In some cases the Masters of Horror series, made for Showtime in the early aught two-thousands, flopped to outstanding degrees. John Landis’ entry in the series is definitely not one of those cases. In fact, we love it so much at my house that we watch it a few times a year. If you know Landis’ work, you know that he likes his laughs as much as his screams, and this short movie is no different.
The story follows Brian Benben as the disgruntled detective Faraday, who is on the hunt to find the murderer responsible for a series of gory and perplexing kills. At every crime scene, Faraday comes across more and more clues that suggest the killer isn’t exactly human; though, he has to accept some fairly far-fetched theories and even a little Native American mythology in order to crack the case. If you read the title at all, I think you probably know where this is going. Yes, this beautiful femme fatale does indeed have hooves. As ridiculous as it sounds, the deer woman is a surprisingly formidable opponent. On the outside, from the waist up, she is the strikingly gorgeous Brazilian model, Cinthia Moura. From the waist down, she can kick automobiles off of the street, and can leap long distances to escape from any predators in the form of police officers with guns. Granted, I can’t claim that this story is a scary one. Landis does what he does best in this movie, and the most effective scenes are utterly goofy. My favorite has to be when we watch Faraday try to puzzle out just how one of the murders occurred, and we ‘re treated to a series of day dreams in which a cute girl beats a man to death with a deer leg, and an anthropomorphic deer carries a damsel away a-la King Kong.
There are other notable entries in the Masters of Horror series. But, if you need a laugh with only a touch of horrific themes, Deer Woman is the way to go.