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>
Ted Newson made a wonderful, lengthy documentary on the horror film with this 13 volume set narrated by the great Christopher Lee. The videos are basically divided into sub-genres within the horror film such as witches, ghosts, dinosaurs, Frankenstein, vampires, etc... In each video, the ever urbane and deadpan Lee narrates the evolution of that particular horror strand from its roots to modern times. Without a doubt the series is dedicated to older horror films from the silent era, the Universal era, the Hammer era, and the huge field of B pictures(which for some reason garnered more attention than all the others it seems). We get glimpses of old interviews with deceased stars such as Karloff, Lugosi, Chaney Jr., John Carradine, and Vincent Price, as well as interviews with living legends such as Lee himself, John Carpenter, Richard Matheson, Ray Bradbury, and many others. An obvious flaw with the series is that it definitely seems to be under budgetary constraints. Most of the clips, if not all, come from movie trailers rather than the films themselves. Although there are 13 tapes, many of them are barely 45 minutes in length. And Lee himself uses the same catch-phrases throughout the series, thus letting us know that the producers had only a certain time with his services. This is not really a complaint, as I am glad the project was done....just an observation. There are some obvious films missing in the series(probably because they didn't have the trailers) and they are only mentioned in passing. The two that really stand out are Psycho and Night of the Living Dead. But again, overall this is a must-see for the student of the horror film and a very entertaining series as well. I can't remember ever seeing Mr. Lee so funny before as he talks about some of the films he made. One in particular line I found very amusing was when he mentioned that his only brush with film lycanthropy was The Howling II...and then he said in a very Jack Benny manner.."The less said about that the better."
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