The Crook’s countdown hopefully rekindled plenty of memories of late night grade school sleepovers and smoked out trips to the theater in high school. Perhaps it inspired some of you to hit up the horror section at your local video store (or browse the depths of Netflix if you’re like me). Since it’s impossible to avoid overlooking at least a few forgotten films, here are ten more films (in no particular order) that I suggest taking the time to watch.
10. The Sentinel (1977)
An old roommate of mine was obsessed with this film, so when I finally sat down to watch it I quickly understood his fascination. The Sentinel is filled with trippy cinematography and off the wall dialogue, giving it an edge over the typical Catholicism driven story of good versus evil. “Black and white cat, black and white cake!”
9. The Funhouse (1981)
While it’s not as legendary as The Texas Chainsaw Massacre II, Tobe Hooper’s The Funhouse is another excellent example of the twisted ability to warp a macabre story of murder and mayhem into a comedic piece of cult cinema. I’ve always thought carnies were a little on the creepy side, but nothing compares to the freakshow that a group of high school kids come across while trying to get their kicks after hours in a funhouse.
8. Videodrome (1983)
James Woods, Debbie Harry and David Cronenberg… do I really need to say anything else? While I know that should totaly be enough to warrant renting (or better yet buying) this flick, the story and visual effects totally kick ass. I love movies that confront technology with a cynical twist, especially when they manage to maintain a relevant edge after 25 years. Videodrome is no exception to this.
7. Re-Animator ( 1985)
Stuart Gordon’s adaptation of the H.P. Lovecraft classic is a comical take on the deceased and the idea of taking your obsessions too far. This movie has just about anything you could ask for in an 80s flick: Creepy weirdos, headless corpses, hot tits, angry dads, dead cats… Seriously, don’t sleep on this one.
6. Bad Ronald (1974)
You could say this is sort of a favorite amongst some of us here at Mishka. I remember seeing this movie on TV as a kid, and always being fascinated by the campyness and general absurdity of it. Imagine a socially awkward weirdo living in a hidden closet while being secretly cared for by his mom. That’s Bad Ronald. Love him or hate him, it is what it is.
5. Invaders From Mars (1986)
This is another one of those movies I saw on TV while growing up and remembered as being stranger than it was scary. Tobe Hooper directed this remake of the 1950s classic that involves an alien invasion that threatens to disrupt a small town. The aliens have these seriously grody boils on the back of their necks which always grossed me out as a kid, and it totally rules that the film plots a child protaganist against the villainous teacher. School sucks!
4. Castle Freak (1995)
Once again, Stuart Gordon adapts an H.P. Lovecraft story, only this time it involves a crotchless freak that inhabits a castle. Castle Freak stars both Jeffrey Combs and Barbara Crampton who had already appeared in Gordon’s Re-Animator. The couple move into the castle, where they eventually learn an abomination has been locked up, waiting to wreak havoc. If the film’s cast wasn’t enough to capture your interest, then perhaps a hooker getting her tit gnawed off by the freak will force you to queue this gem up on Netflix.
3. C.H.U.D. (1984)
Cannibalistic Humanoid Underground Dwellers? An underground sect living in the sewers of New York City? Flesh eating toxic mutants that feed on the homeless? Yes, yes and yes. This cult classic has plagued the realm of horror films for over two decades, accumulating a growing fan base that can’t get enough of this films amazing acronym based title and it’s irresistible plot surrounding a mysterious society of mutated humans that feed on NYC’s unfortunate.
2. Tremors (1990)
Desert dwelling rednecks and giant worms made Tremors an early Nineties staple. Of course, it didn’t hurt that Kevin Bacon starred in this gem and it’s no coincidence that he wasn’t in the sequel. Fred Ward rules as a gun toting rebel handyman, while Michael Gross and Reba McEntire play a couple of hardcore survivalists. As the tagline claimed, it was the “monster movie that broke new ground!”
1. Hard Rock Zombies (1985)
Even though it’s not a Troma video, Hard Rock Zombies totally plays out like one. I originally rented this movie on the basis of it’s title, after all, how can you go wrong with a bunch of undead metal heads. However, I bought this movie because not only does it have a hard rock zombies, but it also has an entire absurd Nazi subplot involving human experimentation and Hitler’s secret escape to California!
Like I initially mentioned, the Crook suggested a ton of awesome flicks that I myself would’ve mentioned. If you’ve got the time (and are a total horror buff), then check out all of these films. However, if you’re like us and are lucky enough to have one or two free nights a week, then simply make sure that you absolutely see these gems: Event Horizon, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2, Dead Alive, The Thing, The Serpent and The Rainbow, The People Under the Stairs, House and Street Trash.