Friends, obviously being a co-host on the Saturday Frights podcast as well as giving a hand to the Projectionist on his very own show – it’s safe to say that horror films and TV series are something I am very fond of. Growing up through the 80’s I personally feel I experienced some amazing movies from that genre – a few of my favorites have already been tackled on the SF podcast like Re-Animator, Halloween, Return of the Living Dead, Creepshow, and Tales from the Crypt to name a few. Which is why I took notice when it was announced a new documentary was coming down the pipe – one that intends on being the definitive ’80s horror documentary – entitled In Search of Darkness.
There have been other horror documentaries in the past to be sure, 2010’s Never Sleep Again: The Elm Street Legacy and 2015’s Crystal Lake Memories: The Complete History of Friday the 13th stand out in my mind. In Search of Darkness though widens the net of scary and creepy films – away from just a single franchise – tackling what made the 80’s such the perfect decade for some truly classic movies. To do so David Weiner and his crew have managed to wrangle a legion of important people that appeared in front of the camera and worked behind it – helping to craft cinematic nightmares for the ages.
This was originally a Kickstarter project that was incredibly successful when launched – In Search of Darkness has opened up an Indiegogo campaign to allow horror fans who missed out on the original chance to get their hands on a DVD or Blu-Ray, with an expected release date of July of this year. You have until the 31st of this month though to get your copy and nab yourself some sweet perks in the process – I personally went with the Herbert West package. I’ll be sure to do a full review of the documentary after I’ve gotten my hands on the Blu-Ray – now you might be interested in what In Search of Darkness will get down to, thankfully their Indiegogo page explains in detail:
- Learn about the era from the perspective of the masters who frightened us, the directors of today who were inspired by them, and the new generation of social media influencers who have fallen in love with the genre.
- Hear from the actors, writers, directors, producers, and composers who brought horror icons such as Freddy Krueger, Jason Voorhees, Michael Myers and Pinhead to the screen.
- Delve into the imagery: the garish VHS covers and poster art that seduced us and came to define the ’80s horror aesthetic.
- Re-examine the socio/political context that inspired our favourite movies – fears of nuclear war, violent crime, and deadly diseases.
- Explore the rise of the B-Movie superstars: Bruce Campbell, Jeffrey Combs, and Robert Englund; stars that could guarantee success for what was an otherwise overlooked sub-genre.
- Investigate how the explosion of VHS enabled these icons of horror to take the leap from the movie screen into our homes and created new opportunities for low-budget filmmakers.
- Examine the role of practical in-camera effects, animatronics, and prosthetics played in scaring us in a time before CGI.
- Discuss the importance of the ’80s horror genre and its impact on society, including how its violent and explicit imagery opened-up new political, sociological, and cultural discussion.
The stretch goals for the documentary have already been met – including an extended cut running over three hours, additional interviews, and a focus on subject matters ranging from VHS artwork to some of the soundtracks of the 80’s horror movies themselves. In addition the second stretch goal was also achieved and this allowed the documentary to:
“Passing our second goal enabled us to add an additional section to our documentary celebrating the Iconic Women of ‘80s Horror. This timely, thought-provoking topic is something we noticed hadn’t been covered by other Horror documentaries in detail.
The objective is to celebrate women in horror and hear from them about their experiences – both good and bad – creating some of the most iconic characters in our favourite ‘80s horror movies.
In this section, we speak to:
- Barbara Crampton – Actress (Re-Animator, From Beyond)
- Heather Langenkamp – Actress (Nightmare on Elm Street)
- Cassandra Peterson – Actress (Elvira: Mistress of the Dark)
- Heather Wixson – Managing Editor at DailyDead.com
- Robbi Morgan – Actress (Friday the 13th)
- Kelli Maroney – Actress (Chopping Mall, Night of the Comet)
- Caroline Williams – Actress (Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2)”
Now then, if you are a horror buff you are probably drooling already – but before you hop on over and pre-order your copy of In Search of Darkness, why not take a couple of minutes and watch this trailer for the documentary. A Word of CAUTION I ran this by the Retroist himself and he deemed it a PG-13 level trailer – besides some monsters and gore there is a moment of language and a brief scene that is more salty than we typically share.