Rupert Pupkin Speaks: Favorite Underrated Horror - Kristy Jett ""

Friday, October 18, 2013

Favorite Underrated Horror - Kristy Jett

Kristy is a staff writer for HorrorHound Magazine, current contributor to FEARnet, iHorror and Rue Morgue Magazine.
Popcorn (1991)
 I’ve watched Popcorn religiously for the past 20 years and my hope is to introduce it to a whole new generation of horror fans. This overlooked gem starts off with a cult backstory which turns supernatural and then takes a sharp turn and plants itself firmly in slasher territory. Alan Ormsby (Dereanged, Deathdream) chose to remain uncredited as the screenwriter after being fired as director. Bob Clark, (yes, that Bob Clark) also chose to remain uncredited after a stressful production. It stars Jill Schoelen and Tom Villard as apart of a college class that stages an all night horrorthon at a local theater in an effort to raise money to keep their program going. The horrorthon itself is rife with William Castle-esque antics as the body count in the theater rises. Popcorn is a fun and at times campy homage to the golden age of theaters and recommended viewing for any cinema nerds.

Killer Party (1986)
It’s a faux trailer! No, it’s a music video! No, it’s a slasher film set on a college campus…or is it? What starts as a sorority slasher becomes a tale of demonic possession unleashed during a campus costume party. Directed by William Fruet, the auteur behind Funeral Home, it featuresa little cameo by genre staple Paul Bartel. Quintessential 80s campus romp with blood spatter…and a guillotine. Oh yes, a guillotine.

The Last Broadcast (1998)
Let’s get something straight from the start. I despise the ending of The Last Broadcast. In my waking dreams, I get to remake/reimagine/sequel-ize it and pretend it never happened. Now that we have that out of the way let me just say that in recent years I’ve befriended writer/director/star Stefan Avalos and I feel bad everytime I mention how much I hate that ending because they really did put their heart and soul into that movie. Maybe I should actually talk about the film, eh? Co-writers/directs/stars Stefan Avalos and Lance Weiler play Steven Avkast and Locus Wheeler; hosts of a New Jersey cable access show called Fact or Fiction. Consider their show part “In Search Of…,” part awkward comedy hour. In the very beginning stages of the internet and the accessibility it allowed, they set up a live telecast and “chat-a-long,” as they explore the Legend of the Jersey Devil in the Pine Barrens of New Jersey. It’s a found footage film, and that is where it shines; superb whenever Avkast, Wheeler or “villain,” Suerd is on camera.It preceded The Blair Witch Project, but sadly it’s always buried in its wake. Truly one of the great found footage films out there…whether you dig the ending or not.

Society (1989)
For years I had seen random pictures of a face staring out from an ass and wondered, “What the hell movie is that…and why have I not seen it yet?!” My prayers were answered when started stocking a German hardbox version I gladly scooped up. Brian Yuzna is a filmmaker who absolutely fascinates me. He’s famous for producing Re-Animator, Dolls and even Honey, I Shrunk The Kids. Society of course panders more to those seeking depravity or transgressive themes. Yuzna’s directorial debut can definitely be categorized as a body horror movie by way of a study in the hierarchy of wealth and privilege. Perhaps even more relevant today than upon its release.

The Vanishing (Spoorloos) (1988)
Not to be confused for its Americanized remake, The Vanishing is a Dutch film, and definitely the most serious film on this list. Lovers Rex and Saskia take a holiday in France. At a fuel stop Saskia goes missing and in vain Rex tries to locate her. Three years pass and Rex has been tirelessly searching for her while being taunted via postcard by the man who claims to know her fate. Her kidnapper is endlessly fascinated by Rex’s dogged pursuit to know what became of Saskia. In the end Rex comes face to face with Saskia’s abductor and is told he can find out what happened but only if he experiences it. Without a doubt one of the finest films ever made.


Tommy Ross said...

Thanks for the recommendation on Popcorn 1991, sounds like a winner. Re: The Last Broadcast, great choice, I've used to recommend that flick to my film students at Brooks as an example of what can be done with $900 and some imagination.

Bob The Wordless said...

The Vanishing is definitely one of the most underrated horror films.

Maybe because it's a slow build up? Or,because it's foreign,therefore subtitled?

The ending is superb,and the road leading to that ending is wrought with tension. I love it, and I highly recommend it.

I'll be checking out the Last Broadcast.I was one of the idiots that thought it was a Blair Witch ripoff. I am shamed...

Anonymous said...

I really liked THE VANISHING as well, though it's more thriller than horror. I boycotted the USA remake.
I suppose one of these days I should see it, but, I just can never muster the energy to do so.

Who has seen both? AND, in what chronological order did you see them?