An innocent young woman is lured to the dark side, and discovers the wholesome, sheltered life she led before was rooted in betrayal and deceit in Tobe Hooper’s installment of Showtime’s Masters of Horror series, Dance of the Dead. In the not-so-distant future, a potent terrorist weapon called “Bliss” has destroyed America’s major cities. Peggy (Jessica Lowndes) lives in a small town outside the corrupted metropolis of Muskeet, where she helps her mother, Celia (Lucie Guest), run a diner. Business is slow, but Celia says their father left some money for them when he died. The terrorist wars also claimed Peggy’s older sister. Jak (Jonathan Tucker, from the Texas Chainsaw Massacre remake) and his buddy Boxx (Ryan McDonald) do what they can to get by. They’ve forcibly taken blood from an elderly couple, with plans to transport it to the city, where the MC (Robert Englund) at the Doom Room waits to use it for some nefarious purpose. They stop in the diner to get some ice. Celia can tell they’re from Muskeet, and is immediately on her guard, but Peggy is intrigued, and strikes up a conversation with Jak. Jak tells her, “You are something I haven’t seen in a long time,” and invites her to “see the world” with him. Later that night, she sneaks out of the house and goes back to the diner, where Jak picks her up, as planned, and they head into town. “I’m not gonna let anything happen to you,” Jak assures her, “except what you want.” Dance of the Dead was scripted by Richard Christian Matheson, adapted from a short story by his father, Richard Matheson. —All Movie Guide
Though he has worked in the horror and dark fantasy genres for more than two decades, producer-writer-director Tobe Hooper’s significant contributions can all be traced to just two films: The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974) and Poltergeist (1982). Though produced under very different circumstances — the former was an ultra-low-budget exploitation potboiler while the latter was a major studio spectacular — both films were major commercial successes that reflected the zeitgeist of their day. Surprisingly, neither had quite the salutary effect on Hooper’s career as one might have expected. The filmmaker’s current viability, such as it is, has resulted from a canny shift to creating, producing and directing genre projects for the small screen. A popular artist who once helped set trends in entertainment evolved over time into a smooth craftsman striving to ride the wave of his genre’s acceptance into the mainstream.
The Austin, Texas native was first bitten by the… read more