Chad B. (abrnt1) from CABERY, IL Reviewed on 5/26/2011...
This was one of the best anthology horror series to ever air on America TV. What set it apart from most, with the exception of HBO's Tales From The Crypt, was that it wasn't afraid to go for the throat. The most effective horror isn't watered down and is not afraid to touch upon touchy subject matter. The concept of having some of the most respected film directors each doing an episode is pure genius. Some episodes worked and some failed (Mick Garris' episode was the weakest). John Carpenter's Cigarette Burns and Dario Argento's Jenifer stand out.
This is the special edition collector's version and the package is cool. I know some people have complained about it, but this is the version you put on your shelf to display. The series was also released in a regular edition.
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Why is this just being released now? **Conflicted review**
Mike Liddell | Massachusetts | 08/07/2007
(3 out of 5 stars)
"4.5 Stars for the show: I personally liked a lot of Showtime's Masters of Horror series. What a great idea a bunch of influential directors in the horror genre doing one hour films. Some were great and some not so great but every Sunday while the seasons played you'd have the opportunity to see something new in horror. These discs were originally released individually and someone could've easily payed twice as much as this set is worth, for those people, the people who probably followed the show the closest, were it's biggest supporters contributing ratings, and contributed money for their monthly Showtime subscriptions it sucks this wasn't released at first. For the people that liked the show but never picked any up this is a great deal. From a marketing and business side i guess this was smart to get more money out of people.
Episode Guide Season 1
Haeckel's Tale - "Haeckel's Tale" is about a man who takes shelter in a cabin in the woods of New England, and once inside is told not to leave---no matter what sounds he hears on the outside. Based on a Clive Barker short story and directed by John McNaughton. Steve Bacic.
Pick Me Up - "Pick Me Up" pits a serial killer (Michael Moriarty) who targets hitchhikers against a serial-killer hitchhiker, with a young woman caught in the middle. Directed by Larry Cohen ("It's Alive").
Sick Girl - "Sick Girl" is a comedy thriller about an insect scientist (Angela Bettis) and the fly in the ointment that threatens her lesbian love affair. Erin Brown. Directed by Lucky McKee and written by Sean Hood.
Fair Haired Child - In "Fair Haired Child," an odd couple kidnap a teenage outcast (Lindsay Pulsipher) and lock her in a basement with their 13-year-old son, who harbors a dark secret. Lori Petty. Directed by William Malone and written by Matt Greenberg.
Cigarette Burns - "Cigarette Burns" is the story of a young man (Norman Reedus) searching for a print of a rare film that purportedly, upon viewing, sent its audience into a crazed and violent frenzy. Directed by John Carpenter ("Halloween"). Udo Kier, Gary Hetherington.
Deer Woman - A cynical cop (Brian Benben) suspects that a fabled Native American creature called "Deer Woman" may actually be real. Cinthia Moura, Anthony Griffith. Directed by John Landis, who co-wrote the script with his son Max.
Homecoming - In "Homecoming," directed by Joe Dante ("Gremlins"), the nation discovers that the latest presidential election was intentionally tainted---by zombies. Jon Tenney, Robert Picardo. Sam Hamm wrote the screenplay, based on Dale Bailey's short story "Death & Suffrage."
Chocolate - In "Chocolate," a divorced man (Henry Thomas) experiences life through the senses of a mysterious woman with whom he falls in love. Written and directed by Mick Garris ("The Stand").
Jenifer - A modern-day Lolita named "Jenifer" turns out to be bad news for the police officer (Steven Weber) who saves her life and brings her to live in his home. Carrie Anne Fleming, Brenda James. Directed by Dario Argento ("Suspiria") from a script by Weber, who adapted the classic Bruce Jones comic book.
Dance of the Dead - "Dance of the Dead" is set in a post-apocalyptic world in which a young woman (Jessica Lowndes) visits an entertainment venue where reanimated corpses perform for the survivors of a nuclear holocaust. Directed by Tobe Hooper, written by Richard Christian Matheson, who adapted the short story by his father, Richard Matheson.
Dreams in the Witch-House - "Dreams in the Witch-House" is an adaptation of H.P. Lovecraft's short story about a college student (Ezra Godden) who rents a New England flat, where he has nightmares that involve a witch, a rodent and the devil himself. Directed by Stuart Gordon ("Re-Animator"), who co-wrote the script with Dennis Paoli.
Incident on and off a Mountain Road - Featured: "Incident on and off a Mountain Road," about a deformed serial killer terrorizing a resourceful young woman (Bree Turner), who proves to be quite the survivalist. Angus Scrimm, Ethan Embry. Directed by Don Coscarelli, who co-wrote the screenplay with Stephen Romano.
Imprint - Directed by Takashi Miike (Audition) The version that did not play on Showtime because of it's subject matter, I'll let you discover that one yourself.
Box Set Features Masters of Horror Director's Dinner at L.A.'s famed Magic Castle Restaurant - a round-table discussion of horror by the Masters themselves! Series creator Mick Garris interviews horror and Hollywood's elite Deleted Scenes "
Great collection, BUT...
Jack-O-Lantern | San Francisco, CA | 08/29/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)
"...the packaging is quite cheesy/cheap. I don't know what I expected for $55, but it wasn't the chintzy cardboard mausoleum NOR the cardboard slipcovers for each disc (that's correct, these discs are not held in keep cases or even slim cases, they are in cardboard slipcovers, in a slotted plastic insert). I DO enjoy the Masters of Horror series (some good episodes, some bad, none great), but I'm a horror fanatic and not particularly discriminating. I love the fact that some of the greatest horror film directors are involved with this and, though these short films are not anyone's best work by a long shot, as I said I do enjoy this series nonetheless. So--those who purchased these DVDs individually actually have one up on those of us who waited for the boxed set: at least your discs are housed appropriately in long-lasting plastic!!
Great with the exception of one episode...
Luke | Delta, CO | 09/24/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)
"My experience with Masters of Horror started with Dario Argento's Jenifer. That movie was so screwed up that it actually disturbed me- not an easy feat. But after seeing Jenifer, I knew I had to have more. So as the DVD's started coming out I started renting or buying them, and had enjoyed all the ones I'd seen. Before I got the box set, I had seen Cigarette Burns, Dreams In The Witch House, The Fair Haired Child, and Jenifer, and was extremely impressed with them all. I'm not going to start complaining about how this box set should have been released initially, because everyone knew a box set would come out eventually- you just had to be patient. Anyways, here's my scores for the films.
1.1 Incident On And Off A Mountain Road (Don Coscarelli)- 3.5/5 This one was entertaining, and had a great cast. The main villain was rather creepy, too. I just thought the final confrontation felt rushed. This one definately needed more time.
1.2 Dreams in the Witch House (Stuart Gordon) 4/5 This one was great. I'm an H.P. Lovecraft fan, so that gave it props for me before I even saw the episode. It was genuinely creepy.
1.3 Dance of the Dead (Tobe Hooper) 3.5/5 I thought this was pretty good. The character development was exceptional, and the final twist, while not entirely unexpected, was very appropriate for the story. Plus, it had Robert Englund.
1.4 Jenifer (Dario Argento) 3.5/5 This episode freaked me out when I first saw it. I loved the gore, but I couldn't help but question the detective's choices regarding Jenifer.
1.5 Chocolate (Mick Garris) 3/5 This was decent. It had some really good moments, and I'd watch it again, but it definately wasn't my favorite.
1.6 Homecoming (Joe Dante) 0/5 This episode was absolute garbage. Zombies coming back to vote? Were they high? This was just stupid. I had to FORCE myself to sit through the whole episode, thinking there may be some gore or something. There wasn't. This episode was just plain boring.
1.7 Deer Woman (John Landis) 4.5/5 This episode was hilarious. I loved this one, and I'm not usually a fan of John Landis's work, but this one was great.
1.8 Cigarette Burns (John Carpenter) 5/5 Absolutely perfect episode. Loved John's direction, plus it had Norman Reedus and lots of gore. Perfect.
1.9 The Fair Haired Child (William Mallone) 4/5 I really enjoyed this one. The lead actress was very good looking, the monster was creepy, and the gore was adequate.
1.10 Sick Girl (Lucky McKee) 3.5/5 Another one of those funny episodes. I enjoyed this one too, and thought both lead female characters were hilarious.
1.11 Pick Me Up (Larry Cohen) 3/5 This was pretty good. Both serial killers were rather likable. I just felt it was missing a little something, I don't know what.
1.12 Haeckel's Tale (Roger Corman) 3.5/5 Another good episode, based on Clive Barker's short story (which was why I was so excited to watch it). Great gore, great acting, perfectly morbid conclusion.
1.13 Imprint (Takashi Miike) 4/5 This one was genuinely disturbing. NOT FOR THE FAINT OF HEART. AT ALL. Great direction, wonderful sets, great characters. Very good episode.
The only reason I give this box set a 4 out of 5 is because of Homecoming. That episode was so bad it brought down the overall value of the box set, I thought."
Tomb to go with all the coffins.
Martin Montag | INTERZONE | 09/16/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Here follows a few words regarding the box-set packaging.
I really like the fact that all thirteen discs fit into a still impressively sized presentation box, which provides a fittingly appropriate home for what are hour long visitations from the grave. Sure the box could have been more sturdy, but if treated with care should be a future collectors item, unlike the endless copies with plastic cases. The only loss here is the cover artwork, but as a collector short of space this compact box-set suits me fine. Looking forward to the eventual second season box-set. With so many special edition horror DVDs packaged in a coffin shaped box, I have at least six, it is refreshing to finally get an actual tomb !
I'm very much enjoying watching the episodes, being able to watch them as and when I like is a joy as I've never seen any of them prior to this set, so this is all fresh for me. So far I have to declare Jennifer as a favorite, a return to form for Mr Argento in my opinion. Surprised at the level of sex and violence, not pulling any punches for television horror. I recommend this box set to anyone like myself who enjoys looking at their DVD box-sets as objects of art. "
Lots of blood + Almost no suspense + Some Scary Scenes + Qui
Cestmoi | 04/13/2008
(2 out of 5 stars)
"Most of the shows of this series contain gory scenes. The majority of the plots are original to me. For example in "Home Coming", soldier zombies got out of their coffins to cast votes against the Iraq War! It's entertaining but not scary or suspenseful.
There are 2 bad things listed below. 1. There are only about 3 suspensful and scary scenes in all 20 shows! For example in "The Right to Die", the male character was in the bath tub by himself. Suddenly, he saw his wife appeared right in front of him. What happened next was very scary to me.
2. All of the shows have many extremely logical holes that make them ridiculous. It's really disappointing.
In short, they're worth renting but not buying. I prefer Tales from the Crypt. They're more suspenseful even though their special effects are below par."