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i watched masters of horror years ago. some of the episodes (or mini movies if you will) were great, some okay and some were terrible. incident on and off a mountain road was one that fell between okay and terrible.
don c. (i don't want to keep spelling that very hard last name) of phantasm fame directed this one. going into it this time i around i realized i never thought much of the first phantasm and i never saw the sequels. was don c. really a master?
and then this started with a really crappy mid 200's pop/rock song, like really really crappy. i was groaning already and the film hadn't even begun. then the character we are following groans herself and changes the radio station to end the horrendous song. that worked for me. then she gets in an accident and we cut to a flashback.
from there the film proceeds to be a stalk and kill slasher flick. only it isn't really, it plays on the conventions and is actually pretty cool. the lead actress who is playing the damsel in distress is actually no damsel and is not in distress. she handles herself well and is actually rather ingenious in her abilities to defend herself. sure some of her defence building tactics are unbelievable but boy does she sell it. it's actually rather refreshing to watch the bad guy get frustrated as he realizes he messed with the wrong girl.
about half way in, after a couple badly acted scenes (more so due to the production values than the solid performance from the lead) i was starting to have a really good time with this mini film that was subverting the genre left right and centre. it was at this point that i realized that don c. also directed the great bubbu ho-tep and that movie, along with the phantasm series (if like this film are better than i give them credit for) could make him a master.
it was also at this time that this mini movie got great. don c. did a great job directing certain sequences. there is the drilling scene in the middle. so well done. there is very little gore and you don't really see anything but boy does he make you feel like you did. so well done.
and then when you think the film is pretty much done, it throws in a final twist that connects the flashbacks and makes you question bad guys, good guys and such. and when it all ends it is very satisfying. it's never gory, it's sometimes disturbing and it's very entertaining.
the way our heroine one ups the killer is almost funny at times. the film though is done well enough to not let you laugh.
this was much better than i remember and i actually rather liked it. it has put a renewed vigor in me for the rest of the series and it has made me want to rewatch bubbu ho-tep and to watch the phantasm films (mostly for the first time).
is don c. a master of horror? for me a master of horror is someone who consistently makes good horror films. not every film has to be good but a good portion should be. not all his/her films need to be horror films either but if the few that are horror films are good to great to legendary then yeah, they would be a horror master too. i don't know if don c. is or not but if this and bubbu ho-tep are any indication then he might just well be...
production design:: 7 out of 10
cinematography: 7 out of 10
re-playabilixty: 8 out of 10
originality: 8 out of 10
costumes: 8 out of 10
directing: 8 out of 10
editing: 8 out of 10
acting: 7 out of 10
music: 6 out of 10
script: 8 out of 10
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