I'm not trying to be a hero! I'M FIGHTING THE DRAGON!!

Vern’s Underrated Horror A-Z

tn_dontgointhehouseMore horror movie recommendations than you can shake an ax at

This one cool movie criticism type blog (short for web log) called ‘Rupert Pupkin Speaks’ started a thing of everybody doing their lists of top ten underrated horror movies. They got HOWLING director Joe Dante, Alamo Drafthouse guy Zack Carlson, and Ain’t It Cool’s Mr. Beaks in on the action, among a whole bunch of others. Everybody’s doing it. So I got jealous and tried to outdo them with not a top ten list, but an entire ENGLISH LANGUAGE ALPHABET of underrated horror. Let’s see if I can do it.

A is for ABOMINABLE

A guy named Ryan Schifrin directed this fun old school style REAR WINDOW meets sasquatch-yeti-hybrid. It’s clever and has a cool/goofy monster and is elevated by a classy score by none other than Lalo Schifrin, coincidentally the director’s dad. I recommend other upcoming horror directors also have Lalo Schifrin as their dad instead of using shitty fake orchestra keyboard scores. Come on guys, show some dedication to your art like this guy.

B is for BIRTH

Alot of other people’s lists already had the ’88 remake of THE BLOB, so I’m gonna go with this not-strictly-horror suspense thriller about a woman (Nicole Kidman) who comes to believe the creepy boy who claims to be the reincarnation of her dead husband is telling the truth. From the trailers I really thought this looked like the stupidest shit ever, but its patient, ambiguous Kubrickian approach treats the outlandish premise with dead seriousness and makes it eerie as a motherfucker.

or if that’s not horror enough for you I guess I’d go with THE BOX, Richard Kelly’s I-can-make-watchable-movies-sometimes-proving TWILIGHT ZONE deal.

C is for CANDYMAN

I know, this is a well known and almost iconic movie of the ’90s, but I honestly don’t think it gets enough credit for how smart it is in bringing gothic horror to the housing projects and haunting its protagonist with white guilt and the legacy of slavery. Somehow Bernard Rose and Clive Barker made the ultimate American horror movie.

D is for DON’T GO IN THE HOUSE

The awesome nut-with-a-blowtorch thriller I finally caught on to last year.

runners up: Australian giant crocodile movie DARK AGE, this year’s I-think-misunderstood vampire dystopia DAYBREAKERS and the uncomfortably hilarious Ed Gein biopic DERANGED

E is for EYES OF A STRANGER

I was happy to see this sleazy stalker movie make it on a bunch of the other lists. One of the more effective of the lesser known stalker/slasher movies.

F is for FEVER

You might not find FEVER in the horror section at the video store (if you have a video store, which I wish you did), but it’s got a series of murders and a surreal nightmarish feel. Directed by Alex Winter it’s a neo-noir starring Henry Thomas from E.T. as a guy who doesn’t know for sure that he’s not murdering people in his creepy apartment building.

G is for GINGER SNAPS

Okay, it might be a stretch to call this underrated, I think plenty of people have caught onto this fun Canadian teen horror deal about werewolfs. But I gotta fulfill this alphabet gimmick, you know?

Well okay then, GINGER SNAPS 2 is actually pretty good. I’ll go with GINGER SNAPS 2.

H is for HIGHWAYMEN

This got a normal release in mutliplexes and everything but until I got on a HITCHER kick (this is the same director) I never heard how crazy it was. Jim Caviezel plays a revenge-crazed man driving around the country trailing the psychopath who ran over his wife, who turns out to be part man and machine, becoming one with his car. It’s hard to explain but it’s awesome.

runner up: THE HOWLING III: THE MARSUPIALS. I know you guys saw it in NOT QUITE HOLLYWOOD too, but I don’t just like its craziness, I think it’s genuinely good the way it respects its monsters as people.

I is for THE ISLAND OF DR. MOREAU (1996)

drmoreau

Man, I will never understand why people don’t at least respect Marlon Brando’s (admittedly too small) part in this movie. They see his brilliant weirdness as a negative, for some reason. This movie is full of dark humor, demented strangeness (like the little guy who inspired Mini-Me), Mark Dacascos, Ron Perlman, Fairuza Balk, some great Stan Winston makeup, and Val Kilmer imitating Brando. It’s like I always say, it opens with a knife fight on an inflatable raft and gets crazier from there.

This movie is a mess, but a really, really good mess. I will not budge on this one.

runners up: I AM LEGEND (its good qualities are so much more than its bad CGI vampires), the wacky as hell I KNOW WHO KILLED ME.

J is for JUST BEFORE DAWN

One of the lesser known attacked-by-inbreds gems.

runner up: JAWS: THE REVENGE. It’s not that bad, man. Alot of it’s kinda good.

K is for… okay, you gotta me. I guess I’ll just say KONGA

I don’t know that many horror movies starting with K. KONGA is a goofy old mad scientist/bad gorilla movie.

L is for LINK

I just reviewed this one. You’ll remember I liked it. Apes and all that.

M is for MUTE WITNESS

A forgotten ’90s import that’s not entirely successful but full of good setpieces, stylish camerawork and tense, smart setups. I’d say MARTYRS for this one but I think that one’s pretty much caught on by now, hard to call it underrated.

N is for… NIGHT OF THE CREEPS I guess?

Okay, not really underrated either. But if you’re like me circa last year and haven’t gotten around to watching it, do it. It’s kind of a similar vibe to RETURN OF THE LIVING DEAD in my opinion. Beautifully directed and cool monsters and what not.

O is definitely for ORCA

Man, I love this movie. I call it “the JAWS of JAWS rip–offs.” It takes this crazy concept of a killer killer whale and treats it with respect. Great performance by Richard Harris, beautiful score by Ennio Morricone. Bullseye on the sweet spot between completely absurd and completely awesome.

runner up: ORPHAN. Glad to see that on a list or two

P is for PIRANHA 2: THE SPAWNING.

Okay it’s cheap, and James Cameron claims he didn’t do most of it. It’s cool though because it’s the rare leading man role for Lance Henriksen. I suspect Cameron actually did work on it judging from its underwater photography, strong female character, themes of marital strife and great action climax with difficult stuntwork.

runner up: P2

Q is for QUIET EARTH

I haven’t seen Q: THE WINGED SERPENT so there’s not alot of directions to go with this one. THE QUIET EARTH is a New Zealand take on the old “suddenly most of the people in the world have disappeared” type stories. From the director of UNDER SIEGE 2: DARK TERRITORY.

R is for ROGUE

It’s hard to believe how many good Australian movies there are about giant crocodiles. This one is from the director of WOLF CREEK and went straight to Dimension Extreme DVD in the U.S. But it’s surprisingly good and even has some gorgeous photography of Australian wildlife.

runner up: RAZORBACK. The Australians also do good giant hog movies

you know S has to be for SILENT HILL

mp_silenthillWidely hated, especially by the openly hostile free preview audience I saw it with. And everybody I know. But this is clearly the masterpiece of video game movies. It combines the fever dream logic of INFERNO with great modern effects and atmosphere. Eerie as a motherfucker. (I know, I already used that phrase, but that’s because I’m trying to make “Eerie as a motherfucker!” –Vern the new “Scary as hell!” — Peter Travers.)

runners up SEED OF CHUCKY (that was on a couple people’s lists, I’m happy to say), the enjoyably stupid WWE slasher movie SEE NO EVIL, and John Carpenter’s giallo-esque TV movie SOMEONE’S WATCHING ME! .

T is for TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE 2

chainsaw-familypart2

I feel like this one might be starting to pick up steam, but maybe it’s just around here. They showed it at the Olympia Film Festival’s annual “All Freakin’ Night” horror marathon last year and I’m surprised how many people got turned onto it there. But it’s one of those sequels that always got a raw deal because the original is so impossible to match. It’s much more openly comedic and gory than the original, way more over-the-top and excessive. And it’s a masterpiece in its own right. I could and have gone on about this one forever. I’ll just shut up now.

runner up: THE TOOLBOX MURDERS 2003 sort-of remake, also by Tobe Hooper. Nowhere near as good as CHAINSAW 2 but a refreshingly strange and effective DTV horror of the 2000s.

U is for… shit, THE UNBORN? That’s all I got.

No, this is a cheat. It’s actually not very good, but the best Platinum Dunes movie. Has some cool CGI effects here and there.

V is for VAMPIRES

The red-headed stepchild of good John Carpenter movies. I only know like one person who agrees with me on this one. I love James Woods’s macho asshole hero, the sunny spaghetti western look, the Carpenter blues rock score, SWAT team approach to vampire hunting. And back in the day it was a refreshing return to non-romantic vampires, practical effects and serious gore. Maybe the popularity of TWILIGHT will give it a comeback.

And I can’t believe I’ve never written a review of this! I’ll have to correct that soon.

W is for WOLF CREEK

I know it’s well regarded here on the internet, but this is another one where pretty much everybody I know hates it, and it got many disgusted no-star reviews including from Roger Ebert. My only problem is the anti-climactic ending. It’s such a well crafted thriller and such a chilling switch from funny to oh shit. A great debut by Greg McLean. Too bad he only made one other movie so far (see the letter R for more information).

X? I don’t know man. I saw X-TRO on some lists but I don’t know that one. Shit, I might have to cheat here. I might have to pass on X.

Y?

I don’t know.

Z?

I’m not gonna say ZOO. I don’t believe in that “ha ha, this is scarier than a horror movie” approach. I got no X, Y or Z. I blew it.

But I got most of the alphabet. I think I did okay.

Happy Halloween everybody

VERN has been reviewing movies since 1999 and is the author of the books SEAGALOGY: A STUDY OF THE ASS-KICKING FILMS OF STEVEN SEAGAL, YIPPEE KI-YAY MOVIEGOER!: WRITINGS ON BRUCE WILLIS, BADASS CINEMA AND OTHER IMPORTANT TOPICS and NIKETOWN: A NOVEL. His horror-action novel WORM ON A HOOK will arrive later this year.

This entry was posted on Sunday, October 31st, 2010 at 2:09 pm and is filed under Blog Post (short for weblog). You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

88 Responses to “Vern’s Underrated Horror A-Z”

  1. Wow, an amazing close to a record-breaking halloween review run, Vern.
    Glad to see Silent Hill included, the soundtrack alone stands out from your typical video-game based movie.
    When the sirens came on, shaking the theater and the people run into the church, I remember actually feeling fear.

  2. Waitaminute… People don’t like “Vampires”? Who? And Why?

  3. X is for… OK shit yeah you got me with X. I haven’t seen X-TRO either. X is for your favorite X-FILES episode. I like that ICE one I think it’s called.

    Y is for YOUNG FRANKENSTEIN.

    Z is obviously for something to do with zombies. ZOMBI 2 (aka ZOMBIE FLESH EATERS) would be my pick but hey ZOMBIELAND ain’t a bad choice either.

  4. K is for KING OF THE ANTS in my opinion.

    U could be for UNDEAD. I remember liking that one. From the Spierig brothers, who directed DAYBREAKERS. There’s also some Japanese one I’ve been meaning to watch called UZUMAKI. Or if you wanna cheat and use the foreign title there’s ULTIMO MONDO CANNIBALE, also known as JUNGLE HOLOCAUST, also known as CANNIBAL HOLOCAUST’s feisty little sister.

  5. caruso_stalker217

    October 31st, 2010 at 2:54 pm

    Vern, you must watch Q: THE WINGED SERPENT.

  6. THIS is why we feel this is one of the only movie sites that truly matter, Vern. I have seen (and loved) virtually every flick you’ve got here and that’s just badass. In fact, I’m showing Night of the Creeps to my girlfriend as part of our Halloween horror marathon in about an hour. I hope she loves it as much as we do. Well done, man, seriously.

    God, I love this holiday! Now hopefully The Walking Dead is as good as I want it to be. . .

  7. The original Paul

    October 31st, 2010 at 3:20 pm

    Some great choices, some not so great. Count me as one of the Wolf Creek haters, and I thought P2 was something of a waste of time as well. But other than that, me like.

  8. Vern – You aint seen Q? Oh that is disapointing. David Carradine’s ghost will haunt you now.

  9. The original Paul

    October 31st, 2010 at 3:37 pm

    I tell you what though… I’ve seen quite a few “meh” movies this past week. “Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2” was another one. I don’t know why it left so little impression on me – it definitely went all-out in terms of gore and shock tactics. But maybe that in itself was a problem. Apart from a couple of moments at the very start, it had the “Blade 2”-like quality of being very much monotonal – which is a little too much if that one tone is at the level of a shrill shriek.

    I dunno, I thought it was ok. I liked the girl in it, at least before she became nothing but a screaming banshee for the latter half of the film. Chop-top doesn’t adequately replace the hitch-hiker in the first film (although he does get some great lines), and the Cook seems like a parody of what he was in #1, without any of the same menace. Leatherface is fantastic – the scenes featuring him were easily the best in the movie – I love his new “sexual awakening” moments.

    Dennis Hopper was again manic, but didn’t have a fraction of the personality or the genuine menace of his character in “Blue Velvet”. And for the life of me I can’t explain why this is. It just is.

    The best I can come up with is that if something is sufficiently over-the-top, in the end it just becomes ridiculous. I ended up laughing at this film at points where I’m pretty damn sure I wasn’t supposed to laugh. At other times (especially the scenes involving the Cook and Chop-Top) I just couldn’t get into it and found myself reaching for the “fast forward” button. Sorry, Vern, I thought I’d be more positive about this one.

    Agh, I don’t know what’s wrong with me these last few days. I’ve seen three or four movies in total, and haven’t been able to summon up any real enthusiasm for any of them. Don’t love ’em, don’t hate ’em.

  10. The original Paul

    October 31st, 2010 at 3:47 pm

    Also, you know what movie I’d put on the list? The old werewolf mystery-thriller “The Beast Must Die”. Yeah, it’s trash, but it’s a particularly special kind of trash with its own brand of insane logic. For example, you’re supposed to “find the werewolf”, yet there’s nothing to say at any point that there might not be more than one wolf, or indeed that the wolf can’t infect others (as indeed it can, and does).

    I’ve just realised what bugged me about the Cook in TCM2. In the original TCM, the cook first appeared as a trusted character – both to the viewer and to Marilyn Burns herself. The only villain we knew of was Leatherface. So when that fantastic shot of the red light in the kitchen appeared, and Marilyn came to the realisation of what was going on at the same time as we did, it was a genuine shock.

    Couple this with the fact that the Cook was a very real physical threat in TCM. In TCM2 he does virtually nothing except order his “boys” about. When it becomes obvious that there are strangers in his house, he doesn’t try to tackle them himself. He doesn’t seem to have the same low cunning as he did in the first film. I think that’s why I didn’t feel he had any impact in TCM2.

  11. I am cooking up my own list. :)

  12. Awesome list Vern! Great stuff. My brother and I also love VAMPIRES. James woods is the shit in it. It is one of my favorite James Woods performances and that is saying something. It is also Carpenter’s most underrated film in my opinion. I can’t understand why more people don’t dig it?

  13. Gwai Lo, is right Z has to be for Zombie 2. A great flick featuring a zombie vs a shark shot under water with a guy is zombie makeup wrestling a real life shark. Do I really need to say more?

  14. Somehow I agree with both Paul & Vern on TCM2, a movie that can give me a headache like few others (b/c of the constant “shrill” tone Paul mentions) but which I mostly really like (b/c I’m a disturbed individual who likes to watch inbred grotesqueries point gas-operated phallic symbols at helpless chicks and stuff). MACHETE this year gave me all the giddy, warm & fuzzy good feelings of my viewing experiences with TCM2, multiplied several times over, while excising the shrill horror aspects & discomfort brought about by the cannibalistic redneckery.

    What’s the ruling on EVENT HORIZON here? I recall it being the only horror film to go beyond barely startling me once or twice when I was 12-13, but I suspect it’s tough to rewatch Sam Neill in outer space as an adult and still be scared. That one scene, though, with the video message from the missing crew or whatever it was and. . . Well, you know.

    Of course, the best way to check, as with all films, would be to turn off my phones & pop in the disc around midnight in a dark room. Is this still worth my time?

  15. I wrote my list. That was fun.

    A is for AUDITION. Not that underrated, but I think it’s a masterpiece and Miike’s best film. Runner-up: ALICE SWEET ALICE

    B is for BRIDE OF RE-ANIMATOR. Totally underrated sequel to one of my favorite horror movies. BEYOND RE-ANIMATOR is great too. Runner-up: Frank Hennenlotter’s BRAIN DAMAGE

    C is for CRAWLSPACE. Klaus Kinski as a Nazi landlord who sneaks around in the crawlspace of his apartment building releasing rats into the apartments of his tenants. Awesome. Runner-up: Stuart Gordon’s CASTLE FREAK.

    D is for DON’T GO IN THE HOUSE. I gotta shout this one out, I was the original recommender. One of my favorite slashers. The D’s are stacked for underrated horror though. Runner-ups: DUST DEVIL, DAGON, DARK NIGHT OF THE SCARECROW, DEAD & BURIED, DEATH LINE (RAW MEAT), DON’T LOOK NOW, DEMON SEED, THE DEVIL’S BACKBONE, THE DARK HOURS, etc. etc. etc.

    E is for EDEN LAKE. A very mean-spirited little flick starring Michael Fassbender as a guy who makes the mistake of asking some damn kids to turn their radio down. Runner-up: THE ENTITY

    F is for FREAKS. Definitely not underrated in the sense that most film scholars acknowledge it’s a classic and Tod Browning’s masterpiece (better than DRACULA!). But underrated in the sense that I don’t think it’s widely seen by young horror fans. Hey I coulda gona for another fuckin Stuart Gordon pick and said FROM BEYOND, so… Runner-up: FUNNY GAMES (97)

    G is for GOD TOLD ME TO. For my money this is Larry Cohen’s best movie, but I find religious mania very scary. JESUS CAMP might be the scariest movie I’ve ever seen for instance. Runner-up: GHOST STORY

    H is for HELL NIGHT. This is a well-made mash-up of “teens stay in a haunted house” flick and slasher flick, but it’s the third act that takes it over the top. Specifically because the Final Girl (THE EXORCIST’s Linda Blair) does something really smart in the climax that then contributes inadvertently to a fucking awesome villain death. Runner-up: HIDER IN THE HOUSE. Because there is nothing scarier than Gary Busey hiding in your house. Second runner-up: HOUSE ON THE EDGE OF THE PARK. Which I actually kinda prefer to LAST HOUSE ON THE LEFT.

    I is for ILS (THEM). A much superior take on the same material as THE STRANGERS. One of the most genuinely scary movies I’ve ever seen, because it’s all so plausible and the scares are the old fashioned “what just darted around that corner?” variety. Runner up: ISOLATION, a really well-done creature feature that reminded me of THE THING. Oh and I, MADMAN. Thank you to whoever recommended this one in the talkbacks recently, it was fucking awesome.

    J is for JOSHUA. I really want to go with JUST BEFORE DAWN but I am consciously avoiding Vern’s picks here. I also want to go with the aforementioned JESUS CAMP but that’s not an actual horror movie, just horrifying. So I’ll go with JOSHUA, a movie about the under-exploited fear of your own creepy ass kids.

    K is for KING OF THE ANTS. I promise I will stop with all the Stuart Gordon.

    L is for LOVE OBJECT. Which is like a horror movie version of LARS AND THE REAL GIRL. LINK is another good choice.

    M is for MARTIN. Underrated because it’s George A. Romero’s best non-zombie movie and almost nobody talks about it. Runner-ups: MANIAC, MAY, MOUNTAINTOP MOTEL MASSACRE, MY LITTLE EYE

    N is for NOSFERATU IN VENICE. Werner Herzog’s NOSFERATU: PHANTOM DER NACHT is one of my favorite movies. This is the almost unseen sequel. Kinski is back, Herzog isn’t. Obviously it’s not as good, but it’s still worth watching, and has fucking gorgeous cinematography with on location shooting in Venice.

    O is for OPERA. Again, not really that underrated. But it’s underrated in the sense that everyone always names SUSPIRIA as Argento’s best, when I think it’s actually this one. Runner-up: THE ORPHANAGE.

    P is for PHANTOM OF THE PARADISE. Brian De Palma’s best film, period. Runner-up: POSSESSION, in which Isabelle Adjani goes batshit crazy. Arty but horrifying. And OK if these are both too commonplace for you then let’s go with THE PIT aka TEDDY, or that damn Stuart Gordon’s awesome version of THE PIT AND THE PENDULUM.

    Q is for Q THE WINGED SERPENT. Vintage Larry Cohen. I wish all schlock were this fun. I also agree THE QUIET EARTH is great.

    R is for RETURN TO SLEEPAWAY CAMP. I can think of a lot of non-underrated R titles: RAVENOUS, REPULSION, RABID, ROSEMARY’S BABY. And Vern’s recommendation ROADGAMES, which was amazing. But you know about those ones so let’s go with the puerile summer camp slasher.

    S is for SESSION 9. Simply because it has one of the scariest locations I’ve ever seen in a movie. Very atmospheric. Good performances too. Runner-ups: SHIVERS, THE SIGNAL.

    T is for TERROR TRAIN. Underrated Canadian slasher starring Jamie Lee Curtis and lensed by John Alcott, who shot a few films you may have heard of by Stanley Kubrick like A CLOCKWORK ORANGE, BARRY LYNDON and THE SHINING. Runner-up: TOURIST TRAP.

    U is for ULTIMO MONDO CANNIBALE, also known as JUNGLE HOLOCAUST, also known as CANNIBAL HOLOCAUST’s feisty little sister. Runner-up: UNDEAD, from DAYBREAKERS directors the Spierig Brothers

    V is for VISITING HOURS. Shit, if Vern’s not gonna use it, I am. But just for fun I will runner-up VAMPYRES, a lesbian vampire flick that doesn’t suck. Or THE VANISHING, which isn’t really underrated.

    W is for WHAT HAVE YOU DONE TO SOLANGE? One of my favorite giallos with a great Ennio Morricone soundtrack.

    X is for I DON’T FUCKING KNOW LEAVE ME ALONE

    Y is for YOUNG FRANKENSTEIN. Again, not really underrated, but leave me alone please Y is hard.

    Z is for ZOMBI 2 (ZOMBIE FLESH EATERS). Well known but yeah.

  16. Excellent list…completely agree about Silent Hill

    A few movies I would put on my own list of under-rated horror: Raising Cain, White Dog, The Rob Zombie Halloween movies (especially part 2), John Carpenter’s The Fog, John Carpenter’s Christine, Toby Dammit (well, it’s under-rated in horror movie circles), Land of the Dead, War of the Worlds (Spielberg).

  17. I want to watch THE TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE 2 again. I always found it “shrill” as well, but there’s enough crazy shit in there to make it endearing. But I think I always make the mistake of watching it as a follow up to the original, and there’s too much of a tonal disconnect when you watch them like that.

    Sorta on topic: Does anyone find it kinda neat that HOUSE OF 1000 CORPSES is like a tribute to the plot of THE TEXAS CHAIN SAW MASSACRE, but with the tone of THE TEXAS CHAIN SAW MASSACRE 2? But then THE DEVIL’S REJECTS is like a tribute to the plot of THE TEXAS CHAIN SAW MASSACRE 2, but with the tone of THE TEXAS CHAIN SAW MASSACRE? That Rob Zombie is always up to some crazy hijinx.

    I rewatched HALLOWEEN 2 (2009) the other night and reminded myself that it’s a frustrating movie. Because it gets a lot right but also gets a lot disastrously wrong. I really wish he had continued to do his own thing, rather than take on the HALLOWEEN series. All that white horse business has no place in the Myers mythology, and I wince every time young Michael opens his mouth and speaks. I like the character work by Malcolm McDowell, but I don’t like that it’s Loomis that’s getting the spineless scumbag treatment. I also don’t think the hardcore death scenes are all that appropriate, but all of this would work better in a movie that has nothing to do with Myers. But then there are moments that really just do work completely, like any scene with Brad Dourif. The scene where he SPOILER finds Annie dead is heartwrenching. Also the cinematography is fucking gorgeous. Every shot oozes Halloween. So I dunno. Now that Zombie has ditched his BLOB remake for another original story I think he’s back on the right track but we’ll have to see.

  18. EVENT HORIZON scared me when I was an adolescent, but I rewatched it a couple of years ago and found the “ship that’s been to (literal) Hell and back” idea too stupid to get past.

  19. The original Paul

    October 31st, 2010 at 4:48 pm

    “Hider in the House” – damn, that brings back memories. And what about “The Devil’s Rejects”? That one got some pretty poor reviews, but surprised me by how good it was. Good one Gwai Lo.

    One of these days I will revisit “Audition” and watch the rest of it. I promise.

  20. SILENT HILL is indeed an awesome, moody little film. It is hampered by the exposition dump in the end and the inclusion of Sean Bean. Although Bean is always great, he’s useless in the film – his role was added in by the studio to have a man in it. He wasn’t in the original screenplay and the story was stronger for it.

    As for the list, I’d say T is for THREADS. A clinical, scary and depressing as fuck British film about global nuclear war and its impact on a small town of Sheffield. Pulls absolutely no punches.

  21. Great to see you mention the brilliant QUIET EARTH, Vern… Even as a Q: WINGED SERPENT fan, I’d still highlight THE QUIET EARTH first. And I’m jumping on the KING OF THE ANTS bandwagon, along with EDMOND. Both score less than garbage like Danny Dyer’s SEVERANCE on imdb.com, which makes me feel they’re seriously underrated by the moronic masses. KING OF THE ANTS and EDMOND need the Vern treatment….

  22. What about X: THE MAN WITH XRAY EYES? Isn’t that a horror movie? The fact that no one has mentioned it speaks to its underratedness.

  23. no love for X: THE MAN WITH X-RAY EYES? i mean i haven’t seen it, but it’s supposed to be great

  24. Scary movies that ain’t horror movies: 
    Jesus Camp (2006)
    The Wizard of Oz (1939)
    Munich (2005)
    Gaslight (1944)
    The Heiress (1949)
    City of God (2002)
    The Age of Innocence (1993)
    Antwone Fisher (2002) (But Denzel’s directorial debut here has a great, genuinely amazingly uplifting ending.)

  25. Vampires is fucking brilliant. Whoever thought to team James Woods with Carpenter is a genius. And the gimmick about using a stake tied to winch to drag the vamps into the sunlight was pure awesomeness because it was so freaking logical and practical. God I love that movie.

  26. Gwai Lo: Couldn’t agree more with POSSESSION. The subway milky-abortion-birth-whatever scene still creeps me out. Just a very well made movie all around, but I’ll never forget that subway scene. Or the actual Carlo Rambaldi-created “monster” when it’s shown. They actually showed a little bit of the subway scene in the TV spots when I was a kid, I remember the commercials freaking me out a little bit. And – OPERA > SUSPIRIA?! Really? Opera is really *REALLY* fkin’ shit-hot good, definitely one of Argento’s better ones, I love it with all my heart, but personally I’d put it on par with his Non ho Sonno (which I also dearly love) than on equal or greater footing than Suspiria or Deep Red. Opera was some good shit, though, I couldn’t agree more.

    I love Carpenter’s “Vampires” and I really REALLY still dig Wolf Creek. Always have. The moment when McGrath wakes up in the storage area is just absolutely filled with dread.

    Just Before Dawn: a seriously underrated masterpiece indeed. The “fist” scene blew me away the first time my friends and I saw it, I remember just holding my hands on the top of my head, mouth agape with a serious “holy shit, did we just SEE that?!” face on. The “machete through the crotch” murder at the beginning set more strong a tone than many other ‘opening murders’ I’ve seen in films – it’s up there with Texas Chainsaw 2 and Suspiria for opening murders, I’d say. It’s overwith quickly, but it’s just so OH MY GOD! the first time you see it.

  27. Gwai Lo – X is definitely should stand for THE X-FILES, but for either NEVER AGAIN or HOME, not for ICE, in my opinion. HOME in particular is a basically “Mulder and Scully meet TEXAS CHAIN SAW MASSACRE” episode.

  28. I think I was actually the first person in the world to review KING OF THE ANTS. It world premiered at the Seattle International Film Festival and I reviewed it that night. I loved it but I don’t really think of it as a horror movie, more of a crime thriller. But you’re right, maybe that would’ve been a better choice than KONGA.

    I didn’t do X – THE MAN WITH THE X-RAY EYES because everybody who’s seen it pretty much likes it and it’s pretty well known as a classic sci-fi/horror movie. But maybe it would’ve been better than nothing.

  29. I won’t lie, I’m a little disappointed to see another Halloween come and go without a Manitou review.

    Also, have you seen The Last Winter? Surprisingly not bad DTV flick with Ron Perlman and his team stuck in an Arctic research station, but instead of a Thing there are moose ghosts. Or something… I’m not sure I entirely follow what’s supposed to be going on. Worth checking out though, it’s better than it sounds.

  30. Also, let’s not kid ourselves here. D is for Don’t be Afraid of the Dark.

  31. I humbly submit Jason X for the X category.

  32. Anyone seen EX-DRUMMER? I haven’t, but maybe that qualifies for X. I hear it’s good.

    I also really like EDMOND but don’t really consider that one a horror film. Strangely enough I do think KING OF THE ANTS is horror though. Damn Vern, I looked up your review (it’s not on your sight BTW but I found it on AintitCool through Google) and that’s one hell of a rave.

    Fujibayashi – I kinda feel like OPERA vs SUSPIRIA is splitting hairs, hairs of awesome, but yeah, I’ll go there and say I like OPERA better. Maybe because it’s the first Argento I was exposed to. But SUSPIRIA is a lot flashier but I like the story in OPERA better. OPERA > SUSPIRIA > DEEP RED in my opinion. I also think THE BIRD WITH THE CRYSTAL PLUMAGE is up there. I actually haven’t seen NON HO SONNO, I should check that out.

    roachboy – HOME is the X-FILES episode with the hicks and the hick mother who they keep in a drawer or something, correct? You may be right. I haven’t watched any X-FILES since they were on TV (and I think I stopped watching after season 3 or 4) and I’ve always had the urge to go back and watch the good ones. The one about the leechman was pretty great too.

  33. As I’m obviously the only person in the world who’s seen X-tro (which makes it very, very underrated), believe me, Vern, when I say that you can safely put it on your list. It’s a creepy little movie (with a birth scene that has to be seen to be believed) that really deserves a wider audience.

  34. In my search for other X-horror I came across:

    X IMP
    X-CROSS
    XCU: EXTREME CLOSE UP
    XENOPHOBIA
    XTRO II: THE SECOND ENCOUNTER

  35. HIGHWAYMEN rules, love that movie.

  36. Gwai Lo – Yeah, that’s the one. The hick mutants even had Wes Craven-style booby traps in their house… hmmm, maybe it should be called a “Mulder and Scully vs THE HILLS HAVE EYES” episode?

  37. The premise of EVENT HORIZON is too stupid; the movie will always be a joke. But it’s a really awesome joke! And does for outer space what the SHINING did for hotels. Pretty spooky, actually.

    Horror movie that’s not a horror movie: IRREVERSIBLE. But it’s not good, either.

    Saw VACANCY by Nimrod Antal last night. It caught me off guard and I think it was good.

    Anyone know about HIGH TENSION? Alex Aja’s “euro chainsaw massacre” … ?

  38. Gwai Lo : The Isolation you’re talking about is the 2005 one , right ?

  39. Vern:

    No, “K” should have been the “The Keep”.

    http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0085780/

    Looking in your archive… I don’t see the review. Oh my gosh: a must see if you haven’t seen it. I’m certain anyone else reading here will second the recommendation.

    Michael Mann directing Jurgen Prochnow, Scott Glenn, Gabriel Byrne, Ian McKellen… It’s a dense and confusing mindfuck. But the atmospherics in this movie are jaw dropping.

  40. Call him Michael ‘Midas’ Mann, ’cause everything he touches is gold.

  41. Good job , Vern , that’s a very good list and I’m taking notes here because I was full of work for the Halloween period and I wasn’t able to do a proper marathon of movies. And also good job to you , Gwai Lo , you’re pretty quick too , to come up with a list like that in a second. Man I was looking at these lists and I was thinking ” I don’t even know where to start !”. But I see that there are some problems with the Y ( if you don’t consider Young Frankenstein ) and I think I can help here :

    Y : “Yongary, Monster from the Deep”. It’s a South Korean giant monster Godzilla rip-off . It’s not that bad in the Giant-Monster school of horror movies , so I think it is , in fact , a little underrated.
    It was even remade in 2001 , and like American-Godzilla was completely CGI , only with a fraction of the budget and with hilarious results ( judging by the trailer , I wasn’t able to see the remake , because the English release is called “Reptilian” , and every time I try to find the DVD online the search results are always of the “reptilian-shapeshifting-theory” kind . Goddamned weirdos.) Not to be confused with “Pulgasari” , the Kim Jong-il produced , North Korea Godzilla rip-off.

  42. For the letter X – I submit X-Cross. Directed by Kenta Fukasaku, son of Kinji Fukasaku of Yakuza Papers, Sympathy for the Underdog and Battle Royale. (yes, I know the son screwed the pooch with BR 2, but he makes up for it here)

    X-Cross is crazy, crazy shit. Indestructible nurse woman with the biggest pair of fucking scissors I have ever seen, a convoluted overlapping structure that follows two girls through a crazy village and cuts back and forth as they just barely continue to miss one another, a cult of people who have a thing for legs and one of the most badass girl on girl fights ever.

    Anyway, this film is definitely not for everyone, but if you’re on this website already, then my guess is you will probably like it.

  43. Y could be for ‘The Yeti’ perhaps? Or ‘The Yearling’.

  44. Dude, I told you to watch Q – The Winged Serpent ages ago. It’s the ultimate Vern movie, possibly. Get on it!

  45. What’s the problem with the premise of Event Horizon? I mean, sure, it’s “stupid”. But by the same criteria most horror movies, including big classics, are “stupid”. Willingness to accept ridiculous premises is pretty much required in this genre.

    I quite like the film myself, easily my favorite of Anderson’s movies.

  46. Vern, I don’t want to hop on the dogpile here, but you so need to see Q. It’s absolutely one of my favorite B-movies, and it has possibly the best performance in B-movie history from Mr. Michael Moriarty. He’s twitchy, pathetic, smart-ass, and hammy, yet somehow totally real and sympathetic. He even gets to do some kind of improv jazz scat piano performance for no good reason. He completely steals a movie where David Carradine and Richard Roundtree play hard-boiled New York cops, so that should say something. The fact that Moriarty managed to sneak this little Method gem of a performance into a giant snake movie that was rushed into production in like two days only makes it more impressive. It’s a miracle that the movie works at all, yet alone so well.

  47. This from Roger Ebert’s review of Q (and it’s one of my favorite responses to a critic ever):

    “A few days after Q was screened at the Cannes Film Festival (under its original title, THE WINGED SERPENT), the following conversation took place between Samuel Z. Arkoff, the film’s producer, and Rex
    Reed, the critic:

    Reed: Sam! I just saw THE WINGED SERPENT! What a surprise! All that dreck–and right in the middle of it, a great Method performance by Michael Moriarty!

    Arkoff: The dreck was my idea.”

  48. Let me too express my surprise that Vern has never seen Q before.

  49. Plus, no GOD TOLD ME TO review. There’s a serious Larry Cohen deficiency going on around here.

  50. Thanks for the EVENT HORIZON responses. I’ll keep it way from the top of my rewatch list for now, I guess. Another childhood memory, another childhood sensation dashed by the passage of time.
    Well, while everyone else is complaining about a lack of reviews, I’ll complain about a lack of respect for Renny Harlin’s 2004 gem, MINDHUNTERS. Vern grudgingly enjoyed it, I reckon, but my recko is backed by more genuine enthusiasm for its awesomeness. I don’t mind being its sole supporter, but I’d hate to think so many peeps have failed to give it a chance. I’d go into more detail but it’s a film that’s easy to spoil by doing so.

    It’s way better than DEEP BLUE SEA.

  51. Mouth – All I remember from this movie is the watertank shootout. But it was pretty awesome – vintage Harlin, kinda of a follow-up to THE CLIFFHANGER’s under ice shootout.

  52. Gwai Lo : Thanks. I didn’t even know about that one . You got my attention when you mentioned The Thing. From the IMDB page it looks like the mix of The Thing and Black Sheep ( only with cows instead !). I’m watching it tonight , and in Italy is also known as “Terror Farm”. That title is awesome !

  53. Haha, TERROR FARM is an apt description. The premise does make it sound like it could be cheesy… simply because there are cows involved I guess. I mean yeah, OK, a cow technically gives birth to the monster. But it takes its concept really seriously, there is no joking around about the cows. That just happens to be the animal that was chosen for science to run amuck with.

  54. Gwai Lo: NON HO SONNO (“Sleepless” in the US /UK) is, I would argue, the last *great* Argento film. It has its problems, like REALLY bad dubbing and questionable acting (like in every Argento film), but its positives put it in the same league with
    OPERA. The opening 15-20 minutes or so, the “train” sequence, is Argento at his absolute camera-flinging best. The Goblin soundtrack is back to early 80s metal/organ glory – including some pulsating / pounding bits like the Suspiria murder sequences and some Deep Red / Suspiria music box bits. The murders are VICIOUS. The “animal” theme of the killer is classic giallo. Max Von Sydow owns every second he’s on camera. There are nods, for the fans, to Deep Red, Tenebrae, Bird w Crystal Plumage, and even Phenomena. And speaking of Tenebrae and Phenomena, there are a few segments in the film where the story
    just abruptly stops and the camera decides to go flying all over
    the place to some Goblin music. There’s even a Deep Red style automatic evil-looking puppet thingy. In short, you NEED to see the flick! Again, not his best, but certainly a solid giallo and his last great film. In a good way, it feels like an Argento “best hits” album. :-) Track it down, do yourself the favor!

  55. Ahh OK, NON HO SONNO is SLEEPLESS. I had heard that was Argento’s last great film but I haven’t caught up with it yet. I do think his Masters of Horror episodes are pretty good but his feature films have been, um, lacking for at least a decade. GIALLO was fucking dreadful!

  56. THE STENDHAL SYNDROME isn’t totally frowned upon, any love for that one as well? I know some people like MOTHER OF TEARS but I hated it.

  57. I stand by THE CARD PLAYER as an example that Argento can still make an excellent movie when he works with the right material and approaches it with focus and drive. But it’s undeniable that his output since the 90’s or so is, on average, largely inferior to his work in the 70’s and 80’s.

  58. THE STENDHAL SYNDROME is worthwhile, in my opinion. Far more bizarre and ambitious than most of his later films.

  59. I haven’t even heard of THE CARD PLAYER. Well, shit. Here we are on November 1st and between this thread and that Rupert Pupkin blog I have a stack of horror movies to watch a mile high. Plus I am trying to catch up on any Criterion blu-rays I haven’t seen because Barnes and Noble is having a 50% off sale on all Criterion and I want to order as many as possible if I like them. Oh BTW heads up Barnes and Noble is having a 50% off sale on all Criterion! Anyway lots of watching to do, better hunker down over here.

  60. Oh, I did rather enjoy THE CARD PLAYER, it had lots going for it, especially the leading female. Wish she had been in more Argento films. Only thing for me is that I watch Argento for the audio-visual va-va-VOOM! factor, not good storytelling or acting. Never really dug on STENDAHL or PHANTOM OF THE OPERA. If only the murders in TRAUMA had been more varied, I think it also would’ve been OPERA-grade material, lord knows it had lots going for it as well. Asia Argento was wonderful in it as well. GIALLO (the film), as well as TERZE MADRE were complete and utter disappointments for me, personally.
    For some strange reason, though, I have an odd fondness for PHENOMENA that won’t go away… anyone else out there feel the same?

  61. The original Paul

    November 1st, 2010 at 8:02 pm

    “Sleepless” isn’t classic Argento, but it’s certainly watchable and enjoyable. It’s a decent mystery (if a little obvious), with a good performance by Max Von Sydow.

    “Event Horizon”‘s main problem isn’t its premise. I don’t mean that the premise isn’t a problem, just that it has so many other problems. If you share my opinions of films in general, just avoid it.

  62. Netflix instant came through for me this Halloween with what I thought were some good horror movies brought to me by the letter “C” – “The Crazies” remake, which I knew nothing about beforehand (nor the original) and totally hit my sweet spot for scary shit (all the engineered disease outbreak and government guys in hazmat suits shooting the neighbors type of thing) while also letting Olyphant be cool in it, and then this documentary called “Cropsey” that was about a boogeyman legend told among kids in 1980’s Staten Island that turned out to have some basis in reality when it turns out some kids really did get killed.

    The filmatists who grew up hearing this story try to track down the truth about whether the guy (this creepy janitor/drifter who reminded me of a cross between pre-arsoned Freddy Krueger and a white trash Hannibal Lecter) who was convicted for kidnapping and killing at least one of the kids was actually guilty or just a convenient scapegoat. That one had all the “abandoned mental institution and state hospital with former patients hiding out in the tunnels” and “satanic cults infiltrating the police and community” angles in it that also effectively creep me out (also, archival footage of Geraldo Rivera’s first expose.)

    I’d also like to put out there that I found Event Horizon to be mostly average (when are they going to find a wormhole or dimensional portal that ISN’T a gateway to hell?) with the huge exception of the scene where that guy is sucked out into space, which is my all-time worst fear realized onscreen pretty damn effectively. Runner up goes to Sunshine.

    Nature hates a vaccuum, and so do I.

  63. Yeah, Ebonic Plague, dude gets turned inside out, but barely survives it somehow.

    That there is nightmare material.

  64. People didn’t like Silent Hill? I know video game purists probably hated it, but I see lots of people online call it one of the best game-to-movie adaptations, and even for someone like me who didn’t play the game and had no idea what it was about, just the atmosphere of that movie (the air raid siren, as was mentioned, and that creepy triangle headed man, and Alice Krige) made it stand out as worthwhile for me. Though I don’t remember much about whatever the plot was.

  65. Mouth, for me it’s something about the low pressure and coldness of space that just fucks with me. I obviously have no first-hand knowledge about what that would feel like, or live in any danger of it actually happening to me (unless Sunshine comes true in my lifetime and they’re scraping the bottom of the barrel for candidates), but just the idea of being sucked into space and every blood vessel in my body exploding at once gives me the willies, much less the graphic depiction of it.

    Bottom of the ocean, in some Sphere situation, and the sub implodes, no problem- I’d just get squished and drown. But space? The possibility of getting turned inside out and exploding? I would never have the right enough stuff for that.

  66. Another good “U” would be “The Unseen.” By definition of its title it is very obscure.

  67. Speaking of ghosts, Vern are you gonna bother reviewing HEREAFTER?

  68. Yeah, but I’m behind on theater going and it seems more important to see Jackass 3-D in 3-D than Hereafter on the big screen. So that’s at the top of my list.

    No offense to Clint though. I did just buy the box set of 35 Clint Eastwood movies. Also wrote a column about him in a magazine called Clint. So I think I’ve earned the right to be slow about it.

  69. What was the magazine, Vern?

  70. JACKASS 3D has some awesome superduper slow-mo parts full of flying debris and rippling punched faces that use the third dimension better than any movie since AVATAR. Which had less flying poop, in my opinion.

    You’re lucky you waited, though, Vern, because the crowd on opening night made me rethink my membership in JACKASS fandom, not to mention the male gender and possibly the human race. These young men seemingly left not a thought unsaid, which is a problem when the only thing they ever think about is how gay one another is. But maybe it was just an aversion therapy performance art piece meant to expose the retardedness of homophobia because I’m pretty sure I haven’t called anything gay since, even in jest and not even electric cars.

    I still call things retarded, though. Maybe J4CKASS can break me of that habit. I need time to change.

  71. Jam- Vern’s got a “Badass Cinema” column in CLiNT magazine, a new UK Publication featuring creator-owned comics as well as other articles (there’s a Tarantino interview in Vern’s debut issue, for instance).

  72. Vern are you going to post you columns here or am I going to have to order a magazine that has CUNT written on the top in giant letters?

  73. JACKASS 3D, was a lot of fun and the best use of the 3D technology since AVATAR. Which is funny because in many ways JACKASS 3D is the opposite of AVATAR. Despite being in 3D JACKASS 3D is very low-tech and has no CGI or special effects.

    Also speaking of 3D movies, I watched Jackie Chan’s POLICE STORY on Blu-Ray the other day and all I could think is this is the type of movie they should be shooting in 3D.

  74. Vern – Fair enough, just I hated that you didn’t get around to reviewing CHANGELING, which wasn’t as good as GRAN TORINO but still was pretty good. Honestly I’m more intrigued when you go review Clint movies which are less his macho/action pictures and more the shit you can see he’s pushing his own limits and expectations people have of his artistic skill/hunger and politics.

    No complaining, just try to review HEREAFTER before you do PINK CADILLAC, alright?

  75. I’d have to give P to The People Under the Stairs. Surprised no one seems to talk about it at all. I thought it was successful enough in 1991 but totally forgotten I guess.

    Is Evil Dead II too obvious for E?

    Paul, I always hated Event Horizon too. Just a total bore, possibly Paul Anderson’s worst.

    I’d have to give N to Nightmare on Elm Street (whole series, just part 3, whatever…). That’s just my thing. I’d probably give C to Chucky of some sort too.

    Vern, I think you should do alphabetical lists in other categories too. But for K, isn’t there some movie called Killer Something. Oh, there’s also Kalifornia with Brad Pitt, Juliette Lewis and David Duchovny!

  76. FTopel – Man, while I admire A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET and recognize THE LAST HOUSE ON THE LEFT as an important cinematic achievement, I totally fucking love THE PEOPLE UNDER THE STAIRS.
    It has some tone issues (then again, which Wes Craven movie doesn’t?), but all in all it is a real claustrophobic, bad-ass and inventive gem in the often-neglected subgenre of Urban Horror. Props to you for mentioning it!

  77. The original Paul

    November 3rd, 2010 at 6:52 pm

    Ok. Just got back from the cinema. Seems my period of going through movies that I find “not bad, not great” has ended with a massive “whump”. Vern, you mentioned talking about movies such as “Kick-Ass” and “Hatchet” that the Internet loves but you don’t. Well, boy, do I have a whopper for you.

    It’s called “Buried”. You’ve all probably heard of this one, it’s Ryan Reynolds in a coffin in Iraq with a mobile phone and not much else. For those of you who like it short and sweet (and let’s face it, I rarely “do” either one) I’ll put my cards on the table right now and say: AVOID THIS FUCKING PIECE OF SHIT. Avoid, avoid, avoid.

    Ok, some non-spoiler-related context here.

    I liked parts of “Frozen” very much and damn near proposed marriage to “Open Water”, so in general I’m a fan of horror in confined spaces. I’m a huge fan of horror that includes an emphasis on loneliness, isolation and paranoia, three things that “Buried” tries to do. (Note the “tries” there.) I’ve watched many, many indie horror movies on recommendation, and enjoyed most of them. I think Reynolds is the best thing in many of the films he’s been in, even the ones I didn’t like. (That also applies to “Buried”, by the way – if anything could have saved this from being utter shit, it would be him.) I’ve enjoyed many war films, including a few about the Iraq war, which this movie deals with as a theme. On paper, I should love this movie.

    I say all that to give any of you who are actually thinking of going to see this crap on the general “recommendation” of the Internet, as I did, some idea of just how fucking bad it is. Seriously. I’ve given MANY bad horror films a “pass” on this site because, subjectively speaking, I enjoyed them despite their flaws. Not going to happen with this one.

    So what you have here is a moronic jerk in a coffin, who doesn’t try several really obvious basic things to save himself (given what he’s got with him). As mentioned above, he’s got a mobile phone, and everybody he calls on it, without exception, is an asshole bureaucrat. It’s trying for the whole “bureaucracy kills a man’s soul” thing that they did better in “Brazil”, “Pump up the Volume”, “One Flew over the Cuckoo’s Nest”, every single Bodysnatchers film ever made, and literally dozens of other, better films. It comes across as cheap, exploitative, nasty, and frequently laughably implausible.

    (I mean the “laughably” bit literally – there were five people in the cinema tonight, and by halfway through the movie the others were literally and audibly giggling in an “Oh God, this can’t get any worse, can it?” kind of way. As we walked out of the cinema together, we – three groups of total strangers – shared a look of sympathy, a shared emotional connection that occurred out of the shared experience of having sat through this terrible film. That’s how fucking bad it is.)

    That’s not to say you won’t get a laugh or two out of it, of course. The bit with the trouser-snake had everyone in the cinema (yes, all of us five poor souls) giggling like loons.

    What else… well, there’s a whole parable about the war in Iraq in there somewhere, that might have worked, albeit in a rather heavy-handed way, around about the time that “Three Kings” came out. Now it just looks old, as well as cheap and exploitative. And don’t even get me started on the insurgent who’s supposed to have locked Reynolds in there in the first place. Suffice to say he’s pretty much every single negative stereotype of middle-eastern men that I can think of, appearing one after the other, all played by the same actor. Nothing this character does makes any fucking sense, but then he’s not really a “character” at all.

    Final point: if you’re doing a movie about a guy in a coffin, you might consider it a good idea to either explain why he’s there, or make it clear to the simple-minded moviegoers that there is at least SOME reason behind it. Why is Reynolds buried at all? I have no fucking idea.

    Seriously, guys, if I haven’t convinced you by now to avoid this one, I don’t know what else I can say. It’s easily the worst movie I’ve seen this year, and I’ve seen some howlers.

    At least the title gives me the chance to make some obvious puns. “Buried? It fucking should be.”

  78. I watched X-CROSS based on the comments in this thread. The film really shouldn’t work. There’s a drastic tone shift, a gimmicky plot structure, a poorly-staged climax, too many twists, a cloying theme about friendship, and an antagonist just slightly less wacky than something out of MACHINE GIRL. But the film is really entertaining. I don’t know how they got the damn thing to hang together so well.

  79. Can we cheat for letter X and go with Warner’s 1932 creeper “Doctor X”? This was on Turner Classic Movies’ Halloween marathon, and it and its sequel “The Return of Doctor X” are surprisingly effective. The second one even has Bogart lurking around.

    Y…? Shit, I got nothing.

    But Z has got to be “Zoltan: Hound of Dracula.” This 1978 bag of awesome has Jose Ferrer and creature work and effects by Stan Winston! And did I mention it has Dracula’s fucking dog in it?

    That’s all I got.

  80. Y films:

    There’s an old giallo film called YOUR VICE IS A LOCKED ROOM AND ONLY I HAVE THE KEY. It’s pretty terrible, though.

    The only other one I can think of is YOTSUYA KAIDAN, though it’s a ghost story, not horror, and highly regarded. It’s so highly regarded, in fact, that it’s been re-made something like thirty times, which means that it can’t really be considered “under-rated.”

  81. Boys, I would like to change my ‘A’ pick. I just watched this Austrian movie called ANGST that makes HENRY: PORTRAIT OF A SERIAL KILLER look like REGARDING HENRY. This shit just blew my mind. Gaspar Noe cites it as an influence on I STAND ALONE but I think it’s even better. Ho-lee shit.

  82. I was going to do my personal A to Z, but I am just way too lazy. Suffice to say P has to belong to Psycho Cop 2, just for the dialogue alone. My favorite part is when Psycho Cop shoots the dude in the head and THEN arrests him: “You have the right to remain… DEAD. Anything you say will be considered highly unlikely because… YOU’RE DEAD. You have the right to an attorney but a lot of good that will do you because… YOU’RE DEAD.” Fucking classic. Stay away from Psycho Cop 1 though, it’s utter shit.

  83. I liked Silent Hill and Vampires too. I thought I was the only one on Earth.

  84. X is for XTRO, U is for THE UNSEEN.

  85. Christ. There’s a new entry for ‘G’.

  86. Vampires is a sweet movie. No-one I know hates it – most people think its watchable – but thanks to Woods’ badass performance I, along with a handful of friends, think it’s just great. I can’t think of another movie where the main character says to a goodguy priest something like this:

    “Padre, while I was kicking your ass back there… did you get a mahogany?”

Leave a Reply





XHTML: You can use: <a href="" title=""> <img src=""> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <b> <i> <strike> <em> <strong>