Masters of Horror (2005–2007)
37 user 28 critic

Dance of the Dead 

2:01 | Trailer
In a post-apocalypse society, 17-year-old Peggy lives with her mom, who's over-protective, since her your daughter,Annadied. Peggy works at her mom's restaurant. When 2 punk couples come to... See full summary »


Tobe Hooper


Mick Garris (creator), Richard Christian Matheson (teleplay) | 1 more credit »





Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Jessica Lowndes ... Peggy
Genevieve Buechner ... Young Anna
Jonathan Tucker ... Jak
Margot Berner ... Marie
Ryan McDonald ... Boxx
Marilyn Norry ... Kate
Lucie Guest ... Celia
Sharon Heath ... Gerri
Robert Englund ... The MC
Erica Carroll ... Mia
Don MacKay ... Steven
Karen Elizabeth Austin ... Quinn (as Karen Austin)
Emily Anne Graham ... Young Peggy (as Emily Graham)
Fraser Aitcheson ... Giant Door Guy (as Darren Aitcheson)
Julia Barrick Taffe Julia Barrick Taffe ... Loopy Girl #1 (as Julia Taffe)


In a post-apocalypse society, 17-year-old Peggy lives with her mom, who's over-protective, since her your daughter,Annadied. Peggy works at her mom's restaurant. When 2 punk couples come to the diner to eat, Peggy's attracted to Jak, who invites her to go out with him, later. Without letting her mom know, Peggy goes out with Jak, and go to a dark club; the Doom Room. The master of ceremony's the ringmaster of a freak show with dead people. The MC injects blood into the dead, and they dance on a ring for the exalted audience. When Peggy sees her undead sister, Anna dancing in the show, the MC discloses the truth about her presence in the circus. Written by Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

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Parents Guide:

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Did You Know?


Billy Corgan, frontman for the alternative metal band, The Smashing Pumpkins, composed the music for this episode. See more »


Jak: There's no more California. Haven't you heard?
See more »


Referenced in Unique Congratulation (2014) See more »


At Least You Bought Her Flowers
performed by Fall River
See more »

User Reviews

The Omega Punks
29 September 2006 | by Jonny_NumbSee all my reviews

"Wow," with a capital W-O-W.

After reading the near-unanimous venomous sentiments being spat in the direction of Tobe Hooper's "Masters of Horror" episode, 'Dance of the Dead,' I had the lowest of low expectations. Additionally, I don't consider myself much of a fan of Hooper's oeuvre--save for "Texas Chainsaw" and the "Toolbox Murders" remake, his career has been sketchy, with projects often falling victim to studio meddling and financial troubles.

And at first, I thought it was just my low expectations that made 'Dance of the Dead' stand out...but as it progressed, I realized that Hooper had just made a damn good episode. What 'Dance' achieves that most of the other shows have been missing is a personalization of madness and horror. The 'monsters' are not rubber-suited creatures or knife-wielding slashers, but unassuming tropes pulled from everyday life: most prominently, parental loss of control and the corruption of youth. Bio-terrorism, drug use, lurid sex, hypocrisy, nihilism, and the exploitation of the dead also pop up.

The notion of 'messages' underlying the horror are bound to throw up a red flag for some, but Richard Christian Matheson's adaptation of his father's short story is ingeniously executed by Hooper, who employs jittery framing and whiplash edits to produce a visceral experience (I've never seen a film simulate a drug high as well as 'Dance of the Dead') that, instead of dulling the social commentary, heightens it in a way that only really becomes apparent once the episode ends. Comparatively, Joe Dante's 'Homecoming' failed because it bypassed horror and hammered us with its message, whereas Hooper strikes an effective balance between the two.

There are so many subtle surprises in 'Dance of the Dead' that it's best to keep the plot synopsis brief: In a post-apocalyptic landscape, Peggy (Jessica Lowndes) lives under the watchful eye of her mother, and makes eyes with Jak (Jonathan Tucker), a sensitive rebel who runs blood to the emcee (a wonderfully sleazoid Robert Englund) of a local fetish club where the dead get up and do the titular deed.

For all the negative notices 'Dance of the Dead' has received, I was surprised at how much I enjoyed it. Hooper has created a short film that is as creepy, hopeless, and frightening as it is moving and deceptively intelligent. A true dark horse in the "Masters of Horror" series, highly recommended.

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Release Date:

11 November 2005 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital



Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
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