“Masters of Horror” Series — I hate you

The first time I encountered this series is when Pete came out here and recommended that we watch John Carpenter’s piece for it, Cigarette Burns.

It was at least a decent story, and rather atmospheric — not the best but not totally sucky.

Oh, have I been disappointed since.

The next outing I attempted was “We all Scream”:

Movie Cover

I had high hopes for it. Directed by Tom Holland, of Fright Night and Child’s Play fame, it also featured William Forsythe, whose acting I’ve enjoyed since Devil’s Rejects, though he’s been around even longer than that (I can vaguely remember seeing him in the Rock and in a few of his minor roles on TV. I had high, high hopes for this flick — I thought it might be a creep fest — scary ice cream clown like guy, lots of brainwashed, sugar freaked children . . . I was totally, totally wrong. In fact, the story was so dull, I didn’t even want to keep up with it, I just wanted it . . . to be over.

I couldn’t point to one particular malady — it wasn’t JUST the plot, JUST the acting, or JUST the directing. It wasn’t JUST the small budget — I’ve enjoyed films with less of a budget, plot, acting, or directing ability before. It was all of these things combined into a plodding trip into childhood.

Man, they even had a leg up — like most Gen-Xers, I’m not a really big fan of clowns. I’ve been introduced to the creepy likes of the following:

Pennywise,

that creepy clown doll from Poltergeist
Creepy Doll

And, of course, the master of them all, John Wayne Gacy.
Killer Klown from Earth

But this clown?

Buster, We All Scream

Eh, not so much.
It’s one of the few DVD’s we actually sold back. (Notice I didn’t mention Heath Ledger as the Joker because it hadn’t happened yet, but that’s gonna be another reason Gen X-ers hate clowns).

Fast forward to last night, when I finally had the opportunity to see the entry by Tobe Hopper, called Dance of the dead.

Dance of the Dead Cover

Just listen to the credits on this thing. Er, read. We have Tobe Hooper at the helm, best known for Texas Chainsaw Massacre. I loved TCM. I have the first and second sitting on my shelf along with the remakes. Good creepy horror. So far, so good. Then there’s Richard Christian Matheson, son of Richard Matheson (I am Legend) writing. Good, good. Billy Corgan of Smashing Pumpkins doing the music. Rock.

So what happened?

I don’t even know where to start. Robert Englund cheesing it up, trying to be licentious, and instead coming off smarmy and decidedly un-scary. Then there’s the strobe lights and weird edits. The dialog was out and out laughable, with ‘great’ lines like “I’m gonna make this right!” and “You got something ugly inside of you and it wants out. I don’t want to be around when it starts hissing.” I guess it got in one good quote, “Pain transforms sensitives into cynics,” but other than that an absolute no-go on the dialog.

Most of the time, this film (it felt like two hours, and it was only one) left myself and Darren feeling like we had no idea what was going on, and the only reason we CARED, vaguely, about what was going on is that we spent Microsoft points on this tragedy.

It tried to be a zombie film, I suppose, in that dead people were dancing on stage, injected with infected blood and being prodded with cattle prods by half naked women.

Sigh. That’s not a zombie movie. That’s a short clip made for teenage boys who want to see some tits. Just sad. Go watch Skinemax. Don’t mess up horror with this tripe.

I just can’t do it. I can’t watch anymore of these things, hoping to see awesome short films for directors and instead have everything that I hate about my precious horror films paraded in front of me.

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