Masters of Horror

Season 1 Episode 1

Incident On and Off A Mountain Road

Aired Friday 12:00 AM Oct 28, 2005 on Showtime

Episode Fan Reviews (22)

Write A Review
out of 10
262 votes
  • Great pilot!

    The show started off as great as it could do with an awsome story and acting. What I also liked a lot in this episode is that it reminded me of "Rambo - First Blood" when Rambo makes all these traps in the woods. In the episode the main character does the same thing and that gives a lot of action to the episode.
  • Good start to this series!

    In the first episode of this horror anthology series, the viewer is treated to a fairly humdrum opening of a lone woman named Ellen driving down a deserted stretch of highway and crashing her vehicle. However, at this point, things shift from the expected to the unexpected as Ellen finds herself the target of a bizarre looking serial killer named Moonface and starts running through the woods away from her assailant. As she does, Ellen does something that was unexpected to this reviewer - she sets small, improvised traps designed to slow down her pursuer.

    When Ellen and her pursuer arrive at the latter's cabin hideout, it is hard to describe the imagery one sees. The area looks to be a cross between scenes from ' The Texas Chainsaw Massacre', ' Planet of the Apes ' and stuff straight out of a horror flick set in a cemetery. The rest of the episode plays out with moments that are unexpected interspersed with flashbacks of Ellen's relationship with her husband Bruce, a survivalist whose personality grows darker in each retrospective.

    Overall, a very solid beginning to what looks to be a good series.
  • Don Coscarelli's "Incident on and off a Mountain Road" sets the tone for what should be a very intersting horror anthology series.

    I'm a little biased. I've worked with Don Coscarelli before; it was even on a project based on something written by Joe Lansdale. I also have to admit that I know the kind of budget Mr. Coscarelli is used to and well let's just say that it is that very thing that keeps me from fully embracing his "Phantasm" cycle. That being said, "Incident on and off a Mountain Road" is probably the best looking and most balanced piece that he has ever committed to film/HD/whatever.

    The mood alone saves this piece that has a very tepid opening. It all seems very rote to start. Dark mountain road. Girl driving alone. Distraction. She crashes. Enter the monster. Off we go.

    Then things start to wind in a slightly different direction. We get these informative, if not a little standard, flashbacks that actually start to give our heroine, Ellen (Bree Turner)a background. We witness over the course of the episode her being wooed by a facially engorged Ethan Embry, in a far cry from his "Can't Hardly Wait" days. This is followed by their marriage, his survivalist obsession, how he teaches her to "survive anything" and their marriage's subsequent dissolution. Each of these turning points is doled out carefully and at the right moment that is paralleling Ellen's horrific adventure in the forest.

    After she crashes into a car that is abandoned on the side of a road, Ellen is surprised to discover that the driver isn't actually in the car, she's been carried off into the Oregon (but shot in Vancouver) forested night by a monster eventually referred to as Moonface.

    What follows is a cat and mouse game between the two that incorporates all the survival techniques she learned from her husband and our slow realization that she really can survive anything.

    The episode features Cosacarelli regular, Angus Scrimm, (the tall man from "Phantasm") as a delirious captive of Moonface and a pretty good twist that without any spoilage pretty much elevates this story from pat to truly horrifying in a way that I wasn't expecting.

    The good in the episode is plentiful. Its mood and atmosphere spins on a thread and teeters back and forth between the human dread of a mad husband and the fact that madness is equally finicky and can come startlingly to your aid in even more frightening situations. Embry and Turner make the doomed couple’s journey palpable and believable and Scrimm is a hoot in his insane rants.

    The Moonface character, is probably the most problematic as ultimately he is a little too much of the "Jeepers Creepers" type of monster with virtually no background and the same wide brimmed hat that was really only scary when Julian Beck doffed his cap way back in "Poltergeist II". It would have been nice to get a bit more of what he was doing up there in the mountains and why he preferred removing someone’s eyes before he crucified them. It seems like a logical question don't it? But, whatever, Moonface is only the catalyst here.

    Overall, "Incident on and off a Mountain Road" is a not too bad opening to what I am hoping are even better segments from Dario Argento and John Carpenter. Sad that George Romero had to drop out but then there is always season two, and as long as the quality of gore, character and terror remains as it exists in Mr. Coscarelli's episode, then I don't think there will be any question that it will come to pass.
  • Wow. Very solid show. I’m impressed. Coscarelli provides “serious” horror for a change!

    When I first heard about this Masters Of Horror mini-program, I immediately thought that it was going to be Twilight Zone-lite. I’m glad to see that I was totally wrong. Don Coscarelli is known for providing campy scares with an extra side of fun-loving, machismo – but I think this may be his first project where he actually succeeds in putting some true teeth into his horror.

    Deliverance-inspired stories such as this are practically a guaranteed formula for success. Even lesser efforts such as the movie “Wrong Turn” is capable of turning up the heat and providing a greasy, uncomfortable feeling of dread inside the bowels of the audience. In comparison to its contemporaries, Coscarelli’s foray into “hillbilly horror” certainly doesn’t disappoint. Further, he brought back his venerable aide-de-camp, Angus Scrimm. Scrimm, as you may know, was Coscarelli’s champion undertaker in all four of the Phantasm movies. Scrimm’s performance in this episode is highly reminiscent of the ultra-creepy Julian Beck from Poltergeist II: The Other Side. Any genre project that features Scrimm is certain to enjoy at least a modest bit of quality.

    If the rest of the series manages to capture the same stench-n-wrench allure of the pilot episode, then I can readily attest that I will be searching the pre-order pages on Amazon for the inevitable DVD collection in the very near future.
  • Wonderful First Episode

    I think that this Show is one of the scarriest I have ever seen and I think its one of the best shows I have ever seen. This was a woderful first episdoe because it kept you guessing and made you want to see what was going to happen next. I think this is a good show and will last for a long time.
  • Masters? I dont think so!

    I know I'm in the minority here but I cant say I was very impressed with this. I love Bubba Ho-Tep! Don Coscarelli is a talented director with potential to do great things. However this just didn’t work. The story brought nothing original. It was a rehash of old horror clichés put together. Don tried to create tension and a creepy atmosphere but it all seemed too cheap like a low budget horror flick. The actors do their best but none of them even Bree Turner really shine. I was never scared or that interested in what was going on the screen. The final twist is nothing spectacular and in the end I just felt bored. I didn’t hate it. It just didn’t do anything for me. Lets hope things improve because this was nothing but a bland effort.

  • The birth of masters of horror.

    Don Coscarelli made one of my all time favourite movies Bubba Ho-Tep and this episode reminded me of it,I must like Don's style.I liked how the story flashed back to Ellen's relationship with her nutty husband.I was entertained by the story and the acting was well done.The killer moonface was creppy and cool.I wish more shows on tv were like this.Masters of Horror is off to a great start and i hope we see more episodes like this.
  • Most creepy of the episodes of the 3 so far....

    I found this episode to be the most creepy of the first three episodes that have aired so far. This episode actually made me keep an extra light on in the apartment for an hour or so while I was watching the episode.

    Very well written, and very creepy and realistic.

    My favorite so far in terms of creepiness... but I do have to defer to the Lovecraft story as my favorite overall (even though it wasn't as creepy).
  • So these are the masters of horror?!!!

    So these are the masters of horror?!!!
    What a defeat for the world of horror films.
    This film because of its title and reviews build up a great tension an anticipation of something that could have been great. In stead it falls flat on its face.

    The mood is set. It’s a foggy dark night. The moon is clear and the night is fresh. A young beautiful woman is driving on an off-country mountain road, when she suddenly sees a car parked on the road, just after the turn. To avoid to collision she steers the car hard away from car and instead crashes on the side of the road. Until now there’s nothing original, but it could build up. So she gets out of the car to see if the driver of the parked car is ok. But no one is in it? Dam dam daaaam. “Hello?” – she calls out. “Is there anyone here?”. She walks around to see if the driver is some where near. She walks over to the side of the road to check if the driver is cast of the side. She looks down into the forest and sees someone. Thank God she thinks, but wait. He is dragging someone. At this time your not able to see the mans face since he is wearing a big hat. The man closens while the woman still is not able to se his face. When the man is close enough then she can see, that he is actually dragging a woman. A live woman. The man looks up revealing his face. It’s a MONSTER! Booh!!!

    After this the film falls flat. It’s a typical American Hollywood slash’em up monster/killer-phyco bogeyman flick. At no time is this scary. The tension is released in the first few minutes by “the revelation”, the rest is just the woman’s survival as seen in numerous horror films as scream and “I know what..” etc. The main difference is that here we know who the killer is. It’s some kind of monster man, with no relation to the main character. There is absolutely no intelligence behind this film.

    I still give a 4 out of 10 because of what it could have been and also since there are a few (emphasis on few) good moments.
  • i dont know if its a sick first episode or a bad choise for the beggining.

    doesn't work for me...
    no fun, no excitement, just booring...
    i had the feeling that this show is a factory of blood, with no plot...

    be sure, horror is not what u'll find in here...
    or at least, not what u've been excpected

    i bet you will only enjoy the song from the first 3 minutes :-P

  • GREAT start to a great series!

    This show episode was done by the great Don Corscarelli as I'm sure you know cause it tells you that here lol1 He did the AWESOME Phantasm series. It seems to me that he changed his style a little but the epsiode has gotten me to do things while watching that I haven't done while watching horror for a long time. Be scared! If not that then definitely creeped out. I wanted that girl to get away. To get out. And these guys are the master's of horror. Thery don't care what the viewer really wants to see happen to the main character cause the outcome will be a good one. But I was happy she was alive. I never saw anything that happened in that episode coming at all and the way it all unraveled as it went on was just great. In fact I knew something wasn't right and my hunch was waaaaaay off. Angus Scrimm gave a good performance and I felt bad for what happened to his character. He was a really nice guy.

    Oh and Moonface drilling out that girls eyes while she was concious...SPETACULAR touch. Also the wooden spike through the leg!
  • For brevity\\\'s sake I will not go into to much detail. This episode, directed by \\\"Master\\\" Tobe Hooper falls well short.

    While there are some interesting ideas, (girl creatively fighting back against killer, crazy old man in the basement) much of the effects and suspense are average at best and ludicrous at worst. The scary killer of Moonface is not scary and looks ridiculous. Maybe a \\\"normal\\\" man would be scarier in that situation since there are no supernatural elements to the episode. The lead actress does a fine job and the final twist at the end of the episode, while expected, was satisfying.
  • Bubba Ho Tep creative team reunite for some old school hack and slash and screaming fun

    As far as stories go, this one has been done before, but Writer/Director Coscerelli does fine work on the Joe Lansdale story. Do not go into this expecting trend setting new ideas, if you do you will be disappointed. Go in with the idea this will be fun and you will have a hoot. The only thing that could have made this better would be seeing it on the big screen at the Orbit. Good acting, a fast pace and a hell of an antagonist makes this one a winner!
  • Not your typical slasher flick

    This movie, directed by the great Don Coscarelli (Bubba Ho-Tep), based off the short story by Joe lansdale. This episode follows not only the path of a woman as she gets into a car accident then has to deal with a psychotic killer, but also with her relationship with her strange husband.
    What could have been a typical slasher flick, with the girl screaming helplessly the entire time, turned into an interesting study of how this woman was able to overcome a bad situation with an almost garunteed death with her knowledge of how to survive. Most of this was learned from her former husband, and is revealed in flashbacks. The ending is unexpected and offers more depth to Ellen, making her that much more interesting.
    Another positive about this episode is Moonface, the "villian." He's creepy, and very cool, and as Lansdale says, his first major reveal is cool. This movie (they're more like one hour movies than episodes) is excellent.
  • Don Coscarelli's "Masters of Horror" contribution has a great story, great acting, and mediocre effects.

    Don Coscarelli is best known for the Phantasm movies, and because of those he gets to direct an episode of Masters of Horror. This episode is simply just about a young woman being chased by a psychopathic killer, or is it? As we watch her run from and outsmart the killer, (which doesn't have the most impressive make-up job), as well as watch pieces of her recent past get revealed as the episode goes on. She eventually gets captured by the killer and meets another crazy prisoner of his played very well by Phantasm's "The Tall Man". Things start to get even more interesting from here and by the end we learn something shocking that has to do with the frequent flash-backs. This episode sticks with you and is only put-down by a few less than impressive effects which are only minor flaws.
  • Excellent way to start the series.

    This was a really great episode to start the series with. Incident On and Off a Mountain Road tells a simple tale that we've all heard a thousand times, a killer stalks a girl through the woods. But it adds a little twist that makes this story extra special. As she is chased through the woods, we are shown her relationship with her survivalist husband. This both develops her as a character and allows us to see how she got the skills she uses to defend herself. The chase story is a great down and dirty Texas Chainsaw style sequence, but the real meat is this flashback. This carefully crafted episode really did a good job of setting the bar for the series right out of the gates, a bar that was only again met by Cigarette Burns.
  • 7.0
    A Good start to the series. However, it was conservative. The episode seemed a little off because it was designed as a typical slasher flick but seemed to be too cramped in the one hour.

    Horror element was present. Use of the chase was done well to build up the tension. Small use of torture emphasised the good use of horror without excessive bloodshed. Supernatural element was also used well and left not fully explained. Ending twist, while predictable was still enjoyable.

    Overall a good watch, but seemed to be stuck between having to stay short to prevent boredom and having to be longer to fufill its genre better.
  • The masters of sickness

    The first episode of the so called show ‘Masters of horror’, I love it. Sure, it’s not scary, not even a little bit. But it’s just simply fun, the unnecessary gore and plotless storyline. I don’t know why I enjoy stuff like this, it’s simply entertaining although I admit it’s not ‘class’.

    The episode is about a girl in a road that accidentally has an accident and crashes into another car. When she goes out to look for survivors she finds that there is someone who is carrying a woman and reaches out for the girl. She, however manages to escape into the woods. The girl gets flashes from her boyfriend who was training her into become strong, he taught her how to use a gun and eventually married her. Meanwhile in the woods she puts traps for that guy but they don’t actually go well and the woman that was in need of help falls into her trap. When the girl gets knocked out she wakes up in a basement filled with dead bodies and some old crazy guy keeps talking to her and annoys her. Eventually he helps her get loose but was apparently just some old sick dude that liked to watch the moonface cut into his victims eyes. She escapes from the basement and is smart enough to kill the guy by using everything that is around her and pushing him out of the window.

    Then when she goes back to her car she opens her trunk which contains the body of her dead boyfriend. Apparently she strangely became a creep and raped her and then tried to kill her but she killed him instead. Suddenly she became a weirdo and went back to cut out his eyes and kill the old man.

    Although this episode is gory and extremely fun to watch, the plotholes are to huge to bare. Why did her husband try to kill her suddenly? What was that tattoo? Was she evil? Who was that old guy? Why wasn’t he dead? Who was moonface? And there are still so many unanswered questions. But hell, this is horror, you just have to enjoy the ride which I did.
  • Serial Killers beware.

    Want to a see a cool Slasher Flick rolled into less than an hour? Than definitely watch this first episode of Masters of Horror.

    Bree Turner stars as a young woman who seems to be running from her past when an unfortunate car accident takes her face to face with bad guy Moonface.

    He is as nefarious as the rest of the famed slasher villians but what he doesn't bargain for is Turner's character fighting back.

    But there's a twist to this stunning little horror gem and Turner's character turns out to be no ordinary hero as we find out in a stunning twist.

    Too bad we don't see too many original takes on the Slasher film on the big screen like this one did.

    This Masters of Horror episode definitely puts many of them to shame.
  • Worth watching!

    This episode is about Ellen which is being chased by a serial killer ( Moonface ) after she crashes into another car on the road. After a lot of running she manages to escape Moonface and stay alive. Throughout the episode she is having flash-backs which reveal later on a horrible secret.Ellen is not only a victim but she is also a killer. I though this episode was not just great but terrifying as well. Don Coscarelli did his job very well. There was everything that you would want to see in a horror movie - scare, gore and the acting was fantastic too.
  • A different type of damsel in distress.

    This is why we love horror. It's the fact it wasn't like all the other crappy horror films, and this isn't even a film. The monster alone made me turn the lights on, but it was the twists and Turns that made this scary, I normally know what going to happen but with this, I was on the edge of my seat. The start is like watching any other movie. Yet about 7 minutes in you start to see a different side to the female lead, and you start noticing she is nothing like the other females in other horror films. The plot is a women driving on lonely road which clearly doesn't get use they much as no car pass her. She then does what every girl in a horror film does, she changes the radio to another song making her crash and pass out. Through out the story she has flashbacks on her pass with her man and how he make as she is. Upon awaking she meets Moonface. The rest of the story is her trying to fight back while remember why she was on the lonely road in the first place .
    I love this story. It is a great start to the series and i will now carry on watching the rest to see if any of them match up to this one.
  • After hitting a car parked in the middle of the road in the middle of nowhere, Ellen gets out to check to see if the driver is alright and ends up the target for a deranged killer.

    This was the beginning in a great series. What the story lacked in originality it made up for in scariness. The beginning was frightening especially when she hollers down the side of the mountain to see if the person is alright and Moonface is dragging the girl. Buddy is a crazy old man, he's totally weird. I wonder if by poking the eyes out he's actually trying to kill the people or he just wants them to be unable to see. The shock at the end was unbelievable, I can't believe she killed her ex husband and had him stuffed in the trunk of her car. I will say one thing in her defense, he had it coming. The traps Ellen sets up for Moonface are great. Finally a women fighting back. Overall this episode is great way to start the series. It had everything, a love story gone bad, violence, and suspense. I recommend this episode to horror fans.