Masters of Horror

Masters of Horror
Masters of Horror
The poster of Masters of Horror series
Genre Horror
Created by Mick Garris
Country of origin United States
No. of episodes 26
Running time 60 minutes
Original channel Showtime
Original run October 28, 2005 (2005-10-28) – February 2, 2007 (2007-02-02)

Masters of Horror is an informal social group of international film writers and directors specializing in horror movies and an American television series created by director Mick Garris for the Showtime cable network.



In 2002, director Mick Garris invited some director friends to an informal dinner at a restaurant in Sherman Oaks, California. The original ten “masters” attending were John Carpenter, Larry Cohen, Don Coscarelli, Joe Dante, Guillermo Del Toro, Garris, Stuart Gordon, Tobe Hooper, John Landis and Bill Malone. The dinner was an extremely satisfying experience for the directors; a welcome night of camaraderie, humor and mutual admiration of one another's work. Del Toro coined the name of the group in jest when he told a nearby diner celebrating her birthday that the masters of horror wished her a happy birthday.[citation needed]

Subsequently, Garris organized regular dinners with the group and invited other horror and genre directors to attend including Dario Argento, Eli Roth, David Cronenberg, Lucky McKee, Tim Sullivan, Wes Craven, Joe Lynch, William Lustig, Ernest Dickerson, Kat O’ Shea, Robert Rodriguez, James Gunn, Mary Lambert, Tom Holland, Peter Medak, Lloyd Kaufman and others.

In 2005, Garris created and produced an original anthology television series of one hour movies, written and directed by many of the "Masters" which was originally broadcast in the U.S. on the Showtime cable network. In several international territories, the films were released theatrically. The series debuted to excellent reviews in the U.S. on October 28, 2005 with the premiere episode "Incident On and Off a Mountain Road", co-written and directed by Don Coscarelli. New episodes premiered every Friday at 10pm EST throughout the series' two seasons. The show followed an anthology series format, with each episode featuring a one-hour film directed by a well-known horror film director. In 2009 Chiller (TV network) began showing the show on their Sunday evening line up of shows and in 2010, Reelz Channel began airing episodes of Masters of Horror edited (despite keeping its TV-MA rating) and with commercials.[1]


Season 1 (2005-2006)

Ep. Title Director Airdate
1 "Incident On and Off a Mountain Road" Don Coscarelli October 28, 2005
A young woman matches wits with a deformed and sadistic serial killer on and off a remote mountain road. 
2 "H. P. Lovecraft's Dreams in the Witch-House" Stuart Gordon November 4, 2005
A college student renting an old room in a boarding house discovers a plot by sinister, otherworldly forces to sacrifice his neighbour's infant. 
3 "Dance of the Dead" Tobe Hooper November 11, 2005
A teen girl living in a post-apocalyptic village befriends a group of rough punks who hang out at a sinister bar which reanimated corpses dance on stage. Based on the story by Richard Matheson
4 "Jenifer" Dario Argento November 18, 2005
A police officer saves the life of a hideously deformed young woman, only to find himself drawn into a web of murder and self-destruction which he finds hard to break away. 
5 "Chocolate" Mick Garris November 25, 2005
A recently divorced young man begins experiencing the world through the senses of a woman he's never met after eating a sample of chocolate. But his quest to meet her face-to-face leads to drastic consequences. 
6 "Homecoming" Joe Dante December 2, 2005
Political satire in which the reanimated corpses of soldiers killed in Iraq return in an attempt to sway the presidential election. 
7 "Deer Woman" John Landis December 9, 2005
A police detective investigates a series of brutal murders which are committed by an ancient creature in the form of a beautiful woman whom is spawned from a Native American mythology in this horror-comedy. 
8 "Cigarette Burns" John Carpenter December 16, 2005
A man searches for the last surviving print of a rare film that allegedly drove the only audience that ever viewed it into a fit of homicidal frenzy. 
9 "Fair Haired Child" William Malone January 6, 2006
A teenage outcast is kidnapped by a strange couple and locked in a basement with their son, who has a dark secret. 
10 "Sick Girl" Lucky McKee January 13, 2006
A female insect enthusiast starts a relationship with another woman, but then also finds herself involved with a rather predatory and aggressive insect. 
11 "Pick Me Up" Larry Cohen January 20, 2006
Two serial killers (one who kills hitchhikers, another who kills anyone who gives him a ride) clash over their latest victim. 
12 "Haeckel's Tale" John McNaughton January 27, 2006
In the 1850s, a man on his way to his sick father in upstate New York, seeks shelter in a secluded cabin owned by a mysterious couple where he becomes involved in a grotesque orgy of the undead. 
13 "Imprint" Takashi Miike February 25, 2006
A 19th century American tourist gets much more than he bargained for while searching for a Japanese prostitute he fell in love with years earlier. 

Episode 4, "Jenifer", was accidentally made available on-demand to a select audience at the same time as Episode 2, "H.P. Lovecraft's Dreams in the Witch-House". The episode was cut for graphic violence during its initial television broadcast, and the cut scenes can only be viewed in a featurette separate from the film on the R1 DVD release.

Episode 13, "Imprint", originally scheduled to premiere on January 27, 2006, was shelved by Showtime due to concerns over its content. Mick Garris, creator and executive producer of the series, characterized the episode as "the most disturbing film I've ever seen".[2] It is available only on DVD and Blu-ray by Anchor Bay Entertainment, along with the rest of the episodes in the first season.[3] "Imprint" was shown in the UK on Bravo (7 April 2006).[4]

Season 2 (2006-2007)

Ep. Title Director Airdate
14 "The Damned Thing" Tobe Hooper October 27, 2006
The apocalyptic tale of a monstrous, unseen force that devastates Sheriff Kevin Reddle’s family and terrorizes their small Texas community. Based on the short story of the same title by Ambrose Bierce
15 "Family" John Landis November 3, 2006
This screenplay by Brent Hanley, tells the story of a young couple who move to a new city and soon find out that their neighbor is not what he seems. 
16 "The V Word" Ernest Dickerson November 10, 2006
This vampire film reveals the punishment visited upon two teenage boys who make the very poor decision to break into a mortuary and encounter a real vampire. 
17 "Sounds Like" Brad Anderson November 17, 2006
Based on a short story by Mike O'Driscoll. The story of Larry Pearce, an ordinary man blessed with gift/curse of extraordinary hearing that drives him to the brink of insanity, and forces him to take violent action to silence the horrific cacophony in his head. 
18 "Pro-Life" John Carpenter November 24, 2006
Pro-Life tells the story of a young pregnant girl trapped inside an abortion clinic by her murderous family, who soon discovers the only thing more dangerous than her pursuers is the demonic secret that she carries within her. 
19 "Pelts" Dario Argento December 1, 2006
Fur trader Jake Feldman knows that you cannot make a coat without breaking a few animals' necks. In his pursuit to make the perfect fur coat to win over a woman, Feldman steals supernatural raccoon pelts that violently turn against those that covet them. Based on a short story by F. Paul Wilson
20 "The Screwfly Solution" Joe Dante December 8, 2006
The Screwfly Solution tells the story of a nightmarish plague that spreads across the globe, transforming men into psychotic killers who attack every woman that crosses their paths. Based on Raccoona Sheldon's Nebula Award-winning short story of the same name. 
21 "Valerie on the Stairs" Mick Garris December 29, 2006
Based on the story "Revelations" by Clive Barker, Valerie on the Stairs tells the tale of a novelist renting a room in a flophouse to write a novel, who discovers there are fates worse than literary anonymity when he encounters a mysterious woman and a stalking demon spawned from the imagination of three tenants. 
22 "Right to Die" Rob Schmidt January 5, 2007
After walking away from an auto accident that leaves his wife in a coma and on life support, a man must decide to let his wife die. But the situation becomes more nightmarish when her vengeful spirit threatens to expose a dirty secret of his own. 
23 "We All Scream for Ice Cream" Tom Holland January 12, 2007
In the 1950s, an ice cream man in clown makeup is accidentally killed during a childhood prank gone wrong. Now, years later after the kids have grown up, his ghost returns for revenge. Based on the short story "You Scream, I Scream, We All Scream For Ice Cream" by John Farris. 
24 "The Black Cat" Stuart Gordon January 19, 2007
In 1841 Philadelphia, Edgar Allan Poe, suffering from writer's block and short on cash, is tormented by his wife's black cat that will either destroy his life or inspire him to write one of his most famous stories. 
25 "The Washingtonians" Peter Medak January 26, 2007
A man finds his family in danger after he discovers a shocking secret about the United States of America's founding fathers, in which a secret society is hell-bent on keeping a secret at any cost. Based on a short story by Bentley Little
26 "Dream Cruise" Norio Tsuruta February 2, 2007
Jack, an American lawyer working in Tokyo, has fallen in love with the wife of his most valued client, Eiji. Despite Jack's deep-rooted fear of the sea, he reluctantly accepts Eiji's invitation to join the couple for a day trip on the Tokyo Bay. Pleasure slowly turns to terror as they discover the watery destiny in store for each of them. 

Related series

Fear Itself

Series creator Mick Garris stated that Showtime opted not to show the third season and that film studio Lionsgate had begun funding the series.[5] The Hollywood Reporter reported on September 25, 2007 that Mick Garris and Lionsgate signed a 13-episode deal with NBC. Instead of a third season of the show, a new show, Fear Itself, was created with the same premise as Masters of Horror. It premiered on NBC in Summer 2008.

Masters of Science Fiction

In 2006, broadcast network ABC and IDT announced that they were developing Masters of Science Fiction, a new anthology series from the creators of Masters of Horror. Six episodes were produced, and they aired Saturdays at 10PM starting August 4, 2007. The episodes feature adaptations of stories by John Kessel, Robert A. Heinlein, Jonathan Fast, and Walter Mosley. Jonathan Frakes has directed a story by Harlan Ellison.[6] The last 2 episodes ('Watchbird' and 'Little Brother') were not broadcast in the USA. They were, however, shown in Canada and the UK.

Masters of Italian Horror

Masters of Italian Horror is also in the works, though not related to the other two show's creators. The first four directors announced are Lamberto Bava, Umberto Lenzi, Sergio Martino, and Nicola Rondolino.

DVD/Blu-Ray releases

Rather than the expected packaging of the first season's episodes in one comprehensive set, Anchor Bay Entertainment originally released each episode individually, as well as in double and triple packs. Each DVD promises over three hours of bonus content, such as audio commentaries, interviews, and documentaries. These DVD releases also include covers and interior collector's cards painted by the Award-winning horror and fantasy artist Jeremy Caniglia. With the release of Homecoming, the cover art changed to a more mainstream appearance. With the DVD release of the Jenifer, it appears that Anchor Bay chose to produce artwork tailored to each episode. The Dead by Dawn film festival, which Anchor Bay supports, revealed in their festival guide that Anchor Bay UK had decided to stop releasing double pack editions and instead release a season one box set.

On August 28, 2007 the first season of Masters of Horror was released in a 14-disc box set. There was also a 6-disc Season One Vol. 1 set, and a 6-disc Season One Vol. 2 set. The 14-disc set consists of all episodes, each on an individual disc, plus a bonus disc with all new features.

The first season is also available in four volumes on Blu-ray Disc (volumes 1 and 2 on October 16, 2007, volume 3 on November 13, 2007, and volume 4 on December 11, 2007). Each Blu-ray volume includes 3 or 4 episodes on a single Blu-ray disc. They retain the audio commentaries from the DVD releases but do not include any of the other special features, e.g. documentaries, from the DVDs.

On July 29, 2008 the second season of Masters of Horror was released in a limited edition set featuring skull-shaped packaging. As of November 2009 there is no Blu-ray release of the second season.


A two-disc soundtrack was released for the series on Immortal Records. The album features heavy metal and rock acts with a few acoustic pieces.

Comic adaptations

IDW Publishing is producing a series of comic book adaptations of several episodes from the series. The first four issues are two-parters, adapting Incident On and Off a Mountain Road and Dreams in the Witch-House.[7][8] The first two comic covers were painted by the award-winning artist Jeremy Caniglia.

Awards and nominations

Year Award Result Category Recipient Notes
2006 Saturn Award Won Best Television Presentation
Tied with The Triangle
2007 Nominated Best Presentation on Television
Won Best Television Series Release on DVD
2006 Emmy Award Nominated Outstanding Music Composition for a Series (Original Dramatic Score) Richard Band For episode "Dreams in the Witch House"
Won Outstanding Original Main Title Theme Music Edward Shearmur
2007 Satellite Awards Won Best DVD Extras (Season 1)
Tied with Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan

See also


External links

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

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