The American Nightmare [DVD] [2000]

IFC's brilliant study of American horror filmmaking, The American Nightmare, finally makes its way to DVD, thanks to the fine folk at Docurama. While this release makes its commercial debut here in the States, this acclaimed documentary did find its way onto Anchor Bay's Region 2 DVD of The Hills Have Eyes (the U.S. version opted instead to include AFI's The Directors: The Films of Wes Craven clip, well-known to most who scour video bargain bins around the country). As with most of this company's discs, extras are incredibly sparse, though the deal here isn't the bonus features as much as the film itself. The feature has been given a decent transfer, with the image presented in a 1.85:1 widescreen picture and an effective Dolby Digital Stereo signal. Extras are relegated to an interactive gallery of other releases from Docurama that includes previews for a few other selected titles. Sure, it would have been nice to have a few extra interviews here and there, but it's far more important to actually get this feature out there for people to see than anything else.
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Special Features

  • Interactive menus
  • Scene selection


The American Nightmare
In the late '60s, the tone of American horror films began to shift in the wake of the startling success of George A. Romero's Night of the Living Dead -- horror films became gorier, bleaker, and began to subtly reflect the political and social upheaval gripping the country. Through the '70s and '80s, films like Last House on the Left, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, and Halloween held a distorted mirror up to American culture, reflecting its fear and chaos in the wake of Vietnam and Watergate. The American Nightmare is a documentary that looks at the transgressive horror films of the '60s and '70s and the people who made them. Directors Wes Craven, Tobe Hooper, and David Cronenberg, special effects man Tom Savini, and film critics Tom Gunning and Adam Lowenstein are among those interviewed by director Adam Simon. The American Nightmare was produced for the premium cable outlet The Independent Film Channel. ~ Mark Deming, Rovi

Cast & Crew

  • George A. Romero
    George A. Romero
  • John Carpenter
    John Carpenter
  • Tom Savini
    Tom Savini
  • David Cronenberg
    David Cronenberg
  • Wes Craven
    Wes Craven
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