Rupert Pupkin Speaks: Favorite Underrated Horror - Josh Schafer ""

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Favorite Underrated Horror - Josh Schafer

Josh Schafer of LUNCHMEAT MAGAZINE has included a very special promotional prize package with his list - As a bonus Josh is giving a away a VHS copy of THE GATE, A 'VHS is Happiness' tote bag, and some cool buttons and stickers(see pic below) - 
just leave a comment (today or tomorrow) below with your favorite underrated horror film to be eligible to win!
 Also, please feel free to check out Lunchmeat's site here!
http://www.lunchmeatvhs.com/
From their site description:
"Lunchmeat is an independently printed magazine that celebrates the obscure and esoteric in cinema. We have a central focus on the wonderful and weird world of the VHS format, publishing reviews of hard-to-find VHS tapes, interviews and articles featuring actors, directors and other creative personalities, along with lots of fun features on all things bizarre residing in the fantastic world of underappreciated cinema. Our essential mission is to explore the vast world of overlooked and unrecognized cinema and bring it to the folks who crave it!"
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THE PIT (1981) - Directed by Lew Lehman
Man, this one’s just too groovy. I really have NO idea why this film isn’t more lauded among low-budget horror fans, but then again, I like some pretty weird shit. But, hey, that’s what you’re here for, right?! I thought so! To begin, Sammy Snyders’ performance in THE PIT is unnerving, somewhat confusing and yet totally compelling; and, really, the whole plot is just insane and awesome: an odd boy named Jamie who telepathically communicates with his stuffed bear “Teddy” who tells him to do “things” finds pre-historic creatures in a pit in the nearby woods. Throw in a twisted love interest with the babysitter, some serious growing pains and a hilarious scene with an old lady in a wheelchair, and you have this totally underrated early 80s horror gem. This was paired with a movie called HELLGATE (which isn’t that great) on DVD, but it’s now out-of-print and getting way pricey. Grab the Embassy Home Video VHS release , man. It’s a third of the price!

THE GATE (1987) – Directed by Tibor Takacs
This is a flick I grew up watching over and over again on cable, and loved it every single time. Hell, I still love it! Stephen Dorff in his first role plays a boy named Glen who along with his rock n’ roll weirdo best friend Terry accidentally unleash demons into our world… and they’ve invaded their parentless house! And Glen’s sister is in charge! BUMMER! Truly radical special effects, creepy cadavers climbing out of walls and an eyeball stab that’ll stick with you are just a few treats that await you in this at times campy, at times super-creepy obscure 80s treat. Fans of THE MONSTER SQUAD, THE GOONIES and low-budget 80s horror in general will dig this one for sure. For me, this flick encapsulates that distinct feel of late 80s horror, complete with levitation, side pony-tails and a kick-ass bogus metal band. The one’s on DVD, but hey, you can win yourself a trusty VHS copy right here courtesy of LUNCHMEAT! And it comes with a bunch of groovy stickers! DIG IT!

PARENTS (1989) – Directed by Bob Balaban
We all know Randy Quaid from his gut-busting role as the white trash Cousin Eddie from NATIONAL LAMPOON’S VACATION series, but his performance as a cannibalistic Dad in PARENTS is one all horror fiends should dish up and scarf down. Set in the serene yet stale setting of suburban America circa 1950s, this surreal and mesmerizing film is surely as underrated as they come. Twisted humor, excellent atmosphere and off the charts weirdness permeate this lost horror / comedy spectacle. My favorite scene? When our young protagonist spouts off a recipe to become invisible. Quite an imagination, young man! This was released on a DVD saver with another (not as good) flick, and you can still grab it for pretty cheap… but hey, you can grab the Vestron Video VHS release for about a buck. Dinner is served!

WACKO (1982) – Directed by Greydon Clark
Director Greydon Clark has made a ton of awesome indie genre flicks including BLACK SHAMPOO, SATAN’S CHEERLEADERS, JOYSTICKS (a LM favorite!), and the incredibly under-seen and therefore underappreciated horror spoof WACKO! This laugh-out-loud spoof-o-rama is crawling with pokes and homages to some of the genre’s most revered reels along with enough perverted, insano comedic gags to choke a camel! Twice! Genre favorite George Kennedy plays an implicitly incestuous Pop, Andrew Dice Clay sings an ensemble number acappella and a pumpkin-headed killer lets loose with a lawnmower. This one’s never made it to DVD, so you’ll have to fire up the VCR to bask in this slab of analog only glory! It’s also on YouTube, but damn it, that’s just not as fun. Now excuse me while I go… ehhhhem… mow the lawn.

DERANGED (1987) – Directed by Chuck Vincent
Chuck Vincent got his start in the XXX business, and then hotly trotted his way into the low-budget mainstream, making a name for himself with sexy comedy romps like HOT T-SHIRTS, SEX APPEAL and PREPPIES. But in 1987 (the same year he made SLAMMER GIRLS!) Vincent crafted an incredibly enthralling journey into the mind of a woman gone mad. Adult actress Veronica Hart (AKA Jane Hamilton in this one) plays Joyce, a woman who after almost being killed by a burglar starts to descend into madness while trying to conceal the retaliatory murder. The majority of the film takes place in three rooms, with the shots seamlessly bleeding into the next (think Hitchcock’s ROPE, but more surreal), leaving the viewer unsure as to what is reality and what is simply Joyce’s mind melting into complete malady. The film is gripping to say the least (pun intended?), and I’m not gonna say it’s a solid psycho-thriller for a guy who does boob flicks – it’s just a damn fine film period and a must-see for fans of heady cinema. Only available on VHS and since no one really pays any attention to it, you can still get it pretty cheap. Even at $25 (the highest VHS listing on the world weird web), it’s a deal, especially since this one will probably never make it to DVD. VHS does it again!

32 comments:

Will Errickson said...

Yes, THE PIT would please all fans of sleazy bizarre '70s/'80s horror films! The scene with the babysitter and the bathtub alone...

Earl Summerfield said...

Slaughter Tales, Dad! My favorite underrated horror film is Slaughter Tales!

Damon said...

What a great list! THE PIT is insane and nice to see Chuck Vincent get a mention.

One of my most prized underrated gems is BLACK ROSES. You don't hear people talk about that one enough.

Eaden Rosvein said...

Lamberto Bava's Demons is one of my faves. Great special effects. Great soundtrack. Great direction.

Creepy Glowbugg said...

I am a huge fan of Xtro, The Brood, and Pieces. I apparently have a birthing fixation. Killer giveaway!! Fingers crossed....

RHRHomeVideo said...

Those are all great titles, I love "Parents"! But my favorite underrated Horror flick is probably "Offerings": a little known Halloween-inspired Slasher from the late 80's. Also has strong "Slumber Party Massacre" overtones :)

Nick Rohrbaugh said...

Ultra glad that Josh turned me on to Deranged, I was blown away!! For me Superstition (1982)deserves much more love - it's like the less heralded (and maybe slightly lazier) little brother to Phantasm or The Beyond!

Ryan Tucker said...

Sorry to submit twice but I want to retract my pick. Since I was twelve, I've been trying to track down a vhs copy of Naked Space, also known as The Creature Wasn't Nice but I knew it as Spaceship. It stars Leslie Nielson. It's a complete train wreck but I love it and thats my pick.

Jeffrey Canino said...

My top grossly underrated horror pick: the Aussie hybrid horror NEXT OF KIN (1982). See this movie.

tlawson42 said...

My favorite underrated horror flick is probably George Romero's MARTIN. A brilliant twist on the conventions of vampire cinema AND 60s/70s coming of age dramedies like THE GRADUATE, yet it is often overlooked in favor of Romero's more popular zombie movies.

noahphex said...

This list is rock solid. I haven't seen Wacko, however so that's going in my to watch pile, for sure.

sinaphile said...

Argh. I made a list too. But if I had *another* selection...probably Ted Post's 1973 THE BABY because, well, dearlordholymoly is that film creepy!!!

joshuasfields said...

One I'd like to see more love for is FORTRESS: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0091069/ Yes, it IS horror!

Duuhh! said...

Frank Darabont's directorial debut, TV movie Buried Alive, is great, underrated fun!

Bryan Garcia said...

One of my favorite underrated movies is The Church. Super good.

Cousin Barnabas said...

Parents really disturbed me as a kid. As for underrated horror films, I'm going to nominate John Carpenter's Prince of Darkness.

the Trash Man said...

Love this list and loving everyone's picks, too. I don't know if I could pick an all-time favorite, but this year alone brought both The Boogens (1981) and Razorback (1984) into my life. The latter, especially, is just insane and grungy and amazing.

Ron Rochondo said...

Excellent list. Many of my favs on here. Well done all around. My fav underrated horror movie is "The Witching" aka "Necromancy", or vice versa, 1972, with Orson Welles. I have "The Witching" VHS version of it, and it rules. Beautifully shot, great soundtrack, ORSON FUCKING WELLES IS IN IT, and there's great naked witch parties and shit. (Runner up is "Let's Scare Jessica to Death", but that one gets a decent amount of praise, for the most part)

Robert Zeigler said...

"The Unholy"(1988)

Jon the Obscure said...

My absolute favorite unheralded fright flick would have to be Avery Crounse's Eyes of Fire (1983). There is nothing else quite like it. Set in 1750, the film follows a shady preacher with a young psychic woman under his tutelage who is ousted from a community due to his affair with a frontiersman's wife. With his lover's children and eventually even her husband in tow, the outcasts make their way deep into Shawnee territory, into a valley long avoided by the superstitious Shawnee, whereupon they find abandoned lodgings and a young Native American girl who may be more than she seems. I'm loathe to give away much of the plot, but the imagery in this film is fantastic. Imagine 'Aguirre: The Wrath of God" set in Malick's New World, but buttressed with incredibly unnerving Native American tree spirits and spectacular sound design. The last time I went camping I couldn't wrench from my mind some of the penultimate images in the film and spent the entire camping trip on the verge of a panic attack. I wish with every part of my being a film this beautiful and haunting could be released remastered on DVD, but as it stands, this is one of those gems that justifies my rabid acquisition of VHS tapes,as this is the only format in which you'll find it. I've found my share of gems (and "gems", here's lookin' at you Creating Rem Lazar) raiding soon-to-be-shuttered video stores, but I implore anyone reading this to head over to Amazon Marketplace or to beg and plead for a Cinemageddon account invite because this is one of the best, almost completely unknown horror films of the 1980's.

Jon the Obscure said...

The Pit and The Gate were two of my favorite horror flicks as a kid...probably on account of the underage protagonists. Rewatched The Pit recently...way kinkier and far more unsettling than I recalled, haha.

David Keel said...

Rabid with Marilyn Chambers and directed by David Cronenberg. That dagger thing in her armpit was so freaky.

Dillon Vaughn said...

I really loved The Gate as a kid! I remember my dad showing it to me on a tape he recorded sometime in the mid 90s, and since then it's always been one of my favorite underrated horror films, right there with Trick or Treat! (No, not the more recent Trick r' Treat, I'm talking about the heavy metal horror flick with a former "solid gold dancer" playing the role of the satanic hair metal antagonist.)Definitely worth a viewing.

crippled_wizard said...

Favorite underrated horror movie... Criminally Insane.

TravAyers said...

Favorite Underrated Horror


HauntedWeen

Nullness said...

Shameless plug but the Grateful Undead is pretty good
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lqn8Ky4tEn8

It has a sort of Al Adamson/60's exploitation horror vibe, but it takes place in the 90's and was filmed in 2006.

Pencil said...

Lots of people talk about this now but years ago no one had even seen STREET TRASH. From the horrid prospect of melting every time you wanted a sip of Tennefly Viper, Viet Cong Vampire flash backs, Necrophilia, junkyard maniac rapists or (gasp!) severed penis keep away, you can't go wrong with the world's first melt movie!

Unknown said...

My favorite underrated horror film HAS to be 1980's NIGHT OF THE DEMON. If you're a fan of squatchsploitation flicks, this one has it all. Sasquatch, college kids, crazy hillbillies worshipping the Sasquatch, a mute witch woman and more. It's insane and gawdawful at times, but it scared me to NEAR death as a kid and probably began my love of big hairy creatures in the woods movies, be it sasquatch or bigfoot or werewolves or whatever. 1980's NIGHT OF THE DEMON! Check it out!

xiamthearmx said...

Killer list dude! Gotta go with James Mallon's "Blood Hook" from 1986. Love that grouchy backwoods shopkeeper with the metal-plated head reeling in victims with his oversized lure. Muskie Madness forever!

Adolfo said...

Larry Brown's "The Psychopath" is an underrated 70's horror gem. An eccentric kiddie television show host kills abusive parents who mistreat their kids! This one is a real under appreciated flick!

Veronica Hart said...

Josh, Thanks for mentioning Deranged. It was fun to make for sure and very intense! We shot it in order so I got to go where she needed to go. One of my girlfriends saw me in the middle of it and thought I had some personal problems! When I was walking barefoot in the cold in Central Park, there was actually a woman who noticed and tried to help me. I'm so glad you liked it! Much love, Jane Hamilton/Veronica Hart

lunchmeat said...

Wow! Stoked to on all of these answers, my friends! Killer stuff! EYES OF FIRE is certainly underrated. Reviewed that one in a past issue! Jane, thank YOU for your amazing performance in DERANGED. Truly spectacular! If you ever want to do an interview for LM, I'd love that. Please just reach out. Would love to hear from you! Thanks again, everyone, and we'll have a winner soon!! FEED THAT VCR!