Main cast: Brian Benben (Det Dwight Faraday), Anthony Griffith (Officer Jacob Reed), Cinthia Moura (Deer Woman), Sonja Bennett (Dana), Julian Christopher (Chief Einhron), Don Thompson (Detective Fuches), Alex Zahara (Detective Patterson), and Andy Thompson (Bill)
Director: John Landis
It’s quite sad but after all these years, John Landis’s biggest claims to fame are An American Werewolf in London, Michael Jackson’s music video of Thriller, and siring that pretentious hipster dipstick Max who tries to claim that he’s all indie and credible rather than the product of nepotism that he is. Still, that werewolf movie alone is worthy of some respect, and hence, his presence in Masters of Horror.
Deer Woman, however, feels a lot like a, well, TV movie. The previous episodes all have a “movie in a TV” feel to them, but this one embraces the whole “Yay! We’re on TV!” vibe cheerfully. Then again, maybe this is the best way to present a story in which a deer woman is running around killing all the Southern redneck stereotypes in the neighborhood. Yes, a hot woman, Native American from all appearances, is always the last person seen with the victim, who shows up dead with his body badly trampled from the waist up. Don’t laugh at the deer woman thing – apparently it’s an evil spirit from Native American folklore, so try not to roll up your eyes here at you’d be accused of disrespecting ethnic culture.
Detective Dwight Faraday and his buddy Officer Jacob Reed are on the case, and along the way, this episode tries its best to resemble a cross between The X-Files and Dragnet. I have to admit, there are many moments that get a chuckle out of me. I’m not scared even once, but I am entertained nonetheless by the jokes. Not to mention, Brian Benben and Anthony Griffith are both very easy on the eyes, and they have good chemistry together. Mr Benben plays Dwight Faraday as a nice mix of straight-laced cop with wry humor and one prone to paranoid imaginings. The identity and motives of the Deer Woman are left unexplained – she’s just evil, case closed – but that’s okay. I’ve had fun with this one.
Deer Woman is hardly horror, it’s more of a supernatural police procedural with comedic elements. Adjust your expectations and you may end up as pleasantly delighted as I am by this one.