"Masters of Horror" Pro-Life (TV Episode 2006) Poster

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Should have aborted the script
Cujo10818 September 2010
Warning: Spoilers
For the second season of the show, John Carpenter reunited with the writers of his season one "Masters of Horror" episode. Angelique is a young teen found stumbling along the side of the road by two doctors on their way to work at an abortion clinic. Wanting an abortion, they take her with them. Once at the clinic, it isn't long before her deeply religious father, Dwayne Burcell (Ron Perlman), shows up with his three sons to get her out of there and save the baby by any means necessary. Having had run-ins with him in the past, the head doctor of the clinic even went as far as to have a restraining order taken against Burcell. Meanwhile, Angelique claims that she wants to abort the baby because it's the hell-spawn of a demon that raped her. They don't believe her, but the pregnancy is clearly abnormal.

Having not done a film since 2001's "Ghosts of Mars", Carpenter returned with a vengeance with "Cigarette Burns", one of the best episodes of this show's initial season. As such, his season two contribution was one of my most anticipated. Unfortunately, "Pro-Life" was a crushing disappointment. The story had potential, but didn't live up to any of it due in large part to horrible writing. Perlman is in a big hurry to find his daughter before something happens to the baby. So, why doesn't he just shoot through the clinic doors right off the bat? He's killed a guard, yet he's worried about ruining the clinic's doors? Why waste time looking for another entrance? Oh, that's right, so the girl can tell her rape story. Later, he further wastes time by giving the head doctor a taste of his own medicine. As for anyone looking for thoughtful commentary on the abortion debate, look elsewhere. You'll get none of that here.

Aside from Perlman, nobody in this episode can act worth a damn. The characters aren't at all likable either. For example, look at the main doctor character and his girlfriend. When demon baby shows up, they save their own asses by locking themselves in the next room while leaving a drugged and defenseless Angelique to fend for herself. How noble! Speaking of the demon baby, it looks more like one of the mutilated toys from the first "Toy Story".

We get some horrid CGI head-shots too, which lead to continuity problems. Watch how the side of the guard's head is blown off when he's shot. Well, later, when the nervous kid looks at his body, he only has a hole in the middle of his head.

What I liked about the episode - Perlman's performance, the music during the birthing scene and Perlman's reaction to the demon's revelation. Other than that, there's nothing here. The episode hints at better ideas, but ends up delivering only the most ridiculous and unsatisfying. Carpenter is one of my three favorite filmmakers, and this is the first thing he's done that I've flat-out hated.
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Ah, "LIFE" - It's "THE THING" We Need...
Christopher T. Chase4 December 2008
So...are all pro-choice advocates just bloodthirsty liberal baby-killers, who just can't wait to pull apart live fetuses in their spare time? And are all anti-abortionists just unmedicated wack jobs who hear "God's" voice and believe in doing 'His' will, even if saving the life of an unborn child means sacrificing anyone, including the child's mother?

Don't ask John Carpenter. You're not going to find a whole lot of concrete answers here, but with a script by CIGARETTE BURNS' authors Drew McWeeny and Scott Swan, Mr. C. certainly explores at least some of the aspects of the argument at their most absurdly extreme in his second outing for MOH, PRO-LIFE.

The story kicks off as two doctors who work at a local women's health clinic (Mark Feuerstein and Emmanuelle Vaugier) nearly run over a frightened young girl (Caitlin Wachs). They take her to the clinic to check her out, not realizing that she is actually Angelique Burcell, the daughter of a violently militant pro-lifer, Dwayne Burcell (the always excellent Ron Perlman from HELLBOY and other genre favorites.) It's already bad enough that the clinic has been fortified for protection from some of the less-than-peaceful overtures from Burcell and his 'associates.' But it's even worse that now he wants his little girl back, and that Angelique is pregnant and wants to have an abortion.

What finally ensues is a cross between ASSAULT ON PRECINCT 13 and THEY LIVE, as Burcell and the clinic's head doctor, Dr. Kiefer (Bill Dow) have a .45 caliber debate about pro-choice vs. pro-life, with some innocent bystanders paying the price even though they're not taking a stand on either side.

Then, because this IS MOH, after all, Carpenter revisits PRINCE OF DARKNESS/THE THING territory, when it becomes pretty clear to the audience why Angelique really does need to have this abortion, and her father's zealous efforts to stop her are even less well- intentioned or accurate than he realizes.

First, the cons, and there are a lot of them. The gore effects are pretty decent when they show up, but the "big reveal" of the father of Angelique's baby - not to mention the 'infant' itself - are about as downright cheesy as anything you can dredge up from the grade-C flicks that Roger Corman used to produce for his New Horizons/Concorde Pictures outfits back in the '80's.

Except for Perlman and Wachs (whose Angelique doesn't look a day over twenty-five when she's supposed to be fifteen), the acting on display here is pretty much non-descript. Everyone's a stock character cliché, and Perlman barely saves his Dwayne Burcell from becoming a caricature of malevolent insanity, especially in one particularly gruesome scene in which he and his son allegedly give Dr. Kiefer his 'just desserts.' (Thankfully, most of that scene is left to the imagination).

McWeeny and Swan's script doesn't attempt to take sides, or to evenly balance the views either way, although I can cautiously guess that director Carpenter does not share the political view expressed in this episode's title. The ambiguity doesn't help the story much, where at least in a previous episode like the controversial HOMECOMING, you knew where both the writer and the director were coming from.

Cody Carpenter's scoring work here won't be to everyone's liking, though I thought it was very reminiscent of his dad's musical stylings from back-in-the-day, and much more complementary than it was in CIGARETTE BURNS.

Biggest pet peeve: Dwayne and two of his sons, after doing some pretty heinous things, just disappear from the movie entirely. There's absolutely no payoff when it would have been really satisfying, so that aspect takes a lot of the starch out of the story (and especially the ending.)

Now for the pluses: Greg Nicotero and Howard Berger's FX work really rocks, though I would've like to have seen more practical stuff. (The CG shots look really fake - and you'll see what I mean). Also love the quick homage to Rob Bottin's groundbreaking work on Carpenter's THE THING (you sharp-eyed fans out there will know it when you see it.)

Caitlin Wachs brings in a decent performance as Angelique, although it's more than a little tough to suspend your disbelief when you realize what age she's supposed to be playing.

And say what you will about Perlman's Burcell, but he is a man of unshakable faith, no matter how insane his deeds are. So it's doubly devastating for him in the end when he learns how badly he's been 'punk'd' (and by who).

Bottom line: PRO-LIFE is a return to the more "classic" Carpenter form. A little bigger budget and a lot more fine tuning on the script could've made this a MOH episode that I would highly recommend. As is, though, I would steer only die-hard Carpenter fans into PRO- LIFE'S direction. And the acting scores here are mostly for Perlman's performance.
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Absolutely horrible
rintrah-17 December 2006
I was looking forward to seeing John Carpenter's episode in Season 2 because his first, Cigarette Burns, was by far the best from Season 1 (and I did like other episodes from that season). Oh, how I was disappointed.

In fairness to Carpenter I think the primary problem with this episode was absolutely horrible writing. The characters, aside from the subject matter, seemed to behave and speak as though they were written for an episode of Walker, Texas Ranger. The acting was bad, and I normally like Ron Perlman a lot, but I can only blame them so much because the writing was so horrible. I'm not going to try to guess what the writers were trying to do because that would be useless but it appeared as though they were trying to mix horror (obviously) with some form of social commentary on abortion and religion. In this case, not surprisingly, it seemed a chance to bash a certain variety or religious nuts as well as fanatical anti-abortionists. And I am in favor of both aims but it was done so horribly that I was embarrassed to watch characters act and speak with such stupid inconsistency. This failed totally to offer any worthwhile opinion on the subjects and the horror element failed as well alongside such inept writing.

While I don't think Carpenter can be blamed for most of the badness here I will say he did choose to direct the teleplay and therefore has that to be held responsible for. There are a couple small bits that I found nice, hence the 2 stars I gave it.

The actual gore and monster effects were good, but the CGI gore (two separate gunshots to the head) were so obviously inferior quality CGI they should've never been given the OK. I'm generally very critical of CGI but not because I have a problem with it in principle. I have a problem with the execution of it. The technology, while amazing in some respects, is not good enough to match "real" effects, whether they be miniatures or gore especially when it is supposed to match something organic and/or alive, and therefore shouldn't be used until they are. CGI can be used well in small amounts or obviously if the whole film is animated.

I'll also take this opportunity to note that the show title, Masters of Horror, is a bad title to have. There simply aren't many actual "masters of horror" around. Maybe two or three. If the show were called "Tale of Horror" or something like that it would be fine. But as it stands the criteria for directing one of these episodes, and therefore being criticized for not being a "master of horror" is that they have directly at least one horror film in their career. And it didn't even have to be a good one.
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"Assault on Abortion Clinic 13 " ...meets... "The Thing" ...........
merklekranz24 February 2010
Not really very original, since clearly elements of both "Assault on Precinct 13" and "The Thing" are rather obvious. In addition, lots of plot holes get in the way. The effects are alright, but there are some annoying flaws, the most glaring being why no one has a cell phone to call police, after the phone lines are cut? Ron Perlman is in his comfort zone, as the psycho pro-life father, assaulting the abortion clinic where his daughter is being attended to by the rather naive staff. Another weak point in the script is why Perlman continues to torture the doctor, when his daughter is screaming at the top of her lungs just down the hall? "Pro Life" has lots of screaming, but not much meaning. - MERK
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Pure Rubbish
sumsaris4 December 2006
Warning: Spoilers
SLIGHT SPOILERS (but it doesn't matter anyway).

An exercise in gobblygook of catastrophic proportions not even worthy of the l0 lines I need to put these remarks on the netwaves. This is the single worst episode of the Masters series to date and the first that qualifies for the defunct Mystery Science Theatre treatment. Even if it took me a full half hour to realize the intended ironic angle, it was still a very lame mess. Its sole value lies in the perspective that forces one to realize that in addition to gore and ugly masks the genre only succeeds when the classic cinematic notions of photography and lighting, dialogue and acting, editing and timing are put to use. Here they are absent and John Carpenter is no master. Period. And no trite analysis of the easy social comment herein will change that. Oddly, Carpenter never has been anything more than a B director, but at least such films as 'Fog' and 'The Thing' had terrific atmosphere (the latter is one of my cult favorites).

Abominable acting. Camera angles stuck in cement. Tensionless rhythm. Yet perhaps the single most obnoxious element of the episode is the storyline which of course JC cannot really be blamed for (unless the writers were buddies of Cody.) The initial two minute slo-mo of a girl running through a forest only to be nearly run over by a would be Scully-Mulder duo is the first and last thing that works in the film. But come on, a girl hurtling through a deserted woods to nowhere in particular in desperate need of an abortion fortuitously rendez-vous with the fender of a pair of 'women's rights' MDs whose clinic just happens to be at the end of the road around the corner. Oh, and I won't even nitpick about how the doc whips the accidentee into the car and speeds away at 0 to 60 in six seconds. Does wonders for possible broken ribs or concussion.

Then things fall apart real quick. The vacuous dialogue "I just want to help you", the interminably sluggish back and forth at the gate, grandiose battle tactics like cutting the telephone line (in the age of cell phones?) followed by the the shoot-out: a born-again Ramboesque clinic director vs Ron Perlman and the high school bullpen out for a few kicks at Easter break. Another lovely line: "So what are we going to do?" from the kid who had just been sitting on a pile of assault rifles in the back of the van. Er, no it isn't yet pheasant season. So who needs those teen boys anyway. What about the good old tried and true method of the lone lunatic who bashes his way through the gate with his all-American SUV?

As for the exchange of bullets scenes themselves, the cuts here were as stiff as the staccato of a DC comics strip. All that was lacking were the Wham, Bam, and Whiz of the balloon titles. And all to the tune of a soundtrack worthy of an old Mannix episode.

At one point we learn that Daddy isn't really the daddy, but at this point we haven't been led to care much any more either. This story's single source of drama is the conflict between the pro-life father and his pregnant daughter who is only thankful she's not having twins. Yet there is not a single scene, flashback or not, where they are actually ever found together. They remain mere abstractions to each other throughout.

With the exception of the gatekeeper every single one of the characters is absolutely dislikeable. Bland, hysterical, dull-headed, macho. As perfectly flat as human wallpaper can be. None of the doctors seem to have anything medical about them. And there's that bickering Dad who rails at his pregnant daughter as though he himself were the stressed out boyfriend. He fortunately got his. There are two great MST-worthy comic moments: the gusher when Angelica's plumbing goes out and later the new-born lobster with a glued on baby's head. Also cute was Angelica's rugby ball belly before she finally popped the right-to-life little monster from Hell. As for that audacious male abortion scene...well, they should have retained Miike's episode and banned this one instead.

In short, a 3rd rate Rosemary's Baby meets Alien set on the turf of a M.A.S.H. episode. This stinker alone, appreciable only to today's permissive under-16 generation, will assure as someone else said here, that this series will not be renewed for a third season. A real shame, since there have been a number of brilliant productions, including such really decent spoofs as Dante's 'Homecoming' or McKee's deliciously quirky 'Sick Girl'. Not to mention the superb imagery of Malone's 'Fairhaired Child'.

Sorry John Carpenter, I believe your directing days are over. It's time to run for President.
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Fun and gory, not the mess some say
refined_cujo-123 April 2007
Look I went into this with low expectations given things I've read within the internet community ... but I'll be damned if this isn't one of the more fun and MOH episodes. It is however the type you have to make sacrifices for. You have to switch of your logic and be willing to overlook some plot holes and cover your ears for the occasionally poorly delivered line- but man, this is definitely a Carpenter film. It has his trademarks all over it, more so than Cigarette Burns. This has the look, the sound, the gloss and grime of a carpenter movie. I love it because it has all the basic elements of other films of his and is basically an awkward cut and paste best of assembler, but what the hey! its a ball. It is funny, with a nice score (although I can understand why some may have issues with it), features some great effects (one of which is genuinely urn-nerving, towards the end- a combination of practical and CGI- trust me, you will know it when you see it) and with some nice acting from 60percent of the cast. Perlman is great, just as he was in Desperation- with another juicy scenery chewing role.

In terms of expectation, don't go into this with another Cigarette Burns in mind. Think of it this way:

Cigarette Burns = Halloween Pro-Life= The Fog, Prince of Darkness, Village of the Damned

Have some fun, the message is nicely done and is at times quite disturbing, so be warned. A mess, but an entertaining mess at that.
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Carpenter gives us his take on Roe v Wade...well, not exactly, but it's a nicely gruesome thriller
MisterWhiplash24 November 2006
John Carpenter doesn't quite reach the comeback high he got last year with Cigarette Burns, the first in his entries in the Masters of Horror series. But it's definitely a showcase for him to display his storytelling panache on a typically grisly and hell-bound tale. He gets to also mix a few elements from past pictures with something that almost borders on being formula for some horror directors following Rosemary's Baby. The story starts out with the kind of weird, religious ambiguity of They Live, as we're thrust into a story that has implications that really are, at least at the start, beyond our thinking. But then we enter in Assault on Precinct 13 mode, as the 'good guys' (err, the doctors who just want to keep Angelique, played by Cailtin Wachs) away from her crazed, God-abiding father Dwayne (Ron Perelman, always a pleasure to see in a role as un-relenting grim and hard-edged as this), which then turns into a gun-blazing blood-bath. And finally, we get the element of the Thing, which, of course, is a 'thing' that baffles everyone, except for the audience.

I'm sure that even if I didn't know the basic premise of Pro-Life, I would've figured it out anyway after the first five, ten minutes. Part of the opening ambiguity is a little random- that Angelique happens to be picked up after running through the woods by doctors working at a women's medical clinic- but from there on it is pretty thrilling work done, and pretty graphic. The make-up and special effects from Gregoy Nicotero's team, per usual, are top-notch, and being on the 'anything-goes-type' of cable channel doesn't hurt either. If anything it also provides Carpenter- via his writers- to have one of the most cringe-worthy scenes Carpenter's ever done, which is Perelman's own 'abortion' on a certain doctor as penance for something that happened to one of his kids. Some of this, too, is quite funny, mostly with the demon baby and the circumstances around it (i.e. when Angelique's water breaks, it ain't exactly water), plus the baby itself. Whether it's meant to be funny or not I can't say, but there's no mistaking that underneath some of this terrifying and harsh subject matter, is Carpenter making his own satirical jab at the abortion issue (and what side he really takes could be anyone's call, though the reverse of the title is what I'm leaning towards).

Unlike Cigarette Burns though, Pro-Life is not without its liabilities- some major ones in fact. One of those is Cody Carpenter's musical score, which in spots isn't bad but in its repetitive mode (over half an hour of a rhythmic beat that only stops at a certain point), and it detracts at time from the total potential of the true excitement; his father has proved to be much better at maintaining this kind of score for the material. And the ending, while not a total disaster, is very strange to me, and had me with a look on my face like 'uh, OK'. I suppose it ends up fitting into a kind of twisted catharsis for Angelique's situation, but even for the amount of disbelief needed it's a big leap to take. But all this aside, I was very glad I got to see one of the masters of modern horror having his fun with the material, and giving some good screen time for such Perelman, who it could be argued gets to steal his scenes however in such a style that works for the demented, voice-guided character.
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Classic Carpenter
dodonoghu27 October 2006
Not a slight return to form from Carpenter but a complete return to form. Very much along the lines of Assault from precinct 13 both plotwise and stylewise as result from improvising on a 5 mil budget. The badguys want into an abortion clinic and the goodguys want out but as the plot progresses the distinguishing begins to blur.Niccetro does a phenomenal job on makeup effects so much so I was questioning whether the climactic effect was cgi or not... very slick.

Good performances across the board. Good music from Cody Carpenter completely suited to his fathers film style. IMHO better than cigarette burns.Plenty of squeamish bits. Carpenter is operating well in a less oppressive film production system. I will jump at a DVD release A must see for fans like me!
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A Mix ... A Mess ...
vram224 December 2006
Not his best work - but watchable. John Carpenter shows traces of his ability to be a great director in this movie - but it is not enough. The idea behind the script is clever, but the movie is mediocre ...

On the surface, the set-up of the story is reasonable: a 15 year old girl at an abortion clinic is having a very unusual pregnancy and her father (a pro-life activist) is trying to remove her.

Since it's a John Carpenter movie, you can expect horror, monsters, killing, dramatic tone and more. The movie gets reasonably good marks on all those. Unfortately though - it never gets interesting or engaging.

What ruins this movie are the glaring mistakes. They are inexcusably bad. Body pieces are missing one moment, then are very clearly back the next. The father complains to 'God' about something important (won't spoil what it is), but that 'something' doesn't happen in the story! Almost as bad are some of the actions of the doctor involved in the pregnancy. Even a reasonable teenager would be more believable. After finally watching his response to a burning face, I gave up trying to make sense of anything.

It looks like Carpenter did this movie with one eye closed. Not a very good effort. Skip it unless you're a die-hard John Carpenter fan.
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Something's wrong
kosmasp28 June 2010
Of course, we are talking about a Masters of Horror episode here. It couldn't just be a simple "problem" we (and the characters) are facing here. Still, especially considering his Cigarette Burns episode, this almost feels like a step back. It's not a bad story, it's just pretty conventional and predicable.

Ron Perlman almost made me give this another star, I just like that guy, whatever role he's playing. And his character is most definitely the most complex one in this. The complete opposite to that is Emmanuelle Vaugiers character. She doesn't seem to be doing anything at all. And while looking good doing that (she always does), you wish she had something to say (not literally speaking).

There are quite a few other movie influences here that you will spot. Some are mentioned in other reviews, but all in all, if you are an avid moviegoer you will spot them yourself. That's not entirely a bad thing and even that a scene (you could call it "the inciting incident") is not really graphic, shouldn't be a problem. A more than decent episode than, but more action orientated than pure Horror (just saying in case you were expecting something like the Cigarette Burning episode)
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Disturbing to say the least
preppy-324 November 2006
15 year old Angelique (Caitlin Wachs) is pregnant from--she believes--a demon from hell. She gets to an abortion clinic where doctors try to figure out if she's crazy and what to do about her baby which is growing extremely quick. Her anti-abortion father Dwayne (Ron Perlman) wants to get her out of the clinic...and won't let anything stand in his way.

Well-written and directed (of course) episode by John Carpenter. This is easily one of the most disturbing things he's ever done. It keeps you wondering and guessing, moves very quickly, has an extremely disturbing ultrasound sequence and some very gory and sick murders. Carpenter doesn't use the subtle approach to violence that he used for "Halloween" or "The Fog"--he shoves the blood in your face (like "The Thing"). Still it does work in the context of this story--it's supposed to be disturbing and sick to get its point across. Also there are some pretty decent special effects at the end.

The only problem with this is that the fate of at least five characters are left hanging at the end (Perlman disappearing completely really bothered me) and the point of the story is kind of vague. Also the acting is not that good--except for Wachs and Perlman. And Wachs doesn't look even remotely 15. Still this is a disturbing little film by Carpenter. A 9.
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Tough issue; good film
Tim Hayes28 November 2006
John Carpenter's Pro-Life is a film that will draw out plenty of conversation among fans and non fans alike. The subject matter is abortion and the right to life. In it, a 15 year old girl finds herself raped and impregnated by a demon. One week later she is ready to give birth and so she heads to an abortion clinic to have the pregnancy terminated before the demon child can be born. Once inside ,however, matters get complicated as her father and brothers storm the clinic in an attempt to not let her go through with the abortion. The father believes he hears the voice of god telling him that the baby must live. Pro-Life is a nasty little thriller that borrows from Carpenter's remake of The Thing. While the demon baby is a bit rubbery for my liking, the full fledged demon suit is very nice. There's also some extremely effective gunshot wounds that are among the best I've ever seen. All in all a thought provoking and excellent episode. A welcome return to form along with Sounds Like after the dismal Family and V Word.
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Good old fashioned horror
NunianVonFuch27 October 2006
Warning: Spoilers
Its best not to know anything at all about horror before you see it, but this is great so watch it and stop reading now!


Saw this at the Horrorthon in Dublin on the big screen and it is great to see John producing solid scares after the bad run of form lately. Well only Ghosts of Mars really!

Pro-life is decent horror with a nice build-up of suspense towards the inevitable pay-off. Ron Perlman's Dwayne is similar to Bill Paxton's character in Frailty - he is doing god's bidding and therefore this justifies the act no matter how horrible it is (and it does get pretty horrible, though I'm sure god never told him to give the doctor a taste of his own medicine) plus he has a gang of boys (his sons) who do his bidding.

The episode starts off fairly predictably with the standard shot seen a gazillion times before of a girl running through the woods, then cut to car driving through forest, then back to girl, car, bam! Collision. But thankfully thats about it for conventional horror, though once again comparisons with Rio Bravo can be drawn with the siege on the clinic. I liked this better than Cigarrette Burns which I felt was a full-length feature shoe-horned into the 1 hour running time of the series but in this episode the pacing is just right. Kudos must also go to Cody Carpenter who takes after his old man in the music stakes at the start, sounding a lot like Halloween, but is very effective at creating the dark and foreboding atmosphere through sound that the best horror needs to succeed.

Overall a very accomplished piece that shouldn't disappoint Carpenter fans and casual observers too.
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Completely awful in every way...
thealtmangoodbye20 August 2007
Warning: Spoilers
Wow. The only people reviewing this positively are the Carpenter apologists. I know a lot of those. The guys that'll watch John Carpenter squat on celluloid and pinch out a movie and proclaim it a masterwork of horror. This "movie" is utter crap. It looks and sounds like a porno (good lord, the soundtrack is awful...), and has sub-par porn acting, which is shocking, because normally Ron Perlman is really a very good actor. I honestly have no idea what Carpenter was thinking when making this. Most likely "Beans, beans, beans.." until somebody fed him and rolled him up into a blanket for the day... They say nothing about the abortion debate whatsoever, when they could have had a very interesting central theme (how do religious zealot anti-abortionists feel when it's the devil's baby?) but instead they chose to have Ron Perlman and his terribly acted kids kill a bunch of people and have the horribly cast doctors try to calm the hysterically bad pregnant girl. Not a single person from this episode or what have you should come away unscathed. It's just awful. Like, Plan 9 From Outerspace awful. Like, good god please would somebody turn it off before I soil myself awful. Try watching this and The Thing in the same day and your mind will implode.
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The master may have lost it completely
Bjorn (ODDBear)11 October 2008
Warning: Spoilers
Well well well. As good as John Carpenter's season 1 outing in "Masters of Horror" was, this is the complete opposite. He certainly proved he was still a master of horror with "Cigarette Burns" but "Pro-Life" is perhaps the worst I have seen from him.

It's stupid, totally devoid of creepy atmosphere and tension and it overstays it's welcome, despite the less-than-an-hour running time. The script is nonsense, the characters are irritable and un-appealing and the conclusion is beyond absurd.

And for those suckers who actually bought the DVD (one of them being me); did you see how Carpenter describes the film? He's actually proud of it and he talks about it as his best work for a long time, and he praises the script. And in the commentary track, where he notices an obvious screw up that made it to the final cut, he just says he didn't feel it essential to rectify the mistake and he just let it be there. I fear the old master has completely lost his touch. I sincerely hope I'm proved wrong.

I want to leave on a positive note and mention that the creature effects are awesome, though. Technically speaking, this film is top notch, with effective lighting schemes and make up effects.
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Only 'Masters' would touch this!
super marauder11 June 2013
Okay, okay! I can clearly see from the other reviewers this one is a mixed bag. Either love it it or hate it, well that's fine. That's okay because it deals with a touchy subject.

Set aside the politics for a moment, the movie is about a teenage girl who wants an abortion because she feels the baby is evil. But her father wants to protect the baby at all costs.

Ron Perlman is excellent as usual playing the tragic hero who knows it's there is going to be bloodshed. He knows it's going to get ugly and he's not happy about it, but he feels it has to be done. Catlin Wachs is great playing the victim. Bill Dow and the rest of the cast is great too.

I feel the both sides of the issue is being served. But it's Ron Perlman's character that really sells me on this. He is a father who loves his kids and do whatever it takes to protect them. I feel if you love this movie or hate this movie you can't hate Ron.

John Carpenter has never been above pushing people's buttons, just look at 'They Live'. He said of this "it's just a monster movie", and Cody Carpenter's score captures the mood.

I'm not trying to mock other people when I say this one is not for someone with a closed mind. If you feel strongly one way or the other about abortion, I suggest you avoid this one. I myself enjoyed this not because I am pro-life or pro choice. I enjoyed it because all of the characters most notably Ron and Catlin because they were real people.
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Unbalanced, but still engaging
jdollak1 November 2016
Warning: Spoilers
I remember liking this episode more than a lot of the episodes in the second season of Masters of Horror, but I still took a long time to get back to re-watching it.

It's a strange story, since it deals with one of the core divisive issues (at least in the US.) But both times I watched this, I've come away feeling that they didn't actually make any statements about the issue.

It's true that the Father comes across as being the more villainous character, but the Doctor isn't a fully sympathetic character either.

Which brings us to the main problem that the episode has - it seems to lack a point. I suppose, you could sum it up as "don't blindly listen to voices in your head" It's not actually a bad episode though. It's paced well, it develops nicely, and it holds attention. But it's also more forgettable than it should be, and by the end, it feels easy to shrug off.
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The Worst Yet (Spoilers)
tomcon2126 November 2006
Warning: Spoilers
This installment of Masters of Horror was terrible. Apparently, Mr. Carpenter needs to learn a thing or two about pacing and decent, plausible dialog. There were times when I literally shouted at the TV for something to happen. Maybe he thinks he building suspense, but Carpenter needs to trim back that overdone, over-simplified musical score of his (or his son's) and advance the action a little bit. How many times did the girl say, "Oh no, I can't have this baby!" and "Oh, no here it comes"? Carpenter takes elements from much, much better films (Assault on Precinct 13 and The Thing) and throws them in here as if we are supposed to acknowledge and appreciate his trademark style. What is lacking here is genuine suspense and energy. It's as though he's sleepwalking through the process of movie making.

For better Carpenter films, stick to the tried and true classics-- The Thing, Halloween, and They Live. For better masters of horror episodes, check out my personal favorites: Family, Jenifer, and Dreams in the Witch House.
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darkhourarcher200014 December 2006
Warning: Spoilers
A plot that fizzled and reeked of irreconcilable differences in opinions constituted a judgmental havoc with one side pro-life and the other a destroyer of a demon's seed. The horror was left out and replaced with an overall dull effect quite possibly meant to be horrific, but, instead demonstrated an ill dose of beliefs which ridiculed each other to death, despite the title itself. Being a fan of Masters of Horror since the beginning, this ridiculous plot twist with it's sordid depictions crashed apart like a spindly old rocking chair after being sat upon. I view this episode as being thrown together from the get go, never really taking off anywhere other than to see it through for what its worth and relieved when it finally came to "The End"..
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mattatpt27 November 2006
Awful, uninventive, with b-movie special effects and even worse story.

Cigarette Burns was far superior, it had tension and atmosphere. this was just gore for the sake of gore held together by a lame unoriginal story, with awful special effects.

Season 2 of Masters has been very disappointing this time around, and Horrors are getting worse and worse.

I'm a big fan of John Carpenter which is why I was let down so Badly, there's many many more better stories out there.

If your a Carpenter fan, watch it purely so u can say you've seen it, but if your not, it's not worth the hour it takes to sit through it.
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Wooow, if all episodes of Masters of Horror are like this I'm gonna buy all Episodes on DVD
alexfromhorn18 August 2009
It's about 2 Doctors who find a scared girl, they take her to the hospital where they work and they find out she's pregnant. Later her father is there too, he wants to stop a possible abortion 'cause god told him so....

This is amazing it where just 53min but man it's one really tension-filled masterpiece that it's better than a lot of action movies.

I think this short-movie is a combination of classic John Carpenter atmosphere mixed someway with Tarantino-like style and it's got a little touch of Resident Evil(not the bad Jovovich Movies, I mean the games).

So if you like tension-filled action-flicks with horror-atmosphere or just like Tarantino/Rodriguez Movies you gotta watch this ! It's really awesome.
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John, John, John!
Treeman22214 October 2007
What happened to you Johnny-boy? John Carpenter never used to rely on special effects (and bad ones at that) to make things entertaining. He used them judiciously to add to the story, but not to fall back on because there is nothing else in the script. The effects in this are terrible, ranging from lame CGI (added in at the last minute to "pump-up" some of the gore) to a cheesy guy-in-a-rubber-suit demon. Gah.

Remember Prince of Darkness, John? The huge black hand - the only part that we see of the Anti-Christ - that was scarier than anything in Pro-Life. Much. much more frightening than a rubber monster. I realize that if you just had a big, shadowy figure roaming the halls in Pro-Life, many viewers would think it was a cop-out, but your fans wouldn't. Instead, most of us probably think that showing us everything was the cop-out.

Whatever your next budget is, cut it in half so you make a good movie.
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This is not the Carpenter I know or KNEW!
alesisqs6111 August 2007
I have to say as being a fan of the man who created Halloween/The Fog/Christine/The Thing - probably his best films.

Then you got this POS. I can't logically think he put any effort at all into this like he did with Cigarette Burns. At least his son made a decent soundtrack.

You have to look at this from the standpoint that it didn't seem like a movie. It looked as if someone else directed it for one thing. I won't believe Carpenter put any effort into this at all.

I was just listening to his old school H2/H3/The Fog soundtrack and it was awesome, especially for the times.

He was using a style that no one had and it worked so well for his films.
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Why did they have to ruin it
Smoreni Zmaj4 May 2018
Warning: Spoilers
A pregnant girl arrives at the abortion clinic and insists that her pregnancy is terminated immediately. Soon after arrives her pro-life father, a religious fanatic, accompanied by her older brothers, and attacks the clinic to save his grandchild. The film begins as a redneck drama, but soon turns into a supernatural horror, in John Carpenter's recognizable style. A good story, convincing atmosphere, striking music and decent acting, and if they just refrained from explicitly portraying the "baby" and her father, this would be a solid seven. But in the end they just had to ruin it with well-done, but completely ridiculous and unconvincing monsters and replace eerie tension with "wtf is this crap" moment.

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God wants you to kill my baby
Michael Ledo20 March 2018
Warning: Spoilers
Young Angelique (Caitlin Wachs) is pregnant with Satan's baby. In a casting irony, Hellboy, Ron Perlman is the father of Angelique and is part of the Pro-Life movement. The abortion clinic where she is at believe Ron Perlman, her father, raped her. They can't perform the abortion without his permission and they can't let her go back to him. The story oozes and drips with irony and role reversals.

F-bomb, no sex or nudity, exploding head.
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