Let me start off by saying that I really enjoy horror anthologies. Creepshow, naturally, runs the prison yard. Quite a few fish try and make their move on its status but most end up slapped around, shanked and left to fight off the micro budget trannies in the shower. Every so often an anthology lifts its nuts, bends over and coughs for us and we find a hidden surprise. Tears of Kali is just such an anthology.
The film is split up into 3 segments named after Indian deities, “Shakti”, “Devi” & “Kali”. It also features a wraparound story entitled, “Poona, India 1983”.
The film opens to a group of what appear to be drugged out cult members on personal “journeys”. Lars Eriksson enters and approaches a nude girl named Kim curled up on the floor. He leads her to the window and asks her what she sees. He then encourages her to open her eyes and see the light. He exits the room and we witness Kim removing her eyelids with a pair of scissors in order to see the light better. This leads us into the first installment of the anthology entitled, “Shakti”.
Elisabeth Steinberg, a mentally unstable woman, has been incarcerated in a mental hospital for several years after inciting the vicious murder of her boyfriend Samarfan. Elizabeth was, at one time, part of a group of mystics started by the ex-Taylor-Eriksson Group member, Samarfan. After some spiritual experimentation, all of the members of Samarfan’s Golden Dawn group are forced to confront their “darkness”.
Miss Yilmaz is a crime writer interested in interviewing Elizabeth in order to get some facts straight for her upcoming book on the case before Elizabeth is released. Elizabeth tells of Keoma, a group member unable to face his “darkness” and jealous of Samarfan. This jealousy, coupled with Elizabeth’s anger at Samarfan’s infidelity, pushes Keoma over the edge.
Miss Yilmaz knows differently though. Elizabeth isn’t telling the full story. Is Miss Yilmaz really who she says she is? Who is Shakti? What is Tilpas? Who is the red lady?
Our next story, “Devi”, takes place in a psychotherapist’s home office. Robin Borg is ordered by the courts to attend 15 hours of intensive psychotherapy and Dr. Steiner is more than happy to help Robin. Only, if Robin is willing to help himself. The problem is, Robin isn’t being honest with himself or Dr. Steiner and the ex-Taylor-Eriksson member decides to help Robin overcome his aggression by introducing him to a lesson Lars Eriksson once taught him during a meeting. The results are horrific and revealing.
The final story, “Kali”, revolves around Edgar Cornelson, a New Age healer lacking the one thing every healer needs…the ability to heal. He’s reduced to nothing more than parlor tricks when a new member steps forward for a healing. Her name is Mira and she believes her back is hunched and crippled because an entity is residing on her back. A being caught between Death and the Living. Mira used to belong to Taylor-Eriksson and believes she received this malady after a dark journey through her soul.
Edgar, not really believing he’ll help Mira, straightens her back and the entity flees from her. There’s only one problem…Mira hasn’t come to have the entity removed…she’s brought it for far more sinister reasons.
This anthology was intriguing. It has an interesting back story and the Taylor-Eriksson members interspersed throughout the film was a cool way to join the installments. There’s only one problem though…I just wasn’t “feeling” it.
It was all there, a tiny bit of nudity, gore, blood, running, tension and the concept was truly original but it just didn’t hit the mark for me. Perhaps that’s because the tension, started in the first segment, began to fizzle as the movie came to a conclusion. I was looking for more impact. We get gore but no kidney chops to go with it.
The acting seemed to be okay (it’s a German film) but the dubbing was stiff. The voice actors brought some of the dialogue way down. I’m normally okay with dubbing if it’s done right but this was just stale. It felt like I was listening to a Speak and Spell.
I found this anthology far better than most of the low budget anthologies I come across but this definitely wasn’t something I could recommend readers purchase. If you’re adventurous and bored I suppose this’ll make a decent rental…just don’t invite your friends over or you may find yourself washing their socks and giving up your fruity cup during lock down.