Volumes of Blood is a new indie horror anthology from directors Jakob Bilinski, Nathan Thomas Milliner, John Kenneth Muir, P.J. Starks, and Lee Vervoort. I have yet to see any of these filmmakers previous efforts, but this is a clear example of why that needs to change. Each director brings their own distinct flavor to the table and works with the central theme given for the film. Prepare for fun.
Volumes of Blood follows a group of college students studying Urban Legends. For a project, they decide to delve into how exactly these stories start, and how they spread. They start by sharing ideas of potential fables to spread. Each one plays out in some way involving a library, like the one they are meeting in.
The first story shows a girl who is in dire need of more hours in a day. Although this isn't a feasible option, there is another, more convenient alternative: more energy. A simple solution, offered by a shady peddler, ends in a more unsavory manner.
Following our first gal, the second fable to be passed is of another nature. One man, left alone after hours to work, finds one particular task to be rather hard to accomplish. As he tries to place the books in their rightful homes, a book on the supernatural seems to gain a mind of its own. The more he tries to replace the book, whilst catching glimpses of something out of the corner of his eye, the more redundant the task becomes. The further from its shelf the book becomes, the closer something else gets to our leading man.
Next, we find ourselves in a library again after hours. This time, it is a young coed trying to finish her studies. Her eccentric boyfriend joins her, urging her to leave her responsibilities for a bit of fun. She compromises, saying she'll join him when she finishes. She is then left alone to her work. Or is she? Something is lurking, waiting for a chance to distract her by means other than drinking.
The last idea to be bounced is the story of a girl named Paige. Paige finds herself working in the library alone at night. Familiar, right? Except the fact that it's Halloween, and an unfamiliar book, supposedly able to allow its reader to speak to a deceased loved one, has found it's way to our heroine's desk. Most people would probably have the good sense to leave such a book alone. At least, people who don't harbor guilt for the suicide of an ex boyfriend. This is why children shouldn't play with dead things...
As we hear the stories passed around by the students, we start to realize that while they are discussing a part of their thesis, they have yet to discuss how exactly these grisly scenarios become perpetuated into a viral part of folklore. The head of this group of students seems to have a pretty good hypothesis. The best way to spread a make believe tale, is for it to have actually happened.
I've always been a sucker for anthologies. They are my favorite type of horror film and have been since my childhood. While I love anthologies, there is one little problem that rings true for the bulk of them. When lacing so many short stories together, it is very difficult to compile more than a few of the same quality. Even the "top dog" V/H/S series for this generation hasn't managed to put out a consistent package in their three attempts. In this film all five tales manage to deliver the goods. They all bring a different tone to the table but not a single one of them is below average. Volumes of Blood maintains the perfect balance of camp and tension. Each segment manages to contain enough of these elements to satisfy your horror loving needs.
Overall Volumes of Blood is an old school anthology that stays consistently awesome. The final story and the tie in finale are easily my two favorite sections here. Things wrap up with a bang followed by an onslaught of bloodshed. These final moments are probably my favorite of any anthology that has came out within the last decade, and possibly the best wraparound featured in any anthology I have seen. This is a must watch for all indie horror fans and anthology lovers alike. It's definitely getting another spin from me come Halloween. It really is a blast that every horror fan should experience. Keep an eye out for Volumes of Blood to release on DVD, you won't regret it!