This disk contains everything you wanted to know about "Masters Of Horror" and the directors, but were afraid to ask.
First we have the basic extras that mostly appear on each of the disks (aside from the bonus disk):
* A still gallery
*A text biography of each director
* Promos for each of the 13 "Masters Of Horror" episodes
* DVD-ROM extras: Read the screenplay for each episode or download a screensaver
* Previews for Anchor Bay releases "Room 6," "Halloween" DVD, "The Tooth Fairy," "Quicksilver Highway," and "Demon Hunter."
* "Behind The Scenes: The Making Of" which are essentially a collection of 7-10 minutes of footage from the set that has already been seen in other extras. This extra does not appear on the "Imprint" disk.
* The 30-38 minute "Script To Screen" extra appears on "Jenifer," "Pick Me Up," "Cigarette Burns," "Haeckel's Tale," "Homecoming" .The idea of this extra is to show three stages of the script with three particular scenes. The three stages are: 1. The written scene on paper. 2. The directing shooting several takes of the scene, with dialogue being said differently in some cases. 3. The final scene.
The following extras are those that appear on each of the 14 disks. The time length of each extra is rounded up and I give a brief summary of each extra to give you readers the gist of what their contents are.
INCIDENT ON AND OFF A MOUNTAIN ROAD
* 2 on set interviews with John De Santis (5 ½ mins.) and Ethan Embry (3 ½ mins.) Santis talks about his transformation into Moonface and Embry doesn't seem to care about being interviewed.
* The 23-minute interview with Don Coscarelli (titled "Predators And Prey") talks about how he was inspired by "Invaders From Mars" and how he has been stuck doing sequels of "Phantasm" since the studios will bankroll those and not other projects.
* A 20-minute "Working With A Master" featurette contains interviews from such actors as Marc Singer and Angus Scrimm. They explain that Don is very laid back and how he loves to make people scared.
* 2 audio commentary tracks have been included. The first one is with Don Coscarelli, writer Stephen Romano, and DVD producer Perry Martin. The 3 talk about such topics as Embry bulking up and the themes of survival. The second commentary track is with Don Coscarelli and author Joe R. Lansdale. I don't really see the point of another commentary track with the director (unless it's by Kevin Smith) as discussions are repeated. One fun fact: Sequel ideas were discussed at the end of the track.
DREAMS IN THE WITCH-HOUSE
* Storyboard gallery
* DVD-ROM extra of the original "Dreams In The Witch-House" story by H.P. Lovecraft.
* A 21-minute "Dreams, Darkness And Damnation" interview with Stuart Gordon. We learn how he started out running a theater company before moving on to direct hits like "Re-Animator."
* The 24 minute "Working With A Master" extra contains interviews with Brian Yuzna, Jeffrey Combs and others as they chat about Lovecraft and how "Re-Animator" might have been in B&W.
* A 7 minute on set interview with actress Chelah Horsdal describing her character.
* A 5-minute look at the special f/x of the creepy human face rat known as Brown Jenkin.
* An audio commentary track with Stuart Gordon, actor Ezra Godden and Anchor Bay DVD producer Perry Martin. Everything in this commentary has already been touched upon in the extras listed above. The only notable fact was that Jeffrey Combs had a role in "Dreams In The Witch-House" before dropping out.
DANCE OF THE DEAD
* Storyboard gallery
* On set interviews with Robert Englund (13 mins.), Jessica Lowndes (5 mins.), and Jonathan Tucker (8 mins.). Forget the other 2 interviews and just watch Englund. It's great to hear his enthusiasm for horror and listen to his articulate gossip about the genre itself. I have a hard time believing such a geeky guy could be such a terrifying monster like Freddy Kruger.
* "The Written Word" is an 8 ½ minute interview with Richard Christian Matheson. He talks about how the script is based on a story by his father. A pretty cut and dry interview, but I did get a kick out of a random dog walking behind him on set.
* The 21 minute interview with Tobe Hooper titled "Primal Screams" is a look at the life and times of Hooper's film career ("Texas Chainsaw Massacre" and "Poltergeist to name names).
* A 17 ½ minute interview ("Working With A Master") with actors such as Gunnar Hansen and Bill Mosley.
* 2 commentrary tracks, both of which are unlistenable. The first is with Tobe Hooper and Perry Martin. I practically nodded off as Perry asked generic questions like "What did Richard think of the film? and so on. The second commentary by Richard Christian Matheson is even worse. He is very quiet and has little to say other than reasons for character motivations and the vision of the future.
* 2 on set interviews with writer/actor Steven Weber (11 mins.) and Carrie Anne Fleming (10 mins.). Weber discusses how he adapated the story from a Creepy magazine comic, while Fleming discusses how nice Dario Argento was and how she went to town with the role of Jenifer.
* A 19 ½ minute featurette titled "Howard Berger And The Makeup Of Jenifer" is a step by step process of how Berger applies the face, lip, contacts, etc.
* "So Hideous: My Love"- A 14 ½ interview with Dario Argento mainly talking about how he did pre-production work via the internet, and how the story is a reversal of "Beauty And The Beast." For some strange reason, his body of work is not mentioned.
* The 15 ½ minute "Working With A Master" featurette has interviews with Steven Weber, Howard Berger and the composer of "Suspiria" Claudio Simonettti.
* A commentary track with Steven Weber and Anchor Bay DVD producer Perry Martin. Weber is a joy to listen to as he mocks his acting, reveals his geeky side, and mentions that a genitalia scene was cut from the movie. Why wasn't it restored or put on the disk as a deleted scene?
* DVD-ROM extra of the original short story by Mick Garris.
* An 11 minute cable-access like Fantasy Film Festival interview with Roger Corman. The fascinating conversation touched upon how his company New World distributes low budget films and works by Francois Truffaut and Ingmar Bergman, how "The Little Shop Of Horrors" was basically made on a bet, etc.
* 2 uninvolving on set interviews with Henry Thomas (8 mins.) and Lucie Laurier (7 mins.).
* The 20 minute "Sweet Taste Of Fear" interview with Mick Garris reveals how he started out doing film publicity before getting noticed by Steven Spielberg and eventually working with Steven King on such mini-series as "The Stand."
* The 19-minute interview ("Working With A Master") with co-stars, family, friends such as Cynthia Garris, Annabeth Gish and Ron Perlman. They mainly dish out details of how Garris is a nice guy who likes to let out his dark side in his writing/directing. Fun fact: While filming "The Shining" mini-series, a possible ghost incident occurred on set.
* The audio commentary with the talkative Mick Garris and Perry Martin had some intriguing information such as how the first cut of "Chocolate" ran 110 minutes. Where are the deleted scenes?
* DVD-ROM extra of the original short story "Death And Suffrage."
* A 13 minute Fantasy Film Festival segment with Mick Garris interviewing Joe Dante, Barbara Steele, Paul Bartel about "Piranha." The highlight was Dante showing off creature models.
* 3 on set interviews with Jon Tenney (12 mins.), Robert Picardo (10 ½ mins.), Thea Gill (10 mins.) all talking about taking a risque role in a risque film.
* A 24 minute interview with Joe Dante ("The Dead Come Marching"). Fun facts: Dante started out wanting to be a cartoonist, worked as a film critic, and was set to make "Jaws 3 People 0."
* "Working With A Master" (22 mins.)- Interviews with Roger Corman, Kevin McCarthy, Dee Wallace Stone and others mostly discussing how Dante likes to hire friends.
* The commentary track with writer Sam Hamm is a snooze. He doesn't have much to say other than how he and Dante are news junkies. This track really needed Joe Dante to interact with Hamm.
* 3 on set interviews with actors Brian Benben (6 ½ mins.), Anthony Griffith (4 mins.), and Cinthia Moura (5 mins.). Brian talks about how he previously worked with Landis on the show "Dream On," Anthony talks about how fun it was to work with Landis, and Cinthia talks about how this is her first acting role (she was a model).
* The 26-minute "Animal Hooves" is an interview with John Landis that discusses how he started out as a gopher on the set of "Kelly's Heroes," how he worked as a stunt man, and of course how he eventually directed such hits as "An American Werewolf In London" and "Animal House."
* The 22 minute "Working With A Master" contains interviews with his son Max Landis, Rick Baker etc. They mainly talk about how upfront and honest Landis is. He gets what he wants when he directs.
* The 11-minute Fantasy Film Festival segment has Garris interviewing Landis about the reception of his movies and the upcoming "Blues Brothers" movie.
* The audio commentary track with actors Brian Benben and Anthony Griffith is actually a refreshing change of pace. Instead of the directors or writers explaining every little detail with insight, Benben and Griffith shoot the breeze by cracking jokes about Flavor Flav and O.J. Worth a listen.
* A 7 minute on set interview with Norman Reedus.
* "Celluloid Apocalypse: An Interview With John Carpenter" (18 minutes)- For some reason, the feature glosses over his distinguished career. It would have been nice to see more about other films aside from "Halloween" and "Dark Star."
* "Working With A Master" (18 minutes)- Greg Nictotero, Sam Neill, Keith David plus others say how actor friendly Carpenter is, and how he has re-shaped the horror genre.
* 2 commentary tracks round out this disk. The John Carpenter track is boring and stiff as Carpenter mainly reveals his distaste of making Vancouver look like other locations. The second commentary with writers Drew McWeeny and Scott Swan is geektastic. Since the 2 writers are well known critics on the movie gossip site AINT IT COOL NEWS, the two are constantly pointing out references and making comparisons. It's always nice to see fellow geeky critics succeed.
FAIR HAIRED CHILD
* Scenes from Bill Malone's first short film "Dr. Jekyll And Mr. Hyde." The creature mask was fantastic for a 13-year-old.
* The 35 minute "The Face Of Fear" interview with Bill Malone is wildly informative. The highlights: Malone made masks (including the one used in "Halloween") and worked with the infamous Klaus Kinski.
* 4 on set interviews with Jesse Haddock (5 mins.), Lori Petty (5 mins.), Lindsay Pulsipher (7 mins.) and William Samples (6 mins.). The 4 talk about the usual: character motivations, individual experiences, etc.
* A 19 minute "Working With A Master" - Interviews with Jeffrey Combs and Bob Burns ("Fantastic Monsters" archivist). Fun facts: Malone owns the original Robbie The Robot from "Forbidden Planet" and he made a replica himself.
* A commentary track with Bill Malone and writer Matt Greenberg. I liked that the commentary track showed how the writer and director collaborated and why scenes were altered.
* 3 on set interviews with Angela Bettis (8 mins.), Erin Brown ( 5 ½ mins.) and Brad MacDonald (7 ½ mins.). This is my favorite batch of interviews. It was fun to see Brown recollect her bug costume debacle, Bettis discussing how the lead was going to be a male, and Brad (the bug handler) showing off all the different species of bugs he had on set. The highlight: A venomous Vietnamese Red Legged Centipede- yikes!
* The 15 minute "Blood, Bugs, And Romance" interview with Lucky McKee begins by showing his first film out of film school ("All Cheerleaders Die") to his hits "May" and of course "Sick Girl."
* The 19 minute "Working With A Master" extra mainly focuses on the close bond between Bettis and McKee.
* The commentary track with actors Angela Bettis, Jesse Hlubik, composer Jaye Barnes Luckett and director Lucky McKee brought a smile to my face because it felt like a bunch of friends goofing off and having a good time talking about outtakes and how nerdy Bettis looks in the movie.
PICK ME UP
* A 14 ½ minute Fantasy Film Festival piece where Garris interviews Larry Cohen about "It Lives Again!" and how his films are generally about outsiders.
* 3 on set interviews with Michael Moriarty (10 mins.), Fairuza Balk (9 mins.) and Warren Kole (13 mins.) all talking about how much of a jokester Cohen is on set.
* A 28 minute featurette called "Death On The Highway" that focuses on the life of Larry Cohen. Notable fact: He doesn't like directors directing his scripts.
* The 17 minute "Working With A Master" bonus has interviews with the likes of David Carradine and Karen Black. Facts: Cohen shot many films guerilla style and directed a few Blaxploitation movies.
* Commentary with the talkative and enthusiastic Larry Cohen. Items of interest: 1. This is the first film Cohen directed that he didn't write. 2. The snake was a problem to work with. 3. Lots of improv took place during shooting.
* Storyboard gallery
* 3 standard on set interviews with Leela Savasta (6 mins.), Derek Cecil (13 ½ mins.), and Jon Polito (11 mins.)
* A 23 minute interview with John McNaughton ("Breaking Taboos") which chronicles his life as an advertiser to a director of such films as "Henry: Portrait Of A Serial Killer" and "Wild Things."
* The 17 minute "Working With A Master" feature includes interviews by actors and friends Michael Rooker and Tom Towles. Fun fact: Errol Morris brought "Henry" to the Tellruide film festival where people were split on it. Half of the audience walked out! My only complaint wit this featurette- no Clive Barker interview.
* The commentary by John McNaughton is filled with long, long pauses. He points out basic info with no real insight. You never once feel like he wants to be talking about his work.
* "Imprinting" is a 47 minute interview/behind the scenes featurette with Takashi Miike, the novelist, and Mick Garris. Topics of discussion were teaching Japanese actors English, cultural differences, and the set being plagued by an earthquake and a flood.
* The 41 minute "I Am The Film Director Of Love And Freedom: Takashi Miike" talks about how he chooses projects, his relationship with actors, and his style of directing actors.
* The 22 minute "Imperfect Beauty" is a practical f/x featurette showing the mechanical talking hand and fetuses.
* A commentary track with American Cinematheque programmer Chris D. and writer of newtexture.com Wyatt Doyle. This is an odd and somewhat useless commentary, as Doyle and Chris are not affiliated with "Imprint" at all. They sound like history teachers speculating what Miike was trying to accomplish.
* A 35 minute dinner discussion with a number of the directors (Garris, Gordon, Landis to name a few). The group talks about everything from their favorite episodes, laserdiscs, to the current state of horror and the obsession with torture. A few directors like John Carpenter and Lucky McKee were missing, but the dinner chat was still enjoyable and I wish I could have joined in on the discussion myself.
* The 67 minute Directors Guild of America panel with Mick Garris, John Carpenter, Tobe Hooper, Joe Dante and as a special treat- Clive Barker moderating! In half of the panel Barker interviewed the directors about freedom, the 10 day shoots, the tragedy of re-makes, while the other half of the panel was a Q&A with the audience. Favorite quote uttered: "Cannibal Holocaust- we should re-make it as a PG-13 (movie)."
* Two additional 15/14 minute Fantasy Film Festival segments with Garris interviewing Steven Speilberg about the "Close Encounters Of The Third Kind" special edition, and John Boorman about "Zardoz"- the infamous Sean Connery diaper film.
If you already own every episode of season one, there is no real point in buying this set unless you are dying for the bonus disk. However, if you are a fan of "Masters Of Horror," or want to see well-made horror movies, buy this set. With an exhausting amount of extras, 13 entertaining hour-long movies, and a shockingly cheap price tag, this set is one of the best DVD deals money can buy.
Film and television enthusiast Nick Lyons recently had his first book published titled "Attack of the Sci-Fi Trivia." It is available on Amazon.com.