Tis’ the season of the witch… what’s your favorite obscure little Halloweenie movie? While the feature remake of Frankenweenie fell flat on its face, did you know that the original Frankenweenie was Tim Burton’s first film, a short, financed by Disney and starring Barret Oliver, the protagonist of the original the Neverending Story? One of my favorite obscure scary flick is Thom Eberhardt’s first feature, a 1983 TV movie, called Sole Survior that scared me shitless as a kid. Anita Skinner starred brilliantly subtle as a TV station worker and the sole survivor of a plane crash whose dead victims returned to collect her.
Goreless and entirely atmospheric, Sole Survivor is an existential horror movie with a supernatural twist that kept me glued to my couch till the last frame. Now show me your little weenie.
ALFREDO: Tourist Trap. I can barely remember this movie – the plot’s a blur, the actors are a blur (except for Chuck Connors, who somehow wandered into this thing) – but the creepy killer mannequins I remember very clearly.
See, mannequins to me are the worst of all possible worlds: dolls mixed with clowns mixed with the Jason/Shatner mask from Halloween, and scarier than all of them put together.
PHILIP: As a kid, I loved watching those obscure B-horror movies that would play on the local TV stations. I remember films like Dirk Benedict (A-Team) in Sssssss where his girlfriend’s scientist father turns him into a snake. Yup, the Face man from A-Team turns into a snake and dies after he gets his assssss kicked by a mongoose. Another favorite was Food of the Gods where these animals drink this weird milky liquid and turn huge. The film mostly consisted of our heroes battling giant rats. The most disturbing part of the film was at the end, you see that strange liquid get into the dairy supply and it ends on a shot of some schoolkids drinking the contaminated milk. Still waiting for that sequel.
DAVID: I’m a big horror fan and the only ones that scare me the most are the old 70s and 80s classics with the music that only uses one cord synthesisers… you know the deep sounding ones right before someone gets it!
From Beyond was the one with the bees having a schmorgesborg on the tough guy and was the cause of my insect phobia.
The Beast Within is another campy horror I took to as a kid… it was actually my first horror film I ever saw. And one thing I just couldn’t understand… why would these people with guns watch a guy for 3 minutes transform into the beast knowing the emanate danger and not blow him away!
DHH: Horror isn’t my favorite genre, so I don’t really go seeking out those sorts of movies. And the film that comes to my mind is far from obscure. But I just wanted to mention that, thanks to a friend’s recommendation, I finally saw Old Boy, and it turned my world upside down — in an awesome way. Can’t imagine how Spike Lee is going to remake it, though.
ROGER: Anything to do with the devil, possession, clowns under the bed, monsters in the closet, or eyeball-less human reflections in the bathroom mirror are out for me. They scare me too much. If I indulge in horror genre, it has to have a humorous bent to it. I once watched The Exorcist by myself one night while in junior high. I sat in front of the TV until the sun rose b/c I was scared stiff. Yes, I am weak sauce like that. So…The movie that embodies this cocktail of wussy-horror-ha-ha for me is Army of Darkness. It’s scary yet funny. And Bruce Campbell and his chin are rather dashing…
JEROME: Basket Case. Watch this drunk with friends on Halloween and thank me later.
IRIS: I previously blogged about Matango, the fungus of terror. I can only describe it as a very tripped out, Japanese Gilligan’s Island.
EMMIE: The only time I see horror is when I’m in jail or bribed with amazing junk food. I remember liking The Haunting (the 1963 film based on Shirley Jackson’s book, The Haunting of Hill House) as a kid, but I don’t think that’s obscure. Plus it might be more psychological and suspenseful than gory/terrifying. And speaking of suspense, does The Others count? Really great movie, but not obscure either.
I just re-read your question. I got nothing for you, sorry! I don’t know any little-known horror films that I liked. I can throw one at you that might be little-known, though – Christine (the car that attacked people)? Oh wait, this was a film adaptation of a Stephen King book. Nevermind.
BEVERLY: I’m not a horror-film buff and the scariest horror film I’ve ever seen was with YOU Quentin, when you took me out to see some obscure horror film where the people’s eyes turned white and it was a really bleak ending. (That was in the late 1990’s. Whoa.)
But like Emmie, I really freaked out by the original 1963 The Haunting (the way they made the statues look at someone was freaky.. so much more scary than CGI) and Alice Sweet Alice still creeps me to this very day; but I’m more of a Mystery Science Fiction 3000 kind of fan, and my favorite ‘horror filck’ (although the way they render it is rather funny) is the episode on “Manos: the Hands of Fate”.