10 Obscure Halloween Treats V

PrintE-mail Written by Whitney Scott Bain

It’s that time of the year again my ghastly, graveyard ghoulies and here's a few hidden gems to give you the creepy crawlies long after the Witching Hour!

Wanda Lust, Natasha Cordova. Directed by Jordan Downey.

A bizarre movie, to say the least! An Indian curse summons a demonic, foul-mouthed (fowl mouthed?) turkey bent on a vengeful, killing spree of clichéd characters. Silly but fun, with a lot of great one-liners; "if you don't see the turkey, he's probably in his tepee or killing your friends" and a hand puppet that rivals any of the late Don Jackson's films. What can one say, but "gobble-gobble"?


2. I, MADMAN (1989)
Jenny Wright, Clayton Rohner. Directed by Tibor Takács.

Virginia (Wright) a librarian by day and bookstore clerk by night who loves horror stories discovers a pair of obscure, fictional novels about a serial killer who mutilates his victims for body parts. Fantasy becomes reality when Virginia's friends start turning up dead with missing body parts and she's next on the list. Smartly directed and well-acted by the talented, beautiful Jenny Wright. It’s a shame she gave up acting as she had a promising career.



3. FUNERAL HOME (1980)
Kay Hawtrey, Lesleh Donaldson, Barry Morse. Directed by William Fruet.


A young girl who has a phobia of black cats joins her grandmother to refurbish the family funeral home into a bed and breakfast inn. When guests start disappearing and strange noises are heard coming from the basement the horror is about to begin. Morse plays a guest who begins to investigate the strange happenings putting the pieces of the puzzle together that concludes with a shock ending.


4. THE UNDEAD (1957)
Pamela Duncan, Richard Garland, Allison Hayes, Mel Welles, Richard Devon as Satan. Directed by Roger Corman.

A supernatural, psychological horror film. Dark science meets black magic. A prostitute, Diana Love (Duncan) is sent back through time to the Middle Ages through regression hypnosis when she is accused of being a witch to be burned at the stake. She has to make the decision to stay in the past and live with her knight lover, Pendragon (Garland) or sacrifice her life in order for her future generations to flourish. Filmed at the Witch House located in Beverly Hills that still stands today and in an abandoned grocery store along with Corman's Attack of the Crab Monsters for $70,000. Richard Devon chews up the scenery as the Dark Prince, but it’s Mel Welles that steals the show as the singing gravedigger, Smolkin. Then again, there are two reasons to watch the gorgeous Allison Hayes in this film or any film she was in for that matter.


5. FACE. 2004.
Song Yun-an, Shin Hyun-joon, Kim Seung-wook. Directed by Yoo Sang-gon.

One of the most, creepy South Korean supernatural, horror films made. Lee Hyun-min (Shin) is an expert at reconstructing faces, but gives up his job to take care of his ailing daughter. After a gruesome series of murders when the killer dissolves his victim's flesh with acid leaving only their bones, a beautiful woman shows up at Hyun-min's door with a skull of the fourth victim pleading him to reconstruct it. As he begins his work, he's plagued with premonitions by a ghostly figure dressed in white that shows up in mirrors and crawls along the ceiling who leads him to the discovery of another skull. A well-acted police drama with supernatural overtones, Face delivers a good amount of scare and plots twists.


Keith Van Hoven. Karina Huff, Paolo Paoloni, Bettine Milne. Directed by Lucio Fulci.

Originally a TV movie for Italian television, but deemed too violent and was released theatrically. A group of hoodlums break into an elderly couple's home filled with clocks killing them and their gardener. Suddenly, the clocks stop and reverse thus causing time to shift where the couple come back to life to act out their revenge, submerging the characters into a loop of past, present and future. It’s Fulci meets The Twilight Zone with lots of atmosphere and an ironic ending.

Jack Palance, Denholm Elliot, Leo Genn. Directed by Charles Jarrott.

Dan Curtis, who brought us Dark Shadows and The Night Stalker gives us his take on the classic Robert Louis Stevenson classic. It’s a tour-de-force performance by Jack Palance, who is sympathetic as the good Dr Jekyll and sinister as alter ego Mr Hyde. Jekyll's transformation into Hyde is outstanding and Palance really chews up the scenery especially when he throws a man down a flight of stairs as he chortles an evil laugh with delight. Great dialogue and performances. Highly recommended!


8. SPOOKIES (1986)
Felix Ward, Maria Pechukas, Dan Scott. Directors: Eugenie Joseph, Thomas Doran, Brendan Faulkner.

Why so many directors on a horror film? Well, Doran and Faulkner had shot a film called Twisted Souls and the footage was added in creating this movie. Taking a wrong turn on a highway, a group of people stumble upon a mansion with an evil sorcerer who intends on making human sacrifices to give eternal life to his bride. With a supporting cast of zombies, gremlins, mummies, giant monsters, a cellar hag, the Grim Reaper, who wears biker boots and has a hook for a hand, a spider woman, demonic possessed souls and the farting mud men (sounds like they should be performing at the Cavern Club). It’s a mad romp and a lot of fun!


9. THE DEVIL'S HAND (1961)
Linda Christian, Robert Alda, Neil Hamilton. Directed by William J. Hole, Jr.

A bizarre, surreal film. Soon-to-be-married Rick Turner (Alda) has visions of a beautiful woman, Bianca (Christian) haunting him in his dreams. When he finally meets her in person she seduces him to join her satanic cult and worship Gamba; the devil god of evil. Enter Rick's fiancée and Commissioner Gordon (well, the actor Neil Hamilton, anyway) to save the day trying to stop the cult people are everyday people which adds to the creepiness of this film. Great music with an opening title performed by Baker Knight and the Knightmares and dream-like atmosphere are stand outs this seldom seen gem.


10. UNTAMED WOMEN. (1952)
Mikel Conrad, Doris Merrick, Richard Monahan, Lyle Talbot. Directed by W. Merle Connell.

Not really a horror movie per se, but an enjoyable, Saturday afternoon, ‘boy's adventure’ story that's filled with cavemen, campy dinosaurs and hot, dancing cavewomen. With a movie poster tag line that reads, "Savage beauties that feared no animal… yet, fell before the touch of men!" you know you're in for a treat! During WWII, the crew of a downed B-17 bomber washes ashore on an uncharted island in the Pacific where they encounter a group of Amazon cavewomen descended from the Druids (!!!!!) that worship a volcano led by the great priestess…. Sandra (Merrick)! Apprehensive with their male counterparts at first, the women finally give their trust where our fearless heroes battle dinosaurs left over from the Victor Mature One Million B.C. set and the ‘Hairy Men’, a race of Neanderthals with loincloths made from the Woolworth's bargain basement. Mostly shot off the California coast in Malibu and an impressive scene in the Utah desert, it's one of those guilty pleasure films that's a lot of fun.


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