The Damned Thing (Hooper, 2006)

Masters of Horror – Season 1 RECAP: Had high expectations for this series and Season 1 is a huge letdown. Only Joe Dante’s Homecoming stands alone as a great episode, although John Landis’ Deer Woman and Larry Cohen’s Pick Me Up had moments of memorable fright. Even though these so-called masters have complete freedom, most simply play it safe with substance and style. Still haven’t seen the just released Miike episode Imprint, which was too crazy to show on cable (huh?). Low points from John Carpenter and Tobe Hooper provided a downright awful display of once-great storytellers dwelling in absurdity and incoherence.

Which brings us to Season 2, with some overlap in directors, the aforementioned Tobe Hooper helming the opener. Amazingly, The Damned Thing, an even more dreadful outing for Hooper than last season’s Dance of the Dead, inflicts not the intended “horror” of the series title but horror of incompetence; a complete disregard for style and quality acting, obvious metaphors and a stab at political critique that even Bush might get.

This film is downright bad, not simply because the story, which involves demonic possession of a small town in rural Texas, shamelessly attempts to display a generational conflict, but has no brass to conjure up scares within this context. It seems the filmmakers and the executives at Showtime feel the need to display extreme gore and carnage in place of any worthwhile horror. But since the possibility of genius still remains (there is another Joe Dante episode this season), I will continue to be disappointed.

2 thoughts on “The Damned Thing (Hooper, 2006)

  1. Yup, MASTERS OF HORROR was quite disappointing. But HOMECOMING is indeed brilliant and will stand, I think, the test of time as both great entertainment and the first artistic broadside against the Bush administration. Glad you covered this, Glenn.

  2. I agree Jim. Joe Dante is one of my favorite living filmmakers, and despite the lack of quality in the overall series, his entries are excellent by any standard.

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