Masters of Horror: Pelts

APRIL 16, 2007


Not enough movies feature Meat Loaf. And certainly not enough of them feature Meat Loaf doing whatever he can to fuck a stripper in the ass. Or magical raccoons. But that’s why we have Dario Argento. He will do what others will dare not (we are also treated to the sight of Loaf without a shirt, and then without skin, though somehow that’s not as disturbing as the former), as is plainly evident in his second season Masters of Horror episode Pelts.

The Masters of Horror series gets a bum rap I think. Sure, there are some stinkers (Tobe Hooper’s Dance of the Dead from the 1st season ranks as one of the absolute worst things I have ever seen, in any format), but I think folks expect the same level of greatness they get from the directors’ full length films. As talented as Argento, Carpenter, Landis, etc are, there’s no way they can pull off Suspiria, The Thing, or American Werewolf with a limited budget and even more limited time (and, to a lesser but still important extent, at least for Carpenter and Argento: without the ability to shoot in full 2.35:1 scope). So you gotta take them as what they are, which are episodes of a TV show.

Either way, so far, at least of the ones I have seen, Season Two has been a pretty big improvement over Season One. Hooper’s episode was a million light years ahead of his first one (though still the weakest of the half dozen I have seen), and Argento’s is stronger as well. The music is fantastic, the story is strange enough to hold my attention, and the murders, while lacking the suspense one would expect from him, are bloody as hell and extremely disturbing.

I haven’t mentioned it yet here, but Meat Loaf is my favorite musical artist, in particular the 1st and 2nd Bat out of Hell albums. So I always check out his films, though I have never been particularly amazed with his acting (that's not to say I don't enjoy seeing him onscreen). His musical persona is just too larger than life; I cannot mentally remove that aspect in order to accept him as a character most of the time. Also, most of the movies just suck (and yes, I include Fight Club in that list). But he’s surprisingly pretty damn good here. I’d rather he was making better albums (Bat 3 was disappointing) but hey, if Dario Argento wants you in his movie, you damn well better say yes. I would. But I’d also say yes to whoever the hell directed Boogeyman, because I need money.

It’s a shame this was just an hour long, as, unlike many of the MoHs, this one could have been its own full length movie. John Saxon’s character isn’t in it enough, and some of the death scenes come too quickly. Some fleshing out and this could have been one of Argento’s better movies from the last 20 years. So I definitely recommend the DVD, as it includes some decent featurettes. The commentary track, however, is entirely worthless. It’s just the writer, and he alternates between narrating the onscreen action and kissing everyone’s ass (including his own). Worthless. It would have been nice if they included the short story the film is based on, but alas.

And yes, obviously it doesn’t count as a “coincidence” that I watched two Argento movies in a row, since it’s not like I was surprised to learn that. But just like Deep Red, a person who is apparently sans bones is killed with an elevator. So there ya go.

What say you?


  1. As frightening as it was to see Meatloaf shirtless. The thing that freaked me out the most was the raccoons. I've had an irrational fear of them for as long as I can remember, so that was kinda disturbing. BTW Fight Club was awesome.

  2. I have to be honest, you and I have almost perfectly matched on hundreds of movies on this site. This movie however, I just can't agree with your opinion (respectfully of course). I felt like it was just a very week premise. In a nutshell it is, "Trappers go where they should not go and trap mystical raccoons." After this anyone that comes into contact with the pelts will be rendered under a spell and commit very bloody suicide. I have to say that this movie just felt like an excuse to put up some very amazing death scenes. However, that's all the movie is....a series of well executed deaths. I miss the art of Argento. I realize just like you said that this is an hour long with no budget, however I have to point to Cigarrette Burns as a prime example of fitting in an interesting story with interesting characters and plenty of gore. I loved the deaths in Pelts, but just felt it was a pointless movie. However, as a horror fanatic, it is still kind of a fun ride for just the visceral elements.


Movie & TV Show Preview Widget