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"Masters of Horror" Homecoming (2005)

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1 out of 7 people found the following review useful:

Pure Garbage

1/10
Author: boudreas from Canada
11 January 2011

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

This has to be the worse out of the first 6 episodes of Season 1 that I have seen so far. This episode was so bad that I created this account just to write this review. I have no clue how this ended up with a high rating. First the story was terrible. Watch out for the voting zombies. Second they present us with what seems to be a smoking horny author and the one scene where they could have given us some T or A, and they give us nothing. At least bad episodes before it had elements of horror (blood, limbs, sex, breasts). It seems in this series the lower the IMDb rating of the episode the better it actually is. Anyways that is my personal view and if you do chose to watch this, you will lose an hour of your life and never get it back. Even if your life is shitty, this hour is worse lol.

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1 out of 7 people found the following review useful:

I loved this show

10/10
Author: speardog from United States
22 January 2008

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Being a life long liberal I loved this show. I couldn't believe something of this magnitude would actually make it through censors. I give all the credit to Showtime for their willingness to push the edge.

I'm not sure why they had the lead character be the one responsible for his brother's death, it didn't seem to fit with the story but it was nice seeing all the BAD guys get the due in the end. Too bad real life can't be like this.

What could be more satisfying in life than see an Ann Coulter look-alike get her brains blown out? Must see TV for all Americans.

One more year and it doesn't matter who is elected it will be a far better improvement over what we have had the last 8 years.

Anyone whoever voted for GW should be ashamed of themselves.

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2 out of 9 people found the following review useful:

Not too sure about this one, Masters of Horror does political satire!

5/10
Author: Paul Andrews (poolandrews@hotmail.com) from UK
15 April 2007

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Masters of Horror: Homecoming tells the story of political consultant David Murch (Jon Tenny) who is helping the current President of the United States gain re-election, in a debate on a TV talk show about the war he wishes that the dead soldiers could come back. Two days later & he gets his wish as the latest batch of dead marines that arrive back in the States start to rise from the dead, however these aren't flesh eating zombies these are thinking zombies who want their constitutional right to vote against the politicians who sent them to their untimely death's because of a lie. David has to somehow come up with a way to win the election & put these soldiers back to their graves for good...

This Canadian American co-production was episode 6 from season 1 of the hit-and-miss Masters of Horror TV series, the first of two masters of Horror episodes to be directed by Joe Dante before The Screwfly Solution from season 2 this is a very odd episode. The script by Sam Hamm was based on the short story 'Death & Suffrage' by Dale Bailey & is clearly political satire as it tries to convey all sorts of moral messages & poke fun at the current US government, there's the way they treat the war dead, rigged voting issues, how the media is used, lies, how sentiment is used to prick people's moral conscious & the selfish attitudes exhibited by politicians although there is no opposite view given to the issues raised or even hinted at so I guess you could say it's a touch one sided. With all that criticism of the government there's very little time here for any horror & if you expect hordes of flesh eating zombies then prepare to be disappointed as the filmmakers want you to sympathise with them, how they were killed fighting a false war & how they get treated when they were killed. A lot of the story & exposition is told through talk show debate & there are president speeches & press conference's too which all adds to the political feel. The question is though does it make for good entertainment? Well not really as this isn't why I watch Masters of Horror & that ending with a zombie band marching against an American flag is a bit too much.

Director Dante does OK but there's not much life in this episode, there's no real gore & the zombies here are the heroes. There's a couple of references to George A. Romero along with his Night of the Living Dead (1968) & Day of the Dead (1985) films. There's no real scares, or violence although I do wish they had filmed more kinky sex scenes between David & his lover Jane, I mean it might have spiced things up a bit amongst all the somewhat dull political & moral messages.

Technically this one is very good as usual & is well made with good production values throughout. The acting was OK but nothing particularly special.

Homecoming is the perfect horror film for those who hate Bush & the war I suppose, as an 'ordinary' horror film fan who has limited interest in politics I thought it was OK but nothing more & as a Masters of Horror episode it's a bit baffling.

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2 out of 9 people found the following review useful:

Worthy but clumsy entry in the series

Author: DVD_Connoisseur from England
18 December 2006

Joe Dante's "Homecoming" has its heart in the right place but this political zombie instalment lacks any real bite.

The tale is a simply one and told in an interesting, non-chronological fashion, but it lacks the humour or suspense that I've come to expect from this excellent series.

The cast are strong, with Thea Gill providing sex appeal in spades as the slightly seedy Jane Cleaver.

As subtle and one-dimensional as an old "Tales from the Crypt" comic, this "Masters of Horror" episode is missing the one vital ingredient required...horror. A wasted opportunity.

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3 out of 11 people found the following review useful:

A very, very well done political Horror-Comedy

8/10
Author: Pet_Rock from United States
2 September 2006

From the man who scared us with Piranha, The Howling, Twilight Zone: The Movie, and Gremlins comes

HOMECOMING!

In the year 2008, people who have died in wars are popping out of their grave, which is a big problem for political figures Jane Cleaver (Wonderful performance by Thea Gill) and David Murch (Jon Tenney) in fact, things get so bad we see David kill Jane! But why? The answers are explained in one long flashback, set 4 weeks earlier.

A great, funny, popcorn zombie flick! Fun for the whole family! However, it's only for some people, because it is very anti-Bush and anti-war.

The idea is great and original (Originality is one thing these Masters of Horror episodes are great at accomplishing) and the acting and directing is wonderful.

You won't be disappointed. Enjoy!

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3 out of 11 people found the following review useful:

They're coming to draft-you Barbara!

8/10
Author: Matthew Janovic (myboigie@earthlink.net) from United States
22 August 2006

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

"All horror films are political."--Joe Dante

When watching-this, people should keep-in-mind that Joe Dante is not known as a political-director, though you could find the subtext in many of his films. But, you'd have to look pretty-deeply. Certainly, "Gremlins" is a criticism of American-consumerism and just how ill-behaved we are as a culture (then-and-now), and surely "The Howling" takes a few jabs at the sexual-revolution--but if-anything, Joe Dante has been known as a director of genre-films, and a damned fine one. He is also noteworthy for his championing of genre history, and has helped save several films (classics) from oblivion. It's safe to say that Joe Dante is probably one-of horror's best-friends of the last 40-years, period. Let's all be honest here: the Left has ALWAYS owned horror as her creators. There are precious-few classics in the genre that are 'right-wing' (aristocrats don't count)in their thrust, and sorry, you cannot count Heinlein. Lovecraft was a racist and a reactionary, but he changed by the time of his death.

It's not controversial to say that Iraq and the entire Middle East is in a mess that should have been avoided. This basic-truth is very difficult to locate in our mainstream-media, it is taboo to even acknowledge it. Consider-this: how many stories like this really get made in horror nowadays? Actor Robert Picardo--a Republican--states in his interview-featurette that he came to the project partly because he was deeply-concerned that the debate is being limited in this country's media, and that it alarmed him. Yes, this is coming from a Republican actor. Even Grover Norquist--the ideological-architect of our current-disaster--has stated he is concerned that things have "gone-too-far", and worries that the Democratic Party won't "reign-in the excesses" of the GOP and the Bush administration. If there really was a "liberal media-bias", films like this would be everywhere.

The story begins much like our daily-lives: with television "bobble-heads" telling us the daily-lies (and leaving-out more). The main-protagonist David Murch (played with restraint by the excellent Jon Tenney) is a Right-wing pundit and former Presidential speech-writer. While usually representing the "more-moderate" side of the GOP's talking-points, Murch is really a decoy for political talk-shows to Jane Cleaver's far-right comments. This is actually how the media works now: rarely have any genuine people from other political-viewpoints (never-mind a left-leaning one) in the corporate-owned media, and just have two right-wing viewpoints debating. It's all-about narrowing the debate. Enter characters like Jane Cleaver and David Murch.

Canadian-actress Thea Gill does an incredible-performance as Cleaver--clearly, she's modeled-after Ann Coulter, though there are other talking-necks who would fit-the-bill. Ironically, the writer and director toned-down the rhetoric of the character from the real-life ones. I honestly found most of the story and scenes very-scary, because they are such familiar North American-settings. This is about our lives, not somebody living-on-Mars, obviously.

Pundit-Murch is put-on-the-spot by a Gold Star mother of a soldier killed in an unpopular-war on a talk-program, and he tells her he wished her son could "come-back" to tell everyone that his sacrifice was worthwhile. Be careful what you wish-for. Before-long, even the President is mouthing Murch's talking-point, again-and-again, and before-long they get their wish. All the dead-soldiers from the conflict who feel betrayed return, becoming an embarrassment to the GOP and their bobble-heads. Murch is eventually summoned by Kurt Rand (played with vigor and hilarity by the superb Rob Picardo), the guy who makes most of the P.R. and policy-decisions for the President. Some have said that this character is modeled-after Karl Rove, which is true. However, I thought Picardo also bore some resemblance to Vice President Dick Cheney. Check the scene in-which Murch is shown one of the early-returners--the zombie does the usual "grrrrr!", and Picardo returns-in-kind. That's pure-Cheney ("Go f*ck-yourself!"). Like the neocons, these are people who don't even care about the suffering of the damned. Shockingly, it becomes-clear that the dead-soldiers merely want to vote. Of course, there's a catch to this: they want to vote-against the criminals who made them "die for a lie". This powerful-moment depicts a zombie-soldier telling the press at a political-gathering, "We'll vote for anyone who ends this evil war." It's a real moment of catharsis for anyone who has watched the Iraq war with a healthy-dose of skepticism.

Also moving, was the scene of the dead-soldier being comforted by the black-couple. It made me think of all the lives that have been abused and thrown-away by the Bush administration--though Bush and company are hardly-alone in their guilt. Yes, the Democratic Party also got us into our present-quagmire, where young-men and women die for a lie they knew was a lie from-the-start. This is a basic-truth. Their absence in "Homecoming" is their absence as a viable opposition-party to the GOP, and the film can be viewed as an Capraesque call to patriotic-duty. You see, this is a story of OUR guilt. When the dead-soldiers vote (then die), it's made-clear the election was stolen (just like in real-life), and the dead from all American-conflicts rise from their graves. Dante and Hamm make-it-plain that the criminals who stole those elections have betrayed the sacrifices of generations of Americans who gave their lives, sincerely, for their country, and for democracy. What is happening in Iraq, Afghanistan and Lebanon is shameful, and it all dishonors the sacrifices made by all American troops. By ending this evil war and jailing this criminal administration and Congress, we do them and ourselves right by acting. My family has given all the way back to the American Revolution, what have you done for democracy today? We're all guilty, like the villains from the darkest EC comic...THEY'RE COMING FOR YOU. THEY'RE COMING TO DRAFT-YOU, BARBARA.

11/08/2006: the war is going to end, and the neocons can expect to be investigated for the next-two-years. Glad I got to you war-mongers.

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5 out of 15 people found the following review useful:

Better than the republicans would like to admit

10/10
Author: Mafco Mafco from Netherlands
4 September 2006

Wow politics and horror meet and combine into something very disturbing indeed in this episode! I really like how the creators did not compromise by using a fake war with fake politicians, using the war in Iraq as a theme gives it lots of relevance and makes it far more disturbing to watch. Using the undead to force people to look at one of the biggest if not THE biggest LIE of our times might sound a bit too weird, but it actually works at extremely well in my opinion. Why not use the US dead from the war to make a powerful anti war statement? The US military wounded and especially the dead are carefully hidden from the media, as if they are just anonymous numbers who fade away in history, happy to have done their country a service by being used as cannon fodder in a war of lies. Using satire to expose the current political power as morally bankrupt and uncaring about the lives it destroys is painfully to the point. Showing the press as licking the heals of republicans. I would have thought US military personnel would hate this episode, but the ones I know who have seen it really liked it. Now that the war in Iraq is lost this episode seems even more relevant.

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20 out of 45 people found the following review useful:

The Masters' Touch, Part Two: "Homecoming"

Author: Christopher T. Chase (cchase@onebox.com) from Arlington, VA.
22 February 2006

Directed by Joe Dante (The Howling); written by Sam Hamm (Batman), based on the short story "Death and Suffrage" by Dale Bailey, starring Jon Tenney, Thea Gill and Robert Picardo.

As Gene Roddenberry, Ray Bradbury, Lester del Rey and renowned sci-fi authors could tell you all the way back to H.G. Wells and further...there is no better way to discuss whatever is ailing society, no matter what time period it is, than to couch the discussion in a satirical or fantasy-based context. It's a lot easier to engage the audience into reflecting and commenting on such hot-button topics as racism, sexism, fascism, what have you, if the characters caught up in the dramatic scenarios addressing these topics aren't "real".

It's in this spirit that director Joe Dante took Dale Bailey's award-nominated short story, "Death and Suffrage," and turned it into what has to be (so far) the series' finest hour, "Homecoming." Giving vent to the anger, anguish and frustration that so many people are feeling about now, he uses the buffer of pitch-black humor to put a spin on the often-asked question: "What if...?" As in "What if the many war dead from Iraq were so galvanized by the dishonor of The Great Lie they died for, that they actually came back to life to vote the President out of office during the next election?" A game cast, including Jon Tenney (where the heck have ya been, Jon???) QAF regular Thea Gill and the always-excellent Robert Picardo, do a number on death and politics that would make Stanley Kubrick, John Frankenheimer and Paddy Chayefsky nod in approval. This is not your regular Masters' episode, but something very close to the filmic equivalent of Jonathan Swift's classic piece of satiric prose, "A Modest Proposal." To some, it will seem like ham-handed preachiness, bordering on shameless propaganda. To others, it will seem unnecessarily watered down by the horror/fantasy elements. But like Yosemite Sam in the Warner Brothers' cartoons, trying to get the attention of his stubborn jackass by beaning it with a two-by-four, this may be the most effective method (and possibly the only one) to get a lackadaisical, enervated public to sit up and take notice.

That is saying a whole helluva lot, but that's I good I felt this installment was. It's just too bad that it won't be viewed by the people who really need to see it...Right, Georgie?

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1 out of 8 people found the following review useful:

Masters Of Horror: Homecoming (Joe Dante, 2005) **1/2

6/10
Author: MARIO GAUCI (marrod@melita.com) from Naxxar, Malta
10 November 2008

Tolerable but only middling political satire (some time back I'd watched Dante's interesting THE SECOND CIVIL WAR [1997], also made for TV) which also manages to provide a twist on the typical zombie lore: American soldiers being killed in the current senseless war rise from the dead at the time of the oncoming elections to vote for a change (its late-night Italian TV screening on the eve of Barack Obama's long-awaited victory couldn't have been a coincidence)!! Its depiction of a person willing the dead back to life had been handled rather more stylishly in Bob Clark's DEATHDREAM (1974); Dante's film does have an effectively ironic revelation late in the game, but it's somewhat undone by the overbearing personality of the leading lady! As ever with Dante, in-jokes abound with respect to the names shown on the various gravestones: these obviously include such directors of zombie-related fare as John Gilling, Jacques Tourneur and G. A. Romero (the IMDb actually lists several others but I missed them somehow)!

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3 out of 12 people found the following review useful:

Good

Author: Michael_Elliott from Louisville, KY
29 February 2008

Homecoming (2005)

*** (out of 4)

Joe Dante's Masters of Horror entry is about a bunch of dead soldiers who return from the grave so that they can vote. I'm not really into the political message the film had but other than that I really enjoyed the film. Some of the humor doesn't work but for the most part the jokes as well as the message come off very well.

I think this is still one of the better episodes, although I think Argento and Carpenter came off better with both of their films. I'm sure this one here will become a cult classic in the future.

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