John Landis, director of such horror films as AN AMERICAN WEREWOLF IN LONDON and, well, um…AN AMERICAN WEREWOLF IN LONDON, gets his hand at the latest episode of MASTERS OF HORROR, entitled THE DEER WOMAN. While not quite at the level of the earlier episodes, the show is an entertaining rebound from the disappointing HOMECOMING episode. Using his trademark blend of horror and comedy, Landis whips up a fast-paced, mindless treat that continues the most important MASTERS OF HORROR tradition – the showcase of an unbelievably hot woman.
THE DEER WOMAN starts in traditional monster movie fashion, with a drunken hillbilly exiting a bar into the night and hearing some strange sounds. Who could that be lurking in the cab of a truck? The deer woman perhaps? Next we are introduced to Brian Benben (star of the classic HBO series DREAM ON) as a downtrodden detective assigned to the animal accidents desk. He’s called out to investigate an incident and comes across what can only be described as a big pile of gore in the back of the afore-mentioned truck.
The homicide detectives soon boot Benben off the case as soon as they realized this was the work of a human and not an animal. Or is it? Working with a medical examiner and a buddy from the precinct, Benben realizes that there is something strange afoot. A person killed these victims, but there are hoof prints and deer DNA showing up. A strange new animal perhaps? Landis takes it a step further and has Benben refer to the “case of wolf attacks in London in 1981." Get it? It was cute, but a bit too obvious.
Of course, given the title of the episode, we know who did the killing: the deer woman. Then, finally, thank goodness, we are introduced to the title character as she begins her seduction of various victims. Please world, stand up and applaud the discovery of Brazilian model Cinthia Moura. Good God is she hot. I mean, HOT. I pushed the replay on my TiVo about ten times to get a look at this lady. With a striking resemblance to Angelina Jolie (although there can be only one), I stopped caring whether she was supposedly part deer and fell in love.
Oops, did I give anything away with that? Nah, didn’t think so. After all, it’s the title of the episode! Unfortunately, that does take away some of the surprise, and when Moura kicks into action near the very end, it’s a fun sight that would have been better had we not expected it.
Despite some clunky attempts at humor (Benben’s dream sequence, for one, was quite lame), THE DEER WOMAN is a thoroughly entertaining episode. Benben is a good actor who should get more work. And Cinthia Moura is bound to get work as the subject of countless googling after this show. MASTERS OF HORROR has found its groove again, and for that we can be grateful.
RATING: *** (out of four)