DVD - Masters Of Horror Series 1: Volume 2 (3 stars)

Masters Of Horror Series 1: Volume 2

(18) 340min (Anchor Bay Entertainment DVD rental/retail)


After the reasonable standard of the first set of these made-for-TV horror shorts, this second batch comes as something of a disappointment, particularly given some of the names involved. Perhaps the best of them, Larry Cohen’s Pick Me Up is grimly effective, if you can buy into its initial premise of two serial killers stalking the same stretch of isolated road. Michael Moriarty’s performance here as a psychotic trucker is pretty haunting. Dario Argento’s contribution, Jenifer, the story of a disfigured witch-like teenage girl who creates sexual obsession in the men she meets is also good in places, but suffers from its truncated format.

The rest is strictly for the nerds. Tobe Hooper’s post-apocalyptic generation gap film, Dance of the Dead takes a predictable road to nowhere, while William Malone’s Fair Haired Child, a fairytale-like story of child abduction is simply dull. John McNaughton’s take on the Frankenstein narrative, Haekel’s Tale, is enlivened only by a bizarre gangbang among the living dead scene at its climax, while Takashi Miike’s unspeakable Imprin, a sort of gothic Madame Butterfly, combines sex with appalling overacting to unpalatable ends. Some of these have yet to master horror. Each disc is however chock-a-block with extras.

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