100 Years of Horror
Series Directed by: Ted Newsom
Stars: Christopher Lee, Roger Corman, Hugh Hefner
Reviewed by Brian M. Sammons

In 1996 in the UK someone did a long, multi-part/multi-episode look at 100 years of horror in film. Rightfully enough they called it 100 Years of Horror, and then they had the best person possible host the whole thing, the one and only Christopher Lee. The show was a lot of fun, quite extensive, and very informative. For years it existed as an old multi-tape, VHS release, if you could find it at all, and I was surprised, and a little sad, at the number of horror fans who had never seen, or even heard of, this excellent bit of Horror History 101. Three cheers then to Mill Creek Entertainment for bringing out all 26 episodes on DVD. Then I got the three-disc collection. Was I still cheering afterwards and how was the final product? Well, let’s go back in time to 1996, and then much further than that, and don’t forget to bring a lunch, as this will be one long journey.

As stated there are 26 different episodes here, each running about 25 minutes long, and all together totaling around five hours and 23 minutes. That’s a lot of horror history. Each and every topic imaginable gets its own episode, and such topics include: Dracula, Frankenstein (both the monster and the good doctor), werewolves, Bela Lugosi, Boris Karloff, phantoms, witches, demons, scream queens, maniacs, gory gimmicks, aliens, mummies, zombies, giants, dinosaurs, and more. This series does a good job of trying to cover it all, at least all there was up until 1996. No one topic is covered too in-depth, but if you are a horror fan, this is a great overview of the genre as a whole and a great commentary on its rich history.

Now on to the extras on this new three-disc DVD collection by Mill Creek Entertainment. Okay, that’s done. Yeah. There are no special features here, not a single one, and that is a bit disappointing. Also, this looks like a direct port of the old VHS copy of the documentary. Things don’t look bad, per se, but they are a far ways away from good, too. Now I am happy just to have this on an officially released DVD, but some extra effort in the transfer or the extras would have went a long way. Still, this is a great series and it’s available in total for a very reasonable price. That’s the most important thing to me. So that’s kind of special, isn’t it?

100 Years of Horror is a must-have documentary for any serious horror movie fan. Christopher Lee is pure class in here, like always, and each episode brings some new information to the table with a fun side of nostalgia. I love it, I think you will too, so barebones or not, I highly recommend this DVD set.

About Brian M. Sammons

Brian M. Sammons has penned stories that have appeared in the anthologies: Arkham Tales, Horrors Beyond, Monstrous, Dead but Dreaming 2, Horror for the Holidays, Deepest, Darkest Eden and others. He has edited the books; Cthulhu Unbound 3, Undead & Unbound, Eldritch Chrome, Edge of Sundown, Steampunk Cthulhu, Dark Rites of Cthulhu, Atomic Age Cthulhu, World War Cthulhu and Flesh Like Smoke. He is also the managing editor of Dark Regions Press’ Weird Fiction line. For more about this guy that neighbors describe as “such a nice, quiet man” you can check out his infrequently updated webpage here: http://brian_sammons.webs.com/ and follow him on Twitter @BrianMSammons.