In Search of Darkness Part II
Director(s): David A. Weiner
Writer(s): David A. Weiner
Starring: Everyone and their mothers from 80s Horror…again but with more Italian FLAIR!
If anyone thought the four-plus hours of the 80s horror nostalgia fest that was In Search of Darkness was too much, then first off, GET OUT OF MY VAULT! Okay, for the rest of you that stuck around and mocked those who sheepishly left the my lair of macabre, then guess what?!? The insane creators of the first flick decided to go for it again with a sequel that clocks in at…wait for it…another four-plus hours of 80s horror galore!
Now for those not initiated, feel free to check out my review of the first one HERE. I won’t go into how wonderful the format of this documentary ends up being since I gushed so much the first time but just think of it as bite sized morsels of deliciousness (sweet and savory) of different varieties that you can enjoy as you please. In Search of Darkness II does not try to break the mold by any means as the format stays pretty much exactly the same but what’s interesting about this entry was there were definitely themes and spotlights that were much more prominent then just throwing every cool 80s horror flick at the wall for your viewing pleasure (don’t worry guys and ghouls, there’s still plenty of THAT to go around)!
For example, it seems this time around there was an emphasis on the horror flicks from our pasta-centric pals in Europe. Italian horror flicks have always been a basis of inspiration for all horror creators but from a personal level, I remember getting into European horror flicks at an early age and thinking that ALL European horror flicks were from Italy. It wasn’t until I was older I realized the ones I liked the most only came from Italy and I suppose there was great reason. Following the trend of spaghetti westerns and bloated action flicks, the horror features from Italy were always an interesting spin on a genre that you thought had already been set in stone. If American horror flicks made me clap and Asian horror flicks often made me gasp, then Italian horror flicks always had me mesmerized.
The styles of the classic Italian horror movie directors always left me in awe whether it was the psychedelic color palette of terror from Dario Argento seen in flicks like Suspiria, the wonderful ridiculousness of visuals from Lucio Fulci seen in flicks like Zombi 2 or the curdles in the stomach caused by scenes of intense gore from Lamberto Bava seen in flicks like Demons.Through the years, I’ve discovered various horror flicks from all parts of Europe but as a kid, it was Italy or nothing and that’s a testament to how much impact Italian horror flicks had in the world of horror and this doc does a great job highlighting some of the beautiful, zany and disgusting (in the best kind of ways) flicks that Italy had to offer in the 80s. The interviews with fans that gush over these movies is just as nostalgic as the movies themselves as each talking head sounds like someone who would be having a cocktail with your your FearTastic host at a local dive while waxing on about why a particular movie was so impactful.
Another aspect I’ve enjoyed from this entry is how the highlights of certain creators/actors seem to pop up more frequently since they definitely deserve all the spooky spotlight the horror genre can give. Directors like Jackie Kong, director of Blood Diner whose enthusiasm for the cult favorite flick that zigged as much as it zagged when it came to plot, effects and acting made you realize that there’s a reason why horror produces the most passionate kinds of fans. These folks don’t go out to make a cult classic, they speak to what their morbid heart tells them and a following starts because they feel the genuine passion that went in making a movie that was ridiculous but genuine. Talent such as Linnea Quigley who has starred in so many horror flicks such as Night of the Demons and Return of the Living Dead deserves a spotlight as one of the original regulars of horror that’s right up there with the likes of Jeffrey Combs! I also love the way they feature actors that are genuinely proud of their work in horror classics and whenever they tell a story, you feel their enthusiasm shine through the screen because they know they were part of horror history. Geretta Geretta, of Demons fame was one of my favorite talking heads in the documentary because her anecdotes make you want to visit her at a convention sometime, just to chat the night away about her experiences in being a part of an experience that shall shape horror fans for generations.
So four more hours and some change huh?
That’s nothing when you have quality people with passion talking about flicks that bombard your nostalgic soul in bite-sized bits.
Let’s go for THREE?
Life is FAR more interesting when we take interest in things that scare us.