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Anchor Bay Brings Out Horror Masters for Show

22 Jul, 2005 By: Jessica Wolf

SAN DIEGO — Horror is always big at the annual Comic-Con, and this year was no exception.

Anchor Bay Entertainment brought directors Mick Garris, John Landis, Don Coscarelli and Stuart Gordon from its “Masters of Horror” series. These flicks made by some of the genre's greats arrive on DVD in October, after airing on Showtime.

Landis said he was “proud and honored to direct” his son Max's first major project about The Deer Woman, who lures human male mates to her, then stomps them to death.

Garris spearheaded dinner gatherings of horror filmmakers, which spawned the idea for the “Masters of Horror” series.

“The reason Mick got all these people involved, aside from friendship, was we were allowed to do anything we wanted, within the budget, which was about 74 cents,” Landis joked.

That was the idea, Garris said. These directors have watched the genre become watered-down, with big studios demanding ‘PG-13' flicks that defeat the purpose of creating scary or gory horror, directors said. IDT Entertainment, Anchor Bay's parent company which is financing the films, gave the directors free reign. Intended for DVD release, these films were signed on later by Showtime for cable airing.

“Suddenly, we find ourselves making these 13 one-hour horror films where the director is king,” Garris said. “There are no studio notes, no network notes — and [they're] uncensored.”

Four films are in the can already, he said. John Carpenter is wrapping up the sixth installment. Roger Corman, who pulled out for health reasons, Garris said, was replaced with up-and-comer Lucky McKee. All the directors are thrilled to create and treat core horror fans with films that didn't have to be test-marketed for a teenage audience, Garris said.

“You should have the choice of watching a movie that didn't have to be acceptable for all family audiences,” he said.

Tobe Hooper, Dario Argento, George Romero and William Malone also are providing films for the first “Masters of Horror” series.

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