Monday, October 2, 2006

MASTERS OF HORROR: SICK GIRL

The big event for fright film fans in 2005 was the debut of an original Showtime anthology series created by filmmaker Mick Garris (SLEEPWALKERS) called MASTERS OF HORROR. The premise was simple: take thirteen of the most acclaimed directors of modern horror films and have them each direct a one-hour mini-feature, with no restrictions or network censorship. The resulting series was – as is probably inevitable with anthologies – something of a mixed bag.

Director Lucky McKee is a relative newbie, with one released feature (MAY) and one unreleased feature (THE WOODS) to his credit when he was asked to join the MASTERS. His entry, SICK GIRL, stars Angela Bettis (MAY) and Erin Brown (better known to Late Show regulars as "Misty Mundae," star of SPIDERBABE and SHOCK-O-RAMA) as a pair of lesbian lovers whose perfect romance takes a decidedly deadly turn when one of them is stung by an unusual South American insect.

Mixing dark humor with a bit of sapphic romance and plenty of last reel gross-outs, SICK GIRL is an amusing trifle, playing out as sort of a R-rated TWILIGHT ZONE story. It's not particularly scary or challenging, but it is definitely fun.

As usual, Anchor Bay provides a pristine1.77:1 anamorphic widescreen transfer and a robust Dolby Digital 5.1 audio mix. (A 2.0 Dolby stereo track is also included). Anchor Bay (their parent company, IDT Entertainment, co-produced the series) has chosen to release each episode separately rather than the whole bunch in a season set, as the individual releases allow the company to really load down each disc with episode-specific bonus features.

First of all, McKee, composer Jaye Barnes Luckett, and cast members Bettis and Jesse Hlubik team up for an entertaining audio commentary. Then there's the usual slew of "making of" featurettes, with the usual cast and director interviews, behind-the-scenes montage and career retrospective. The bonus material is rounded out with a still gallery, MASTERS OF HORROR trailers, a Lucky McKee text bio, and a DVD-ROM screensaver.

BUY: Masters of Horror: Lucky McKee - Sick Girl