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Global Horror and Monster Cinema: Reference Materials - Documentaries

This is a resource guide for academic research in the global horror and monster cinema field of study.

Horror Film Documentaries

What follows is a selection of documentaries focusing on a single horror film, a group of horror films (Like the Nightmare on Elm Street Films), or the genre of horror cinema as a whole. 

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Going to Pieces: The Rise and Fall of the Slasher Film

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Going to Pieces takes a look at the slasher film genre. The documentary starts with the beginnings of the genre with "Halloween" and "Friday the 13th." It then goes on to look at the hey-day of the genre during the Reagan era, and finishes with the recent decline.


The American Nightmare

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This documentary takes an in-depth look at the horror boom of the 1960's and the 1970's. The film specifically looks at some of the films of George Romero and Tobe Hooper among others.

*No trailer could be found for this film. 

Video Nasties: Moral Panic, Censorship & Videotape

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This documentary examines the furor surrounding the so-called "Video Nasties" of the British Government in the 1980's. The "Video Nasties" were a collection of horror films that were banned from import by the UK government due to their extreme nature. This documentary examines just what happened and why.

Room 237

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Room 237 is all about the Stanley Kubrick version of The Shinning, and the different interpretations of the film. This documentary looks in-depth at how Kubrik layered messages and references to things like the Holocaust, the Native American genocide, and the moon landing. 

Birth of the Living Dead

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Birth of the Living Dead gives an in-depth look at how George Romero's Night of the Living Dead was filmed. It recounts stories from people who were actually on set and talks about such topics as the politics of the times, the special effects, and the reception of the film. If you are interested in the classic zombie movie that started it all, then don't miss this documentary.

Doc of the Dead

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Doc of the Dead is a documentary that endeavors to look at the zombie culture that is so pervasive in popular culture today. This documentary has film maker interviews, convention appearances, and a history of the zombie genre. 

Nightmares in Red, White and Blue: The Evolution of the American Horror Film

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Nightmares in Red, White and Blue takes a look at the history of the horror genre in America. This documentary has interviews with horror icons, historical clips, and endeavors to understand the popularity of the horror film. 

Ray Harryhausen: Special Effects Titan

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Ray Harryhausen: Special Effects Titan chronicles the career of the master of stop-motion special effects. This documentary has interviews with Harryhausen, and scores of film makers who drew great inspiration from his effects and films. While this documentary does not delve much in to the horror genre, it will give a good look at the early beginnings of the monster on screen.

Boogeymen: The Killer Compilation

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Boogeymen: The Killer Compilation is a series of clips and interesting film facts about 17 of the greatest slasher film genre monsters. This documentary covers many popular monsters from Norman Bates to Freddy Kreuger to Pinhead to Chuckie.

*No trailer could be found for this film.

Nightmare Factory

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Nightmare Factory is a documentary that chronicles the rise of one of Hollywood's best special effects houses KNB EFX Group. This special effects studio was founded by effects legends Greg Nicotero, Howard Berger, and Robert Kurtzman. This documentary has interviews with the founders, and exclusive clips of the effects making process. 


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