View Full Version : favorite documentaries on the horror genre?
04-18-2003, 05:44 PM
Name and discuss your favorite documentary on the horror genre...
I really like "The Kingdom of Shadows," by Brett Wood (1998), distributed by Kino. It's narrated by Rod Steiger and it's about the mixture of horror and religious themes in the early years of silent cinema. It looks at everything from Méliès to Murnau, from Griffith and Dreyer. It's a wonderful film. In fact, it argues that horror themes, and themes developed in the 'fantastique' genre, are at the roots of the birth of cinema, especially if you follow the stream developed by George Méliès.
04-18-2003, 07:47 PM
A couple of my favorites are AMERICAN NIGHTMARE by Adam Simon, and also AMERICAN MOVIE, which isn't really about horror movies but is about a guy trying to make a horror movie.
04-18-2003, 10:40 PM
100 years of Horror hosted by Christopher Lee is pretty tight. Very good for a look at the genre as a whole.
04-19-2003, 02:41 AM
For general horror documentaries I like "American Nightmare" (about 60s/70s horror films) and "Maestro of the Macabre" (about Mario Bava). For specific documentaries I really like the two that were done for the DVDs of "Dressed to Kill" and "Carrie". They have general information about the movies and how they got made but also discuss specific sections and shots and how they were put together. I really enjoyed listening to DePalma talking about the technical aspects of the films.
04-19-2003, 03:45 AM
Man Bites Dog if you consider that a Docu. It's obviously fiction but very well done (or so I hope :) )
04-19-2003, 04:19 AM
There were 3 great documentaries done on Argento. Document of the Dead is very good and Scream Greats with Savini as well. Also, Masters of Horror, the one that was aired on Showtime is quite good. I, personally hated American Nightmare. It felt like a dissertation on horror, by college professors who were quite effecient at contemplating their assholes!!
04-19-2003, 05:03 AM
I enjoyed the intellectual discussion in AMERICAN NIGHTMARE... It was (to me, anyway) a thinking man's horror doc, and I liked that.
04-19-2003, 05:14 AM
AMERICAN NIGHTMARE was the one on IFC right? Is it out anywhere else?
04-19-2003, 03:14 PM
Shannafey I totally second that. I get the feeling that most of us like horror movies becuase it entertains us, not because it makes us think. I also don't buy for one second that the Vietnam War inspired all these great movies. Wes Craven is a sick fuck, so he made Last House on the Left. Not because of a backlash on the war. War has been a part of every single American generation, ever to exist, so why should it be different now.
Speaking of College professors, my girlfriend (of 4 years, I know, I know, I am working on getting a ring) is about to recieve her masters in English, and move on the get her PHD so she can be a professor. She is now analyzing everything from Friends the TV show to Evil Dead. I find it utterly repulsive to try and "intellegize" something so brainless as a TV comedy or a splatter flick. It's like a screen door on an outhouse.
04-19-2003, 03:17 PM
--Document of the Dead--
I watched this the other night. It was horrible. it has some nice footage of the making of Dawn of the Dead, but that's about it. The voiceover is EXTREMELY pretentious, and it has a lot of footage from Martin (which does not look good either).
Actually, I gave up before the end. ....
04-19-2003, 06:02 PM
wow dwatts, I love Document of the Dead, but then again I am a die hard Dawn of the Dead fan.
04-19-2003, 06:36 PM
Document of the Dead is a great documentary not just about Dawn, but focusing on Romero's visual and editing styles in all of his films.
04-19-2003, 06:42 PM
I found the comments on his style simplistic. "There is something called a storyboard" - eek! Dunno. I love the movie though.
04-19-2003, 09:24 PM
As far as the AMERICAN NIGHTMARE issue goes, I think there's plenty of subversive, thought-provoking shit going on in certain horror movies, more so than people give them credit for, especially in the era that that film focuses on (Romero's stuff, Cronenberg's stuff, etc...). To really enjoy the genre, you have to look past the surface and really see what these movies are trying to say... Some are just pure entertainment, yes, but I think alot of those movies from that time had alot of social criticism to them as well.
Andrew... I don't think the movie is available on video, but they play it alot on the IFC.
04-19-2003, 11:26 PM
I think it is very debatable whether or not any of the movies had anything to say at all, and/or whether it was deliberate or purely accidental (which I believe is the case in Night of the Living Dead, and Dawn of the Dead). That is why I say, who cares. If you enjoy them, you enjoy them. There is no need to go too far into it. But some folks can enjoy that and get into it. I am certainly like that with music, I can get into that all day, just not for horror movies.
04-20-2003, 05:08 AM
Well said, Ekent. We're both on the same page on this topic. But, of course, we're both Noles!!
04-20-2003, 11:18 PM
It's all in the eye of the beholder, I guess, but I still think there is more going on in these films than meets the eye (Certain films, anyway). :)
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