Masters of Horror: Haeckel’s Tale

Masters of Horror is a 2000s television series with a different director for each of the thirteen episodes in the season, running about an hour long.

Directed by: John McNaugton (Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer, Wild Things)

Evil Category: sexy resurrections (or should I say reserections… )

Score: four out of five pusing baby zombies

The story is pretty ridiculous (especially the end twists), but I actually totally liked it. I can’t say I’ve seen a good horror with this many twists… especially a zombie one. In this episode, a man seeks out a necromancer to bring his late wife back from the dead, and receives a strange zombie tale instead. For awhile I forgot it was a horror, so the scene with the dead hanging person caught me off-guard. I was thinking the grey goop might be bird poop and when I saw what it was coming from it scared the crap out of me. (I also may have been concentrating on my pistachio ice cream.) The woman having sex got old pretty fast, but it was hilarious that she kept doing it as people got shot and killed around her. And just when you didn’t think they could show any more of this woman’s boobs… they show some more boobs.


Masters of Horror: Dance of the Dead

Masters of Horror is a 2000s television series with a different director for each of the thirteen episodes in the season, running about an hour long.

Directed by: Tobe Hooper (The Texas Chain Saw Massacre, Poltergeist)

Evil Category: dancing zombies controlled an evil man

Score: two out of five  spray drugs

A tale of a post-apocalyptic world where the dead are used as entertainment, and people don’t care to shower as much as they used to. Man, don’t watch this if you have a headache. There was a lot of time spent in a loud, gothy metal club and watching the group do drugs while driving. Metal blasting, whisky drinking, insufferable teens in leather. That guy up on the stage singing is Billy Corgan. I also didn’t really appreciate all of the throwing of women in the garbage, but I thought the story was original and had a strong ending.

“We don’t eat pie. We fucking despise pie.”


Life After Beth (2014)

Score: 6/10

Length: 89

Language: English

Categories: 2000s, recent, zombie, horror-comedy

A cute little teen romance about a boy and his girlfriend… who comes back from the dead. The idea is pretty old and tired, and I think we’re all over zombies for awhile, but I still appreciated the tenderness of the storyline and the movie’s quirk and wit. I thought Aubrey Plaza (aka the voice of Grumpy Cat) did a nice job of being an angsty teenage princess of the dead and Dane DeHaan made the film believable by making his character so relatable.

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Dead and Breakfast (2004)

Score: 3/10

Length: 88

Language: English

Categories: 2000s, horror comedy, zombie, murderer

First things first, I was very disappointed that I did not see any breakfast in this movie. Not eggs, nor bacon, not even a bagel. The gore on the other hand, was constant and ideal. It’s a pretty simple idea- a group of young adults stay at a bed and breakfast and are killed, turning into zombies. You know the bad ones, cause they have really thick purple-grey contouring make-up. It’s an odd thing to say, but this movie was not bad enough. Not to say it was good, but I feel like it was going for cheesy quirk. It was all over the place (random country/ rap songs by an awkward Western singer for ‘comic’ relief) and the inconsistency and lack of focus made this a feel a lot longer than it was. It’s labelled as a comedy, but the only funny part was the Thriller-style zombie line dance. “This is like a bad horror movie” was an actual line in the movie and couldn’t be more true.

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The Return of the Living Dead (1985)

Score: 5/10

Length: 91

Language: English

Categories: zombie, 80s, horror comedy

Chemical rain, yellow man, slimy zombies, yelling, naked red head. This about sums up the movie. Pretty fantastic effects for the mid 80’s, and I liked the skeletal look of the zombies. The story behind the creation of the living dead wasn’t bad either. However, by the end, I just wanted them to get to the solution already, and then when it happened with the flashbacks, my eye rolling was unstoppable. It is written over and over that this is supposed to be a horror- comedy, but it seemed like a regular old eighties movie to me with no laugh-out-loud lines.

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Top Ten Are You Afraid of the Dark Episodes

Seven seasons of childhood horror gold, this was one of my favorite shows as a kid (especially on Halloween with a bag of candy splayed out on the living room floor) and I still love it now.  There were so many monsters from this show that kept me up at night; even the opening sequence was shiver-inducing. I clearly have a preference for Betty Ann’s stories, but there were very few episodes/stories that I didn’t enjoy. A list of the scariest and most memorable episodes featuring Gary Glasses (Ross Hull) and a diverse, Canadian cast. Guest stars include: Ryan Gosling, Melissa Joan Hart, Neve Campbell, Tatyana Ali, and Hayden Christensen. Submitted for the approval of the Midnight Society, I count down my top ten favorite episodes.


10. The Tale of the Dollmaker (S3E5)

It was a toss-up between this one and The Tale of the Fire Ghost for the last spot, but this is one people usually remember.

A girl stays the weekend with relatives but begins to suspect a strange dollhouse might have something to do with her friend’s disappearance. “Yeah, yeah. Not bad for a doll story.”

Told by: Betty Ann

Scariest part: When Melissa and her doll friend jump out the attic window.

Watch here:


9. The Tale of the Dream Girl (S3E10)

A haunting romance, believable acting from the main characters, and a light and unexpected twist make this the most memorable episode with a love story.

Johnny finds a school ring in his locker and puts it on his finger only to find it won’t come off. He soon discovers that it belongs to the girl of his dreams, but does she really exist?

Told by: Sam

Scariest part: More sappy-spooky than frightening, when Donna’s ghost appears in the graveyard.

Watch here:


8. The Tale of the Bookish Babysitter (S3E6)

I loved having babysitters over as a kid and I loved reading, especially Chose Your Own Adventure-style books. I enjoyed all of the different characters, and learned a valuable lesson about watching too much TV (not really).

* I would like to note that I saw nothing wrong with this girl’s hair when I watched this as a child. I don’t think I even noticed it.

A unique babysitter gets a boy to stop watching TV and give reading a chance. But Ricky gets more than he bargains for when he unleashes the monsters of the unfinished books.

Told by: Betty Ann

Scariest part: The old man ghost coming down the hallway.

Watch here:


7. The Tale of the Twisted Claw (S1E4)

The only episode that starts off with a story- a cliff hanger to be resumed never. Even though this is not the first episode, I feel like it’s a classic; the one that started it all. (Even The Simpsons copied it).

On Mischief Night, two kids play a prank on an old lady. When they return for Halloween candy, they are given a monkey’s paw that grants wishes… with an evil twist.

Told by: David

Scariest part: When the ghost of Dougie’s grandfather comes to the door.

Watch here:


6. The Tale of the Ghastly Grinner (S4E9)

This blue and yellow clown is probably the most recognizable character on the show. It’s a silly episode but it’s also action-packed and colourfully created.

A greasy-haired aspiring artist buys a strange comic book featuring an evil jester who turns people into blue slime-drooling zombies. Soon enough, the laughing joker comes to life, and Ethan has to finish drawing the comic in order to stop him. Microwaves and a giant eraser save the day.

Told by: Betty Ann

Scariest part: The first appearance of the Ghastly Grinner

Watch here:


5. The Tale of the Thirteenth Floor (S2E4)

The pastel Willy Wonka-like factory and the aliens who do a horrible job at trying to act sane makes this a favorite episode of mine. The hairstyles are zany and the aliens’ real faces look like the Styrofoam heads used for displaying wigs.

Aliens open a toy factory in an apartment building and invite a brother and sister to test out the toys in a secret plan to lure one of the kids back to their planet.

Told by: Betty Ann

Scariest part: The man operating the elevator seriously freaked me out as a kid, but I can’t really explain why.

Watch here:


4.The Tale of the Lonely Ghost (S1E3)

The title probably doesn’t spark your memory, but that little girl ghost girl sure will. Even though this has some pretty over-the-top acting and wonderfully regrettable nineties fashion, it is for sure one of the scariest episodes.

As part of a friendship initiation, a girl must stay in a house haunted by a young girl. She enters a bedroom where a ghost appears in the mirror and scribbles HELPME backwards all over the walls.

Told by: David

Scariest part: The first time the ghost appears in the bedroom mirror.

Watch here:


3. The Tale of the Super Specs (S1E6)

In my opinion, this is the most original and clever episode, and I’ve watched it again and again. I feel like there aren’t enough television shows and films about subjects such as parallel universes and time travel. I really enjoy the confusion and fear the characters face over what’s real and what isn’t, and the music/sound effects are amazing. This episode doesn’t disappoint, even though the specs themselves look hokey.

Gary kicks it up a notch in this story about a teenager called Weeds who is into magic and loves playing pranks on his friends. In a specialty shop, he sprinkles magic dust on a pair of x-ray vision glasses, opening a gate into a parallel dimension. Too bad only one of the universes will survive… can Sardo (no mister, accent on the ‘do’) help to save the world?

Told by: Gary

Scariest part: When the group of figures playing basketball notice Mary Beth.

Watch here:


2. The Tale of B.A.D.G.E. (S5E7)

I love this episode so much I’ve considered a B.A.D.G.E. tattoo. Quirky, non-sensical, imaginative, and most of all, the hilariousness of trying to imitate the acting. The drawings of the Setterwind women and the menacing (bagpipe?) music will make you laugh out loud, but this episode definitely won’t give you the Willys.

A girl receives a music case and flute which must be used to trap an ancient evil badger-monster who talks like Yoda.

Told by: Gary

Scariest part: Definitely not when he’s doing that “shaky legs” thing in the doorway.

Watch here:

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1. The Tale of the Dead Man’s Float (S5E1)

This episode gets the number one spot because it HORRIFIED me as a kid. The special effects are well-done for a kids’ show in the 90’s, and the sound effects and tension building really helped to make this pool ghoul the scariest monster on the show.

A science nerd and a swimmer discover a pool in their school’s basement. Too bad Zeke is afraid of the water, considering a bloody, scrap-covered skeleton lurks in the pool.

Told by: Stig

Scariest part: Every time the smell comes and the monster follows.

Watch here:

Honorable Mention: The Tale of Vampire Town (S6E8)

This episode about a goth teen visiting a town filled with blood-suckers boasts (most likely) the worst special effects in history. The last two seasons of the show featuring a new cast aren’t as loveable as seasons 1-5, but there are a few entertaining episodes without cheesy CGI in the lot. This episode is not one of them.

See the clip here:

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ABC’s of Death 2 (2014)

Score: 6.5/10

Length: 125

Language: English, French, Japanese, Hebrew, Portuguese

Categories: Foreign, Asian, recent, 2000s, shaky cam, murderer, gore porn, recommended, zombie, monster, horror-comedy

The second film in which directors are given a letter of the alphabet and asked to make a horror short. A lot less silly and hard-to-watch than the first anthology, the second installment has an interesting variety of smart, likeable shorts. The only one I didn’t really like was T for Torture Porn just because it seemed lazy and lame. The ones I enjoyed the most were: B is for Badger, C is for Capital Punishment, F is for Falling, J is for Jesus, M is for Masticate, N is for Nexus, and S is for Split. I found these very R: relevant, relatable, rare, refreshing, and a teeny bit repulsive. This one’s got scratchy cartoons, old man ball close-ups, goopy waxmation, and all the blood, guts, and skin rippings you can stomach.

ABC’s of Death (2012) Review:

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28 Days Later (2002)

Score: 8/10

Length: 113

Language: English and zombie

Sequel: 28 Weeks Later (2007)

Categories: 2000s, zombie, recommended

Helloooo Cillian Murphy’s penis. I mean…  this is a great movie. It really is though. Those coked-out monkeys are scary as hell, and I much more enjoy this (uncommon at the time of release) idea of a rage virus-infected zombie over a freshy-risen-from-the-grave zombie. Great flow to the movie, and well thought-out storyline that keeps you in mild fear throughout the movie. The end wasn’t awful either, just a set-up for a part 2. 

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Dead Snow (2009)

Score: 8.5

Length: 90

Language: Norwegian

Sequel: Dead Snow: Red vs Dead (2014) (Dod Sno 2)

Categories: recent, 2000s, recommended, foreign, zombie

Other titles: Dod Sno (Norway)

I had the pleasure of seeing this movie at the film festival. There was a line-up down the street, and even though I was late, I managed to get great seats. The film was awesome for two reasons: First, it was scary. Imagine staying at a cabin, during a snowy winter in the middle of nowhere, and a group of giant, zombie Nazis come up over a hill. Terrifying. Secondly, this movie somehow managed to be laugh-out-loud hilarious. A must see.

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