Horror Movies That are Hard to Find But Easy to Love
Apr 1, 2009
If I were ever to be stranded on that fabled desert island and had enough advance warning to be able to pack a few DVDs from my favorite genre (the horror film) I'd totally freak out . I t would be nearly impossible to narrow a list down to 10 or even 20 choices. Nope it wouldn't be easy, but after much thought I've come up with this list of lesser known films as my first choice. And you won't find any Big Name Directors or horror comedies on this list either. I had to find some way to eliminate the contenders. Oh, they'd better have a VCR on that island too because a couple of these have never been released on DVD!
1. THE LAST MAN ON EARTH--Richard Matheson may not have approved of this adaptation of his novel "I Am Legend but I loved it. His main objection was the casting of horror star Vincent Price in the role of Neville and the fact that they turned his nearly unfilmable ending into something resembling the Crucifixion of Christ. True, but its still the best version of the book available on film after 3 attempts.
2. I, Zombie--Released in the states by Fangoria magazine this little independent zombie flick follows the life of a young British film student as he gradually becomes a zombie and decides to record the event on film for posterity. Its a terrific piece of work and deserves a DVD release. It also predates all other films of its kind.
3. BURN WITCH BURN--1963 adaptation of Fritz Leiber's novel "Conjure Wife" in which he theorized that all women are witches--the magical kind. Or at least the ones at Hempnell College where his protagonist Norman Saylor teaches Cultural Anthropology are, and they are all using their magics to further their husbands' careers including his own wife Tansy. What to do? This has a British DVD release but so far nothing on this side of the pond.
4. SHE CREATURE--Filmed in 2001 with special effects by the Late Stan Winston, this period film is the story of sailors who steal a live mermaid from a wealthy old man. Once they set sail for America with their prize on board they find out that she is even more deadly than she is beautiful. This is simply an exquisitely shot film with marvelous effects making for a very realistic mermaid. It has nothing to do with the 1950s film of the same name.
5. THE ASPHYX--A photographer in Victorian England discovers the secret of eternal life while photographing public executions. Grief stricken by the death of his wife he becomes obsessed with ensuring that he, his daughter, and her fiance never suffer the same fate. Tragically he learns that there are things worse than death. This film has been released on DVD but is currently on moratorium and is difficult to find.
6. DERANGED--The closest thing to the real story of Ed Gein the mid-western farmer who served as the inspiration for the "true events" upon which such diverse films as TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE and PSYCHO were based. Written and directed by the team of Alan Ormsby and Jeff Gillen.
7. NIGHT FEEDERS--A bunch of good old boys who barely know which end of the rifle the bullet comes out of go deer hunting in North Carolina but run smack dab into some very hungry aliens. This flick is a tribute to what real talent can do with a miniscule budget! Don't let the bad alien effects put you off because this is a super film in every other way. Exceptionally good acting by a likeable cast.
8. THIRST--David Hemmings co-stars in this Australian film from 1987 about a woman abducted by a cult to be their leader. Its got its faults to be sure but with me originality overcomes a lot of weakness and this is a definitely a bit different. It was given a DVD release in 2002.
9. EYES OF FIRE--A bizarre story about a small group of settlers who go off into unknown Indian territory after one of them is involved in a scandalous sexual dalliance. Their pastor leads them into a valley that was obviously settled and abandoned previously and they decided to call it home despite some frightening occurrences and the fact that even the Indians won't enter the valley. We're still waiting on a DVD release for this very chilling, very effective and surprisingly original film from the 80s.
10. BRAIN DEAD--Written by Charles Beaumont who (along with Richard Matheson) was responsible for many of the most memorable episodes of "The Twilight Zone". A strange film in which either Bill Paxton or Bill Pullman convinces Bill Pullman or Bill Paxton to operate on the brain of a schizophrenic scientist (Bud Cort) and then finds him self suffering from the scientists delusions.
What people do to each other is more horrifying than what scary monsters might do to us. Frankenstein's creation only may be out there. Psycho killers certainly are. It's not funny but in a way horror is like comedy. Something scares you or it doesn't, just as something makes you laugh or chuckle or it doesn't. There is nothing in between, no "almost funny" or "almost scary." … more
We all have them. Favorites, I mean. Movies that we simply cannot live without or would rather not try to live without. I am no exception to this rule & I am thankful that most of them were granted decent DVD releases. Having said that, I can re-visit them anytime I so desire or pop them out when I wish to introduce these treasures to close friends or family. Well, sometimes we do that. There are always those films that you probably love to death but wouldn't dare share with anyone also, … more