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Category:    Home > Reviews > Horror > Anthology > Monsters > Supernatural > TV > Monsters - The Complete Series (1988 - 1991/CBS/E ONE DVD Set)

Monsters - The Complete Series (1988 - 1991/CBS/E ONE DVD Set)

Picture: B Sound: B Extras: D Episodes: A

Do you like Tales From The Crypt, Creepshow and Tales From The Darkside? Then Monsters is for you! Monsters is a syndicated TV series of 72 anthology horror films that spans over 9 discs and brings us different stories of the macabre and unusual. Originally airing from 1988 to 1991, this horror anthology series takes place in modern day, the future, and to times past. Each episode of the series harbors a terrible secret, and its very own gruesome monster to haunt your dreams in tales of mystery, intrigue, suspense, and imagination. Every week, a family of Monsters watch the episode on their television in their seemingly normal looking home. With some stories written by Robert Bloch (the late author of Psycho), produced by Richard P Rubenstein (the original Dawn Of The Dead, Dune), and special effects consulted by Dick Smith (makeup artist of The Godfather, The Exorcist, and Scanners).

The show also features cameos by singers Laura Branigan and Deborah Harry, as well as turns by Jerry Stiller, Tony Shalhoub, Pam Grier, Frank Gorshin, Gina Gershon, Adrienne Barbeau, Steve Buscemi, John Saxon, Darren McGavin and Linda Blair.

Season One brings us - The Feverman where an unusual healer is a man’s last hope for his ailing daughter, Holley's House which tells the story of a deranged puppeteer that slightly echoes the Child's Play films, New York Honey where a man falls for a seductress who turns out to be a killer bee, The Vampire Hunter where a hunter on the verge of retirement encounters one of his past vampiric foes, My Zombie Lover which is pretty self explanatory, Where's The Rest Of Me? where a mad doctor develops a serum that keeps dead bodies from deteriorating, The Legacy where a struggling writer buys a home that once belonged to a horror actor and finds a makeup kits that unleashes terror, and Sleeping Dragon, where Scientists discover a time capsule, unaware of a dragon that sleeps inside.

If you like vampires then you will love Pool Sharks where a seductive vampire gets a pool hustler in a high stakes game of life or death, Pillow Talk, Rouse Him Not where a killer sofa commands a grown man into feeding it his bad bar dates, Fools Gold is about a painter that finds an unsuspecting creature living in her basement, Glim-Glim, Parents From Outer Space, The Mother Instinct, and the Divided Self which features grotesque paring of Siamese Twins haunt us on disc two.

The last disc for Season One brings us Taps, The Match Game, Rain Dance, The Cocoon, All In A Day's Work, Satan In The Suburbs, Mannikins Of Horror, and La Strega.

Season Two, disc one brings us The Face which is a very cool story where two men attempt to rob an old woman but she dies before they get the chance - leaving a huge nasty wound on one of them after she bites him, Portrait Of An Artist where a man finds his missing daughter in a painting in an artist's studio, A Bond Of Silk where a newlywed couple find out you get what you pay for when you rent out the honeymoon suite, Rerun, Love Hurts, The Farmer's Daughter, Jar, and The Demons.

Reaper (my personal favorite episode of the series) where a patient at a nursing home makes a deal with the Grim Reaper so that he will never die, The Mandrake Root where a woman finds a bizarre plant growing in her Mother’s basement, Half As Old As Time where an old man finds a Fountain of Youth but with costly results, Museum Hearts where a womanizer is trapped with two of his girlfriends and the ancient corpse of a bog woman, Habitat where a girl volunteers to become a test subject on an alien ship who becomes lonely for human contact, Bed & Boar where a salesman spends the night at a hotel next door to a beautiful woman and her husband that hide a dark secret, Mr. Swlabr who is a creature that gives a young boy hope from his wrathful Mother and Sister, and Perchance To Dream where a psychiatrist and a girl help a man who is having dreams that could spell his ultimate demise.

The last disc of Season Two contains One Wolf's Family where a family of werewolves attempt to assimilate into modern American Society, The Offering where a man finds out what cancer really is and a way to stop it, Far Below where a nosy city official stumbles into a secret operation under the New York Subway, Micro Minds, Refugee, The Gift, The Bargain, and The Family Man where a young boy tries to protect his family from an Alien that he can only see using his dead father's glasses.

Season Three starts out with a bang with Stressed Environment, where mutant rats threaten pesticide-wielding scientists in a laboratory, Murray's Monster where a psychiatrist tries to use a patient's inner monster to murder his wife, Bug House where a woman visits her sister in the family cabin and discovers that she is pregnant and living with a mysterious man, Cellmates where a young man expected to be freed from prison by his rich father discovers he's been placed in the wrong cell, Outpost where a space station commander discovers the identity of a monster that operates a mining project on a hostile planet, The Hole where a group of soldiers in the Vietnam War discover an underground bunker with a deadly secret, Small Blessing where a young family tries to cope with having a meat hungry deformed baby and Shave & A Haircut, Two Bites where two teenagers think the barber shop across the street may be a secret meeting place for town vampires.

Disc two is The Young & The Headless which is where a woman's presumed dead ex-husband returns and her new husband devises a way to get rid of him. The Waiting Game is what happens after a nuclear war, humans take refuge inside a small locked shelter while vampires lurk outside, Sin-Sop where a journalist visits a man who supposedly owns a so-called sin extractor and plans to expose him as a fraud, A New Woman where a greedy woman is confronted by a spirit moments before pulling the plug on her elderly and wealthy boss and lover. Malcolm, who is a man with a strange growth removed from his abdomen that is more important than anyone could have ever known, Household Gods, The Space Eaters, and The Waiting Room where a man who broke his promise to a mysterious woman looks to make a sacrifice in order to escape the deadly consequences.

The final disc brings us Leavings where two cops bring in an armless man for questioning who they caught stealing a day earlier with his arms attached, Desirable Alien is about a caseworker for US Immigration Service who wants to unlock the mystery of her subjects alluring power, A Face For Radio which is about a late-night radio host who brings on a mysterious guest who claims to have an alien that feeds on anger and hatred. Werewolf Of Hollywood where a screenwriter and his assistant write the script of a werewolf movie based off an idea, Talk Nice To Me, The Moving Finger, Hostile Takeover, and finally The Maker where a bum encounters a man with the power to create anything that he so desires.

The 4 X 3/1.33 Full Frame aspect ratio preserves the 16mm shot production to its original broadcast ratio and has a lossy 2.0 Dolby Digital sound mix. While its nothing fancy, I like the fact that the transfer reflects the time and has its imperfections. The total runtime for the series is 516 minutes so you will definitely be scared for a while!

CBS (who owns the show) and E ONE Entertainment (licensing it) did a great job of packaging and rounding up the series with this astonishing nine-disc set containing three DVD cases divided into three seasons (each with three discs). The cover art for all the discs is very cool as well. In my opinion, this release is a MUST HAVE for horror fans and a great watch from start to finish!

- James Harland Lockhart, V


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