In Search of Darkness: The Definitive 80's Horror Documentary

Discussion in 'General' started by Katatonia, Oct 2, 2019.

  1. sinister

    sinister Active Member

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    Was a bit disappointed in this, should have called it "The Definitive 80's US Horror Documentary" and even then there would be a few obvious omissions. I know it's all subjective, but seriously... no Italian horror? No Argento, Fulci, Deodato, Bava? And it's not like they're unaware of the iconic Italian horror flicks, right from the start in the 80's poster montage they zoomed in right next to Inferno and Cannibal Holocaust, yet didn't actually cover them or any other Italian movie. Seems a bit strange.

    And the covering of multiple inferior 80's sequels when the original and best version was released in the 70's and so wasn't covered became a little annoying too. I can see why they restricted it to the 80's cause that's when everyone was getting into this stuff on video and when it really took off, but a lot of classic 70's horror movies were being seen by many for the first time on video in the 80's so maybe "The first decade of video horror" would have been a better focus.

    I think they mentioned only 1 or 2 movies I hadn't heard of at all and their coverage of the rest didn't make me want to see any of those I hadn't already seen, so a little disappointing that way too... was really hoping to pick up a few movie titles to check out along the way.

    Didn't feel like I learned much if anything from the interviews either, some were very good and interesting but others became a bit repetitive by the 2-3 hour point and by 3-4 hours in I was really losing interest. The extreme length itself wasn't really a problem (I'd just watched an amazing 4 hour documentary interview before this one and hadn't been bored for a second - not horror related but mostly 70's + 80's computer technical nostalgia stuff) but they *really* needed a wider focus of movies and interviewees to keep this interesting for so long.

    Overall 6/10 , worth a watch but glad I didn't pay $60 for it.
     
    Last edited: Dec 27, 2019
  2. Nailwraps

    Nailwraps Well-Known Member

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    Got my DVD copy today.
     
  3. sinister

    sinister Active Member

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    Maybe the problem was just that their somewhat limited pool of interviewees didn't have anything to say about Italian horror movies so they decided not to cover them at all.

    Will be interesting to see what some of you guys think once you've watched it.
     
  4. buck135

    buck135 Kanamit

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    Finally watched this. My only complaint is with the term "Definitive Documentary." It isn't even close. I feel this would be a terrific introduction to horror fans that weren't alive in the '80's. There are some terrific people involved, such as Carpenter, Crampton, Bradley and some which are pointless imo (Slipknot singer). I'll never watch the documentary again and am frustrated that I spent $60 on it.
     
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  5. Steel76

    Steel76 Well-Known Member

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    I haven't seen it yet.
    But doesn't it feel like, (with all the documentaries, commentary tracks, magazines, etc. during the last 30+ years), that we already know everything worth knowing about these movies?
    Sure, great for the newcomers, but for the rest of us?
     
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  6. X-human

    X-human I ate my keys

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    I haven't watched it yet either as the Elvira Edition has been delayed. I made sure to download it though so I've at least got that.

    But it seems to me a documentary where cast and crew comment on other films and filmmakers at the time could be interesting; if they're willing to admit as much. However there's probably a mix of ego, legal and professional courtesy to consider when making such statements. But to hear Carpenter expound on Day of the Dead or Stuart Gordon on The Thing or Crampton on Quigley and vice versa could be fun. They're all getting to that age and the point in their careers where it's like, "Come on. Tell us what you really think..."
     
  7. Katatonia

    Katatonia Hellbound Heart

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  8. sade

    sade Active Member

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    It was pleasant although it felt that they could have gone with 4-5 extra hours and still only parts of the decade would have been covered.
     
  9. Katatonia

    Katatonia Hellbound Heart

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  10. Katatonia

    Katatonia Hellbound Heart

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    I received my "Elvira" set in the mail earlier today:

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    Very nicely packed in a long box with air pockets for protection. The rolled poster is sealed in plastic, the Blu-ray was factory sealed, and the "80's Horror" pin + card came in a small ziplock bag. The poster card was included separate in the box.

    The Blu-ray is indeed factory pressed (not a BD-R)
     
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  11. chancetx

    chancetx Well-Known Member

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    That's good news, Katatonia. I haven't gotten tracking yet for my replacements from the original campaign but I'm sure they're overwhelmed having to replace pretty much every order.
     
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  12. Katatonia

    Katatonia Hellbound Heart

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    Here's a review:

     
  13. Nailwraps

    Nailwraps Well-Known Member

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    There's your idea for a follow up: In Search of Darkness: The European Invasion
     
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  14. X-human

    X-human I ate my keys

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    Got this today in the mail at noon (instead of, you know, before the flash sale started):
    "It's alive!" again: https://80shorrordoc.com/pages/elvira
     
  15. sinister

    sinister Active Member

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  16. fattyjoe37

    fattyjoe37 Well-Known Member

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  17. buck135

    buck135 Kanamit

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  18. soxfan666

    soxfan666 Well-Known Member

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    It is now available on Shudder!
     
  19. fattyjoe37

    fattyjoe37 Well-Known Member

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    Just finished this on Shudder. Here are my thoughts, copied from Letterboxd:

    I had contemplated backing In Search of Darkness on Kickstarter last year. It sounded right up my alley, an epic four hour documentary on the horror films of the '80s. After hearing about the disastrous perks (BD-Rs with the labels falling off instead of pressed Blu-rays and ripped up posters caused by improper packaging) and now watching the film on Shudder, I'm definitely happy I didn't get caught up in the hype and drop $60 for a disc.

    This doc is long, but it's pretty superficial. Going in chronological order through the decade, we hear from the filmmakers and performers who made these films along with some critics discussing a handful of titles from each year. On average a movie will be discussed for 3 minutes before we move on to something else. In between each year a more wide-ranging subject will be covered (such as the home video boom, 3-D, practical make-up FX, etc.) and those were my favorite pieces of the documentary. In fact, if those subjects had been expanded upon and the film by film structure been pushed aside, I think we'd have a much more interesting look at the decade as a whole.

    The problem is long time fans already know about all of these films and have heard more in-depth versions of the stories told by their creators on DVD bonus features. Of the movies highlighted I had only not seen 3, but all of them are sitting on my Blu-ray shelves waiting to be watched.

    There is some fun to be had hearing the people behind these favorites give their opinions on projects they weren't involved in. Although I do have to wonder who on the crew has a crush on Katie Featherston from Paranormal Activity, as she is the only performer who did not star in any of the featured films to be interviewed. Seasoned journalists add some context and interesting points of view, but more time is given to fans putting on their best host voice and giving YouTube review level critiques.

    I would mostly recommend this as a good starting point for someone who hasn't seen much horror. It will give them a list of essential titles to seek out, although the interviewee list did help determine the highlighted films so it's by no means comprehensive. It's probably the only retrospective of the decade to skip over Demons in favor of Full Moon High.
     
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  20. Zombie Dude

    Zombie Dude Well-Known Member

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    Well with everything I keep hearing about this doc I'd say it's an easy pass for me.
     

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