Friday, December 31, 2010

Watch “A History of Horror with Mark Gatiss” on Psychobabble

Psychobabble has long had a soft spot for British actor Mark Gatiss because of his role in Steve Coogan’s adoring Hammer Horror tribute “Dr. Terrible’s House of Horrible” and Julia Davis’s macabre comedy “Nighty Night”. Soft spot turns to full-on crush as Gatiss presents “A History of Horror with Mark Gatiss”, which debuted on BBC Four last October. Gatiss reveals himself to be “totally crackers over horror films” in this superb multi-part documentary series in which he pores over an “unashamedly selective” handful of classic horrors. Fortunately, Gatiss’s taste is beyond reproach, beginning with Chaney’s Phantom of the Opera to cover Universal’s Golden Age before moving on to Hammer’s reign and beyond. He takes archival journeys that unearth Chaney’s original make-up kit complete with the life cast of his own head he used to develop his creations, the oversized phony bat from Browning’s Dracula, and other treasures. He also chats with such horror luminaries as John Carpenter, Barbara Steele, recently deceased Gloria Stuart, and Carla Laemmle, niece of Universal head Carl Laemmle and bit player from Phantom and Dracula. Watch episode 1, “Frankenstein Goes to Hollywood”, in its (near) entirety below. The episode is divided into four parts, the last of which couldn’t be embedded.

Thanks to Zombo’s Closet of Horror for turning me on to this excellent doc!

Watch Part 4 here.
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