Friday, November 1, 2013

Underrated Horror Movies

These underrated horror movie lists are always popular so I figured what the hell, I’ll throw in my two cents.  Now I’m not saying the pictures below are the most underrated of all time or anything, just that these are some damn fine films that deserve a little more recognition.

Hellraiser III: Hell on Earth
While the first Hellraiser became a classic and made Pinhead into a household name the sequels were brushed under the carpet.  Number III here (or the second sequel if you want to count that way) was a lot of fun though.  It’s pretty jam packed with little filler and the new inventive cenobite creations are great.  There’s a bartender one that hurls flaming cocktail bombs and a DJ one that flings deadly CDs at folks.  You can find my full review here

It’s always difficult to recommend something that you don’t really want to talk about.  Just saying “trust me” isn’t good enough for most people and I totally understand that.  But that essentially is what I’m saying.  Even though it gets kinda depressing it’s an effective movie.  I think it’s one of the best horror films of the past bunch of years.  In case you were wondering I don’t say much more here either. 

Blood Creek
Joel Schumacher’s zombie Nazi picture.  Since zombies are still all the rage these days this seemed like a good one to bring up.  Actually maybe this thing is more of a demon or possessed individual.  Whatever, it’s lean, mean and a good time all around.  You got Henry Cavill before he became Superman in Man of Steel and Michael Fassbender before he hit it real big with X-Men: First Class and Prometheus.  I dunno, does that make you want to see this?  Check out the badass poster then.  That should do it.

In the Mouth of Madness
This is what Sam Neill did after Jurassic Park and what John Carpenter tried to bounce back with after Memoirs of an Invisible Man (Neill was in that also).  A horror writer’s book (Jurgen Prochnow (Das Boot)) talks about a town filled with strange and creepy shit.  Turns out the town actually exists…along with all of the other weird horror type stuff.  I really like the idea and I love how the film itself changes from a linear story into a bizarre psychological trip.  This is probably the most experimental picture Carpenter ever made and he did a bang up job.  Full review here.

Bram Stoker’s Dracula
I don’t care what anyone else says I can’t get enough of this fucking movie.  Everything about it fascinates me, from the casting to the production design to the unbelievable effects work.  This is the most faithful adaptation of the book and the best.  Gary Oldman nails the title character and Hopkins brings just enough levity to keep things fun and not too dark.  The costumes are fucking nuts and they actually race back to Dracula’s castle at the end and ok, I need to stop myself.  It’s a masterpiece fellas.  If you can get past Keanu Reeves (and maybe also Wynona Ryder) then you’ll find one of the most interesting and unique examples of filmmaking.  Check out my monster (no pun intended) review of it here.

My Best Friend Is a Vampire
This is the family friendly entry.  It ain’t John Hughes but it’s in the same vein.  A high school teen gets turned into a vampire and has to cope with it.  At first he’s repulsed by the idea but once he gets a taste for pig’s blood he goes the whole nine yards and loves the lifestyle.  Strangely the story is not told from his best friend’s point of view so the title is more for the cutesy factor.  It’s a solid horror comedy picture that I don’t think anyone really knows about.  

Dog Soldiers
Best werewolf movie ever.  You know, it works as a good action movie too.  The werewolf costumes are pretty goddamn amazing and they were shot very well to boot.  This was Neil Marshall’s (The Descent, Doomsday) excellent first film.  If you’re a fan of action and/or werewolves you gotta check it out.  Full review here.

Death Becomes Her
Death Becomes Her is the black sheep in Robert Zemeckis’ ridiculous reign from Back to the Future through Forrest Gump.  Two middle aged women (Goldie Hawn and Meryl Streep) take a magic potion that makes them live forever.  They also stop aging but the catch is that their bodies are susceptible to being damaged.  So when Hawn gets blasted through the mid-section with a shotgun it leaves a giant hole.  She’s totally fine otherwise, she just now has a hole in her stomach.  Bruce Willis turns in one his best performances too.  He’s pathetic and funny as the plastic surgeon/husband/ex-fiancé caught in the middle.  The special effects are remarkable and impressive for 1992 (remember computers were just seriously starting to get in the game around this time).  I can see why this didn’t appeal to a lot of people because it’s a pretty morbid dark comedy.  This isn’t the kind of thing most families are gonna go for and adults might think it’s too silly.  The message may be a little ham handed at the end but I think it’s fantastic nonetheless.     

Honorable mentions:

Event Horizon- Paul W.S. Anderson (Mortal Kombat, Resident Evils) directs this movie about a haunted spaceship.  It’s also his best.  Full Review.

My Boyfriend’s Back- Offbeat zombie comedy from 1993.

Hellbound: Hellraiser II- Nastier than the original from what I can remember.  The first’s great though and you should probably see that before checking out the sequels.

The Hunger- Tony Scott’s first picture that also best exemplifies his crazy yet engrossing editing style.  Full Review.

Demons- Creatures attack folks trapped inside a movie theater.

The Addiction- Abel Ferrara’s (Bad Lieutenant (1992), King of New York) metaphor for drug addiction with vampires instead of drugs.  Full review.

Bereavement- A slightly different and refreshing take on a slasher picture, it’s also photographed beautifully.  Full Review.

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