Autodidact: self-taught


Masters of Horror Reviews Part 6

by V. L. Craven

Masters of Horror Wallpaper

And here we are at the final instalment of the Masters of Horrors reviews. I hope you’ve enjoyed the last five weeks as much as I have. Previous reviews are here, here, here, here, and here.

Right to Die (Rob Schmidt): A married couple are in a car accident. The man (Martin Donovan) walks away, but his wife, Abby, is badly burned. He feels she wouldn’t want to live in that state and consults his attorney & friend (Corbin Bernsen). Just before the accident, Donovan’s wife caught him in an affair in a rather humiliating way and this causes him an enormous amount of guilt. He also begins having disturbing dreams about his wife. Terrified, he calls Bernsen, asking if it could be her soul haunting him. Bernsen responds, ‘What do I know about souls, I’m a lawyer?’ (Ha!) When the wife’s mother learns of Donovan’s plan she decides to paint her son-in-law as a horrible person to the press, as she wants the settlement likely to come from the airbag manufacturer (it was their fault she died). One of the better ones of the series. 8/10

I said I wanted the MILD sauce

I said I wanted the MILD sauce

We All Scream for Ice Scream (Tom Holland): Lee Tergersen was really wasted in this one. It’s based on a short story by John Farris, which was probably frightening on the page but just looks silly on screen. Some kids tortured a clown who drove an ice cream truck–the guy died during a prank, his ghost came back when they were adults and killed them. With ice cream. As ridiculous as that sounds it’s worse on screen. I give this zero stars because Tergersen shouldn’t be asked to be in something so lame. 1/10

'See, my agent and I had an argument...then he sent me this script...'

‘See, my agent and I had an argument…then he sent me this script…’

The Black Cat (Stuart Gordon): Don’t mess with my dear Eddie. There’s some debate as to whether or not Poe and his wife/cousin ever had sex but within the first two minutes the characters were kissing passionately. Poe (Jeffrey Combs) is trying to sell poetry, and failing, as people want his stories like ‘Tell-Tale Heart’. He promises a new story and gets an advance, which is promptly drinks away. Upon his return home, he’s met by his wife trying to sell her piano. She has a terrible bout of the TB then and there and the doctor tells him that nothing should be allowed to upset her. At the start they have a bird, a fish and a cat, Pluto. Like in the story, the menagerie is whittled down to the cat. Then Sissy dies and Poe blames Pluto. There are common themes of Poe’s–death of a beautiful woman, supposed-but-not-actual death, madness out of sanity. They had to change some aspects of the story for the movie and it made no sense whatsoever except, ‘if that didn’t happen, we wouldn’t have an ending.’ I would be interested in hearing what other Poe fans thought of it. Poe fans who aren’t masochists can skip it. Even non-Poe fans would still give it a 5/10.

I know how you feel, Sissy.

I know how you feel, Sissy.

The Washingtonians (Peter Medak): A couple and their daughter visit the husband’s grandmother’s house after she dies. Upon looking through the place, he (Johnathon Schaech) finds a letter supposedly written by George Washington but sounding more like something Ed Gein would come up with. The Founding Fathers were cannibals? Really? That’s what we’re doing now? This has got out of control. I swear, it’s like they saved the worst ones for the final few. Based on a story by Bentley Little. Spare yourself. 1/10.

Are those middle fingers? They should be.

Are those middle fingers? They should be.

Dream Cruise (Norio Tsuruta): As with the final episode of the first series, this one is by a Japanese director. And it has the classic Japanese elements: Someone dies tragically, their creepy ghost haunts the person with them when they died. In this case, a man in his late 20s/early 30s, Jack, is having nightmares about a childhood friend who drowned during a boating accident. He’s summoned to a business meeting at a restaurant and runs into a woman he’s having an affair with–the wife of the client who summoned him. The client wants to have their conversation on his boat, on the ocean. Jack explains his fear of the ocean, but the client, Eiji, insists. It becomes apparent that Eiji suspects (or knows) something is going on between Jack and his wife, Yuri and he takes them out further to sea rather than back to land. There are some are-they-are-they-not dead moments and ghosts and possessions, you know, good ol’ Japanese funtimes. Based on the short story by Koji Suzuki. At least the series went out on a somewhat high note. 7/10.

I don't know if you're a ghost, but I'm going to kill you anyway...

I don’t know if you’re a ghost, but I’m going to kill you anyway…

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