If you are a horror movie lover you can’t miss this one thing. Because this time it is not a voracious, terrific, and violent film, this time it is a documentary about the people who makes those films we adore so much. Both press and fans praised In Search of Darkness (2019), the documentary that explored 80s horror movies through the perspective of the actors, directors, producers, and SFX craftspeople who made them, and their impact on contemporary cinema. And, now, its sequel is coming out on streaming.
In Search of Darkness: Part II (2020) dives deeper into the practical-effects decade of ’80s horror movies with all-new interviews from genre icons and industry experts alongside the original cast. Filmmakers like Joe Dante (Innerspace (1987), Gremlins (1984), The Howling (1981)), Sean S. Cunningham (Friday the 13th (1980), A Stranger Is Watching (1982)), Larry Cohen (It’s Alive (1974), The Stuff (1985)), Tom Holland (Child’s Play (1988), Thinner (1996)), Brian Yuzna (Society (1989), Bride of Re-Animator (1990), Return of the Living Dead III (1993), The Dentist (1996) and its sequel The Dentist 2 (1998), Faust (2000), Beyond Re-Animator (2003), Rottweiler (2004)), Don Mancini (writer of the original Child’s Play (1988) movie and director of the sequels Seed of Chucky (2004), Curse of Chucky (2013), and Cult of Chucky (2017)), Stuart Gordon (Re-Animator (1985), From Beyond (1986), Dolls (1987), Fortress (1992), Space Truckers (1996), Dagon (2001)), Shin’ya Tsukamoto (the Tetsuo saga), or John Carpenter (where to start… Halloween (1978), The Fog (1980), The Thing (1982), Big Trouble in Little China (1986), They Live (1988), Village of the Damned (1995), Escape from L.A. (1996), Vampires (1998), Ghosts of Mars (2001) among many more essential titles) are some of the creators that participate in the documentary.
But everything is easier if we put faces to the titles, so actors like Nancy Allen (Carrie (1976), Dressed to Kill (1980), RoboCop (1987)), Tom Atkins (The Fog (1980), Night of the Creeps (1986), Maniac Cop (1988)), Barbara Crampton (Re-Animator (1985), From Beyond (1986), You’re Next (2011), We Are Still Here (2015)), Bill Moseley (The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2 (1986), House of 1000 Corpses (2003), The Devil’s Rejects (2005), 3 from Hell (2019)), or Linnea Quigley (Graduation Day (1981), The Return of the Living Dead (1985), Night of the Demons (1988), Silent Night, Deadly Night (1984)), are featured in In Search of Darkness: Part II (2020).
Other classic creature impersonators like Doug Bradley (Pinhead in the Hellraiser saga), Nick Castle (Michael Myers in some of the Halloween films), Robert Englund (immortal for being Freddy Krueger in the A Nightmare on Elm Street saga and also present in over a hundred titles), or Kane Hodder (Victor Crowley in the Hatchet saga) take part in the film.
And a document like this might not have so much strength if you don’t give voice to some of the creators of the creatures on the screen. Special effects and make up artists like Tom Savini (Dawn of the Dead (1978), Friday the 13th (1980), Maniac (1980), Day of the Dead (1985), Creepshow 2 (1987)), Steve Johnson (The Fog (1980), Videodrome (1983), Night of the Demons (1988), Return of the Living Dead III (1993), Necronomicon: Book of Dead (1993), Species (1995), Lord of Illusions (1995), The Dentist (1996), Nightwatch (1997), Arachnid (2001), Blade II (2002)), Tom Woodruff Jr. (Star Trek III: The Search for Spock (1984), The Terminator (1984), Aliens (1986), Predator (1987), Tremors (1990), Demolition Man (1993), Starship Troopers (1997), The X Files (1998), Hollow Man (2000), Spider-Man (2002), The Thing (2011), It (2017)), or Greg Nicotero (From Beyond (1986), Predator (1987), Evil Dead II (1987), Army of Darkness (1992), Lord of Illusions (1995), Bubba Ho-Tep (2002), Hostel (2005), Piranha 3D (2010), The Last Exorcism (2010), Fright Night (2011), Texas Chainsaw (2013), and The Walking Dead (2010–2022) TV series) are also present.
Other celebrities that appear in the documentary include Cassandra Peterson (better known for her character Elvira in uncountable TV and film titles), musician and horror aficionado Corey Taylor, and wrestler and occasional actor Chris Jericho.
Both In Search of Darkness (2019) and its follow-up sequel In Search of Darkness: Part II (2020) have been produced, written, and directed by David A. Weiner, a filmmaker and production assistant who is also behind the documentaries In Search of the Last Action Heroes (2019), a comprehensive retrospective of the ’80s action film genre, and the upcoming In Search of Tomorrow (2021), a nostalgic journey through ’80s Sc-Fi films.
In Search of Darkness: Part II (2020) premiers on Shudder on April 26, 2021. Here you can watch its official trailer.