Dr. Saville’s Horror Show is a pleasant surprise. For every Tales from the Hood or Creepshow, there are far more anthologies that falter, especially indie ones. Yet this particular one, which includes a wrap-around and just three shorts, bucks the trend. It’s generally strong, with some impressive practical effects and creative stories, making Dr. Saville’s Horror Show an entertaining watch.
The premise of the wrap-around is somewhat similar to Saw. Michael (Michael Hanelin) wakes up in a torture chamber after meeting a blond woman in a hotel bar during a snowstorm. There, he’s subject to Dr. Saville (Allen Valor), who, at one point, says he doesn’t do this kind of thing to those undeserving. Initially, Michael can’t recall what he did, but he’s forced to watch three videos, setting up the anthology.
The first, Consume, is a Cronenberg-like bit of body horror. It stars Anna (Honda King), a bride-to-be who partakes in an experiment with an artificially-designed tapeworm. The tapeworm is supposed to help her meet her goal weight. However, it controls Anna and turns her into a flesh-eating monster. The effects look especially great, pushing the short to some truly grotesque places.
The second story, Complicated, focuses on a man named Jake (Jedediah Jones), who just broke up with his ex. She gives him a parting gift, Aqua Pets, while ribbing him that it’s the only relationship he can commit to. One of the pets turns into a goo-covered woman named Mary (Kristina Cat). Initially, the woman seems like the perfect mate for Jake, but soon, her jealousy reigns and she kills any woman in Jake’s sight. She wants him all to herself. Complicated, unlike the other two shorts, is a nice blend of horror and comedy and again, it’s bolstered by the practical effects.
The third short, Break, is the bleakest of the bunch, focusing on a father, Drew (Kirk Levingar), who must make a terrible choice regarding his son who turned into a zombie. The dad then struggles to keep his daughter alive during the apocalypse. In terms of character arc, this is the best of the three, complete with a devastating twist.
Overall, Dr. Saville’s Horror Show is one of the better indie horror anthologies. A few of the shorts do feel a bit long and would have benefited from few minutes shaved off, but each story feels distinct and complete, and as stated, the effects are great.
The anthology is currently streaming on digital platforms.