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"Masters of Horror" Homecoming (2005)

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3 out of 12 people found the following review useful:

Love The Anti Message

10/10
Author: jed-estes from United States Kentucky Hancock
5 September 2006

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

This episode has more to say than any of the other episodes. Joe Dante really took the forum and ran with it. I believe he mainly did this because he is not a true master of horror. I like what he does but he certainly is no master. To call him a master is to say someone like Joel Schumaker is a master, God forbid that guy ever gets to direct one of these. But still Dante is a master of cinema and that is what he utilizes in this episode. He crafts a tell that spits in the face of our government with good reason. This thing puts down Iraq, Bush, republicans, and the way we all act in just one hour. it took Michael Moore two. Joe Dante has maybe done his master work with this. Look forward to more from this great director.

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4 out of 14 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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7 out of 20 people found the following review useful:

Weak point, but likable and dislikable for other reasons

Author: jdollak from United States
9 April 2006

While I liked the sentiment, it did not seem horrifying at all to me. The dead were not out to do anything mindless at all. Thus, the fact that their bodies are decaying doesn't actually make them dangerous. The closest they get to being dangerous is when the one dead guy attacks the "Rove" character. But even that seemed to be carefully handled. The dead guy is provoked, and has nothing to lose.

So anyway, a brief recount of the story. A political consultant appears on a Larry King-esquire show and says that if he could, it would be great to have all of the dead in this current war (although unnamed, it's clear that it's our involvement in Iraq) to come back so they could let us know that it was worth it. Then the dead come back, and it becomes clear that they are interested in voting for any candidate that will end the war.

The story this is based on is called Death and Suffrage, which I'm interested in reading. It is not a war-related story exactly, but it's about gun control. Joe Dante adapted the story to his own purposes. I've seen a fair amount of Dante's work. The Howling, Gremlins, Explorers, Innerspace, Matinée, Small Soldiers, as well as handful of his TV episode credits. His work consistently has a certain amount of wildness to it, the stories seem almost too big to effectively handle in the confines of a standard feature film. This one feels more like he didn't have enough material.

I find myself wondering if this film would be more horrifying to someone conservative enough to not recognize that they're making fun of them. I also kept thinking of The Simpsons and "Oh no! The dead have risen and they're voting Republican!" There are other details that should make it more ambiguous; no party is ever named. The only clues that they're picking on the current administration is the facts that 1) we're in a war, similar to their mentioning, that is of this administration's doing. 2) characters are similar to other well known political figures. There's Rove, there's a Bush character that we see very fleetingly on a TV, and hear him talking in "his way" and one of the key characters is very much Ann Coulter. At least the way that I imagine her behaving off camera. I'm sure I'm wrong.

I love living dead movies. I tend to have a great time with even the worst of them, but this one falls short in the horror category. I found that I liked certain sequences, particularly some of the phrases that the Coulter character uses. The fact that those phrases are used as selling points for policy indicates something has been going wrong.

But I strongly defend Joe Dante for having the conviction to make this movie. It's fairly creative, and the message makes a decent point. While it's possible to make a pro-war or "let's wipe them out" sort of movie, I don't think that would be effective. The closest we can get to that is something like Independence Day. Stir up patriotism, that'll make you willing to go out and kill. But only for your country.

As I said, there's nothing too horrifying in it. If you're liberal, you'll find some of the Coulter comments to be horrible. If you're conservative, you'll be dismissive and bored. Probably the weakest point in the series, but it's still a pretty high point, but for all the wrong reasons.

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1 out of 9 people found the following review useful:

Anti-conservative? Gotta see this

9/10
Author: wrlang from United States
11 December 2006

Homecoming is from the Masters of Horror collection and is a scathing tale about dead Iraq war veterans who come back to life to tell people what they think of the Iraq war during an election year. IT hurts the vets too much to talk so they just head for the polling places and can't be killed until they have gotten the chance to vote. The perspective is entirely from the conservative point of view and holds true to real life in that they only know what's going on in there little heads. It's a fantastic play on the current administration's lack of insight. All the players can be associated with current real life conservative pundits and puppets. In the end, the conservatives steal the vote and then the Iraq vets call for reinforcements. A wonderful satire about today's political environment, and actually done in relative good taste.

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4 out of 15 people found the following review useful:

Homecoming not quite

Author: Tim Hayes from Perth, Ontario, Canada
2 April 2006

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Joe Dante's Homecoming is somewhat reminiscent of Bob Clark's 70's military zombie flick Deathdream. Granted some of the similarities are merely superficial. Clark's film had one zombie, Dante's has many. The political subtexts are present in both films. Homecoming, however, is all about story and short on the scares. Granted its great to have Dante back in the genre since its been far too long since he actually made a film in it, but some scares would have been a welcome addition to the satire. This is a zombie movie for crying out loud. As typical of the series, the episode is well filmed and the acting above par. Its just that one expects a series titled Masters Of Horror to have some scares to it. A nice try though.

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9 out of 26 people found the following review useful:

I want YOU .... to vote against the system!

Author: Coventry from the Draconian Swamp of Unholy Souls
20 May 2006

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

"Piranha" and "Gremlins" director Joe Dante obviously isn't a big supporter of George Bush and an opponent to his war policy, in particular. Okay point taken, but was it absolutely necessary to revolve an entire "Master of Horror"-episode on his aversion towards the American President? It's not even the first time he does this, but at least his previous "The Second Civil War" contained subtle mockery and it was more accessible to non-American viewers. Horror lovers living outside America who didn't closely follow the last Presidential elections (with the difficulties in the state of Ohio and the explicit speeches of Ann Coulter) will occasionally miss out on gags and cynic references. Joe Dante's main inspiration for "Homecoming" was unquestionable the repertoire of George A. Romero, whose name is honorably mentioned on a tombstone appearing in the film. Romero has been using zombies to express political statements since the late 60's already and what Dante does here is merely imitating him in an unsubtle fashion. In the last stage of the election campaign, deceased soldiers come back to life to prevent the President from winning another four years of leadership. They can't be killed with shotguns but they do auto-destruct once they cast their voice AGAINST the system. This is a silly film, completely ignoring horror and suspense in favor of political satire. It's watchable thanks to some good acting performances and a decent pace, but it's definitely the least satisfying "Masters of Horror" episode I've seen thus far.

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4 out of 17 people found the following review useful:

Review of Dante's, Garris' and McNaughton's pieces

Author: mkw-5 from Finland
3 April 2006

Joe Dante:"Homecoming"+++This is a concentrated and professional work. It's well directed and edited. The zombie genre is really challenging, and it's a little wonder that directors want to even try after decades of so great zombie movies: Can they bring something new or fresh to the scene? But there is some good solutions here, one of them being that it goes straight to the point with no bullsh*tting. Joe Dante has a funny style; This movie could have been made in the 80's. Visuals and everything is really 80's. Even the acting. That was the time when Dante made some famous movies. But the story takes place in today's world. To Americans this story must be more horrific than to anyone else. The lead actress has an interesting face. And there's a homáge to Jacques Tourneur.I wouldn't call this great, but it was good TV entertainment. Not bad.

Mick Garris:"Chocolate"+++Acting is a little pretentious, same as the story... And actually everything: Directing also. It's like bad TV, when some of the other episodes were real movies. It was so bad I didn't even bother to watch it.

John McNaughton"Haeckel's Tale"+++This is directed by McNaughton, who made one of the sickest horror movies ever: "Henry". And the story is by Clive Barker. And Romero has been a producer or something. Should be something interesting. But it isn't. It's totally unrealistic and pretentious. Acting is bad, directing is bad, story is stupid... Really cheap. But it wasn't a disappointment, because I didn't have any expectations.

To Naughton and Garris: Zero, to Dante:5 (out of 10).

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5 out of 23 people found the following review useful:

As good as Masters of Horror has got so far

6/10
Author: The_Void from Beverley Hills, England
26 March 2006

While Joe Dante's Masters of Horror entry doesn't completely lampoon the subject matter that the tale is a parody of, it's automatically one of the best efforts of the series simply because it actually shows a little bit of brain power! Episode six handles the theme of soldiers from Iraq returning home after their president wished that they could. However, they're returning home as zombies! The film plays out more like a black comedy than a horror show, as the focus is always on the government rather than the ex-soldiers, and we follow a handful of officials as they try and work out the best political strategy to see them come out unscathed. Joe Dante isn't one of the most promising directors contributing to the series, and to be honest, I wasn't really expecting much from him. It's that which makes this episode even better, as it came as a complete surprise! Joe Dante even finds time for tributes to classic zombie film "Night of the Living Dead" with the cemetery sequence, and classic directors, with tombstones named after "I Walked with a Zombie" director Jacques Tourneur, and the "Dead" series director George A. Romero. The ideas behind the plot are a bit muddled, and at times it's hard to decipher what the film is really trying to say...but the central theme is an original one, and despite a poor, patriotic ending; this episode is at least on par with the best so far; namely, Stuart Gordon and Dario Argento's segments.

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51 out of 138 people found the following review useful:

one-sided political smear tactic masquerading as "entertainment"

Author: movieman_kev from United States
16 February 2006

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Good news Mr. Hooper, your episode "Dance of The Dead" isn't the worst episode any more. Rejoice in the fact that that dubious honor now goes to Joe Dante's partisan propaganda-fest that is "Homecoming". The story isn't that original, hell two films that came out the same year "Land of the Dead" & "Feeding the Masses" share pretty much the same traits. And I haven't seen a swipe against the Republicans on TV since, oh about half an hour before this episode started. Dante had fallen badly since his classic great '80's movies. Hell he has fallen badly since 1998's "Small Soldiers" and if I hadn't seen this crap I would've not believed it, but he actually crams pretty much every smear in an hour as he can: included but not limited to "Cindy Sheenan is a stand up patriot and caring mother", "Bush is a moron", "Katherine Harris helped steal both elections", "a child in a house with a gun will kill anyone on sight", "Ann Coulter is a cheap whore", and so on and so forth. The greatest sin however is not that it's so blatantly one-sided, it's that the show isn't amusing or horrific in the least, and becomes a true chore to sit through. I really don't know if I'm picking the inevitable DVD set up now. Please excuse me while I wash my body vigorously with industrial strength soap and then claw my eyes out. However I will point out that it DOES have precedence that the dead would vote for the Democrat, just look back at JFK's election ;)

My Grade: F

Appendum: After rewatching it I saw that it took place in 2008 meaning that it would be Bush's THIRD election ha ha, that's hilarious. Also I see that a lot of the brain dead great unwashed liberals have been constantly voting my review as 'unhelpful', but really that was to be expected.

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