A review by Robert Long II ©2011
Starring: Forry Ackerman • Jane Adams • Samuel Z. Arkoff • Veronica Carlson • Robert Clarke • Roger Corman • Anne Francis • Freddie Francis • Dolores Fuller • Val Guest • Linda Harrison • Jonathan Haze • Dorothy Herrmann • Betsy Jones-Moreland • Jackie Joseph • Sara Karloff • Ed Kemmer • Carla Laemmle • Christopher Lee • Janet Leigh • Bela Lugosi, Jr. • William Marshall • Kevin McCarthy • Terry Moore • Peggy Moran • Lori Nelson • Ingrid Pitt • Victoria Price • Robert Quarry • Rex Reason • Jimmy Sangster • William Schallert • Elena Verdugo • Robert Wise • Virginia Wetherell • Yvette Vickers • Dee Wallace
Commentary by: Mark Bialek, Aaron Christensen, Dwight Kemper, Jon Kitley, Don Leifert, Michael Mack, Streebo Majic, Gregory W. Mank, Deborah Painter, Lee Price, Gus Russo, Gary J. Svehla, Robert Tinnell
Producers: Gary J. Svehla, A. Susan Svehla and Jeff Herberger
Writer: A. Susan Svehla
Narration: Tom Proveaux
Videographer, Editor and Director: Jeff Herberger
Narration Director: A. Susan Svehla
Two DVD Disc Set – 4 hours in total:
Part 1: The Golden Age of the Horror Film: 51 min.
Part 2: The Atomic-Crazed Fifties: 52 min.
Part 3: Teens Invade the Drive-Ins/The Studio That Dripped Blood: 53 min.
Part 4: The Swinging Sixties to the Awesome Eighties: 51 minutes
Here is the synopsis of the film – straight from the Midnight Marquee Website: “Grab the popcorn and settle back as we take you on a 4-hour trip filled with monsters, aliens, vampires and things that go bump in the night. And your tour guides are none other than the people who put the thrill in the chill, the tingle in your spine and the scream on your lips. And remember, it’s not only a movie—it’s a treasured memory from your past when life was simpler and monsters were ever so much more fun!”
I honestly do not know where to start with this review. How many times will I be able to describe that this production is perfect before my faithful readers say “Okay Rob – we get it already!” Gary J. Svehla and A. Susan Svehla of Midnight Marquee Productions have outdone themselves with this 2 DVD set. Divided into four sections (listed above) this documentary on all things horror and science fiction related has everything plus the kitchen sink thrown in – yet it is perfectly balanced; the segments never overstay their welcome, and the viewer is always in want of more.
Did you check out the roster of the people that appear in this compilation? It’s the who’s who of horror, science fiction and exploitation! And this is no “my camera caught a fleeting glimpse of a celebrity at a convention.” No, these are all segments that were taken from the celebrity interviews at the famous FANEX conventions, which the Svehla’s ran from 1987 to 2005. The footage feels like a real one-on-one with the viewer as the stars and starlets talk about their careers. I doubt if the Tinseltown machinery could put together something this candid and in-depth with so many involved.
The 2 DVD set can be found on line between $25 and $30. Let me tell you – it’s worth every penny. The style, tone and mood set by Jeff Herberger’s editing is incredible; it leaves the viewer with a fun but extremely polished look that can meet or beat the feel of any other documentary on the market. The people that provide the commentary and insights on the discs are very engaging, and really know their stuff! The passion, love and dedication everyone involved shines through in every single moment of this documentary.
Robert’s Final Rating: I have to give this a solid 10/10. This is a flawless DVD set that any horror and science fiction fan MUST have in their collection to consider themselves a lover of these genres. If you cannot find something to love and enjoy out of this documentary then you simply do not have a pulse. Order it – NOW!
Go to the Midnight Marquee website to order this fantastic documentary. While you are there make sure to check out all the other fascinating movies, CDs, and books they have for sale!