Trick or Treat, Starburst ghosts and ghoulies! Its that time of the year to have the shivers and scares sent through your spines!
As everyone loves a good horror film, here are ten obscure movies that will guarantee you laughs and nightmares. So, call your friends and loved ones, grab your beverages and pig snacks, turn out the lights and enjoy!
1. ICE CREAM MAN- Producer Ron Howard's little brother, Clint who played Balok in the Star Trek episode, the Corbomite Maneuver, puts away the Tranya and turns in a great performance as Gregory; a demented, murdering ice cream man that turns naughty dogs and children into the flavor-of-the-day. Combined with the supporting cast of Olivia Hussey, Sandahl Bergman, David Naughton, David Warner, Jan Michael Vincent and Lee Majors II this is not one to be missed! One great moment is where the fat kid, Tuna (A kid with a pillow underneath his shirt, no less!) sees the ice cream man doing the bizarre, dance of the ice cream fairy late at night on his front lawn. When discovered by the little cherub, the irate Gregory screams at him; I'm gonna kill your mom and dad! When are you going to learn, you can't run away from the ice cream man! Priceless!
2. THE PIT- This one has it all; subhuman, underground creatures, a demonic, talking teddy bear, ghosts and a 12 year old serial killer. Jamie Benjamin discovers a group of underground carnivorous, prehistoric creatures in a fissure in the woods he calls, tra-la-logs (Because he can't read the word; troglodytes. Here's a lesson for you kids; pay attention in class and study your math. It’s the key to the universe.). No one believes him, especially his parents who chalk it up to an overactive imagination. His hormones are kicking in and his interest in the female anatomy skyrockets. It doesn't help that he has a sexy live-in, au pair to take care of him while his parents are gone too. To make matters worse, he's bullied in school by all the kids. The only one who listens to him is his possessed teddy bear that gives him all the answers and not necessarily the rights ones. Of course, Jamie's new found friends are hungry and what's a 12 year old boy to do when he's out of money and can't buy meat from the butcher anymore? Feed the tra-la-logs mean people! Look for the scene where he tosses in a blind, wheelchair bound old lady who refers to him as a hippie and takes delight in riding her chair to victory after doing his dirty deed. The Halloween party scene is a stand out and shows how creepy Jamie really is.
3. ATTACK OF THE MUSHROOM PEOPLE- A group of tourists on a yacht get lost in a storm and wash up on an uncharted island where a multinational medical research team has disappeared while conducting experiments on fungi. Soon, tensions mount with no hope of rescue and the group starts to turn against one another as supplies and water begin to dwindle with only the mushrooms on the island as a source of food. But, warned against eating them and surviving; what should they do? Atmospheric and surreal, this is one of Toho's best horror movies ever made.
4. GOKE: BODY SNATCHER FROM HELL- One of the strangest Japanese horror films. An in-flight Air Japan plane is contacted by air traffic control saying that there is a bomb on board. To make matters worse, there's also a hitman amongst them who just completed his latest assassination who’s on the run. A UFO suddenly appears in the sky and disables one of the plane's engines forcing it to crash on a remote island resembling a rock quarry. Here, blob-like alien parasites from the UFO who want to destroy the Earth infect some of the survivors through their brains turning them into vampires as those who are unaffected try to escape. Weird!
5. VIY- Made in Russian in 1967 and a remake version is slated for 2012, this film is a tour-de-force in the special effects category that still holds up 50 years later. A witchcraft vs. faith tale that has a novice monk who gets lost in the woods summoned to watch over a deceased witch woman in a locked barn for three nights as black magic nightmarish creatures crawl out of the woodwork and try to destroy his soul before the giant demon; the Viy comes for him. Slow in the beginning, but it’s worth the wait for the last half of the film.
6. BURIAL GROUND- this movie must be seen to be believed! When an archeologist invites three couples and a child (In actuality, adult actor Peter Bark as Michael. See the move and you'll know why!) to his remote mansion to celebrate the discovery of an ancient stone with strange hieroglyphics on them. Unfortunately, he raises the dead and is killed as the rest of the group defends themselves against the vengeful creatures of the night. There is no shortage of blood and guts to satisfy the gorehounds in this film, but the truly bizarre moments belong to Michael and the underlying, creepy Oedipal complex with his mother.
7. CALTIKI-THE IMMORTAL MONSTER- Riccardo Freda started out directing this film, but left and Mario Bava took over. It has all the Bava trademarks that include moody lighting, graphic horror, tense moments and forced perspective in-camera effects. The movie's an exciting hybrid of a Quatermass film and X-the Unknown. Archeologists in Mexico discover a blob-like creature that last appeared in conjunction with a comet that wiped out the entire Mayan civilization. The creature is destroyed by fire, but a greedy scientist gets part of his hand engulfed by a portion of blob. Severing a part of the monster, they're able to save the man's life, but at a cost to his sanity. A truly disturbing scene as doctors pull back the substance and only a skeletal portion of the man's hand remains. This scene was actually cut from many American TV prints it was so graphic for its time. The blob begins to grow as the comet returns destroying everything in its path. Will mankind face extinction again?
8. CURSE OF THE CRYING WOMAN- A woman inherits a mansion, but is warned not to go into the woods at night for fear of the witch curse of La Llorona (The Crying Woman) who lures people to their deaths. Atmospheric and unnerving moments abound through this movie as it's pure Gothic horror at its best that include rotting corpses, ghostly images and a malformed family member kept chained up in the attic!
9. CURSE OF THE DOLL PEOPLE(aka DEVIL DOLL MEN)- more Mexi-Monster madness! Four archeologists are cursed by a voodoo man for stealing a sacrificial idol and soon are being systemically killed one-by-one by murderous doll people with sharp, long needles they use to puncture the base of the brain. Those killed are turned into doll people themselves and set out to murder the rest of the group and their families. What really sets this film apart from the others is that the dolls are actually midgets wearing human masks from their past victims and their creepy movements when they walk. Guaranteed to give you nightmares!
10. INVISIBLE INVADERS- The film that inspired George A. Romero to make Night of the Living Dead. Directed by Eddie Cahn who gave us It! The Terror From Beyond Space! which along with Mario Bava's Planet of the Vampires inspired Alien, the story begins as invisible aliens who have been on the moon for 20,000 years(!!!!) give the Earth people an ultimatum to surrender or be destroyed. An elderly scientist, his daughter, a wimpy scientist and no nonsense, man-of-action, John Agar are our only hope as the aliens inhabit the bodies of the recently deceased. Mostly shot on location at the famous Bronson Caves, this film has an eerie quality of mixing science fiction and horror together that works.