July 19, 2011

Patrick Macnee's Ghost Stories (1997)

I just watched "Vol. 4: Hollywood Ghosts" on the new (and free) SnagFilms channel on Roku but, obviously, this series is all over YouTube so I assume that it must have lapsed into the Public Domain at some point.

I've seen the boxset of what I believe is the full series on sale in various supermarkets before now but never had much interest in it. I saw most of the episodes on Channel Four many years ago and thought they were quite superficial.

The "Hollywood Ghosts" episode seems to be the exception. I learned lots of things from it which I never knew before and I've now got quite interested in the deaths of Marilyn Monroe and Elizabeth Short. I'm familiar with their names but I never really knew any of the details about their deaths before and this documentary had me Googling away like crazy.

There's another "Hollywood Ghost Stories" (1986) documentary available but introduced by John Carradine instead. I was actually hoping that SnagFilms had this much better documentary available too as I remember having it on VHS back in England and I thought it was really good. Unfortunately, they didn't. I still remember some of it though especially Elke Sommer's story. It was very scary stuff.

Although I don't actually believe in ghosts, at least not in the same way that most other people who believe in ghosts do, I always enjoy a good ghost story especially when it's supposed to be true. I'm not sure how much of that is because I'm a horror film fan or whether it's a more primal response that's in all of us.

I've encountered a few horror fans online who hate supernatural movies and I can't understand that at all. I can accept anyone hating those ridiculously fake reality TV shows about hauntings, especially the most famous of them, but to dismiss an entire section of your favourite genre strikes me as completely illogical. I don't particularly like the majority of Asian ghost films but I'll still watch them.

Anyway, if you are looking for something spooky to watch amidst all the thunder and lightning of the summer storms tonight, these documentaries should sort you out.

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