THE HIDEOUS SUN DEMON (1959)
Directors: Robert Clarke, Tom Boutross. Stars Robert Clarke, Nan Peterson, and Patricia Manning. A mild-mannered scientist (Clarke) is contaminated with radiation that transforms him into the titular creature when he makes contact with the sun. Shot around Los Angeles and Malibu with the help of USC students, it’s a great time capsule of what L.A. looked like back in the ‘50s. Great creature make up as Clarke deals with his Jekyll and Hyde, vampiric personality. Don’t miss the rat scene in the oil rig!
THE MAZE (1953)
Directed: William Cameron Menzies. Stars Richard Carlson, Veronica Hurst, and Michael Pate. Carlson breaks off his engagement and is called off to Craven Castle on an urgent matter. As his fiancé follows, she discovers the secret of the horror he is burdened with in this surreal, Gothic mystery. Originally presented in 3-D, Menzies handles the suspense and art direction expertly.
ATTACK OF THE CRAB MONSTERS (1957)
Director: Roger Corman. Stars Richard Garland, Pamela Duncan, and Russell Johnson. A group of scientists investigate a mysterious island complete with giant, brain eating crabs! A lot of fun and filled with Corman regulars like Beech Dickerson, Mel Welles, Ed Nelson and screenwriter Charles B. Griffith. Even Jack Nicholson worked on this inside the giant crab manipulating it! A gem.
THE 4D MAN (1959)
Director: Irving S. Yeaworth, jr. Stars Robert Lansing, Lee Meriwether, and James Congdon. Scientist Lansing experiments with an amplifier that allows him to enter the 4th dimension with disastrous results. Great special effects and a jazzy music score make this film noir, horror sci-fi a must!
NO BLADE OF GRASS (1970)
Director: Cornel Wilde. Stars Nigel Davenport, Jean Wallace (Mrs. Wilde), and John Hamill. A virus wipes out all wheat and rice sending the world into a panic. Architect Davenport flees with his family towards Scotland where he seeks sanctuary at his brother’s home. A doomsday film filled with Mad Max-like biker gangs, hostile soldiers and the basic instinct for survival make this a dark, horror drama you will never forget.
THE POUGHKEEPSIE TAPES (2007)
Director: John Erick Dowdle. Stars Stacy Chbosky, Cheryl Dempsey, Ben Messmer, and Samantha Robson. Homicide detectives discover hundreds of video tapes of a serial killer’s work and an investigation follows. Truly, a well-made, well-written, disturbing film shot in a true-crime style documentary format that draws you in. Not for the squeamish. Held up in a distribution nightmare for seven years you can see it on VOD or YouTube.
THE DEVIL’S DAUGHTER AKA THE SECT (1991)
Director: Michele Soavi. Stars Herbert Lom, Kelly Curtis, and Mariangela Giordano. A spree of grisly murders in Frankfurt, Germany by Satanists sets the action for this film as a schoolteacher almost runs over an elderly man and takes him in who has dark, ulterior motives for her. Co-scripted by Dario Argento, Soavi’s creative directing and camera movement make this a surreal adventure reminiscent of Suspiria and The Church. It’s Italian horror at its best!
STAGE FRIGHT AKA AQUARIUS (1987)
Director: Michele Soavi. Stars David Brandon, Barbara Cupisti, and Domenico Fiore. An escaped mental patient terrorises a dance troupe locked in their rehearsal theater. Soavi delivers the goods again with unique twists and turns plus a great music score!
SPLATTER FARM (1987)
Directed by and starring John and Mark Polonia, and Todd Michael Smith. A twisted, cult classic from the ‘80s made on no budget that breaks ever taboo known to man. Twin brothers (looking like Tom Cruise and Ralph Macchio had their genes spliced together in the matter transference machine from The Fly and went horribly wrong) visit their nymphomaniac aunt’s house as her creepy handyman kills unsuspecting victims for his personal pleasure. A movie wrong on so many levels. Imagine Deliverance filmed by hillbillies. You’ll either love it or hate it.
THE GRIM REAPER (1962)
Director: Bernardo Bertolucci. Stars Francesco Ruiu, Giancarlo De Rosa and Vincenzo Cicorra. Written by director Pier Paolo Pasolini (who was, incidentally, stoned to death after making Salo: the 100 Days of Sodom). Five people are questioned after a prostitute is murdered in a local park. Told in a Rashomon-style, each suspect has something to hide fabricating lies in their stories on what happened. A great detective/horror film there are a lot of twists and turns along with stylish camera work in Bertolucci’s impressive debut film.