A History of Horror with Mark Gatiss

Fantasy | Horror

BBC Four (UK)



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A documentary mini-series that aired in 2010, written and presented by actor, writer and horror enthusiast Mark Gatiss. The series explores horror films in the Golden Age of Hollywood, the British Hammer Horror tradition, and American horror movie classics. A one-off special, Horror Europa, followed in 2012.

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List of episodes

S1E1 - Frankenstein Goes to Hollywood

A lifelong fan of the genre, Mark begins by exploring the golden age of Hollywood horror. From the late 1920s until the 1940s, a succession of classic pictures and unforgettable actors defined the horror genre - including The Phantom of the Opera starring Lon Chaney, Dracula with Bela Lugosi, and Frankenstein starring Boris Karloff.

Air Date: 11 Oct 2010 15:00 (CDT)

S1E2 - Home Counties Horror

Mark uncovers stories behind the films of his favourite period - the 1950s and 60s - which fired his lifelong enthusiasm for horror. These mainly British pictures were dominated by the legendary Hammer Films, who rewrote the horror rulebook with a revolutionary infusion of sex and full-colour gore - all shot in the English Home Counties.

Air Date: 18 Oct 2010 15:00 (CDT)

S1E3 - The American Scream

Mark explores the explosion of American films of the late 1960s and 70s which dragged horror kicking and screaming into the present day. With their contemporary settings and uncompromising content, films like Night of the Living Dead and The Texas Chain Saw Massacre remain controversial. But Mark argues that these films - often regarded as only being for hardcore fans with strong stomachs - have much to offer. Made by pioneering independent filmmakers, they reflected the social upheavals of American society and brought fresh energy and imagination to the genre.

Air Date: 25 Oct 2010 15:00 (CDT)