Tired of sifting through the horror-movie trash-bin and coming up with nothing but uninspired junk? Looking for a guide to some of the great undiscovered classics? Search no further than B-D and MySpace Horror reporter Chris Eggertsen’s list of the “Top Ten Underrated Horror Gems”! From a B&W foreign classic to an underappreciated slasher oddity; from a moody zombie film to a near-forgotten made-for-T.V. treasure, the list is filled with eclectic choices sure to whet your appetite for the macabre. Read on to check out the list, and after you’re done let us know what your own obscure favorites are!
Most horror fans have at least one little-known favorite they feel compelled to tell everyone they know to seek out, whether it be an obscure arthouse classic, a forgotten silent masterpiece, or just a fun piece of exploitation. Following is my own personal list of horror films that I feel deserve a bigger audience than they’ve so far been afforded. I tried to keep the list fairly eclectic, and I think I’ve succeeded. From a B&W foreign classic to an underappreciated slasher oddity; from a moody zombie film to a near-forgotten made-for-T.V. treasure; here are my Top Ten Underrated Horror Gems.
10. Tourist Trap (1979)
Tourist Trap is a cross between House of Wax, Carrie and Friday the 13th, and yet it stands in a class all by itself in its degree of gonzo, “should-I-laugh-or-should-I-scream” shocks.
9. Fear (1990)
Fear is a genuinely nerve-jangling piece of work anchored by solid performances from Sheedy, Lauren Hutton (playing Cayce’s book agent) and Pruitt Taylor Vince (Identity, Constantine) as the psychic murderer who gives perhaps one of the creepiest voice-overs ever.
8. The Brotherhood of Satan (1971)
Largely ignored on its release, The Brotherhood of Satan is by no means a perfectly-calibrated occult classic on the order of, say, Rosemary’s Baby, but taken on its own merits it’s a deft little horror film made up of quite a few authentically unnerving scenes.
7. The Psychic aka Seven Notes in Black (1977)
Those accustomed to the “more is more” aesthetic of Lucio Fulci’s more famous films will be surprised by The Psychic‘s slow build, though it’s still filled to the brim with the excellent cinematography, deft use of color, and, well, awkward dubbing fans have come to expect from the Italian master.
6. Bad Ronald (1974)
Don’t let its made-for-T.V. status turn you off; this is good, creepy fun and better than it has any right to be.
5. Homicidal (1961)
Homicidal is pure go-for-broke fun, with a 45-second “Fright Meter” flashing on screen just before the climactic scene (a gimmick director William Castle used during the theatrical release to give skittish audience members a chance to run for the exits and get a refund) and a final reveal that is so insane – not to mention laughably copped from Psycho – that you can’t help but be impressed by Castle’s audacity.
4. Let Sleeping Corpses Lie aka The Living Dead at Manchester Morgue aka Don’t Open the Window (1974)
Like the featured zombies it’s a slow-moving tale, but if you stick with it to the gory climax you’ll find a lot to appreciate.
Trailer for Remastered Blue Underground DVD:
3) Pin (1988)
Pin is a shockingly subtle, low-key horror film featuring some really nimble performances by the main cast and a truly disturbing descent into madness of the lead character.
2) Dark Night of the Scarecrow (1981)
Expertly directed by Audrey Rose and The Entity novelist Frank De Felitta, T.V. movie Dark Night of the Scarecrow is truly an overlooked gem in that it manages the rare feat of building believable characters and situations and then paying them off with scenes of genuine atmosphere and suspense.
Q&A with writer J.D. Feigelson following a screening at Rue Morgue Cinemacabre:
1. Onibaba (1964)
Onibaba is, quite simply, a masterful film by a master filmmaker, and all horror fans who care about quality cinema would do well to seek it out.