Saturday, April 23, 2011

BBC's History of Horror with Mark Gatiss

Last night I had the pleasure of watching BBC's History of Horror with Mark Gatiss. I don't know this Mark Gatiss, but I feel like we have a similar taste in horror. When the camera crept by his dvd collection, it looked like I had all of what was shown on screen. When he discusses horror, he says he likes the ghosts and spooky horror films, especially the older stuff, versus the majority of nonsensical violent films these days. I stand 100% behind this notion.

Mark Gatiss with a really impressive statue of Frankenstein's Monster.
Anyone know where this is located?

This show is broken into three parts, each an hour long. The first part covers the beginning of cinema to the early '50s with a major focus on Universal and RKO classics. The second part takes us through the mid '50s to the '60s, focusing on Hammer Studios. The last part takes us all the way to 1978 with John Carpenter's Halloween (have I mentioned that I once met the actor who played Michael Myers in the first Halloween?).

I too have been to the Bates Motel. Perhaps I should post my old photos!

This is probably the most thorough documentary on horror cinema that I've seen yet. There are a few things missing. I'm surprised they didn't mention the Castle horror films, and only at the end did they barely touch on horror films outside of the UK and the US. Also no mention of Ed Wood. But even without these minor mentions in horror cinema, it was an amazingly in depth documentary. Gatiss travels to various locations from many of these films, we get to see relics of classic horror, and we even get several great interviews with horror icons. This is definitely worth hunting down and watching!

After a quick Wikipedia read, it appears Mr. Gatiss has had his hand in television, radio, and writing. Key notes including writing episodes for Sherlock, Doctor Who, and was also in the series League of Gentlemen. I'll have to watch the episodes of Doctor Who he's worked on again, now that I know he was behind them! 
In relation to horror though, he has two books of note, a James Whale biography, and a book on alien encounters in cinema.

From YouTube, this is what I could find:

Unfortunately, I didn't see this documentary listed on Amazon. If anyone has a link to order an official dvd, let me know! This is definitely something I'd love to watch every October.

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