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Carpenter, Romero headline new horror series

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”It’s hard to really scare the audience these days, but I guarantee that these guys will really do just that.” So says Showtime entertainment president Robert Greenblatt in a statement announcing the cable channel’s new anthology series Masters of Horror. And ”these guys” really are masters — top horror directors like John Carpenter (Halloween), George Romero (Night of the Living Dead), Tobe Hooper (The Texas Chainsaw Massacre), and Dario Argento (Suspiria).

Also on board are such cult-fave scary movie directors as Roger Corman (Little Shop of Horrors), Larry Cohen (It’s Alive), Joe Dante (Gremlins), Stuart Gordon (Re-Animator), Don Coscarelli (Phantasm), John Landis (An American Werewolf in London), and Mick Garris (The Stand). Together, they’ll create an anthology of at least 13 hour-long frightfests.

Some of the films will be based on existing short stories; others on original screenplays written by or commissioned by the directors. Production begins in April; Showtime didn’t say when the series will air.

Overseeing the project is Garris, who was inspired by a bimonthly dinner involving several of the directors, who had expressed a desire to work together. Note to Showtime: Call Dinner for Five‘s Jon Favreau and tell him to bring his cameras; surely that mealtime chatter would be just as entertaining as some of the movies, and maybe even as scary.