4 / 5 Oct '10
Directed by: N/A
Written by: N/A
Actors include: Mark Gatiss, John Carpenter, Barbara Steele
Genre: Horror Documentary
Length: 3 hours (3 one hour episodes)
Well this Mark Gatiss is someone who shares many of the same horror opinions I do, so I found this particular series quite a bit of fun to watch though it didn't have much that I didn't already know to offer. The first episode focuses mainly on the '30s to the '50s, really the beginnings of American and British horror (it completely avoids most other films for some reason, the gaping hole being the German films of the time). It goes into Val Lewton (who for some reason Carpenter disses big time...I like Lewton), Lon Chaney and a brief summery of his horror works, James Whale and of course the Universal Monster films. The second episode focuses on the Hammer Horror age with close attention to that studio, Christopher Lee and Peter Cushing and even into some Amicus anthologies that I love and even a Tigon production (The Blood on Satan's Claw). It definitely mainly focuses in on the UK but that is where most of the action was at that time. The third portion goes into slashers like Psycho, The Texas Chain Saw Massacre and the like, but it stops right after Halloween. Also since this set of episodes is so British centric I was surprised there was no mention of Pete Walker. At least they tried to talk to several people involved, and Mark takes us to several of the locations and throws in little tidbits here and there too. It's not comprehensive...it is just his favorite films and some of the details within so yes many areas are completely untouched but what it does cover is interesting and informative. Mark is a likeable host though where he and I disagree is that I think there is merit in the '80s slashers and so forth but heck I at least like every film I've seen mentioned on the list (and I'd seen most of them). Worthy of a viewing for fans of the genre, but if you like the new stuff this might have nothing to offer you.
Availability: Airs on BBC4 from time to time