Dance of the Dead
Season 1 Episode 03
Originally aired November 11, 2005
Directed by Tobe Hooper
Story by Richard Matheson
Teleplay by Richard Christian Matheson
Jessica Lowndes, Marilyn Norry, Jonathan Tucker, Ryan McDonald, Lucie Guest, Robert Englund
Have you ever wondered what life would be like after an apocalypse? I’m not talking about zombies taking over the world or the earth imploding on itself. I’m talking about the fundamentals of our human existence being forever altered and the survivors on the planet having to adapt.
For instance: Let’s say, well take this COVID-19 pandemic. If you look at the maps of the spread of the infection, it is clear that the coasts are much more largely affected than say, the Midwest. Now, that’s not saying the virus isn’t here, it’s just not as prevalent.
So, imagine something similar happens. Something that wipes out both coastal lines of the nation, something that snuffs out millions of lives in a matter of seconds. Call it whatever you want, an asteroid, a meteor, an alien aircraft, whatever smashes into the planet, there’s hundreds of scenarios. Pick one.
After it’s all said and done, naturally there are parts of the world that are considered destroyed and uninhabitable, parts that are considered home for what society would more than likely deem “the undesirables” and then there would be parts that would be reminiscent of the world we once knew, just a little different.
So, now we must consider how people would instinctively react to such a catastrophic event. Naturally, we would like to think that we would all be joining together around a giant campfire singing Kum ba yah willing the reconstruction of the world and mankind with our love for each other and whatever heavenly and godly spirits we still had faith in.
But, alas, this is not the case. As we have seen, not just portrayed on the screen in numerous Hollywood films, but right now in our very lives, people will only be out for themselves and those they love in times of complete and total crisis and anarchy.
This brings me to the core of our one-hour film flick today.
In this story, a woman and her daughter are trying their best to make it in their little corner of the world after the effects of WWIII and a biochemical weapon known as “Blizz” has been unleashed upon the world using weather patterns.
Initially, as it falls from the sky on little Peggy’s seventh birthday party it burns anything living that it touches. Her mother, Kate, grabs her and her older sister Anna and runs into their house and locks the doors, leaving everyone outside in the backyard birthday party to die or suffer incredible injury.
Fast forward ten years, it’s now just Kate and her daughter Peggy, Anna is gone. Kate and Peggy run a little diner in the aftermath of the third world war and are doing their best to live a “normal” life.
Enter Jak and his friends. Jak is a rough delinquent type kid, scruffy, pale, looks like he does his fair share of drugs (and maybe yours too), definitely from that area I described that would be for the undesirables after an apocalypse. His area is called “Muskeet”. And Kate tells her daughter, warning her in fact, everything everyone does in or from Muskeet is a trick. Talk about one distrustful, maladjusted human being, right? Everyone there is bad??? Everyone???? Yeah. Okay. (I find that hard to believe, but moving on…)
Jak is with another guy, who is the poster boy for lewd and crude, and two chicks, neither of which can keep their hands off of the guys and seem to want to have sex right there in the booth at the diner. Classy, huh? They are all dressed in what Gen Xers would call ‘punk’ style and the chicks have gone above and beyond the call of duty when asked to look trashy, easy and slutty. I don’t know what it’s called now…mainstream??? The guys are wearing rough, dirty clothes, jeans and t-shirts that both have holes and rips all over them, lots of tattoos, motorcycle boots, you know the look, typical bad boy that let’s say, doesn’t look showered and clean too often. The girls look like little punk rockers with their ratted and braided hair, different rainbow color streaks, dark lipstick, tons of jewelry (mostly silver and black leather), wearing stuff that has silver studs or spikes, that kind of thing. Perhaps way too much eye makeup and not enough self-esteem.
However, at the diner, Jak immediately has eyes for Peggy and ends up enticing her with an invitation that he’ll be around her area later that night after dark and if she wants to see what she’s been missing, she should meet up with him.
At first, she’s not sure about it because her mama basically says nothing good happens after dark, but eventually she does sneak out of the house to meet up with Jak at the diner. And she’s dressed as provocatively as she can with the conservative wardrobe she owns. She even borrows an item or two from her troubled sister’s things left at the house.
Peggy ends up getting in a car with Jak and his buddy and the buddy’s date from the diner. All four of them tear off down the street, Jak’s friends in the front seat and Jak and Peggy in the back, and head toward Muskeet.
Now the drive to Muskeet is eventful…and strange. I will say that. However, once they get to Muskeet…that’s when things turn REALLY strange. But, Jak promises Peggy that he won’t let anything happen to her…except what she wants (I almost threw up in my mouth a little at the corniness of this “romantic” exchange between them, insert eye roll here, such a line, anyways…).
They end up going to a club that is the equivalent to a giant “gentle” mosh pit fitted with chain link fences and cages, screaming chicks on drugs, people all over each other and our one and only, Robert Englund at the helm. He is the club owner and announcer for the shows that take place there. Now, before I tell you what KIND of shows, I want to tell you about our friend that plays our beloved Freddy Krueger.
In this film, Robert Englund in the owner of a club called The Doom Room (nice huh? Doesn’t that just sound like a lovely quiet romantic place for a first date? Insert raised eyebrow here and moving on…).
Anyways, I’m not sure what I would call the type of clientele coming to this establishment but I know exactly what to call the entertainment…reanimated corpses. How are they reanimated; you ask? Now what would be the fun in telling you all those details. What I WILL tell you is that the shows at the club range from the house band to these reanimated corpses dancing around the stage.
But, back to Robert Englund. Here we see him with no Freddy makeup, no razor glove and yet he still sparks off with the same witty delivery of lines as in his claim to fame films. He is the epitome of total creeper as his magnetic and eerie voice crawl through his microphone and rain down upon the crowd as he grossly announces each performance. Not to mention he is a perfect rendition of what looks like a cracked-out magician in a Dracula cape wearing more eye liner than Bret Michaels. Decked out in all his manic glory, with his black eye liner and black fingernail polish, he toasts and taunts the audience, enticing them with the entertainment to come.
If you want to know what EXACTLY that entertainment is, you can watch the episode at the link below for free.
Now, for what I thought of this episode. I couldn’t take my eyes off of it. I wanted to start writing this review AS I was watching, but I literally could not pull my eyes away from the screen long enough to even write down notes. It was so strange, so out there, and held a nice degree of shock value that I was glued to the screen.
The entire episode was great. But the last half was really where the gritty stuff takes place. I loved this episode. I don’t know if that was because it was directed by the famous Tobe Hooper (Texas Chainsaw Massacre original) or if it was because it was just that good, perhaps a combination of both. Maybe it was Robert Englund. He was definitely a ten out of ten on the creep factor in this film. Not to mention he’s disgusting and revolting, misogynistic and demented, foul and repulsive in every way.
The entire story is fantastic. It’s amazing to me how much they are able to cram into just one hour of entertainment. All of the actors pull of their roles well. The special effects and special effects makeup are good. It is truly a very well rounded, excellent short film.
THIS is definitely one of the episodes worth watching.
Season 1 Episode 08
Originally aired December 16, 2005
Directed by John Carpenter
Written by Drew McWeeny, Scott Swan
Starring: Udo Kier, Christopher Redman, Norman Reidus, Gwyneth Walsh
This was a Masters of Horror episode I was excited to watch because it’s directed by a true master of horror, John Carpenter.
In this episode, a rare films dealer named Kirby Sweetman is living the life of a desperate man swimming in an ocean of debt without so much as a life preserver. He owes $200,000 or else he’s going to lose his little noire theater, the last love of his life. He’s already lost his wife to a drug overdose so; this theater is his heart and soul and the only thing he really has left…of himself or his wife.
But, his reputation for his talent of procuring rare and obscure original films precedes him and he soon gets contacted by a Mr. Bellinger, a man who is not only a videophile, but also so filthy rich he has more money than he knows what to do with. So, he wastes it. Like most narcissistic filthy rich people do. This guy Bellinger, wastes his money on finding rare original films that nobody outside the small circle of true videophiles has ever heard of, let alone would want to watch.
The film being requested this time is one named La Fin Absolue du Monde, a French film with a wretched reputation. The title translates into “the absolute end of the world” and in this “film” horrible and hideous things happen, atrocities such as the sacrifice of an actual angel, including the vicious and violently gruesome removal of the angel’s wings.
There are rumors surrounding the existence of this film, as it hasn’t been seen since its first initial viewing. At that time, the audience in the theater supposedly went insane, erupting in violence and madness, leaving one lone survivor and that was only because he was the one in the film booth and he turned away as it was being watched. The horror involved with this film is what makes it so desirable and so rare.
Sweetman and Bellinger negotiate a price, one that will save Kirby’s theater AND allow him to view the film, if he so chooses. Still, during the search for this film, all of the people Kirby comes into contact with warn him to walk away and even if he doesn’t, to never watch the film. Of course, this only intrigues him more as he continues his search for this one and only original print, a search that ends up taking him in many directions.
Yup, that’s right. That’s all I’m going to tell you. Hahaha!
BUT, if you want to watch it, you can view it at the link below for free.
Now, I know this is Carpenter we are talking about here. And for the most part it was good. The only thing was I was expecting a little more I guess BECAUSE it WAS Carpenter. I also read a book not too long ago that was very similar in plot. It was Hot Splices, you can find the review HERE. There was a lot more violence in that book than in this movie so, that might also be why I expected more.
However, this was still a very nice way to take up an hour if you are looking for something horror based and short. I don’t think this would disappoint anyone and I think the true Carpenter fans will see his genius in this short film. I can definitely see why it’s part of this Masters of Horror series. And where I think you will see the most of what we know to be John Carpenter-esque, will be the second half of the show. So, do enjoy and thanks for reading!
Fair Haired Child
Season 1 Episode 09
Originally aired January 6, 2006
Directed by William Malone
Written by Matt Greenberg
Starring: Lori Petty, Walter Phelan, Lindsay Pulsipher, William Samples
In this story, a young blonde teenage girl is kidnapped after an older gentleman knocks her down while she is on her way home from school. He renders her unconscious and puts her in his stereotypical white panel child molester van and takes her home.
When she wakes, she makes a quick attempt at an escape but is quickly subdued and tossed down a flight of stairs into the basement. There she immediately finds a young man about her age hanging from the ceiling by a crudely fashioned noose. As she screams for help in panicked fear, she struggles to help the boy free and lower him down. She is able to do so just in time to save his life.
It is at this point when he tries to thank her that she realizes he can’t speak. He draws in the dust on the floor to communicate with her. She soon finds out a few things.
She finds out that the man who took her has a wife. She also realizes that they are this young man’s parents. What’s confusing her is why they would be keeping him in the basement too. Every once in a while, she can hear the parents talking upstairs, but can’t fully make out what they are sayin.
Later, she finds out that the parents have very specific plans for her. These plans involve replacing the son they lost. Or, bringing him back to life actually. Apparently, this involves multiple sacrifices, this young blonde girl being the last. These sacrifices are being made to what I can only assume is some sort of demonic spirit. I doubt an angelic one would require human sacrifice for anything, nor do I think an angel would guarantee to bring back the dead.
Now, that’s all I’m going to tell you. You would think that because this is only an hour-long show that I would have basically already covered it all. But there is so much more. So, you definitely need to find this and watch it.
Here is a link that should let you watch the whole episode for free:
This was the first Masters of Horror episode I watched. I have to say, I was very impressed. Just as I love short horror stories, short horror films are fun too. They don’t take up a lot of time, they get right into the good stuff and if it happens to not really be your thing, it doesn’t last forever.
This one, however, was good. I will say that the chick who plays the mother, she was the same chick that plays Keanu Reeves girlfriend in Point Break. You know, the bug-eyed chick with the short spikey hair. Yeah. I don’t really dig her much, but her oddness was perfect for this film and her role.
I like how everything was written, how it all played out and came together. I wasn’t left with questions or disappointments. I was left with a feeling of total satisfaction and a feeling of approval to go ahead and watch more of the episodes I have on my DVR. I thought the acting was pretty solid and overall was a very good short horror film.
I think this series was am excellent idea. I think it was a great way to give horror directors and writers another way to highlight their talents without taking up so much time and money and yet, still being able to produce a worthy product for horror fans of all kinds. I truly appreciate the genius behind not only the short story writing but the filming as well. And I highly recommend this episode to get you started.
***NOTE*** Preview images were ridiculously hard to find for this episode. I do apologize for the lack of images. The trailer is still available though. Thank you for reading.