A multi-volume documentary on the history of horror movies. Hosted by veteran horror star Christopher Lee, this video series brings together footage from many notable (and some less notable) films from the silent era up to the 90's. Also included are interviews with many of the leading horror actors and filmmakers, in which they share their stories, opinions, and techniques on how to make the world scream. Written by
Jean-Marc Rocher <firstname.lastname@example.org>
I only watched a third of these before giving up, so I will do a blanket comment.
This is many hours of stuff stretched out possibly three times as long as it deserved. Interviews are reused in multiple weeks. There is lots of footage from the films they are talking about, but almost exclusively from trailers. The host is a nitwit who blathers on, partly in character. The people interviewed have almost nothing to say.
But its such a rich topic with so many, many opportunities for reward that I kept hoping.
Their definition of horror excludes Giallo. There's no mention of sleaze horror. Omitting these is like not mentioning whiskey in a history of the US. There's an episode on girl monsters and another on scream queen victims, but no mention of sex. No discussion of redheads.
There's no examination of racially based horror. How could that be?
The omissions are not as crazy as the way things are grouped. There's an episode about freaks. Now there are enough of those to fill a couple episodes. But they are crammed in with the maimed and scarred. Does anyone on the planet believe these work the same way?
I found only one mildly interesting thing: the episode on sorcerers has some pretty good background on Crowley and the actor who played Caligari's ghoul (who in turn influenced Christopher Lee). And then talks about Svengali. This seems to have been written by someone who knew the history and knew how the device is used: evil hypnotizes.
But other than that (episode 19), you really should look at any horror film closely. You'll get more than you'll get here.
Ted's Evaluation -- 1 of 3: You can find something better to do with this part of your life.
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