Movies Galore takes a look at director Todd Sheets “Sheets of Gore” anthology from 2017!

Written by David Strege

Sheets of gore

So before I started reviewing some of Todd Sheets Earlier  films which I have Tracked Down and for the most part I bought many straight from Todd Sheets himself. So I have most of everything by him signed but a lot of his earlier works were thrown into 50 packs with pendulum pictures which I believe was a spin off of Mill Creek  entertainment for horror films which eventually many of those 50 packs went out of print and then eventually we’re separated in packs of six. as many directors started out Todd sheets began in Kansas city, Misouri under Trustinus Productions but then from there went on to Cinema Home Video, onwards over to Tempe Video under J.R. Bookwater as well as Video Outlaw and Pop Cinema until J.R. decided to get out of distrobution and sold a few films of Todd’s to Brain Damage Films. About 3 months ago I picked up a two-volume Blu-ray set from Ron Bonk’s Sub Rosa Cinema which was rather pricey but I believe worth it in the end even though I am not a fan of Blu-ray nor would I recommend it for anyone for reasons of my own.   I will personally not pick up a Blu-ray unless I have to. number one mainly because I don’t have a Blu-ray player of my own I have to say I am going off my wife’s player. this being said I shall begin was trying to describe the films on these two volumes:

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The first short film on the first volume is called ”Blood of the Undead” Which to me it looks like a group of four friends and I’m not sure of their names walk up to an abandoned building to investigate as boys do.  The thing you have to remember about Todd sheets films is that they are shot on video which means you will see tracking because of how old the video footage is and you have to understand, this was when he was first beginning so to me there is a bit of a Goonies feel to the short film. As the tale moves on the boys find a book and a knife was in the abandoned building in which the boys speak of a Maniac that wants live there.  One of the boys gets cut by the knife, turns into the undead and then one after the other tries to kill the rest. I’m not going to tell all of it but there is a lone survivor there is definitely guts eaten, a transformation of sorts of puking green slime, and beheading with a machete which is pretty awesome all to the tune of thrash metal.

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In “Gone But Not Forgotten” We have two boys and a girl one of them I overheard by the name of Robert, Walks out of a house explaining to each other that they overheard on the radio to seek shelter for some reason.  So they go over to the church and the church is locked they walk around the corner to another building and two other kids who had turned into the undead stumbled out of a storm cellar after them. suddenly there is more than just those two zombies As It Seems the rest of the town has been turned into the undead and we watch as each friend is Rundown and mutilated…

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In “Gotta Quarter?” A skinny ass bum who has a bottle of possible liquor is standing around talking to himself when another bump walks up and asks for a swig of his drink,  the skinny ass bum it looks quite like the Scarecrow of Oz hands in the bottle and begins to talk about the good old days while the other bum runs off with his bottle. in a comical effort to chase after the bum that stole his bottle the Scarecrow looking like bum runs into a  payphone which is kind of funny as payphones seem non-existent these days… the bum who stole the bottle eventually shares the drink with a few other bum Buddies, but begins to melt from whatever substance that he drank. Sometime in between this a scientist and his assistant were walking outside there lab when his assistant dropped some kind of radioactive chemical that can destroy the world. Meanwhile another bum stole the Scarecrow looking bums cigarettes from him and still another bum is murdered from behind so I’m not sure exactly what’s going on here except for the fact that the short film reminds me a lot of Street Trash in a way…

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In “Sanguinary Desires” A group of young people have been cordially invited just spend the night with a master played by David Byerly either Illusionist or master of something but in any case they’re supposed to spend the night to win $10,000.  Well the master has an assistant that kind of reminds me of Renfield just a little bit and they only person I can figure out a name of is Frankie and she gets lured to the young master only to get embraced and bitten as it appears the young people are among  a race of blood sucking vampires…

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In “Edwin Parker” I believe that  Todd sheets is using the same area of streets that used in Gotta Quarter? We have a brother by the name of Edwin played by Mike Post who also played the scarecrow looking bum in Gotta Quarter? The short begins with a young man being chased down by another with a machete which I believe is the escaped brother.   On the other hand Edwin’s brother played by Daran Holt who also played the Masters assistant in Sanguine Desires kind of reminded me of Renfield as well as playing the young kid in Blood of the Undead who got cut by a knife and turned into a zombie is searching for his brother while a group of people are waiting for a bus… Followed by a very interesting scene where Edwin jumps down from above and chases down several women as he continues to tear an entire skin of a breast clean off… Not to mention a brain moving on its own and its own splatter…

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In “The Unwanted” Which is part of the blood of the undead short film series as I believe there are four films related to each other… The film begins with a young kid running into a tunnel followed by some kind of demonic Force or spiritual whichever you want to take it as… Next we are  take him to a room where a group of friends are playing ping pong, We find out the young kids name is John as he bursts into the room. John has been bitten by what we don’t know but whatever it is it has turned him into the undead as we see him stagger up and attack one of the young girls and she in turn is turned as we see her rise as one of the undead as one by one each  are attacked…

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Starring Daran Holt, Lanai Wilson, John Peel, Shawn Hollis, Shawn Smith, Diane O’Connell, Brad Harnish, Stephanie Marshall, Stacy Buchanan, Laurie Scalici, Kim Scalici.

About this first volume of short films and I believe it’ll be at the same about the second volume as well I believe that these were made just for fun with a bunch of friends they weren’t entirely trying to be serious and yet the subject matter was definitely serious enough that they wanted to get together to shoot this stuff on film.   So yes there is some obviously bad acting And because it was the 80s and it was shot on video the audio isn’t entirely the greatest but I can tell that this group of people had fun while they were making these films together and I believe that these short films showcase a lot of where Todd Sheets first began. If I had to choose a favorite out of this first volume I would have to say Edwin Parker for some reason that ending with the moving brain was just comical to me and I liked Mike Porter’s acting in here…

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Moving on to volume two in “The Evil of 1327” Two young boys  go to retrieve some props From an abandoned haunted house where they run into a bit of an  infestation of some reanimated corpses and in the course of trying to fight them off they mistake one another in the end as becoming  one of them…

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In “Dead Things” the short film version  we have a father and son duo, being a couple of hillbillies coming from what looks like a broken down Cottage of some sort as the father tells the son that’s some  city folks have killed his baby brother. Meanwhile a group of young people with mental health issues is on a hike in the woods that this father and son consider their property. When they don’t leave entirely right away the somewhat Deft son Chases is down one of the young boys in the group and him and his daddy tie up the boy and chop off his legs.  when the group realizes that they are missing a member one by one they go after him but against Hammers and axes and bats that they don’t have it is a feudal fight… and ultimately the last surviving female of the group is chosen to bring up there inbred cannibal baby…

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In “The Land of Shadows” Which I don’t know if I mentioned this before before director Todd Sheets created Extreme Entertainment his company was called Trustinus Productions And this short film is tagged as a sword and sorcery  fan film. In the beginning of this film we have a man with a cloak and a sword who is traveling along the road and something attacks him where he has to throw his cloak to the ground and fight…In a way this is a little bit of a romance and the first time that Sheets  delves into the werewolf realm of film.

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Jenny has just broken up with her boyfriend and is on her way to a friend’s place when she starts having a headache and runs into the cloaked figure that we see in the beginning. The cloaked man played by Troy Alexander and Jenny start to travel the road together as he tells her about the  Woodshire werewolf that is roaming the forest as well as his ancient dark magical foe that he is after. Two other young boys in strange dress end up walking into this fantasy world in which it seems to be some kind of alter reality. Which kind of goes back to the Choose Your Own Adventure type of stories. The cloaked Swordsman does eventually have a fight with the magician with the crystal that could help Jenny return to her world.  since Jenny’s life was saved by the Cloaked Swordsman she wanted to do him a favor and have him return what’s her to her world but the werewolf that had been chasing after them followed them into her world… Grant it the sorcerer was wearing a graduation robe I thought this was put on rather well…

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Starring Jenny Noel, Troy Alexander, Tom Berg, Mike Post, Robert Herman, David Mckintire.

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In “Blood of the Undead: The Final Chapter” A group of four kids and it almost looks like  this film was filmed before the first Blood of the Undead for Daran Host a young man that has been in many of these films seems rather young and this short film.  But the group runs into another young man who is a zombie who chases after them with a chainsaw in the same house in which the other group of boys in Blood of the Undead had been so the same location. I give sheets props for this one as the boys in here that are filmed are much younger in age and it does just seem that they are just having fun. Ultimately the kids have to kill each other and there isn’t as much Gore as there was makeup in this film.

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I want to say about this second volume as well as the first volume which funny as it may seem ended up on one single DVD next…  though I just found out the dvd is like 5 or 6 short films short of the 2 disc Bluray Set So makes sense. I enjoyed watching these earlier films. I understand that these weren’t really made for anyone’s critical eye. these were made out of love of the horror genre and created amongst friends which ultimately led Todd sheets down his path towards being one of the second generations of Gore Godfathers which we can put him right alongside Herschell Gordon Lewis may he rest in peace.  Many of these films were filmed in the 80s I figure if you enjoy films of this nature and you want to seek these films out you the viewer can figure out for yourselves what years these short films were from. There were things that were enjoyable about each of the short films and there were things that were laughable but in the end you have to think about how it was at that time.  Sheets never thought that there would be any interest in some of his earlier work and I believe there is. I believe that it shows some of his growth into becoming the director that he has become. My biggest problem with the Bluray Set is one of the films on the second volume wasn’t even titled and that would be the Dead Things short film.

 

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