Rupert Pupkin Speaks: Favorite Underrated Horror - Dale Lloyd ""

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Favorite Underrated Horror - Dale Lloyd

Dale Lloyd is a giant in the VHS collecting community who can be found on Twitter @VivaVHS.
also check out his site:
And here's a cool interview with Dale wherein you get to witness some of his amazing collection:

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The word 'underrated' is a bit of a minefield, as we live in a time that gloriously restores and releases the likes of The Nesting and Remote Control on Blu-ray. So with that in mind, here are a few movies that I rarely hear come up in conversation with friends, mixed in with a few obscurer titles for you to possibly take a chance on.

The Black Room (1983)
A fantastic sleazy, sexy, swinging vampire flick. I never hear anyone talk about this movie, which is a crying shame because it's nothing short of magnificent.
A couple rent out a room in their Hollywood mansion, advertising it as a swingers pad, a place where you can fulfill your deepest and darkest sexual fantasies. The twist? the pair are actually vampires. The unsuspecting guests are then hooked up and drained of their blood. Co-directed by the man behind The Horror Star. It's incredibly atmospheric and has a chilling score which really compliments the film.
It's a twisted vampire porno (a vamporno?). Currently unavailable on DVD, which would explain why it's little-known, I guess.

Lurkers (1988)
A very early viewing for me. I can remember my friends' Dad bringing home a box of tapes one night, and we sat up until the early hours watching almost half of its contents. Lurkers was one of the better ones inside.
It's about a young girl (Cathy) who is tormented by her mother, scared of going outside, and haunted by ghostly visions. The film then skips forward some 15 years and we learn that she is still unable to shake these nightmarish encounters. I just love the fact that the movie is half about the troubles of Cathy, and half of Bob, her soon-to-be husband who wanders around town hitting on women. I'll never know what he whispered in that waitress' ear...
The highlights are some really creepy imagery (a party scene in particular) and an ever-present soft-core porno soundtrack. Oh, and Bob.

Paperhouse (1988)
In my eyes, one of the most underrated and often overlooked horror movies of all time. I caught this one at a very early age and it disturbed me for many years after.
It was directed by Bernard Rose, a man probably better known for another horror classic - Candyman. Here he delves into the mind of a child with occasionally nightmarish results. I mean, this is essentially a kids horror tale after all, about a feverish girl whose drawings appear to affect reality.
I was probably about 12 the first time I saw this movie and I can remember it leaving me a little scared and/or depressed. I revisited it many years later and it's a genuinely haunting film and really well made.
I wouldn't want to ruin too much of this movie by going into it in greater detail, but mark my words, this is the most terrifying adult-themed episode of Penny Crayon you are ever likely to see.
Apparently this has seen a Blu-ray release in France, so maybe we'll see the same treatment here soon. We can but hope...

Retribution (1987)
Released on the Medusa label (a personal favourite), and bearing a cover that was so familiar to me from my first years in the local video store.
This film features a sleep-based spirit swapping plot much easier to follow than say, Appointment With Fear ('85), and it's also a low budget offering that delivers on so many levels.
Dennis Lipscomb puts in a fantastic shift as the wimpy suicidal artist possessed by a local thug, and there are plenty of well-shot death sequences to satisfy most, as well as a haunting synth score by one Alan Howarth (same year as Prince of Darkness). My only gripe lies with the runtime, which could have been reduced by some 10-15 minutes.
Also, I firmly believe every person that suffers the cruelty of possession should at least gain the power of illuminous eyes.

Lucifer (1987)
Another film I have creepy memories of from my childhood, and released on the Mogul label with the most iconic artwork.
The opening of this movie haunted me for years - A priest wanders into a school playground and starts picking off the kids and teachers one by one. Only a girl survives the massacre and it's the job of the police to protect her from the priest who seems hell-bent on finishing the job off. I am honestly amazed that this was never banned.
If you are ever in the mood to take a chance on a British horror movie from the latter end of the 80s, this is the one to test the water with. I am in awe of its awfulness.

1 comment:

Will Errickson said...

PAPERHOUSE! I used to pass this one up all the time at the video store back in the day, it looked like kiddie horror or something. But its rep has grown, esp after director Bernard Rose helmed the Clive Barker adaptation CANDYMAN.