Masters of Horror - Homecoming
Stephen R. Brown (executive), Morris Berger (executive), John W.Hyde (executive), Mick Garris (executive), Keith Addis (executive), Andrew Deane (executive) for IDT Entertainment, Nice Guy Productions, Industry Entertainment/Showtime
directed by Joe Dante
starring Jon Tenney, Thea Gill, Wanda Cannon, Robert Picardo, Terry David Mulligan, Beverly Breuer, Dexter Bell, Jason Diablo, Karen Austin, Daniel Wesley, Penelope Corrin, Nathaniel Deveaux, Candus Churchill, Jason Emanuel, Sean Carey, Ryan McDonell, Charles Zuckermann
screenplay by Sam Hamm, based on the short story Death and Suffrage by Dale Bailey, music by Hummie Mann
Masters of Horror
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When asked about the disaster the Iraq-war has turned out to be and
especially the high bodycount, David Murch (Jon Tenney), a spokesperson of
the Republican US-president (they mean George W.Bush of course, though
they don't address him by name), says that he wishes that each and every
of the soldiers would come back to life to voice their support for the war
which actually lost them their lives. Everyone in the conservative camp is
fascinated by that idea because a slogan like this brings in the voters -
and election is only weeks away.
But of course, this is a horror film, and in horror films, sometimes
wishes do come true ... and the dead soldiers really rise from their
graves and want to voice their opinion about the war - by being admited to
the presidential election. But unfortunately, the zombie soldiers are not
full of praise for the war but want to vote the Democrats ... and every
attempt to convince the zombies otherwise or quiet them down only ends in
chaos and violence - culminating in a scene in which a zombie soldier
(Sean Carey) actually murders the presidents chief campaigner (Robert
Picardo) when he threatens the zombie's mother's life.
Eventually, Murch's own reputation is shattered when it is found out
that his brother - whom he always refers to as a war hero - did not die in
Vietnam at all but was later killed when young Murch played with his army
gun and accidently pulled the trigger.
The election seems to be lost for the president ... until another of
his chief campaigners (Wanda Cannon) just turns the results around by
cheating ... for the American nation, of course.
But when the zombies realize they have been robbed of their voice by
exactly the people who gave it to them in the first place - Murch and his
fellow Republicans - they call in their reserves - dead soldiers from
other wars - and take over Washington ... Seeing this, Murch wants to
shoot himself, but his gun has run out of bullets. Instead teh zombies
persuade him to help them in their cause and support their campaign - but
of course, to do so they have to kill him first.
The premise of the story of this film is great, dead soldiers coming
back to life just to vote against those who sent them to their deaths.
Unfortunately though, the movie as such does not quite live up to its
premise, instead of sharp political satire it very often doesn't offer
much more than broad and badly timed humour, some subplots - like the
whole story about Murch's assistant (Thea Gill) who ultimately does take
over his job only to be killed by him when he finally realises how much
wrong he has done - do not get the story ahead and are rather useless, and
sometimes the requirements of the horror genre just don't sit too well
with the satire to actually work.
Still, one can't really blame this Masters of Horror-episode
for at least trying, and among all of its shortcomings, there are some
good scenes as well.
Interestingly enough, this satirical zombie movie shows more respect to
the US-soldiers who died in Iraq than the (real-life) US-gouvernment ever
cared to ... what a strange world we live in ...