August 13th, 2006



I was talking with rosefox yesterday about Bally's Fireball, a pinball machine I used to have in my house when I was growing up in Connecticut. I described it with remarkable precision for something I haven't seen in over twenty years, so I decided to Google it and see if I remembered it right. I did. This is what it looked like:

alexkaufmann and I were the envy of all our friends. Actually, we didn't have a lot of friends, at least not until we got Fireball. Then we were quite popular!

We kept it down in the basement, where there was tres 1970s wood paneling on the walls, shag carpeting and a wet bar that was never stocked.

Rock 'n roll.

Masters of Horror: Homecoming

Joe Dante's Homecoming isn't terrible like Chocolate or Deer Woman, but it's not great either. As with just about everything Dante's done except The Howling, it's played more for comedy than scares. And the comedy is more of the grin-and-nod-your-head variety than laugh-out-loud. But that's often the case with political satire.

In Homecoming, dead soldiers return to take down the corrupt administration that sent them to die in an unnecessary war. So far so good, but the zombie soldiers' ultimate goal isn't something dynamic like the flesh-eating version of an armed revolution. No, these zombies have come vote them out. Let the yawning begin.

Sam Hamm's script (based on the Dale Bailey story "Death and Suffrage", which is actually about gun control, not war) is sharp, though, skewering everything from cable TV pundits who do nothing but toe the party line (Thea Gill steals every scene she's in as an Ann Coulter type) to the alleged voter irregularities in Ohio. Unfortunately, I think it would have worked better as an allegory with a fictional president and a fictional war instead of using President Bush and the current Iraq war. To me, mentions of real world problems were too distracting from the story. Others might feel differently, but it made the episode way too heavy-handed for its own good.

So Homecoming is the first Masters of Horror episode I've seen that I neither loved nor hated. It falls somewhere in-between, getting an A for effort but only a C for execution.

Interestingly, this is also the only episode I've seen so far that doesn't have any gratuitous boobage. I'm not sure if that's a plus or not, but it's such an aberration for this boob-happy series that it's worth mentioning.