Spooky tales told in a graveyard. The perfect wraparound for an anthology film, especially one like Necrologies. That’s French for obituaries, and four of the five tales recount how the cemetery’s occupants got there. And like the title, the film is French, despite what the prominent mentions of Linnea Quigley in the film’s publicity might have you think. So is this a five-course Parisian dinner or just the French equivalent of Velveeta and Spam?
Ludovic (Alexis Wawerka) runs a horror film-related website. He decides to sneak into the local cemetery one night to get some stills to use on it. Almost immediately he gets caught by The Caretaker (Jean-Claude Dreyfus, Fitzcarraldo, The City Of Lost Children). He says that he’s a fan of horror as well, and begins telling tales about the cemetery’s occupants.
“Mortal Call” written and directed by Nathalie Epoque tells of Elsa (Sophie Jarmouni). She’s getting creepy phone calls from somebody who knows her all too well. It’s a riff on When A Stranger Calls that delivers a couple of surprises. That includes an ending I certainly didn’t see coming.
“The Beast” An unnamed man (David Faure) is driving through the woods when he sees an injured woman by the side of the road. He stops to help her and finds himself in a nightmare where nothing is what it seems. Fabien Chombart delivers a segment with some nice effects and a fair amount of gore.
Next, we have a tale told by Ludovic, “The Return of the Lizard Men”. Shot in found footage style it’s an enjoyably silly, but predictable tale. A couple of journalists set out to do a story on The Duckmen, a group that claims to be all that stands between humanity and an evil race of subterranean Lizard People. François Message and his cast are obviously having fun with this segment.
“A Matter Of Hell” by Alexis Wawerka is a darkly funny story of a ruthless real estate agent who’s willing to kill to get it. But the kindly old lady he killed has a not so kind pet that gets loose and seeks revenge. An obvious homage to films like Ghoulies and Gremlins it’s the highlight of the film.
Linnea Quigley (Clownado, The Barn) makes a cameo appearance in this segment.
“The Eye Of Taal” is the final story. Guillaume Defare goes for an art-horror feel here. An artist explains her paintings, which revolve around an evil deity known as Taal and his demonic helper. It alternates between colour and black and white footage and shots of her artwork. It’s also more deliberately paced than the others.
We come back once more to the cemetery for the conclusion of the wraparound and of Necrologies .
Necrologies is a fun anthology that rises above its low budget and inexperienced crew to deliver five solid stories and a satisfying wraparound. It’s not perfect, there are some poor effects mixed among the good and some of the dialogue is clunky. But even the weakest segment is entertaining and that’s more than you can say for most anthologies.
Nécrologies is available on Blu Ray from SRS Cinema. A DVD and digital release are planned for later. You can get more details via the film’s Facebook page.