Boris Karloff Documentary Being Released This Halloween

In the early days of cinema, horror films were a driving force for the industry, as audiences could never get enough stories about things that go bump in the night. As far as horror figures go, few are as iconic as the Universal Monsters, who remain just as well-known today as when they debuted. Nearly as famous as those on-screen villains is actor Boris Karloff, who helped bring villains like The Mummy and Frankenstein’s Monster to life, as well as a number of others. The new documentary Boris Karloff: The Man Behind the Monster will chronicle Karloff’s career, with Variety noting that the film will debut in October, just ahead of the 90th anniversary of Frankenstein.

The new documentary is confirmed to feature interviews with Guillermo Del Toro, John Landis, Joe Dante, Christopher Plummer, Peter Bogdanovich, Ron Perlman, Leonard Maltin, Sir Christopher Frayling, Sara Karloff, Gregory Mank, Roger Corman, Stephanie Powers, Ian Ogilvy, Norman Jewison, Orson Bean, Kevin Brownlow, Caroline Munro, Stephen Jacobs, Dick Miller, Peter Asher, Virginia Bates, Nehemiah Persoff, David J Skal, Donald F Glut, Derek Malcolm, Bernie Coleman, Lee Grant, Rick Goldschmidt, Stuart Hersh, Miles Kreuger, Valerie Yaros, H.M.Wynant, Diane Aubry, Anthony Pratt, Renee Glynne, Sharyn Moffett, Neil Pettigrew, Ruth Shiel, Courtlandt Hull, Ron Simon, Jaymz Bee, Thomas Hamilton, Ron MacCloskey, and more.

Boris Karloff: The Man Behind the Monster was directed by Thomas Hamilton, who also wrote the film alongside Ron MacCloskey. MacCloskey has spent the better part of the past 23 years researching the iconic actor.

“Boris Karloff was the ultimate professional. He demonstrated incredible work ethic and gave everything to his roles,” Hamilton shared in a statement. “He brings humanity and vulnerability to all his performances, especially in his portrayal as Frankenstein’s monster. Karloff communicates a powerful sense of yearning in the creature, hoping for a gesture of human warmth from his creator, and he conveys its forlorn sense of confusion through his extraordinary eyes.”

In addition to Frankenstein and The Mummy, Karloff also starred in films like The Old Dark House, The Ghoul, and The Black Cat. Yet another of his famous roles couldn’t be further from the horror world, as Karloff narrated the animated How the Grinch Stole Christmas in 1966.

“He cared so much about the working actor,” MacCloskey added. “He didn’t have to do it; he had fame and money and it posed a serious risk to his career, but he knew how bit-part actors were treated.”


Stay tuned for details on Boris Karloff: The Man Behind the Monster before it debuts this October..

Are you looking forward to the documentary? Let us know in the comments below or contact Patrick Cavanaugh directly on Twitter to talk all things horror and Star Wars!