Boris Karloff: The Man Behind The Monster

I recently watched Boris Karloff: The Man Behind The Monster, a terrific new documentary, now available on Shudder, about the life and career of a horror icon. Did I enjoy it and should you watch The Man Behind The Monster? Read on for my thoughts.

To coincide with the 90th anniversary of Frankenstein, Boris Karloff: The Man Behind The Monster was released on September 17, 2021. Now available to stream on Shudder, this documentary was directed by Thomas Hamilton, who also served as co-writer and co-executive producer with Ron MacCloskey. This comprehensive look at Boris Karloff features interviews with Guillermo del Toro, John Landis, Joe Dante, Christopher Plummer, Peter Bogdanovich, Ron Perlman, Leonard Maltin, Christopher Frayling, Sara Karloff, Roger Corman, and Karloff’s family, among others.

Boris Karloff: The Man Behind The Monster is a wonderful documentary that was both enlightening and entertaining. I went into it knowing almost nothing about Boris Karloff, aside from the fact that he was the original Frankenstein’s monster. This film provided me with a deeper appreciation for his acting ability, breadth of work, and dexterity on screen and stage. It also brought to light the struggles he faced throughout his career. Moreover, The Man Behind The Monster emphasized the nuanced performances that Karloff was famous for and how he was able to do so through a masterful control of body language and a commanding presence. I also wasn’t aware that Karloff was a Tony-nominated stage actor, which is something many don’t commonly associate with a horror star. As noted previously, this documentary features a vast selection of influential figures talking about Karloff and his impact, and it was delightful to hear from all of them, including those who are sadly no longer with us.

For horror fans and movie buffs, I highly recommend Boris Karloff: The Man Behind The Monster. It’s a well-produced, in-depth look at a horror icon who was much more than a monster. Shudder also uploaded a selection of Karloff’s finest films, making me want to dive in and enjoy his unique body of work on a deeper level. I encourage you to do the same.

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