Masters of Horror gets UK box set

About time too!

Originally the plan from Anchor Bay was to release the Masters of Horror episodes as double discs - 2 installments every couple of months. The first of these was a really impressive double helping, featuring "Dreams in the Witchhouse" by "Re-Animator" director Stuart Gordon and "Cigarette Burns" by John Carpenter. Although the Gordon installment is, arguably, a little bit creepier than the already first class Carpenter one - this made for a fantastic release. Then the news came that the next two in the set would feature Don Coscarelli's "Incident On and Off a Mountain Road" (not seen this one yet, sorry folks!) and "Chocolate" - the offering from series producer Mick Garris (this one is brilliant and features regular Garris actor Henry Thomas of "ET" fame).

This has now been cancelled, however, in favour of a box set of all the one hour television episodes - including the uncut helping from Japan's Takehsi Miike (which UK viewers were treated to on cable channel Bravo in early April). Cannot say I am complaining as, so far, this series has yet to offer a dud installment (Tobe Hooper's "Dance of the Dead" seems to be the one that splits opinion, although I found it to be one of the best things the director has done over the past two decades - and certainly much better than his latest feature "Mortuary").

Right now season 2 is shooting in Vancouver, Canada, with such new names as George Romero, Wes Craven and Tom "Fright Night" Holland back onboard.

Anyway, as a wee treat, here's a few words from Stuart Gordon on how the Masters of Horror circle began.

"How it started was that Mick Garris organised a dinner for us which was a couple of years ago and there had been a documentary made by Universal called The Masters of Horror. It interviewed each of us and we didn’t get a chance to meet each other, so Mick said, ‘Let’s all have dinner together.’ It was one of the funniest dinners and everyone showed up – it was at a restaurant out in the valley and Guillermo Del Toro was there and there were some people at the next table and someone brought out a birthday cake to them. So Guillermo started singing Happy Birthday to them and he got us all to join in at the table and when we finished Guillermo said, ‘The Masters of Horror wish you a happy birthday’ (laughs) and right afterwards he said, ‘We did pretty good – maybe we should do a Christmas album.’ So we kept getting together every couple of months and new people would come each time – David Cronenberg came along once, Bryan Singer and Rob Zombie and it expanded and got crazier and crazier. Out of that came the idea of doing a series of movies and it evolved from there. It turned out everyone had a pet project that they wanted to do – so here was the opportunity. We always have fun when we get together."

Calum Waddell

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