The American Nightmare

Overview

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 ...
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Overview

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
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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Brian J. Dillard
Unlike 1984's Terror in the Aisles, which merely strung together the money shots from a wide variety of horror films, the documentary The American Nightmare takes a specific subset of this enduring genre and convincingly argues a case about its historical context and sociological significance. Director Adam Simon's method of interspersing clips from the transgressive North American horror films of the '60s and '70s with footage of Vietnam, the Ku Klux Klan, political assassinations, and other world events may grow wearying over the course of 75 minutes, but the stylistic overlap between the powerful images, both real and imagined, brings Simon's arguments vividly to life. Candid interviews with scholars and the maverick directors whose personal visions fuelled these films seem to support Simon's horror-flick-as-social-commentary thesis; perhaps a little more give and take with the "it's just a movie" school would have provided balance. The tendency of 1950s horror movies to reflect anxieties about the Cold War and the nuclear bomb is similarly neglected, perhaps to make the director's argument about the uniqueness of the later films seem more forceful. Such quibbles aside, however, The American Nightmare offers an appealing mixture of meticulous research, historical anecdote, and twisted humor.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 3/30/2004
  • UPC: 767685951538
  • Original Release: 2000
  • Rating:

  • Source: New Video Group
  • Presentation: Letterbox
  • Sound: Dolby Digital Stereo
  • Language: English
  • Time: 1:13:00
  • Format: DVD
  • Sales rank: 50,293

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
George A. Romero Participant
John Carpenter Participant
Tom Savini Participant
David Cronenberg Participant
Wes Craven Participant
Tobe Hooper Participant
John Landis Participant
Technical Credits
Adam Simon Director, Screenwriter
Paul Carlin Editor
Paula Jalfon Producer
Caroline Kaplan Executive Producer
Colin MacCabe Producer
Colin McCabe Producer
Eliza Mellor Associate Producer
John Quinn Sound/Sound Designer
Jonathan Sehring Producer
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Scene Index

Side #1 --
1. Introduction [5:43]
2. Monsters, Old and New [6:24]
3. Social Trauma [4:54]
4. Vietnam [6:14]
5. Art Imitates Life [6:13]
6. The Texas Chainsaw Massacre [9:35]
7. Dawn of the Dead [5:54]
8. Erotic Horror [4:20]
9. Shivers [5:51]
10. Piercing the Protective Shell [5:46]
11. The End of Life? [4:08]
12. Times Change [5:49]
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Menu

Side #1 --
   Play
   Scene Selection
   Extras
      About Docurama
      Catalog/Trailers
         Genghis Blues
         Regret to Inform
         The Brandon Teena Story
         From Mao to Mozart
         Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg: Speaking in Strings
            Play Trailer
         Bob Dylan: Don't Look Back
            Play Trailer
         Paul Taylor: Dancemaker
            Play Trailer
         Moon Over Broadway
         Pie in the Sky
         Roots of Rhythm
         Original Cast Album: Company
         Fastpitch
         Paradise Lost 2: Revelations
         Always a Bridesmaid
         W.I.S.O.R.
         The Sweetest Sound
         Sound and Fury
            Play Trailer
         The Awful Truth: Season One and Two Boxed Set
         Brother's Keeper
            Play Trailer
         The 11th of September
         Sophie B. Hawkins: The Cream Will Rise
            Play Trailer
         The Atomic Cafe
         Todd McFarlane: The Devil You Know
            Play Trailer
         On the Road With Duke Ellington
         WTC: The First 24 Hours
         Naked States
         Go Tigers!
            Play Trailer
         Keep the River on Your Right
            Play Trailer
         Smothered
         BaadAsssss Cinema
         Children Underground
         Southern Comfort
         The Main Stream
         The Legend of Ron Jeremy
            Play Trailer
         Murder on a Sunday Morning
         Full Frame Documentary Shorts
         Maya Lin
         John Lee Hooker: That's My Story
         Silverlake Life: The View From Here
         Lost in La Mancha
            Play Trailer
         Scared Straight
         See How They Run
            Play Trailer
         Dancing to New Orleans
         Decade Under the Influence
         The Smashing Machine
            Play Trailer
         The True Meaning of Pictures
         Crisis
         Primary
      Credits
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