Nov 15, 2010

Review of Nightmares in Red, White and Blue

image from Amazon

Nightmares in Red, White and Blue is one half history of the evolution of horror films in America, and one half history of how horror films impacted society versus how society impacted horror films.

What made this documentary awesome was the extensiveness of horror movies chosen to show. You didn't just get the big slasher names of the seventies and eighties with maybe a throwback to Dracula. We start off in 1910 and show seemingly every big hit and every big flop in the horror genre. Some of the movies that were talked about I nodded with approval saying "Well yeah, of course they had to talk about this. It was revolutionary!" while other clips they showed of movies made me laugh quietly to myself saying "who thought this was a good idea for a movie?" I'm looking at you It's Alive, tale of a mutant killer baby who slaughters just after birth!

Unfortunately, despite a wealth of knowledge including such interesting tidbits as what Adolf Hitler's favorite movie was, things are put together very amateur. It feels like a made-for-TV documentary with chapter titles perfectly timed for commercial breaks, but they just feel kind of interrupting. And for the amount of movies put in (and I can think of a few off the top of my head that were not talked about at all) things feel very rushed. You get about two sentences talked about each film before moving onto the next one.

Overall Rating:
While the film has its flaws and could really have done good with an extra twenty minutes to flesh things out on the movies they did mention, this was a very enjoyable documentary. If you like the horror film genre, and if you like documentaries, I'd strongly recommend this film. A solid 4 *'s out of 5, or 8 *'s out of 10

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