THE BURNING (#3)
It’s that time of year again and L.A. RECORD is coming at you with twenty-five more overlooked and obscure horror titles to heighten your Halloween. Most are available through Netflix and others can to be found down at Cinefile or Vidiots. And we’re off with Nolan Knight…
1. Phenomena – An Argento stunner featuring a young Jennifer Connelly, insects, murder and a monkey. Oh, Donald Pleasance’s character adds just the right touch of awkwardness to human-chimp relations too. Several bizarre twists will keep you guessing with a killer ending.
2. Tourist Trap – Don’t be fooled! That roadside museum in the middle of nowhere doesn’t kill time—just hare-brained twenty-somethings. Featuring Tonya Roberts, this one isn’t big on acting but definitely worth a peek.
3. The Burning – Pretty much a guide of what not to do when at summer camp, if you enjoy living. A serial-killer revenge flick that delivers with every slash to teenage flesh. A young George Costanza adds to the cast of unhappy campers. This one is a must.
4. Pieces – With a tagline of “You Don’t Have to Go to Texas for a Chainsaw Massacre,” how can you go wrong? An illogical plot, for starters? Nope. That doesn’t stop the fun of this flick. The impromptu martial-arts scene will make your day.
5. The Sentinel – John Carradine. Ava Gardner. Eli Wallach. Burgess Meredith. Christopher Walken. The Gateway to Hell. Nice.
6. Slumber Party Massacre – A driller killer and a full house of teenage girls. One would think the poor bastard wouldn’t stand a chance, right? Wrong. Loads of nudity and violence to compliment the blood and guts.
7. Eyeball – Pretty good Umberto Lenzi giallo. A caped killer is on the loose, knocking off tourists by plucking out their peepers. Go in without high expectations and you’ll dig it.
8. White Zombie – Lugosi in command of an army of undead slaves. Haunting atmosphere and perfectly macabre. A zombie classic.
9. I Spit on Your Grave – Not as explicit as Thriller: A Cruel Picture (i.e. no detailed sodomy scenes) but you’ll get the idea. Technically a revenge flick set in motion via gang rape. Not as many one liners as you’d expect.
10. Dracula’s Dog (a.k.a. Zoltan, Hound of Dracula) – The Russians excavate the tomb of Dracula, accidently unleashing–ah, fuck, just read the title one more time.
11. House at the Edge of the Park – The poor man’s Last House on the Left starring the always sadistic David Hess. This time, an uppity house party gets a full dose of torture and mayhem. Count how many times Hess uses the word twat.
12. Night of the Demon – One of the most visually horrific openers in silver-screen cinema. Dana Andrews stars.
13. This Night I Will Possess Your Corpse – Often regarded as Jose Mojica Marins’ masterpiece in the Coffin Joe series. The hell scene alone is worth the viewing. Subtitled, in case that ain’t your bag.
14. Dog Soldiers – A welcome twist on the werewolf genre by Neil Marshall (The Descent) that puts Scottish soldiers up against rabid beasts. Funny dialogue, great special effects, and tons of gore.
15. Alone in the Dark – Not the Uwe Boll piece of shit. This one’s from 1982. Four psychopaths, fresh out the bin and gunning for their psychiatrists. Jack Palance, Martin Landau, and Donald Pleasance (sans monkey) star.
16. The Car – Before there was Christine, there was The Car, a possessed four-wheel death machine terrorizing everyone in its path. James Brolin says: “Ten years of traffic tickets and all this in one day!” Your call.
17. Mark of the Devil – Ah, the many splendors of the witch hunt. So many ways to cast out the devil. Contains lots of screaming and grisly torture scenes. Watch it with The Conqueror Worm.
18. Satanico Pandemonium – Nunsploitation in all its grandeur. Nothing like a young hot nun tempted by visions of forbidden sexual fantasies to become one with Satan. Boobs, blood and the Bible. Yes!
19. J.D.’s Revenge – Blaxploitation Horror. A young law student becomes possessed by the soul of a 1940s street hustler, exacting revenge on those who killed him. A favorite of the Grindhouse Film Fest (who just screened it with Blacula). Louis Gossett, Jr., co-stars.
20. Happy Birthday to Me – Somebody’s picking off rich kids faster than they can spend their trust funds. Who gives a shit, right? Well, when there’s a death via shish-kabob and it co-stars Glenn Ford, I do.
21. Chopping Mall – Eight teenagers are trapped in the Beverly Center, stalked by murderous robots who blast lasers. ‘80s mall culture meets its match.
22. Witchboard – Tawny Kitaen, an Ouija board, demonic possession, and enough shit acting to fill 98 minutes. And you thought she was only good for dancing on cars. Nope. She’s good for laughs, too.
23. Popcorn – A bunch of film students throwing the most elaborate film fest this side of Cannes. Campy but cool. Death by giant plastic mosquito.
24. Black Sunday – Barbara Steele as a witch returning from the grave for vengeance. A Bava classic and the film that put him on the map.
25. The Exorcist III – William Peter Blatty takes back the Exorcist franchise with an adaptation of his novel Legion. George C. Scott commands the screen and this one delivers nicely, erasing those shitty memories of the Exorcist II.