Monsters: Season 1, Episode 23

Mannequins of Horror (20 May 1989)

TV Episode  |   |  Horror
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A nurse helps a patient obsessed with perfecting the clay mannequins he creates.



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Title: Mannequins of Horror (20 May 1989)

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Episode cast overview:
Glynis Barber
Brian Brophy


A nurse helps a patient obsessed with perfecting the clay mannequins he creates.

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20 May 1989 (USA)  »

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User Reviews

One of the best episodes from the series.

Monsters: Mannikins of Horror (the IMDb is definitely wrong, the on-screen title says Mannikins rather than Mannequins) is set in a mental institution where one time brilliant surgeon & inmate Dr. Collins (William Prince) resides, Dr. Jarris (Glynis Barber) feels she can help him but Collins obsession with the little clay men he sculptures with great anatomical detail including giving them hearts & brains convinces the institute warden Dr. Starr (Brian Brophy) that Collins is a hopeless case & beyond help. Starr removes the clay men from Collins room but soon discovers to his cost that that Collins & his creations have a unique bond...

Episode twenty three from season one of Monsters this originally aired in the US during May 1989, directed by Ernest D. Farino & the second Monsters episode to be based upon a story by famed horror author Robert Bloch after The Legacy (1988) from earlier in the season I am not sure why the word mannequins is spelt so oddly in the title (as it was in Bloch's original story) but it's a cracking episode all the same & one of the best from the entire series. I was very impressed with this on both conceptual & technical levels, maybe I'm overrating it but that's how I genuinely feel about it. The story based on one by Bloch had already been adapted & filmed as part of an anthology in the Amicus horror flick Asylum (1972) & the two share some similarities like character names, the setting & various incidents but feel quite different & I would say this is probably the better version. There's a subplot where it's hinted that it's set in a Government controlled state which doesn't really go anywhere but apart from that it's a terrific piece of horror writing & there's a really good solid intriguing story, some creepy scenes & a great ending which if you know the original story won't be a surprise but I suspect most won't have.

One aspect where this version of Mannikins of Horror is far superior to the one in Asylum are the killer puppets themselves which in Asylum were chunky toy like robots that never convinced you they were alive & move about freely while here they are sleek carved men from clay even including genitals for the males! The special effects used here is stop-motion animation & it works really well & a lot of time was obviously spent on it. In fact this whole episode looks quite high budget & polished with good production values, the sets are good & they are more convincing than usual & there's a certain expansive feeling to this episode as well. There's a couple of good gore scenes as well, someone has a knife stuck in their eyeball in close-up while someone else has their face squashed & mangled. The cast do alright & minor star Glynis Barber does OK.

Mannikins of Horror is another excellent episode of Monsters that has high production values & a filmic look, at twenty minutes the story could have used a bit more time but it works very well. Add that to some good special effects, a couple of decent gore scenes & a twist ending you have something a lot better than it has any right to be. I was impressed, an excellent episode.

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