Since Halloween is less than a week away, I thought I’d give out some suggestions for those, like me, that like good horror films. I can always suggest the normal picks, like any of the Universal Monster films, but I decided to list a few rare ones that some people may not have seen or even heard of in the genre. Keep in mind; I do not like the gore films (such as the SAW series) or any other of the torture films. I also will not give out the spoilers so I won’t ruin anything. I also listed the year (because there are other movies with the same title) along with if it is color or black and white. Some can be found at your local library and some are in those 50 movie collections (where I got some of them). With that said, here’s some of my picks as some of the Underrated Horror Films.
1. The Devil’s Hand (1962- Black and White). This film involves a man that makes dolls in a shop and is also the head of a cult that follows a God named Gamba. The lead character Rick (Robert Alda) ends up becoming a member of the cult while trying to protect his finace. This movie is a good pick because the doll shop leader is played by Neil Hamilton, who went on to play Commissioner Gordon on the TV Show Batman just a few years later. At a run time of 71 minutes, there is not much filler in the film and is straight story.
2.Stonehearst Aslyum (2012-Color). I stumbled on this at the local library and was so glad I did. Most of the horror films recently are either competely stupid or gore filled. This film stars Kate Beckinsale (who I love especially in the Underworld series), Michael Cane, Ben Kingsley, and Jim Sturgess. Based on a story by Edgar Allen Poe, the story deals with a doctor (Sturgess) that works in an aslyum and his attentioned is turned to a young lady (Beckinsale). This is a great physcological horror film, with a great twist in the end.
3.The Raven (2012- Color). John Cusack plays Edgar Allen Poe and is asked to help solve some murders that are occurring just like the characters in his stories. Even though this is a Hollywood story, there are many topics dropped in the film that are rumored to happen in his real life, including the mystery of his last days.
4. The Abominable Dr. Phibes (1971 Color) and Theater of Blood (1973 Color). The reason I list these two together is because of the similar plots, both starring the great Vincent Price. A man gets revenge by killing off several people (in “Phibes” they are doctors by the inspiration of the plagues in the Bible, in “Blood” it is theater critics killed by Shakespearian plays). These two are also good history lessons. Being a big Price fan, these are some lesser known , but just as good. “Phibes” is getting a remake but check out this one.
5.The Lazarus Effect (2015 Color). This movie was great because it’s a throw back to the films I like but yet not outdated. The run time is only 83 minutes. Olivia Wilde is a medical researcher who, along with her team, creates a serum called “Lazarus” that helps comas patients but ends up bringing the dead to life, as tried on a dog. Then the fun begins. The reviews were not great, but I liked it, especially with the run time and it was not really gory.
6. Hitchcock (2012 Color). This film may not be scary, but what’s watching horror without Alfred Hitchcock? This film is a biography (of sorts) that stars Anthony Hopkins as the director and his wife, played by Helen Mirren, as he creates the movie “Pyscho.” This movie was only in very limited release, but worth seeing, especially Hopkins acting.
7. Maniac (1934 Black and White). This film has several different titles, but is based on Poe’s “Black Cat” and a few other tales. A vaudeville actor works with a mad scientist who tries to bring back the dead. The actor murders the doctor and “becomes” him in looks and actions and starts to go insane. I got this collection from a 50 pack horror dvd collection and is only 51 minutes long. That’s shorter than a TV show on air today!!!
8. The Embalmer (1965 Black and White). This Italian film has also different names depending on the collections, but is good cheesy, almost comedical horror. Think of something that may be on Mystery Science Theater 3000. A man in a wet suit goes around Venice killing young ladies and embalming them to keep their beauty and adds to his collection. The film also has a Phantom of the Opera type feel to it, as the mystery man runs into the bottom canals and tunnels of Italy.
Most of these films are easy to find, so hopefully they will spark some interest if you are tired of seeing the same old films and would like to see something different. Some have a short run time, so you can watch a few at a time, like I like to do. Happy Watching!!