Dick Grunert is a staff writer on the Emmy Award-winning Cartoon Network series "Adventure Time." He has also written and directed several short horror films, including "The Trap," which has screened at over 20 film festivals this year.
MY DEAR KILLER (1972) – I had never even heard of this Italian thriller before seeing it at the Secret Sixteen screening at Creature Features in Burbank in October. It’s a pre-giallo flick that must have influenced Argento. It’s a little slow in spots but features two fantastic kills (one that opens the film and another right at the mid-point that made the audience burst into applause at the screening I was at).
BUTCHER, BAKER, NIGHTMARE MAKER aka NIGHT WARNING (1982) – I bought the DVD after hearing about this movie on the Killer POV podcast, and boy, did it live up to the hype with a truly insane performance by Susan Tyrrell that has to be seen to be believed!
THE LEGACY (1978) – I remember seeing parts of this film on HBO when I was a kid, so I was excited to check it out when Scream Factory released it earlier this year. It’s a strange one, I’ll say that much. Katherine Ross and Sam Elliott are great as an American couple trapped in an English mansion by… well, I’m not exactly sure, but it’s a fun watch.
I, MADMAN (1989) – Okay, I’m kinda cheating here because I saw this movie when it first came out on home video back in ‘89, but watching the new Scream Factory blu-ray that came out earlier this year was like seeing it for the first time. Beautiful Jenny Wright is an aspiring actresswho works at a used bookstore, where she discovers the work of pulp horror author Malcolm Brand. Fact and fiction begin to blur as Wright is stalked by the madman from Brand’s books. I love this movie so much and hope more people discover it.
TRICK OR TREATS (1982) – This little-seen slasher isn’t very good (the acting is terrible and the script is a mess), but I loved every minute of it! A super obnoxious kid plays a series of pranks on his hot babysitter on Halloween night. So when a nutjob escapes the local asylum and comes to the house to exact revenge on his conniving wife (the kid’smother), all hell breaks loose. This is one 80’s horror film that deserves a kick ass remake. Anybody know who has the rights?
PARENTS (1989) - I love movies about cannibalism, and I was surprised I had never seen this little gem directed by, of all people, Bob Balaban and starring Randy Quaid and Mary Beth Hurt. It's set in the 1950's and follows a strange little boy who suspects his parents are cannibals. It's sort of like "Leave It To Beaver" directed by David Lynch. And if that doesn't sell it to you, I don't know what to say!