Masters of Horror: Complete Season Two
One of the truly great formats for a television show is the anthology series. Since each week presents a completely different story the series can remain fresh no matter how long it runs. Some of the most famous series on television have used this format; just look at ‘CSB Playhouse’, ‘The Twilight Zone’ and ‘the Outer Limits’. Showtime has picked up on the trend and taken it to new heights. Since 2005 they have been airing ‘Masters of Horror’. Many series have deceptive titles but this one tells it straight out. It gathers some of the best directors and writers in the horror genre and lets them produce an hour long tale of terror. As with all series like this you are bound to find some episodes are mediocre while others will become instant favorites. The DVD releases are all from Anchor Bay / Starz. Initially they released individual episodes to make it easier to pick and choose the ones you really want. Ultimately they released a full fourteen disc complete season one box set and a Blu-ray version in four separate volumes. Now the time has come for pretty much the same thing for season two. There are nine episode releases already out but now there is a full season two set with all 13 episodes on eleven discs.
The Damned Thing
The writer of this episode is the son of another master of horror and science fiction, Richard Matherson, the writer of ‘I am Legend’. Kevin (Sean Patrick Flanery) is a sheriff in a small town. Years ago his father mysteriously went crazy and killed his mother and then disemboweled himself. Now Kevin is paranoid that what ever drove his father insane is coming for him. He has a vast number of security devices and cameras all over his house. His wife, Dina (Marisa Coughlan) becomes fed up and wants to leave with their son. Soon, Kevin realizes that the thing is after him.
This is one of the more dark comedy slanted episodes. A couple, David (Matt Keeslar) and his beautiful wife Celia (Meredith Monroe) have just moved into a quite neighborhood. Their neighbor across the street, Harold (George Wendt) seems like a nice enough man but he insists on being left alone. When then accidentially crash into his mailbox they insist he come over for dinner. It turns out that harmless looking Harold is a serial killer who boils the flesh off his victims and makes a ‘family’ for himself with the bones. This is one that is only available in the full season set.
The V Word
Two teenaged boys, Kerry (Arjay Smith) and Justin (Branden Nadon) break into a mortuary for a prank. There they encounter the caretaker, Mr. Chaney (Michael Ironside) who turns out to be a vampire. One is killed and the survivor must decide on whether he becomes the next meal or join the ranks of the undead.
Larry Pearce (Chris Bauer) wants little more than to live a quiet life. He works as a quality control supervisor for a computer support firm, monitoring the calls made to the technicians. If Larry thinks a tech is about to loose his cool he terminates the call. He also is responsible for keeping the calls short, to the point and profitable. Not long before the episode begins Larry and his wife Brenda (Laura Margolis) lost their son Michael (Nicholas Elia) in an accident. Since then Larry has become more sullen and withdrawn while Brenda is obsessed with getting pregnant. Larry starts to notice just how loud sounds have been lately. Even the most insignificant sounds are perceived by Larry as booming noise. Larry has always had good hearing but now he can hear the whispers of co-workers behind his back. The beep of the smoke alarm at home is a horrible siren and his wife’s knitting is sounds to him like metal rods in a factory.
This is another episode that is only available with the full season set. Angelique (Caitlin Wachs) was raped by a demon. Her father Dwayne (Ron Perlman) and three brothers take her to a clinic to have the pregnancy terminated. The head of the clinic, Dr. Kiefer (Bill Dow) and his nurse, Kim (Emmanuelle Vaugier) find themselves in a battle not only with the girl’s family but the demonic father.
This episode is only available on the full season set. Jake Feldman (Meat Loaf) is a fur trader looking for raccoon pelts. His plan is to make a fur coat for a dance at a local bar, Shanna (Ellen Ewusie). He is a man so you can guess what his intentions actually are. Considering this is a horror story people wind up dead.
The Screwfly Solution
This episode is only available with the full season set. In the near future a virus infects the male population of the world turning them into psychotic, violent murderers. Anne Alstein (Kerry Norton) notices that the violence is targeting women. Her husband Alan (Jason Priestley) and his partner Barney (Elliot Gould) are working on a solution to the problem. They begin to undercover the true nature of the epidemic but all too late.
Valerie on the Stairs
Rob Hanisey (Tyron Leitso) is a writer, or at least he is trying to become one. They only mail he gets besides overdue bills are rejection notices. His life seems to be ready to turn around when he is accepted to live in the Highberger House, a place for struggling writers who can stay until their first work is published. There he meets Valerie (Clare Grant) who appears and asks for his help. Soon dead bodies are around him and Rob realizes that things are not what they seem.
Right to Die
A man, Cliff Addison (Martin Donovan) is in a car accident with his wife Abby (Julia Anderson). She is left in a coma and Cliff has the most difficult decision to make, whether or not to pull the plug and let go of her. He has the doctors disconnect Abby but her spirit lives and wages a vendetta against Cliff.
We All Scream for Ice Cream
Kent (Brent Sheppard) is a father looking out for his son. The boy wants to eat some ice cream but dad is strictly against it telling him that it is no good for him. The boy eats it and melts into a pool of ice cream. It turns out that years ago Kent was in on a childhood prank that resulted in the death of the local ice cream vendor. Now the ghost of the man is out for revenge.
The Black Cat
The story has the great horror author Edgar Allan Poe (Jeffrey Combs) suffering from writer's block and short on cash, tormented by a black cat that will either destroy his life or inspire him to write one of his most famous stories.
Mike Franks (Johnathon Schaech) has just inherited an old southern house from his recently deceased grandmother. He decides to take his wife, Pam (Venus Terzo) and their ten year old daughter Amy (Julia Tortolano) to visit the home as he works out the probate. When they get there they are greeted by an elderly man, Sam (Myron Natwick) who despite his affected southern charm is very creepy indeed. Amy is a very easily frightened child, just about scared of her own shadow. Trying to prove to herself that she is brave she ventures down to the basement and is frightened by a face in the shadows. The parents rush in to see that it is only a painting of George Washington. It fails to the floor and rips slightly revealing something behind the canvas. It is a letter, presumably written by Washington himself, detailing the fact that he was a cannibal.
Jack Miller (Daniel Gillies), an American lawyer working in Tokyo, has fallen in love with Yuri (Yoshino Kimura), the wife of his most valued client, Eiji (Ryo Ishibashi). Despite Jack's deep-rooted fear of the sea due to an accident that killed his brother. Jack finds out that destiny awaits and it is not good.
This is horror at its best and a must have for any serious fan of the genre. The four episodes not available in single disc releases are on a dual sided DVD. All of the others are the same as the single disc releases including episode specific extras. The discs are packaged in a little human skull. You pull off the top and the discs are there. You have to be careful since this means of packaging is prone to scratching the discs. Overall this is one to get.