Thursday, November 29, 2007

Honourable Mentions: 100 Years of Horror


This is a series of documentaries, directed by Ted Newsom and narrated by Christopher Lee that looks at Horror through the years. In fairness, I haven’t watched every episode as of yet, but I have watched the specifically vampire orientated episodes: Dracula and his Disciples and Blood-Drinking Beings. The reason this becomes an honourable mention is that the DVD has some 26 episodes and comes in at a mammoth 750 minutes – making the vampire episodes a very small part of the whole.

I am sure that other episodes will mention vampires, for instance there is one dedicated to Lugosi, which is bound to mention them but, as I have looked at the main vampire episodes, I felt it fitting to make this post.

scene of impalementThe first episode is dedicated to the Count himself and thus has quite a bit of material regarding Lugosi and Lee. One questions why the documentary makers felt the need to mention other Lugosi vehicles – after all they might have featured vampires but he did not play Dracula in them, that question is compounded by the fact that there is the Lugosi specific episode.

LugosiThe trouble with the episode, and the other to be fair, is that there are so many specifically Dracula and generally vampire movies out there that the episode barely touches the sides of the subject. That said there are some fascinating little interviews, including archived Lugosi interviews.

from werewolf's shadowThe second episode widens into the main vampire genre and one then questions some of the films they mentioned. I can understand mentioning the Omega Man – due to I am Legend, but I disagree that it featured vampires as they state. More odd was mentioning The Devil Bat (featuring Lugosi and bats but not vampires), The Thing from Another World and Planet of the Vampires.

our host Christopher LeeIf I had another grumble it was that, other than mentioning Bram Stoker’s Dracula in the first episode and Interview with the Vampire in the second, the documentary avoided contemporary movies, at least in these episodes.

That said, each episode is a nice little watch and, given the length, can be watched in bite sized chunks. I look forward to watching the rest of the series over the coming weeks. The imdb page is here.

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