The Horror of It All
- TV Movie
A collection of film clips from horror movies and interviews with the actors and directors who made them.A collection of film clips from horror movies and interviews with the actors and directors who made them.A collection of film clips from horror movies and interviews with the actors and directors who made them.
Rather slight documentary covering 60 years of horror films in just under an hour
1983's "The Horror of It All" is a documentary that attempts to cover the cinematic history of terror in only 58 minutes. That said, it can't help but come off as somewhat lacking so director Gene Feldman's real ace in the hole is recent footage of some of the renowned filmmakers responsible for many of these favored gems. On hand are directors like Rouben Mamoulian (1931's "Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde"), Curtis Harrington (a personal friend of "Frankenstein" director James Whale), and Roger Corman ("The Masque of the Red Death"), producer Herman Cohen (Michael Landon's "I Was a Teenage Werewolf"), and author Robert Bloch ("Psycho"). Film historian David Del Valle is seen displaying his collection of posters, and some scenes were filmed at the Haunted Mansion in Long Branch, New Jersey, your typical haunted house for the young at heart (which went down in flames from a 1987 fire). Many actors are well represented: Gloria Stuart discusses working with James Whale and Boris Karloff in 1932's "The Old Dark House," Dana Andrews covers the 1957 Jacques Tourneur masterpiece "Curse of the Demon," Martine Beswicke displays a preference for the dark side as we see shots of her from Hammer's 1971 "Dr. Jekyll and Sister Hyde." The venerable John Carradine appears on camera to go over the popularity of horror films, why he's never been afraid of the dark, his dear friend John Barrymore's interpretation of Jekyll and Hyde, and his cherished leading role in Edgar G. Ulmer's 1944 "Bluebeard" - "which hangs in my memory not only because I was the star of it but because it had a depth of characterization which in that period in Hollywood was not often seen on the screen." Narration is capably handled by Jose Ferrer, though Carradine may have been the more logical choice with a far more storied history in genre films. Clips are mostly familiar, but there are surprises such as Chester Morris in "The Bat Whispers," Fredric March's transformation from his Oscar-winning turn as both Jekyll and Hyde, and John Barrymore's 1931 "Svengali," featuring the indelible impression of sightless eyes performing their hypnotic trance on Marian Marsh's lovely Trilby from a great distance, one of his finest ever performances. The 20s and 30s are better represented than later decades, understandably since they laid the groundwork for all that followed, ending with a brief dismissal of current gory trends in the 'mad slasher' era.
- Jul 20, 2020
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