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Horror Europa with Mark Gatiss (2012)

TV Movie  |   |  Documentary  |  30 October 2012 (UK)
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Actor, writer and life-long horror film aficionado Mark Gatiss follows his 'A History of Horror' with this exploration of European horror cinema. Including interviews with directors Dario Argento and Guillermo del Toro amongst others.



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Credited cast:
Himself - Presenter
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Fabrizio Bava ...
Himself - Mario Bava's Grandson (as Roy Bava)
Annette Chaton ...
Herself - Thomas Narcejac's Daughter
Jorge Grau ...
Narciso Ibáñez Serrador ...
Harry Kümel ...
Werner Sudendorf ...
Himself - Chief Curator of Documentation, Deutsche Kinemathek Museum für Film und Fernsehen


Actor, writer and life-long horror film aficionado Mark Gatiss follows his 'A History of Horror' with this exploration of European horror cinema. Including interviews with directors Dario Argento and Guillermo del Toro amongst others.

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Several notables were M.I.A.
18 April 2015 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Although I enjoyed watching Horror Europa, I found it lacking. Some notable personalities in the genre were left out of this BBC documentary. I understood that director John Das and writer/presenter Mark Gatiss were limited by time and interview subjects. However, Lucio Fulci and Paul Naschy received one brief mention each, while Jose Larraz and Jean Rollin were ignored altogether. Meanwhile, Gatiss dedicated a fair amount of time to Harry Kumel, Narciso Ibanez Serrador, and Jorge Grau, directors who made a few (admittedly great) European horror films but who did not spend their careers in the genre the way Fulci, Larraz, Naschy, and Rollin did. Furthermore, one could debate how much of a horror film Les Diaboliques is (I first saw the mystery in a film class as part of a film-noir unit).

Also, Gatiss and Das, perhaps understandably, organized their material chronologically, jumping from Germany to France, then to Italy, and finally Spain. while giving structure to their documentary, this approach was also misleading. From Horror Europa, a viewer might have gotten the impression that, until recently, France quit making horror films in the late 1950's and that Germany never made another horror film after the Nazis came to power. Neither of these positions was true. Jean Rollin and Jorg Buttgereit jumped to mind while I was watching Horror Europa (of course, both directors might be too controversial for the BBC).

To give the filmmakers credit, Mark Gatiss made a personal documentary. He probably picked the films he liked the best (as I would have done in his place). The European horror film lends itself to diverse personal favorites. Few of these films were liked by critics when they first debuted. They were discovered and kept alive by fans. In Horror Europa, Mark Gatiss seemed to be such a fan. I liked watching Horror Europa in spite of its annoyances. It will probably be more useful to those just getting started in the sub-genre. As far as British TV documentaries on Euro-horror go, I preferred the less respectable Eurotika! which ran on Channel Four in 1999 (all twelve episodes are on YouTube).

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