This horror anthology is no Night Train to Terror, but it is fitfully entertaining. The wraparound segments are kinda reminiscent of The Princess Bride as an uncle tells his annoying nephew three warped bedtime stories. The first and the best stars Scott (Nick from Family Ties) Valentine as some schmo who interns for two skuzzy witches who are trying to resurrect their dead sister. Valentine saves the day in the end when he rescues an intended virgin sacrifice and kills the witches. The special effects for this segment are excellent and include a crawling dismembered hand, a messy reincarnation and a literal heart “attack”. The next story is a clever update on Little Red Riding Hood, but with a Big Bad Werewolf. It’s pretty great until the werewolf shows up (the effects are pretty bad), but it does have a good twist ending and at least it’s better than The Company of Wolves. The last and most uneven story is a modern updating of Goldilocks and the Three Bears. This time the “Baers” are a trio of criminals who escaped from “The Home for the Hopelessly Insane” and go to stay at their old hideout, only to find a pscyho hyperactive telekinetic girl named Goldie who uses her powers to kill her boyfriends in wonderfully ingenious ways. (She also looks great naked in the shower too.) Unfortunately the humor in the story doesn’t really work and the unnecessary bumbling cops slow the pace down.
Deadtime Stories has enough entertaining moments for fans of horror anthologies but is too uneven for most tastes to handle. There is a great hair band song about nursery rhymes and horror movies over the opening credits though that manages to rhyme “drama” with “Brian DePalma”! The stories were filmed as early as 1982 and then were cobbled together and released in ’86 and was produced by the same producer of Deep Throat!