Rupert Pupkin Speaks: Favorite Underrated Horror - Rockie Juarez ""

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Favorite Underrated Horror - Rockie Juarez

Rockie is a writer for Isle of Cinema and an employee at the great Vulcan Video. See him on the Ain't It Cool series The Vulcan Vault here: 

also, follow the dude on twitter!

Deep Rising(1998) - The only Stephen Sommers film I will go to bat for, Deep Rising is a rollicking ride that is very self aware of its tone. A huge leviathan with deadly tendrils has taken over a luxurious cruise ship right before a group of money hungry mercenaries plan to rob the ship. This volatile mix leads to some hilarious on screen kills(axe to the head being my favorite) mashing creature feature with sharp action. Deep Rising is also just another great example of cast Treat Williams in everything please. The guy just has terrific leading man chops and can carry most cinema film single handed. Easily one of the unsung monster rides of the 90s that might be over looked due to some dated CG. Do not pass it up. Also, the final 2 minutes of this film are pure cinema joy.

Lady In White(1988) - With it's soft opener one would think The Lady In White would be a tame ride set in 1962 suburbia. Nothing could be further from the truth because once the film starts flowing we are locked into a creepy ghost story/murder mystery that is so well realized it will linger on your mind for some time. A 'last of it's kind' piece of cinema the FX in this film help elevate it to a fairytale level of brilliance that makes the journey timeless. This and Pan's Labyrinth would make a great double feature by the way. Highly recommended for the murder mystery alone as it dives into prejudice in a small town better than most fucking dramas do. And for a horror film to have these layers is all one could ask for.

The Hitcher(1986) -Sometimes humans can be the monsters. These, for my money, are the scariest horror films because hey, that shit could happen. In The Hitcher, C.Thomas Howell is just trying to get to L.A. when he picks up a hitcher after nearly dosing off, hoping above all else the company will help him stay awake on his long trek. In under 5 minutes the hitcher, played devilishly by Rutger Hauer, reveals himself to be a homicidal manic who has been leaving a trail of dead for quite a long stretch of road. To make matters worse he tries to blame the killings on poor little C.Thomas like a true demon. Cold as ice huh? Relentless throughout, I recommended The Hitcher because it taught me two things I hope to pass to you: never pick up hitchhikers and always check your french fries.

Stir Of Echoes(1999) - The Sixth Sense came out the same year, but trust me this film has more meat on it's bones. Kevin Bacon is hypnotized only to have horrible visions involving a young girl after the fact. Slowly but surely Bacon begins to unravel putting his marriage and his life at risk. He's convinced there's purpose to these hallucinations and begins to act upon them unearthing a disturbing mystery. Small note: you might look at your neighbors a bit differently after watching this. Damn fine acting, great payoff and the most realistic sex scene in a movie make this the better ghost story of 1999 by a mile.

Pontypool(2008) - This film is a great example of how to do low budget horror yet make it speak volumes. Pontypool makes the human language a weapon(not like Dune, silly) and proves Stephen McHattie is much more deserving than co-star. A unique and highly contagious virus is starting to infect citizens of Ontario, Canada turning those infected into zombies. Our heroes are early morning DJs and are reporting the drama as they receive it. They become trapped at work(TRUE HORROR, unless you love your job then ignore that) as the zombie threat draws near. Now before you scream zombies are played out, I promise you Pontypool dares to turn the genre on it's ear by having the guts to try new ideas rather than repeat the same beats seen in zombie film prior. For example: say the wrong sequence of words and you may turn into a critter. Another, back to Steve McHattie, would be our lead using his rugged DJ persona to broadcast a 'screw you, we ain't going out like that' message to those that will listen. A classic for the final 5 minutes alone, seek out Pontypool.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I agree on STIR OF ECHOES over SIXTH SENSE - not by a mile, but close enough. I still contend that SIXTH cheats and M. Night's other output amply shows how much of a one-trick pony that he and SIXTH were.