Masters of Horror

Showtime (ended 2007)





Masters of Horror Fan Reviews (26)

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out of 10
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  • I was so looking forward to it, but in the end wondered why I had.

    I was very disappointed with this show. I found most of the endings to be very predicitable and a bit of a let down and was left wondering why I even bothered. I kept hoping that the next episode (and the next) would be better, but was sorely let down each time. I had heard a lot of hype about the show, and being a horror fan from way back I was eagerly anticipating a weekly horror series to watch. Well I got a "horror" series, but not in the way it was intentioned. Bad acting, bad scripts, bad lighting and bad sound. Just plain bad.
  • Great idea. Overall it's hit or miss, but it does include some real gems.

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

    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.
  • eew!

    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 mess
  • What a great idea.

    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.
  • They truly are the Masters.

    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.
  • 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.

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

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

    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.
  • This show is not even horror.

    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.
  • A show that any horror fan will love.

    This is one of the best shows in the history of cable TV. The show is compiled of many different directors and 13 episodes per year. They are actually more like short films, due to the fact that so much work is put into them and that they are (almost) completely uncensored. The writers and directors are different for each one in the series which makes them feel very independent from each other. The show also isn't just mindless gore, many of them have deep messages about human kind. The episode entitled "Homecoming"
    takes on the issue of the war in Iraq, in a good way. The show will hopefully go on for many years to come.
  • Unless you've been living under a rock, or working the third shift at your job, you know by now that Showtime's provocative series Masters of Horror is the brainchild of creator/writer/producer/director Mick Garris

    Known as one of the better adapters of Stephen King material, Garris conceived the idea by way of a series of bi-monthly dinners he attended with some close friends and colleagues, who also happened to be many of the famous (or infamous) horror/fantasy directors who make significant contributions to the series. Made mostly in Vancouver, on ten-day shooting schedules with limited budgets, each director tackles a particular piece of material in the style they are most famous for with horror and fantasy fans worldwide.

    I can only base my reviews on the installments I have seen, so here's my take on each one, not necessarily in order of broadcast:

    . Directed by Don Coscarelli (P); written by Coscarelli and
    Stephen Romano, based on the story by Joe Lansdale; starring Bree Turner, Ethan Embry, Angus Scrimm and John de Santis as 'Moonface.' Given that it has an interesting premise, (victim of spousal abuse by a psycho survivalist matches wits with a deranged serial killer), I've heard that this wasn't one of Joe's best, and with the hit-and-miss style in which Coscarelli seems to have shot it, I would tend to agree. It's good to see the likable Embry playing an absolute bastard, and Ms. Turner is great in the classic Marilyn Burns-style heroine role. Yet much like the hit TV series Lost, the flashbacks (between the two of them) are much more engaging than the main focus of the story, which is all about Turner's struggle to survive in the killer's lair. And as fun as it is to see Angus Scrimm reunited with his old buddy, his presence is criminally wasted here. Good action sequences (no surprise there) and helped by Coscarelli's strong visual sense, but it's mostly worth ** out of four stars.

    Dance of the Dead. Directed by Tobe Hooper ( written by Richard Christian Matheson, based on Richard Matheson's short story; starring Jonathan Tucker and Robert Englund as the MC. Tobe does what he's best at: innocence lost meets evil and depravity incarnate and triumphs...or makes said moral and spiritual compromise in order TO triumph. In a post-apocalyptic, plague-ridden world that makes any place Mad Max has been seem like Club Med, patrons of a club where Goth-meets-grunge in the Ninth Circle of Hell, are entertained by the chemically-fueled gyrations of briefly reanimated corpses as the main spectator sport. In the midst of this unholy mess is the story of a sweet, innocent young thang who meets a bad biker boy, (the monumentally talented Tucker), in a Romeo-and-Juliet-esquire tale with a very dark twist, which puts a whole new spin on the concept of 'family values'. As the MC of the "Dead Can Dance" dive which is the story's central focus, Englund gets the tour-de-force performance, natch, doing what he does best. In this case, he might even be a little more unsettling than the alter-ego he's best known for, Freddy Kruger. Filmed in a jittery, dreamlike style that merges experimental art film with rapid-fire MTV editing, (think E. Elias Merhige meets the Brothers Quay), it's a whole different style for the director. For me, this had a better, more "Twilight Zone"-ish ending than I
    nc, so some may find it more accessible, if not as grounded in realism as Hooper's earlier work. This gets **1/2 out of four.

    Directed by Dario Argento
    ; written by Steven Weber, based on the original graphic story by Bruce Jones and Berni Wrightson; starring Steven Weber, Beau Starr and introducing Carrie Anne Fleming as . The master of Italian gialli, Dario Argento, works his macabre magic with almost surgical skill with this one, bringing to life a tale so twisted that it sears itself into your memory with the same intensity as the original story upon which it's based. Writer/actor Steven Weber, (so good in Mick Garris' reworked version of THE SHINING) stars as world-weary cop Frank Spivey, whose life and sanity are destroyed by a fateful encounter with a young girl. Frank interrupts what appears to be a murder-in-progress: a crazed maniac wielding a meat cleaver over a bound, helplessly cowering figure. But even after Frank fatally shoots the man and frees the girl, all is not what it seems. Frank has just met "Jenifer," which is the only word the dying man can utter with his last breath. Jenifer is a mute, graced with a body that would shame the Venus de Milo. But the problem with her speech is horrifyingly clear, as the poor girl also has a unnaturally deformed face that would stop a clock...especially if that clock is BIG BEN. Confused his simultaneous feelings of repulsion and sympathy, Frank takes the girl into his house, once he discovers that she is homeless. But at the core of his compassion, which his wife and son understandably don't share at all, is something compelling, disturbing and powerful that he can't deny, explain or resist...He has fallen under Jenifer's insidious spell, and as she systematically destroys his will, his sanity and finally his life, he discovers that she is one siren/succubus whose appetite for the flesh is not limited merely to rounds of mind-blowing sex, in horrifically erotic sequences that will make you cringe and yet leave you unable to avert your eyes at what's on-screen...Weber does some of his best acting ever as Frank makes the constantly shifting transitions from sympathy, to lust, to revulsion, to self-loathing, to outrage and back again.
  • This series is 13 episodes of horrors from acclaimed directors, each given a one-hour time slot for their new horror.

    Overall, the series is very good. Some of the episodes fail to meet expectations, but this is inevitable with the one hour limit of length on the horrors. With a different director enlisted every week the short films show great variation and somewhere in the series is a film to the liking of any horror buff.

    The best aspect of many of the episodes is the disregard for the easy to produce slasher flicks. Instead, many of the directors opt for a multi-levelled, physchological horror.

    The weakest point is the absence of bloodshed in some episodes (due to time restrictions). This threatens to fail fufillment of the horror genre and turn the series of horrors into a series of crass thrillers.

    Like I said at the beginning, overall, the series is excellent and well worth watching.
  • A nice show, but nothing spectacular.

    After watching the pilot i thought "Wow! Nice start!". Yes the first episode was nice, probably my favorite, but the rest... Some episodes were really boring and didn't manage to create the high tension atmosphere that such a show needs to keep the viewer watching.
    The sex scenes were totally unfit as far as my opinion goes, and some episodes were not scary at all, just plain disgusting.
    I can't say I hate horror/comedies, but the humor wasnt't very good.
    Overall, the show wasn't what I thought it would be.
  • A good show.............horror fans like me stand up.

    Masters of Horror is a pretty good show, i have to be honest i thaught that this show was going to be horrible, but after i saw the first episode i was hooked. I meen where else can u get a little of the best horror directors in the buisnness every week. I also like that every episode is different from the last, no characters are the same, the plot changes,etc. I have to admit I didnt like every episode this show has had to offer so far. But with the exceptions of the episodes like "Incident On and Off A Mountain Road","Homecoming","Jennifer","Deer Woman" etc.
    Masters of Horror is trying to do something specilal.............
  • I’m just going to quote mister Bill Gibron (PopMatters Film and TV Columns Editor) from his very accurate review on the 8th of November last year. (

    I’m just going to quote mister Bill Gibron
    (PopMatters Film and TV Columns Editor) from his very accurate review on the 8th of November last year.


    “ YAWN oF tHe dReaD
    Horror has fallen on hard times. Oh sure, everyone talks about a "renaissance," fans flocking to theatres for remakes of classics like The Texas Chainsaw Massacre and Dawn of the Dead. And a couple of filmmakers -- George Romero and Rob Zombie -- have delivered great original films. But gone are the days of gore-drenched exercises in extremism. Now, the pictures are teen-friendly, fashioned to marketable PG-13 standards.
    In an effort to recall the good days, genre master Mick Garris (The Stand, The Shining) has partnered with Showtime for a collection of premium-cable creepy crawlies. The hour-long weekly series, Masters of Horror, pairs talented directors (including Argento, Carpenter, Gordon, Hooper, and Miike) with writers of equal skill to create a new standard in weekly video scares. BUT if the first offering, "Incident On and Off a Mountain Road," is any indication, they hoped-for resurrection of “in-your-face” frights is still a couple of corpses away. . . . . . ”


    Very well said mister Gibron!!!! And unfortunately we now are one episode away from the very last and the only light in this boring darkness was “Sick Girl” by Lucky McKee
    Such a shame! :( I was so bloody excited about this series. All these namedropping all this WARNING “we’re gonna make you scream”, all this BadaBoom for NUTIN! NADA! KAKA Doodles! :( I’m SOOOOOO disappointed! :(:(:(:(:(:(:(
  • The greatist thing to come to tv for horror fans

    First things first the direction in all the episodes so far have been great.The stories offer something different to the average vewier and are suprisingly very well planned.As a horror fan there hasent been 1 episode that has let me down.All the stories are very different from eachother so it dosent get repetive.This is the best tv realated thing that has happened to me. CHECH OUT MASTERS OF HORROR
  • Excellent show!

    Well I really like this show. What a GREAT idea. Everytime the show comes on and I see 'Nice Guy Productions' I just have to laugh. It has just started recently in the U.K. and Dance of the Dead aired yesterday. I loved that one. Tobe Hooper has not lost his touch at all has he? Very 'Chainsaw Massacre' feel to it. Maybe that's just me. Don Coscarelli's episode aired last week and it was really good. Angus Scrimm stared and gave me a chance to see him play someone else besides the Tall Man. He was great and I loved his character.

    So overall I'm very happy with the series so far. It's great. Keep it coming Master's lol!
  • Masters of boredom Not really scary Not really gory Not really original Not really good

    I hate these single episode shows

    you never know what to expect,first episode was

    great but then it went downhill until that

    mooselady Deerwoman episode that threw me off

    at that point i wish i was sitting at the premiere of Howard The Duck...

    Why not be original and devellop an entire series on a set of caracters like the devils rejects familly and watch their wanderings in the world
    horror every week ..till the show is cancelled :)

  • saying something about the political climate, indeed...

    Watched the first episode by more or less chance, then read a few sentences on how horror-movies/series are perhaps THE medium through which filmmakers can and dare make political statements.
    Ok, so maybe It's just me, but I can't refer to anything political from out of these dreadful first two episodes, but in the writer's defence, they were referring to the ep. "Homecoming" at the time someone uttered: "political statement".
    Here's a tidbit:

    "For those of you who thought that the election of Nov. 3, 2004, was a nightmare come true, who think Fahrenheit 9/11 belongs next to Invasion of the Body Snatchers at your video store, and who thought Rep. Jean Schmidt’s head would start rotating when she blasted John Murtha recently on the House floor, then this is your movie. Set during a very familiar-looking presidential campaign, complete with a polarizing Republican incumbent, a phony war and smear-crazy TV pundits, it poses the question: What if our soldiers came back from the dead, and instead of wanting to eat us, just wanted to vote in the next election? As the president’s callous campaign manager quips to his political consultant (Jon Tenney) about their reason for returning: “It couldn’t be the disability benefits.”"...

    -LAweekly: must scare tv

    Now, very briefly, if what it's come to is that horror films are the means through which we're now making so called statements, I've just got a stick the middle finger up to the lot of us.
    Politics and government, huh? Organization and progress? One word: Humbug.
    Why do we pay taxes anyway? To allow for furtherment and farsightedness or to uphold a system so rotten to the core, hostile takeovers now also apply to war-faring terminology.
    People's hard-earned money sponsors futile clean-up attempts of pollution caused by an industry not only solely to blame for doing the polluting but also shockingly still reeping the profits. Oh, you got stock - well excuse me. No of course, you're right, nevermind the wellbeing of future generations then.
    With not a single Roddenberry playing, people living their lives through soap-operas and us needing to turn to horror to try to get a point across. For fracks sake, people.

    And on the eave of the millenial, the masters touted: "let them eat s***", and the masses feasted.
    Bring back the Outer limits (2x08).
  • I really like the idea of this show and I want it to be good. They have some top notch directors who are allowed to do pretty much whatever they want in what are essentially just short films.

    I really like the idea of this show and I want it to be good. They have some top notch directors who are allowed to do pretty much whatever they want in what are essentially just short films. I love that they got some real directors to come in, and I wish there were more shows that did this. The only problem is that they have been really hit & miss so far, some are really good and some are really bad. It reminds me a lot of the X-Files but without any story arcs like the more "monster of the week" episodes.
  • So far so good....

    This seems to be a great show, I did miss Jennifer and only watched half of Day of the Dead, but I have seen the rest. What I see so far is a pretty good horror show; don\'t see many of those anymore. The next one Homecoming looks like it will be good.
  • Nice to see horror back on TV

    there havent been a lot of really intense horror shows on tv lately, and being a horror fan i am glad to see masters of horror. the concept is perfect for fans of the genre, but the episodes have been hit and miss. of the five i've seen, i thought two (jenifer and dreams in a witch house) fell flat, but the other three have been great. incident on and off a mountain road was a simple, intense throwback horror movie. dance of the dead was a great look at a post apocalypic america. chocolate was an intriguing mystery/thriller with a cool premise. cant wait to see more. with a vast amount of great horror directors out there, this show has promise for many seasons to come.
  • Boring

    The shows are unoriginal pieces of garbage. These are from "masters" of anything? what a joke, they sometimes aproach entertainment, but more likely they must be the producers nephews friends that write these stories and they slap one of these "masters" names on them, because seriously, if these are from masters, they are in a coma, childish, brain dead, with holes in them big enough to drive hollywood through.
  • Good Tv Show

    I think that Masters of Horror is a good tv show. It has alot of scary elements and who doesn't like scary things. After the first episode I think that this show will get good ratings and it will be on tv for a long time. This show is bloody terrific.
  • This show is worth seeing by anyone who like great stories and acting.

    This show is awsome! When I was younger I used to watch "Are You Afraid Of The Dark" and now I follow this show.
    Master Of Horror is a show with great stories and acting so it's defenitly worth seeing not only by you who like horror, but also by all you who like great shows. I usually watch shows like "The O.C" and "Prison Break" so don't think that you have to be a fan of horror to love this show. What I also think is great with this show is that you don't have to follow each and every episode if you don't want to, because there's a new horrorstory in every episode.