Judge Dennis Prince ran out and bought bags of pretzels and cans of Spanish peanuts, ultimately embarrassed when he realized the collection was called "Fearmakers," not "Beermakers." Please, help yourself to pretzels and peanuts in the court hallway.
They know what scares you.
Horror hounds, rejoice! Here's a creepy compendium of insight and interviews focused on the founding fathers of film fear. This new 3-disc collection houses over four hours of analysis and anecdotes from those filmmakers who have shaped the horror, science-fiction, and mystery genres with their unique approaches to terror and tragedy. If you can't get enough of the horror experience, you'll surely devour this fun new release from Elite Entertainment.
The collection consists of 10 installments of the Fearmakers mini-documentaries, inspired by John McCarty's 1994 book of the same name. McCarty wrote and narrates each of these 25-minute episodes. In each, he selects a filmmaker who has made a significant contribution in shaping the horror and mystery film experience, delving reasonably deep into the individual's work and the lasting impression it has had in the genre. Numerous horror aficionados are tapped to provide talking-head commentary and provide observations and experiences, direct or indirect, attributed to the featured "fearmaker."
The EC-style outer cover immediately compels you to tear open the thick keepcase to get to the goods inside. On the three discs entombed within, you'll find the following:
• Tod Browning
• William Castle
• Terence Fisher
• Tobe Hooper
• Jacques Tourneur
• Roland West
• Robert Wise
Easily, the featured filmmakers in this set are tops in their achievements and the manner in which their efforts helped establish and sustain the genre. In a couple of cases, we get direct interviews with these fear-mongers (Wise and Corman) while the balance are remembered and revered by other genre notables including Samuel Z. Arkoff (now deceased), Joe Dante, John Carpenter, Dario Argento, Stuart Gordon, and Richard Matheson. Refreshingly, we also catch some comments from genre documentarian Ted Newsom, whose Flesh and Blood: The Hammer Heritage of Horror is still the best of its kind.
Each of the 10 episodes here are presented in full frame format and sport an image quality that is on par with a televised presentation (not necessarily good, but not too terribly bad). Expect varying quality from the various film and trailer clips within each episode. The audio is offered in Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo—it's serviceable and appropriate to the content. Sadly, there are no disc case inserts (a companion essay or movie poster reproductions?) and there are no on-disc extras (additional interview footage or additional film trailers?). So, what you see is what you get and perhaps, as genre lovers who can never seem to be satiated, it can never be enough.
All told, this is a fun collection that revels in the exploits of these master fearmakers and their beloved work. Easily, this is a must-buy for fear fans.
Give us your feedback!
What's "fair"? Whether positive or negative, our reviews should be unbiased, informative, and critique the material on its own merits.
Scales of Justice
Studio: Elite Entertainment
Review content copyright © 2007 Dennis Prince; Site design and review layout copyright © 2014 Verdict Partners LLC. All rights reserved.