"Masters of Horror" Incident on and Off a Mountain Road (TV Episode 2005) Poster

User Reviews

Review this title
37 Reviews
Sort by:
Filter by Rating:
the second best episode of Season 1
movieman_kev16 February 2006
Director Don Coscarelli (Phantasm, Beastmaster, Bubba Ho-Tep) set the bar high with the first episode to be shown. While this tale adapted by the great though sadly relatively unsung author, Joe R. Lansdale, about a strong willed woman surviving a car accident that leads her to a unfortunate encounter with a vicious serial killer with the moniker of "Moonface" is not that original. It more than makes up for it with sheer tension. Pretty much a breathtaking chase sequence for much of the duration of the show (barring a few flashbacks), this episode was a sheer delight for me as a horror fan and made me crave the other episodes all the more. All the actors were spot on, with the amazingly great Angus Scrimm as an obvious stand-out.
20 out of 36 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
A Decent Start To This Excellent Series
I have, as probably many fans of the great genre of Horror, become a big fan of the "Masters Of Horror" series. A series of 1-hour features by well-known horror directors, including such names as Dario Argento, John Carpenter and Takashi Miike, just has to be a treat for a fan of the genre. This first episode, "Incident On And Off A Mountain Road" by Don Coscarelli (Phantasm) is a decent and highly entertaining, although not astonishing opener to this great series.

When a young woman (Bree Turner) has a car accident on a mountain road in the middle of nowhere, she is suddenly attacked by a psychopathic creep. Luckily for her, her husband, a gun-loving survival enthusiast, has taught her quite something about kicking attackers' asses...

"Incident On And Off A Mountain Road" is by far not one of the best MoH episodes I've seen so far, but it is certainly a decent opener to the series. The story itself is far from original, but the episode is well directed, very creepy, gory and demented, and highly atmospheric. Bree Turner fits very well in the lead, and each one of the other actors also delivers a good performance. Recommended!
10 out of 17 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Who Ever Said Don Coscarelli's a Genius?!
myboigie4 June 2006
Warning: Spoilers
Yeah, Don Coscarelli, the next Stanley Kubrick--when has this genre director ever been called a "genius"?! Grow-up, Tim. This was great, and definitely an unexpected-turn for Mr. Coscarelli and the Masters of Horror series. It's a very atypical-approach to horror, and I loved it. Selling the story as a damsel-in-distress was a genius-move by Lansdale, Stephen Romano and Don Coscarelli (who added the Angus Scrimm character). The story is pretty-straightforward: a woman smacks into an abandoned-car on a mountain curve on a highway, finding it empty with blood covering the interior. It turns-out the car was bait, and was placed there by a predatory serial-killer (called "Moonface" by one of his captives, the Scrimm character). All-the-while, we are given bits of the girl's backstory: her relationship with her survivalist-boyfriend. It's clear that he's taught her how to not only defend-herself, but to insure her survival in unexpected-situations--how to become a predator. By midpoint, we're aware she's no damsel after-all. She can kill just as easily as Moonface.

It has to be said that there was a point that I began to pity Moonface, but after seeing his crucified-victims over-and-over, that ended. But Coscarelli had me there for a moment! What makes this such good horror is that our loyalties to the characters sometimes shift, and this is sometimes unresolved. We're left feeling ambivalent. There are some freaks out there in America's deepest-corners, and the story had a ring of folklore to it, I liked this. For ages, there have been stories in the Old South of crazies in the mountains, so the story isn't that far-fetched. My maternal-Grandmother grew-up in the Ozarks, and told us of the "Mountain people" who still believed slavery was legal in 1900s America! There were even tales of cannibalism and inbreeding. It all gives the film a bit of a Texas Chiansaw Massacre flavor, with a new-addition to rural crazies in our collective-consciousness.

The boyfriend-backstory is really crucial if you want to understand this story, and until the shocking end, it resonates strongly. Of course, men made the woman's character so violent, but the film begs-the-question: is this violence already there, waiting to be activated under the right-circumstances? The story suggest yes. In one of the featurettes, however, Coscarelli seems to think the young-woman will be "normal" after all of this--I disagree. The close-shots he uses for the eye-drillings by Moonface and by the woman are IDENTICAL, which makes-it-plain that the actions are EQUAL. She has become just like Moonface. It's a minor-complaint, and it's not a contradiction within the film itself, just an aside-comment in an interview with the director.

It's OK if a director doesn't entirely-know what he has, after-all. Cronenberg is the best-example of this, and claims he doesn't entirely- understand his films during their production. Moonface could easily be seen as a distorted-version of the boyfriend in the flashbacks. He's bald, he's VERY white (the boyfriend is an Aryan Nations type), and his focus is on killing. Like the boyfriend, he is a predator to the woman-character. Even Moonface's hideout suggest a survivalist-setting. All of this leads to the surprise-ending that you have to see-to-believe, and it is a very subversive-upending of stereotypes surrounding men and women. Some have argued that woman is the strongest of the species, and I would be hard-pressed to disagree. Women are too-easily underestimated. Remember Aileen Wuronos? The film just has great atmosphere, and some excellent night-photography which is still difficult to get right. I loved the fast-cutting, and how dark the film looks. The image of Moonface is unforgettable, and will probably be remembered for some time in horror-iconography. The long-shots with the yard of crucified-victims was just incredible and chilling, and the chase-scenes are an adrenaline-boost. This is a first for Coscarelli, a film that is primarily a chase, but it works. The Scrimm character, "Buddy" is a really good comedic-relief in the heart of a horrible-situation, and he does the film proud as he usually does. Again, IDT/Anchor Bay have done a superb-job with the transfer and the extras. No complaints here whatsoever. It does what it's supposed-to.
9 out of 15 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
My second favorite episode of the series!
eytand945 September 2009
The Plot: Ellen is driving along the road, when she accidentally crashes. When she wakes up, she's not hurt. But the worst is yet to come. A disfigured slasher from off the road named Moonface attacks, forcing Ellen to run for her life. But that's when she remembers her husband, Bruce, and his lessons of surviving and trapping your attacker. Using those lessons, Ellen fights back and tries to stop the killer. If she can't do that, then she's going to meet a grisly end.

The Film: Don Coscarelli's "Phantasm" is a very entertaining horror film, one that is filled with gore, tension, and scares. So, when I heard Coscarelli was going to direct the TV adaptation of Southern writer Joe R. Lansdale's "Incident On And Off A Mountain Road" for "Masters of Horror," I was intrigued. I was never quite a fan of the "Phantasm" sequels or "Bubba Ho-Tep," but Coscarelli's entry in the series is great fun all the way. "Incident On And Off A Mountain Road" is a surprisingly original slasher movie, with plenty of gore, a hip villain, and a sexy heroine. Bree Turner is very good as Ellen, with Ethan Embry("That Thing You Do")as Bruce, and John De Santis as Moonface. And Angus Scrimm, the infamous Tall Man of "Phantasm," has a terrific cameo here as a wacko dude from Moonface's lair.

The Result: Original, bloody, and entertaining are the three words to describe "Masters of Horror: Incident On And Off A Mountain Road." Don Coscarelli is a great director, and hopefully, he will make more movies like this one. "Hell of a night...huh, Moonface?"
10 out of 18 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Allow me to Disagree with the Majority
gavin694228 November 2006
A young woman, Ellen (Bree Turner) hits a parked car on a mountain road and stumbles across a serial killer. With a survivor's instinct, she decides to fight back. Also, we gets glimpses of her past relationship with Bruce (Ethan Embry).

I skimmed a few reviews of this film, and the same words keep popping up: "predictable" and "derivative". Even my friend Jason, whom I respect as a master of horror, had warned me the film was quite predictable. Please allow me to address this with regards to "Incident on and off a Mountain Road".

Is it derivative to have a woman chased through the woods by a killer? Yes. Was the film predictable? For the most part, yes (though I was not entirely sure till the end which predictable ending they'd run with). But as someone who has seen more than his share of horror films, aren't most horror films derivative and predictable? You see one slasher, you've seen them all. And don't tell me you can't predict who will and won't survive after the first ten minutes? (Hint: the minority always dies first, the young female lead survives.) The point is this: you have to take the predictable and derivative, and put a new spin on it or do it as skillfully as possible, like no on else has done. This film accomplished that goal, which impressed me since I've seen the director's "Beastmaster" and would not say that it really stands out as movie genius.

The opening scene had me hooked: Don Coscarelli uses very tight shots of a dark road. Close-ups on Ellen's face, focusing on her eye. A hood's view of the road (rather than wide shot) to give us the impression of being trapped in the car. Obviously, I knew that something or someone was about to be hit, but I also knew with the angles used there was no way I could escape being right in the impact. If you've been in a serious accident, you don't want to relive it.

Also, the killer's lair was great. Sure, we often find abandoned shacks with corpses in horror films, but the police sirens and lights were a nice touch. Did he kill the cops? Was it a taunting, letting his victims know there was no escape? I really enjoyed that. And the drill press... so much more frightening than a hand drill.

Bree Turner was great as Ellen. Her past roles have apparently been all comedies, but she showed here she was more than capable of being a strong heroine in a tense role. And, personally, I want to say Bree Turner is one of the most beautiful women ever to appear in a horror film since the dawn of time. Strong, smart and attractive... the very perfect example of a "final girl".

I found Ethan Embry (best known for "Can't Hardly Wait") a little out of place, but he showed he could be dark and menacing and maybe I ought to give him some credit. I couldn't stop thinking "gee, he really looks like crap... he's gotten all pudgy and bald", but if I looked past that I might have found a good actor. Maybe. After listening to the commentary, I was able to better appreciate how seriously Embry took the role, allowing himself to actually be strangled and stabbed to get the part right. That's dedication.

Angus Scrimm was amazing. I have seen Coscarelli's "Phantasm", so I have seen Scrimm play "The Tall Man"... probably his best-known role for horror fans. (If someone wants to call blasphemy on me for not seeing the sequels, call it... I'm in the process of fixing this.) I did see Scrimm in "Satanic" and that role was so pointless, it could have been played by anyone old or young, male or female (see separate review). But here, oh my, he was such a well-devised character that I don't think anyone else could have given this film what he was able to do.

I have no complaints about this movie, other than wondering about Moonface's origin. He seems to have a very talented dentist and a unique knife dealer. But obviously the time simply did not permit that story to be told... maybe a flashback in a future season of "Masters of Horror". This episode, I'm pleased to say, was one of my favorites of Season One, and I'm glad they kicked off the show with it. Maybe I stand alone on that, but that's a chance I'm willing to take.
9 out of 16 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Strong start to the "Masters of Horror" series
DVD_Connoisseur11 November 2006
This first instalment of "Masters of Horror" is an entertaining affair. Featuring the "MOH" trademarks (beautiful actress, gore, suspense and impressive cinematography), this episode is a terrific way to while away an hour.

Don ("Phantasm") Coscarelli's adaptation of Joe Lansdale's short story is simple but hits all the right marks - it's an effective horror tale.

Bree Turner is delightful as the stranded woman who has to fight for survival against a bizarre killer, Moonface.

Angus Scrimm is the icing on the cake as the crazy Buddy.

As with some other "Masters of Horror" tales, "Incident" pushes the boundaries of what you'd expect to see on television. It's powerful stuff and delivered with polish and style.

In a word, "Superb".
8 out of 15 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Golly jeepers, where did you get those peepers?
Jonny_Numb28 May 2006
From what I've seen of the series thus far, I think I know the central problem with "Masters of Horror": all of the directors (save series creator Mick Garris) are more familiar with theatrical film-making; as a result of restricting them to a 60-minute timeframe, their efforts come off feeling underdeveloped. Such is the case with Don Coscarelli's 'Incident on and Off a Mountain Road,' which scores scores high on the ambition scale (as it interweaves 2 story lines with relative success), but feels like a generally toned-down thrill ride. Inspired by the Joe R. Lansdale short story, 'Incident' tells the tale of Ellen (Bree Turner), who is involved in an accident and is accosted by towering mutant 'Moonface' (John De Santis), who drills the eyes of his victims and transforms them into scarecrows; in the meantime, we get flashbacks to Ellen's turbulent marriage to screw-loose survivalist redneck Bruce (Ethan Embry, miles away from his "Can't Hardly Wait" image). Angus Scrimm (The Tall Man from "Phantasm") makes an effective cameo as one of Moonface's victims. The episode is passable entertainment, but one wishes that Coscarelli would have pushed the extremes a bit further.
10 out of 20 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Not too bad...
Kia_Tee22 December 2006
I must say I very much enjoyed this episode. Angus scrimm and Ethan Embry were both a delight in their roles. Though she seemed to struggle from time to time, the female lead was still able to hold her own, though in the future others may be hesitant to cast her as a lead. The scare factor was great and suspense was always there from start to finish. The director has an excellent talent of being unpredictable, which he executed with the greatest of ease. Just as you think everything is okay, WHAM! Something hits you again. The end of this film left me with my mouth hanging open, followed by a smile of delight. Wonderful start to the season.
7 out of 13 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Another (Good) Rip-Off of "Texas Chainsaw Massacre"
claudio_carvalho21 July 2007
While driving in the night in a lonely road through the mountains, Ellen (Bree Turner) distracts with her radio and hits a car parked on the road. She faints and she looks for help since her car does not start again. She meets in the woods Moonface (John De Santis), a deranged monster-like man that collects human bodies pulling a woman. She is abducted by Moonface, but she recalls the survival lessons of her husband Bruce (Ethan Embrey) facing and fighting back the killer.

"Incident On and Off a Mountain Road" is another rip-off of "Texas Chainsaw Massacre", but I liked it. The twist with a surprising conclusion, the atmosphere of nightmare and the performance of Bree Turner makes this enjoyable episode of "Masters of Horror" worthwhile. My vote is eight.

Title (Brazil): "Pânico na Montanha" ("Panic in the Mountain")
9 out of 19 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Great To See Don Doing Something Different.
jed-estes5 September 2006
Warning: Spoilers
While I love Don Coscerillie's work on the Phantasm saga and still hope for him to someday finish what he has begun, I love this side step into weirdness. He has done so few projects outside of the Phantasm realm that when he does move out it must be savored. This and Bubba Ho Tep are his best two non-Phantasm works. Beastmaster can not be compared and I have yet to see Kenny and Company, Jim the World's Greatest, and Survivial Quest. This episode of Masters of Horror is great and I love the serial killer aspect of it. So few one hour timed projects tackle the slasher genre, and this one does it with unrelenting force. It is good to see Angus Scrhim back in the game after some lapses. This as a movie is excellent and combined in with the rest of the Masters episodes forms a great cascade of horror brilliance that will hopefully continue on for many seasons.
5 out of 9 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Praise the Lord for the fast-forward button!
fedor81 June 2009
Warning: Spoilers
"You can survive anything". Anything except a dumb horror flick. The director couldn't even decide whether he wanted a demon or just a plain ol' backwoods serial killer. You can't have both. It's like Michael Moore trying to have his cake and eat it too (or in his case 1500 cakes) by making his particular charlatan brand of "docu-comedies": they're supposed to be oh-so hilarious and zany, and yet you're also meant to treat them as truth-based, earth-shattering, hard-hitting documentaries. Some genres cannot be mixed.

"Anything can happen to anyone, any time, any place." (Translation: this is the horror genre, so we can do any kind of nonsense we want.) This sounds not so much like something "wise" found on a paper of a Chinese fortune cookie, but more like the credo of every bad horror film director. We get this baloney of a statement served to us early on, sort of as a preparation/justification of the absurd buffoonery to come.

"My phone isn't working!" Well, of course it isn't. There is a far greater chance that Sean Penn's brain starts working (after decades of catatonic apathy) than that a horror-film cell-phone does. The single most dreary and predictable horror cliché of the past decade. Why even say it? We KNOW help will never come via a phone-call, so ye horror-making dimwits might as well just not even mention it. The last 50 horror films I saw use this plot device. It's becoming embarrassing.

"You always have to expect the unexpected." The final twist was rather surprising, I'll give them that much... However, plenty of nonsense on the way there.

Check out the elaborate traps the heroine sets up with the speed of a drugged-up lab rat - in the cold, wet, and almost totally dark conditions. I just love horror-film realism...

When a blood-thirsty demon starts trying to be funny (by "shshshing" his victims) then you know your horror-viewing pleasure is in doubt. The less said about the old geezer "cracking wise", the better... Another stupid cliché served by a tired, lazy, uninspired director.

What are the odds of being attacked by your husband and then by an eye-hating demon - on the same day? "Expect the unexpected". They might as well have squeezed in an event in which she survives a plane crash, and then another in which she encounters aliens who tried to anal-probe her...

The fast-forward button needs a temple or a shrine built in its image.
9 out of 20 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Coscarelli is better than this - a disappointing opener
The_Void17 February 2006
Incident on and off a Mountain Road is Don Coscarelli's entry in Mick Garris' Masters of Horror series. Coscarelli is famous for being the man behind such cult gems as the Phantasm series and the irresistibly weird Bubba Ho-Tep; but he brings none of the qualities that made those films great to this TV episode. The plot is a run of the mill one that follows the routine idea of an innocent being chased by a madman. This time, it's a young woman driving down a mountain road. After a head on crash, she finds herself being stalked by a white faced maniac. The whole chase sequence is really ridiculous, with the young lady stopping every so often to set traps; only for the maniac to show up seconds later, and this is cut with scenes showing her with her husband - who just happens to have a wealth of information on how escape insane killers; with lines such as "expect the unexpected". The only real highlight for me was the presence of Phantasm's Tall Man, Angus Scrimm. Coscarelli tries his best to implement as much horror imagery as possible; with things such as a rotted corpse of a dead baby - but because it's all so silly on the whole, it's difficult to take this piece seriously. This is the first episode in the series, and the first that I've seen; I really hope they get better.
15 out of 43 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Run-of-the-mill slasher fare...
cgyford25 September 2009
"Phantasm" and "The Beastmaster" director Don Coscarelli adapts genre author Joe R. Lansdale's short story as a somewhat uninspired premiere episode for Mick Garris's exciting new series that demonstrates little promise for the show and none of the genius the writer and director would develop with their later collaboration on "Bubba Ho-Tep".

Bree Turner makes for a cute enough scream queen but fails to generate any sexual chemistry with survival freak Ethan Embry whilst long-term director favourite Angus Scrimm proves a misplaced annoyance and John D. Santis is far too cartoonesque to generate any real fear as the dreadfully monikered Moonface.

The master employs the incredibly overly familiar set-up of an accident on lonely mountain road to lead into a run-of-the-mill slasher in the woods story that quickly degenerates into splat pack style gore soaked torture porn and sadly fails to take its own advice to do the unexpected.

It comes in through your eyes.
4 out of 10 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Masters of Horror - Incidents on and off the Mountain Road
Bored_Dragon9 April 2018
Although it is a series, I will not observe it as a whole, as it consists of 26 unrelated single-hour films, with various screenwriters, directors and actors.

"Incident on and off the Mountain Road" is a fifty-minute horror thriller, based on the horror cliche of a maniac who attacks travelers on a rarely used mountain road. The girl has accident in the middle of nowhere, she is attacked by maniac who is more a monster than a man, he chase her through dark forest and everything that goes with it. But Don Coscarelli introduces some new unexpected elements and twists, that single out this story from the sea of similar ones, and skillfully maintains the tension from the beginning to the end. In various reviews, I noticed some complaints about Bree Turner's performance, but I like this actress and, at the risk of being biased, in my opinion, she was excellent in the main role. For me, this was awesome episode.

0 out of 0 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
About Bree
denis-rohlinsky29 June 2017
A very funny horror film is not about anything, but Bree Turner is on top, although the film still teaches you something, not when you do not give up, the film is worth a look, a cool movie, without too much pathos, everything in fact, even do not have any trouble, all the characters played To the end, and completely revealed themselves. Moments are all thought out, and the film is made very qualitatively, and deservedly opens this serial.
0 out of 0 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Silly, gory, trippy and very promising opener to the "Masters of Horror"-series!
Coventry22 April 2006
The first installment of the much-anticipated series "Masters of Horror" certainly wasn't a disappointment, although the script hardly looks like the work of a "master". Any second-rate horror scriptwriter during the 1980's could have come up with this plot, but of course that doesn't mean "Incident on and off a Mountain Road" is any less entertaining. Director Don Coscarelli deserved his place in the horror hall of fame thanks to his on-going "Phantasm"-series, which has a lot of fans including myself, and the more recent hit "Bubba Ho Tep"; starring genre favorite Bruce Campbell. None of Coscarelli's previous movies were ever exaggeratedly gore, but this 60 minutes episode is pretty blood-soaked and contains several brutal images of torture and dismemberment. The story is simple and handles about a young woman involved in a banal car accident on a remote mountain road who then gets violently chased by a mythical-type monster that stabs out his victims' eyes and subsequently crucifies them. Ellen tries to outsmart the creep by using tricks and booby-traps she learned from her obsessive commando trooper ex-husband (whom we get to know through brief flashbacks). The monster, Moonface, is quite an engaging one man freak show and he somewhat looks like a crossover between Lurch, the Addams Family butler, and The Creeper from "Jeepers Creeper". The dungeon where Moonface brings his victims is stuffed with gruesome torture devices and an impressive collection of severely decomposing human body parts. Beautiful Bree Turner is very good as the hunted prey and there's a truly cool supportive role for Agnus "The Tall Man" Scrimm as the fool who survives in the monster's cellar. "Incident on and off a Mountain Road" by no means is a memorable or innovating horror spectacle, but if the rest of the series will be equally entertaining as this first episode, I'll be more than satisfied.
6 out of 20 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
timhayes-124 May 2006
As far as Masters of Horror goes, there have been better episodes that could have kickstarted the series than this one. The plot is a standard stalk and slash thriller, which seems odd coming from the man who gave us Phantasm and Bubba Ho-Tep. This is really new territory for him and as such it is certainly better than most of its brethren, but still far from the genius one comes to expect of Coscarelli. Granted, the killer is a gruesomely twisted vision and Angus Scrimm delivers a truly kooky performance but none of this really makes a difference in the long run as we get a chase through the mountains juxtaposed with scenes of the heroine and her abusive survivalist husband. All in all, this is a real letdown from the Coscarelli.
4 out of 12 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
kosmasp14 June 2010
Warning: Spoilers
I've seen all the episodes of the Masters of Horror series and although I was quite disappointed from the Argento episode (like the most recent movie of his, more unintentionally funny, to stay positive), the overall quality of the show was pretty high. I still don't quite know why they abandoned the idea and throw the show out, after 2 seasons. But what can you expect of this very first episode of the first season then?

Quite a few things, I'd say. While it starts off pretty bog standard, it pretty soon develops a nice narrative (timeline) and has a few surprises at hand. Don Cascarelli puts the female lead through some crazy things, but only in the end you will see that it was all needed, the build up, to get to the point of the revenge (it is quite "satisfying" for the viewer to see how it all unfolds).
2 out of 5 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Masters of Horror: Don Coscarelli: Incident On and Off a Mountain Road... Dark Side of The Moonface
juliankennedy2321 November 2009
Warning: Spoilers
Masters of Horror: Don Coscarelli: Incident On and Off a Mountain Road: 8 out of 10: In many ways fifty minutes is the perfect length for a horror movie. Incident certainly has enough plot for a full length feature, but this is a story broken down to its core elements without any unnecessary filler. (It has a bit of a Twilight Zone feel as a result.) Masters of Horror is that wonderful Showtime series that has produced some great horror films and some guilty pleasures (in particular Clive Barker's Haeckel's Tale). Incident got this anthology series off to a very strong start.

The film is about a woman that has a car accident on a deserted stretch of rain soaked mountain road. She quickly finds herself perused by a serial killer (dubbed Moonface) who is busy chasing a previous victim. She turns out not to be the damsel in distress that we suspected, as she has had survival training from her boyfriend which the film doles out in flashback. It is also interesting as one can see the progression of her relationship with the boyfriend as it coincides her conflict with Moonface.

Director Don Coscarielli runs a tight ship with plenty of surprises in both plot and scope. The acting by all is above board with a particular nod to John DeSantis as the serial killer. Moonface, with his chrome teeth, baldhead and big shiny knife; he is such a quality villain that it seems a shame he is in such a small film. Moonface certainly could hold his own with the Jason’s and Leatherface’s of the world. In fact, he has that childlike quality that made Leatherface such an endearing character,. (Not to mention they share the same interior decorator.) The gore is good, the set design is excellent and the movie is simply never boring. Add on a story with depth and layers and you have a very strong start to an excellent series.
2 out of 5 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
A taut, gripping and often gut-wrenching tale of survival
Woodyanders7 November 2007
Warning: Spoilers
Spunky young Ellen (a strong and appealing performance by the lovely Bree Turner) finds herself stranded on a remote rural mountain road. She runs afoul of brutal murderous backwoods albino mutant Moonface (an impressively vigorous portrayal by the hulking John De Santis), a truly nasty and scary piece of ferocious work who drills out his victims' eyes and turns them into grotesque human scarecrows. Ellen has to use all the basic survival skills she learned from her wacko macho husband Bruce (gruffly essayed by Ethan Embry) in order to persevere through this grueling ordeal. Director/co-writer Don Coscarelli, adapting a short story by the great Joe R. Lansdale, relates this tight and involving yarn at a brisk and unrelenting headlong pace, delivering an ample amount of jolts and thrills as the story progresses towards its genuinely chilling and startling surprise conclusion. Jon Joffin's strikingly beautiful cinematography offers several memorably eerie visuals (the image of Moonface leaping over a railing is particularly stunning and unforgettable). Chris Stone's rattling, stirring score further enhances the nail-biting tension. The make-up f/x are every bit as hideous and gruesome as they ought to be. Angus Scrimm contributes a delightfully wacky turn as nutty old coot Buddy. Best of all, the story articulates a potent and provocative message about the spiritual price one must pay to be a survivor. A worthy entry in the series.
2 out of 5 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
One of the best of the first season. Way to go Don Coscarelli
badgrrlkane8 June 2006
Warning: Spoilers
Great episode of a very promising horror anthology. Masters Of Horror is exactly what Showtime needed & what horror on television needed. So far,Pick Me Up, Cigarette Burns, Sick Girl, & this one Incident on & off a mountain Road are the ones I'd recommend with Pick Me Up, as my fav. The rest go from bad to worse ( though I've only seen 6 I still have 7 more to go), so you have to check them out for yourself.Different tastes for everyone.Incident was a great new story in the deformed maniac in the woods stalking a damsel in distress story but in this one the damsel has a mean as a snake, survivalist end of the world theorizing redneck for a husband, who's idea of a honeymoon is to train her in the art of survival when the world ends. Via flashback while our main character Ellen played wonderfully in full scream queen mode by Bree Turner is being chased by the pale faced deformed monstrosity remembers her husband played by Ethan Embry (in a very different role for him as he's almost always the nice guy geek & man for a guy really cute 10 yrs ago, he's porked up & lost a lot of his hair) teaching her various ways to defend herself, if she ever finds herself in a dangerous situation. So defend herself she does & the maniac wishes he'd picked on some one else, most definitely. Angus Scrimm also has a role as a crazy guy who Ellen thinks is a prisoner like her in the basement but turns out he's like a relative of Monnface's I guess as they never really speculate on whether he's a victim who just didn't get killed or a relative. He's much better in the Phantasm films. All in all a really good mini-film with good performances. Also Don Coscaelli doesn't make bad films. All of the Phantasm films as well as The Beastmaster & Bubba Ho-Tep are all cult masterpiece. *** out of *****
2 out of 5 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
A strong opening for an excellent series
jdollak9 April 2006
Warning: Spoilers
This movie opens the series with a pleasantly evil bang. Don Coscarelli directed this one, and my familiarity with his work is mostly in passing. I've seen Phantasm, which I didn't care for. I've heard that there's actually a lot of depth to the Phantasm movies, but I can't get past the effort to make them as strange as possible. I also recently saw Bubba Ho-Tep, which Coscarelli wrote and directed. I found the direction to be excellent, and the script to be interesting, though not as perfect as I'd have liked.

A lady rear-ends another car that was stopped in the road on a mountain. The area is wooded, dark, and it's hard to tell exactly what happened. The lady finds herself running from a maniac, trying to help the other lady, while utilizing survival and combat training that she undertook from her ex-husband. The pace seemed frantic at first, but in retrospect, I can't remember specific sequences that well. This is good old-fashioned slasher horror. The Moonface killer has his front yard decorated with human scarecrows, and the situation looks hopeless. There is some psychological back-story, although the origin and real intentions of the Moonface killer is never really explored. It's actually completely irrelevant. Yes, there is eye-gouging. I would hardly consider this to be a strong artistic statement, but it is very enjoyable, and the horror is creepy enough to keep you scared for a short time afterward, though it will not haunt you for days.
2 out of 6 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Pretty okay
cactuscab25 November 2006
Warning: Spoilers
I've seen four of the Masters of Horror episodes thus far: "Cigarette Burns", "Dreams in the Witch House", "Sick Girl" and this film. Of them I find 'Cigarette Burns' fairly forgettable, 'Dreams...' the best of the bunch, 'Sick Girl' awful, a huge disappointment after Lucky McKee's 'May' and as for 'Incidents...' I thought it was kinda all right, to paraphrase Charlie Daniels. The story is simple enough: a young woman has an accident on country road and ends up being stalked by a crazy psycho. The gimmick is that the woman has more going on than the killer expects. The basis for the movie is from a Joe Lansdale story (who's early stuff I highly recommend if your into gonzo horror stories; check out "High Cotton" or "Bumper Crop") and it's an effective foundation for a film. But the high point is the lead performance by Bree Turner. I'd only seen her before in comedies, thought she was a pretty and competent actor. Here she proves she can carry a film and has range. I really hope she ends up getting a chance to carry a major film. Recommended. 7 stars.
2 out of 7 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Another Decent MOH Entry - This One From Don Coscarelli...
EVOL66617 May 2006
Warning: Spoilers
INCIDENT isn't the best of the MASTERS OF HORROR entries that I've seen so far - but this is only the third I've watched if that means anything. It is entertaining, has a few strong scenes, and the acting is good throughout - but the storyline is also relatively predictable and far-fetched - even for a horror film...

Ellen wrecks her car on a deserted mountain road and is being stalked through the woods by a 7-foot freak with "grills" like Paul Wall. Just so happens that through flash-back sequences we find that Ellen is married to some survivalist weirdo who is all about knives, and guns, and real Grizzly Adams-meets-the UniBomber type stuff. Apparently, all of this rubbed off on Ellen as she devises ridiculous traps and weapons out of the surrounding shrubbery, the contents of her purse, and the elastic-band from her underwear. Despite her tough stance - Ellen is captured. Taken back to the freak's lair - Ellen sees the remnants of his other victims, and meets some blabbering old whackadoo (played well by Angus Scrimm) and we find out that even though bound, battered, and bruised - Ellen still has some fight left...

INCIDENT is fast-paced (as any one-hour film should be...), there are some decent FX and there is a decent "twist" at the end - but there's just too much ridiculous stuff going on (other than the 7-foot mutated freak...) to really "buy-in" to the story line. Also, I was kinda annoyed that the freak's background is never explained either. But despite the faults, INCIDENT was still an entertaining way to kill an hour - but it's no CIGARETTE BURNS either...7/10
2 out of 8 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Michael_Elliott29 February 2008
Incident On and Off a Mountain Road (2005)

** (out of 4)

Don Coscarelli's entry in the Masters of Horror series has a woman wrecking on a mountain road and then being stalked by a maniac. This is only my second film in the Masters of Horror series but this thing here is way behind John Carpenter's Cigarette Burns. The MTV-style editing doesn't work, some of the CGI is quite poor and in the end we've seen this type of slasher way too many times. The director of the Phantasm series doesn't build any suspense but the performances are good. I didn't care for the twist ending either.
3 out of 15 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
An error has occured. Please try again.

See also

Awards | FAQ | User Ratings | External Reviews | Metacritic Reviews

Recently Viewed