Urban Gothic, or, Hammer House of Horror Redux
D. Cason | Texas | 07/19/2006
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Urban Gothic was a two season horror anthology broadcast on ITC (British TV) in 2000 and 2001. This dvd set contains the 13 episodes from the first season.
Broadly speaking, Urban Gothic can be seen as a kind of modern Hammer House of Horror (one episode even features an Ingrid Pitt cameo), albeit more graphic than that venerable series. Some episodes scream tribute - "Old Nick" could easily pass for a "lost" Hammer offering. Others episodes are modern, even trendy - "Vampirology" features a documentary film crew following around a narcissistic hedonist who may/may not be a vampire.
Urban Gothic is neither the greatest TV, nor the worst. It suffers from some of the typical defects of the anthology series: uneven acting, directing, and scripting. Some episodes stand out, others barely stand up. But even the legendary Twilight Zone suffered this illness; anyone who denies it has never seen the budget-cutting "live TV" episodes. On the upside, with a run time of well under 30 minutes, weak episodes quickly pass away.
Fans of Hammer-style horror and anthology horror will likely enjoy this set.
Episode Guide (ultra-compact):
Dead Meat: Teenage necrology goes bad
Vampirology: Reality-TV vampire documentary
Old Nick: Boy torn between good and evil, but which is which?
The One Where: New boyfriend is not who he seems
Sun of the Parts: Organ transplant horror
Deptford Voodoo: Voodoo. 'Nuff said.
Lacuna: Asylum horror
Cry Wolf: Wolf-boy or were-wolf?
Be Movie: After-school detention horror
Pineapple Chunks: (Not so) perfect country town
The Boy's Club: Gangster horror
Turn On: Husband is not who he seems
Thirteen: Journalist meets mysterious (cursed?) story"