Channel 4’s art show examines the appeal of horror films in a somewhat haphazard manner.
Here’s an extract from Channel 4’s The Media Show in 1989, where a collection of critics, academics and filmmakers – as well as some ‘members of the public’ – discuss the assorted joys of the horror film. There’s smart analysis as ever from David Cronenberg and Wes Craven, but the three film critics involved – horror supporters Kim Newman, Anne Billson and Stefan Joworzyn – must have felt a touched peeved that the only clip used of their conversation makes it sound as if they don’t have any regard for the genre whatsoever. Oh, the joys of soundbite television with existing agendas.
There’s an interestingly random selection of film clips – Combat Shock, The Video Dead, Demons 1 and 2, A Nightmare on Elm Street, The Fly and Dead Ringers – the latter’s UK cinema release being the reason for the episode. It’s hosted by Muriel Gray – who would later write horror novels, but also appeared on TV some years later taking a holier-than-thou, pro-censorship attitude to the Lord Horror graphic novels that she clearly hadn’t even read.
As you might expect, it’s not the deepest delve into why we love horror, but it’s a curious museum piece nevertheless.
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