First Transmitted - 02/12/2005
Masters of Horror - Season 1, Episode 6
The majority of episodes that comprise the two seasons of Masters of Horror vanished, in my opinion justifiably, into a cultural limbo that is only navigated by the most hardened of horror veterans. By and large there was little of prominence here, not even the heavily scented whiff of nostalgia - the horror directors of yesteryear continued their depressing plunge into the patchy avenues of mediocrity. However there were two episodes in the first series that did manage to break the shackles of the restricted form and gain unexpected column inches and unexpected praise. A lot of column inches and controversy was reserved for Takashi Miike’s breakout episode Imprint. For those unused to Miike’s grotesque excesses the episode was startling. In my view Takashi Miike was the only director invited to take part in the series that is a true contemporary Master of Horror. Even though he rarely works in the genre, his films are infused with a sense of surreal chaos, of societal breakdown…the only unifying factors being bizarre sexual perversions and brutal violence. The other episode that attracted the attention of the critical mainstream was the Joe Dante contribution Homecoming. I happen too agree with Dante’s assertion that all horror films are political. But traditionally horror has utilised metaphor and allegory, few horror films possess the literalness of Homecoming. It is not open to multiple readings, Homecoming is a liberal/leftist attack on the Bush Jr administration and the illegal war in Iraq that was fought on the back of a lie.
© Shaun Anderson 2010