Masters of Horror: Season 1

2005 · Showtime
Masters of Horror: Season 1 — Movie Review by Karthik
7 out of 10
Directing Credits
Writing Credits

The Review

This is a mega-review of all thirteen episodes of the first season of the Showtime TV show, Masters of Horror.  The series was created by Mick Garris, and the concept behind it is simple — each episode is a self-contained horror story directed by a "master" of horror — and the list of directors who have worked on this show is certainly impressive, with names like John Carpenter, Dario Argento, Don Coscarelli, etc.  The episodes encompass a wide variety of subgenres within the overall horror genre.  For a TV show, it is definitely adult fare, as the standard horror ingredients — gore, violence, nudity, sex — are to be found throughout.  The quality of episodes vary, with some standout stories and other weaker ones.  Anyway, let us go episode by episode, shall we?

1. Incident On and Off a Mountain Road

This is the first episode that kicked off the Masters of Horror series, and is directed by Don Coscarelli.  Like Bubba Ho-Tep, this is adapted from a short story by Joe R Lansdale.  Ellen (Bree Turner) is a woman who is driving along a mountain road one night.  Suddenly, she crashes into another car on the road, and when she tries to find the occupant of that car, she finds herself on the run from a vampiric serial killer called "Moonface".  However, through flashbacks, we see that she has received survival training from her not-too-stable husband, but will these tactics work against the killer?

While the episode did a good job of sustaining interest, I felt it lacked tension, and was not able to easily accept the lead character in the "heroine" role.  Rating: 6/10

2. Dreams in the Witch House

Director Stuart Gordon wrote the script for this H P Lovecraft adaptation along with his longtime collaborator Dennis Paoli.  Walter (Ezra Godden) is a student of the Miskatonic University and is studying advanced physics.  He takes up accommodation at a rundown house, and soon, mysterious things start to happen.  His neighbour, Frances (Chelah Horsdal), an attractive woman, has just had a rat in her house, which almost bit her baby.  When Walter drives it off into a hole and boards it up, he is later asked by the ground floor tenant if the rat had a human face!  He routinely hears strange noises, but after the ground floor tenant tells him there is an evil witch inhabiting the building, he realises that there are definitely strange and dark forces at work in the house.

This excellent episode of the series packed a lot of story into just one hour.  Gordon's 1985 Re-Animator remained very faithful to the original H P Lovecraft story, while being set in modern times.  I'm guessing the same thing happened here, and while I have not read the original story, I can definitely say that H P Lovecraft did not include concepts like String Theory to explain the witchcraft, in it!  One of the best episodes of the series.  Rating: 8/10

Note: I am gradually watching the episodes of this series, and will add to this review as and when I finish viewing a new episode.  This paragraph would be removed once all 13 reviews are added.

Other Notes

Imprint was banned from being shown on TV for its strong content.

More Details

Running Time: 60 minutes | Country: US | Genre: Horror

Ratings Info

I rate all movies or game add-ons on a scale of 1 to 10 points.  1 is the lowest score, 6 is barely above average, 8 is good, and 10 is excellent (this score doesn't indicate something that is perfect in every way — it just means that I enjoyed it a lot).  You'll find that I tend to give ratings of 8 and above often (that's only because I enjoy whatever I'm reviewing!).  Reviews are updated as felt necessary.  Of course, everything said in these reviews is my humble opinion only.
Review Date 3 Dec 06
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The Author

Karthik Abhiram

27-year old Taurean (birthday 15-May-82), Assistant Manager - HR at Tata Consultancy Services Ltd in Hyderabad, India.  Previously, did Post Graduate Diploma in Management from T A Pai Management Institute (2003-05) and before that, Computer Science Engineering from Sree Nidhi Institute of Science and Technology (1999-2003).

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