Monday, 18 October 2010

A History of Horror with Mark Gatiss (BBC4)

The second part focusses almost completely on Hammer and was much better than the first. The story of Hammer is far more interesting and expansive than the story of Bela Lugosi and Boris Karloff for a start. Then there was the excellent section in the middle where we learn about Hammer's influence on Italian horror and Roger Corman, which made me want to watch the Edgar Allan Poe Vincent Price movies.

Gatiss loses most of the creepy paedo when talking about Hammer, although it does creep back in the middle section. My main problem is the style everything is presented. Shots of Gatiss walking around looking thoughtful while we listen to a voice over comes across almost pompous. There's even a protracted shot of Gatiss pouring a cup of tea that holds a good 10 seconds longer than makes any logical sense. It just irks me. I'd rather see footage relevant to the voice over.


  1. Saw the final episode of this last night. Gatiss was definitely a bit creepy. He didn't tell me a huge amount I didn't already know, but good to revisit the Halloween set with Carpenter and see Cronenberg crop up via Shivers towards the end (an interview with the man would've been nice tho).

  2. The final part was a massive disappointment as it covered what is for me the best era of horror (US horror from Night of the Living Dead to the end of the 70's), but it lacked focus and neglected to mention several utter classics (Don't Look Now, The Shining)