For decades they have frightened us on the big screen.
Now, the greatest minds in horror unleash their terrifying
visions on the small screen with the Emmy & Saturn Award-Winning
series, Masters Of Horror. 3 stories from season one: IMPRINT,
DREAMS IN THE WITCH HOUSE and INCIDENT ON AND OFF THE MOUNTAIN
ROAD comes together for the first time in Masters of Horror
Anthology of the horror has always left it’s mark in
various media such as comics, books, TV series and even movies.
It’s not a new concept as the masses can’t get
enough of their horror and what’s a better way than
to package “good but not long enough” horror stories
together to form a collection so that viewers can get their
kicks all in one.
of Horror initially made me cringe as horror, although an
extremely popular genre, few had even managed to create a
decent piece of horror. So this Horror Anthology with the
guts to title itself as Master of Horror is either trying
to hard sell a piece of lame work or really does has what
it takes to deserve the title.
a look at the names of trio directors, only one stood out
as a relatively well known director and that’s Japanese
Director Takashi Miike (with that awfully gruesome Audition
and the Box segment in Three Extreme). Other such as Don Cascarelli
has a cult favorite Bubba Ho-Tep & Phantasm to his resume
which probably had gone relatively unseen by the local consumers.
Lastly if you haven’t heard of Stuart Gordon’s
Re-Animator and Space Tuckers, you probably won’t be
even aware of his other flicks, making him a even more relatively
unknown for the market here.
without any real solid names behind the directors of these
three films in this anthology, it’s hard to fathom that
does this anthology deserves the title of Masters of Horror.
Let’s forget the reputation and dissect each short horror
film as it is, hopefully uncover gems as we go along.
Imprint by Takashi Miike
thing pop into the mind is that this poorly acted and pitiable
excuse of a horror story is just another opportunity for director
Takashi Miike to showcase excessive gruesome tortures.
laughable choice of making the Japanese actors speak in the
stereotypical bad English was a major turn off. It’s
acceptable that if they had to speak to foreigners in bad
English but to speak among themselves in English just revealed
that this is made for the lazy English speaking community
who does not like to watch movies in other languages. The
worst over acting award for this Dvd would undoubtedly goes
to Billy Drago’s performance as Christopher, an journalist
who came back to look for a prostitute that he promised to
help find her freedom. It range from stoic brooding to overreact
whining that is overall more repulsive than what the horror
story in this segment is trying to tell.
story telling manner of Imprint was initially intriguing as
it gets the viewers hook on finding out what happen to the
missing prostitute Komomo that Christopher is searching for
and the deformed prostitute that seemly has a piece of the
puzzle. But it packs with too much twist and turn that by
the time it reach the payout period, it was a mess and filled
with unexpectedly “hard to swallow” revelation
that isn’t spectacular or memorable as the story is
aiming. Story wise, it’s passable entertainment but
hardly befitting the title, Masters of Horror.
only thing that shines for this segment and even over the
other segments is how the torture segment is filmed. Imprint
took it’s time to execute these torture like it is the
main and only purpose and even though viewer can tell that
it’s fake, it’s just so stomach churning that
unless you got a thing for hurting another human, you probably
would find an excuse to turn your head away.
Dreams in The Witch House by Stuart Gordon
Technically, the full title should be H.P. Lovecraft's
Dreams in the Witch-House but seemly the makers of this dvd
either didn’t deem that H.P. Love Craft’s (one
of the most influential horror writers) name as marketable
or some other reasons, left his name off the cover of this
dvd. A pity as it might had generate a few more interests
to this horror series.
Nevertheless, the segment dealt with magical rites and cosmic
planes interconnecting with each other while driving the protagonist(s)
to the blink of insanity. Yup, the good o’ Lovecraft’s
trademarks all over this piece but alas, the execution here
is far from satisfying.
it’s short time frame that it wasn’t able to flesh
out the horrors that our protagonist faces in his nightmare.
The witch that was supposedly haunting the protagonist wasn’t
that scary nor was there any sensible notion to the cause
of all these haunting and subject selection. And if you think
hard enough after a certain weird neighbor reveal the historic
story of this witch, you might wonder why anyone didn’t
just destroy this evil many years ago.
It also didn’t spend much loving care on the gore factors
that the first segment Imprint had over utilized. It was ironical
as certain part of the segment needed the gory details to
drive home the horror, namely those moments when the rat caused
Incident On and Off The Mountain
Road by Don Cascarelli
The title would probably reveal a whole lot of information
for the horror savvy. This segment feels like it’s paying
homage to those slasher flicks that came before while adding
a little twist to the genre.
As with the second segment, it was way less gruesome and much
easier to stomach all those torture porn moments that is in
trend now. Actually, among the three pieces of horror, this
had the most fun with the whole “mysterious slasher
stalking in deserted area”. Even the secondary story
that builds the lead female victim’s little back story
was entertaining (if not poorly over act by her male counterpart).
However, when the two stories come together and try to merge
for the ultimate shock revelation, it just fluttered like
a flat tire on it’s last stretch before finally coming
to a stop. It tried hard to sell the possibility of a total
radical change in a person after going through traumatic shock
but it tired too hard and too forceful that it marred the
whole experience of going through this segment.
Overall as another entry to the horror anthology folder, this
so called Masters of Horror is neither scary nor memorable
to deserve such a reputable title. These three segments were
selected from the TV series with the same name that was aired
in USA back in 2005. There are some top notch sickening acts
of torture in the first segment and some run of the mill entertainments
on Witchcraft and Slasher segments that might be worth checking
out for the horror fanatics.
the Dvd is able to cover the vibrant use of red in the first
segment and the dark tones in the third segment. This anthology
is presented in English 2.0 Dolby Digital and comes with removable
English & Chinese subtitles.
Review by Richard Lim Jr