Rupert Pupkin Speaks: Favorite Underrated Horror - Elric Kane ""

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Favorite Underrated Horror - Elric Kane

Elric is one of the hosts of the Killer POV Podcast(also with Rob Galluzzo and Rebekah McKendry). As I said, this is one of my favorite podcasts out there and I give it a high recommend!
Elric is also one of the hosts of Inside Horror, a weekly Horror chat show exploring the minds behind the horror: 

Lastly, Elric is one of the creators of the Jumpcut Cafe, which is an independent Coffee shop & Micro-Cinema in Studio City, CA featuring Groundwork Coffee, delicious food and diverse events in a cinema inspired space:

Elric is on twitter at @ElricKane.
Most of the horror films I truly love tend to fall into the category of underrated, obscure or fringe horror movies so the hardest part in creating this list was in limiting it to 5 films. Anyone who listens to our ʻkiller Povʼ podcast will have heard me riffing about most of these at some point as they are films I think about way too much.

1. Possession - (1981) dir. Andrzej Zulawski
In a nutshell itʼs ʻKramer vs Kramerʼ with a giant Penis monster that gives birth to the Anti-christ, but plot alone canʼt express my obsession with this hypnotic shriek of a film. This film is so authentic and primal in itʼs anger and desperation (written during the directors messy divorce) that once seen you can never completely shake the experience.Two words: Subway Miscarriage.
Brutally cut down after being labeled a video Nasty, this film has long been over-looked in USA but now that itʼs playing revival houses and with a proper DVD release imminent people are catching up to the film whoʼs tagline read ʻShe created a monster as her secret lover!ʼ.
Fun Fact: The tentacled ʻPenisʼ creature was designed by E.T designer Carlos Rimbaldi.

2. Santa Sangre - (1990) dir. Alejandro Jodorowsky
One of the finest art-house horror films ever made has largely been neglected until Severin Film released it a couple years back in a gorgeous release. This film has more mother issues then ʻPsychoʼ and a nightmarish visual palette that would make David Lynch jealous. Circus freaks, religious cults, a tattooed whore and a giant who eats his own ear are just a few of the extreme characters that litter Jodorwoskyʼs surreal vision.
Thereʼs a haunting dream scene of zombie brides raising from the earth seeking revenge that is one of the most nightmarish things ever filmed. The idead was based on a real killer who murdered 30 women and buried them in his garden that the director once had a chance encounter with while in a waiting room!
Fun Fact: It was produced by Dario Argentoʼs brother Claudio Argento and the knife thrower is actor Dean (Quantum Leap) Stockwellʼs brother Guy Stockwell.

3. Society - (1989) dir. Brian Yuzna
Unlike the previous two films which I consider masterpieces, Society I do not. However, it is a surreal, gore drenched satire about conformity and how the rich eat the poor in Reagans America.
While Yuzna has never been the greatest with actors he makes up for it in his willingness to push the envelope with the effects and taboos of incest and power. This film was popular everywhere but America and as a result has been woefully neglected (out of print for years) perhaps the satire was too close to home for itʼs time or the infamous ʻShuntingʼ finale was just too grotesque for ʻMiddle Americaʼ.
I consider this the goriest film ever made with the most surreal make-up effects ever realized by Screaming Mad George. Thankfully the rights have returned to the director and a new release is in the works.
Fun Fact: Director Brian Yuzna has no idea why the girl eats her own hair in the film.

4. Full Circle (aka The Haunting of Julia) (1977) Dir. Richard Locraine
One of my favorite films of all time is ʻDonʼt Look Nowʼ which opens with one of the most devastating deaths of a minor you will ever witness. I was discussing this scene with a filmmaker friend, Drew Daywalt, who recommended the equally disturbing opening (The daughter chokes to death on an apple at the breakfast table!) of ʻFull Circleʼ a film I had never even heard of. This is for fans of slow burn horror and creepy possession films.
Mia Farrow gives a performance equal if not eerier then in ʻRosemaryʼs Babyʼ as a woman grieving for her child who is slowly being possessed by the spirit of a psychotic little girl. This was the first adaptation of a Peter Straub novel so Iʼm surprised itʼs so unknown, perhaps it was too slow and too smart a film for audiences looking for a cheap thrill. The good news is itʼs currently streaming on Netflix.
Fun Fact: Keir Dullea of ʻ2001ʼ & ʻBlack Christmasʼ plays her husband.

5. Twenty Nine Palms - (2003) dir. Bruno Dumont
We can argue wether this is a horror film all day, but the fact is it had an endless building tension of dread that culminated in one of the most shocking final scenes Iʼve ever seen so in my mind itʼs Horror. Part of the early 2000ʼs French Extremism with similarities in tone to ʻIrreversibleʼ, ʻFat Girlʼ and Hanekeʼs ʻFunny Gameʼsʼ this film lies somewhere between experimental art- house and grizzly shockers like ʻDeliveranceʼ and ʻI spit on your graveʼ.
The film charts the relationship of a couple in the desert who drive in silence, eat ice cream, argue and have increasingly animalistic sex before a violent attack literally turns one of them into a monster. This is not a film for everyone, and many will be bored in the first 30 minutes but if you stick with the hypnotic repetition it pays off with the shocking climax and was one of the last films to truly disturb me.
Fun Fact: There is NOTHING fun about this film.

A couple other lesser known titles that I highly recommend:
-Cremator (1969 ) - dir Juraj Herz (Black comedy / horror from the Czech New Wave)  
-Don’t Go In the House ( 1979) - dir Joseph Ellison ( Video Nasty version of ‘Psycho’ with a flame thrower)
-In My Skin (2002) - dir. Maria de Van ( More French Extremism with this disturbing Body horror film about a woman fascinated by her own disfigurement. Not for the faint of heart. )

1 comment:

lunchmeat said...

Awesome list, Elric! POSSESSION is amazing. If I could have a top ten list, it would have most certainly been on there! :)