Subtitled “From The Archive of Stephen King’s World of Horror,” this self-proclaimed video “encyclopedia of horror” was little more than a compilation of tastefully-chosen film clips, well-edited video from electronic press kits with a few unique interviews with directors, special effects artists and other cast/crew. King’s influence is felt only in brief “interview” clips which begin every episode (along with footage of King goofing around outside his Bangor, Maine estate) where he goes on about much of the material he covered in Danse Macabre and Bag of Bones. This series of shows ran on numerous cable channels and was most likely syndicated in the early nineties; one it’s more higher-profile showings occured around on MTV. I also believe that pieces of those show were edited and appeared in a series which ran on USA Network (or possibly A and E?) named Shadow Theater which was hosted by a Robert Englund dressed in vaguely Phantom of the Opera-esque evening attire. The show was also released on VHS throughout Europe (an in the US through Goodtimes Home Video) and released on Japanese Laserdisc in a lavish box set (with burnt-in Japanese subtitles). The exact production dates of the series are slightly unclear this author; the series’ IMDB entry lists a 1986 date but many of the unique (non-epk) interviews with directors, effects artists and actors involve projects from around 1988-89 and the copyright notice at the end of the series reads “© 1989 John Simmons.”
The following program details and screenshots were taken from a 2-DVD Dutch release from a few years ago which is a relatively-complete version of the series (though it doesn’t contain a few segments such as the Angel Heart EPK found on the VHS and broadcast on Shadow Theater) and contains burnt-in subtitles. The running time(in PAL) is approximately two hours and nineteen minutes for disc one and two hours for disc two. Given the numerous video and broadcast configurations this series has seen over the years I decided to organize episodes using the King video introductions which begin every major segment. For more information about the DVD release, visit this link. According to another part of the website, Shadow Theater also saw a VHS release in the UK.
SK on childhood beginnings and wanting to run away from home through his writing.
Halloween with John Carpenter Interview.
Hellraiser and Hellbound: Hellraiser II Video Press Kit material featuring on-set interview with Clive Barker.
A Nightmare on Elm Street with a Wes Craven Interview.
An American Werewolf in London
SK on evil and the anti-creative impulse of obsession.
Night of the Demons, Witchtrap, Blood Nasty, and Sorority Babes in the Slimeball Bowl-O-Rama with Linnea QuigleyInterview.
Dr. Butcher M.D.
The Abominable Dr. Phibes
SK on dealing with unpleasant feelings through art.
Little Shop of Horrors (’60 Colorized)
Eaten Alive (Hooper)
The Little Girl Who Lives Down The Lane
Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2
The Body Snatcher
SK on movies as a waking dream
Argento’s World of Horror, Suspiria, Creepers with footage of Dario Argento shooting his Two Evil Eyes segment on the streets of Pittsburgh.
Re-Animator, Bride of Re-Animator and Society with Brian Yuzna Interview.
SK on enjoying monsters and liking to scare people.
The House That Dripped Blood
Clips from Steve Johnson in his effects studio featuring video and behind-the-scenes effects footage from the NOES, Dead Heat, and other film and television work.
SK on the importance of symbolically dealing with our fears.
Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2
On-location Texas Chainsaw Massacre III featuring director Jeff Burr, Kane Hodder, William Butler, R.A. Mihailoff and a very bloody Kate Hodge.
Blood Simple with Joel and Ethan Coen Interviews.
SK on if he ever scares himself.
SK on doing a taking the audience somewhere.
Short clips of Frank Darabont and Clive Barker on trailers with clips from Mad Ron’s Movie Prevues including Attack of the 50 Ft. Woman, The Curse of the Mummy’s Tomb, The Gorgon, and Rasputin, The Mad Monk.
William Castle gimmicks from Homicidal, Mr. Sardonicus and The Tingler
On-Set footage from Troma’s War featuring director Lloyd Kaufman with trailers from Toxic Avenger, Class of Nuke’Em High, Monster In The Closet and Surf Nazis Must Die.
Clips from the “shock test” from the Dementia 13 trailer.
SK on copycat murders and crazy people.
Hitchcock’s Psycho marketing gimmicks and the his classic “tour” of the Bates’ house in the trailer.
SK on coming to terms with real-life horror.
A Freddy retrospective featuring clips from A Nightmare on Elm Street Part I, NOES II, NOES III, NOES IV, and NOES V.
KNB Effects Studio featuring behind-the-scenes effects footage from Night Angel, The NOES Series, The Horror Show and many other films.
SK on breaking the mood in a horror film
Trancers, Re-Animator, Dolls, From Beyond and Sorority Babes in the Slimeball Bowl-O-Rama with Charles BandInterview
Beverly Hills Vamp and The Tomb with Fred Olen Ray Interview.
From Beyond – more clips.
SK on book audience hating film adaptations.
Horror Anthologies – Tales From the Crypt, The House That Dripped Blood, and Asylum with clips from an old Robert Bloch Interview.
Eaten Alive (Hooper), Willard, Creepers clips.
Home Video Releases