A lot of people have taken to calling the Masters of Horror series a Showtime production, but the truth is that the experiment was born over at Anchor Bay. Series creator Mick Garris had the idea to snag a bunch of the finest horror-makers under the sun, have each one direct an hour-long mini-movie, and then let the Gorehounds devour the goods through the magic of DVD. But then Showtime got involved, and they aired 12 of the 13 episodes between last December and March of this year. (The 13th episode, Takashi Miike's Imprint, was deemed too harsh by the Showtime folks, which means you won't be able to see it till the DVD hits shelves.)

Unfortunately, Anchor Bay has taken a fairly money-hungry approach to releasing Masters on DVD: Two episodes hit stores yesterday, available individually or as part of a 2-pack. But with a list price of $16.98 apiece (which means a retail cost of about 11 bucks each), it seems that the horror faithful are expected to dole out about $150 if they want the entire season. (By comparison, my 13-episode collection of the brilliant Firefly set me back only about 40 bucks!) But hey, nobody's saying you have to buy 'em all, right? We horror geeks aren't ravenous completists and ferocious collectors ... are we? (To be fair, if the first 2 DVDs are any indication, each release promises to come stocked with loads of extra goodies, so at least we're getting some value for our money.)

Anyway, to commemorate the DVD debut of the series (well, the first two episodes) I thought it might be helpful to give our readers a Masters Guide -- despite the fact that I've seen precisely ONE episode of the show so far! Click below for a list of all the actors, the Masters, the release dates, all 13 plot synopses, and a variety of trivial hoo-hah intended mainly for the hardcore horror freaks.

categories Features, Cinematical