January 25, 2018

DVD Review: 100 YEARS OF HORROR

Narrated by Christopher Lee. Various Directors. (1996, 695 min).

The one-and-only Christopher Lee gives us a guided tour through the entire history of horror cinema, 26 episodes on 3 discs. The set ain't much to look at, but horror fans should really enjoy it.

Each episode is dedicated to a particular theme, such as "Zombies" or "Maniacs" or "Demons." A few figures - both real and imagined, like Bela Lugosi and Baron Frankenstein - even get their own episodes. Each is chock-full of clips, trailers, behind-the-scenes stories & footage and vintage interviews. Many directors, producers, actors and writers offer fond commentary, including Joe Dante, Roger Corman, John Carpenter & Freddie Francis, legendary scream queens Linnea Quigley & Caroline Munro.

Rare footage of Mr. Lee's 60 Minutes audition, which scared the hell out of everybody.
There are a few glaring oversights - some undisputed classics & genre legends aren't given as much love as they deserve - but each episode is a pretty thorough whirlwind look at the history of a specific subgenre or beloved movie monster. Lee's narration is stately, typically ominous and sometimes humorously droll.

On the downside,100 Days of Horror was produced in 1996...and looks it. Besides the amusingly-archaic CG animated into, the overall picture quality is atrocious and appears as though the transfer is lifted directly from aging video tape. However, considering the abundant content and dirt-cheap price for three loaded discs, it's hard to complain too much.

KITTY CONSENSUS:
PURR-R-R...LIKE A GOOD SCRATCH BEHIND THE EARS

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