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Masters of Horror: Season Two



your persistence has paid off! All 13 one-hour mini-movies of the anthology series are now available in a limited-edition box set "¦ or should I say skull set?

Yes, in a stroke of packaging ingenuity and shelving frustration, the whole of season two comes encased in a realistic-looking plastic skull split horizontally. Pop off the top and behold 11 discs of fright-filled flicks.

All in all, the season "? the series' last, reportedly "? was inferior to the first, but there are some gems. Start with "Right to Die," from "Wrong Turn" director Rob Schmidt. Its mix of sexy and sick is one of the show's bolder efforts, with good turns from Martin Donovan and fetching newcomer Julia Anderson.

John Landis' "Family" offers a more comedic tone in its story of newlyweds menaced by their seeming teddy bear of a neighbor ("Cheers"' George Wendt). Those who like old-school horror should give "The Black Cat " a spin. Based on Edgar Allan Poe's short story of the same name, "Re-Animator" helmer Stuart Gordon gives it a gory update while retaining its period setting.

Other episodes come courtesy of the directors of "Suspiria," "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre," "Child's Play" and "The Thing," and they'll wildly uneven. But in an age where most modern horror plays it safe with teen-friendly PG-13 ratings, these deserve commendation for breaking those boundaries.

"?Rod Lott


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