Its October, and the month for Halloween. It is during this time of the year I concentrate my blog posts about those things that are scary and go bump in the night. For Halloween, you might want to watch some scary movies (I will include more in later posts), this post will concentrate on those movies which are gems, but are not known by most audiences.
So here are my list of movies you should take some time to check out:
Ravenous (1999)- Guy Pearce stars as a man who unwilling becomes a cannibal and then meets up with other cannibals. This group are not unwilling cannibals, they are trying to unleash the power of the Wendigo upon themselves.
Pontypool (2008)- This is a very impressive movie. Our movies today are filled with gore and blood, this movie have very little. It also consists of about 80 dialogue, but that is where it is terrifying. It is more terrifying when you find out the zombie virus is passed by words. A great performance by Stephen McHattie.
Shock Waves (1977) -Probably the first Nazi zombie movie. It stars a pair of great horror actors Peter Cushing and John Carradine. In the last days of WWII, Germany decides to make aquatic soldiers to invade the United States. These soldiers are too difficult to control, so the ship is sunk, and it is discovered by tourists in the 1970’s, still with its crew aboard.
Cast a Deadly Spell (1991) – an alternate world set in 1948 where everyone uses magic, except for a hardnosed detective (Fred Ward). He must solve a mystery, while being attacked by creatures and demons.
The Host (2006)- A South Korean monster movie. A family tries to save one of their own who was taken by a monster.
Caltiki, The Immortal Monster (1959)- This movie was made, but released after The Blog (1958) . It is a very similar movie, except this movie does not pull any punches compared to its Hollywood made counterpart.
The Night Stalker (1972)- A wonderful made for TV movie with a great case. Darren McGavin, Simon Oakland, Claude Akins all give great performances. It had the highest ratings of any TV movie at that time. The plot of this movie, a newspaper reporter goes after a monster (in this case a vampire), becomes the premise for the TV show Kolchak: The Night Stalker.
Lifeforce (1985)- This movie has some great actors, Steve Railsback, Peter Firth, Frank Finlay, Mathilda May and Patrick Stewart, also with special effects by Academy Award winner John Dykstra. A spaceship investigating Halley’s Comet discovers an alien spaceship. Inside the vessel, are vampires that live off other life energy.
Night of the Creeps (1986)- The 80’s were the heyday of low budget horror movies. This one is a combination zombies, aliens and slasher movies. This movie might be average, but it has a great performance by Tom Atkins.
Tombs of the Blind Dead (1971)- If you can get ahold of this movie, get it. Executed Knights of the Templar come back to life, but their eyes were pecked out by birds when they were on the gallows.
The Sentinel (1977) This has a great cast, it stars Cristina Raines, Chris Sarandon, Ava Gardner, Burgess Meredith, Sylvia Miles, and Eli Wallach, Christopher Walken, Jeff Goldblum, John Carradine, Jerry Orbach, Tom Berenger, Nana Visitor, and Beverly D'Angelo. A woman moves into an apartment where the building may be the port to hell itself.
Donnie Darko (2001)- this film has now become a cult classic, but failed at the box office when it was first released. A troubled teen must figure out his role in a prophesized doomsday prediction.
Count Dracula (1977)- The great actor Louis Jordan gives one of the most chilling performances ever as Dracula. Originally shown on BBC and shown in the US as part of the PBS's Great Performances series. This is probably the best-ever adaptation of Bram Stoker's novel.
Don’t be Afraid of the Dark- Not the 2010 movie, but the 1973 TV version). Kim Darby lives in an old house that has a terrible secret; the house is filled with small demonic like creatures. A great made for TV movie.
Black Sunday (1960)- Directed by the great Mario Bava. Barbara Steele gives an incredible performance in a duel role (a talent she was noted for). The opening sequence where a mask is nailed onto the face of a witch is what horror movie legends are made of.
Dark Night of the Scarecrow (1981)-Another great made for TV movie. Stars Larry Drake (of L.A. Law fame). A mentally disabled man dressed as a scarecrow hiding from a misinformed redneck lynch mob. After he is killed, and his murderers plant a pitchfork on his body and claim self-defense, strange occurrences happen. Also, stars the great Charles Durning.
As you notice many of these movies are made for TV. I think this is a testament to those associated in making these movies. Limited by the constraints of television (budget, special effects and content censorship) they have produced some of the best movies ever. Also, since they were made for TV, is why they are hard to find because not many have been made into DVD’s or placed on the web.
I hope you have enjoyed my list of rarely seen horror movie gems, what do you think of them? Leave a comment I would love to read. You can tell me your favorite list of these types of movies.
NEXT TIME: More Halloween Stuff!!!
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