Rupert Pupkin Speaks: Favorite Underrated Horror - Steve Q ""

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Favorite Underrated Horror - Steve Q

Thought you might need a bio for me: SteveQ studied structuralist experimental films, worked for 6 days in a video store (ordering Doris Wishman's "Nude on the Moon" was the last straw) and has seen, by his count, 12000 movies. He very occasionally posts about film on his running blog, stevequick.blogspot.com and under his female fashionista persona at twitter.com/amy_surplice.
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Those who watch horror films tend to watch them obsessively and they know all the recent low-budget obscurities. These films may be more "underseen" than "underrated." It could be argued that three of them are not horror films at all.


Drácula (1931) ***
After each day's filming of Tod Browning's "Dracula," a Spanish language version was filmed using the same sets and shooting scripts, directed by George Melford. I think the Spanish film is better. With a running time 30 minutes longer, it feels less episodic, with more exposition. There's a more nuanced Renfield than Dwight Frye's over-the-top performance. Dracula's brides are given something to do and seem more fleshed out as characters. I think this gets underrated because it's just not the same as the English film.


Dementia (1955) **1/2
Filmed in Los Angeles in 1953 and re-released as "Daughter of Horror" in 1956, this extends the German expressionism of film noir into surrealism. It's a love-it-or-hate-it film; Mick Martin's entire review: "The longest 60 minutes of my life." Filmed silent, with narration by Ed McMahon and music track sung by Marni Nixon. It's a film where you constantly have to adjust what you think is real and what is a delusion.


Onibaba (1964) ***1/2
Beautifully filmed story of medieval Japan, where a "hag demon" mask worn by a soldier may or may not turn the wearer into a demon.


La Noche del Terror Ciego (1972) **1/2
On video as both "The Blind Dead" and "Tombs of the Blind Dead." The first of a series of four Spanish films about mummified skeletal undead warriors on horseback. Very atmospheric and with surprisingly good production values. The sequels, while watchable, tend to blur together.


Ôdishon (1999) ***
On video as "Audition." This starts off looking like it might be a romantic comedy, but like "After Hours" on steroids, this quickly becomes extremely violent and depraved. A truly scary film - it ups the ante of slasher and gore films by making one care about both the victims and villain.

1 comment:

SteveQ said...

Shameless plug: today I also posted Horror Movies Starting with "A" at http://stevequick.blogspot.com/2013/10/horror-movie-listology-a.html