A Superb Horror Series.
- Masters of Horror: Series 1: Vol.1 review by Shatner's Bassoon
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Developed by Mick Garris, 'Masters Of Horror' is a clever idea for a TV series. Both established and new directors with links to the horror genre are commissioned to produce an original 60 minute horror film. To provide a level playing field the participants must adhere to a preset budget and fixed ten day shooting schedule. The end result is a series of high quality films and a must see for horror fans.
Cigarette Burns - Easily the best thing John Carpenter has done in years and the best episode within series one. 'Cigarette Burns' tells the tale of Kirby, a debt ridden cinema owner who as a sideline tracks down rare films for collectors. When paid to trace a film called 'Le Fin Absolue du Monde', a film so horrific that on its first and only public screening it drove the audience into an insane homicidal mob that turned on and killed each other, he's soon drawn into the dangerous underworld of criminals and the macabre.
Dreams in the Witch House - Rather predictably Stuart Gordon churns out yet another Lovecraft adaptation. After an exhausted physics student rents a room in an old boarding house he discovers a witch is using a portal within the house to instruct the inhabitants to steal babies for her to sacrifice. While it's not the best thing he's done it's fairly good though a little predictable.
Incident on and Off a Mountain Road - Don Coscarelli's film is a smart mix of fast paced horror entwined with dramatic flashbacks. After running away from her abusive survivalist husband, Ellen's car breaks down on a deserted mountain road in the dead of the night, where she is soon perused by 'Moon face', a savage monster like man intent on killing her and soon a deadly game of cat and mouse begins as Ellen fights back.
Chocolate -Mick Garris's effort is more thriller than horror and very much in the vein of a Stephen King tale. Jamie, a lonely divorcee works as an artificial flavouring chemist. After a series of dreams about a beautiful woman he repeatedly wakes up to the smell and taste of chocolate and realises he somehow is psychically linked to the woman in his dreams. When his dreams take a violent twist he decides to track down the woman and finds that her life is not all that it appears to be.
Sick Girl - When a geeky entomologist sent a strange bug it's not long before it takes over her home and her new girlfriend. While Lucky McKee's film isn't that horrific it is engaging in the quirky and eccentric relationship the two lead characters share.
Deer Woman - directed by John Landis:
A burnt out ex-homicide cop is drawn back into the world of homicide investigation when a series of murders show both human and animal DNA at the crime scenes. It's not long before he's drawn to a Native-American tale of a murderous deer-like creature which takes form of a beautiful woman to entice her male victims. While it's not a bad film, personally I found 'Deer Woman' a bit disappointing, I expected much more from John Landis and coming out of directorial retirement he treats 'Deer Woman' as a bit of fun; the end result is a fairly average film reminiscent B-movie horror of the late 80's.
Homecoming - When the corpses of soldiers killed in Afghanistan and Iraq begin to rise from the dead they have one demand, to cast their vote in an upcoming general election in order to remove a lying and morally corrupt government from office. One of the best and daring films within the series Joe Dante's Homecoming is a stinging satire on the current Neo-Con U.S administration, the politics of spin and how politicians twist religious beliefs and world events for political gain; and while it's not that horrific, it makes uncomfortable viewing as its set within the present day and reflects on the true life horror of war.