Masters Of Horror was a fantastic anthology horror series. The show brought some of the most talented horror directors together and gave them the artistic freedom to create disturbing and original stories. After much deliberation, here are PopHorror’s Top 5 Masters Of Horror episodes.
5. Pick Me Up
Directed by Larry Cohen (The Stuff)
(Synopsis provided by IMDb.com): In the middle of nowhere, a recently divorced traveler (Fairuza Balk), who is a passenger on a bus that has broken down, gets caught in a violent and bizarre turf war between serial killers.
With so many great episodes to choose for this list, Pick Me Up was chosen for its intriguing concept. In one corner, you have a hitchhiker who kills anyone who gives him a ride. In the other corner, you have a man who kills every hitchhiker he picks up. Then, it brings an ending that definitely catches you off guard. Pick Me Up is an enjoyable and thrilling episode.
4. The Black Cat
Directed by Stuart Gordon (Re-Animator)
(Synopsis provided by IMDb.com): Great writer Edgar Allen Poe (Jeffery Combs) is struggling with alcoholism, writer’s block, and lack of funds. With his wife, Virginia’s (Elyse Levesque) black cat tormenting him, Edgar will either find inspiration for his most famous tale, or let his insanity destroy him.
There have been many adaptations of Poe’s stories and Poe himself. This short film is under-appreciated and artistic. It was a unique take on Poe’s life and is full of twists and turns that make you question what is real and what’s in Poe’s head. Jeffery Combs’ portrayal of Poe is impressive and the entire short film deserved a wider audience.
Directed by John Landis (An American Werewolf In London)
(Synopsis provided by IMDb.com): Harold (George Wendt) is a seemingly peaceful neighbor, but underneath, he’s a murderous psychopath who has set his eyes on a young couple who have moved in across the street.
Family was a very memorable episode. We get to see George Wendt in a completely different kind of role than we’re used to from his time on Cheers. The best thing about this episode is the ending. It completely turns the situation around and shows us what happens when a psychopath meets something worse – vengeful parents.
Directed by Takashi Miike (Audition)
(Synopsis provided by IMDb.com): In the 1800s, an American (Billy Drago) returns to Japan to find the prostitute he fell in love with. However, he instead learns of the psychological and existential horror that befell her after he left.
Imprint brings us such a heartbreaking and upsetting story. However, it’s not the story that horror fans remember from this disturbing film. Takashi is very well known for making his audience cringe with long and unbearable torture scenes in his films. Even horror fans who have never seen this episode are very familiar with the film’s needle scene. Imprint leaves you heartbroken and sick, and that’s why it’s one of the best Masters Of Horror episodes!
1. Cigarette Burns
Directed by John Carpenter (Halloween)
(Synopsis provided by IMDb.com): With a horrid past that haunts him, Kirby (Norman Reedus) is hired to search for the only existing print of a film. The film is so notorious that its single screening caused its viewers to become homicidally insane.
Cigarette Burns will always #1 on our Masters of Horror list! It was such a unique story with one hell of an execution. Cigarette Burns is a perplexing masterpiece that plays with the thought of what would actually happen if a film could make a person kill. The film also brings together a great cast along with that classic Carpenter style. Not only is Cigarette Burns the #1 Masters Of Horror episode, it’s also one of John Carpenter’s best films!
Unfortunately, Masters Of Horror only lasted two seasons. However, it’s still one of the best anthology horror series ever made. What was your favorite Masters Of Horror episode? Let us know in the comments!