/31 Part II through Indiegogo, rest assured that you have put your money into a worthwhile project. I have no doubt that most, if not all of you guys, will enjoy this one immensely. It is leaps and bounds ahead of its predecessor and I am excited to see what is to come, if we are lucky enough to get a Part III in the near future.
10/31 Part II gets a Repulsive Rating of 4 black metal demo tapes out of 5 from yours truly.