Friday, January 15, 2010

"Chocolate" from the Masters of Horror Series

Last night your Chocolate Priestess caught an episode of the 2005-7 series Masters of Horror created and airing originally on Showtime for two seasons with 26 episodes.  The Syfy Channel was airing several of these episodes last night, some of which I'd seen before but I had never seen this one.  This particular 7pm Eastern time episode was entitled "Chocolate" so, of course, I had to check it out to see how much of a role and what type of a role our Sacred Substance played in a one hour horror show.


This was the fifth episode from the first season and was directed by series creator, Mick Garris who is probably best known for his adaptation of Stephen King stories and his work on Amazing Stories.  It stars Henry Thomas, the star of E.T. all grown up.

This is a basic summary of the movie from my watching it last night, I'll try not to spoil it if you have not seen it.  It begins with a man who looks fairly beaten up talking to someone about his life these past few months.  Thomas plays a scientist, Jamie, who creates artificial flavors trying to remake his life after a divorce.  His knowledge of flavors is first tested he gets a mystery sensation of eating very fine chocolate, "bittersweet with a hint of jasmine tea" I believe he said.  Then he starts having audio and visual flashes as well until he believes he is experiencing a woman's life.  These flashes become longer and more sensory intense almost causing a car accident  and utterly ruining any shot he has with a wonderful woman he met at a grocery store.  He does some investigation based on what he sees and is able to track down the woman, Catherine, whose experiences he is sharing.  He knows a terrible secret about her and basically becomes stalker like in his approach.  It ends in tragedy for both of them.

Chocolate shows up several times in this episode.  With his job, Jamie must know a good deal about tastes and scents both.  His first contact with Catherine is through her enjoyment of a fine and expensive piece of chocolate.  In the grocery store he meets a woman, whose name I think is Elaine or something, and they begin talking about unhealthy foods including a few types of chocolate which they end up indulging in together as well as a good evening of sex.  Finally, Jamie attempts to use Catherine's favorite chocolate shop as a way to get her to talk to him by bringing her a box of it.

In this episode chocolate is the vehicle by which Jamie becomes entangled in several relationships and loses himself to them.  This may be because he has gone on a diet and has been denying himself wonderful food as well as the companionship he felt he got with his wife.  Chocolate then seems to symbolize his need for affection and sadly it often substitutes for us in the same way.  This show was more mystery than horror in my opinion though there is violence and blood but I never felt afraid, something quality horror needs to stir up in the audience.

If anyone else watched it, please leave a comment and tell me what you think.

Sisters and Brothers, may you too take the time to slowly appreciate what the Divine and human ingenuity have offered you in chocolate.

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