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Nightmares in Red, White and Blue: The Evolution of the American Horror Film is a feature-length documentary based on the book of the same name by Joseph Maddrey. It examines the idea that horror films reflect the times and places in which they are made -- illustrating how classic monster movies exploited the anxieties of war-time generations, and how more savage modern horror films stem from the psychic fallout of America's counterculture movement and the subsequent rise of increasingly conservative political forces.At the same time, the documentary explores the timeless, universal appeal of horror movies by examining the pervasive theme of The Outsider. From the silent films of Lon Chaney to the box office reign of Hannibal Lector and his peers, the history of the horror film is a story of the individual at odds with any organization that threatens his life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness. In-depth interviews with many of the nation's greatest horror filmmakers reveal that the appeal of the genre is rooted not only in timely fears but in the spirit of rebellion -- a spirit that consistently defines American life, as well as many of its best horror filmmakers.Nightmares in Red, White and Blue is narrated by horror icon Lance Henriksen and features exclusive interviews with legendary auteurs like John Carpenter, George A. Romero, Joe Dante, Larry Cohen, and Roger Corman, as well as film historian John Kenneth Muir and Fangoria editor Tony Timpone and others. Their observations are illustrated with clips from more than 150 films -- ranging from the classic Universal monster movies to the psychological horrors of film noir, from groundbreaking films like Night of the Living Dead, Rosemary's Baby, The Exorcist and Jaws to contemporary slasher movies, Torture Porn and beyond.In short, it is the most comprehensive documentary on America's most durable and prolific film genre. -- (C) Official Site
This is an awesome documentary on the appeal of horror film and the audience's obsession of being scared. Featuring in depth interviews from genre directors and film historians. What this film does very well is give horror fans the complete evolution of the genre, from its early beginnings to today. The film is a must see for genre fans, the interviews are well done, and you can clearly see how the genre became what it is today. As a fan of the genre, I highly recommend this film. The changing times definitely reflected the tone of the movies and inspired most of the genre films. The film reveals everything that makes the genre appealing to audiences. The film also takes a look at how horror films stayed relevant as audiences changed. This is a great documentary about an underrated genre of film. Fans will love this one, but traditional viewers wanting to know more about why the horror genre has the appeal that it has. A thing that really stands out is how different types of horror films have made their mark to help form the genre for what it is. This is a film that is for fans, and anyone looking for a definitive portrait of the horror genre. Brilliantly executed and revealing in terms of material, Nightmares in Red, White And Blue is a riveting and highly engaging documentary that is a terrific expose on exploring our deepest fears through horror films. This is the definitive work on one of the most enduring film genres. If you're a fan of the genre, then don't pass this film up, this is a highly entertaining ride from start to finish and like I've said features great interviews with those involved in the genre. This is a real treat for fans.
Nightmares in Red, White, and Blue is a solid documentary that shows the evolution of the American horror film and how different political and social times changed the films. It's really an interesting watch for those who love horror films, and the addition of interviews with people like Joe Dante, John Carpenter, and George Romero makes it even more interesting.
All the way from the universal monster movies of the 30's and 40's to the Saw franchise, different filmmakers and critics talk about the evolution of American horror films. There's endless footage of many, many movies from Dracula to Interview with a Vampire, from Freaks to The Hills Have Eyes and every type of horror genre has its do time. They talk about monsters, ghosts, demons, serial killers, and the unstoppable forces. Horror buffs should rejoice at how the film is set up and presented.
As far as documentaries about movies go, this is a pretty good example at how to make an interesting and entertaining one. Movies like this can sometimes be too dull, but Nightmares in Red, White, and Blue didn't fall to that problem. Maybe I'm slightly biased because it's a topic I'm interested in, but if you're not a horror fan, then you wouldn't have much interest in giving it a chance anyway. This deserves a look and if you love the genre, it's a must watch.
Lance Henriksen narrates this survey of a century of American anxieties and how they are reflected in our horror movies. The movie features clips from more than 200 movies (!) in about 90 minutes, so there's not much time for any deep analysis; it's more a chance for fans to fondly remember some of their scariest nightmares.
Fantastic horror documentary about the evolution of the American horror film. Since the scope is limited to American cinema, the film really dives in to what was going on in society when these horror staples were created. It has your classic commentators such as Carpenter, but it also featured some unlikely faces such as Joe Dante. Being new to Corman's work, it was interesting to see his roots and why he made the films that he did. In the end, what keeps me from giving it five stars is my feeling that they focused a lot of time on the films of the people who they could get an interview with. Which lead to other horror films being merely glossed over. Yet, For what they were working with, they knocked it out of the park.
One of the best horror documentaries I've seen in a while. Instead of just highlighting the landmark films in the genre's rich tradition, this film dives deep into the sociopolitical subtext that many of these films invoke (whether consciously or subconsciously). One of the central theories of film criticism is that films are inextricably linked to the societies in which they are produced -- and that idea is the foundation of this documentary. On a side note, FINALLY someone gives Roger Corman adequate screen time in a horror documentary (rightfully so, because there wouldn't be modern horror without him).
A comprehensive, insightful and mature in-depth study of the horror genre and how it is influenced by the times and how it influences culture. It's handled with an even mix of humor and seriousness and features a boatload of clips dating from the early 1900's through 2008 interwoven with commentary from greats like Joe Dante, Mick Garris, Larry Cohen and John Carpenter. The cherry on top is it's narrated by the always awesome Lance Henriksen.
There are a few faux pas but they really only affect the diehard horror junkies like myself. For example a caption reads The Prowler but the picture is obviously from Prom Night. Minimal yes but glaring all the same to someone with issues like myself. Still overall this is an A+ study and deserves to be watched by anyone with any kind of love for the genre.
Nightmare in Red, White, and Blue is a mediocre horror documentary that unfortunately puts politics ahead of its subject material. The film follows the development of horror cinema from Edison's first adaptation of Frankenstein to the Saw series. While the change in the genre is covered fairly well, it doesn't pay much attention to the particular artists and films that were the innovators and precipitators of the changes within horror cinema. Additionally, the filmmakers take a staunchly liberal perspective on American culture, which (while some horror directors likely share) lacks objectivity. And the film fails to consider other factors, besides culture, in what shaped the horror genre. It's this single mindedness of Nightmare in Red, White, and Blue that makes it so mundane and uninspired.
March 11, 2011
If you are a fan of the horror genre then you will absolutley love this film. If not, then it stands as an insightful glimpse into the history of the American Horror film. So either way, you will like this documentary.
Decent documentary about horror films. Though it is supposed to be solely about American horror films, it does cover a few of the European entries such as "Nosferatu" and the Hammer films. A lot of clips from films almost every horror buff should already be familiar with. It follows mostly chronologically from the Universal Monsters-era through the giant monster and alien invasion films of the 50s, then to the first gore films of the 60s and more trippy horror of the 70s. A lot of time is spent on my favorite era, the 1980s, but continues into the 90s and 2000s. In between the clips of the films are talking heads (some directors, writers, producers, critics, etc) who were mostly idiotic, reading waayyy too much commentary into the scripts. I only found one movie during this entire films I had never been familiar with ("When a Stranger Calls").
Enjoyable documentary on the horror genre but became overly-political (swinging way to the left). I understand the the basis of horror is a anti-conservative approach to social events but the jabs to the right became tiring and really took away from the interesting tidbits the documentary was providing.
Terrific documentary that is a must see for fans of horror; it does a wonderful job of tracing the origins of horror films and how they tie into the social/political times of each era. It also has dozens of clips and interviews as well. Really awesome film.
This documentary gives a pretty thorough look at the horror genre from its origins all the way up to modern day, contrasting it against the various events in the world and pop culture that would worm their way into things either overtly or subconsciously.
The narration by Lance Henriksen adds to the proceedings immensely, as his delivery is like warm butter in your ears.
Well worth a look for fans as well as the uninitiated, as it gives them a great peek behind the curtains at what might not be lurking in the sub-text of those horribly bloody movies.
This wasn?t too bad. It actually was very good going over and relating to some history of the country and appetite for horror movies, but it lost its way about around the 80s. What was really nice about the movie was the people they interviewed. There is a real good sampling of some great names in horror and their take is really nice to hear. This is definitely one that if you get the chance to watch it, you?ll like what they have to say.