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 1,713 users  
Reviews: 27 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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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
...
Father Tulli
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Charity
...
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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27 October 2006 (USA)  »

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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

 
A Bubblin' Crude Excuse for Horror
8 September 2008 | by (Hellfudge, Pennsylvania) – See all my reviews

As is the case with most second-season "Masters of Horror" episodes, 'The Damned Thing' is simply a downgrade in all departments: a poorly structured, generally ineffective tale suffering from a muddled plot, one-dimensional characters, and effects that come off as absurd in their own exaggeration (the ep opens with an overblown disembowelment and only gets sillier from there). The actors are done no favors by Richard Christian Matheson's script (a loose adaptation of an obscure story by Ambrose Bierce), which stitches together disparate moments of somber exposition and hyperactive bloodletting in a story that never really comes together: in 1981, Kevin Reddle witnessed his father go on a rampage, murdering his mother in cold blood on his birthday; 24 years later (and now a lawman played by Sean Patrick Flanery), a vague, possessive evil rises up to transform the residents of his sleepy Texas town into bloodthirsty maniacs. While Matheson seems to be making a social comment on man's reliance on fossil fuel turning civil society to pandemonium (echoes of Katrina and the Iraq quagmire), his method couldn't be less subtle. Also problematic is Flanery's portrayal of Reddle--mumble-mouthed and listless, his performance borders on sleepwalking, and a cliché-ridden voice-over does nothing to help us sympathize with him (especially when he unconvincingly heads into Jack Nicholson territory in the last reel). With so much working against 'The Damned Thing' my middle-ground rating comes from Hooper's direction: while 'Dance of the Dead' (his season one entry) combined the horrific and sleazy with pathos and social insight, the director weaved it into a dazzling barrage of nightmarish imagery through his spastic technique; similarly, 'The Damned Thing' shows him operating well within his limited resources--even if the other elements aren't up to snuff, Hooper knows when to shake the camera, and when to keep it perfectly still. But that alone really isn't enough to warrant repeat viewings.


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