Masters of Horror: Season 2, Episode 1

The Damned Thing (27 Oct. 2006)

TV Episode  -   -  Horror | Thriller
5.3
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Ratings: 5.3/10 from 1,680 users  
Reviews: 26 user | 15 critic

The Damned Thing is the apocalyptic tale of a monstrous force that devastates Sheriff Kevin Reddle's family and his small Texas town. Sheriff Reddle thinks there is a connection between ... See full summary »

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Title: The Damned Thing (27 Oct 2006)

The Damned Thing (27 Oct 2006) on IMDb 5.3/10

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Cast

Episode complete credited cast:
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Dina
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Deputy Strauss
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Mikey Reddle
Brent Stait ...
John Reddle
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Jodi Reddle
Ryan Drescher ...
Young Kevin
Andrew McIlroy ...
Joe Litton
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Dr. Cohen
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Father Tulli
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Charity
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Gabe Green
...
Lenny
Ocean Hellman ...
Mary
Eileen Barrett ...
Janet
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Storyline

The Damned Thing is the apocalyptic tale of a monstrous force that devastates Sheriff Kevin Reddle's family and his small Texas town. Sheriff Reddle thinks there is a connection between this mysterious, invisible force which made his father kill his mother back in 1981, and he sets out to uncover and stop the so-called "Damned Thing" before it decimates his whole town by forcing the residents to kill each other and themselves. Written by masters of horror

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Horror | Thriller

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TV-MA | See all certifications »

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27 October 2006 (USA)  »

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1.78 : 1
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Goofs

A large object which appears to be a squib is visible under the journalist's shirt when he's shot by the sheriff. See more »

Connections

Features C-Bear and Jamal (1996) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Great Story and All, But Lacking Something Crucial
11 January 2007 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

A young boy named Kevin Reddle sees his father go berserk and kill his mother and is then mauled and disemboweled himself. Years later, Kevin is the town sheriff and when similar incidents start happening around town, he must piece together the mystery before the evil consumes the town.

Like season one's "Dance of the Dead" this is a story directed by Tobe Hooper and written by Richard Christian Matheson, adapted from a classic horror story (though this time from Ambrose Bierce rather than from Matheson's father). And also like season one, it is the least critically acclaimed episode in the season.

I haven't read the Bierce story, but the elements here should be familiar: a town consumed by evil, an evil that returns every 24 years (not unlike Stephen King's 30 years from "It") and a son who must deal with his father's legacy. Some variations from other stories you may have seen, but the general idea remains unchanged. Even Sean Patrick Flannery (Kevin Reddle) reminds me of Nathan Fillion from "Slither" in his sheriff uniform.

Where this episode shines is in the gore. While perhaps not as gory as "Jenifer", we have a man who smashes his own face with a hammer, a car accident victim with no legs and a man get visibly disemboweled before our eyes (not unlike what happened to Judas Iscariot probably).

The acting is also decent. Flannery is respectable, the local reporter is well-casted, and Marisa Coughlan makes for a good female lead. (Viewers will recognize Coughlan as the female lead from either "Super Troopers" or "Freddy Got Fingered" -- this film is not as funny as either of them.) Really standing out is Ted Raimi as Father Tulli, in one of his bigger roles (and a much better one than in "Skinner" with Ricki Lake).

Where the film fails, though, is the lack of a plot. In the first ten or fifteen minutes I thought I was watching a great film, but it fell deeper and deeper down the ranks as it went. By no means will I give away the ending, but I think it will leave you about as unsatisfied as you can possibly be. It is the only ending of a "Masters of Horror" episode I have really despised.

I cannot say you need to watch this film. I would be hard pressed to say it is better or worse than "The Fair-Haired Child" or "Pick Me Up" (my two least favorites), but I can say this: Tobe Hooper is proving to the world over and over again that whatever magic he had, he lost a long time ago.


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