Archive for the ‘Masters of Horror’ Category

While driving alone on a long stretch of mountain highway, Helen crashes her car trying to avoid hitting another vehicle stranded on the road and is knocked unconscious. Some time later she wakes up, unable to get a signal on her cell phone or get her car to start. She investigates the area and finds the driver of the other vehicle in the woods. But wait, oops, it was really a deranged killer. We all make mistakes.

After that Helen is abducted by this huge guy who apparently makes a habit out of killing people and then tying their bodies to large crosses before leaving them to rot in his front yard. Little does he know that Helen’s husband was a survivalist, and he taught Helen everything he knew.

I really dug this episode. It was really two stories in one; the life of Helen and her husband Bruce, and of course the present-day killer situation. At the end both of them merge into a great twist revenge ending. I love a story where the victim becomes the hero. No damsel in distress here!

I was worried after the villain first came into view that it would be some sort of run-of-the-mill Jeepers Creepers ripoff but it was far from that. Entertaining, good storyline, and humorous at time, this Masters of Horror episode is on my good list.

For fans of drill presses, baby skeletons and weird old men.

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Another adaptation of a short story by H.P. Lovecraft, Dreams In the Witch House focuses on Walter Gilman (Ezra Godden), a young student who in seeking a quiet place to write his college thesis rents a room in a run-down old house. After moving in, Walter begins to experience bizarre nightmares depicting a rat with a human face, warning him that “she’s coming”. Walter soon finds out that “she” is a 17th century witch who previously lived in the house…and she wants his soul.

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I’d say this film was a decent adaptation of the story, but not one of the better of the Masters of Horror series. I was very interested in Walter’s theory of his bedroom containing a cross-section where the realm of two universes converge, allowing the witch to travel from one “universe” to another. However I felt that could have been expanded on more to add depth to the story.
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Though it obviously is a part of Lovecrafts writing, I still found the portrayal of the rat to be very silly and it distracted me from the mood. I however do appreciate that things do not end well…we are lead to believe in some sort of resolution to the problem only to be caught somewhat offguard in the end. Walter’s performance in the last ten minutes of the film was very believable and I felt it redeemed him from his acting throughout the rest of the film which I found to be lacking somehow. That’s a really vague statement, but to be honest I don’t know how to put it haha.
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In conclusion, Dreams In the Witch house while being an accurate depiction of Lovecrafts story did not measure up to the standards I’ve come to hold to the Masters of Horror series. Decent, but not memorable. Definitely a one-time-watch.

For fans of: Head trauma, abortion, hair dye, bad teeth, and needles.
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I haven’t seen many of the Masters of Horror episodes (I am a n00b), but I rented one today at a video store by my house. It was recommended as one of the better ones: Imprint, directed by the infamous Takashi Miike. You may be familiar with some of his more “popular” films such as Ichi the Killer or Audition. If not, you should know that his style of film making is considered extremely controversial. He has a penchant for extreme torture (almost sexual in nature) yet executes this violence in such a stylish manner…

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In this short film, an American (played by Billy Drago, lol) comes to Japan in search of his true love who he promised to come back to years before. He finds himself on a remote island at a whorehouse, conversing with a kind girl, with a strange facial deformation. She tells him that his love, Kimomo, has died. He asks her to tell him everything about what happened and she does, as well as reveals to him a bizarre and twisted secret about herself.

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I wouldn’t suggest viewing any of Miike’s material if you have stomach problems. Especially this one. Imprint was scheduled to air in 2006 as part of the Showtime series Master of Horror, however it was deemed too graphic for cable television and was never shown until it was released later on DVD. I can understand that fully. I have never been a big fan of Takashi Miike honestly. I can take gore for days and days but for some reason when it comes to slow, thought-out torture, I just can’t do it! This film was SO hard for me to watch. The photography itself was gorgeous. The colors were so vivid and dreamlike, giving a surreal effect. But DAMN, the torture.

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If you don’t like needles DO NOT WATCH THIS. I literally covered my eyes. I’d rather watch a hundred people get chainsawed in half than someone get a needle shoved in their fingernail. Fuck. Billy Drago was over the top and hilarious as usual. If Tom Waits and Nick Drake had a lovechild, he would be it. Other than the violence aspect, the main problem I had with Imprint is the story. I love the twist and the dark humor involved. Such bizarre matter lightened up other parts for me but things got pretty nonsensical at the end.

“Oh okay, here’s what happened…jk, that isn’t really what happened. For real though, here’s what happened.” Make up ya damn mind, Miike.

Glad I watched, beautiful photographically but I wouldn’t watch this again if you paid me because I’m a big baby.

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Can’t we just eat each other’s brains or something normal like that?

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Kirby Sweetman (Norman Reedus; Boondock Saints, American Gangster) is the owner of Vogue, a movie theater. Since going bankrupt, he finds himself deep in debt to his father-in-law who blames him for the death of his daughter. In order to pay back the debt, Kirby accepts a job from Mr. Bellinger, a rather eccentric film collector, to find an extremely rare film. The film in question is a horror movie called Le Fin Absolue De Monde (The Absolute End of the World). It was played only once at a film festival during which the audience reacted with extreme violence. Several homicides occurred that night in the theater, leaving the director, cast and crew and everyone else involved with the film dead. The only reels of the film were lost, and the film remained a secret too horrifying to tell.

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To be honest, this film scared the shit out of me. I was immediately sucked in as I am a fan of films which suggest evil with a form of art or objects. I found it to be reminiscent of The Ninth Gate, starring Johnny Depp in which he plays a similar role to Reedus, a literary enthusiast on the hunt for a rare book. I was intrigued by the stigma surrounding Le Fin Absolue De Monde, rather than the film itself. Throughout the film as Kirby tracks down contacts to learn more about it, there is a constant sense of ambiguity as no one seems to want to tell him the whole truth about the true evil the film possesses. As Kirby delves deeper into his search, he begins to see vivid and violent hallucinations, as well as “cigarette burns”. This term refers to cue marks shown during films to indicate to the projectionist that it is time to change the reel in order for the film to continue. You may have seen these before in the theater.

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Kirby managed to contact one of the last living people present at La Fin Absolue De Monde’s screening, a projectionist who’s life was only spared because he looked away as the film played. He described the incident, telling Kirby that he blacked out and woke up later to find his hand badly disfigured, with no recollection of why or how it happened. Like the others, he warns Kirby to end his search. However Kirby was beyond that, far too curious to stop. Throughout the rest of the film he experiences bloodshed and horrific incidents that force him to realize the meaning of his involvement in his endeavor.

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One of the best qualities of this film I believe is that not only is the the evil film deadly, but it affects anyone and everyone who has had any association with it, eventually leading to their certain death.

Though this film’s running time is only 57 minutes, it felt like much longer. I was pulled in and on the edge of my seat the entire time, and I was thoroughly impressed by it.

John Carpenter rulessss! Definitely a must-see.