Masters of Horror

Everything About Fiction You Never Wanted to Know.
Jump to: navigation, search
24644360 5029.jpg

Masters of Horror was a Genre Anthology on Showtime, created by horror film director Mick Garris.

The idea sprung from a series of dinners that Garris had held with other horror film directors, and the satisfying experience and the directors' admiration of each other's works lead Garris to create this series in 2005. The basic idea was a series of one-hour films, each directed by a well-known horror director. The series featured contributions from directors as diverse as Dario Argento, Tobe Hooper, John Carpenter and Takashi Miike, and received wide critical acclaim.

The series ran for two seasons on Showtime. Fear Itself, another Genre Anthology in the same format and created by the same team, premiered on NBC in 2008, and was cancelled after its first season. Another similar show called Masters of Science Fiction (again from the same creators) premiered on ABC in 2007, but only ran six episodes before being cancelled. Masters of Italian Horror is also in the works, focusing solely on Italian directors. IDW Publishing is also adapting several of the episodes as comic books.

The episodes, in order of broadcast, and the tropes they contained were as follows:

Season One[edit | hide | hide all]

Incident On and Off a Mountain Road[edit | hide]

Directed by Don Coscarelli and based on a short story by Joe R. Lansdale. While driving in the night by a lonely mountain road, young Ellen (Bree Turner) suffers a car crash and comes across a deranged, monster-like Serial Killer nicknamed "Moonface" (John deSantis). In order to survive, Ellen must put in practice the lessons she received from her Crazy Survivalist husband Bruce (Ethan Embry).


Dreams in the Witch-House[edit | hide]

Directed by Stuart Gordon and based on a short story by H.P. Lovecraft. College student Walter Gillman (Ezra Godden) rents a room in a colonial house looking for a quiet environment wherein to study his grade on Quantum Mechanics. However, he soon begins to experience some weird and very vivid dreams till he is convinced that a 17th century witch wants him to sacrifice the baby of the woman next door (Chelah Horsdal).


Dance of the Dead[edit | hide]

Directed by Tobe Hooper and based In Name Only on a short story by Richard Matheson. Peggy (Jessica Lowndes) is a 17 year-old girl who lives with her overprotective mother Kate (Marylyn Norry) in a post-apocalyptic US Twenty Minutes Into the Future. Her father died in World War Three and her older sister Anna went missing some years after that. Shortly after meeting a teenage punk named Jak (Jonathan Tucker), Peggy ignores the advice of her mother and accompanies him to The Doom Room, a nightclub in the nearby town of Muskeet run by an eccentric manager known only as "the MC"(Robert Englund), where the main attraction is the so called Dance of the Dead.

  • After the End: The setting.
  • Fan Service: Many of the workers in The Doom Room go topless.
  • For Science!: Used as an apparent legal cover by the MC, as he likes to remind the audience before showing them some reanimated cadavers that his assistants make "dance" with electric shocks.
  • Heel Face Turn: Jak joins Peggy against the MC and helps her "rescue" her zombified sister Anna. Ironically, this act sets off the chain of events that ends with Peggy becoming one of the regulars at The Doom Room, and her dead mother becoming the Doom Room's newest "dancer".
  • Human Resources: Jak and his friends are blood harvesters, who steal fresh blood from hospitals (and occasionally from live people) and sell it to the MC.
  • Jerkass: Kate, hands down.
  • Large Ham: Robert Englund, a master of the trope.
  • My Beloved Smother: Kate.
  • My Nayme Is: Jak spells his name with no C.
  • Our Zombies Are Different: In this case, only vaguely reanimated corpses.
  • Phlebotinum Dependence: The Doom Room's zombie dancers need to be regularly injected with fresh blood in order to "dance", preferably from older people who are unlikely to have ever done drugs or have an STD. Additionally, the MC keeps a private stash of blood for his own purposes.
  • The Reveal: Kate, fed up with Anna's hard-partying lifestyle, allowed her to die of a drug overdose and sold her corpse to the MC. Trouble was, she wasn't quite dead when her mother sold her...
  • Twenty Minutes Into the Future
  • The Unfavorite: Anna.
  • Wretched Hive: Cruising down the main drag of Muskeet at night makes Dodge City look like Disneyland.


Jenifer[edit | hide]

Directed by Dario Argento and based on a comic by Bruce Jones and Bernie Wrightson. While parked with his partner for a different assignment, Detective Frank Spivey (Steven Weber) shoots a deranged homeless man as he is attempting to kill a gorgeous, but hideously disfigured and apparently mentally retarded woman, Jenifer (Carrie Fleming). When informed that she will be interned in a mental asylum, Frank takes pity of Jenifer and brings her home instead, something that his family doesn't take very well. It only gets worse after that, as Frank obsesses with Jenifer's body while she begins to show her true colors.

  • Adaptation Expansion: The last act of the episode includes a Hope Spot where Frank seems to be getting his life back on track only for Jenifer to ruin it again.
  • Boy Meets Ghoul: A quite brutal Deconstruction. Boy warms to Ghoul first out of pity, then becomes sexually obsessed with it. Ghoul pretends to love Boy to provide for it while Ghoul keeps murdering people.
  • Butter Face: The eponymous Jenifer, possibly to the point of exaggeration, in that her face looks downright monstrous while still having a model's body.
  • Evil Detecting Cat: A clear indication that Jenifer is evil is Frank's cat being terrified of her.
  • Fan Service: Everytime they show Jenifer's body.
  • Good People Have Good Sex: The first indication that Frank is becoming obsessed with Jenifer is when he can't stop fantasizing about her while having a bout of rough sex with his wife, which she clearly isn't enjoying.
  • Gorn: Jennifer's hunger fits.
  • Idiot Ball: Frank, when a lady eats your cat alive in front of you, it's time to kick her out of home.
  • Infant Immortality: Averted with the neighbourhood girl and Frank's cat.
  • Nightmare Face: Jenifer.
  • Stuffed Into the Fridge: Literally, although it wasn't somebody important to the main character.
  • Would Hurt a Child: Jenifer devours a little girl. This is when it finally gets too much for Frank.
  • Wounded Gazelle Gambit: This is how Jenifer attracts her new caretakers, by making it seem like the previous one is a deranged psychopath who tries to brutally murder a bound woman.


Chocolate[edit | hide]

Directed by Mick Garris and based on his own short story. Jamie (Henry Thomas) works in a laboratory that develops flavors for a food company. One day, he begins to suffer a series of apparent hallucinations until he realizes that he's actually living the experiences of a woman in another city as if they were his own.


Homecoming[edit | hide]

Directed by Joe Dante and based on a short story by Dale Bailey. America is fighting an unpopular war as the next presidential election is nearing. When confronted by the mother of a fallen soldier on live TV, David Murch (John Tenney), a publicity agent for the current government whose own brother was killed in Vietnam, declares his conviction that the fallen soldiers would support the war if given the choice to come back. Unfortunately for him, they're about to. And they don't.

  • Blonde Republican Sex Kitten: Jane Cleaver, played by Thea Gill.
  • Casual Kink: David's phone rings while he is having a BDSM session with Jane. He answers the phone, but she keeps whipping him a bit just to embarrass him in front of his boss.
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?: There are references to the Iraq War, Guantanamo and the 2000 Florida voting controversy.
  • Ghostly Goals: The undead soldiers only drop dead after being allowed to vote. They come back to life when the government decides to not consider their votes valid.
  • No Celebrities Were Harmed: President Shelly is an obvious stand-in for George W. Bush while Jane is a parody of Ann Coulter.
  • Our Zombies Are Different: Talking (though it hurts), fully conscious, can't be killed and do not want brains.
  • The Reveal: Philip didn't die in the war. He was killed at home by the infant David, who was playing with his gun.
  • Shell-Shocked Veteran: Philip and, arguably, several of the undead soldiers.
  • Strawman Political: Several characters, with Jane being the most notable.
  • The Vietnam War: David's older brother Philip fought on it though contrary to what he has always believed, he wasn't killed there.
  • War Is Hell: Invoked in the final line of the episode.
  • The War on Terror: Not directly named, but clearly set during it.
  • Writer on Board: Duh.
  • Zombie Apocalypse: Averted. The undead soldiers make it pretty clear they aren't mindless bodies there to eat people. They're entirely civilized (though a little grumpy for obvious reasons) and the only people they are shown killing did something to deserve it.


Deer Woman[edit | hide]

Directed by John Landis. In a small town, disgraced detective Dwight Faraday (Brian Benben) and his friend Officer Jacob Reed (Anthony Griffith) are given the opportunity to investigate a series of mysterious deaths where the victim was apparently trampled by an unknown animal. All the victims were male and were last seen while in company of a mysterious, beautiful Native American woman (Cinthya Moura).

Every other character, including his partner: Shut up, Fuchs!

  • Cute Mute: The Deer Woman (before she reveals her intentions).
  • Death by Sex: The Deer Woman's MO.
  • Fan Service: The Deer Woman always goes topless before she kills.
  • For the Evulz: Just like in the original legend, the Deer Woman kills horny men for absolutely no reason. This is lampshaded by Faraday when he is first introduced to the legend.
  • Gorn: The Deer Woman's victims, most notably when Faraday picks up what's left of the trucker's lower jaw at the beginning.
  • Half-Human Hybrid: The Deer Woman has the upper body of an attractive Native American woman, and the lower body of a deer.
  • Imagine Spot: In a particularely funny bit Faraday muses about the possible scenarios that could have resulted in the crime scene where the trucker got stamped into a bloody pile, one involving a skimpy girl beating the inexplicably helpless trucker to death with a fake deer leg ("...Stupid"), another the girl and the trucker being attacked by a Bambified deer ("...Retarded"), and the third the trucker being killed and the girl abducted by a humongous deer man ("...Fuck").
  • Magical Native American: Subverted. While the person that provides the clue to solving the mystery is a Native American, he's just a casino owner who thinks that the legend is stupid.
  • Mugging the Monster: The street robber who tries to hold up Faraday.
  • Native American Casino: Faraday and Reed go there on their off time, but actually manage to solve the mystery because one of the staff knows about the old legend.
  • Oh Crap: "Have you seen her feet?"
  • The Schlub Pub Seduction Deduction: The first indication to the Deer Woman's identity.
  • Shout-Out: Suspecting an incidence of animal transformation, Faraday cites the events of An American Werewolf in London, also directed by Landis, as a documented case.
  • Too Dumb to Live: Reed, knowing full well that there might be a mythological monster woman running around killing hapless men, doesn't bat an eye when a gorgeous, mute, girl whose feet he hasn't seen swoons over him, and wants to come back to his place with him. When Faraday calls him up and points this out he finally realizes, but it's already too late.


John Carpenter's Cigarette Burns[edit | hide]

Directed by John Carpenter. Kirby (Norman Reedus) is the owner of a run-down cinema whose girlfriend Annie (Zara Taylor) committed suicide recently. In order to pay a debt he owns to Annie's hateful father Walter (Gary Hetherington), Kirby accepts the request of excentric millionaire Bellinger (Udo Kier) to locate the only surviving copy of La Fin Absolue du Monde (The Absolute End of the World) for him, a film Shrouded in Myth that is said to be the ultimate Brown Note. It's sort of a contemporary version of William Chambers' anthology The King in Yellow.

  • Anti-Hero: Kirby.
  • Artifact of Death: La Fin Absolue du Monde. Pretty much anyone involved in the production died because of it, as do people who typically go after it.
  • Artifact of Doom: La Fin Absolue du Monde of course.
  • Blood Is the New Black:
    • Annie is covered head to toe in blood when she emerges out of the theater screen at the end.
    • Downplayed with Dalibor after he decapitates the taxi driver.
  • Brown Note: La Fin Absolue du Monde drives people crazy just from thinking too much about it.
  • Dead Little Sister: Annie, Kirby’s dead girlfriend. She killed herself for reasons that are never quite explained, but her copious drug abuse seemed to have sent her in a downward spiral.
  • Decapitation Presentation: Dalibor creates a Snuff Film by filming himself decapitating Kirby's taxi driver right in front of Kirby, and presenting the severed head to him.
  • Driven to Suicide:
    • Annie killed herself years before by slicing her own wrists in the bathtub.
    • Kirby later Ate His Gun under the effects of La Fin Absolue Du Monde.
    • Bellinger, who cuts out his small intestines and inserts them into a film projector. We don't see him breathe out his last breath, but not much else could have come of it.
  • Eye Scream: Bellinger's butler cuts out his own eyes after seeing the film.
  • Gorn: Quite possibly the most Carpenter has ever put into a single feature since The Thing.
  • I'm a Humanitarian: When the film is presented at the end, Annie emerges out of the theater screen. Her father comforts her, but she's "hungry", and takes a bite out of his neck. It's a hallucination.
  • Jerkass Has a Point: Annie's father. Kirby treats him like an unreasonable jerkass, but Kirby did get his daughter killed by indulging her drug habit, abysmally failed to get her on the right track despite agreeing with him to do so, is still massively in debt to him, and just evades him whenever the topic of repaying the loan comes up. It's only when he resolves to kill Kirby that he crosses the line into outright villainy.
  • Kill'Em All: The only characters to survive are Kirby's theatre assistant, Bakovic's widow, and Henri, none of whom were present at the climax.
  • Only in It For the Money: The search for La Fin Absolue du Monde starts out as this for Kirby, to pay off his enormous debts. Later on he becomes increasingly obsessed with the film itself.
  • Our Angels Are Different: In this case, angels are corporeal creatures and can be tortured, and the one seen in the episode is quite uglier than one would expect at first. It's heavily implied that the film's evil is the result of documenting the desecration of said angel.
  • Snuff Film: Dalibor, one of the persons visited by Kirby while searching for the film is a Snuff director, while La Fin Absolue du Monde features the torture of an angel.
  • Shout-Out: The film playing at Kirby's cinema is Dario Argento's Deep Red.
  • Shrouded in Myth: The movie itself.


The Fair-Haired Child[edit | hide]

Directed by William Malone. 13-year-old Tara (Lindsay Pulsipher) is kidnapped by a couple of retired musicians, Anton (William Samples) and Judith (Lori Petty), and imprisoned in their run-down basement. While in there, she learns that she is to be sacrificed as part of a Deal with the Devil in exchange of resuscitating the couple's teenage son, Johnny (Jesse Hadock).


Sick Girl[edit | hide]

Originally going to be directed by Roger Corman, who was later replaced by Lucky McKee, and based on the short story The Feather Pillow by Horacio Quiroga. Shy Dr. Ida Teeter (Angela Bettis) is a lesbian entomologist that can't find a companion that also shares (or merely tolerates) her love for bugs before she meets the weird artist Misty Falls (Misty Mundae). Unfortunately, Ida also receives that same day a package from Brazil containing a newly-discovered insect that parasites warm-blooded animals. Hilarity Ensues.


Pick Me Up[edit | hide]

Directed by Larry Cohen and based on a short story by David J. Schow. A bus containing a small number of passengers breaks down in the middle of nowhere. They are soon visited by a trucker, Wheeler (Michael Moriarty) and a hitchhiker, Walker (Warren Kole). Both of them are serial killers. When the passengers are reduced to only one left, Stacia (Fairuza Balk), the hunt also becomes a feud between the two.

  • Actor Allusion: Wheeler claims to be a cop and to have served in New York years ago.
  • Breaking the Fourth Wall: Stacia, near the end.
  • Diabolus Ex Machina: Just after causing a road accident and getting rid of Walker and Wheeler, Stacia is picked up by two paramedics who turn out to also be serial killers themselves.
  • Evil Versus Evil: A serial killer versus another serial killer, perfectly fitting each other's MOS. Subverted later on when they decide to work together.
  • Fate Worse Than Death: Marie.
  • Gorn: "You sure are more confortable without all those clothes... and all that skin..."
  • Improvised Weapon: Walker strangulates a person with a dead snake and Wheeler decapitates another with the door of the bus' suitcase compartment.
  • Karmic Death: Walker and Wheeler become the victims of two other serial killers.
  • Meaningful Name: Walker and Wheeler.
  • Properly Paranoid: Marie's first thought about Walker and Wheeler is that they are serial killers. She's right. Ironically, both of them decide not to kill her... but leave her tied to a tree with barbed wire in the middle of nowhere instead.
  • Serial Killer: The drifter and the truck driver.


Haeckel's Tale[edit | hide]

Directed by John McNaughton and based on a short story by Clive Barker. At the end of the 19th century, a man who has just lost his wife comes to the house of Miss Carnation, the Necromancer (Micki Maunsell) and begs her to take his love Back from the Dead. She hesitates, but at his insistence she proposes to revive her if he still wants her to do so after hearing the tale of medicine student Ernst Haeckel (Derek Cecil), that happened 50 years before.


Imprint[edit | hide]

Directed by Takashi Miike and based on a novel by Shimako Iwai. In 19th century Japan, an American journalist named Christopher (Billy Drago) arrives at a remote island looking for Komomo (Michie), a woman he's in love with that was sold to a brothel by her adoptive family. While in there he comes across a disfigured prostitute (Youki Kudoh) that tells him the story of her life. This episode was filmed in Japan by Kadokawa Pictures and was never broadcast unedited due to its ridiculously high Brain Bleach quotient.

  • Bad Boss: The madame.
  • Big Guy, Little Guy: The disfigured prostitute's siamese "sister" is clearly the one in charge.
  • Big Screwed-Up Family: The nicest thing to say about the disfigured prostitute's one.
  • Blood From the Mouth: The disfigured prostitute's father.
  • Body Horror: The disfigured prostitute's "sister".
  • Brain Bleach: From beginning to end.
  • Brother-Sister Incest: The disfigured prostitute's parents were sibblings. Christopher also had a relationship with his younger sister.
  • Cold-Blooded Torture: Inflicted on Komomo after she is falsely accused of robbing a ring.
  • Color Coded for Your Convenience: The disfigured prostitute has blue hair and clothes, the other prostitutes red, and the madame greenish-black.
  • Creator Cameo: Watch for Shimako Iwai, writer of the original novel. She plays the torturer.
  • Dead Little Sister: Christopher's little sister, who was apparently abused and killed by him.
  • Driven to Suicide: The disfigured prostitute claims first that this was what happened to Komomo. After Christopher says he doesn't believe her, she admits that she actually killed Komomo (and was also the one that made the robbery and falsely accused her in the first place).
  • Fingore: Done to Komomo. With needles.
  • Glasgow Grin: The disfigured prostitute has half of one as a result of a genetic defect.
  • Gray and Gray Morality: The only character that is good in the episode is Komomo, and she is dead before it begins.
  • Imperial Japan: The setting.
  • Made a Slave: All the women (in particular, the disfigured prostitute was sold to a brothel by her mother).
  • No Name Given: The disfigured prostitute, who is only credited as "woman".
  • Translation Convention: Unlike second season's Dream Cruise, this episode was filmed in English but with all the characters presumed to speak Japanese the entire time. Christopher is first though to be Dutch, in fact[1].
  • Wretched Hive: The remote island is "only inhabited by demons and whores".
  • You Gotta Have Blue Hair: a few scenes depicting the disfigured girl have her with dark blue hair, especially noticeable in her childhood.


Season Two[edit | hide]

The Damned Thing[edit | hide]

Directed by Tobe Hooper and based on a short story by Ambrose Bierce. In 1981 a peaceful family man resident in a small Texan town went crazy the night of his 40th brithday and killed his wife before being killed himself by an invisible force. Twenty four years later his still traumatized son Kevin (Sean Patrick Flannery) is sheriff of the same town and nearing 40 himself when the same unknown force seems to appear again and turn his fellow countrymen against each other.


Family[edit | hide]

Directed by John Landis. On the surface, Harold (George Wendt) is a friendly man that lives alone in a quiet Midwestern neighborhood. But underneath, he's a crazed Serial Killer obsessed with forming the perfect "family"... and he has set his eyes on the new young couple, the Fullers (Meredith Monroe and Matt Kesslar) that has moved across the street.

  • Action Girl: Celia Fuller.
  • Batman Gambit: Everything the Fullers made was part of a plan to capture Harold.
  • The Bait: Celia.
  • Chekhov's Skill: The Fullers' professions.
  • Dead Little Sister: The Fullers lost their first daughter.
  • Evilly Affable: Harold.
  • Fate Worse Than Death: The Fullers keep Harold alive for two weeks, torturing him from beginning to end before they kill him.
  • Imagine Spot: Harold has several when he talks to Celia. He also has full conversations with his "family".
    • Fridge Brilliance: It's possible that he wasn't imagining the scenes with Celia. Think about it: the Fullers already knew Harold was a serial killer. They wanted to catch him in the act so they could find out what he had done with their daughter's body. So Celia was actually flirting with him, as a way of baiting him so that he'd try going after her next.
  • Mommy Issues: Harold.
  • Replacement Goldfish: The Fullers argue if they should have another child, while Harold sees Celia as a better "wife" than the one he has now.
  • The Reveal: The Fuller's daughter didn't die of cancer. She was Sarah, the little girl that Harold "adopted". Everything they did was part of a plan to capture Harold and unleash their bloody vengeance.
  • Screw Politeness, I'm a Senior!: Harold's "mom" during one Imagine Spot.
  • Serial Killer: Harold.
  • Stepford Suburbia: Harold's home.
  • Villain Protagonist: Harold.


The V Word[edit | hide]

Directed by Ernest R. Dickerson. Two bored teenagers, Kerry (Arjay Smith) and Justin (Branden Nadon), sneak into a morgue one night and are attacked by a vampire, Mr. Chaney (Michael Ironside).

Justin: "How'd you get like this? You bite the wrong dick or something?"
Mr. Cheney: "Or something."

Mr. Chaney: Anyway, he told me that your dad was a mean, evil, bastard, that he was a... (to Kerry) what'd you call him? Ah, a dickface! Yes, a dickface, how wonderful."

  • What Do You Mean Its Not Symbolic: Justin commits suicide by exposing himself to the sun while being strapped to a cross-shaped table. His last words are in fact "God, make it stop soon".
  • You Will Be Spared: Justin refuses to feed on his family, and makes Kerry promise he will stay away from them too.


Sounds Like[edit | hide]

Directed by Brad Anderson, the director of Session9 and The Machinist, and based on a short story by Mike O'Driscoll. Larry Pearce (Chris Bauer) is a supervisor in a tech support company that begins to descend into madness as his fine sense of hearing only gets better.

  • Be Careful What You Wish For: "Please! Make it stop!"
  • Blessed with Suck: Larry's superhearing makes him discover that his son has a cardiac affliction, but only too late to save him; it also makes him better at his job, but not good enough to meet his boss' expectations, while his subordinates hate him for it; and finally, it drives him crazy as it just keeps getting better, and better, and better...
  • Dead Little Sister: Larry's dead little son.
  • Jerkass: Larry comes as this several times.
  • Meaningful Name: Larry Pearce. And, yes, it's pronounced "pierce". As in "ear-piercing".
  • Mistaken for Gay: In a total break with his usual character, Larry acts too friendly to one new employee that he sees as a Replacement Goldfish for his son. The employee is creeped and resigns the next day.
  • The Nothing After Death: Larry's main source of angst is that while he only keeps hearing better and better he never manages to hear his son's ghost
  • Sinister Scraping Sound: After a while, literally everything.
  • Workaholic: Larry, to the point of refusing a leave when his son dies. He also keeps mentioning stuff from work when talking to his wife.


John Carpenter's Pro-Life[edit | hide]

Directed by John Carpenter. 15 year-old Angelique Burcell (Caitlin Wachs) arrives at a remote abortion clinic convinced that she is pregnant with the spawn of the Devil. Shortly after, her Christian fundamentalist father Dwayne (Ron Perlman) and three brothers come with the intention of getting her out and stopping the abortion at any cost.


Pelts[edit | hide]

Directed by Dario Argento and based on a short story by F. Paul Wilson. Sleazy small time fur trader Jake Feldman (Meat Loaf) gets his hands on some priceless raccoon pelts that might be his ticket to win a fortune and with it the attention of sexy stripper Shanna (Ellen Ewusie). Too bad the furs are not just priceless, but cursed...

  • Artifact of Death: The raccoon pelts.
  • Attempted Rape: Feldman tries to rape Shanna in their first scene together.
  • Batter Up: Jeb teaches Larry to kill the raccoons this way. Then Larry kills Jeb in the same manner.
  • Bear Trap: Used by Larry to commit suicide. Head first..
  • Bigger Is Better in Bed: Averted. Shanna claims to have been hurt by Feldman's size when they finally get together. Then again, he might also have done it in a rather uncomfortable place rather abruptly and without any lubricant.
  • Billing Displacement: John Saxon gets top billing along Meat Loaf on the DVD cover, despite playing a very minor character.
  • Bi the Way: Shanna.
  • Blood Is the New Black:
    • Larry Jameson isn't all that disturbed about all the blood on his face and arms.
    • Feldman, the twist being that it is all his own blood. He skinned himself, leavin his insided open.
  • Disproportionate Retribution: Either this or Karmic Death depending on whether you belong to the "Fur is Murder" crowd or not.
  • Ethnic Menial Labor: Feldman's workshop is staffed by exactly one Hispanic employee and a lot of Chinese women.
  • Freudian Slip:

Feldman: I've gotta find something sharp.
Shanna: What?
Feldman: I've gotta freshen up.


The Screwfly Solution[edit | hide]

Directed by Joe Dante and based on a short story by James Tiptree Jr.. A Michigan family tries to survive while a pandemic of unknown origin expands through the world turning the male population into woman-murdering psychopaths.

  • Alien Invasion: It is revealed in the end that the plague was engineered by glowing aliens presumably as part of a plan to take over Earth without actually having to fight for it.
  • All Men Are Perverts: The plague explicitely switches the men's sexual urges to violent ones. The only way for men to resist it is by different types of castration (chemical and actual, to be specific). Once all the women are dead they turn their attention to the younger boys with a man shrugging off the fact that he murdered his teenage son.
  • Fan Service: The sex scenes and the strip club.
  • The End of the World as We Know It: Firmly on its way by the end. By December all women on the planet are either dead or dying, leaving the men to slowly die off one by one.
  • Gendercide: Of the women.
  • Hate Plague: A male-centered one, engineered by aliens.
  • Human Resources: Anne, disguised as a man, reveals herself to the male clients of a hunting shop when she can't hide her horror at looking at a bag made out of a woman's breast. This prompts the men to go after her.
  • Instant Marksman, Just Squeeze Trigger: Used completely straight, as a mother trains her daughter to fire a gun.
  • Neck Snap: Used by a male flight assistant to "control" a scared woman.
  • Not Himself: Anne's husband after he becomes infected. Defied with Barney, who chemically castrated himself to prevent this.
  • No Woman's Land: Quite literally in the "liberated" areas of the world.
  • Religion of Evil: The Sons of Adam.
  • Shout-Out: In one scene, a group of test subjects is shown different types of porn to investigate the development of the disease. The violent porn movie is actually footage from season one's Imprint, an episode that was censored from broadcast in the US.
  • Sinister Minister: The priest in the Canadian hospital.
  • Sweet Polly Oliver: Anne disguises herself as a man to prevent being murdered on sight by the next infected man.
  • Too Dumb to Live: Amy is oblivious to the situation from beginning to end, to the point of abandoning her mother in the forest to come back to her already deranged father, who promptly murders her.


Valerie on the Stairs[edit | hide]

Directed by Mick Garris and based on a short story by Clive Barker. Rob Hanisey (Tyron Leitso) is a young man just gone through a terrible break up that is struggling to publish his first novel when he is accepted in the Highberger House for aspiring writers. Soon after moving there, he begins to have repeated encounters with a mysterious woman, Valerie (Clare Grant), who pleads him to save her from the demon-like creature known as The Beast (Tony Todd). However, none of the other residents believe him and think that he's just crazy... although a small group led by the oldest resident, Everett Neely (Christopher Lloyd), seems to know more than they say.


Right to Die[edit | hide]

Directed by Rob Schmidt. The marriage of Cliff Addison (Martin Donovan) and his wife Abbey (Julia Benson) is going through dire times when the couple suffers a dramatic car accident. Cliff only gets minor wounds but Abbey is burned alive completely, losing all her skin and senses and falling into a coma. Resolute to end his wife's suffering, Cliff decides to disconnect Abbey's life support, only to discover that her ghost has come back with a vengeance.


We All Scream for Ice Cream[edit | hide]

Directed by |Tom Holland and based on a short story by John Farris. Layne (Lee Tergesen) returns to his childhood neighbourhood just as his former friends begin to disappear one by one, leaving nothing but their clothes soaked in a milky substance. The reason seems to be linked to an ice cream delivery clown, Buster (William Forsythe), who died around that time.


The Black Cat[edit | hide]

Directed by Stuart Gordon and based on a short story by Edgar Allan Poe. Set in Philadelphia around 1840, Edgar Allan Poe (Jeffrey Combs) is going through a bad case of Writer's Block as he begins to hit the bottle more than usual and his young wife Virginia (Elyse Levesque) caughts tuberculosis. To make things worse, their pet black cat Pluto begins to act a lot meaner than usual.


The Washingtonians[edit | hide]

Directed by Peter Medak and based on a short story by Bentley Little. Mike Franks (Johnathon Schaech) moves with his family into his late grandmother's house in rural Virginia. There he finds an ancient portrait of George Washington, and hiding behind it a fork made of human bone and a letter where the first president of the United States declares his love for eating children. Soon they are the target of The Washingtonians, a secret society devoted to keep alive and hidden the "tradition" set by their founder father.


Dream Cruise[edit | hide]

Directed by Norio Tsuruta and based on a short story by Koji Suzuki. Jack Miller (Daniel Gillies) is an American lawyer in Tokyo who is deadly afraid of water and has recurrent nightmares about the death of his brother Sean by drowning when they were children. He also has an affair with Yuri Saito (Yoshino Kimura), the wife of his colleague Eiji (Ryo Ishibashi). When Eiji invites Jack to a cruise on his yacht, he finds soon that Eiji already knows about the affair, but that's not the biggest of his and Yuri's problems.

  • Can You Hear Me Now?: One of the first signs that something's wrong is that the yacht's radio stops working.
  • Dark Is Not Evil: Jack's undead brother only wants to protect him from the actual vengeful ghost he stumbles upon later.
  • Drowning Pit: Yuri is trapped in the yacht's bathroom as it fills with water.
  • The Reveal: The vengeful female ghost was Eiji's first wife. He murdered her in that same spot of the sea, haunting it ever since.
  • Translation Convention: Averted. The Japanese characters only speak Japanese between themselves.
  • Undead Child: Sean.
  • Walking on Water: The ghost near the end.
  • Your Cheating Heart: Yuri cheats on Eiji, while Eiji cheated on his first wife and killed her before marrying Yuri.
  1. The story is set shortly after the end of Japan's Sakoku period, when the only Western traders allowed were Dutch