Home > Masters of Horror Reviews Part 5
John Carpenter’s Pro-Life (John Carpenter): Two people on their way to work at an abortion clinic nearly hit a young woman who runs out in front their car. They take her to the clinic to make sure she’s all right, when her father (Ron Perlman) pulls up outside their clinic. He’s a long-time opponent of abortion they have a court-order against for his previous threats against. Inside, they check on the girl to make sure she wasn’t injured when she fell on the road and discover she’s several months pregnant…and fifteen. Questioned further, she says she was raped a week prior. The doctors conclude she’s in shock and has disassociated from the trauma because it was her father, who she was running from when they nearly hit her. Outside, the girl’s father plans to get into the clinic to get his daughter back and with her child safely inside her at all costs. There is some SERIOUS body squick happening in this one and some of the acting is beyond wooden to quick-dry cement. And the special effects? Yes. They are, indeed, ‘special’. 5/10
Pelts (Dario Argento): Meatloaf plays a man who makes things out of the skins of animals. He also has a thing for a particular stripper who isn’t interested. Meanwhile, his suppliers have found some raccoon pelts that are spectacular, if uncannily similar. They had to go to a part of the wood that’s supposed to be cursed to get them, but they got them without incident, so they’re home-free. But if there’s one thing I’ve learned from movies it’s that you NEVER takes things from cursed parts of forests. FAR too much up-close gore for my taste. It’s called a wide- angle lens, folks. [On the other hand, if you’re into up-close gore, you’ll love this one.] Based on a short story by F. Paul Wilson. If you like gore it’s a 9/10 if you don’t it’s a 5/10 at best.
The Screwfly Solution (Joe Dante): An airborne virus is causing men to murder women, their homicidal impulses triggered by sexual arousal. The men use religious reasons for their hatred of women, and watch a lot of violent horror films. Two scientists (Jason Priestley and Elliot Gould) work out that they can block the rages by chemical castration, but of course, most men won’t do this, so the female population is quickly diminished. No one knows who is doing this, let alone why or how. Priestly tells his wife and daughter to go north, as the virus seems to be staying in the southern part of the country. As with wind-borne anything, though, eventually it makes its way worldwide and if a woman wants to survive she has to go to greater lengths. Based on the short story by Alice Sheldon/James Tiptree Jr, this is probably the most straight up science-fiction-y of the entire series and could be a little heavy-handed but it wasn’t as bad as Dante’s previous offering in the first series, Homecoming. 7/10
Valerie on the Stairs (Mick Garris): A young man has been accepted at a house for unpublished writers. His room became free when the previous tenant committed suicide, distraught over the number of rejection slips for his most recent work. Our protagonist has just got out of a relationship and has decided ‘to hell with love’–he’s going to live his life through this stories. The problem is he writes horror stories. He begins seeing a woman on the stairs, asking for help and then she’s pulled away by something else–something humanoid but possibly demonic. Discussing what he’s seen one night with another tenant at the house, he learns something disturbing. It’s what you’d expect–sprawling house, faces in mirrors of people not there, are they all characters someone has made up or not, etc. One of the other writers in the house is Christopher Lloyd. Based on a story by Clive Barker. Classic line, though: ‘Everyone in this fucking place is fucking crazy!’ ‘Including you, young man! We’re writers!’ I’m giving this one an 9/10 for Lloyd and Barker. Most people will probably find it to be more of a 6 or 7. What can I say, I’m a sucker for films about writers.
Next week is the final instalment. See you then!