"I take orders from the Octoboss."

Homework assignment: recommend me some horror pictures

tn_freddycostumeI know the school movies marathon is probly beginning to wear out its welcome, but I got a couple more left that I think are pretty good. Anyway, October’s coming up so I will definitely be watching some horror movies pretty soon. I have a few ideas but I know you guys know some good ones so I wanted to give everybody a chance to suggest me some.

First of all, no need to tell me [REC], that’s at the top of my list. Also, of course, I will pick and choose what sounds good to me, or maybe ignore all of them and find my own. At Halloween time I’m looking for certain moods and I’m kind of particular about what I feel like watching, so don’t be offended if I choose a bunch of other crap. I’ll try to keep in mind your suggestions even after Halloween.

I’m open to every type of horror, but as you may know I’m always on a quest for decent ’70s or ’80s slasher movies that I haven’t seen yet, so extra points if anybody comes up with some of those.

thanks in advance for your consideration

your friend,


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321 Responses to “Homework assignment: recommend me some horror pictures”

  1. Well I’m going to kick things off with some serious old school horror: Robert Wise’s The Haunting. Totally masterful scary business that gets the job done with amazing atmos, camera work and writing. If you guys haven’t seen it then remedy the situation ASAP, please.

  2. Telf – I second that HAUNTING recommendation. Good old school shit.

    Vern – Just for a joke, how about the infamous HALLOWEEN III? You know where instead of Michael Myers, we get evil druids killing kids by Stonehenge or some silly shit like that. Still we get that awesome scene where the snakes crawl out of that boy’s skull to the horror of his parents.

    I also would suggest you do the PSYCHO movies Vern. Of course the original, but you also get the originals which are pretty gold standard for the slasher genre, as far as I’m concerned. Each one has its own charms, values, and cool shit that the genre then and now don’t usually offer. You see, those were made by decent filmmakers who gave a shit. I know, a stunning concept.

    Hell, PSYCHO III where you have Norman Bates himself directing, opening with a nun screaming “There is no God!” Fuckin’ bitchin.

    PSYCHO 2 was good, from that ROAD GAMES director, and PSYCHO IV was kinda decent though like FREDDY’S DEAD, did we really need to know the “real” backstory? I guess not, but Perkins acts the shit out of it, a must watch for that.alone.

    Also, complete the Freddy Krueger saga. Go review NEW NIGHTMARE.

  3. I don’t know if you are familiar with Lucio Fulci, Vern. He made some pretty intense horror films in the 70’s.
    Don’t Torture a Duckling, Zombi 2, The Beyond and City of the Dead are definitely some of his films you might want to check out (or perhaps you already did, I haven’t checked all the reviews on your site yet ;p)

  4. Vermeer – What did you think of NEW YORK RIPPER?

  5. I second Fulci. I’d love to read your undoubtedly hilarious reviews of crazy stuff like HOUSE BY THE CEMETARY, (One of my favorites for Halloween viewing) or CITY OF THE LIVING DEAD. You might also like to check out a great (non Fulci) DTV horror flick called AMUSEMENT. It’s kind of like the BLOOD & BONE of DTV horror – great production values, some good gore, & lots of fun!

  6. RRA – Yeah, I forgot to mention NY Ripper. Although it doesn’t have as much gore as previous mentioned films, it still contains some brutal kill scenes.
    Although (personally) I could have done without some of the sleazy sex scenes ^^

  7. I second the “Halloween III” recommendation. I know you’ve covered it (very briefly) before, but it’s actually a really strong movie if you consider it as a flick in and of itself.

    Other recommendations:

    I would be excited to see your take on the COFFIN JOE trilogy — low-budget but very strange and kind of awesome horror films from Brazil about an undertaker who is eeevviiiilll. The first two were made in the 60’s, the third just a few years ago, all by the same guy. Coffin Joe is a phenomenon in Brazil, and the character has appeared in something like a dozen different movies, though only three form a proper story. They’re mostly B&W and relatively tame, though it’s all about what a fucked-up pervert the guy is. How can you not want to watch a trilogy of films with the titles AT MIDNIGHT I’LL TAKE YOUR SOUL, THIS NIGHT I’LL POSSESS YOUR CORPSE and THE EMBODIMENT OF EVIL? Not slasher films, but kind of awesome anyway.

    COPKILLER (AKA ORDER OF DEATH), about John Lydon (AKA Johnny Rotten) stalking Harvey Keitel. Nuff said.

    I’ve never seen it, but NIGHT OF THE DEMON is apparently a ultra-low-budget shot-on-video-in-1980 slasher film where the twist is that the killer is bigfoot (not a spoiler). Holy shit.

    And for those of us Japanese film lovers, how about reviews of some artsier horror stuff by Kiyoshi Kurosawa (CURE, PULSE, CHARISMA) or Sion Sono (SUICIDE CLUB, NORIKO’S DINNER TABLE, EXE).

    Other movies: DON’T OPEN TILL CHRISTMAS (about a santa-murderer in London) and DEAD GIRL (about a couple of high school kids who find a dead girl in an insane asylum and decide to keep her around for, erm, recreational use).

  8. Oh and holy crap Vern, how have you not done a review of CEMETERY MAN yet?

  9. Timecrimes!
    Eden Lake!
    Not Horror but scary….

  10. Another film you might want to check out is Ryuhei Kitamura’s Versus.
    Very fun over-the-top Horror/Action movie.
    Kitamura later made his Hollywood debut with Clive Barker’s Midnight Meat Train.

  11. Try watching Lars von Trier’s ANTICHRIST. It may be pretentious euro trash, but it’s also the most disturbing film I have ever seen. I caught an advanced screening of it around christmastime, where the sfx weren’t even done, and I was still too scared to fill out the question sheets after the screening. On my way home from the cinema I got lost, and when I finally got home, I had to watch Dr. Doolittle 2 on tv just to calm myself down.

    Also, try watching some hindi horror (Bollywood horror). They have made blatant ripoffs of all the American classics (as well as J-horror), and it’s quite fun to see horror get the masala treatmen
    Check out the okay BHOOT: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0341266/
    Or the awful THE EYE-remake (even more awful than the orginal) NAINA: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0443594/

    You’ll definitely find things to talk about in those.

  12. Greg – I didn’t remember liking HALLOWEEN 3, but I do give Carpenter/Hill credit for trying to actually keep a killed-off slasher dude dead for once and try to go all TWILIGHT ZONE in the first half of the decade when the fates weren’t nice to anything ZONE.*

    Also, never bad to give Tom Atkins a starring role.

    *=If you combine almost everyone hating H3 with well that ZONE fatality stage accident, which maybe Landis should have gone to jail for.

  13. Let the Right One In-my fav horror film of the last few years(disclaimer:havent seen Drag Me To Hell yet)

    Army of Darkness-I know ive read your evil dead review but dont remember seeing this

    Dead Alive aka Braindead aka my fav Peter Jackson film aka the bloodiest movie of all time according to IMDB

    Killer Klowns From Outer Space-this seems obvious and right up your alley

    Return of the living dead-see above

    The Cell-havent seen this movie in years i just remember it being extremely weird but visually stunning,i like being stunned by visuals

  14. NEW YORK RIPPER is a no-brainer recommendation if Vern hasn’t see it. With the caveat that it’s a sleazy, cheesy, misanthropic, unwieldy, grotesque, offensive, ridiculous, erotic and absurd little masterpiece. Quack, Quack.

    Pair it up with Bill Lustig’s MANIAC (1980) for a soul crushing ‘Utter Nihilism in the Big Apple’ double feature!

  15. I third the notion for a Lucio Fulci retrospective. His output is all over the map, he’s got masterpieces and he’s got complete and utter shit on his resume, sometimes in the same year. And he worked in practically every genre, but always made the result disturbing and horrific. Halloween, thy name is Fulci. Start with The Beyond if you haven’t seen it, that’ll get you hooked.

  16. As I wrote you last year, you haven’t reviewed Carpenter’s “The Thing” yet, and if I remember right, you also wanted to review it together with the original from the 50’s (which has one of the most awesome firestunts of all time, btw!)
    Also there is this Canadian one named “End Of The Line”, which I haven’t seen yet, but I heard 99% positive things about it.

  17. You know, I prefer the ’82 version of THING to the original*. I guess that fucked up…whatever it was…fucks up my day after each viewing than a dude in a carrot-looking suit. And really, the remake is about a population destroying itself out of fear, panic, mistakes, and well-meaning actions.

    Come on, raise your hands if that shot of the head falling off the corpse and THEN grow legs, walk away didn’t fuck with ya? Yeah I see no hands. And that is a for a reason.

    Also, the goddamn ending. I need say no more.

    *=A good movie mind you, and its got a great ending line: “Watch the skies!”

  18. I prefer the Carpenter version too, but I think the original is one of the few movies of that era, that still work today. (I’m not one of these MST3K bastards who makes fun of old movies, just because they are old, but y’know, not everything that was scary or could be taken serious 60-50 years ago, is it now too.)

  19. Oh, that reminds me: THE BLOB! The still pretty gripping Steve McQueen movie and the crazy ass Frank Darabont scripted splatter orgy that the remake is!

  20. forgive me if you’ve already reviewed these

    The Brood
    Demons 1 and 2
    Child’s Play
    Dolls (the Stuart Gordon one)
    Pink Floyd The Wall (I find it pretty scary)
    Body Double
    Dressed To Kill

  21. hey vern, i agree with dieselboy that you should review RETURN OF THE LIVING DEAD, and thought i might add a request for you to review some other good horror “classics”. gems like MANIAC COP (hilarious), CREEPSHOW and/or CREEPSHOW 2,

  22. crap, got cut. continuing: i wondered if you could review GREMLINS or GREMLINS 2. the first one might be more of a christmas review, though…

    thanks vern!

  23. Spooky. My first thought was also The Haunting but i was genuinely surprised it was the first recommendation here. That film scared the crap out of me as a kid.

  24. I’d second TIMECRIMES and LET THE RIGHT ONE IN (both of which have remakes in various stages of development) and third THE HAUNTING (Wise). There is another one lingering at the back of my mind, but I can’t quite recall. AUDITION? I’m sure you reviewed that somewhere, but if not…

    I don’t know if it would be a recommendation per se, but what points do I get for THE DARK SIDE OF MIDNIGHT aka THE CREEPER (1984), which I saw on video as a kid and laughed my ass off. If memory serves, it’s a pretty awful HALLOWEEN rip-off but it the tag-line was great:

    “By rope, by knife, bye-bye!”

  25. I enjoyed all of the following. Some of them are a little more thriller type of movies than straight ahead horror:

    SANTA SANGRE – You’ve very likely already seen this since I know you are a Jodorowsky fan.

    VAMPIRE’S KISS – One of Nicolas Cage’s best performances, in my opinion.

    TARGETS – Bogdanovich’s sniper movie.

    THE HIDDEN – One of the best John Carpenter films not made by John Carpenter.

    MUTE WITNESS – One of the best Brian De Palma films not made by Brian De Palma.

    THE CHURCH – Good, kind of artsy one from the CEMETARY MAN guy.

    SAY YES – A Korean HITCHER type of movie.

    PONTYPOOL – Recent artsy zombie film from Canada.

    BIO-ZOMBIE – Hong Kong horror-comedy flick.

    THE NEIGHBOR NO. 13 – Japanese, so you know it’s pretty disturbing.

    SHIVERS, or other early Cronenberg, but you may have already seen all those.

  26. Holy shit, Vern, I just checked your review index, and it looks like you’ve never reviewed Romero’s original zombie trilogy. That might be someplace to start.

    I’d also recommend May, a sort of a horror comedy about a shy girl who tries to make a new friend out of pieces of her old friends, and The Nameless, a genuinely disturbing movie about a mother trying to save her daughter from a bizarre cult.

  27. “I, Madman”, “Night of the Demon”, “The Gate”, “Invaders from Mars” (1953), “Night of the Creeps”. As a Spaniard, i must recomend you the classic short movie “La Cabina” (1972) and “Tombs of the Blind Dead”.

  28. I love Halloween III.

  29. Oh shit, what about the Korean serial-killer movie MEMORIES OF MURDER or the monster movie that the director did after that, THE HOST?

    I know some jackass if going to come on and say that neither is a horror, but that’s the crazy thing with those Koreans (or this guy Bong Joon-ho in particular); it takes a genre (thriller, monster movie) and load in all these other elements – the bit in MEMORIES OF MURDER where the girl with the umbrella is walking by the field is one of the most chilling stalker scenes I’ve ever seen.

  30. Oh, and Guillermo Del Toro’s CRONOS.

  31. CRADLE OF FEAR- a british one from a few years ago, where a locked up satanic child killer directs his follower to get revenge on those who put him away. It’s basically a slasher anthology, but all the stories are linked by having the same killer. It’s also kind of a starring vehicle for Dani Filth, who’s the singer of this uk goth band Cradle of Filth, and he basically just seems to play the same character/persona he does in their music videos. It’s fairly gory and has some messed up lunacy, and each of the stories are a bit different but about the victims bringing about their own downfall cos they’re not very nice people in general. There’s probably loads of stuff you’d be more inclined to watch, but you don’t review a lot of british movies, and I’d like to see what you think.

  32. A perfect Halloween movie is ‘From Beyond’ by the same team that did Re-Animator. Has some awsome practical effects, features both Ken Foree and Jeffrey Combs and has a whole host of bazonkers 80s crap kicking off.

    You’re welcome.

  33. Let the right one in.
    Beautiful, in a quiet sort of way, very disturbing, and somehow… quite sweet.

  34. Did you see The Orphanage yet?

    I’d definitely give that one a watch.

  35. You can’t go wrong with Bernard Rose’s THE CANDYMAN. Excellent visuals, extremely scary (and gory) and superb music by Phillip Glass.

    As mentioned before, I would also recommend NEW YORK RIPPER and DEMONS (the scene with the motorbike is the shit!).

    And why not try TARGETS by Peter Bogdanovich? It’s not stricty a horror movie (although it features some Corman-style Boris Karloff action), but it’s still pretty suspenseful.

  36. I’m 95% sure that Vern already did a Candyman review. But it also might be one of these cases, where he mentions a film so many times that you think he has reviewed it.

  37. I am quite fond of a weird little late 70’s horror picture called TOURIST TRAP, which has maybe a slight TEXAS CHAIN SAW MASSACRE vibe and is about creepy mannequins. It’s oddball, sometimes eerie, sometimes a little surreal and with a strange sense of humor.

  38. TOURIST TRAP is a great choice for Vern! I almost forgot about that movie – scared me to death as a child & still very effective today! Turns out it’s one of Stephen King’s favorites as well.

  39. Vern’s review of Candyman – https://outlawvern.com/2005/10/30/candyman/ – is one of his best. He really goes into what makes it so deep and resonant to its fanbase. (Btw – I’ve always hated fuckers who say “you’re looking too much into it!” when you want to actually discuss a movie past “it was awesome!” Everyone SHOULD look too much into Candyman – it’s that underrated). Great performances, great story, my favorite musical score EVER (and where the hell is the Phillip Glass soundtrack??) – I wouldn’t change a thing other than destroy the existence of the sequels (actually the second one isn’t that bad but still shouldn’t have been made)

    Which brings me to my recommendation – Bernard Rose’s Paperhouse. Nowhere near his Candyman, but still inventive and affecting, with one of the bigger shocks I remember seeing as a kid.

  40. Hope I’m not writing stuff that’s been reviewed but I can’t remember these ones in the review section.

    Let’s Scare Jessica To Death is apparantly very good. Its one of those I haven’t seen but have heard a lot of good things about.

    Got Told Me To and Q:The Winged Serpent – From Larry Cohen, maker of Its Alive series. Two fun, twisted films (The Stuff is also fun)

    From Dario Argento there’s Deep Red, Susperia, Inferno, Tenerbra, Phenomena (which has a monkey with a razor) and Opera. Stagefright, which Argento produced, is also fun.

    The Exorcist series, following the original, you have Boorman’s wonderfully insane The Heretic, Exorcist 3, which has good moments and some loopy stuff, Schrader’s Dominion, which is under-rated, and last and very much least Renny Harlin’s Exorcist prequel, truly wretched in every possible way. But is one everyone should experience to have a full life.

    Would definately second New Nightmares. Its great and I would love to see you take on it.

    What about the treors movies. Most are Direct to DVD but are fun.

  41. I meant Tremors movies. A typo.

  42. I second Exorcist 3, because apart from the last 10 minutes, that only exist because the studio needed a reason to call it an Exorcist sequel, it’s one of my favourite horror movies ever. (And to be honest, even if there is nothing that justifies the existence of the last 10 minutes, they are not bad either. It’s just that they feel like you are suddenly watching a whole different movie.)

    Killer Klowns From Outer Space was also mentioned a few times. You really should review this one. Wonderful crazy 80’s fun horror.

  43. ‘Just Before Dawn’ in an under the radar slasher film from the early 80s with some great mountainy atmosphere.

    ‘Alone in the Dark’ is a great little oddity from the early 80s not directed by Uwe Boll. It’s got Jack Palance, Murdock from the A-team in a sane role, and Dynamo from ‘The Running Man’.

    Lastly, I’ll recommend a movie called ‘Kidnapped’. This was a lost film by Mario Bava (it wasn’t released for something like 25 years) and it’s unlike anything else he did. The atmosphere and tension is reminiscent of ‘Last House on the Left’ crossed with something like ‘Reservoir Dogs’. It’s a “heist gone wrong” type movie and takes place mostly in a little car. It’s also available in a cut labeled ‘Rabid Dogs’ and I think that’s the preferred version. Not strictly a horror movie but I’d love to see your take on it.

  44. I don’t think it’s really your bag, Vern, but I think it would be interesting to hear your thoughts on some of the old Val Lewton produced RKO horror movies from the 40’s. I’m not usually a fan of older horror movies my self, but some of these, especially the ones directed by Jacques Tourneur, are little mini-masterpieces of atmosphere and economical storytelling. They also usually have amusingly misleading titles. CAT PEOPLE is the most famous, but I would more highly recommend I WALKED WITH A ZOMBIE, GHOST SHIP and LEOPARD MAN. They are all only like 70 minutes long or less, so they aren’t much of a committment.

    Also, Tourneur’s 1950’s NIGHT OF THE DEMON is pretty good and an obvious influence on DRAG ME TO HELL.

  45. And just because I got nothing better to add, I recommend the German movie “Flashback”, which was Germany’s try to ride the post-“Scream” slasher wave. It’s not really good, but as far as modern German horror movies go, it’s one of the best (Although that doesn’t mean anything.). Just because it doesn’t try to be anything more than a very bloody slasher movie.

    While I typed this, I also remembered “Anatomie”, which stars Franka Potente and was directed by now-Oscar-winner Stefan Ruzowitzky (“The Counterfeiters”). It’s about disturbing experiments at a medical school.

    I’m pretty sure that both movies are available in the US.

  46. You have to see MANIAC (1980), directed by William Lustig.

    Also all 4 CRITTERS films.

    The first 2 are fun, the third stars Leonardo DiCaprio, and the forth is one of the worst movies ever made, so you’ll have fun with those.

  47. Chopping Mall. Yeah. And like so many have already said, Let the Right One In. Fer sure, it’s incredible.

  48. Apologies if you’ve already reviewed any of these. In no particular order:
    Kiyoshi Kurosawa’s CURE, PULSE, SEANCE and/or DOPPELGANGER
    Carl Dreyer’s VAMPYR

  49. @ CJ Holden and neal2zod: Well, there goes my recommendation. Sorry, I must have missed it somehow. I’ll check the review out straight away. Can’t wait to see what Vern has to say about this gem.

  50. Oh, also:
    Dario Argento’s PHENOMENA (not very good until about 70 mins. in, when it suddenly goes crazy)

    And if you want to see one of the worst-but-funniest horror movies ever made, SHRIEK OF THE MUTILATED.

  51. This is probably outside the scope of your project, but I’d recommend a crash course in Japanese director Shinya Tsukamoto’s films: TETSUO, NIGHTMARE DETECTIVE and A SNAKE OF JUNE.

    These are more like Cronenberg’s “body horror” than anything else, with maybe a dash of ERASERHEAD..

  52. Heya Vernsey, lemme put forward the Australian ‘Halloween’ selection for you

    * Long Weekend – http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0079482/
    1978 version. Aussie horror classic that someone like you would definately still appreciate. There is new version (2008):
    http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1098356/ A friend gave me copy but I havn’t watched. Actress is from local dramas and is good in them so she is probably reasonable in the remake. If choosing one though, go with original for sure I would say.

    * I Know How Many Runs You Scored Last Summer
    I know N/A in States but happy to send a copy to any address you want. New film but is a true Aussie gem and slasher gem. Spoof title but they play it just the right level of serious. Anyone not familiar who likes either Aussie films or slasher films – check out trailer and tell me you don’t wanna see it: http://www.imdb.com/video/wab/vi741933849/

    Wolf Creek, Rogue & Razorback all worth rewatches, but you might not have seen Road Games http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0083000/, or a favourite of mine that is not classic horror and is perhaps more on the drama thriller side but does have crocodiles eating people and revenge and plastic surgery and murder and a good story and good tension build and james reyne and really very good boating in croc waters come to think of it is Return to Eden http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0085079/

  53. Good call on SUICIDE CLUB, Matt. I consider it one of the defining films of recent Japanese cinema.

    The “sequel” NORIKO’S DINNER TABLE is good too.

  54. Has anyone mentioned Silent Night, Bloody Night (1974)? I dug that one. Very strange little movie with one really awesome segment. Definitely worth a watch.

  55. Oh, and talking about Stephen King’s favourites (@ Patrick Bruss), how about reviewing CARNIVAL OF SOULS, the original from 1962. It was made one shoestring budget and is technically very shoddy (even the sound if off sometimes), but as it goes along it becomes more and more disorienting and scary. I saw it for the first time last year and it really freaked me out. The bit with the sound of footsteps is very creepy.

  56. The Burrowers.
    Storm Warning & Long Weekend (original or remake). These two were written by Everett de Roche, whose ‘Roadgames’ you reviewed favorably in the past.
    Eden Lake (loathed this film, but I’d like to get your take on it).

  57. Always thought House & House 2 were underrated. Been 20 years, but come to think of it, gonna go chase em both up right now for rewatching tonight.


  58. I know you’ve already seen it because I’m pretty sure I’ve seen you mention it before but “The Burning” would be a good one as well as this other little gem from 1981 called “The Pit”. I think you would have a lot of interesting things to say about those two (“The Pit”, espescially) and you always have a tendencey to point out things that I’m just too dim to catch sometimes. Thanks.

  59. You need at least one Vincent Price movie, that’s for sure. (I suggest Corman’s “The Raven”, which also features Peter Lorre, Boris Karloff and Jack Nicholson, because this one is so damn entertaining, but also pretty overlooked.)

  60. What about GRIZZLY (1976)? I saw this as a kid and it scared the bejaysus out of me. Haven’t seen it in a very long time, but I remember it being pretty damn entertaining – an 18ft grizzly bear devouring a whole bunch of people (“18 feet of gut-crunching, man-eating terror.” as the official tagline went, though I prefer “Jaws With Claws”)

    Director William Girdler died at the age of 30 in a helicopter crash; he also made another Nature Vs. Man flick called DAY OF THE ANIMALS but I haven’t seen that one.

  61. Too many posts here. But Vern, if you get to read this, there’s an old slasher movie called The Burning. It´s not what you would would call a good movie but one of the killings (the one that involves some wood stairs) makes it worth seeing.

    Also in need of a review: Rosemary’s baby and Blair Witch Project.

  62. Oh! A Tale of Two Sisters! Have you done that one? Amazing Korean ghost story, really creepy, gorgeously shot, chilling freaky and very INTELLIGENT film. They remade and americanized it like– last year? Can’t remember what they called it. Whenever, whatever, but the original Korean one is so soooo good.

  63. Nevermind, The Burning was already mentioned by Bill just a couple of posts before mine.

  64. Most of my personal faves have already been mentioned, so I’m going to second (or third) a few of them to better their chances:

    1. I, Madman: This is a criminally underrated movie from the director of The Gate about a hot blonde who finds an old pulp paperback that starts to come true. It’s got a little bit of everything: gothic scares, gruesome gore, metafictional horror, and late-eighties stop-motion demons. Plus, the star is the girl from Near Dark, who should have worked more.

    2. Q: The Winged Serpent: A great New York horror movie with Michael Moriarty giving possibly the best performance in B-movie history. The whole feel is sort of like Taking of Pelham 123 (original) but with a giant snake monster.

    3. Tourist Trap: This movie is rated PG, has no blood, and yet it creepy as shit. I suspect its use of sound was an influence on Sam Raimi.

    And now an original recommendation: I Drink Your Blood, a late sixties movie about a bunch of hippies who get turned into slobbering fiends after they eat some rbies-infested meat pies. It’s very much ahead of its time in terms of gore and black humour.

  65. IRREVERSIBLE. I know it’s supposed to be a drama, but oh dear God.

  66. How about Basket Case or Brain Damage? I’ll also throw in a vote for Tourist Trap. Chuck Connors is great in that one.

  67. I would love to see Vern review The Host, my all time favorite “Giant Monster on the rampage” movie. Also, Night of the Creeps is coming to DVD in a couple weeks, how about that? “Thrill Me,” “The good news is your dates are here, the bad news is they’re dead,” “Other then kind of confessing to a murder, what did you want to talk about?” “FIRE CAN KILL THEM!”

    Why not review Monster Squad? That’s like a perfect bridge from back to school movies to horror movies. If you could stomach fucking Teen Wolf, Monster Squad won’t be a struggle. “Give me the amulet you BITCH!” Yay.

  68. It cannot be stated often enough: late-eighties stop-motion demons will improve any movie, even a Merchant-Ivory period drama. In fact, ESPECIALLY a Merchant-Ivory period drama.

  69. Brendan,

    How could you forget “It’s Miller time!”?

  70. Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark is a really creepy 70’s horror film about a couple living in a mansion full of demons. Check out the number of people it scarred for life in the Amazon reviews section.

    I really like ‘Cut’ by Chan Wook Park from the Three Extremes, and the original Belgian Vanishing has the best horror ending I’ve seen.

    The film that scared the shit out of me as a kid was ‘Return to Oz’, I can’t be the only one?

  71. I would love to see a Merchant-Film about a monster that runs wild at a turn-of-the-century sugar plantation. We’d call it REMAINS OF THE DAY LABORERS.

    (Considering my monker, I wanted to go with a mid-seventies melon farm, but that’s not very Merchant-Ivory-y.)

  72. Oh shit, I forgot DEMONS. One of my favorites. It’s like the perfect combination of entertaining, highly stylized 80’s gorefest/low budget special effects extravaganza and bad dialogue/bad acting/bad dubbing Italian horror movie accidental hilarity.

  73. First off, great choices guys. I’ve always wanted to see vern doing reviews of “Let the right one in” and “The orphanage” (I still hope you can continue the evil child movies one day). And I can’t wait for that REC review. It would also be nice to see some asian movies there once in awhile too.

    But if the halloween theme is anything like the back to school idea (which was genius btw, great choices and reviews as usual!), it would be pretty cool to see it more about horror movies that actually deal with the holiday itself or have the same spirit in watching a movie on halloween. There really aren’t alot of horror movies I can think of that do, but Halloween 3 (since you reviewed pretty much the rest of the series) and the new Trick r Treat movie (which hopefully comes out soon this october) seem to be pretty good examples. I’ve actually gotten a chance to see Trick r Treat and though it might not have been anything but scary, the idea behind it actually made kind of refreshing to see.

    Other choices that might go with this

    -Night of the Demons
    -Fright Night
    -Fright Night 2
    -The Monster Squad
    -Night of the Creeps
    -Hell House
    -CreepShow, Tales from the Crypt, Tales from the Darkside
    (I’ve always wondered what it would be like for an anthology/episodic movie review. I can’t remember if you did one)
    -Ernest scared stupid…well why the hell not? It’ll be the teen wolf/garfield of the bunch. Actually no, don’t do that one. I can’t even stand an ernest movie. But R.I.P though, ernest.

    There seem to be alot of “Night” in the titles, but some of those I looked up said they take actually take place on halloween. I haven’t actually seen some of them myself, but I’m curious.


    No, you’re not the only one. Those damn Wheelie-guys still give me shivers, even if they seemed to be extras from one of the DEATH WISH sequels ( but with wheels).

    There’s an Irish mad cow/zombie flick called DEAD MEAT from 2004 that you might find entertaining. I put a link to the trailer up earlier, but the post “is still awaiting moderation” came up, so you’ll just have to link to it on your lonesome.

    I’d second A TALE OF TWO SISTERS, though I don’t think I liked it as much as Twynklebat. By the end, it seemed to be tripping itself up with its own cleverness, and it had too many JUMP! cut scares. Some beautiful use of colour, though and slicker-than-slick camera movements. The same director went on to do the entertaining THE GOOD, THE BAD AND THE WEIRD, which is a remake of some Sergio Leone western, the name of which escapes me…

  75. BODY PARTS starring Jeff Fahey and Kim Delaney.

  76. Majestyk, if I had the cash, I’d totally pony it up as an investment in REMAINS OF THE DAY LABORERS.

    Once REMAINS OF THE DAY LABORERS changed the landscape of horror forever, we could move on to:


  77. “RETURN TO OZ” MUST BE ON THAT HALLOWEEN LIST! Together with “Watcher in The Woods” and “Something Wicked This Way Comes”. Disney made some seriously scary shit back then.

  78. rewrite: I’m a big fan of Asian horror/ghost films too, but let’s go easy on Vern: he earned his international stripes by being a very early North American champion of RINGU. I wouldn’t be surprised if he’s just laying low with his Asian reviews until the re-make trend has finally blown over.

  79. Rewrite: can you imagine what the experience would be like for our Vern to sit through one of those damned Ernest movies? Every 30 seconds Ernest would be gawking up at the camera saying, “Hey Vern!” Talk about taking you out of the movie.

  80. Last House on Dead End Street. 1977.

    Few knew who actually directed the film, until Roger Watkins, who died in March 2007, posted on Internet message boards three decades after it was made saying he was behind it. The film was made in 1973, but wasn’t released until four years later.

    Watkins has said he was high on amphetamines while making the film. He also said only about $800 was spent making the film, while the remaining $3,000 budgeted was used to buy drugs.

    I finally made it through the whole film after a few months of watching it ten minutes at a time.

    I’d love to hear your take on it Vern.

  81. Majestyk – glad to see someone else has it bad for Jenny Wright. I know it sounds like a backhanded compliment to her, but I think her appeal (at least to me) was that she still seemed attainable despite being gorgeous. (Kinda like Madeline Zima now). Plus her sex scene in Lawnmower Man remains one of my favorites.

  82. Stuntcock Mike: What made the movie so difficult that you had to watch it in 10 minute segments? gore? disturbing behaviour? a soundtrack filled with old Styx songs?

  83. Maxiao, it’s funny you mention Return to Oz. My wife said the same thing.

  84. Jareth Cutestory, none of the above. It’s just a generally horribly made film($800 budget, big surprise). I just wasn’t in the mood to punish myself for a full hour and a half.

    Now that you mention it though, Styx would’ve been excellent in there. Probably couldn’t secure the copyrights for it though. Dennis DeYoung probably wanted half the budget for his own meth habit.

  85. Merchant/Romero presents:

    Remains of Mr. Day

  86. An $800 budget is microscopic. No wonder they couldn’t even come up with an original title for the film.

  87. I second the DOMINION review. You have (moron) nerds claim its no better than the awful Renny Harlin version, and it just blows my mind.

    It just blows my mind.

  88. What about Paul Schrader’s Cat People?

  89. How about 1980s and early 1990s Kung-Fu films with hopping Chinese vampires like “mr. Vampire” and “magic cop”?

  90. By the way, CJ, I saw End of the Line. It was kinda eh. Nothing particularly wrong with it, per se, but it just didn’t do much for me. Also, the end is supposed to be a big twist, but the cover totally gives it away (and it’s pretty obvious in any case), so you’re waiting the whole movie for the (admittedly cool) monsters to show up, bu then they’re only there for about a minute.

  91. Thank you fellow ReturntoOzphobics. I will sleep easier tonight knowing you share my pain

  92. Here are some Horror Movies for ya…

    SLUGS…you cant go wrong with that one Vern. Killer Slugs. Really…and wait until you see what happens if you eat one of those Slugs. disturbing shit.

    THE HOWLING VI…Werewolf vs Vampire. Low budget, but well done.

    NEAR DARK…the Aliens cast does some Bloodsucking. Directed by Kathryn Bigelow.

    SUSPIRIA…Dario Argento’s finest.

    JAWS…dude, I think without a Jaws review, there is no excellence. Quint waits for ya…

    THE DARK HALF…George Romero and Stephen King team up for a movie. It’s worth a watch.

  93. I didn’t see Return to Oz as a kid (I’ve seen it since, though) but I know several people who claim that it scarred them for life. Useless trivia: It was directed by legendary soundman Walter Murch, who invented all of the sound effects for Star Wars and alwayts gives the most interesting interviews in the special features. He seems so mild-mannered that it’s funny to think of how many children he tormented with his one directorial effort.

  94. For an above average slasher look no further than Michele Soavi’s Stagefright. Several people have brought up his Cemetery Man which is also great.

    For atmosphere I’d like to hear your thoughts on A Tale of Two Sisters.

    The work of Richard Stanley – Hardware and Dust Devil – would certainly be worth your time.

    1988’s Scarecrows has a group of mercenaries in a cornfield being picked off by evil straw men, sort of an action element there that seems up your alley.

    And after your excellent write-ups of the It’s Alive trilogy it’s my duty to recommend Larry Cohen’s The Stuff.

  95. biomechanical bell end

    September 24th, 2009 at 9:19 am

    John Carpenters In the Mouth of Madness. Probably his best film since Big Trouble in Little China.

  96. Oooo–I’d also love to see SANTA SANGRE (Gah!), EDEN LAKE, and IRREVERSIBLE.

    Sorry if these were already reviewed, but how about:

    and Takashi Miike’s Masters of Horror episode “Imprint”


  97. If that had been the cover I’d seen before I saw the movie, CJ, my reaction to the ending might have been quite different. I hope I didn’t ruin it for you. I assumed everyone saw the same spoileriffic cover.

    solongyoubastard: I second Stage Fright. It’s just a stylish, weird, unique take on a standard horror movie formula.

  98. Don’t worry Majestyk, I saw the other cover too. No spoiler from your side.

  99. I’m seconding travis-dane recommendation of SLUGS, but as silly, gory fun. Definitely not disturbing.

  100. Nailgun Massacre — it’s pretty ridiculous

  101. A couple more:

    THESIS – Early Amenabar film.

    FRENZY – The other Hitchcock slasher film.

  102. @ Dan Prestwich, sorry it seems that I used the word disturbing in the wrong context. What I meant is, what happens to the dude after “eating” a Slug. He goes out in a bloody and disturbing way. I am 100% with ya for the gory and mindless cheese aspect of Slugs.

  103. Vern, I’ve been meaning to write to you for a while and recommend that you review Shuttle, a mean little horror exploitation flick in the 1970’s tradition.

    It’s the diamond in the rough I’ve discovered rooting through the recent output of independant horrors. And it never debuted on fearnet or played at Torronto After Dark. Although it did get a very limited theatrical release in 2008.

  104. I back the suggestion of Tale Of Two Sisters and Eden Lake. A couple of ones that I recently watched on DVD and suprised me nicely, were The Burrowers (Yay! Clancy Brown) and From Within. Ah, also would’nt mind hearing your take on The Signal too.

  105. Didn’t want to wade through all the other recommendations. Only got about halfway through, but here’s some that I think should be reviewed.

    The Haunting
    The HOuse on Haunted Hill (I did a quadruple feature with these two and their remakes last year. Wasn’t worth it.)
    Audition (My favorite J-Horror flick and still the scariest movie I’ve ever seen.)
    Tetsuo (The Japanese Eraserhead.)
    Psycho (Maybe the Gus Van Sant remake?)
    Let the Right One In
    Dawn of the Dead
    Day of the Dead
    Night of the Living Dead
    Sorry, there aren’t really any slasher flicks in this list, I just haven’t really seen many of those.

  106. BTW, Vern already reviewed Peter Jackson’s Braindead/Dead Alive.

  107. Some other good ones people have brought up; Vampire’s Kiss, classic Nic Cage and it’s available on Hulu. I just watched it last night and it totally holds up. Great ending. Probably the first appearance of weird, deranged Nic Cage.

    And I’m surprised more people haven’t recommended Pontypool. I don’t think it’s as good as most people but I’d love to get Vern’s take.

    And no one’s said Baghead. The “mumblecore” horror flick from the Duplass Brothers was one of my favorite movies from last year. I’ll go out on a limb and say it’s the thinking man’s Leslie Vernon, a film I share Vern’s hatred of.

  108. Stuff you ain’t writed about:




    HELLRAISER 2 (hell, do the whole series) (please!)

    Just watched THE HAUNTING again (I only read the first couple posts on this one) and damn that movie gives you the goods at the end.

    And hey, you did OLDBOY, what about the other two?

    THE FLY movies


  109. One last RETURN TO OZ piece of trivia (apologies to Vern, who’s got to trawl through all this in order to dig out some gems) is that the sound of Toto barking when Dorothy wakes up back in Kansas at the end (SPOILER) is actually Murch himself… it was a temporary sound effect done on-set that ended up in the final cut.

    Did anyone see that Japanese film PULSE? Was that any good? I think it got remade a few years ago…

  110. travis-dane,

    my mistake. I thought for a second that you thought SLUGS was an atmospheric and unnerving thriller that chilled you to your bones.

    Rusty James,

    I was kinda disappointed by SHUTTLE myself. It started out okay but fell apart as it went along. I’m usually okay with horror movies having outlandish plots, but I thought a lot of the story flat out didn’t make any sense, and contained numerous unneccesary plot twists which worked to undermine any sense of tension or disturbingness or “realism” that the filmmakers may have been going for.

  111. holy shit cant belive noone has mentioned the Tremors movies which spun off into enjoyable dtv territory after the first one…..

  112. I must echo the recommendations for LET THE RIGHT ONE IN, one of the best (if not the best) horror films of this decade. It seriously rewrites the standards for what makes a good vampire film.

    Speaking of vampires, I just picked up a nifty BLACULA/SCREAM BLACULA SCREAM two-fer DVD set for 10 bucks at some major store that rhymes with Breast Guy. But I was a little disappointed to see a serious BLACULA shortage in your reviews, Vern. Both flicks are cheesy fun with a lead actor (he was the Video Pirate from AMAZON WOMEN ON THE MOON) who really gives the whole show a lot of class and passion. Plus, he kills lots of pimps and cops.

    Not really a fan of the slasher films, but here are two Italian classics no one has mentioned. Mario Bava’s A BAY OF BLOOD (aka TWITCH OF THE DEATH NERVE) is a subversive and very gory look at a real estate feud, which the FRIDAY THE 13th flicks stole from pretty shamelessly. And Dario Argento’s OPERA is seriously cracked, the kind of film that will probably be used if Argento ever needs to support an insanity defense in court. Plenty of opera and heavy metal, gory killings, and a killer who uses scotch tape and sewing needles to make sure the heroine doesn’t close her eyes and miss out on his handiwork. The guy takes pride in his slashing, you know?

  113. Well, here’s a quick list of some others that are worthwhile:

    The Prowler – decent early 80s slasher with effects by Tom Savini

    Don’t Go In the House – guy with mother issues and a flamethrower.

    The Unseen – what’s in the basement?

    Raw Meat – creepy British/Cannibal/subway movie.

    Society – unbelievably disgusting effects.

    Inside – I can’t remember if you reviewed this one or not. Scary, Unnerving, disgusting.

  114. Did a skim and don’t think I saw the 1980 CLASSIC Rory Calhoun/John Ratzenberger vehicle; Motel Hell. If you do watch it, make sure you get Motel Hell and not Hotel Hell. After a quick IMDB search to verify the title, turns out Hotel Hell is some sort of hardcore gay porn.

  115. Jam – I really like the original Japanese PULSE. It’s plot isn’t as tight as it might have been, but even when it meanders it doesn’t break the fairly convincing sense of dread that hangs over the whole movie.

    Having said that, I know some people were so burned out by the “tech-based” horror that they didn’t see anything special in PULSE. I watched it again recently and found that it held up well.

    The American remake and its sequels are just awful.

  116. Doc – don’t spoil it for us by telling us what they leave on the pillow instead of a mint in the PORNO HOTEL movie.

  117. Dan Prestwich,
    Fair enough, though I disagree. But the objective isn’t necessarily to list films that we love. But to recommend film’s for Vern. Even if I don’t think Pontypool is too great it should be on Vern’s radar and I’d like to read his review.

  118. THE LAST HORROR FILM (not to be confused with THE LAST HORROR MOVIE) is a weirdo early 80’s slasher starring Joe Spinell. It’s not entirely dissimilar to MANIAC but it’s not nearly as good and is really perplexingly bizarre and goofy in places. Spinell is this pathetic would-be movie director who lives with his grandma and is obsessed with some famous actress, so he follows her to the Cannes Film Festival and gets involved in stalking, murder, mayhem, etc. Also lots of montages set to bad 80’s music.

    I would not call it a good movie by any stretch of the imagination, but it’s exactly the kind of low budget, unique, slightly sleezy and bad-in-an-interesting-way slasher movie that strikes me as your bread and butter, Vern.

  119. Ha, I was going to mention The Haunting (original version) as well. One of the first horror movies I ever saw and still my favorite.

    I can’t think of anything that hasn’t been mentioned, but I’ll also vote for Session 9 and May. It would also be interesting to hear Vern’s take on Event Horizon, too, but if you’re gonna do a Sam Neill movie then do In the Mouth of Madness instead. Maybe Prince of Darkness too. And Mimic was early(ish) Del Toro, wasn’t it? Also, Vern, you could do some of the obvious picks… The Exorcist (2 or 3), The Omen, The Shining, etc.

    I don’t know which ones of these have been reviewed already, but that’s just off the top of my head.

  120. Rusty James,

    Just to be clear, I wasn’t trying to insult your tastes. I was mainly curious to hear what you liked about it.

  121. I would also like to recommend TALE OF TWO SISTERS… but not the Korean one (though it is quite awesome). Instead Vern, I would say you need to immediately watch Adam Rifkin’s 1989 film of the same name, which is narrated by and based upon the original poetry of Charlie Sheen. No, really. Added bonus, it tries for some Fellini-style surrealism. Horrifying for reasons other than the plot, obviously.

  122. Vern, it’s Josh. You know you can trust me. Check out the two best J-horror, Audition and Pulse. Also, Tale of Two Sisters is great, like they say. Even better South Korean horror films are the serial killer policier Memories of Murder (from Bong Joon-ho, who made The Host) and the strange, sometimes grating, but please stick with it Save the Green Planet! Both among the best films I’ve seen in the past decade.

  123. Sorry if some of these have been repeated because I didn’t want to read the 120+ comments above. Here’s just a few in no particular order:

    The Funhouse
    Slaughter High
    Massacre at Central High
    Hello Mary Lou Prom Night 2
    My Best Friend is a Vampire
    Silent Night Deadly Night
    Troll 2
    Silver Bullet
    Basket Case
    Hollywood Chainsaw Hookers
    Sorority Babes in the Slimeball Bowl O Rama
    Nightmare Weekend
    The Burning
    Entrails of a Beautiful Woman

  124. Looks like we gave Vern enough movies for the next seven Halloweens…
    it has to be about 80 plus movies as of now.

  125. Ok, Audition isn’t really J-horror. I don’t want to get flamed here. It is definitely Takashi Miike’s best film.

  126. Actually, as far as supernatural horror goes, there’s this old, super low budget flick from 1962 called Carnival of Souls. The movie’s basically an elongated Twilight Zone episode, and there’s a certain famous movie by our pal M. Night that lifts heavily from this. The beginning of the movie is a little plodding and dull, but it picks up speed pretty rapidly. The movie’s incredibly creepy and also in the public domain so you could even download it if you’re into that. The soundtrack has a lot of drone-y organ-y music. Very surreal. Really creepy stuff.

  127. Josh, out of curiosity, what constitutes J-Horror? I always assumed Audition was J-Horror because it was from Japan, but I guess that’s just my xenophobia at work.

  128. Well shit, I almost posted last night when there were only 16 enteries, now I guess its too late to get in on the ground floor. However, Vern, I have been systematically going through your horror catalogue so I have a pretty good idea of both what you like and what you’ve scene (or at least mentioned/reviewed). So even at post 120, I hope I can offer a few worthwhile suggestions.

    1: UZUMAKI: I was talking this up in the HALOWEEN II forum. Since you and I are pretty much the only people ever to love SILENT HILL and INFERNO I think I can trust you with this unique nightmare movie which doesn’t even bother with traditional scares much, it just goes strait to your subconscious mind and lurks there.

    2: KAIRO (PULSE): A few suggestions of this already, but it’s a masterpiece, pure and simple. Unique, epic, atmospheric, terrifying, and rife with subtext. CURE would also be acceptable. And Jam — I’ll tell you what I tell everyone. Stop doing whatever you’re doing right now, turn off the lights, lock the door, pull down the windowshades, open a decent bottle of wine, and watch KAIRO right fucking now.

    3: DEAD AND BURIED: 1981 Slow burn Twighlight Zone Style awesomness. Dan O’Bannon co-writes, but it’s real selling point is just that it’s engrossing and original.

    4:BRAIN DEAD (AKA PARANOIA) 1990: Another clever, surreal horror show, this time featuring both Bills — Pullman AND Paxton! Plus, HAROLD AND MAUDE’S Bud Cort. BTW, don’t be fooled by the similarly named BRAINDEAD (1992) or BRAIN DEAD (2007)

    5: THE DARK (2005): As a DTV afficianado, you owe it to yourself to check out this smart, atmospheric and beautifully shot film dumped on DTV with zero fanfare. It’s not a home run, but certainly a worthwhile effort done with a lot of care. And, Sean Bean.

    6: THE CHANGELING (1980): Peter Mendak. George C Scott. A pinnacle of class and atmosphere, with a side helping of great acting, filmatism, and solid scares.

    And yeah, you should watch HALOWEEN III if you havent’ (but I bet you have) and LET THE RIGHT ONE IN, duh. I honestly wouldn’t bother with [REC] since you hate the fakeumentary style so much. It’s got some solid moments and treats its subject with dignity, but nothing you haven’t seen before. I’m virtually certain you’ve seen CEMETARY MAN but if not, yeah watch that along with a couple Argentos and Fulcis
    (and maybe even a Bava or two).

  129. The Innocents – 1961 film based on the short story The Turn of the Screw.


  130. Let’s not forget The Hunger. The Tony Scott directed, David Bowie starring, Bauhaus video including, Susan Sarandon lesbian sex having 1983 “classic.” (The quotes mean that is sucks.)

  131. Loudabagel – When Americans talk about J-horror they are usually referring to RINGU, THE GRUDGE and all the sequels/immitations that followed, films like THE EYE, SHUTTER, ONE MISSED CALL. It’s a pretty recognizable template. Miike usually falls into a class of his own, if only because, stylistically, he’s all over the place. I agree that AUDITION is his best.

    Mr. Subtlety – as a fan of PULSE, I’d be curious to know what you think of SUICIDE CLUB/CIRCLE. FOr the record, I like SILENT HILL too, especially the ending.

  132. I must repeat, SILENT NIGHT BLOODY NIGHT– very 70’s, very bizarre, the damnedest John Carradine role ever, loopy townsfolk, a surprise twist ending, an uprising in an insane asylum, and the most visually creepy disturbing sequence that makes up for any other problems it has.

  133. I loved THE CHILDREN, a recent British horror film. I’m not sure if you can see it legally, but drop me a line and I’ll sent you a copy. Also, I second someone who recommended EDEN LAKE, but only because I trust Vern will call bullshit on that one and point at all its flaws. Horrible.

  134. Twynklebat – I’m going to rent SILENT NIGHT BLOODY NIGHT this weekend, based solely on your receommendation. If it scares me too badly I’ll be requesting your financial assistance with my dry cleaning bill.

  135. Jennifer’s Body?
    As long as it is in theatres.

  136. Vern, I seem to recall you reviewing SLUMBER PARTY MASSACRE, but have you seen the sequels? I think the 2nd one is worth your time.

    The killer is some sort of dream demon/rock star who kills people with a guitar with a drill on the end while singing songs to them. Definitely gets bonus points for weirdness.

  137. I’d happily watch KAIRO right now, but I don’t have a copy. I might stick with the wine, though.

    Wasn’t THE DARK part of a series of that American/Spanish co-productions that had Anna Paquin… no wait, that was DARKNESS, which wasn’t fantastic.

    UZUMAKI sounds good, though.

    I realise that at this point, yeh’d have enough suggestions to last you until NEXT Hallowe’en, so I’ll just bow out by suggesting something very old-school: KWAIDAN (Japan, 1964) which is a portmanteau of four old Japanese ghost stories and the grand-daddy of all A(siand)-horror. Beautifully-shot, intricately-designed sets (that are enormous), and a quiet chill running through it. The very last image is going to stay with you for a long, long time.

  138. Totally random one: BLOOD ON SATAN’S CLAW. It’s a weird, ooky flick from the Seventies about devil worshipping kids in 1600s England. I just remember that it freaked me out when I was little and saw it on Elvira’s “Movie Macabre.”

  139. Jam – My suggestion is to wait until you find a copy of the original KAIRO. I can’t stress enough how wrethced the American remake and its sequels are. Sadly, they’re much easier to find than the original.

    In fact, I saw the the original KAIRO on a bootleg video tape, which only added to the creepiness of the film. When I finally found a legitimate dvd version, I was glad to see that the actual film didn’t lose any of its power, despite the improved resolution. If you can forget about all the lousy tech-based horror of the last ten years, KAIRO is a real treat.

  140. If you want something pretty fun and obscure, I recommend checking out Runaway(1984), a crazy, pretty low-budget sci-fi movie where Tom Selleck battles Gene Simmons, who’s using robots to kill people. Simmons has this cool gun that fires bullets that chase after the target, he kills people with remote-control machine car-bombs, crazy insect robots. And it’s written/directed by Michael Crichton(!). I always had a soft spot for that one.

  141. oh Shit! Anyone ever seen INCUBUS, the all-esperanto B&W William Shatner satantic
    experimental film extravaganza? Because if you haven’t you want to. Right now.

  142. I’ve not only seen Incubus, I own it. Now I kind of want to see it again.

  143. Will do, thanks guys. I would in turn recommend tracking down a couple of KWAIDAN and MEMORIES OF MURDER, if you haven’t already.

  144. “The all-esperanto B&W William Shatner satantic experimental film extravaganza.”

    That’s just too many kinds of awesome in one description!

  145. Jam — KAIRO shouldn’t be too hard to come by, its probably Kiyoshi Kurosawa’s biggest film. Although I don’t know what the region situation is. You can always download it as a last resort. Mininova.org is a good torrent site for finding films like that. But it’s good enough that I’d buy a copy if you can. Support scary Japanese social commentary! If you don’t like it I’ll buy it from you and give it to a needy family.

    Of course, I assume that it goes without saying that the American remake is scortching, splattered, bloody diarrhea caked on the ass of humanity. Not to put too fine a point on it.

    And bless you for bringing up KWAIDEN. Poetic, lovely, bone-chilling. Nothing else like it.

    Jareth — Actually I only just heard about SUCIDE CIRCLE from somebody on this site a few weeks back and I haven’t gotten a chance to watch it yet. I’m thinking of holding off and saving it till Haloween, but on the other hand the high regard I have for the folks who’ve been suggesting it has me itching to take a look. When I do see it I’ll definitely post and let you know how it hit me.

  146. Ah sure, I think I should be able to track it down, but it’ll have to wait until I’ve got a little more time on my hands (or when I’m back in Dublin, which should be in the next few days…)

  147. Don’t Go In the House!


  148. Jareth, thanks for clarifying that. I agree with CJ that a Jennifer’s Body review would be pretty hilarious, but I’d also feel bad about encouraging Vern to spend money on what is sounding like a really, really bad movie.

  149. Yes, please do Audition sometime. Also Gozu, it’s hilarious. Anyways, here’s some others:

    The Loved Ones
    House on the Edge of the Park

    (BTW, Vern already did a Phenomena review in which we learn a shocking secret about Mira Sorvino https://outlawvern.com/2006/10/24/phenomena/ )

  150. i’d second the original dawn of the dead…it’s certainly not an unknown or obscure film, and vern has most likely seen it already, but i’d love to get his take on it nonetheless. also maybe herzog’s nosferatu starring klaus kinski…yeah. any fulci and argento would be great to see, as well.

  151. ooo oooh and three… extremes!

  152. The Serpent and the Rainbow
    Night of the Creeps -> high priority
    Near Dark
    Session 9
    Long Weekend (original)
    In the Mouth of Madness
    Don’t Go in the House (classic slasher)
    The Burning (classic slasher)
    The Fog (original)
    Prince of Darkness
    Halloween 3
    Zombi 2
    Eden Lake
    Them (Ils)
    The Blob (’88)
    Night of the Demons
    Inside (À l’intérieur)
    (Tobe Hooper’s) The Funhouse -> high priority

    saw someone recommend Amusement, avoid that one, it’s nu-slasher rubbish.

    i’m sure i’ll think of more later.

  153. (part II)
    Someone above mentioned DUST DEVIL which is great great great. Plus the DVD has Stanely’s weird documentaries which are all must-watch especially the one about the Nazis and the holy grail.

    Someone also said Schrader’s CAT PEOPLE, which is not all that scary but is one of the few movies to make the most of New Orlean’s spooky, sticky atmosphere. The Val Lewton one of course is also on the table.

    Also what about Bergman’s HOUR OF THE WOLF?

    Argento/Romero double-feature TWO EVIL EYES, and might as well throw TRILOGY OF TERROR on there too, although the last segment is clearly the best.

    And one of Vincent Price’s best, most serious and interesting roles, WITCHFINDER GENERAL. Gaurenteed to make you fucking angry.

  154. God bless you, everyone. I like to watch a shit ton of horror movies every October, and I must have added a good 15 or 20 titles to my list today because of this thread. Thank you.

  155. Okay, one last recommendation for Vern:

    Sergio Martino’s TORSO. The first 2/3rds is pretty standard but entertaining giallo, heavy on the violence and gratuitous nudity. Then it takes a rather surprising turn in the last act and becomes way kickass and even a little genuinely suspenseful. One of my favorite giallos.

    I seem to recall that that movie you recommended, MURDER LOVES KILLERS TOO, was obviously influenced by it, I think emulating the structure a little bit and flat out stealing one of TORSO’s best moments.

  156. and if you’re feeling brave you can try to sit through Begotten. watched it last night. it’s a fucking endurance test, but i think it’s worth it.

  157. Mr. Prestwich, no insult taken.

    Mr Subtlety, since you like Uzimaki are you also a fan of its creator Junji Ito? His comic book Gyo is the scarriest work of fiction I’ve ever experienced. An awesome talent.

    I’m surprised to hear so much enthusiasm for Eden Lake.
    However I’m glad to see so much enthusiasm for this thread.

  158. Agree with Mr. Subtlety’s recommendations, especially WITCHFINDER GENERAL and UZUMAKI.

    A double-feature of Bergman’s HOUR OF THE WOLF along with Michael Haneke’s TIME OF THE WOLF would be awesome.

    WE’RE GOING TO EAT YOU is a great Tsui Hark kung-fu-and-cannibalism flick.

    And lastly (for now) I’d urge you to look into some of the Japanese adaptations of the stories of Edogawa Rampo:

    BLIND BEAST is about a blind artists who kidnaps a supermodel and keeps her locked in a dungeon filled with gigantic reproduction breasts and has many long conversations with her about the nature of art and perversion;

    HORRORS OF MALFORMED MEN is like the most awesome crack-addled mystery-noir that involves transexuals; deformed women; twins identity-swapping; escaped mental patients; and people being forced to eat crabs that have been feasting off dead bodies, to name just a few of the film’s preoccupations;

    Shinya Tsukamoto’s GEMINI is probably the most stylish adaptation of the lot. It’s like punk-rock infused Hammer horror flick.

    They’re all great, and all worth checking out.

  159. “The American remake [of KAIRO] is scortching, splattered, bloody diarrhea caked on the ass of humanity.”

    The sad thing is, Mr. Subtlety isn’t exaggerating. If anything he’s underselling the point.

  160. The Deadly Spawn – giant man eating worms
    Scalps – native american revenge from beyond the grave
    Isolation – Irish mutant cow fetus
    Black Christmas (original)
    Andy Warhol’s Flesh for Frankenstein – homoerotic dismemberment.
    Don’t Look Now – Donald Sutherland
    Eaten Alive – Texas Chainsaw with a worse story, worse acting, and a crocodile.
    Rabid – Cronenberg’s armpit worm zombies (but you knew that)
    Cannibal Ferox – like Holocaust with more over the top acting and no dead animals
    When A Stranger Calls (1979) – genuinely creepy setup, turns into a pretty gritty serial killer drama once the initial gimmick has passed.
    Child’s Play 2 – better than the first
    Chopping Mall – fun with killer robots and stupid kids (i can’t remember anyone being chopped)
    The Being – gooey creature shit
    The Toxic Avenger – cannot be fucked with!

  161. A few ideas:

    1. Pulse (Kurosawa original)
    2. Demons
    3. Inside (French horror done oh so right)
    4. The Changeling (super creepy old house tale)
    5. Prince of Darkness (Carpenter)
    6. The Orphanage
    7. Creep (British film from coule years ago)
    8. Nosferatu (original)
    9. The Brood
    10. The Others (hugely under appreciated atmospheric horror)

  162. i’lll agree with Joe about Creep. t’is a movie i enjoy.

  163. Well, I’d like to recommend whatever it was that Commander USA used to show on Commander USA’s Groovy Movies.

    There are probly a hundred movies on that list, linked above. You could do worse than setting a lifetime goal of working through that.

    Not straight through, mind you, just a couple a week to keep your head straight.

    the link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Commander_USA%27s_Groovie_Movies

    Ok, but what I really want you to review is this:
    Let’s Scare Jessica to Death – it is slow, unconventional 70s vampire movie.
    Raw Meat (aka Dead Line) – featuring a nice Donald Pleasence performance.
    UZUMAKI – is as crazy as a mouse in a milkcan
    New York Ripper – I haven’t seen this Fulci, but I understand it is unpleasant.

    Ok, then.

  164. Creeper, a Darioa Argento film starring a young Jennifer Connely. It’s a bit of a trip, a little loose, but much to love.

  165. SDAL — CREEPERS is the American hack-edit of PHENOMENA, which is almost 30 minutes longer.

    dan — you almost sold me on THE DEADLY SPAWN until I realized you meant giant man-eating worms. I thought, huh, a movie about a giant man… eating worms. That’s kind of creepy. David Lynch just felt a disturbance in the force.

    Rusty — not usually a big reader of the ol’ funnybooks, but you and the folks here have convinced me to take a look at his work, so even as we speak it is hopefully coming nearer to me by mail.

  166. haha, now there’s a movie i’d get behind.
    Deadly Spawn is some good 80’s cheese, but the creature effects are awesome.

  167. Please review Troll 2, if you want. There’s a lot to laugh about, but it kind of works. It’s a legitimitely good movie.

  168. ya, i can’t back Troll 2 enough. so much fun. watch it with a friend and some beer.

  169. Good recommendations all around. Three things that haven’t been mentioned:

    Intruder AKA Night Crew (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0095379/)

    One of the most inventive and entertaining slashers ever, as far as I’m concerned. It features both Raimi brothers as well as Bruce Campbell! Need I say more?

    Ticks AKA Infested (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0108339/)

    Great creature/gross-out horror by Tony Randel. Problem teens camping in the woods are terrorized by mutant insects created by evil, polluting pot farmers and get picked off one by one. So almost a slasher.

    Pumpkinhead (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0095925/)

    A Halloween classic by Stan Winston. ‘When a backwoods town is invaded by inner-city bikers, little Billy Harley gets ran over and left for dead. His enraged father Ed Harley takes vengeance into his own hands and conjures the demon “Pumpkinhead” to execute exact justice on the city kids.’ Would have been perfect for Seagal, but at least it has Lance Henriksen.

    I seem to remember reviews of all of these, but they aren’t in the list. So, there. Either way, they’re worth a (re)watch anytime.

  170. Damn it. I got here too late and everyone has stolen my recommendations. I’m not sure if you’ve seen PIECES by Juan Piquer Simon, that movie is nuts. He also did SLUGS: THE MOVIE, which I would also recommend.

    Actually I think you should have a look through this horror-movie marathon compiled by Eli Roth. I think his films are merely okay, but when it comes to horror the guy has good taste and knows his shit.


  171. Just a couple of quick notes.

    I wanted to apologize for a few of the comments that didn’t get through right away. The current settings for automatic comment approval still hold ones with more than two links in them but I have seen a few trapped even though there were only two. I’m sifting through the WordPress forums to try to find a solution.

    While still not where I want it, the All Reviews link on the sidebar should get you to a near complete list of all of vern’s reviews if you’re wondering if he already wrote about a movie you ae interesed in. I still need to implement a way to divide up the multiple review posts so each film title will appear alphabetical but still point to the single post. I have a test solution but am still having a problem excluding the dummy entries from the normal paging when browsing categories. When this is finished the Alphabetical and By Year summary pages should be good to go as well as category-based review title listings. For the moment using All Reviews and then your browser’s search function should be the best method if a quick scan of the alphabetical list fails (as multiple reviews are sorted by only of the titles).

    Lastly there are multiple options in WordPress for handling the display of comments. At the moment you’re getting the AICN treatment with all comments appearing on the same page, but comments can be paged and/or threaded. Be sure to emal vern using the link in the footer if you have any feedback for him regarding the functionality of the site.

  172. Damn , I look away for a few minutes , and , boom , homework ! I’m so late , I feel like the jackass of the class ! Well , here’s my suggestion : A Chinese Ghost Story (1987). It’s lighthearted horror but weird , and it can be a good break between more serious movies. Plus the ghost story is perfect for Halloween , it has martial arts and if you want you can watch the sequels ! Another suggestion in the weird asian horror category is Samurai Reincarnation (1981) with Sonny Chiba , fighting a Zombie Miyamoto Musashi !

  173. good call on pumpkinhead, think i’ll watch that one again too.

  174. I highly recommend “BRAIN DAMAGE” and “FEED”. I already emailed you about FEED. Here is an article I wrote last night about Brain Damage. It’s sort of a first attempt at writing a regular column for my college paper.


    This year Artsweek will be trying out some new columns and features as a way to better serve you, the student. This column is the first in a series designed to alert students to films that they might otherwise miss. These movies will be of all genres and decades. The only through line will be quality.

    “Brain Damage” is a weird little movie. It is a lesser known film by Frank Henenlotter, a man who’s most financially successful effort, “Basket Case”, told the story of a man who carries his monstrous Siamese twin in a large wicker basket and seeks revenge on the doctors who performed their separation surgery. He also went on to direct a movie titled “Frankenhooker.” I wasn’t kidding when I said the films discussed in this column would be off the beaten path.

    “Brain Damage” begins in the home of an elderly Jewish couple. They complain about the price of meat and bemoan the loss of the city’s last honest butcher. But they aren’t making brisket for the grandkids. Instead, Morris and Martha are serving raw cow brains to a wormlike creature that they keep prisoner in their bathtub. In exchange for the food, the monster, who goes by Aylmer, provides the couple with a potent hallucinogenic that he injects directly into their brains through a hole in the back of their necks that he has dug with what appears to be a needle at the end of his penis.

    Aylmer is a mean little bastard. Think of a mutant drug pusher with the voice of Larry David and a face that looks like the head of a penis. He is as eloquent as he is condescending. After Aylmer escapes from the elderly couple he quickly finds himself a mark in the form of Brian (daytime TV stalwart Rick Herst in his first ever role), a sensitive and naïve teenager who seems to have no concept of the symbiotic relationship between a dealer and a junkie, or even of addiction itself.

    Aylmer quickly hooks Brian on the drugs. At first it seems like a reasonable deal. Aylmer makes Brian feel good so long as Brian takes him out of the house every now and again. But as Brian’s habit grows Aylmer’s patience shortens. Once Brian is past the point of return Aylmer reveals the full extent of the drug’s control on the adolescent; if Brian wants his next hit, he will have to help Aylmer get his favorite food – human brains.

    From here, the film turns into a gory parable about the destructive nature of drug abuse. Brian tries to quit but the withdrawal pains make a junkie foam at the mouth within hours of going cold turkey. In one especially grotesque scene Brian hallucinates pulling his own brain out of his ear until it shoots blood at a horrific velocity. The strung out retirees return to the mix, threatening to kill Brian in order to retrieve their precious creature. But it is too late, Aylmer has grown too strong and he won’t be going back to the bathtub any time soon.

    95% of “Brain Damage” is delicious black fun. Though the gore scenes are unusually shocking, the film still manages the enviable task of mixing laughs and horror. It is decidedly below the level of “Ghostbusters” or “Shaun of the Dead”, if only because the micro-budget prevents Aylmer from ever looking very good, but it still well above par for this troubled subgenre.

    Unfortunately, the film is marred by the other 5%. For some reason Henenlotter decided to include a sequence where a drugged up Brian picks up a new wave girl at a club and takes her to the roof to fool around. She feels his pant leg and thinks Brian has a real monster but when she unzips him she finds out that her guess was far more accurate than she realized. The scene itself is sort of funny on a structural level, but in practice it looks more like an especially vicious Sasha Grey vignette. The fact that it ends with the new wave girl’s brain being pulled out of her mouth does nothing to lessen the misogynistic blow.

    But this is a film that exists to break rules. I admire it because it pushes buttons that are usually avoided at all costs. And I think there is something to be said for this approach. “Brain Damage” is not a film for everyone. In fact, all but the most hardcore of B-movie fanatics will probably find it more puzzling than anything else, but this is a film far more deserving of its cult status than most and after a few rounds, it makes for a really great time with friends.

  175. Something that I thought was interesting about the first “Troll” movie is that, really, all the troll is trying to do is make the world super-magical and awesome.

    Horror movies –

    “The Invasion” starring Nicole Kidman…I know I’m in the minority on this one but I think “The Invasion”, while flawed, really IS a clever updating of “Invasion of the Body Snatchers”; in this version the bodysnatchers are basically “prozac from space”. It’s not perfect…it’s a compromised film that could have been great (supposedly the Wachowskis tinkered with it) but, it’s a lot smarter and challenging than people give it credit for.

    I was surprised at how much I enjoyed the original “The Stepford Wives” which has a reputation as being a campy feminist horror film, but I thought it was more about commercialism than feminism. It’s about men who are so eager to live the life they’ve been promised by television that they’re willing to kill their own wives to do it.

    And, the original “Invaders from Mars” is the “Mulholland Drive” of B science fiction movies.

    “The Osterman Weekend” is unclassifiable, but it’s kind of a horror film about extreme paranoia, and kind of a spy thriller, and kind of a comedy. It’s really bizarre and enjoyable.

    I’ve never seen “Lost in the Desert” aka “Dirkie” but, this artist rendition makes me want to check it out:


  176. Also, Return to Horror High. Early George Clooney. Early post-modern horror about making a horror movie. Totally incoherent. Bizarrely funny on many unintentional levels.

  177. The Tom Savini directed remake of “Night of the Living Dead” is pretty good.


  179. Also, I think Eli Roth recommended this one, but, Tobey Dammit is so fucking great and probably one of Frederico Fellini’s better movies.


    I’ve given some thought to my earlier comments on the impossibility of our Vern watching an Ernest movie without being distracted. Maybe it would actually be a good thing to have Ernest address Vern via the camera throughout the movie with his incessant “Hey Vern” schtick. Maybe it would be like having a movie made especially for you, or at the very least it would invite Vern into Ernest’s world. “Hey Vern, whaddya think of my movie so far? You gonna give me a good review, Vern? Whatcha doin’ with that hammer, Vern?”

    Only Vern himself can shed light on this possibility.

  181. Long time listener, first time caller.

    Vern, you’ve got to check out Alfred Sole’s Communion (aka Alice, Sweet, Alice). It’s the best giallo not shot in Italy- the kind of material that makes you wish a 70s Brian De Palma had directed. An ambitious low budget slasher shot in upstate New York, it’s a uniquely atmospheric, realistic, and surprisingly emotional mystery-thriller. It offers more interesting (and weird characters), creative and scarily executed kills, and good ideas than any Freddy or Jason sequel. It’s a gem that had me remarking, “how the hell have I not seen this before?” A forgotten classic.

    You also might check out my two favorite guilty pleasure horror movies, Killer Party or Squirm. I’d love to hear your thoughts on either movie.

  182. Ernest Goes To Jail is still fucking great.

  183. Terrorvision has something very special – it has the greatest intro song of any horror. It’s also a nice horror gem with fun campy performances and some crazy dark stuff. Still only VHS, but the entire film is available on youtube in ten 10 minute parts (part 1of10):

    But if you just want to hear this horror’s killer intro: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H78hdH4OpMY&feature=related

  184. Man, I watched House & House 2 today and they were not what I was remembering – reasonable though. More searching and what I was looking for was actually House 3 – named so only in Australia and oddly, unrelated to House 1 & 2 (exactly like HALLOWEEN 3). In US called The Horror Show. But due to Aussie title, the actual 3rd installment in House movies had to be named House 4. Anyways, this has Lance Henrikson and Brion James and great scenes like Brion James getting electric chair and then says to the prison guards “all that did was give me a hard on”. Now that’s what I call badass.


  185. A few more I forgot:
    INVASION OF THE BODY SNATCHERS (Philip Kaufman version)
    THE WICKER MAN (original)
    I’d also like to give a special shout-out to a relatively (I think?) obscure Spanish movie called A BELL FROM HELL, which I stumbled upon at random and found surprisingly good in a weird dreamlike way.

  186. Zoinks. This is the problem with working late and living on the East Coast: I come home to an open question like this and there’s close to 200 replies in front of me, all of whom have made some fantastic recommendations.

    I tend to occasionally get irritated when people use the comments section of each review to say “pleeeeeze review THIS instead Vern” instead of discussing what you were just talking about. You’re a smart guy, you’ve got your own agenda, your own queue of films in front of you…I have faith in you that YOU know what you want to watch next and what you’d be in the best frame of mind to tackle, so I try to stay away from “do this one!” type posts and just let you strive for excellence on your own. Having made my pitiful little grumble there, you DID make this an open question, soooo…

    – You probably have a list of obscure horror goodies by now that you can work for the rest of your life, but about the only one I can think to add to that is SUGAR HILL (aka The Zombies Of Sugar Hill), a noteworthy blaxploitation horror from 1974 (much in the vein of the previously-recommended BLACULA) with Marki Bey taking on a batch of white gangsters with her team of voodoo-generated zombies. Kinda cool, and also some awesome one-liners, particularly when a dude gets fed to a pen of pigs.

    – You may be burnt-out on doing series after those SUBSTITUTE write-ups, but I maintain ’tis the season to finally add the HELLRAISER movies to the review archives (I believe I get the medal for “earliest Halloween recommendation” on this one; it’s the only suggestion I’d given so far in the comments, back when you switched from the Geocities site).

    – Since Rob Zombie announced his next remake/travesty project will involve THE BLOB, why not a Blobfest? There’s the 1958 original (with certified Badass Steve McQueen at his most pre-Badass), the Larry Hagman-directed BEWARE! THE BLOB (IMDb’ers find it hilarious; I found it horrifying), and the often gruesome ’88 remake with a screenplay by Frank Darabont (SHAWSHANK REDEMPTION). You can also address the question of whether two hundred forty dollas worth of Jell-O () makes for an intrinsically scary horror monster.

    – If you’re in a retro mood, perhaps a peek at one of the Hammer Pictures/Christopher Lee DRACULA movies? I recommend DRACULA: PRINCE OF DARKNESS (1966).

    – And speaking of Hammer Pictures, a second to the original TALES FROM THE CRYPT (1972), with Sir Ralph Richardson. A couple of those stories got seriously creepy.

    – And speaking of PRINCE OF DARKNESS, a second to John Carpenter’s PRINCE OF DARKNESS. Also THE THING.

    – Finally, a review of SANTA SANGRE would allow you to complete your sanctuary of three Jodorowsky pictures. Which is maybe worth a thousand testicles by itself.

  187. Just for giggles, how about that one John Carpenter nobody talks of or at this site at least, hasn’t seen….yet its fucking critically important for his career.

    I speak of ELVIS, where he and Snake Plissken tag teamed for the first time.

    I mean come on, Carpenter beat a GONE WITH THE WIND airing in the ratings. Also funny this was his first movie after HALLOWEEN. A fucking musical biopic.

  188. I don’t think you ever reviewed the French slasher flick, Inside. Definitely one of the better ones to come out of there in the past few years, kind of has a Halloween influence in there, I liked it better than Aja’s stuff and Martyrs.

  189. You have to do the Australian horror film Cut. Molly Ringwald chose this to make her return to cinema, Kylie Minogue gets righteously punished for her early songs, and it’s got lots of those little surreal bits that make B-Grade horrors endearing.

  190. Uzumaki, definitely! Good suggestion.

  191. And in case nobody’s mentioned it, DON’T LOOK NOW.

  192. Vern,

    Infection – Gruesome little Japanese flick set in a hospital. Didn’t hold up as well upon a second viewing, but still a far cry better than the average flick.

    Kairo (Pulse) – Kyoshi Kurosawa’s version, not the Vernica Mars version. Slow burn, deeply unsettling.

    Frailty – Not truly great “horror” but nifty story which raises some serious questions and directed by Bill Paxton himself.

    Session 9 – One of my truly favorite films of all times, directed by Brad (I got Christian Bale to look like a walking skeleton in the Machinist) Anderson.

    Them (Ils)- Similar to The Strangers, only maybe better. Definitely a more twisted ending.

    Frontiere(s) – Belongs in the same vein as Martyrs and the altogether horrific Inside.

    Repulsion – Polanski’s second film starring Catherine Deneuve. Pretty bad ass.

    Three Extremes – A set of three short films. Chan-Wook Park’s (Oldboy) is extremely entertaining.

  193. I don’t know if I’d call Hiroshi Teshigahara’s THE FACE OF ANOTHER a horror movie, but it does have some horror elements that are hard to get out of your mind afterward, including some seriously creepy hallucinations and a seriously creepy lead performance (Tatsuya Nakadai, the gun-carrying villain from YOJIMBO).

    I second the recommendation of THREE…EXTREMES, but I thought Chan-wook Park’s segment, “Cut,” was by far the weakest and way too reminiscent of crap like SAW. However the last segment, Takashi Miike’s “Box,” is a fucking masterpiece.

  194. Glad to see a few others recommended “Don’t Go in the House”.

    I feel it is imperative that you watch this one. It is completely in tune with your Vern sensibilities. To convince you here is a review I wrote:

    It ain’t easy loving horror movies. Once you have all the notorious titles under your belt, rewarding experiences are rare. For every forgotten gem you stumble across, you’re committing yourself to hours and hours of hopeless dreck. But every once in a while, you throw on something that’s supposed to be dreck, and you get your face blasted out the back of your head.

    Don’t Go in the House is about Donny, who works in what appears to be some sort of industrial garbage incineration facility. It’s a dangerous place to work, apparently. A coworker bursts into flames when an aerosol can explodes in the coals he’s stoking. The first indication that something ain’t right with Donny is that he just stands there staring at this guy running around on fire. The second indication is that he explains himself with some nonsense ramblings about flames and evil. The third indication is his reaction to finding his mother’s dead body when he returns home to his mansion on the hill that night. Instead of calling the doctor, a priest or a funeral home, he takes satisfaction in playing his disco records as loud as he wants and jumping up and down on the furniture. It’s OK, some sort of supernatural whispering presence told him he’s allowed. You see, Donny was abused as a child. His mother used to hold his arms over the gas flames of the stove to cook the evil out of him. Now that his mother is gone, it’s Donny’s turn to burn the evil out of whatever may require this service. It’s the family business, I guess. Soon enough, Donny has stopped going to work, and has started putting up stainless steel walls in one of his bedrooms. And it’s not because of some new trend in interior design.

    A warning to viewers who are sensitive about sexism at this point: Donny has some issues with women I think, and they probably have something to do with his mother. His idea of cleaning up evil is tricking attractive women into coming home with him, chaining them up naked in his fireproof room, and burning them alive with a flamethrower. I think the title is “Don’t Go in the House” because Donny is generally able to charm these women and get them into his lair without physical force. Entering Donny’s house seems to be tantamount to sexual consent, at least from his decidedly Puritanical perspective. Donny is sexually attracted to women, but once they give him ‘permission’ by entering his house, they become evil and he must burn the bejeezus out of them. Again, this is probably related to the whole mother issues thing. That evil she was trying to burn out of her child? The evil of the sexual act that led to Donny’s conception. Not really his burden to bear, in all fairness. But since women, sex, evil, and fire are all rolled up in one twisted little package (addressed to Sigmund Freud) for this guy, he has a decidedly unromantic way of expressing his feelings. Of course, once these women are charred corpses, they can join the growing family he has dressed up and stashed away in one of the other rooms of his huge house. It’s like Big Love meets Backdraft.

    Don’t Go in the House came out in 1980, the year that gave us William Lustig’s Maniac. There seemed to be a trend towards films with sadistic killers as protagonists around that time. The main difference between Don’t Go in the House and Maniac is that Don’t Go in the House actually seems interested in earning some empathy from the audience. Not only do we have flashbacks to Donny being abused as a child, but most of the second act concerns Donny trying to reform his woman burning ways. He visits a priest, who urges him to forgive his mother and to stop thinking of the Devil in literal terms (pretty radical advice for a priest.) So Donny tells his mother’s corpse that he forgives her and calls a friend from work to see if he wants to catch a movie. This friend has a better idea: meeting chicks at a disco. Donny gets a fancy new suit for his big night and everything seems to be going well until the woman he is set up with tries to drag him onto the dance floor. His arms get too close to a small tea candle and he freaks out and smashes it over her head, lighting her hair on fire. Uh oh Donny, there is no road back now!*

    Don’t Go in the House has an atypical emphasis on character development for a B-movie, a focus that goes beyond Dan Grimaldi’s awkward performance as the relatively complex Donny. The film is also full of memorable minor characters. Perhaps the most entertaining is an employee of the boutique where Donny buys his new disco duds, who sees an opportunity to outfit a hapless loser in an expensive ensemble and sashays around making recommendations. Donny’s friend from work is also a step above the standard stock characters that are usually found in films like this; he is a genuinely nice guy who wants to make sure Donny is OK. We see that he has a family, so we hope nothing happens to him, even though it appears that he cheats on his wife. Even some of the victims are given nice little touches of characterization, such as the drunk girl who can’t stop hiccupping. In a less thoughtful horror movie, a priest would give the schizophrenic murderer some hellfire and brimstone speech that would send him out in the world even more convinced that evil must be punished. In this one, Donny asks a priest if he believes in the Devil, and the priest looks at him like he’s living in fantasy land.

    Thankfully, the production values don’t spoil all this refreshing attention to story and character. For a low-budget movie that’s full of people being lit on fire, the effects do not disappoint. The most harrowing sequence is the first murder, a scene almost too realistic for comfort where a nude woman is burned alive. I’m not sure how they did it, but they got a fairly real looking naked body to wiggle and writhe while burning. It’s the only murder we actually see on screen, but the horror of it reverberates through the rest of the story. And when you consider the fact that Americans with sexual hang-ups really did burn women alive because they thought they were evil, it’s even more disturbing. If the filmmakers blew most of their budget-wad on this sequence it was well worth it.

    The only thing that makes me wonder if this whole film is just a happy accident from people who didn’t know exactly what they were doing is the final scene. A news broadcast on a television set reports Donny’s crimes, while a young child watches. The child’s mother appears and starts smacking the shit out of the poor kid. The film fades out on this little boy, who looks like he’s one step away from pulling a Michael Myers. I understood the message when it was about Donny, there’s no need to clobber me over the head with an anti-child abuse punctuation mark at the end. Maybe they just threw this in there to get the film up over eighty minutes though, who knows.

    Don’t Go in the House: I’m declaring it an overlooked classic right now. I like it better than Maniac. It’s so good that I have foregone more VIFF reviews in order to tell you about it. You won’t regret watching it, unless for some reason you don’t like seeing extremely cruel and graphic death in your movies. Then you might regret it. But still, maybe not.

    * Lamentably, an opportunity was missed to play Disco Inferno during this scene.

  195. I’d be kinda surprised if Vern hadn’t seen DON’T LOOK NOW (for some reason it seems like it comes up in the talkbacks constantly. Just one more reason to love this site) but if not… good lord, why wait till Haloween?

  196. Enough recommendations for you yet, Vern? We can keep going.

  197. I second the hopping vampires suggestion – HELLO DRACULA or maybe ROBOVAMPIRE (robocop versus hopping vampires).

    I’ll also add –
    NUDIST COLONY OF THE DEAD (I think you have to get this directly from Pirromount)
    SEYTAN (Turkish Exorcist, available at Xploited Cinema)

    HOLLYWOOD CHAINSAW HOOKERS (I haven’t seen it, but the name makes it sound like a pretty educational movie).

    And if you review TROLL 2 (as suggested above), I think you should also do WINTERBEAST so we can finally resolve which one walks away with the crown of worst movie ever (although, I think TURKISH STAR WARS would give both of those a run for their money… or lack of money).

  198. Dead & Buried (’81)
    Suspiria (’77)
    The Bird With The Crystal Plumage (’70)
    Tenebrae (’82)
    Demons (’85)
    Trauma (’93)
    Mom (’91)
    Lair Of The White Worm (’88)

  199. RoboVampire is a piece of shit. Oh my, I love it.
    But if you want to review shitty movies instead of Horror movies, you should give RoboWar a shot.
    And of course the movie about the greatest hero of all time YOR! THE HUNTER FROM THE FUTURE!

  200. hooray, another vote for DEAD AND BURIED!

  201. This post and (or actually, the talkback) is one of the best things to happen on the internet. I’ll have movies for years from this. I have a love for ghost movies, and I am especially grateful to the person who called my attention to “Don’t be afraid of the dark”, since it seems to be just what the doctor ordered.

    Now my actual tip:
    I bury the living (1958)
    Found it once through Quint’s reviews on Aintitcool News. A graveyard has a map with black pins for actual graces, and white pins for reserved spots. What could possibly go wrong for the new caretaker? One of the few non-formulaic horror films through history that actually delivers completely on it’s premise (although the very last scene is a cop-out, but the film would have ended perfectly without it, so it just adds humor). The film should be available on DVD in the US, but otherwise it seems to be public domain and can be watched in crappy quality straight through google.

    The Changeling (1980)
    I was happy to see a few mentions of this. It’s only slightly more successful than many others on the actual ghost part, but I’m one of the few (it seems) to actually appreciate George C Scott’s levelheadedness when it comes to what happens around him.

    And for completionism:
    Stir of Echoes
    Hasn’t been mentioned as far as I could see. Again, while waiting for the perfect ghost film I am happy to at least enjoy the occasional great character. Kevin Bacon’s stubbornness makes this one stand out a little bit.

  202. graces = graves in my post above.

  203. Stir Of Echoes is better than its reputation. I think that David Koepp is a better director than writer anyway.

  204. Mattman: just saw Santa Sangre last night. what a trip. i considered mentioning that the music is very disarming, in that it lulls you into a sense of calmness, making the horrific moments hit even harder. but then i realised “disarming” is a pretty corny pun in this circumstance.

  205. Stir of Echoes is better than The Sixth Sense, which stole its thunder!

  206. Travis-Dane

    I was going for shitty-horror, but shitty-shitty works. I’ll be on the lookout for this ROBOWAR. If you haven’t seen HELLO DRACULA and you’re into shitty-horror check out this review from Cinema Apocalypse:


  207. Dead and Buried, yes indeed. I own the novelization.

  208. I wonder at which post Vern officially regretting asking for viewing suggestions from the internet community of film nerds.

    I hope it was after he watched Shuttle and wrote his review.

  209. Hey all, thanks for the suggestions. I’m digging this list. I did a post on the best of the last ten years, riffing on a list originally posted at Unreality.

    Ten Best Horror Movies of the Last Ten Years

  210. ya, Shuttle pretty much sucks.

  211. I’m not even going to add to this because everything I thought of has already been mentioned. I will add a vote for the little known The Burrowers though. I already saw it mentioned and it was a surprisingly good horror/monster movie. I’m gonna go through as many of these posts as possible and find something that fits my taste. This is better then any google search possible!

  212. I also want to add what’s up with that John Carpenter’s The Thing review? This is the perfect time for it and it’s the one review I’ve been waiting to see from you.

  213. The Burrowers is good stuff and Clancy Brown is in it.

    @ME, thanks for the link. You can find a ROBOWAR trailer at YouTube too, check it out. Reb Brown in all his glory.

  214. I’d like to second any recommendations for…..


    THE THING ’82

    There was also a UK series called DEAD SET recently which featured a bunch of contestants entering BIG BROTHER and whilst they were in the house… you guessed it… a Zombie outbreak occurs.

    It was waaay better than I imagined and was unflinchingly brutal in parts. It runs at about 2 and a half hours but was broken down into 5 episodes. A true homage to all that is/was(sorry guys but it’s starting to look like the case) good about Romero.

    Looks like you’ve created a monster here, Vern.

  215. And I know, you don’t like to review TV shows and comedies, but maybe you should take a look at “Garth Marengi’s Darkplace”. Its premise is that it’s a “lost” TV show from the 80’s, about lots of horrific stuff in a hospital.
    Here are the opening titles and a few seconds of the first episode: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SjmJWVc1RGY
    It only runs for six 30 minutes long episodes, so you won’t waste too much time with it :)

  216. I have some suggestions that don’t have to be reviewed, but that I want to mention just so that they can be considered to make the selection possibly a bit more global:

    LUCKER aka LUCKER THE NECROPHAGOUS (1986) – check IMDb for details. I saw this one on VHS while underagedly drinking beer with some friends when my parents where gone for a weekend. It was ridiculously bad. But sick as hell. The reason to mention it is that it is a Belgian horror movie, and the fact that I saw a reconstructed rerelease on DVD in a store the other day. The original film got ‘lost’ a few years after its release and the producers supposedly destroyed the original negatives and all that… (Didn’t buy it jet – I’m actually not that much into horror.)
    DE LIFT aka THE LIFT (1983) – A simple but effective horror about a possessed elevator. Dutch movie that did great in Holland. Dick Maas did an awful American remake under the name DOWN aka THE SHAFT. But the original is something I am proud (cause it’s from Holland).
    AMSTERDAMNED (1988) – Also a Dutch horror movie by Dick Maas. It’s a slashermovie about a nutcase who’s terrorizing the Amsterdam canals (filmed partially in Utrecht, because we have better canals to film stunts on, har har har).

    SHEITAN (2006) – Crazy French movie with Vincent Cassel about you obvious group of young adults going to have the always in these movies ‘fun in a house far from civilisation’. The housekeeper is Vincent Cassel with his incestuous family. Very disturbing. At one point the group (the victims/leads) end up ‘swimming’ in a cave. There the incestuous others show up and start ‘having fun’. It’s beyond average good taste. Really liked it but almost created a disrupted family by recommending it to my sister in law (who is on the other side of the mentioned line I guess…).

    EVIL DEAD (1981) – I’ve never had much with the Evil Dead films, until three weeks ago a friend gave me ‘If Chins Could Kill’, Bruce Campbell’s autobiography. Read it and loved it (I consider myself a starting independent filmmaker and that alone is reason enough to love the book). Since then I bought Evil Dead (the first) and viewed it with pleasure. Of course I’ll buy the other two as well. So I would not mind finding a review of Evil Dead in the shortlist. After seeing it I searched for your review but I did not find it. Chances are that you’ver reviewed it somewhere else or that you just never did that one.

    Looking forward at your final list, Vern!

  217. Recommendations:

    “The Gate”- 80’s heavy metal lovers encounter supernatural forces movie with a young Stephen Dorff.

    “Shocker” another 80’s early Wes Craven effort with Mitch Pileggi.

    “The Hidden” yet another 80’s one with Kyle Machlaclan.

    “The Serpent and the Rainbow” Yes, yet another 80’s one, again by Wes Craven, with Bill Pullman. Based (very loosely0 on a true story.

  218. Oh and check out some Hammer films. “Dracula 1979” is worth a look.

  219. Wouldnt hurt to check out John Carpenters “Prince of Darkness” and that weird 80’s thing “The Stuff” as well.

  220. Stephen King’s “Silver Bullet” is really funny. And it’s got Gary Busey, Terry O’Quin, Evert McGill and Lawrence Tierney (as a bartender who carries around a baseball bat called “The Peacemaker”). I don’t mean anything smarmy or negative when I say that I think it’s almost the “Roadhouse” of horror movies.

  221. oh yeah, I’d always heard THE HIDDEN was good, but I’ve never been able to track down a copy (and wasn’t quite confident enough with it to buy it sight unseen). I hear the commentary track on the DVD is priceless, though.

    Kinda cool that 122 posts in, we’re still coming up with new shit.

  222. oh yeah, the other great thing about THE HIDDEN: Look at the top of the DVD case. It says “From the Makers of A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET”. Wow, what, Wes Craven? Or maybe one of the producers? Wait, look closer at that italicized title. Does it say A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET or “A” NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET? Yup, he was the director of “A” Nightmare movie — number 2.

    (OK, so he has a “thank you” credit on the first one, but I don’t think that exactly qualifies him as a “maker” in my opinion. And if you’re going to count Bob Shaye as a “maker” than practically anything New Line has put out could also be from the “makers” of NIGHTMARE. Pretty weak, fellas. Why focus on that when you could be playing up the Kyle MacLachlan angle? He’s the common man’s Jeff Fahey!)

  223. Mr. Subtlety – THE HIDDEN is worth a blind buy if you can’t track it down, in my opinion. As I mentioned above, it’s one of John Carpenter’s better films. That it wasn’t made by John Carpenter is a minor detail, not really worth mentioning.

  224. Mr. S – Can we agree to give credit partly of HIDDEN to the much-maligned director of NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET 2?

    And yeah, THE HIDDEN is a worthy blind buy.

  225. How in hell have you not reviewed MARTIN?

    And I always remember this description of THE BROOD: “woman gives violent, bloody birth to a pair of evil elfin twins whenever she is angered”

  226. SATAN (original French title SHEITAN) by Kim Chapiron is the best horror film of the 00s

  227. You Need to go see that Paranormal Activity. There is one more showing tonight at the Neptune in Seattle Vern. GO SEE IT !

  228. A friend told me about this movie he saw at Fright Fest in the UK, but I had difficulty believing he wasn’t pulling my leg in his description. Then, I found the following plot outline on iMBD…

    “Internationally respected Siamese twin surgeon Dr. Josef Heiter has a demented vision for mankinds future existence. He wants to remove human beings kneecaps so they have to exist on all fours and then surgically graft them mouth-to-anus to form a centipede chain. When two stranded female Americans arrive at his luxury home-cum-hospital looking for help, his long-gestating plan swiftly moves into chilling action with a shocking force. Kidnapping a third Japanese male tourist he begins the tissue matches, teeth removal and buttock moulding to create his triplet creature…”

    It’s called THE HUMAN CENTIPEDE (FIRST SEQUENCE) and I guess the only place you might catch it is some horror festival running in Seattle… October is around the corner, and by golly, I’d certainly love to see you give it a reviewin’.

  229. If you absolutely have to become part of a human centipede, I recommend being the front segment, for obvious reasons.

  230. ALICE, SWEET ALICE. Easily.

  231. “SATAN (original French title SHEITAN) by Kim Chapiron is the best horror film of the 00s”


  232. Just saw TRICK ‘R’ TREAT via illegal download (although I’ve got the bluray pre-ordered so I don’t feel too bad) and it’s the tits. Nothing mind-blowing but a hell of a lot of fun and a must see when it comes out in two weeks.

  233. i’m behind a review of The Thing. if i had to choose an all time favourite, that’s it hands down.
    actually, a Carpenter horror marathon wouldn’t be a bad idea at all. Prince of Darkness and The Fog need some love too.

  234. I literally just watched the french film “Them” on Netflix streaming and I have to say that was one of the most intense and purely scary movies I’ve seen in a long time. Highly recommend it if you haven’t seen it.

    Oh, and because of my username I guess I have to recommend watching my all-time-favorite John Carpenter’s The Thing (though I’m pretty sure I’m preaching to the choir here).

  235. “Mr. Majestyk” If you absolutely have to become part of a human centipede, I recommend being the front segment, for obvious reasons.”

    Definitely. Apparently, it’s the first part of a trilogy, which boggles the mind somewhat…

  236. Mr. Majestyk: Definitely. Apparently, it’s the first part of a trilogy…

  237. Sorry about that. Slight confusion.

  238. I’ll add only this: MURDER PARTY (2007) – THE best horror movie of the last decade. Check it out. Not joking.

  239. Oh, and QT’s favorite EYES OF THE STRANGER (1981) by Ken god damned Wiederhorn is the nastiest slasher flick imaginable. Seriously, it’s one mean little movie.

  240. THE KEEP (1983)

    Nazis vs. Monster in Romania, with Scott Glenn, Gabriel Byrne, Jürgen Prochnow and Ian McKellen, directed by Michael Mann.

    I saw the first ten minutes when I was a teenager and thought it was one of the best set-ups ever, especially when Jürgen Prochnow remarks to the local guide that this weird fortress in the Romanian alps was built backwards, as if it was to keep something IN rather than keep an enemy out. I know it’s been done before, but there was something intangibly brilliant about the look on the guide’s face (the wonderful William Morgan Sheppard)…

    Greedy Nazi foot-soldiers mess with forces beyond their comprehension, start getting picked off by a weird mist that, uh, explodes them or something. The mist turns eventually turns into a rubber suit and makes a Faustian pact with Ian McKellan, and Scott Glenn plays the suit’s nemesis and Gabriel Byrne plays a slimy SS officer…

    It’s a bit of a mess, but there’s so much incidental weirdness in it that I’d have to recommend it.

  241. The keep has one of the most inexplicable and least sexy sex scenes ever put to film.

    Also, when I first saw it it creeped me out that Ian McKellan looks exactly the same as he does today. Damn, that guy’s been old forever! But then I realized that he was actually wearing old-man makeup which exactly predicted how he’s really look in 20 years. Which is even creepier.

  242. I dunno, i did my business to the sex scene in The Keep back in the day, so I’d say it worked. Inexplicable, yes, but a nice precursor to Mann’s later sex scene in Last of the Mohicans. The Keep was definitely a mess, but worth watching for the cast and plus the score was kinda cool (I miss those 80s synth scores)

  243. Murder Party, the best horror of the decade? That’s kind of a stretch. It’s more of a comedy than anything else.
    It’s one those movies people see in film festivals so they make more of a big deal out of them.

    That might sound a bit hypocritical from the guy who’s been recommending Shuttle. But I think underneath its flaws lies a very well constructed film from a writer / director with great instincts.
    I don’t think it’s a masterpiece or anything, like I said it’s flawed. More of a solid little movie worth discovering for it’s main villain, solid concept and great ending.

  244. You’re a braver man than I, sir.

    Oh yeah, I forgot about my personal favorite part of THE KEEP — once the monster has put on its rubber suit, McKellan explains the situation with the Nazis to him. It’s response, “I will DESTROY THEM!!!!!” Sounds just like Morbo, the news monster from Futurama. So yeah, its a pretty great movie. Now if only they could have put hypnotoad in there somewhere…

  245. I just read about an independent/amateur horror comedy named “Cockhammer”. Maybe you should check it out. (But don’t blame me if it sucks. I haven’t watched it. I just think it sounds amusing.)

  246. Hey Vern!THE HIDDEN is an awesome 80s movie that is just destined to be reviewed by you. If you haven’t seen it already, here’s the trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ia1EYZK-72Y I’d also love to read your take on Tobe Hooper’s LIFEFORCE. Greetings from Germany!

  247. ha ha. I just watched Lifeforce. Didn’t think it was too memorable.

  248. Mr. Subtlety – Count me in as another fan/admirer of the messy-if-still-fascinating THE KEEP.

    I mean how can I not dig a retelling of the Golem myth with the fucking Nazis?

    Supposedly the movie doesn’t make much sense because Paramount took it away from Mann and chopped it up. Which would explain some things.

    Best scene though was when ole Gabriel Bryne asks Mr. Monster its origin: “I came from….you!”

    THE KEEP needs to be on goddamn DVD.

  249. Actually RRA, one of the things that I like about the movie is that the monster (in the novel apparently a generic dragon/demon thing) looks very golem-y, which creates an interesting subtext and also explains why McKellan would be maybe more inclined to trust it. Thats a good idea, even if it ends up looking a little rubbery in the end. And yeah, I also heard the studio took out something like an hour of material, which might have explained things like, say, who the heck Scott Glen was and what he wanted. I have long hoped for a DVD with some of that jazz restored…

  250. Based on the many recommendations in this thread, I watched INSIDE. Talk about a gruesome ending. I don’t think that the film is anywhere near as tense or as brutal as MARTYRS, but it makes the similar American film THE STRANGERS seem almost timid in comparison.

    One of the things that impressed me about INSIDE is the manner in which the antagonist was depicted: no pig masks, no unstoppable force from hell, just a damaged woman. And Beatrice Dalle’s performance totally sold the character. I couldn’t believe some of the noises that came out of her.

  251. Nah, the only good thing about SHUTTLE was the ending… it’s an extremely silly movie. MURDER PARTY, on the other hand, has nice Halloween atmosphere (even better than THREAT ‘R TRICK has), a lovable protagonist, very good story structure and the incredible terror-filled 20 or so last minutes that make the most of the movie’s urban setting. I really don’t know better urbanistic horror… well, with the expection of CANDYMAN, perhaps.

  252. Two words… FRIGHT NIGHT. Bar none the best vampire movie of the 80’s outside of NEAR DARK. Completely different in tone then NEAR DARK (which wouldn’t be bad to review in itself) but it resembles the fun you’ve been recently looking for in your watching/reviewing of 80’s films. FRIGHT NIGHT rocks. Seriously. Outstanding, under-rated vampire in it who might have set the bar on the genre – not in a brooding way, but rather in the “I love who I am and I’m fucking pretty badass.”

  253. Ooh, I’m going to watch it right now Nickmerill! Should I bother with the sequel?
    Also remembered a good Canadian monster movie: THE BOOGENS (1981).

  254. You should go for the double-whammy, Roachboy. A tiny bit of 80s nostalgia might help, but they’re both great…and the sequel’s finale really adheres to the rules of badassery!

  255. I think like everybody at this point, I’m basically just skimming the comments rather than reading them all, but here’s a couple more I don’t think have been mentioned yet:

    *13 TZAMETI isn’t really a horror film, more a really really tense genre flick, but totally great and worth checking out. It’s a French film, shot in black and white, about a poor immigrant who needs money, and ends up pretending to be a down-on-his-luck heroin addict in order to get a job that, in retrospect, he *really* shouldn’t have taken. The film’s fantastic, but the problem is that if you describe the plot or watch the trailer, the major shock value of its premise is lost. It’s much better to go in cold, without even a translation of the title. Great, great flick. Soon to be remade in the U.S., because god hates me.

    *END OF THE LINE definitely IS a horror film though. Low-budget, and a little on the cheap side, but a great premise — a group of Christians on a subway get phone messages telling them that Armageddon is approaching, and the only way to save the unbelievers’ souls is to immediately murder them. Suddenly they’re pulling daggers out of their crucifixes, and everybody’s a target. It’s not a great movie, unfortunately, but I give it credit for the premise, and it’s certainly watchable.

    *And I’d love to see more film review of LARRY FESSENDEN’s stuff. You reviewed HABIT a few years back, and since then he’s done THE LAST WINTER — finally with a real budget, or at least a Ron Perlman-sized budget, for Ron Perlman doth star — and he produced and starred in I SELL THE DEAD, about a couple of graverobbers in 18th or 19th century England who specialize in procuring corpses of the undead and the possessed (it’s more comedic). Both are totally worth checking out. He also made a film called WENDIGO, about the Wendigo, but I haven’t seen it so I’ve no idea if it was good or just more crap.

  256. Trick R’ Treat.

    Must Watch.

  257. I’ve seen FRIGHT NIGHT 2 and it’s not good, but it’s not bad either. The first one just works for me. I think it’s one of the first vampire movies where the vampire enjoys being who he is and makes use of his powers to the fullest. A lot of copy cats after that because this vampire had a certain style that we’ve seen in different variations but in the 80’s when this came out it was pure fun for me.

    FRIGHT NIGHT fits exactly what Vern is viewing of late and that’s fun 80’s movies that have some uniqueness to it although to be fair FRIGHT NIGHT is a masterpiece compared to what he’s been watching of late – Teen Wolf 2? LOL.

  258. “Greg” — Fessenden’s work has been a series of near-misses for me. WENDIGO has some nice moments and a great atmospheric, slow build… but it is fatally marred by its SciFi channel-caliber production, and by the end completely unravels into silliness. Which is about the same way I’d review THE LAST WINTER, only without the complaint about the cheap-o camerawork and editing. It also has a great setup, perfectly escalating atmosphere and a nice slow build, but it paints its characters so cartoonishly and spouts its new-agey environmental message so overtly that it finally lost me, and that’s before it even got to the SPOILER SPOILER Dinosaur-moose-ghosts which just look ridiculous (Fessenden must be scared of goofy-looking ungulates, because there’s also one in WENDIGO). I mean, I’m for the environment too but the movie’s attempt to connect the plot to a “message” makes THE HAPPENING seem not so hilarious by comparison (although still pretty hilarious).

    The guy definitely knows a thing or two about atmosphere and growing dread, though, and I’m still pulling for him to make his masterpiece. And about I SELL THE DEAD (which I don’t think he wrote or directed, but could be wrong). Merry + Perlman + Tall Man + Zombie graverobbers = holy shit awesome.

  259. saw Trick ‘r Treat last night. i stand behind it. irresistible Halloween atmosphere. i could have done without the Anna Pacquin story, but the rest were top notch.

  260. It’s been awhile since I’ve seen these two movies, so I really can’t comment on them in terms of quality, but I remember them both being weird and interesting and maybe worth checking out…

    Lady in White – kind of a combination of Ray Bradbury, Stephen King and Harper Lee. Really stylish, to the point of being surreal. I’m surprised the guy who made this was never able to follow it up.

    Parents – a kid in the 1950’s starts to wonder where his Parents are getting all those left overs from. This one was directed by the guy who played the interpreter in “Close Encounters…”

    Also…if you’re interested in classic horror, the I’d recommend “The Black Cat” (Lugosi vs. Karlof; and way ahead-of-its-time direction by Edgar G. Ulmer)…for my money, the best of the old Universal Pictures horror movies.

    And, if you want to go super-old school, FW Murnau’s “Faust” is amazing. It’s too bad “Mark of the Vampire” portrayed Murnau as a pretentious asshole who made snuff films because he really was a cinematic genius (rather than just some guy who made “Nosferatu”) I’d recommend finding a copy of “Faust” with a decent orchestral soundtrack. The movie also has a great performance by Emil Jannings (who, apparently was killed during Operation Kino) Here’s a cool video remix someone did on you tube that shows some of the highlights…


  261. Here’s one to avoid at all costs : http://www.joblo.com/elm-street-trailer . Way to fuck up Freddy Michael Bay!!!!!!

  262. I don’t think the trailer was that bad. I think the movie seems like a weird combination of interesting new take on the character and by-the-numbers rehash. I think the idea that maybe Freddy was innocent and really didn’t deserve what he got and is therefore somewhat justified in his attacks is an intriguing idea and I’m curious to see exactly where they are going with it. And I think that casting Jackie Earle Haley in the lead role is great casting. He’s got one of the most interesting faces working in movies right now, and the fact that he’s fast becoming a fucking great actor is reassuring to me. If nothing else it’ll propel him even further into the mainstream, and that can’t be a bad thing after Watchmen proved just what kind of fireworks he’s capable of setting off.

  263. Did you see the same trailer I saw? Yeah the concept that Freddy might have been innocent adds a nice touch to the revenge portion of his existence, but everything else looks completely generic. They even have the bathtub scene and the scene where tina climbs the walls as Freddy kills her. What the hell was that? I thought they would at least try to be a little different but this just looks completely watered down. Jackie Earl Haley is a good actor but he would have to be some kind of miracle worker to make what I saw in that trailer any good. Truthfully, even the scene where he get’s burned looked generic. What was up with him opening his jacket like he was about to turn into super freddy? There should have been real terror in that scene, it looked scarier on Freddy’s Nightmares and that was pretty generic looking. After Friday The 13th and Jason as a weed farmer I should have known. I bet Freddy’s got a stash somewhere in that basement.

  264. Dude, I said it was weird combination of interesting ideas and rehash. The stuff I was talking about wasn’t stuff in the trailer, but just potential the movie seems to have, based on what little I’ve read in interviews and articles and whatnot. I have no idea what this movie is going to be like. I fucking hated every Platinum Dunes movie except Friday the 13th, which I thought was kind of OK, although rewatching it it definitely doesn’t hold together 100%, but a decent effort at least. This movie may be absolute shit, writing out their track record, the odds are definitely against the Dunes fellas. But I’m going to stay optimistic because A) they hired a real, honest-to-God actor to anchor the movie, B) they are working off of solid, but not untouchable matireal (great first movie, increasingly lacking follow-ups), C) They have one kind of decent idea to branch off of (Freddy might have been innocent) and D) If nothing else, we’ll probably get another epic Vern review out of it when the DVD comes out.

  265. Hey, guys who’ve seen Trick R’ Treat: do you think that that thing with the candy happened with all the other kids that got it from the Prinicipal’s house or just with the fat kid in the beginning? Poor movie kiddies. :(

  266. Oh ya, I forgot about The Devil’s Chair, a cool little low budget British flick. It could use more attention

  267. It WAS a great move to cast Jackie Haley, but the rest of it looks just as vanilla and generic as everything Platinum Dunes does. Which is, I guess, exactly what happens when you are contractually obligated to remake a movie. There’s no particular reason to make it (except money), so they just kind of flounder between retread and half-baked gimmicks. It’s ironic, because these guys are consumate pros for hire, and they’ve got talent and budgets at their disposal that most horror directors would give their authentic replica Jason Machete for, but the one thing they don’t have is any real vision about what they’re trying to do (other than make Michael Bay some more money). I do appreciate that they treat it seriously, but there’s just zero creativity or passion in these things and all you get at the end is a very tastfully lit runthrough of all the things that tested well in the demographic.

    I mean, I’m not even really against the idea of a NIGHTMARE remake, and putting Haley in there with the slight twist about his innocence (which I’m not buying, btw) would make me interested under other circumstances. But this is so transparently a cash grab that I can’t even really get mad about it, it just seems pointless; a whole lot of effort put into mimicking something with the vague idea that by recreating the form you can recreate substance. Sorry Michael, that ain’t how it works, especially after 30 years.

  268. Well articulated, Mr. Subtlety. As far as I’m concerned, it takes more than just a remake to grab my interest: the filmatists need to demonstrate that they are using the source material as a launch pad into something else entirely, like the way Lynch likely used SUNSET BLVD as source material for his own MULHOLLAND DR., but took the idea somewhere else entirely.

    As far as I’m concerned, Platinum Dunes is just karaoke.

  269. “As far as I’m concerned, Platinum Dunes is just karaoke” — ha! Brilliantly put!

  270. If this is still a viable thread for recommendations, I don’t think anyone’s mentioned Antichrist yet. Well, they probably did, but still, better safe than sorry. That’s all.

  271. I think Vern’s probably crying after reading this. He should clone himself a few times and review everything.

  272. And I’m surprised that Vern has not yet reviewed:
    JC’s THE THING (my favourite film, ever)
    PRINCE OF DARKNESS (one of the most underrated films of the 80s. it’s Carpenter channeling Argento, and it’s crazy)
    SUSPIRIA (one of the creepiest films ever)
    THE HIDDEN (yes! from the director of Elm Street 2! badly overlooked. Body-possessing alien hunted by 80s cops)
    WARLOCK (Richard E. Grant and Julian Sands as time-travelling 80s sorcerers!)
    Q – THE WINGED SERPENT (Very enjoyable oddity plays out like an episode of Petrocelli with an aztec dragon in it)
    and finally EVILSPEAK (Bizarre, violent video nasty with Clint Howard as a put-upon nerdy kid who gets demon powers from an evil computer)

  273. Even though I’ve never seen it, I’m going to recommend “The Prowler” because it was directed by the guy who made “Invasion USA”, “Red Scorpion” and one of the better Jason movies; and Tom Savini did the make-up effects; and the plot sounds strangely similar to “My Bloody Valentine”, but more interesting.

  274. Well, in order to preserve and save the content here in the name of all humanity, I have taken the time to create a list of all the recommendations here. I had done this for myself, since I can’t think of a better source for inspiration than my colleagues here, but why horde it to myself when I can share and artificially lengthen this thread? Since the thread appears to be petering out, I think its safe to do now. It’s a complete list but there may be a few repeats on there; I tried to keep them to a minimum but Christ, I’m only one man. Oh, and I originally started taking account of the votes at first, so some films have a roman numeral behind them to indicate how many times they were mentioned, but I stopped after awhile because only one man, etc.

    So, I present to you: The Friends of Vern Halloween Homework Assignment, abridged version:

    The Haunting (robert wise version) (IIII)
    Halloween III (IIII)
    Psycho 1-4
    Nightmare on Elm Street (all, esp. NEW NIGHTMARE) (II)
    Lucio Fulci films –
    (Don’t Torture a Duckling (III)
    Zombi 2 (III)
    The Beyond (III)
    City of the Dead (III)
    New York Ripper (IIIII)
    House by the Cemetary (III) )
    City of the Living Dead
    Coffin Joe trilogy
    At Midnight I’ll take your Soul
    This Night I’ll Possess Your Corpse
    The Embodiment of Evil
    Copkiller aka Order of Death
    Night of the Demon (III)
    Kiyoshi Kurasawa films –
    (Cure (III)
    Pulse (Kairo) NOT the remake (IIII)
    Doppleganger )
    Suicide Club aka Suicide Circle (III)
    Noriko’s Dinner Table (II)
    Don’t Open Till Christmas
    Dead Girl
    Cemetary Man
    Timecrimes (III)
    Eden Lake (IIII)
    Antichrist (Von Trier) (III)
    Let the Right One In (IIII
    Army Of Darkness
    Dead Alive aka Braindead
    Killer Klowns from Outer Space (II)
    Return of the Living Dead
    The Cell
    Maniac (II)
    End of the Line
    The Blob (all versions)
    Candyman (III)
    The Brood (II)
    Demons 1 and 2
    Child’s Play
    Dolls (Stuart Gordon one)
    Pink Floyd the Wall
    Body Double
    Dressed to Kill
    Return of the Living Dead
    Maniac Cop
    Creepshow 1 and 2
    Grelmins 1 and 2
    The Dark Side of Midnight aka The Creeper
    Santa Sangre
    Vampire’s Kiss
    Targets (II) (admitted non-horror genre)
    The Hidden (IIII)
    Mute Witness
    The Church
    Say Yes
    The Neighbor No 13
    Shivers (II)
    Romero’s DEAD films
    the Nameless
    I, Madman (II)
    The Gate (II)
    Invaders from Mars (1953)
    Night of the Creeps
    La Cabina (short, 1972)
    Tombs of the Blind Dead
    Memories of Murder
    The Host
    Cradle of Fear
    From Beyond
    Dead Meat & Isolation (Irish cow movie double feature?)
    The Orphanage
    Tourist Trap (IIII)
    Let’s Scare Jessica To Death
    Q: The Winged Serpent (II
    Argento Films-
    (Deep Red
    Susperia (II
    Phenomena (II
    Excorcist series (II
    Just Before Dawn
    Alone in the Dark (Non-Uwe version)
    Kidnapped (aka Rabid Dogs)
    Val Lewton stuff –
    (Cat People
    I Walked With a Zombie
    Ghost Ship
    Leopard Man
    Isle of the Dead)
    Critters Quadrilogy
    Chopping Mall
    John Carpenter stuff
    (The Thing (original and remake) (dozens of votes)
    Prince of Darkness
    In The Mouth of Madness)
    The Crazies
    Vampyr (Dreyer version)
    Peeping Tom
    The Innocents
    Shriek of the Mutilated
    Nightmare Detective
    Snake of June
    Storm Warning
    Long Weeked (II)
    I Know How Many Runs You Scored Last Summer
    Wolf Creek
    Road Games
    Silent Night, Bloody Night
    Carnival of Souls (1962)
    The Burrowers
    The Burning (II
    The Pit
    The Raven (Roger Corman version — Lorre, Karloff, etc)
    Day of the Animals
    Rosemary’s Baby
    Blair Witch Project
    Tale of Two Sisters
    I Drink Your Blood
    Irreversible (acknowledged non-horror but horrible)
    Basket Case
    Brain Damage
    The Host
    Night Of The Creeps (II)
    Monster Squad
    Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark
    Three.. Extremes
    The Vanishing (original)
    Return to Fucking Oz
    Fright Night 1 and 2
    The Legend of Hell House
    Creepshow/ Tales from the Crypt / Tales from the Darkside
    Body Parts
    Cat People (Paul Schrader version)
    Mr Vampire
    Magic Cop
    Slugs (II)
    The Howling
    End of the Line
    Near Dark
    Jaws (admitted non- horror genre)
    The Dark Half
    Cemetary Man
    Dust Devil
    The Stuff
    Session 9
    Don’t Look Now
    Imprint (Miike “masters of horror”)
    House on Haunted Hill
    Hellraiser 2
    The Incredible Shrinking Man
    Tremors (all)
    Bay of Blood (aka Twitch of the Death Nerve)
    Scream Blacula Scream
    The Prowler
    Don’t Go In the House
    The Unseen
    Raw Meat
    Motel Hell (NOT Hotel Hell)
    The Last Horror Film (NOT The Last Horror Movie)
    The Omen
    The Shining
    Save the Green Planet
    The Funhouse
    Slaughter at Central High
    Hello Mary Lou Prom Night 2
    My Best Friend is a Vampire
    Silent Night Deadly Night
    Troll 2
    Silver Bullet
    Basket Case
    Hollywood Chainsaw Hookers
    Sorority Babes in the Slimeball Bowl-o-Rama
    Nightmare Weekend
    Entrails of a Beautiful Woman
    Carnival of Souls (1962)
    Dead and Buried
    Brain Dead (AKA Paranoia, 1990)
    The Dark (2005)
    The Changeling
    The Innocents
    Silent Night, Bloody Night
    The Children
    Blood on Satan’s Claw
    Runaway (1984)
    Incubus (Shatner version)
    The Loved Ones
    House on the Edge of the Park
    Nosferatu (Herzong version)
    The Serpent and the Rainbow
    Near Dark
    Long Weekend (original)
    The Fog (original)
    Them (Ils)
    The Funhouse (Tobe Hooper’s)
    Hour of the Wolf
    Two Evil Eyes
    Trilogy Of Terror
    Witchfinder General
    Murder Loves Killers Too
    We’re Going to Eat You
    Blind Beast
    Horrors of Malfored Men
    The Deadly Spawn
    Black Christmas (original)
    Andy Warhol’s Flesh For Frankenstein
    Eaten Alive
    Cannibal Ferox
    When a Stranger Calls (1979)
    Child’s Play 2
    Chopping Mall
    The Being
    The Others
    Raw Meat (aka Dead Line)
    Intruder aka Night Crew
    Ticks aka Infested
    A Chinese Ghost Story (1987)
    Samurai Reincarnation (1981)
    Brain Damage
    The Invasion (Kidman version)
    The Stepford Wives (original)
    Invaders from Mars
    The Osterman Weekend
    Return to Horror High
    Night of the Living Dead (Savini version)
    Tobey Dammit
    Communion (aka Alice, Sweet Alice, presumably not the Walken version)
    Killer Party
    Horror Show (aka House 3 in AU)
    Spider Baby
    Invasion of the Body Snatchers (Kaufman version)
    Wicker Man (original)
    The Abominable Dr. Phibes
    Dementia 13
    Freeway (presumably the 1988 one, although he doesn’t say for sure)
    A Bell From Hell
    Sugar Hill (aka the Zombies of Sugar Hill)
    The Blob (all)
    Beware! the Blob
    Dracula: Prince of Darkness
    Tales from the Crypt
    Santa Sangre
    Cut (AU film, not the segment from Three… Extremes)
    The Face of Another (possibly non-horror genere)
    Don’t Look Now
    Poultrygiest: Night of the Chicken Dead
    Curse of the Queerwold
    Nudist Colonly of the Dead
    Kung Fu Vampire
    Winterbeast (as candidate for worst movie ever)
    Mom (’91 version)
    Lair of the White Worm (’88)
    I Bury the Living (1958)
    Stir of Echoes
    The Borrowers
    Dead Set (UK TV miniseries)
    Garth Marengi’s Darkplace (TV series)
    Lucker aka Lucker the Necrophagous
    De Lift aka The Lift (1983, not the oddly hilarious American Remake called The Shaft)
    Sheitan (2006)
    Evil Dead
    The Gate
    The Hidden
    Dracula 1979
    The Stuff
    Silver Bullet
    Paranormal activity (currently in theaters)
    The Human Centipede (First Sequence)
    Trick r Treat
    Murder Party (2007)
    Eyes of the Stranger
    The Keep
    Cockhammer (CJ Holden says “I read about it, don’t blame me if it sucks”)
    The Boogens
    13 Tzameti (possibly not a genre horror film)
    The Last Winter
    I Sell the Dead
    Lady In White
    Parents (Bob Babalan directed)
    The Black Cat (Lugosi vs Karlof)
    Fuast (FW Murnau version)
    The Devil’s Chair (UK)
    Evilspeak (Clint Howard!)

  275. Great list Mr. Subtlety my hats off of you. Either you’ve got a lot of time on your hands or a helluva great sorting program.

  276. okay how about some french shit: INSIDE i promise you wont forget, then there is MARTYRS another very disturbing french
    horror movie, for some good old euro horror i would go with HOW TO KILL A CHILD, TORSO….by the way theres more
    spanish stuff then Rec such as THE NAMELESS(los sin nombre) DARKNESS and ABRES LOS OJOS. Okay hope you check out those movies once looking forward to read your shit…..

  277. Chitown — you’d be surprised what you can get done during a slow day at work once your sanity has completely gone.

  278. Mr. S

    Great effort… I’m happy you were paid for it somehow mate.

  279. Apparently you skipped a post of mine where I mentioned “Flashback” and “Anatomie”. At least I couldn’t find them in your list although I checked them twice. But since they aren’t that great and I just mentioned them for the sake of having German slasher movies on the list, it doesn’t matter.
    (And maybe I just didn’t saw them on your list, so no need to worry.)

  280. And if it’s not too late, I would like to add the now in theatres running “Pandorum”. It’s directed by Christian Alvart, who is one of the most talented new German directors, but the reviews are for any reason divided into extremly positive and extremly negative. So I would like to know what you are thinking.

  281. Don’t worry CJ, they’re in there, right after the Val Lewton section.

  282. CJ-just use the ctrl+F search function and you’ll see that both movies were listed.

    Mr. Subtlety-Great use of work time and a good way to still get paid for it.

  283. Holy shit you leave the thread for a couple of days and suddenly Mr. Subtlety comes in and organizes it all nice and pretty. Hat tip for that one, man. Now I’ve got my next year’s worth of horror flicks lined up for me.

  284. Hey, thanks Mr. Subtlety. That list is gonna replace my scribbled notes.

  285. Hey, that’s why I got into this profession – to help people.

  286. Call it sheer late night luck but I stumbled onto “Gangs of the Dead” you should check it out. Brief synopsis: Gang + Gang + Zombies = The precursor to escape from LA?

  287. Swear to Christ, Buddha, Allah, etc., this’ll be my last suggestion, but BLUE SUNSHINE hasn’t been mentioned yet. Literally just finished watching it a few minutes ago, and it was pretty good for what it was — Mid-70’s film about a guy trying to track down bald homicidal maniacs who are all linked by a college experience with something called “Blue Sunshine”. Got a nice atmosphere, and a couple good ideas. Reminds me of a more mainstream version of an early David Cronenberg flick. Includes a great disco attack sequence.

  288. Pandorum kinda blows. don’t bother with it. not really a horror movie either. more like sci-fi resident evil.

  289. I wasn’t about to read all those posts, so maybe these have been mentioned.

    – Paranormal Activity. In theaters now, has a “Blair Witch” kind of buzz.
    – The ‘Burbs. Not really all that scary, just awesome.

  290. Here’s one I haven’t seen posted (I apologize if someone posted and I missed it). HELL NIGHT. It stars Linda Blair as a sorority pledge along with another girl and 2 dudes, all pledges, that have to spend the night (Halloween night) in an abandon mansion where a family was murdered years before
    As a kid, this movie scared the hell out of me back in the mid 80’s.

  291. Anyone mention MOTEL HELL yet?

  292. I have to agree with “Trick ‘r Treat”. It’s a lot of fun and worth owning. Also, the other “Trick or Treat” is a pretty solid (and funny) 80s horror flick that you may have already seen.

  293. Are we still going here? Well, Vern since you’ve lliked some Australian horror in the past I’d recommend PATRICK (1978), which is from the writer of RAZORBACK and the director of ROAD GAMES. It’d make a good double feature with the incredibly sleazy Italian knock-off PATRICK LIVES AGAIN (1980) (which is completely different in tone but still fun). Another good Everett-De-Roche-penned, slow-burning Australian horror film is LONG WEEKEND (1978), one of those nature fights back films, which is actually a lot better and less cheesy than it sounds, a real hidden gem. Although since you saw NOT QUITE HOLLYWOOD you are probably aware of these films already.

  294. Long Weekend is a helluva great suspenseful flick. backed.

  295. One last movie which I just remembered is pretty awesome is an absolutely forgotten 1972 oddity called MESSIAH OF EVIL. Along with it’s awesome name, it sports a surprisingly great atompshere of dread and successfully combines some weird psychadellic and hippie elements with horror. Its a totally unique movie which has yet to really be ripped off completely, with a great ambiguous ending. The production values are amateurish but there’s a lot of great ideas and sequences.

    THE NIGHT EVELYN CAME OUT OF THE GRAVE is less successful but sleazy and disturbing as they come. I can’t really say it’s good, but it is pretty unique, with a few clever turns. That one’s from 1971. I’d also love to hear your take on the one that Quint just looked at over at AICN… AFRAID OF THE DARK. I’d never heard of it but it sounds interesting.

  296. Back in 1993, I remember thinking that “Full Eclipse” was one of the better straight-to-video movies I’d seen. I have no idea if it holds up at all; but, the plot of it is pretty cool: a rouge squad of vigilante police officers with werewolf powers tries to recruit a burnt-out cop played by Mario Van Peebles (now that I think about it, it’s kind of like “Magnum Force” with werewolves). I remember it having some surprisingly decent John Woo type shootouts, but I also remember it not quite delivering on the awesomeness of the premise (probably because of the budget). Someone should probably remake this movie.

  297. Another real good horror movie just dawned on me. ANGUISH by Bigas Luna. A Spanish slasher from the 80s. It’s been a while since I saw it but I remember giving it high marks for both quality and weirdness.

    There’s also a pretty good late seventies movie called JENNIFER about a somewhat nerdy girl from an extremely religious single-parent home who get bullied a lot at school until one day the bullies go too far and she gets revenge on them with her psychic powers. I think what I liked most about it was its originality.

  298. I just wanted to join up to say thanks for all of the brilliant, thoughtful, and crazed horror recommendations on this thread. I’ve been watching some great movies I’d never heard of for months thanks to all of you on this thread.

    I will give more specific feedback soon- as I’m a horror movie junkie.

  299. I would like to recommend the original Carnival of Souls- dark, oppressive, creepy-

    And I also want to recommend Trick r Treat, the best EC comics- style horror anthology I’ve seen. Much the best of that lot. Much, much the best. Mainly because the story is engaging and all of the episodes are related in a way that makes sense.

  300. Ah OK and now I just watched Murder Party thanks to the recommendation on this thread- hilarious and exhilirating mass murder scene- the most charming anti-art film imaginable. Funnier and better written than Shaun of the Dead.

  301. Behold! Mr. S’s Halloween Marathon Wrap – up! (Part 1)

    All right, so I needed two more weekends to finish up my goal, but I figured I owe a reaction to everyone whose reccomendation I took. I encourage you all to do the same! Let’s see if we can’t hit 400 posts and get that guy who got all mad about JCVD back here.

    Q: The Winged Serpent: Every bit as great as everyone said. Michael Moriarty just gives a riveting, remarkable performance. Truly among the best and most unique that I am aware of. And I think there’s something about a dragon eating people too, but honestly I got annoyed whenever they cut away to that. David Carradine and Richard Rountree are in it too, but they play assholes.

    Candyman: Where have you been all my life, Candyman? This movie is fantastic, a brilliant mix of great, imaginative, atmospheric horror and deeply intelligent subtext. Sharp and perfect in nearly every way, from performances to direction to score (Philip Glass wtf?!!) Why this is not generally hailed as an absolute classic of the genre is completely beyond me.

    The Dark: Finally, a DTV horror film with some substance. Although slightly incoherent, this thing offers great atmosphere, beautiful photography, and stellar performances (finally, Sean Bean gets to use his actual accent!). It’s a great slow-burn ride with a respectably original premise, executed with style, class, and assurance. If it doesn’t quite add up to a classic, its not for lack of ambition and moxie, so lets have some more like this, world.

    Shuttle: A very smart and sharp movie which for some reason never really did much for me. Good acting, great setup, unpredictable and at times a little unnerving, but for some reason I could never get that into it. I think unfortunately it’s unpredictability comes from its lack of a traditional structure, which means that it never really goes anywhere thematically or with its characters. Its just a bunch of shit that happens in a row. I do really like the villains, though, and hope this gets them some notice… the tiny humanizing touch at the very end is one of the film’s strong points.

    Phantasm III: Likeable but totally unnecessary return for Michael and Reggie. In tone and substance, much more a sequel to PHANTASM II than the original. Its funny and engaging, with a few unique bits (the adorable killer kid, the pervy Reggie, the return of original actors) but sleighter in almost every way and with a nagging “why?” lingering in the background.

    I Know Who Killed Me: For my orgasmic reaction to this gift from the ancient lovecraftian gods of retarded genius, see my post in the NIGHT OF THE CREEPS talkback (towards the bottom).

  302. Behold! Mr. S’s Halloween Marathon Wrap – up! (Part 2)

    All right, so I needed two more weekends to finish up my goal, but I figured I owe a reaction to everyone whose reccomendation I took. I encourage you all to do the same! Let’s see if we can’t hit 400 posts and get that guy who got all mad about JCVD back here.

    Midnight Meat Train: Another misfire. Decent enough in its way but never quite enough to suck me into it. There is a great bit where (spoiler!) Vinnie Jones whacks Ted Raimi on the back of his head with a hammer and bashes his eyeballs out in slow motion. The rest is mildly interesting, but pretty low on style or suspense. Weird casting doesn’t help much; Jones is oddly nonthreatening as a hulking, mysterious killer and the bits of true Clive Barker weirdness are few and far between.

    Afraid of the Dark: Really unique, haunting, and artfully crafted. Rife with meaning and subtext and ocasionally deeply horrifying. Its also kind of a chore to sit through, and while its abrupt radical change in the middle is part of what makes it cool, it also takes awhile to find its feet and build momentum afterwords. Certainly worth the effort if you’re in a patient mood, though.

    The Hidden: Ha! Fun and ridiculous, pure and simple, with a great little twist at the end. Man, MEN IN BLACK ripped off like half this movie. It makes me wish there was a group oscar you could give to the series of people who play the evil bug — they’re golden. One weird thing that jumps out at me, though, which I must mention. In the SPOILER scene where the congressman or whatever gets accosted by the alien, they make a big deal about him hiding his female assistant (wife? Manager?) in a closet with down-facing slats on the door, from which we see her perspective on the room. The alien kills the congressman and steals his body, killing his bodygaurd, but WTF? not the assistant, who apparently could see everything but appears in subsequent scenes as if nothing is wrong. That’s dedication to a campaign, man!

    the Church: Well, darn. Wanted to like this one more than I did; I was hoping for CEMETARY MAN, but got DEMONS II (Well, III, actually; it was originally supposed to be the third DEMONS movie). It takes forever for anything of note to happen, doesn’t even introduce the apparent hero until like halfway through (the two leads for the first half just kind of vanish from the plot after awhile) and even when the craziness finally sets in, its confusingly edited and without too much imagination. Some good creatures and a few good scenes, but ultimately sort of minor and amateurish, I thought.

    Antichrist: Frustrating and pretenious as hell, but sporting the kind of deep, unnamable dread and horror that I really go for. What does it all mean? Fuck if I know, but I had a great time trying to figure it out. There’s some crazy sick shit in there you won’t believe, but really, its the little things more than the graphic stuff that conjure an unnerving mood which is hard to shake. Acorns bouncing off the roof. Dry brush in the yard. Disturbing animal imagery and dream-like surrealism. Nice job, Lars, you weirdo sick bastard fuck. But shame on you for using a cock double. We demand legitimate Willem Dafoe weiner!

    Trick R’ Treat: Immensely entertaining and satisfying. Old-fashioned without being nostaglic or irrelevant; good natured but with enough of an edge to keep you on your toes, fun and spooky and awesome. Seriously, this one’s just as appealing and ingratiating as they come.

    A Tale of Two Sisters
    Brain Damage
    Suicide Club

  303. Mr. Subtlety,

    How many total posts are you going to do for this/how many movies? Were they all culled from this thread?

    I too marathoned a bunch of horror movies throughout October, and posted little capsules about each on my blog. If you have a minute, click the link in my name and give it a look.

  304. Got one more group of five to go. Yeah, everything except AFRAID OF THE DARK came from here (that one was from Quint’s Movie-a-day thing at AICN)

    Dan — I did click on your name and I’m gonna work my way through em – looks like we watched a few of the same ones or cross-pollanated from this list anyway. Looking forward to seeing what your thoughts were or if I missed any biggies.

  305. Yeah, I saw AFRAID OF THE DARK too and had a similar reaction. It worked more in theory than in practice… I loved the idea of an Argento-esque horror/thriller that abruptly morphs into a moody drama/psychological thriller, but I don’t know that the two halves added up to a successful whole.

  306. Thanks for all the good suggestions guys. Especially Mr S, like your work. Has anyone seen Truth or Dare: A critical Madness?
    I found it on VHS and I’m still not sure if I liked it, but I was def entertained. Several WTF moments…

  307. Behold! Mr. S’s Halloween Marathon Wrap – up! (Part 3)

    All right, so I needed two more weekends to finish up my goal, but I figured I owe a reaction to everyone whose reccomendation I took. I encourage you all to do the same! Let’s see if we can’t hit 400 posts and get that guy who got all mad about JCVD back here.

    A TALE OF TWO SISTERS: Ah, finally. This is the one I’ve been looking for. A truly masterful powerhouse of surrealism, psychology, and ghosts. Beautiful and timeless, with great performances and a structure which holds on to its secrets jelously, offering just enough answers to string you along to a great finish. This one’s a keeper, boys and girls. I hear the American Remake UNINVITED is pretty decent as well, but this is one of the most focused and well-crafted horror films I’ve seen in a while.

    WOLFEN: Well, I’m kinda torn about this one. On one hand, I like the slow-paced, detailed detective story aspect. I also admire its willingness to try a fairly unique horror idea on for size (its NOT about werewolves.) On the other hand, wolves are just not all that scary, and their attempts to turn wolves into ALIEN come across as pretty silly. The wolf-o-vision looks pretty dated now, too. Still, it has its charms, especially Tom Noonan as a slightly unhinged wolf expert. Albert Finney either completely sleepwalks through the performance or gives one of the most crushingly internalized performances ever. Not really sure which.

    BRAIN DAMAGE: Funny, seedy, and imaginative with a surprisingly dark center underneath all the trappings. Great intro, with a respectable eldery couple going absolutely apeshit for reasons we don’t yet understand. Unusual but satisfying, and a great companion to BASKET CASE.
    SUICIDE CLUB (AKA SUICIDE CIRCLE): Well, given my love for Japanese surreal horror, I thought this would be right up my ally, but somehow it never entirely clicked with me. I love some things about it passionately — there are some profoundly creepy ideas and images in here, notably the roll of sewn-together skin, the bowling ally filled with white bags with living things inside, and the final audition at the end. The movie delights in letting the audience feel just as frustrated as the policemen who are occasionally the main characters, offering a world which appears to be solid and real, yet refuses to add up in any meaningful way. Its a unique idea and tone with an almost BLUE VELVET vibe for a while. Unfortunately, the lack of any plot or characters means that it never really escalates to anything (the climax involves a minor character who has appeared only once or twice before) and odd tangents with a website lurker and a glam-rock wannabe named “genesis” derail any momentum before it really gets intense. It offers a truly unique experience which is worth the time if you’re into this sort of thing, but failed to ever entirely submerse me in its own weird world. The experience is more akin to watching someone else’s dream, rather than believing that the dream is your own.

    That’s it, kids. See ya again next October.

  308. The one thing I thought was interesting about WOLFEN was how it seemed like a precursor in visual style/tone/music to a lot of well loved mainstream 80’s genre films, TERMINATOR, ALIENS, PREDATOR, NEAR DARK. It in some ways feels like the prototype for those films. Problem is, it’s not actually a good film like those are.

  309. Dan — thats a great point. I would never have guessed it was filmed as early as 1980, but you’re right, the structure and a good amount of the style predates the days where it would be commonplace. The evil -POV (complete with “nonhuman” visual effects) is by now a standard in any crappy sci-fi film, but this may well be one of the first times it was tried out (I can’t think of any earlier examples). The idea that this is a crime being investigated by a alcoholic ex-cop also nicely ties the crime films of the 70s into the new genres of the 80s. So in some ways, it is a very prescient look at the way horror movies would evolve in the next decade. In fact, there is a lot of detail and texture in this film which actually reminds me more of FRENCH CONNECTION type fare than horror; the great on-location shooting, for instance (where did they find that awesome abandoned church?!), and the overt, nihilistic socio-political commentary.

    On the other hand, a wolf jumps through the air and bites a guy’s hand off. Which, um, isn’t even as cool as it sounds. I mean, is anyone actually afraid of wolves? They’re so fuzzy and adorable. They do snarl a bit in this movie, but come on. They’re basically just dogs that got pissed when someone tried to take their supper away. It’s just not a threat I think we can dig on, especially in an urban setting. Whitey Striber’s “Communion” freaked my shit right the fuck out as a kid, though, so maybe reading it is scarier.

  310. I think wolves make for a credible horror movie threat, but you’re right that the urban setting is incongruous with them.

    You make a very interesting point about the film working as something of a transition between 70’s and 80’s genre films. Perhaps in a weird way, there needs to be forward-thinking failures like WOLFEN to point the way for other films. The transition is awkward, but it helps pave the way for a new generation.

  311. I just saw Let the Right One In. My God, I’d heard it was great but I didn’t think it would be THAT good. It’s no Pan’s Labryinth, but it might be to vampire movies what Devil’s Backbone is to ghost movies. Give it a few more viewings, and I’m pretty sure it’ll stand up to that level. That pool scene…that was ubelievable. As was the hospital bed scene, the cat scene, the first Eli attack, the second Eli attack, the stuff with all the kids on the lake…OK so pretty much every single scene. This was a legitimately good movie, from the first sight of falling snow to the final train ride. Watch it as soon as possible.

  312. I meant to say legitimately GREAT movie but I had a brain fart right at the end there.

  313. Brendan — agreed. One of the rare movies that is every bit as great as people gush about. Easily one of the most assured, poetic, and gripping movies of the decade, IMHO.

    American remake geared to cash-in on the TWILIGHT franchise, here we come!

  314. Oh yeah, “Let the right one in” is fantastic. Just adding my two cents.

  315. Holy Shit, Jam! Capone at AICN actually watched THE HUMAN CENTIPEDE and calls it the most fucked up movie of 2009.


    I’m not sure my mind is prepared to deal with a world where HUMAN CENTIPEDE is a real movie. (Capone’s take is below his list of best films and above his list of best docs)

  316. RUBBER
    Starring Wings ‘Ramrod’ Hauser

    It just might make your head explode.

    There’s lots of symbolism & 4th wall stagecraft stuff, so I have many ideas about direct interpretations of RUBBER, but it’s essentially a horror movie. Watch it and you won’t ever forget it.

  317. Just don’t watch it expecting a killer tyre rampage film like the advertising materials suggest, because it’s not. I think this is what the people who watched Valhalla Rising expecting an action film felt like. When I want to watch a killer tyre rampage film, I’d like to actually get to see a killer tyre rampage film, thank you very much nefarious advertising people.

  318. It’s actually pretty good, I’d just have probably liked it more when I watched it if I wasn’t in the mood for straight up tyre rampage.

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