(hoopla/kanopy/Plex/tubi/VOD/Vudu) Yes, this is a bit of a cheat, as it is technically part of Showtime’s TV horror anthology series MASTERS OF HORROR (masterminded by Mick Garris, who will pop up later). Yeah, I could mention any of Stuart Gordon or Joe Dante’s contributions, but those feel like -prestige- horror (-especially- Dante’s brilliant version of THE SCREWFLY SOLUTION) but, to me, THE WASHINGTONIANS is a perfect go-for-broke hour long ‘What If?!’ adaptation, which I feel is what short horror stories excel at.
THE WASHINGTONIANS is about the buried history of George Washington, based on Bentley Little’s short story, and it’s batshit crazy in a NATIONAL TREASURE + Joe Dante way. It’s horror via discovery. The stakes are high, but the peril is low. I won’t say it’s family-friendly, because it’s utterly disgusting at times, but it’s mostly non-threatening and a lot of dumb fun in a way that I think has been lacking in the past decade of horror. (It helps that they have Saul Rubinek to sell the lore. Oh, and did I mention that Peter Medak (THE CHANGELING, plenty of TV including two eps of HANNIBAL) directed it?)
(Just to be clear: if you do watch it, I’d like to note that I don’t approve of the epilogue.)