Rupert Pupkin Speaks: Favorite Underrated Horror - Sydney Wegner ""

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Favorite Underrated Horror - Sydney Wegner

Sydney writes for Isle of Cinema, so read her there. She can be found on letterboxd here: Twitter here: @WildPalmCity.  
1.DEAD & BURIED (1981)
Edgar Wright recently hosted a screening of this in L.A. and I'm so glad he did because every film nerd should see this! The atmosphere of it is creepy but also hauntingly beautiful, with a wonderful color palette, great sets, and some totally insane body horror. It’s also got an exciting plot (the less you know about the story, the better) and acting performances that manage to be genuine and campy at the same time. As a bonus, if you ever wanted to see Grandpa Joe from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory play a mortician you're in luck!

I can't do CEMETERY MAN justice with the written word. It's horror, it’s comedy, it’s bizarrely erotic, but it's also something else entirely that I can only describe as unique (the same way that weird goth kid who moped around the dark corners of your high school was 'unique'). Rupert Everett stars as Francesco Dellamorte, a cemetery caretaker whose job is to kill the zombies that occasionally roam the big deal. To help him out he's got a loveable mentally handicapped assistant, and their lives remain pretty repetitive until the appearance of a beautiful widow shakes things up and things really get weird!

3.RAZORBACK (1984)
This Australian cult film is centered around a small town being terrorized by a monstrous wild boar, and a man set on revenge. Though it attempts to make the animal terrifying it doesn't quite succeed (the animatronic pig is actually pretty funny), but the rest of the film is so disgusting that you'll want to barf. What makes it unnerving for me is the atmosphere, which is steeped in grime and filth you can almost smell. The characters and gore are equally repulsive. RAZORBACK would be hard to stomach for the average person but for all you weirdos out there, it’ll be a delight. The best word I can use to describe it is "feral" - savage, wild, untamed.

This film lays the camp on pretty thick in parts, but a great performance by Bill Pullman along with some incredible visuals of Haiti and nightmare-inducing moments keep it grounded. The story about hallucinations, possession, evil, and Voodoo is scary enough but what takes it to the next level is the feeling of complete disconnect. The real horror comes from Pullman's character frantically trying to find his way around a strange world, and we too feel lost and abandoned with no hope in sight. It gets lost behind Wes Craven’s other masterworks but it deserves some love!

A lot of ultra low-budget horror films end up cheesy, unintentionally hilarious or even painful to watch but THE DEADLY SPAWN is different. This is a story about a multi-headed alien that invades a basement and eats anyone who enters so the possibility for silliness is high. Instead it ends up being a testament to the fact that if your heart is invested in a project even the most ridiculous ideas can be special. The gore effects and creature designs are grotesque in the most beautiful way, the characters are likable and the story engaging. Most importantly the tone is perfect. It's not overly serious, but not intentionally ironic either. More than anything else, it’s fun. There is a huge amount of love and dedication on display and for that alone it’s worthy of respect.

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