I've always had a fondness for this little horror comedy anthology from 1986, which has just been released by Cinevision International and Image Entertainment.Dead Time Storieswas obviously made to emulate Creepshow, substituting fairy tales for the comic book style horrors of Romero's film, but it has a style that is very much its own. Even the opening credits are fun to watch, as a series of increasingly monstrous hands turn the pages of an ancient book, with an 80s style pop song playing on the soundtrack. The framing device that links the three stories together -- an uncle telling bedtime stories to his whiny nephew -- anticipates The Princess Bride which came out the following year.
Uncle Mike spins a trio of yarns designed to both scare and amuse little Brian. The first of the three tells the tale of a young man named Peter (top-billed Scott Valentine, who presumably made this flick before becoming a recurring character on Family Ties) who lived during medieval times. As a result of his financial hardships, Peter is sold as a slave to a pair of witches who are planning to bring their sister back from the dead. Part of the plan involves murdering a priest which is not to Peter's liking, and when he is asked to entice a beautiful young maiden into a similar fate, his loyalties are put to the test. This is the strongest of the three tales, providing more genuine horror than the other two combined, but still having plenty of tongue-in-cheek elements as well. The effects are the strongest in this segment as well, particularly during the reanimation of the dead witch.