Hey everyone! I’m back with some more underrated and unheard of horror flicks. Prepare for the spooky…
This is the film I hinted to at the end of my last horror movie post. Falling somewhere between The Abyss and The Thing, it tells the story of an underwater mining team that comes across a shipwrecked Russian vessel. Unfortunately, this ship, the Leviathan, happens to be infected with a rather nasty body-horror-beast-making virus.
What Leviathan lacks in originality it makes up for in gross special effects. The cast is also surprisingly effective and is made up entirely of people-you-recognise-from-better-things, including the dude who plays Robocop, Ernie Frickin’ Hudson, the bad guy from Home Alone, and Trautman from Rambo. The film was also directed by the late George P. Cosmatos, better known for Rambo Part II and the magnificent Tombstone.
Planet of the Vampires
One of the grandfathers of the sci-fi horror genre, Planet of the Vampires is one of the most hugely influential movies in horror. A space exploration team comes into trouble in deep space and is forced to crash land on an unknown world. There, whilst looking for their downed comrades, the crew comes across strange spirits that take over the bodies of corporeal beings.
Allegedly one of Ridley Scott’s biggest influences, Planet of the Vampires creates a real sense of foreboding and an almost unique oppressive atmosphere, particularly given that it was made in 1965. Although it’s not dated particularly well, this film is perfect if you’re in a nostalgic mood or are interested in seeing the movie behind the original Alien.
I’m not talking about the Steve McQueen original here, for your information. As much as I love the 1958 original, I absolutely adore the remake from 1988. Kevin Dillon stars as tough-punk-kid-with-motorbike Brian Flagg in this wonderfully campy, outrageously gory version of the B-movie cult classic.
A box office flop, this film is nearly criminally underrated in spite of having some amazing and should-be-iconic scenes. Want to see a man sucked down a garbage disposal drain? You got it. Frat boy getting more than he bargained for when trying to touch up his girl? You betcha. If you go into this film looking for fun, you’ll find it. Just don’t expect Schindler’s List.
This is, undoubtedly, one of my favourite films. Why? Because it’s unique. Mixing together the story of The Donner Party with the Native American myth of the Wendigo, Ravenous is light-hearted, tongue-in-cheek, yet still particularly terrifying.
Guy Pearce and Robert Carlyle both give great performances, with Carlyle in particular at his disturbing best. That said, the entire cast is absolutely fantastic. What really makes the film, though, is the brilliant score from Damon Albarn and Michael Nyman. Give it a watch.
One Point O
Simon, a computer programmer, starts finding mysterious, empty packages at his apartment. In an attempt to uncover how and why they are there, he investigates his neighbours – including Lance Henriksen, Deborah Kara Unger and Udo Kier. What he finds at the end of his search is shocking and deeply disturbing.
Low on gore and low on monsters, this Cronenberg-esque cyberpunk movie is one of the most unsettling films I have ever had the joy of watching. Also known as Paranoia 1.0 or Virus 1.0, the movie is dense and impenetrable, and is all the better for it.
Surprisingly for a modern horror film, The Innkeepers is a real slow-burner. The Yankee Pedlar Inn is on its final week before closure. Inside, the two innkeepers care for the last few guests whilst investigating its supposed history of paranormal activity.
At first, there is little to report, and the employees spend their time telling ghost stories to bratty kids and looking up the hotel’s history online. But, it’s not long until the hotel’s ghostly past starts to reveal itself. This film slowly cranks the tension to great effect, and its terrifying finale and numbing epilogue are amongst the best of the lesser-known horrors.
Ghost Story is horror done the old-fashioned way: a good, creepy gothic horror tale about a ghost after revenge. Based on the novel by Peter Straub, it is also Fred Astaire’s last acting role alongside other heavyweights like Melvyn Douglas, John Houseman, and Douglas Fairbanks.
It’s not exactly a classic, and some of the special effects haven’t aged well, but there are some great, chilling scenes along the way. You’ll guess the shocking twist before the end, but you’re bound to enjoy the ride.
It’s difficult to write about this film without unleashing some annoying spoilers, but I’ll try my best. After a brutal, surprise storm, a group of friends in a yacht manage to get aboard an abandoned ship in the middle of the ocean. But is it abandoned?
Triangle is a brilliant, mind-bending horror/thriller with some great twists and a nice new take on the Bermuda Triangle legend. Pretty individual, some good performances, well-directed, and with a lovely plot where every strand falls into place. What’s not to like? Well, for one thing, the fact that every bloody trailer contains massive spoilers. Instead, please find a small clip from the film below.
I bloody love horror anthologies. They’re always entertaining, even when they’re cheap and awful. Asylum, though, is first-class traditional horror. Big, dramatic scores, screaming women, English accents, the works.
The basic premise is simple: a psychiatrist makes a visit to a mental asylum. When there, he visits four of the inmates, each with a particularly horrific story. Each of the segments is great, but of particular joy is the second part, a mysterious story about a peculiar suit-maker.
Finally, this isn’t a horror movie, but instead an entire series. Freakylinks is one of my favourite shows ever. It was cancelled after a single season, and joins the extensive list of brilliant shows given up on too soon by Fox. It follows the adventures of a group of investigators who run a paranormal website.
Switching between found footage-style camerawork and traditional cinematography, Freakylinks follows a monster-of-the-week pattern with light undertones of a larger plot that unfortunately never materialized. Darkly comic and compelling, it was a little too ahead of its time, and suffered because of it. To rub salt into the wounds, Fox have so far refused to release it on DVD.
And that’s a wrap. Surely there are no more horror movies I can write about?
Oh wait. Yes there are.
See you next time!