Tuesday, 4 October 2016

Review: 100 Years of Horror - Hosted by Christopher Lee (October 2016)

The late Chrisopher Lee hosts 100 Years of Horror (1996)
What a perfect month (October/Halloween) to dig out and watch: 100 Years of Horror - Hosted by Christopher Lee (RIP). I first saw this on  the old Sc-Fi Channel in 1996 during my College days! It was on beyond the early hours of the morning and features the late Christopher Lee introducing clips of different horror genres and films to educate and fright a new audience!

The full dvd box set came out a few years back and the episodes were spread out onto x5 discs! Lee would talk over clips over classic horror films starting at the silent era. Some modern horror is covered, too as each episode runs roughly for 20 minutes! A great box-set to sit down to at Halloween or any day, to be honest! The dvd is also Region Free.

DISC ONE

Dracula and His Disciples - There's more to Dracula than just Bela Lugosi, as the cinema's various incarnations of the carnal count are examined.

Blood-Drinking Beings - Dracula wasn't the only blood-sucker immortalized on film. Here is some of his "competition."

Frankenstein's Friends - Karloff's career was defined by his sympathetic portrayal of "the monster," but others took on this challenging role over the years. This fascinating installment tells the story behind Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley's timeless tale.

Baron Frankenstein - Hammer Films "reanimated" the Frankenstein franchise in the 1950s with its terrifying teaming of Peter Cushing and Christopher Lee as doctor and "patient." Take a look at how this classic story changed in the '50s, '60s - and beyond.

Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde - Robert Louis Stevenson's classic tale of good and evil has been a filmic favorite since early silent days. Various portrayals of the dual doctor are examined.

DISC TWO

Werewolves - Of course there's Lon Chaney Jr. as The Wolf Man, but other films have featured werewolves in surprising ways over the years.

Bela Lugosi - Lugosi was much more than Count Dracula, as you'll see in this fascinating salute to this complex Hungarian actor.

Boris Karloff - Perhaps horror's greatest star, Karloff, of course, played the Frankenstein monster. But there's so much more to tell. Here's an affectionate look at this cultured Englishman.

Ghosts - Nothing like a good ghost story - except a century's worth of films filled with more ghost stories!

Phantoms - Lon Chaney Sr. was the original Phantom of the Opera, but there have been other notable portrayals - and other notable phantoms!

DISC THREE

Witches - Witches have been a favorite of fairy tales - and fright films - for centuries. Here's a wicked look at a coven's worth of portrayals.

Demons - More than just the Devil (although The Prince of Darkness has certainly figured into quite a few motion pictures), demons have been a mainstay of horror films since the silent days.

Mutants - Abominable snowmen, mole people, creatures from black lagoons. All these half-human/half-beast "hybrids" are here - and more!

Freaks - Horror films have been peppered with people who didn't need makeup and were actually born disfigured, most notably in the film Freaks. Take a look at those who managed to turn their misfortune into something of a career.

Scream Queens - King Kong's Fay Wray is probably the most famous scream queen of the horror genre, but you'll be surprised to see who else made the list!

DISC FOUR

Girl Ghouls - Men didn't have a lock on the horror movie. There were plenty of frightful females to go around, as you'll see in this salute to demonic dames.

Maniacs - Ax-murderers, chainsaw-wielding madmen, serial killers, cannibals - they're all here - and more!

Gory Gimmicks - An affectionate salute to the great showmen of yesteryear who figured out all sorts of gory gimmicks to keep audiences glued to their seats - and away from their TV sets!

Sorcerers - A holdover from ancient tales, sorcerers have long fascinated movie audiences with their powerful use of black magic to achieve their evil goals.

Aliens - Creatures from "out there" have captured the imagination of everyone from H.G. Wells to Steven Spielberg. Here's a look at some out-of-this-world intergalactic beings.

DISC FIVE

Mummies - Karloff's parchment-skin portrayal of Imhotep set the standard for mummy movies, but many others have gotten "wrapped up" in their work over the years, as you'll see.

Zombies - The walking dead have been a mainstay of horror films for decades. Although usually confined to the West Indies, Hollywood has made sure audiences will fear zombies anywhere and everywhere.

Mad Doctors - How many times did Karloff and Lugosi play mad doctors? (And what were they mad at?) Many horror legends have taken their turn playing sinister scientists and frightful physicians, as you'll see.

Man-Made Monsters - Frankenstein is probably the most famous example of a man-made monster, but a great many other creepy creations have been fashioned by men, either by accident or on purpose, as this fun-filled episode illustrates.

Giants - Another idea borrowed from the world of fairy tales, giants have been found in stories from Jack and the Beanstalk to Jack the Giant Killer and beyond.

Dinosaurs - Long before Jurassic Park, dinosaurs roamed thru a variety of horror films, going all the way back to The Lost World in 1925.

Total Running Time: Approx. 676 mins.



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