Masters of Horror: The Washingtonians

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: Peter Medak (The Changeling, Species II)

Evil Category: old white people with bad teeth

Score: one out of five really bad childhood car songs

The summary for this sounds really neat. But let me share with you this line from the opening family scene: “Oh my. Look at the mess that you’re making. When did my princes turn into such a little slob, huh? Just like her daddy!” You never realize how difficult acting is until you see really bad acting. The idea that if you found a scroll you thought was written by George Washington, and you didn’t immediately take it to an appraiser is absurd. This episode is about a family who moves into their grandparent’s house, and discovers the friend old folk in the town are bunch of cannibals who like to dress up and act like George Washington. This episode really proves that this is just Goosebumps for adults.

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Masters of Horror: The Black Cat

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: Stuart Gordon (Re-animator, From Beyond, Dolls)

Evil Category: an aggrevated, alcoholic author

Score: one out of five broken, black ink pens

You’d think this would be about a cat who witnesses something horrible, or a bunch of stories that merge together with the cat appearing in each one, or even just a killer-cat. But no, it’s about Edgar Allen Poe going insane and attacking a cat for little reason. He wants to write poe-try, and his wife is coughing up blood all over the place. The story isn’t too bad, but man, the acting is so painful. I’d be just as well off watching an episode of Days of our Lives. The constant coughing alone is enough to drive anyone to madness, but the cruelty to animals does not in the least get me routing for Poe. That bird clearly just had a smear of ketchup on it and the cat eyeball scene… Jesus. I skipped a lot of it, and I was glad it was finally done watching it in the end. I would have rather watched Secret Window.

Masters of Horror: Imprint

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: Takashi Miike (Audition, Ichi the Killer)

Evil Category: black-smear-toothed, red-headed whores

Score: five out of five skin-sweeping scars

In regular Takashi Miike form, this episode is strange and intense. Considering the rest of the season is at times a little dull and watered-down, this was a fun finish to season one. I saved this movie for a night with sushi, and I’m going to have to have another sushi night because I want to watch it again. There was just so much going on I don’t think I was able to absorb it all. It’s about this guy (he’s in Charmed, acting as badly as he does in this episode) who is looking for his lost lover. Instead, he learns of her torturous death through the stories of a woman with distorted features. This gnarly, complex episode features everything from a weird little pimp with a nose scab to a conjoined hand twin. (What?!) At the same time, the colours are rich, the costumes are intricate, and it’s beautifully filmed. I didn’t love everything about it, but for sure, the best episode so far.

Masters of Horror: The Screwfly Solution

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: Joe Dante (Piranha, Gremlins)

Evil Category: vagina vendetta virus

Score: two out of five misogynistic maniacs

The second episode directed by Dante is about a virus that infects males, causing them to lash out and kill females in a world-wide femocide. Although this goes against all of the feminist bones in my body, I have to admit the idea was new and intriguing. I squirmed a little, and I was really curious about how the episode would end. Unfortunately, it ended not well. Not well at all, my friend. Aliens made of light not good. There are a lot of creative twists that could have really pulled it all together, giving you a reason to sit through the last little bit. I will say, it’s a lot better than Dante’s other episode: Homecoming, but whereas that was bad from the get-go, this one starts off strong and ends in a let-down. I mean, guys get infected by a woman-hating virus, they blame religion. Some scientists invent a chemical castration pill, but it’s too late. Woman quickly are killed off around the globe and soon there is one woman left who meets the aliens who started the wipe-out of Earth. I really don’t know what else to tell you. Some of the scenes were shot in small-town Canada and that was pretty cool. Good to know us Canadians were the last to die… I guess?

 

photo credit: https://thehorrorhoneys.com

Masters of Horror: Family

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 Landis (An American Werewolf in London, Twilight Zone: The Movie)

Evil Category: skull-smitten psychopath

Score: two out of five bare-boned scrub-downs

This is rated as one of the highest in season 2, and I get why (I guess) but I still didn’t really like it. It’s about a man (yes, another episode about a middle-aged white guy) who has created his own disfunctional family. Unfortunately, they are just skin and bones! A couple moves into the neighbourhood in search of a new life after their daughter passes away, and they quickly make friends with their lonely neighbour. Not everything is as it seems, and there are some great twists in this episode, something I haven’t seen a lot of so far of in Masters of Horror which is surprising for a series. Although the ending is really refreshing, the whole episode really dragged for me in the middle. There was too much fluff where there could have been tension, and I don’t know why, but the lazy job of the skeleton’s wiring really bothered me. The acting is good, the idea is fine, blah blah blah, the surprise ending was too little too late. I am really hoping to see some shocking, scary stuff in the upcoming episodes, as this would have fit in better as an story for Desperate Housewives. (Okay, I’m being a bit harsh, but my bad episode tolerance is a little on the low side right now).

 

photo: http://2.bp.blogspot.com/

Masters of Horror: The V Word

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: Ernest R. Dickerson, TV Director (Tales From the Crypt, CSI, Criminal Minds)

Evil Category: throat-ripping manpires

Score: two out of five frantic force-feedings

This episode starts off fantastically- teen gamers  who are used to scares and violence in another world decide to test their fears in this one. They start off by maneuvering through a mortuary, where they discover and uncover various states of dead bodies. There’s actually a lot of of tension here, and it’s easy to picture yourself in the situation. Unfortunately, as soon as the vampire story seeps in, it’s all downhill from there. That hill is also very gradual, and it feels like you’re rolling down for days. The story moves along very fast but too much happens too quickly and the struggle to keep my attention weighed heavily on me as I forced myself to make it to the end. This episode holds no surprises, and although it’s gory, it’s also quite goofy. There almost needs to be a category called grown-up Goosebumps episodes, because this is exactly where this episode goes. I was really hoping the the ‘V’ stood for violence, because of the video-game obsessed kids, or I’d even take vagina, in the hopes of an episode resembling Teeth, but I had no such luck. Really disappointed with the one, mostly because it starts off so strongly, and then it just turns into a lame, wishy-washy vampire story with no real satisfaction or ending. If I were describing The V Word to a friend, it would sound like: “This happens, and then this happens, and then this other stuff happens, and then in the end people die I guess? I forget.”

 

photo: http://application.denofgeek.com/

Masters of Horror: Pro-Life

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 Carpenter (Halloween, The Fog, The Thing)

Evil Category: Satan’s scaly brother versus the blind God-followers

Score: two out of five crabby babies

Carpenter’s second contribution is about a girl who is pregnant with a monster’s baby, and whose family is determined to stop her from aborting her demon spawn. Her father thinks he is doing “God’s work”. Although the episode has a little sci-fi and a few gun-shot deaths to qualify it, I’m beginning to think this series is called Masters of Horror because the directors have worked on horror films before, not because it should be classified as horror series. The idea of family vs ground demon vs girl was okay and there were a few fun and ridiculous events. It just lacked any tension or twists- only milky-acid splash surprises. I felt like no one was really trying their best to make this anything more than Desperate Housewives being taken over by The Wishmaster. I expected a pro-life themed entry to be more somber and emotionally demanding than this was, and even with the images of the child crustacean and the reptilian beast, it’s quite forgettable.

 

photo:  http://fanpop.com/

Masters of Horror: The Fair Haired Child

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: William Malone (House on Haunted Hill, Feardotcom)

Evil Category: witches, warlocks, the undead, and monster-alien-babies

Score: two out of five bad swimmers

The last episode of the first season is a strange one. Nineties teen romance with a little Are You Afraid of the Dark wrapped up in a Eurythmics music video. A husband and wife who have lost their son sacrifice twelve children to a weird, branchy, bald monster in order to have their family back together. This hollow-eyed alien thing with the mark of the Devil on its forehead is unique and not CGi’ed to death. It moves in a film-cut choppy kind-of way, and its a little scary, but the glowing holes in its face take away some of the fright. There’s a twist at the end but it isn’t very believable and although the characters are likable, they aren’t impactful and you’re just watching to see what happens, really. If you’re wondering where you’ve seen the mother before, she plays Lolly in Orange is the New Black, but she’s the only recognizable actor out of the four main characters in this episode. This is another one of those films where two movies that don’t fit together are made into one and it’s hard to really love an episode like this.

 

photo: http://fanpop.com/

Masters of Horror: Pick Me Up

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: Larry Cohen (The Stuff,  A Return to Salem’s Lot)

Evil Category: serial killer showdown

Score: three out of five Fairuza Balks

Yes, this is one of the rare sightings of the ‘weird girl’ from The Craft. She’s an angry looking gal with a unique and recognizable face. The episode is a neat idea- a bus with a few people on it breaks down and the passengers and driver all take different routes. Meanwhile, there are two serial killers in the same area, a truck driver and a hitchhiker, and the last person standing from the bus crew fights off the killer-competitiors. It’s an entertaining episode and one of the few stories not plagued by the supernatural, but the ending was far-fetched and I feel like it can only be described as “upper level okay”.

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