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*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Directed by Joe Dante (The Howling, Gremlins), the sixth episode of the
first "Masters Of Horror" season, "Homecoming" is not really the
'Horror' one might expect from this great series. More precisely, as
Horror, the episode fails entirely, but it is rather to be regarded as
a political satire, as which it works greatly. Director Joe Dante was
obviously focused on exposing and ridiculing the Bush administration,
rather than creating a suspenseful piece of Horror, but, as mentioned
above, the episode works greatly doing exactly that.
SPOILERS! Republican consultant David Murch (Jon Tenney), makes the wish that a deceased soldier should come back from the grave on live TV. March assures the viewers that the soldier would still support the president, an idea which the (very George Bush-like) president uses in his next speech for the upcoming elections, making the wish that deceased soldiers would have to chance to vote. Suddenly, however, supposedly dead soldiers start walking the country - with the intention to vote. They're not necessarily willing to vote for the president, however...
One of the greatest qualities of this episode are the characters. Thea Gill, for example, delivers a great performance as arch-conservative blonde pundit Jeane Cleaver - a probably alarmingly appropriate satire on far-right columnist Ann Coulter. Another highly amusing (and still frighteningly true) character is the Televangelist Clayton Poole (J. Winston Carrol), a very obvious (and probably not even very exaggerated) spoof on the late arch-conservative God-enthusiast Jerry Falwell. The whole episode is full of these characters, and that (as well as the satirical view on political propaganda) make the episode well worth watching in spite of the fact that there is little to no suspense. All this depends on your political views, of course.
I understand that many of my fellow Horror fans were disappointed by this episode. Because it is not really Horror. It is a very decent political satire. There are furthermore some fun allusions to the Horror genre and its greats, two tombstones on a cemetery read "G. A. Romero" and "Jacques Tourneur", for example. The performances are almost entirely very good.
It is understandable that "Homecoming" is not the episode that will appeal to everybody. I personally found it to be a solid, and in parts very well-made political satire. I would have probably given this a high rating in another context, but the main purpose of a "Masters Of Horror Episode" should be to deliver Horror, therefore I rate this a 5/10.
This is not political movie, it doesn't tell you to vote for democrats or anyone, it is just anti war film... Personally I hate zombie movies, I hate horrors, I haven never seen any good horror film, they were never scary for me, there is no horror masterpiece in my opinion, nor any masterpiece film in which people get killed, I am not hippie, but I like to see artistic films, I hardly find any film that I like, and I liked this one very much... some people here said that this film is not subtle, well it should not be, it should scream in your ears WAR is WRONG...and some said that poorly made films should not send any message, well, maybe this movie is not high quality, but his message is, and this message should exist everywhere, especially today, when people are getting blinder every day...well I don't think anything will open minds of these people, because they refuse to open them, well only when people extinct then this world will be clean from us, we are so apathetic and suicidal, nothing will help us... At least, I will say thank to this film, THANK YOU FOR TRYING, in this world where no body cares any more...
They parody Ann Coulter, Karl Rove, George W. Bush, and Cindy Sheehan.
They use such phrases as "Bring It On", "Mission Accomplished", etc...
They give homage to such luminaries as Jacques Tourneur, George A.
Romero, Jean Yarbrough and Delbert Tenney.
And there's zombies.
While the horror aspect is minor (no gore or psychological stuff or anything like that), the political satire is brilliant if you have a slightly left-wing bias. The way they present the Iraq War and the Ohio voting machine scam in here is precious.
What to say? It's short, it's funny and it has zombies. Think I covered my bases. Not sure if it will have the long-lasting appeal of Joe Dante's other work (The Howling and Gremlins) but for now it really made me feel good to be an American.
I disagree 100% with the reviewer who disagreed 100% with the reviewer
who gave this short movie an "F" grade. Cashing in heavily on political
propaganda only obscures Joe Dante's lack of ability to pull another
Howling out of his bag of tricks. The Masters of Horror series was a
phenomenal collection of truly horrifying tales, save for this episode.
Despite gaining acclaim from those who wish to promote it's political slant, "Homecoming" is the least effective episode of MOH season one. Unlike the rest of the series, Dante's entry is a parody of the genre, falling short of both horror and humor in it's ham-fisted delivery of a hackneyed political point.
Dante can really only be blamed for pulling this stinker off the shelf, as it wasn't his creation. The zombie sub-genre is very popular this decade, and among the crop of predictable George Romero tributes and vacuous fantasies are a number of works designed to push political or (ir)religeous messages. Such works are not written by or intended for true horror fans. Maybe Dante really isn't a a Master of Horror, either. What has he been up to since The Howling, after all?
If you want a lame anti-war zombie flick with a few pop culture references passed off as humor, Homecoming may be just your thing. If you are a horror fan looking for something Masterful, pick up... most any other episode of the series. My personal favorite was Dario Argento's "Jenifer," based loosely on a classic comic short by the team of Bruce Jones and Berni Wrightson -- truly creepy.
As an European watching this episode it was rather boring. The reason
is simple, still people are having problems with the US attacking other
countries and this is exactly what it is all about. Soldiers who were
killed in action are coming back as zombies but not to bite but to
demonstrate against the occupation of other countries.
The effects used to create the zombies were rather good and believable and it even looked sometimes a bit gory but it's the story itself that tear this down. Simply because in the reelection of the US president political consultant David Murch says on air that the deceased should return from the grave to help him in the election, and we already know that they do return to vote against the president.
Have seen it all before in flicks about soldiers coming back from Vietnam and are cast out of society, from hero to scum. A typical US problem still living with the fights going on in Irak.
A very political episode only for Americans to watch.
Gore 0/5 Nudity 0/5 Effects 4/5 Story 2/5 Comedy 0/5
When I saw the preview of this, okay it's just another zombie movie.
Zombie soldiers are coming out of the grave to wreak havoc, yawn! How
wrong I was.
Although Joe Dante makes no reference to any war or people we know he's not kidding anybody. Clive Barker said to him "Ann Coulter will be after you in a heartbeat."
The story is about a presidential adviser who is on a cable talk show along side a right wing political commentator/satirist "Jane Clever" dressed in a skirt, boots and too much make up. (Really Joe, who is this character modeled after? Not Glenn Beck.)When a grieving mother asks the question "Why did my son have to die?", the adviser feels a bit of human emotion for a second and says "If I could have one wish it would be that your son to come back" and then he catches himself and adds "so he can tell you how important this struggle really is." Well, he gets his wish and them some. The soldiers come back, not to eat brains and rip people apart, nope! They come back to vote, and gain public sympathy along the way.
I see many other people didn't like this one for whatever reason but I did. It made me think how we have been lied to about war many times and the idea the government really don't care about people, and say and do whatever it takes to follow their own agenda. Oliver Stone had 'JFK', John Carpenter had 'They Live', Joe Dante has this. Love it or hate it I do admire film directors who not afraid to shake things up and make people question what they are being told.
Worst Zombie Movie Ever. Ever.
Which is saying a lot because i have seen some horrendously terrible zombie movies, but Homecoming is just an absolute disgrace.
This movie does not even ATTEMPT to be scary. Calling this director a "Master of Horror" is pathetic. I have seen children movies with more horror in them, and that is NO exaggeration.
The only thing redeemable about this movie was the political message.
Unfortunately this message is recklessly crammed into a ludicrous movie with talking zombies that are clearly actors wearing walmart halloween make-up.
Synopsis: During the presidential election, a political correspondent
wishes the deceased soldiers of the recent war could rise and give
their support to the incumbent candidate. He gets his wish when these
dead veterans return from the grave and look towards Washington. Things
take a turn for the worse, however, when the dead express their lack of
gratitude to the selfish government and its politicians in their own
Undead (but still American) way.
Review: While not a fan of the show myself, this episode was repeatedly recommended to me due to my love of zombies and my enjoyment of political satire. It didn't hurt that the typically entertaining Joe Dante (Piranha, Gremlins) was in the director's seat, either. Regardless of who directed, however, I knew that it was still a television episode and not a full film. Coming in at under an hour's runtime, I wasn't expecting the deepest, most thought-provoking social satire, but still looked forward to a good zombie flick. Ironically, it was reversed. For me, the film spent far too much time on the political commentary and all that goes with it and ignored what could've been a very fun, very interesting zombie flick. I'm 100% for satire & commentary in horror (no Romero fan could be against it, really); but when the satire puts the horror elements to the back burner, it loses its edge as a horror film and becomes a commentary film. Now, this isn't to say the episode isn't worth the (short) time. Technically speaking, the film's pretty good. The script is easy to get into and works well with Dante's direction, although much of the dialogue is wasted on some low-end, soap opera-style acting. Beyond that, there are some fantastic scenes (like the creepy first coffin scene) and the final few minutes are fantastic (especially the closing monologue). But, that's about it. Overall, it's very watchable and rather likable, but I'd have to say it's far too tame for the majority of horror fans. On the other hand, if it's a dark comedy bordering on drama similar to Fido that you're looking for, this isn't a bad way to go.
Final Verdict: 6/10. Could've been much better, perhaps as a feature with higher production values, but still worth a watch.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Okay, it features one lovely blink-and-you-miss-it-joke (when the dead are rising from their tombs, the names of the old time "horror" directors like Jacques Tournier and Jean Yarborough are featured in the tombstones) and the smashing of morally bankrupt Repu/con/rightist villains is on-target: whorish skanks preaching morals etc. But why these soldiers are anti-Republicans? Because they have gone to the war, most of them should be Republicans, right? Why they don't go to killing the enemies who killed them or something? Why they ALL want to vote against the Republicans? Why this story has made of a movie? Questions never answered...
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
This isn't your typical zombie movie, and that's what I appreciated
about it. This is a film adaptation of the story "Death and Suffrage"
which tells the story of a man who spends his time spinning lies for a
president much like our own.
The dead come back to vote. They want their voices heard and our protagonist vows that those voices will be heard. "If I could have one wish..." he says.
This movie is political satire at its best. It also has characters with emotional depth and an analyzation of the darker side of humanity.
There is a story by Poppy Z. Brite that comes to mind as I am thinking about this movie. In the story, Poppy says that it is not the dead that we fear, lumbering forward, but the thought that they may show us what is beyond the grave and perhaps tell us what we do not want to hear.
Either you love this movie or you hate it. Amongst my friends, its reception has been adored. Some horror fans seem to ache for more blood and guts and less of a personal story line. I, however, highly recommend this entry into the Masters of Horror collection.
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