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When four struggling band members stop at a lonely roadside cafe for a slice of pie they find themselves imprisoned in the deranged cafe owners bizarre art collection and must battle a sinister force with an appetite for souls.

Cast:  Honey Lauren, John Salandria, Mark Valeriano, Amber Gaston, Sarah J. Batholomew, Thom Michael Mulligan, Frank Papia

Directors: Terry Ross
Writers: F. Scott Mudgett

Ever heard someone say “take a picture, it’ll last longer”? Well, Sweet Taste of Souls takes that saying very literally. This very campy horror film involves a cafe run by a woman who’s keeping a collection of real people in photo frames around the shop. It’s creepy, a little odd and a paper shredder has never looked sounded so gnarly in a film before. 

Four bandmates stop by the little cafe while on a road trip. Inside they meet the woman, Ellinore (Honey Lauren) and ask for pie before they’re on their way. They don’t get far down the road before a fight breaks out between Nate (John Salandria) and Kyle (Mark Valeriano) — supposedly best friends — and their other bandmates, Wendy (Amber Gaston) and Lily (Sarah J. Bartholomew) watch on it disgust. It seems the bickering between Nate and Kyle is a common occurrence. Kyle is an obvious bully, and also the type of ‘friend’ to pee on you while you sleep for a laugh. As their fight is calming down Kyle suddenly disappears, and the three others shortly follow. Where they re-appear is inside a photo frame on the wall of the cafe with an evil looking Ellinore laughing at her latest captures. 

Honey Lauren in Sweet Taste of Souls - image supplied

Honey Lauren in Sweet Taste of Souls – image supplied

Why and how Ellinore is able to capture people and save them inside photos is never really explained. Although you don’t need it to be. It’s a prison no matter how you look at it and, of course, the four bandmates attempt to find a way to escape.

As the film progresses you get more information about Ellinore’s past and the themes at play are some serious ones. She’s a tortured woman, but with an evil abusive husband at the centre of her trauma. For the most past Honey Lauren does a nice job of playing Ellinore as both someone who’s in need of serious help and a homicidal, tortuous killer. 

The concept of Sweet Taste of Souls is an original one and there’s some fun to be had with the film. I just wished the two starring male characters had of been written better. Kyle is a horrible person and I never cared if he survived the film or not. He’s a bully. Both of the performances of the leads are very amatuar as well, which I’m usually fine within indie horror films as long as the characters are written well — which they aren’t here. Sarah J. Bartholomew is most likeable member of the cast and she gives the most grounded performance. Though it’s a pity her character didn’t get a more interesting arc.

Using some smart cinematographer and minimal special effects means the majority of the film looks great, but the last act of the introduces a sequence of super-cheap VFX that took me out of the movie. I understand it’s an indie film, but the filmmakers had been so smart with their VFX use up until this point.

If it wasn’t for the super-unlikable leads Sweet Taste of Souls would have been a more enjoyable film. It’s still got that campy indie horror film feel that a particular audience will appreciate, and the core concept is unique enough to carry the weaker parts of the film.

Sweet Taste of Souls is now streaming on Amazon (U.S) & Vudu


(Sweet Taste of Souls screener provided for review)