Friday, November 15, 2013

Favorite Underrated Horror

This new Underrated Horror list ofis provided by over at !

BODY BAGS(1993)-Enjoyable trio of macabre tales. The first one, a young girl working the late shift in "The Gas Station," is the creepiest, despite its over-the-top finish, and features some of John Carpenter's best directorial work. Carpenter's job as host in the goofy bookends are so bad-it's good. Lots of random familiar faces abound throughout including Twiggy! Glad to see it's getting the Shout Factory treatment.

HANGOVER SQUARE(1945)-Bernard Herrmmann's grandiose score adds a lot to this bizarre Victorian-era "mad composer" tale. One of the most unforgettable scenes is the "stick 'em in the eye' bonfire. The early death of its troubled, talented lead Laird Cregar, in a mesmerizing performance, adds another layer of melancholy.

HELLBENT(2004)-A killer stalks a West Hollywood Halloween circuit party. Unusual for being a slasher film with primarily gay characters, this was a pleasant surprise when I watched it one late night with a like-minded friend. We laughed throughout its twists and turns and elaborate set-ups for the kills.

HOUSE OF FRANKENSTEIN(1944)-I just recently watched this fairly decent Universal monster mash followup to Frankenstein Meets the Wolf Man. Boris Karloff leads the charge as an evil scientist who revives Dracula (a debonair-if-not as compelling as Lugosi John Carradine), the Wolf Man (Lon Chaney, Jr.) and Frankenstein's monster (Glenn Strange). The movie is chopped in half with two main stories. It's a bit creaky but still fun to see the monsters together, plus nice to see all those campy visual effects and elaborate sets.

IT! THE TERROR BEYOND SPACE(1958)-An unknown lifeform terrorizes a ship in this not bad 50s outer space fright flick, predating the similarly-plotted classic Alien by 20 odd years. Set in the future, it's amusing to see how 1973 is depicted in this.

LET SLEEPING CORPSES LIE(1974)-An insect-killing machine brings to life the walking dead in this ghoulish Spanish-Italian zombie film. The memorable and eerie English countryside setting, gruesome makeup effects (starry red eyes!) and the counterculture symbolism makes this a standout yet not oft-mentioned horror entry of the early 70s.

THE SEVENTH VICTIM(1943)-A predecessor to Psycho and featuring a rare downer of an ending for a studio picture of its time, in The Seventh Victim, a young woman uncovers a Greenwich Village Satanic cult while trying to piece together the disappearance of her sister. A moody, well-photographed entry from Val Lewton.

WENDIGO(2001)-Not entirely successful but fairly haunting story which follows a family vacationing in snowy upstate New York. The scene with the town's shopkeeper explains the origins of the "Wendigo" is particularly creepy.
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