Plot: John Oak (Mick LaFlamme) is the controversial host of Actual Factual Truths, an internet show where he claims to expose various conspiracy theories and hidden agendas to the masses. His latest topic is Spunk, a new drug that stormed the streets and caused all kinds of fallout, as the high might be off the charts, but it also seems to awaken an inner, violent rage in some users. Oak reveals six horrific cautionary tales of Spunk abuse on his show, each with tragic consequences. A babysitter passes the time with a quick hit of Spunk, a promising athlete uses the drug to gain an edge, the horrors of a Spunk house are explored, cannibal drug addicts square off, a slumber party spirals into Spunk induced chaos, and a Spunk user tries to quit the addictive narcotic, with mind bending results. As Oak recounts these stories, he too finds himself taken to dark places, but has he also given himself over to Spunk?
Entertainment Value: This indie horror anthology offers up six shorts, each with a unique tone and overall approach, but all connected via the Spunk element, so it feels like a cohesive, consistent experience. The Alex Jones style internet personality that hosts the interstitial segments is even in line with the shorts, especially as the dude unravels over the course of the movie. I appreciate that Spunk’s Not Dead has the connective tissue between the shorts, as some of these anthologies just feel like random shorts thrown together, whereas this comes across more like one vision, interpreted by a variety of indie filmmakers. And the approaches are much different here, one short is like a twisted sitcom, another is a dark, bleak take, there’s a satire of religious propaganda, a video game style short, and more. This keeps things brisk and if you don’t connect with one of the shorts, the next one shifts gears, while also staying within the general dynamic of the Spunk theme. So there’s some comedy, some horror, some action, and sometimes a blend of the various elements, making Spunk’s Not Dead a varied, always creative ride to take.
As with any anthology like this one, some of the shorts will be better or of more interest than others, which should be a given. I found the first two to be the most fun of the group, as The Babysitter was cheesy, hilarious, and dark in equal doses, while The Devil’s Spunk was an outlandish, memorable segment as well. I was impressed by how much these were able to do with such limited time windows, especially The Babysitter, which seems to just fly by in a few minutes. The Devil’s Spunk has a little more set up, but the pay off is more consistent and the short is hilarious throughout, especially if you have a soft spot for the kind of religious scare cinema it pokes fun at. Xombie is also a fun one and weaves in a lot of horror elements to boot, likely the star segment when it comes to the horror texture. High Score wraps up the movie and packs in a lot of violence and action sequences, with shootouts and a good amount of gore involved. Spunk of the Reaper and Spunky Shines were well made, but I just didn’t connect with them as much, perhaps due to the more serious tones. I just had more fun with the wilder, more humor driven segments in this case, especially the first two, which proved to be the highlights for me. But this is a terrific, well crafted horror anthology across the board, with no weak entries or slow shorts to mention. So if you’re a fan of horror anthologies or the genre in general, this is recommended.
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