It’s psycho serial killer versus psycho serial killer in this thoroughly enjoyable episode of Masters of Horror. ‘Pick Me Up opens with a bus broken down on the side of the road in the middle of nowhere. One passenger, Stacia (Fairuza Balk – remember The Craft?), decides to walk to the nearest bit of civilisation while two others decide to catch a ride with a friendly truck driver, Jim Wheeler (Michael Moriarty) who happens on by.
When curious and quirky entomologist, Ida Teeter (Angela Bettis) gets dumped again because of her pet insects, she thinks her chances of ever finding love are dashed forever. It’s the bugs or the babes, says her fellow entomologist, Max Grubb (Jesse Hlubik) and Ida is beginning to think he’s right.
When you’re dealing with horror movies, even short ones like the Masters of Horror, there’s a strong tendency for anything occult related to head straight for the cheese factor, often by way of lame cliché. When ‘The Fair Hair Child’ opened on demonic looking rituals involving all of the requisite candles, graves and pentagrams, I prepared for cheese. Fortunately though the episode was all about a deal with the devil (or demon thing), ‘The Fair Hair Child’ turned out to be an entertaining and well played out story.
‘John Carpenter’s Cigarette Burns’ is a Masters of Horror for the horror cinephile. Not only is it an excellent little movie which will be sure to please any horror aficionado, its plot also centres on horror film obsession.
After the bad taste left by ‘Homecoming’, it was good to get back to some top-notch storytelling in the curious and humorous plot of ‘Deer Woman’. Dwight Faraday is a burnt out detective, recovering from a tragic past and assigned to the apparently easy job of investigating animal related incidents. It’s a mind numbingly boring position for Faraday until he gets called out to a crime scene where a body has been left practically minced…
It’s election season in Washington and political consultant David Murch makes a statement, that is later regurgitated by the president, that he wishes all fallen veterans could come back from the dead and tell the world what it meant to them to die for the war effort. And that’s what happens. But instead of ‘Homecoming’ being a potentially cool zombie flick, directed by one the greatest directors of 1980s comedy/horror, it’s a lame political soapbox that falls flat, flails around, and falls again. And again.
‘Chocolate’ is the tale of, Jamie (Henry Thomas – the kid from E.T) a food scientist who suddenly starts to experience the senses of a mysterious woman – everything she sees, hears, tastes and feels. And this includes her having sex, and her murdering her lover. The story is told as a flashback form as a blood soaked Jamie is being interrogated for a murder and we follow Jamie’s weird experiences waiting to see how the two are connected.