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22.3.10

HORROR MOVIE DOCUMENTARIES

Ya know, it isn't easy being as knowledgeable as Forest and Cory are about film. But until "The History of Horror" is a major at NYU, you'll just have to watch a whole-lotta documentaries. Below is a list of some of the better documentaries that we've encountered. Not all of which are devoted to horror but are somehow related to "genre" film making, subversive film makers and special effects.

Some were left off the list if they are a featurette or special feature rather than a stand alone film while others were added to it if it was made for television and is available on VHS, DVD or somewhere on the internet. Enjoy!

100 YEARS OF HORROR
"This frightfully fascinating five-DVD set chronicles the history of movie horror from the earliest experimental chillers through the unforgettable "golden age of movie monsters" and on through today's graphic horror films in 26 horrific, half-hour shows. Hosted by Christopher Lee, the screen's legendary King of Horror, the series features appearances by Robert De Niro, Jamie Lee Curtis, Hugh Hefner, Charlton Heston, Kenneth Branagh, Joe Dante, and many more."
ADJUST YOUR TRACKING: The Untold Story of the VHS Collector
Adjust Your Tracking: The Untold Story of the VHS Collector is a new documentary about VHS collectors and culture! A passion project directed by Dan Kinem and Levi "Dabeedo" Peretic , of VHShitfest, is working with Horror Boobs and Lunchmeat Magazine, to bring together and capture an entire community who share a love of the VHS format.

Adjust Your Tracking has been touring America's film festival circuit and getting critical acclaim every time it's shown.
AMERICAN GRINDHOUSE
"The salacious and uproarious AMERICAN GRINDHOUSE explores the hidden history of the exploitation film, those popular purveyors of cheap sex and violence. It emerged from the tents of carnie sideshows into features like Freaks, and mutated from there to change with the times. There were the rebellious teen flicks of the Eisenhower 50s, bloody gore-fests and drug movies of the turbulent 60s, and the Blaxploitation boom in the 70s. AMERICAN GRINDHOUSE takes a fascinating look at the films, filmmakers, shysters, and hustlers who made it all happen."
AMERICAN MOVIE
Struggling filmmaker Mark Borchardt is the subject of American Movie, and he may also be the most determined man you'll ever meet. The straggly haired, fast-talking, Wisconsin native had began making horror movies as a gangly adolescent, and is now set on finishing Coven, the "35-minute direct market thriller" he has worked on for two years.
AMERICAN NIGHTMARE, The
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Disfigured knife-wielding murderers. Buxom teens fleeing for their lives through dark woods. Hordes of the undead limping along deserted streets. These images, now synonymous with horror movies, were born in the groundbreaking films of horror masters such as Wes Craven (A Nightmare on Elm Street), John Carpenter (The Fog, Christine), and George Romero (Dawn of the Dead).
AMERICAN SCARY
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American Scary is a look at the nation's tradition of horror hosting, from Zacherley to A. Ghastlee Ghoul. Hosts of all kinds were once a staple of television, and especially local television productions. But as production demands and the availability of cheaper syndicated material changed the local TV business model, local hosts were also one of the first things to go, no matter how popular they were with the viewing public.
AMICUS: House of Horror
For the first time on DVD, the Alpha Archives Collection proudly presents a two part feature length documentary celebrating the history of the Amicus Productions film company. Founded in the early 1960s by Americans Milton Subotsky and Max J. Rosenberg, Amicus produced some classic (now cult) horror movies, including Dr. Terror's House Of Horrors, The House That Dripped Blood, Tales From The Crypt, Asylum and From Beyond The Grave.
BAADASSSSS CINEMA
In this groundbreaking documentary from the Independent Film Channel, filmmaker Isaac Julien takes us back to the early 70s and the explosion of blaxploitation films, today one of American cinema's most beloved cult genres. Featuring a wealth of footage from such classic films as Superfly and Shaft, and interviews with such key players as Richard Roundtree, Quentin Tarantino, and Pam Grier, BaadAsssss Cinema gets to the bottom of exactly what helped the blaxploitation genre achieve its revered cult status.
BEST WORST MOVIE
BEST WORST MOVIE, directed by Troll 2's once-disgraced child star, Michael Paul Stephenson, unravels the stories of these unforgettable real-life characters and the colorful army of devotees who continue to revel in the film's perfectly flawed brilliance. At the center of this celebrated documentary is the improbable story of a small-town Alabama dentist-turned-cult-movie-icon, and an Italian filmmaker who comes to terms (or doesn't) with his internationally revered cinematic failure.
CORMAN'S WORLD: Exploits of the Hollywood Rebel
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CORMAN'S WORLD: Exploits of the Hollywood Rebel is a tantalizing and star-studded tribute to Roger Corman, Hollywood's most prolific writer-director producer, and seminal influencing force in modern moviemaking over the last 60 years. Featuring interviews with Hollywood icons and cinematic luminaries, some who launched their careers within Corman's unforgettable world of filmmaking, this documentary chronicles how Corman created his cult film empire, one low-budget success at a time, capitalizing on undiscovered talent, and pushing the boundaries of independent filmmaking.
CRYSTAL LAKE MEMORIES
Inspired by the critically-acclaimed book, CRYSTAL LAKE MEMORIES: THE COMPLETE HISTORY OF FRIDAY THE 13TH takes viewers behind the mask on an epic journey into the making of the landmark horror franchise -- from its humble beginnings in 1980 at a New Jersey summer camp to the blockbuster release of its 2009 "reboot." Combining hundreds of rare and never-before-seen photographs, film clips, outtakes, archival documents, conceptual art and behind-the-scenes footage, and featuring interviews with more than 150 cast and crew members spanning all twelve films and the television series, CRYSTAL LAKE MEMORIES is the ultimate tribute to one of horror's most iconic and enduring franchises.
DECADE UNDER THE INFLUENCE, A
The 1970s was an extraordinary time of rebellion. As political activism, the sexual revolution, the women's movement, and the music revolution contributed to social unrest across America, American cinema witnessed the emergence of a new generation of filmmaker.
DOCUMENT OF THE DEAD
Roy Frumkes amazing 1978 documentary DOCUMENT OF THE DEAD was an intimate look at Romero's creative process, with an outstanding collection of interviews, effects demonstrations (courtesy of make-up artist, Tom Savini) and behind-the-scenes footage from the classic horror film, DAWN OF THE DEAD. This newly re-edited and re-mastered 2012 version of the award-winning documentary contains all-new exclusive material including additional interviews with Romero's family and friends, candid on-set footage from TWO EVIL EYES, LAND OF THE DEAD, DIARY OF THE DEAD, SURVIVAL OF THE DEAD and many more surprises!
EVERY OTHER DAY IS HALLOWEEN
Every Other Day is Halloween is an amazing and funny true life story of television personality Dick Dyszel, whose popular television characters, "Count Gore De Vol" and "Captain 20," continue to inspire generations of fans and artists. Featuring rare, never before seen footage, along with interviews with writers like Steve Niles (30 Days of Night), filmmakers such as Jeff Krulik (Heavy Metal Parking Lot), as well a new generation of horror hosts John Dimes ("Dr. Sarcofiguy") and Jerry Moore II ("Karlos Borloff"). Dick Dyszel's career and impact shows how art can sometimes come back to re-influence itself, and how the best days will always be ahead.
FAMOUS MONSTER
The entertaining story of science-fiction's greatest fan, Forrest J. Ackerman, is told in the feature-length documentary FAMOUS MONSTER. Featuring a wealth of archive footage, interviews and movie nostalgia, the film charts Forrest's journey from excitable child to the man who made sci-fi fandom the phenomenon it is today. DVD EXTRAS include director's commentary, blooper reel, deleted scenes, photo gallery, additional interviews.
FANTASTIC FLESH
From classic creatures to modern gore, special effects make-up has always been the dark heart of movie magic. In this Starz Inside documentary, meet the masters of the craft and discover its incredible history, complete with rare behind-the-scenes photos and footage, and revealing interviews.
F**K
A rollicking and hilarious film about the mother of all curse words. It's taboo, obscene and controversial, yet somehow permeates every single aspect of our popular culture - from Hollywood to the schoolyard to the Senate floor in Washington D.C. The F-Bomb brings to life the dirty word's impact with a fast-paced and funny collection of film clips, animation and the insite of linguists, entertainers and comedians. Both liberals and conservatives chime in with opinions about this amazing word that always has been at the very center of debate on censorship and Free Speech.
GODFATHER OF GORE: The Herschell Gordon Lewis Documentary
The Godfather of Gore traces Lewis’ start in the innocent bare-naked world of “Nudie Cuties” before he shocked the world with Blood Feast, the first-ever gore film. Lewis then continued to assault audiences with such audacious shockers as She-Devils on Wheels, Blast-Off Girls, Just for the Hell of It, Two Thousand Maniacs!, The Gruesome Twosome, The Gore Gore Girls, and the incredible Wizard of Gore. Experience a decade of motion-picture madness – with tons of clips, rare outtakes, and testimony from the people who were there – as Herschell Gordon Lewis, The Godfather of Gore leaves you laughing and screaming at some of the most amazing movies to ever play American movie theaters!
GOING TO PIECES: The Rise and Fall of the Slasher Film
Every fear you've ever felt. Every evil you've witnessed. Every nightmare you've ever known...have come together for the first time on film. Going to Pieces is the ultimate anthology that takes you on a horrifying journey through your favorite slasher films including, Halloween, Psycho, Friday the 13th, Prom Night, A Nightmare on Elm Street, Scream and When a Stranger Calls. Interviews with horror icons John Carpenter, Wes Craven, Rob Zombie, Tom Savini and many more guide you through a series of gruesome scenes from classic films and recent hits. Watch as the history of the slasher film comes alive...if you dare.
GONZO: The Life and Work of Dr. Hunter S. Thompson
Oscar® winning director Alex Gibney presents a probing look into the uncanny life of Dr. Hunter S. Thompson inventor of gonzo journalism and author of the landmark Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. Accompanied by an iconic soundtrack, this fast moving, wildly entertaining film addresses the major touchstones in Thompson s life from his intense and ill fated relationship with the Hell s Angels to his deep involvement in Senator George McGovern s 1972 presidential election.
HALLOWEEN: 25 Years Of Terror
The first quarter century of the Halloween saga, from the 1978 original to 2002's Halloween: Resurrection, is thoroughly tracked in an 83-minute documentary on the subject. The impetus is a Halloween convention held in South Pasadena (site of the original filming), from which a considerable amount of footage is drawn. Let's be clear: this two-disc set is not a reissue of the first Halloween, but a new documentary with mucho extra features.
HIS NAME WAS JASON
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HIS NAME WAS JASON: 30 YEARS OF FRIDAY THE 13TH is a two disc set loaded with over 4 hours of bonus material. This film is a behind the scenes look at the franchise that broke horror box office records and made Jason a pop culture icon. With over 80 interviews from the cast and crew of the Friday the 13th film franchise, including the new Friday the 13th film, these firsthand accounts of never-before-told stories and rare behind the scenes photographs offer the ultimate look at the history of FRIDAY THE 13TH!
HORROR BUSINESS
Take a walk on the scary side with guerrilla horror filmmakers and the bizarre culture that drives them to pursue their dreams. In 2003, filmmaker Christopher P. Garetano began what would become a two-year journey to discover what possesses people to become horror filmmakers. Armed with nothing but a camera and a microphone, Chris traveled all over the United States to visit independent filmmakers on and off their sets. In Horror Business, you will witness that quest unfold and meet some truly independent filmmakers.
HORROR EFFECTS: Hosted by Tom Savini
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The special effects wizard behind such legendary horror films as Dawn of the Dead, Creepshow, and Friday the 13th shares his many trade secrets and on set stories with aspiring special effect make-up artists in this informative video.
I AM NANCY
I Am Nancy looks back at Heather Langenkamp's career playing "Nancy Thompson", the girl who fought Freddy Krueger in three Nightmare On Elm Street films. As she ponders, "Why Freddymania and not Nancymania?" Heather comes to appreciate the importance of heroes like Nancy in our new age of monsters.
INSIDE DEEP THROAT
It was banned in 23 states. The government didn't want you to see it. Deep Throat was more than just a titillating curiosity, it was the sexually explicit film that ignited a social and political firestorm. Inside Deep Throat examines the politics and the payoffs, the porn stars and persecution of the cultural phenomenon that remains just as highly controversial today. From Oscar-winning producer Brian Grazer comes this probing look at the sensational adult film that launched a sexual and cultural revolution.
LOVECRAFT: Fear Of The Unknown
H.P. Lovecraft was the forefather of modern horror fiction. What lead an Old World, xenophobic gentleman to create one of literature's most far-reaching mythologies? What attracts even the minds of the 21st century to these stories of unspeakable abominations and cosmic gods? This release is a chronicle of the life, work, and mind that created these weird tales as told by many of today's luminaries of dark fantasy including John Carpenter, Guillermo Del Toro, Neil Gaiman, Stuart Gordon, Caitlin Kiernan, and Peter Straub.
MACHETE MAIDENS UNLEASHED
Karate-kickin' midgets! Paper-mâché monsters! Busty babes with blades! Filipino genre films of the '70s and '80s had it all. Boasting cheap labour, exotic scenery and non-existent health and safety regulations, the Philippines was a dreamland for exploitation filmmakers whose renegade productions were soon engulfing drive-in screens around the globe like a tidal schlock-wave! At last, the all-too-often overlooked world of drive-in filler from Manila gets the Mark Hartley (NOT QUITE HOLLYWOOD) treatment in Machete Maidens Unleashed!.
MIDNIGHT MOVIES: From the Margin to the Mainstream
Between 1970 and 1977, six low budget films shown at midnight transformed the way we make and watch movies: The allegorical freak-out El Topo, the graphichorror of Night Of The Living Dead, outrageous filth fest Pink Flamingos, outlaw reggae's The Harder They Come, the phenomenal Rocky Horror Picture Show, and the darkly disturbing Eraserhead. In this acclaimed documentary, discover the surprising stories behind the movies that defied mainstream America.
MONSTER MAKE-UP: Hosted by Dick Smith
Let Dick Smith, the creator of the magical special effects for ALTERED STATES, THE EXORCIST, THE HUNGER and AMADEUS, show you how it s done. You ll never have to worry about searching for a Halloween costume again! Using easily available materials, you can transform yourself into any kind of creature that you wish to become. Amaze and frighten your friends! Win prizes at parties! Learn professional secrets that might start you on your way to a movie career!
MORE BRAINS: A Return to the Living Dead
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They're back from the grave and ready to party! Through this definitive retrospective fans are finally able to explore the film's journey from the world of Night of the Living Dead to the mind of acclaimed writer/director Dan O'Bannon. Narrator Brian Peck (aka Scuz) guides you through the blood, sweat and tears as cast and crew look back on their experience in the graveyard creating the film that’s been called a beauty of a cult classic!
NEVER SLEEP AGAIN: The Elm Street Legacy
In this thrilling 2 disc DVD retrospective, fans will find everything they've ever dreamed of as they enter the world of A Nightmare on Elm Street like never before: exploring what spurred mastermind Wes Craven to craft the first groundbreaking film; delving deep behind the scenes of the original and all of it's sequels; learning how the cast and crew brought their real nightmares to life on screen; and, finally, understanding the impact the series and it's mythos have had on modern pop culture and the horror genre.
NIGHTMARE FACTORY
Description coming soon.
NIGHTMARES IN RED, WHITE & BLUE: The Evolution of the American Horror Film
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Horror and sci-fi veteran Lance Henriksen (Alien, Near Dark) takes you through a fascinating look at the history of the American horror film, examining the earliest monster movies of the silent era up to the scariest modern-day masterpieces. Highlights include interviews with genre masters Roger Corman, John Carpenter and George A. Romero, plus clips from classic films like The Exorcist, Night of the Living Dead, Friday the 13th, Halloween, Nightmare on Elm Street, Hostel, Rosemary's Baby and many more!
NOT QUITE HOLLYWOOD
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Free-wheeling sex romps! Blood-soaked terror tales! High-octane extravaganzas! Welcome to NOT QUITE HOLLYWOOD, the wild, wonderful story of 'OZPLOITATION' films. Join QUENTIN TARANTINO, JAMIE LEE CURTIS, DENNIS HOPPER and many others as they take you on an irreverent journey through the 70 s and 80 s, an era when Australian cinema got its gear off and showed the world a full-frontal explosion of sex, violence, horror and foot-to-the floor action.
PSYCHO LEGACY, The
The Psycho Legacy follows the indelible filmmaking legacy left by the Psycho movies and unravels the screenwriting, casting and directing of all the movies, examining their undeniable longevity and success. Interweaving ultra-rare and never-before-seen interview footage of Anthony Perkins and dozens of interviews including Robert Loggia, Olivia Hussey, Henry Thomas, Diana Scarwid, Tom Holland, Hilton Green, Mick Garris and many more, The Psycho Legacy is the first documentary to unite and explore decades of Psycho movies in one place, revealing surprises and insights into what is considered the grandfather of modern horror.
RAY HARRYHAUSEN: Special Effects Titan
The remarkable career of the movie industryís most admired and influential special-effects auteur, the legendary Ray Harryhausen, is the subject of Ray Harryhausen: Special Effects Titan. Leaving no doubt as to Harryhausenís seminal influence on modern-day special effects, the documentary features enlightening and entertaining interviews with the man himself, Randy Cook, Peter Jackson, Nick Park, Phil Tippet, Terry Gilliam, Dennis Muren, John Landis, Guillermo Del Toro, James Cameron, Steven Spielberg and many more.
SCHLOCK: The Secret History of American Movies
The wild no-holds barred independent American filmmakers of the ‘50s and ‘60s tell their own story in this critically acclaimed survey of exploitation and sexploitation filmmaking. Features the last major interviews conducted with legendary producer Sam Arkhoff, and "Queen of thew Nudies" Doris Wishman plus Peter Bogdanovich, Roger Corman, Vampira, and many more.
SCI-FI BOYS
Peter Jackson, George Lucas, Steven Spielberg, John Landis, Dennis Muren, Ray Bradbury, Rick Baker, Roger Corman, Ray Harryhausen and other legendary all-stars of cinema bring to life the evolution of science-fiction and special effects films from the wild and funny days of B movies to blockbusters that have captured the world's imagination. This is the story of the Sci-Fi Boys, who started out as kids making amateur movies inspired by Forrest J Ackerman's Famous Monsters magazine and grew up to take Hollywood by storm, inventing the art and technology for filming anything the mind can dream.
SNUFF: A Documentary About Killing on Camera
A Documentary About Killing on Camera is a feature film examining the existence of films in which people are murdered on camera and the culture surrounding them. Through interviews with former FBI Profilers, Cultural Academics, and Film Historians the documentary delves into the disturbing history and myth of Snuff Films. The FBI claims there is no evidence to prove the existence of Snuff and, therefore, Snuff Films are a myth. This documentary analyzes the relationships between war, cult films, serial killers and pornography to prove whether or not this pervasive myth is, in fact, reality.
SPINE TINGLER!: The William Castle Story
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Description coming soon.
TALES FROM THE CRYPT: From Comic Books to Television
This documentary tells the story of these famous, controversial and influential comic books. In addition, several authors and film directors, including John Carpenter, George A. Romero, Joel Silver and R.L. Stine, discuss how EC's horror comics inspired their work. The DVD is packed with more than 3 hours of bonus material, including the first-ever roundtable discussion between EC Editor/Artist Al Feldstein and legendary science fiction author Ray Bradbury (who had many of his short stories adapted by EC), and never-before-seen interviews with several EC artists, including Al Williamson.
TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE: A Family Portrait
In 1974 Tobe Hooper (Poltergeist) unleashed a film that was an intense study of homicidal madness and psychological horror. It has since become a cult phenomenon and the most successful independent horror film ever made. This is the first ever comprehensive documentary of the making of this landmark film. It includes in depth interviews with Gunnar (Leatherface) Hanson, Edwin (The Hitchhiker) Neal, John (Grandpa) Dugan and Jim (The Cook) Seidow.
THIS FILM IS NOT YET RATED
As it turns out, Kirby Dick's eye-opening documentary isn't rated. When he submitted it to the Motion Picture Association of America, they slapped it with an NC-17. This is fitting since he sheds much-needed light on the inner workings of a secretive organization that wields great power over the movies the public gets to see. It's just as well since This Film Is Not Yet Rated focuses on the more controversial films of the past three decades. Aside from the stories of filmmakers who have tussled with the MPAA, Dick hires a private investigator to determine who sits on the board, since this information isn’t in the public domain. With her assistance, he solves the mystery.
VIDEO NASTIES
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Description coming soon.
VIRGINIA CREEPERS
Since 1958, kids in Virginia have been staying up late to catch characters like The Bowman Body, Dr. Madblood, Count Gore De Vol, Sir Graves Ghastly and Dr. Gruesome in the act of comic relief. And to this day, on TV and on the internet, horror hosting is still going strong in the Old Dominion. This documentary explores one of the nation's richest traditions with extensive interviews with dozens of hosts, actors and producers. It also features audio and video thought lost to time and even uncovers the history of four shows that were previously undocumented!


UPDATE: For more horror related documentaries, we have created Slaughter Film Summer School, reviewing a different horror doc., once a week, every week during the month of July. Check it out HERE.
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