A History of Horror (3×60′) – League Of Gentlemen star and Doctor Who writer Mark Gatiss celebrates the horror film. Mark begins his exploration of the genre by looking at the golden age of Hollywood horror of the Thirties and Forties and examines some iconic pictures directed by Englishman James Whale (Frankenstein, The Old Dark House and Bride Of Frankenstein), who lent the films a camp sensibility, and populated them with a largely British ex-pat cast.
The second episode concentrates on the complete reinterpretation of the genre. In the 1958 remake of Dracula, the original vampire with heavy face and foul breath was gone and along came the Byronic Count in the shape of Christopher Lee, a bloodsucker of almost gentlemanly proportions. It was at this time that horror films turned from black and white to colour and began to feature an element of sex, tapping into an increasingly permissive society.
The last programme in the series explores the gritty and graphic new wave of horror cinema from Night Of The Living Dead in 1968 to the movie Halloween ten years later, the first of the great slew of slasher films which were to dominate the next decade. Mark details the shifts in the horror genre, and meets leading film-makers from the era.
Producer: BBC Productions
TX: Autumn 2010 / Winter 2011
Source: BBC Press Office