Monsters: Season 2, Episode 10

The Mandrake Root (10 Dec. 1989)

TV Episode  -   -  Horror
5.2
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Title: The Mandrake Root (10 Dec 1989)

The Mandrake Root (10 Dec 1989) on IMDb 5.2/10

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Claudia Silver
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Horror

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10 December 1989 (USA)  »

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1.33 : 1
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Dull & rather illogical Monsters episode.

Monsters: The Mandrake Root starts as Angela Lyle (Melba Moore) rummages through her recently deceased grandmother Marianne's house, upstairs & downstairs seem fine so Angela decides to inspect the mysterious basement that her grandmother always kept locked. Growing out of the basement floor Angela see a small strange root like plant with a ring stuck to a spiky offshoot which catches & cuts her finger as Angela tries to grab the ring, returning to the basement a short time later Angela is shocked to see that the small root like planet that her grandmother called a Mandrake Root has grown an entire man (Byron Minns), as you would be really. This man just so happens to be young, well toned, sexy & rather captivating as Angela quickly falls for his poetic yet cryptic talk. Unfortunately this Mandrake Root's love comes at a price, the Mandrake Root needs blood to survive & wants Anegla's husband Jack (Frankie Faison) to provide it...

Episode ten from season two of Monsters this originally in the US during December 1989, directed by Brian Thomas Jones this is a rather dull episode that to me felt like it wanted to be a steamy erotic drama more than a dark episodic horror anthology story. The whole structure of The Mandrake Root bothered me, the character's were poor & especially Angela. I mean you discover a half hunky bloke half root vegetable in the basement & she just accepts it, she falls in love with it within fifteen minutes, lets it drink her blood, she kills for it, lures her husband there & then at the last second for no apparent reason quite literally cuts it down in it's prime before trying to patch things up with Jack. Then there's the business of why the Mandrake Roor hunk drinks Angela's blood without killing her yet the estate agent dies yet Jack doesn't which is never explained. Of course if we go with the theory based in reality that Angela was hallucinating the entire thing still doesn't make any sense & I don't thing the majority of viewers will know what a Mandrake Root is anyway. The story as whole is limp & lifeless, at only twenty odd minutes it feels a lot longer, there's virtually no horror, scares, tension or atmosphere & The Mandrake Root is a definite mid-season low.

Afetr a quick bit of research (so you don't have to bother) I have found that Mandrake is a real term & used to commonly describe members of the plant genus Mandragora that contain hallucinogenic drugs their roots have long been used in magic rituals, so now you know. Mandrake Root is apparently also the title of a song by Deep Purple that featured on their debut album but I don't think that has any relevance to this Monsters episode. This one plays & feels more like a steamy erotic drama than anything else just without the eroticism, this Mandrake hunk bloke thing has a lower half conspicuous by the fact he has no dangly bits, how was he going to satisfy Angela anyway? Melba Moore seems to be well known for her stage & singing work.

The Mandrake Root is a poor Monsters episode that doesn't make much sense whichever way you look at it, the obscurities of the possible real life meaning or significance will be lost on most.


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