Rupert Pupkin Speaks: Favorite Underrated Horror - J. Murphy ""

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Favorite Underrated Horror - J. Murphy

J. Murphy has been watching horror films for as long as he can remember and has been writing about them for the past four years on his site Basement Screams.
In this day and age, when everything is so easily accessible online, it’s hard to come up with a list of unknown or underrated horror films. These are a few that I think everyone should take a look at. They’re not all necessarily unknown, but they’re definitely worth the watch. Cheers.

The Undertaker and His Pals (1966) - directed by T.L.P. Swicegood
I first discovered this one when I was fourteen and got a copy of a bootleg Misfits 7” that had the poster for this as the back cover. It took me a few years to track it down, but once I did I loved every ridiculous minute. The sole directorial effort from Swicegood, The Undertaker and His Pals is the story of two not-so-bright, motorcycle riding diner owners who serve up body parts to their customers with help from the local undertaker. This one is far from serious, but it’s a hell of a lot of fun. A definite precursor to Blood Diner and Motel Hell, among others.

Living Hell (2000) - directed by Shugo Fujii
Living Hell (or Iki-jigoku in its native Japanese) isn’t quite the “Japanese chainsaw massacre” it was billed as, but it’s not your average hair-in-the-face J-horror either. An old woman and her mute granddaughter go to stay with distant relatives and decide to torture the family’s wheelchair-bound son. Budgetary restraints are evident in parts, but this was such a breath of fresh air from what was coming out of Japan at the time that it stuck with me. If you’re into crazy old women, spooky mute chicks, or watching helpless dudes get royally fucked up by the aforementioned old hag and mute monster, this is the flick for you!

Halloween 5: The Revenge of Michael Myers (1989) - directed by Dominique Othenin-Girard
If this were a couple years ago Halloween III would undoubtedly have made my list. Time has proved kindly to that installment of the Halloween franchise, and it has gained a much stronger following over the years. For some reason, however, everybody loves to hate on Part 5. Everyone praises Part 4, and folks, I hate to break this to you, but Halloween 5 is a better film in almost every way. You have Donald Pleasence as Loomis, who at this point is just a complete madman, in some ways scarier than Michael himself. You have Danielle Harris, who gives a fucking amazing performance for a twelve year old who has to act without speaking for most of the film. The mask looks better than in Part 4, the movie is shot and lit better than Part 4, it’s just an all-around better film. Halloween is right around the corner, give this one a second look.

Drive-In Horrorshow (2009) - directed by Michael Neel
With all the love being thrown at horror anthologies as of late I wanted to bring to light one that doesn’t get mentioned much. Drive-In Horrorshow is an indie anthology that pays tribute to the nearly-extinct era of the drive-in theatre and to classic horror anthologies like Creepshow and Tales From The Darkside. Equally funny and spooky, there hasn’t been a horror anthology that’s this much fun to watch in years.

Satan’s Wife (1979) - directed by Pier Carpi
One of my personal favorite Exorcist rip-offs, Satan’s Wife (aka Un’ombra nell’ombra) is late seventies Satanic sleaze at it’s finest. You’ve got Satanic rituals that incorporate choreographed dancing. You’ve got a cast of genre favorites that includes Lara Wendel, Anne Heywood and Marisa Mell. Most importantly you’ve got an exorcism that requires Anne Heywood to be topless and rock face-paint like an evil Ziggy Stardust!

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