Masters of Horror: Or How I F*cked Up a Golden Opportunity

I don’t need a horror channel to remind me I’m a horror fan. I don’t need a channel to play the same old bullshit movies I have in my collection, and then turn into a quasi-horror channel months later playing music videos, and wrestling programs. A channel doesn’t make me an automatic solid horror fan.

I’ve been one since I was four.

But I wanted a great horror show god damn it. The show I wanted to be great, ended up being one giant dry hump sans the stained pants, while the show I expected to flop, ended up being damn good. I speak of “Dexter” in that last comparison.

“Masters of Horror” is a lot like that really hot chick you met in high school. She was good looking without or without makeup, presented many possibilities, you imagined every such situation, and position, and when you and she were finally alone, she really wasn’t much to talk about. And then you’re left with nothing but disappointment.

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Masters of Horror: Right to Die

I’ll buy that Superman can not be recognized as Clark Kent once he flips his S Curl, I’ll buy that Peter Parker can reveal himself to a crowded train and not be sold out by someone interested in making money, and hell, I’ll even buy that there’s some appeal in MTV, but I admittedly had a hard time buying that our character would trade his utterly gorgeous wife in for a run of the mill redheaded nurse who only sought out to cash in on him. But alas, “Right to Die” is a very good episode in spite of that lapse in logic. Martin Donovan (who you may remember from “Weeds”), is a man who has just witnessed his wife be burned alive after a horrible car accident and now is forced to face the consequences of such an incident. Burned from head toe, and comatose, Cliff struggles to fight off his mother in law who is attempting to keep him from pulling the plug on his wife, and after horrible dreams of her burned body coming to wreak havoc on him, he’s beginning to think his in-laws are not the only people he’ll have to battle.

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Masters of Horror: Valerie on the Stairs

Being an aspiring writer, knowing aspiring writers, and being apart of a world filled with aspiring writers, “Valerie on the Stairs” was really an interesting installment that spoke about how ideas and imagination can tend to die with a horrible writer, and on how some ideas can be housed somewhere. In “Valerie on the Stairs,” we visit a home for aspiring writers whose own abode has become the breeding ground for a monster who perhaps may be a figment of imagination taken shape. Garris’ installment is a provoking little humdinger, with slight shades of subtlety, explore the condition of being a writer and the suffering that becomes apart of it. What happens when unfulfilled imagination manifests and rebels violently against its creators?

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Masters of Horror: Screwfly Solution

What the hell is going on here? Did all the directors from season one meet up in a room and decide that they would turn up the heat this time around? Because season two of “Masters of Horror” has been one big punch in the gut, and I’m surprised. Dante, who came at us with my favorite episode “Homecoming,” repeats his one-two punch with “Screwfly Solution” an utterly violent and original picture of the apocalypse. I have a soft spot for films or television that paints the apocalypse or post-apocalypse, and “Screwfly Solution” is a fascinating story about the line between sexual aggression and aggression thinning into a gory result. How does this happen?

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Masters of Horror: Pelts

I am not one who is all about the gore. Granted, I loves me some blood splatter, and I’m not opposed to torture, but I also like it when it’s accompanied by a story, or at least engaging characters. “Pelts” essentially doesn’t have compelling characters, but the story is entertaining. I was not a fan of Dario Argento’s prior effort, “Jenifer.” I thought it was bland, Stephen Weber’s performance was cartoonish, and the climax was brutally predictable. “Pelts” is a step up in the gore department, and in the plot. It takes the concepts of furs turning against the people holding them, and never exhausts itself. “Pelts” pulls out all the stops, not only in the gore, but in the grueling scenes of self-mutilation, and it’s typical Argento. Meatloaf plays a vicious and rather slimy fur buyer who works his factory workers to the bone, and aspires for quality.

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Masters of Horror: Pro-Life

I love Ron Perlman. Whether as the bad ass demon ass kicker “Hellboy,” or in a long-winded turkey like “Desperation,” there are not many instances where he can lose with me. In “Pro-Life” his performance is powerful, and I utterly loved him as the anti-abortion terrorist doing anything to get his daughter back from the clinic. He’s the highlight, here. “Pro-Life” drops down on a reality where abortion clinics have armed guards and fences that keep out protestors. Apparently, this is the near future but nonetheless, the whole concept of Carpenter’s installment is to somewhat paint the pro/anti-abortion issue into a more horrific light.

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Masters of Horror: Sounds Like

The new installment “Sounds Like” is not so much a horror story with blood and guts, but an examination of a man who has special hearing. Special hearing that serves as a great service to his company, and a curse. As all gifts are. He can hear when a service rep at his software company is about to become angered at a customer, and he fires them upon this instinct, yet he was also able to hear the defect in his son’s heart before his death. Brad Anderson’s installment is a solid character study, a facet of the horror genre he’s strived in with “Session 9,” and the excellent “The Machinist.”

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Masters of Horror: Family

So far, the second season seems to be attempting to make up for the mistakes the first season made, and the two directors with the worst episodes of the first season, end up creating better episodes this time around. Landis whose episode, “Deer Woman” was basically a lightweight horror effort, makes up for it with the excellent installment “Family.” Harold Thompson loves his family. He lives in his large house in the middle of a bright suburb, and he keeps his family closely guarded and drawn away from human eyes, and there’s a good reason for that.

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