Masters of Horror

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  • 8.5

    Great idea. Overall it's hit or miss, but it does include some real gems.

    By JasonGOrtiz, May 22, 2010

    When I first heard about the idea behind "Masters Of Horror", one hour segments put together by some of the premiere names in horror, I must admit I was pretty stoked. Looking at some of those involved: Stuart Gordon, Argento, Carpenter, Landis, Takashi Miike, reads like a who's who of horror elites. This could have easily been one of the greatest shows, horror themed or otherwise, ever made. But alas, with any series of it's kind there are bound to be some weak spots. Granted, there is certainly a lot to love here, especially in the first season, and when the idea works it gives us some of the best horror programming television has ever seen. For every mediocre entry, there are two or three good ones and even a few of pure genius. Episodes like "Dream Cruise" and "The V Word" fall well short of greatness and may have you looking for the remote to find something else to watch, but others will have your eyes glued to the screen and your fingers dug tightly into the armrests!

    "Cigarette Burns" (John Carpenter), "The Fair Haired Child" (William Malone), and "Incident On And Off A Mountain Road" (Don Coscarelli) all work extremely well, especially given the alotted time. One of my favorites, "Pick Me Up" (Larry Cohen), features a brilliantly funny pair of serial killers jockeying for dibs on an "innocent" victim. It's horror/comdey at it's finest.

    But the episode that's truly noteworthy of mention, both for it's content and for the controversy it created, is "Imprint". The master of making audiences squirm, Takashi Miike ("Audition"), has the distinction of being the only filmmaker of the series to not have his episode shown on American TV. That's quite an accomplishment considering that that the network refusing to air it was "Showtime"! But indeed if you've seen "Imprint" you can easily understand why it was shelved. It is decidedly not for the faint of heart or the weak of stomach. Featuring one of the most horrifyingly realistic torture scenes ever put to celluloid (Seriously! "Hostel" ain't got nothing on this film!), it stays true to it's title and is guaranteed to permanently leave a strong one on your psyche. An "Imprint", that is. It's worth a look, if anything just to see for yourself what kind of material is so outrageous that a pay-cable station won't run it!

    All in all, "Masters Of Horror" isn't for everybody. But fans of gore and frights should gladly sit through the weaker material just to get to those golden nuggets like "Imprint". And while it may not deserve to be considered among the greatest shows in television history, it definitely deserves to be included in a talk of the best horror shows ever made.moreless

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  • 9.3

    Each episode is an hour long, with a different horror storyline each time.

    By luckydagangsta, Jun 11, 2008

    I first started watching this show after I rented one of the tapes from the video store. I enjoyed it from the first episode. Each episode is like a mini movie. Some episodes you're upset because it's too short and some episodes, you're upset because they're too long. I'm a big fan of Tales from the Crypt to this day and that's part of a reason why I liked this series, a new story each time.

    In some episodes, it was just all about the gore and the storyline was just a piece of **** I mean, gore is nice and all, but I'm going to need a good storyline to go with it and many of them just didn't do it for me.

    I think it's a series that any horror fan should check out, but here's a warning toward the end of the series, the good episodes start to die out and all you're left with is crap.moreless

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  • 4.5


    By northphilly101, Jun 10, 2007

    Gargoyles, wolves, and smiling dolls dot the opening credits for Showtime's Masters of Horror — a clichéd start, lacking only a black cat and a boiling cauldron. Unfortunately, the second season of the anthology series — 13 one-hour movies from directors including John Carpenter (1978's still-eerie Halloween) and Brad Anderson (2001's flawed but deeply disturbing Session 9) — has a limp kickoff too. The Oct. 27 debut episode, The Damned Thing, directed by Tobe Hooper (1974's original The Texas Chainsaw Massacre), is set in a dusty, Southern locale (Texas...again), stars a haunted, taciturn sheriff (Powder's Sean Patrick Flanery), and boasts lots of bourbon-tinted scenes lined with gee-tar strums. As a kid, this sheriff suffered a family horror at the hands (paws?) of some malevolent invisible critter that drips black sludge from ceilings. Now the force is back and is making the townsfolk go mad. None of this is scary — Hooper relies heavily on boy-pleasing gore and lots of jittery camera work — and none of this makes sense. Thing purports to be inspired by an Ambrose Bierce short story, but has little in common with that tale. In a pseudo-relevant twist, the creature has its origins in the local oil wells — oil being the new evil-yet-inoffensive go-to villain, the millennial version of the ''vaguely European terrorist'' of the 1990s. I'd advise waiting for the series' comic-horror tale Family from John Landis (starring George Wendt and airing Nov. 3) and skipping this messmoreless

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  • 9.5

    What a great idea.

    By farscapefanuk, Mar 14, 2007

    This show is very original and sometimes extremly scary. The show consists of 13 episodes each series. Each episode tells the story of an even. None of the episode lead on to each other, so anything is posible from week to week. So far i have only watched most of season 2, the show has some very strong and original episodes, and sometimes it has the un-original episode that have been done to death. This series shows lots of promise and i can only hope now that it is being renewed for a third season it will get better and hopefully the story telling will become stronger.moreless

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  • 9.8

    They truly are the Masters.

    By number48, Mar 13, 2007

    I was introduced to the show Masters of Horror by a friend who was also an avid fan of Horror as I am. I do not recall who it was but I owe that friend much thanks for this.

    While I have not seen all of the movies altogether, I have seen many of them and several parts of each episode and own a few of them on DVD. The first I saw, Sick Girl, was absolutely perfect and Dance of the Dead was great. After that, I strive to see each episode although I must admit that I am not as excited about Jenifer or Dreams in the Witch House. The opening sequence is great and the hour-long movies are truly works of the Masters such as my favorites John Carpenter, Joe Dante, and even Mick Garris and works by Clive Barker, Joe R. Lansdale, David J. Schow, and F. Paul Wilson. This is the best horror show to date and I cannot wait for season three...albeit Dream Cruise was not exactly the best season finale.moreless

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  • 8.0

    While there are a few episodes that make the series more than worth while, the series in general could use a few tweaks. Mainly a reduction in time to a 30 minute format, at least for some stories.

    By dmfaust, Jan 04, 2007

    Masters of Horror is an attempt at a darker horror anthology than many of its predecessors, but unfortunately is severely flawed despite a few extremely strong individual episodes. The single biggest issue is the hour long format. It is easy to think that longer is better and more room to work with, but it unfortunately is not the case here. While a few deserve the hour long format, most episodes are drawn out and slow to such a degree that it kills what would have been an excellent 30 minute story equivalent to old Tales from the Crypt pieces.

    The range of horror shown is also a little off putting, as you never know quite what you are getting into unless you read a review for each individual episode beforehand. Some might say that is a stength, but as there is no cohesiveness between each episode they might as well have just all been released as seperate made for TV movies(and in fact were in the DvD releases). Watching the first season in order, arriving at Homecoming for example I was outright annoyed at the laughable political satire that belonged nowhere near excellent horror pieces such as Dreams in the Witch House and Jenifer.

    All in all, die hard horror fans only need apply for the series as a whole, even a few of the episodes stand on their own. (Deer Woman is a simply amazing horror comedy from John Landis, and Dreams in the Witch House is a Lovecraft tale that would be enjoyable by a broad spectrum.)moreless

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  • 9.8

    this is awsome the only decent horror show on tv love it for anyone who loves horror

    By punkhead66, Oct 28, 2006

    this show rock it scary as hell, its twisted and dark and i love stuff like that and each epsoide is something new so it doesnt reapeat it self it has all new stuff. plus you have directors and and writers who have done awsome horror movies doing this and they have an hour to do the sick and twisted stuff there good at and do it right i love this and would be my fav show but since my country hasnt got it yet im watching it off my computer but its still good im just a horror fan who loves horror.moreless

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  • 10

    Anyone who doesn't like this is not a true horror fan

    By fgyjmyrjmetdgjh, Sep 13, 2006

    Of course I've only seen cigarette burns and dreams in witch house (because of the crappy way only 2 dvds are released at a time) but i instantly loved this show the moment cigarette burns began. For US tv I was surprised how gory it is and how much swearing and nudity there is. Don't get me wrong, being from the uk I do love us tv but I hardly ever see any shows that use any swearwords beginning with the letter F. Anyway Masters of horror is a great idea, too bad George Romero hasn't written an episode yet.moreless

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  • 1.0

    This show is not even horror.

    By sfviewer, Sep 08, 2006

    they called it masters of horror, but the show isn't even horror, the only thing horrifying about this show is its poor quality. it lacks the scaryness of supernatural or the friday the thirteenth series, and lacks the creepiness of millenium or the others. this show really sucks. it's not even scary, despite the level of gore that they show. the impressive make up effects are not enough to make it right, it actually needs good stories to tell, and that's the very thing this show lacks. the blair witch project looks so much better than this piece of crap.moreless

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