"Wow," with a capital W-O-W.
After reading the near-unanimous venomous sentiments being spat in the direction of Tobe Hooper's "Masters of Horror" episode, 'Dance of the Dead,' I had the lowest of low expectations. Additionally, I don't consider myself much of a fan of Hooper's oeuvre--save for "Texas Chainsaw" and the "Toolbox Murders" remake, his career has been sketchy, with projects often falling victim to studio meddling and financial troubles.
And at first, I thought it was just my low expectations that made 'Dance of the Dead' stand out...but as it progressed, I realized that Hooper had just made a damn good episode. What 'Dance' achieves that most of the other shows have been missing is a personalization of madness and horror. The 'monsters' are not rubber-suited creatures or knife-wielding slashers, but unassuming tropes pulled from everyday life: most prominently, parental loss of control and the corruption of youth. Bio-terrorism, drug use, lurid sex, hypocrisy, nihilism, and the exploitation of the dead also pop up.
The notion of 'messages' underlying the horror are bound to throw up a red flag for some, but Richard Christian Matheson's adaptation of his father's short story is ingeniously executed by Hooper, who employs jittery framing and whiplash edits to produce a visceral experience (I've never seen a film simulate a drug high as well as 'Dance of the Dead') that, instead of dulling the social commentary, heightens it in a way that only really becomes apparent once the episode ends. Comparatively, Joe Dante's 'Homecoming' failed because it bypassed horror and hammered us with its message, whereas Hooper strikes an effective balance between the two.
There are so many subtle surprises in 'Dance of the Dead' that it's best to keep the plot synopsis brief: In a post-apocalyptic landscape, Peggy (Jessica Lowndes) lives under the watchful eye of her mother, and makes eyes with Jak (Jonathan Tucker), a sensitive rebel who runs blood to the emcee (a wonderfully sleazoid Robert Englund) of a local fetish club where the dead get up and do the titular deed.
For all the negative notices 'Dance of the Dead' has received, I was surprised at how much I enjoyed it. Hooper has created a short film that is as creepy, hopeless, and frightening as it is moving and deceptively intelligent. A true dark horse in the "Masters of Horror" series, highly recommended.
Dance of the Dead (2005) 720p YIFY Movie
Dance of the Dead (2005)
Dance of the Dead is an episode of Masters of Horror starring Emily Anne Graham, Genevieve Buechner, and Margot Berner. In a post-apocalypse society, 17-year-old Peggy lives with her over-protective mother and works in her...
IMDB: 5.12 Likes
- Genre: Horror |
- Quality: 720p
- Size: 736.63M
- Resolution: / fps
- Language: English
- Run Time: 59
- IMDB Rating: 5.1/10
- MPR: Normal
- Peers/Seeds: 1 / 2
The Synopsis for Dance of the Dead (2005) 720p
In a post-apocalypse society, 17-year-old Peggy lives with her over-protective mother and works in her restaurant. She misses her sister Anna, who died some time ago. When two couples of punks come to the place to eat some hamburgers, Peggy feels attracted to Jak, who invites her to go out on date with him later. Peggy goes out with Jak without telling her mother, and they go across town to a dark place, the Doom Room, where the master of ceremony is the ringmaster of a freak show with dead. The MC injects blood in the dead, and they dance on a ring for the exalted audience. When Peggy sees her undead sister Anna dancing in the show, the MC discloses the truth about her presence in the circus.
The Director and Players for Dance of the Dead (2005) 720p
The Reviews for Dance of the Dead (2005) 720p
The Omega PunksReviewed byJonny_NumbVote: 7/10
"Wow," with a capital W-O-W.
The writing of Richard Matheson, the directing of Tobe Hooper, the most violent music ever composed by Billy Corgan... and the legendary Robert Englund. Even if this movie failed, it would still be memorable for such a line up.
In a world that has been plagued by terrorist attacks (chemical attacks called "the blitz" if I understood the film correctly), few still live a normal life while many have gone on to a city called Muskeet where death and drugs are a part of life.
My only problem with this film is the way things were left unclear. To some degree, a mystery about the past helps the plot, but I was really confused through most of the movie and even after I had many questions. A film of this magnitude would almost have been better as a television series.
I also became a bit frustrated with Hooper's repeated camera technique I can only describe as "the water ripple", which he must have done fifty times. Once or twice would have been nice, but the film was hard to watch when it wouldn't stop.
Anyway, the acting was great. The main character (Peggy) was beautiful and strong, a great protagonist. Jak was also well cast. Everyone else could have been played by just about anyone (which is not to say they did a bad job, this film has some of the finest goth girls I've ever seen). And Robert Englund? Not his best performance, but great just the same.
I saw many parallels to "A Clockwork Orange", which I enjoyed (though some might say it was a derivative movie). The bouncers in suspenders, the car speeding scene, violence to old people. I could even say there's a connection between Alex's gang drinking milk and Jak's gang drinking orange juice (both wholesome beverages for degenerate people).
While the film had its weak spots (the actual "dance of the dead" is nothing special), they made up for it with the extra sex and drugs that any good horror film ought to have. And according to my friend Jason, they greatly improved upon what was a mediocre short story (though I cannot independently confirm this).
Now, I can't blame Tobe Hooper for the weak story/screenplay (the blame for that lies with Richard Matheson). Nor can I blame him (I don't think) for the poor casting and subsequent terrible acting performances from all concerned (yes, including old Freddy Krueger himself!). But what I can most definitely blame Mr Hooper for is the pathetically poor directing, which was at best annoying and completely ineffectual. Whatever he was trying to do failed majestically.
It's abundantly clear that Tobe Hooper is living on (unmerited) past glories, indeed, none of his efforts since 'A Texas Chainsaw Massacre', are even worth a second look. And I wouldn't really recommend his supposed masterpiece (the previously mentioned TCM) to anyone either, it's a movie which has gained a sizable reputation that far outweighs the actual movie (mainly thanks to the video nasty bans in the eighties and the hype from people who've never actually seen it). The man just doesn't seem to have a clue.
I was looking forward to this series so much, but now after seeing this episode (only the second aired here in the UK) my hopes have been severely shattered! Maybe the producers of the series did this deliberately and gave Tobe Hooper enough rope to hang himself by giving him the worst episode to direct, knowing that he'd make a big fool of himself? I for one hope so, because I really wanted this series to be fantastic.
Despite Mr Hooper's efforts to single-handedly kill the 'Masters of Horrors' series, I'm still living in hope, simply on the basis that things can only get better!!