Alan is an avid movie watchin' fella that I recommend you follow on twitter AND letterboxd:
Check out his 2015, 2014 & 2013 discoveries lists too:
AMUCK! (D: Silvio Amadio, 1972)
I watched the Code Red DVD of this giallo, which features the U.S. cut known as MANIAC MANSION. Not that I’m complaining — it feels like AMUCK! was trimmed down to the bare essentials and good parts — of which there are many. The lovely Barbara Bouchet plays a woman that takes a secretary job for a writer (Farley Granger) who may have had something to do with the disappearance of her friend/lover (Patrizia Viotta). Inside, Granger’s house is a hotbed of debauchery, with his wife, played by LADY FRANKENSTEIN herself, Rosalba Neri!
2. PSYCHIC KILLER (D: Ray Danton, 1975)
Here’s one I avoided for years — how wrong I was to do that. Jim Hutton plays a man wrongly imprisoned for the death of his mother’s doctor. When he’s proven innocent, he gets revenge by killing those who framed or irked him via astral projection, leading to some FINAL DESTINATION-style deaths! As the Vinegar Syndrome blu-ray cover points out, it’s rather gory for a PG-rating. But the fun doesn’t stop there: you get a wonderfully volatile meeting between Della Reese and Neville Brand, and there’s the gloriously, seemingly always pissed of Aldo Ray!
3. NIGHT OF THE SCARECROW (D: Jeff Burr, 1995)
Jeff Burr is truly one of the more underrated names in horror. Admittedly, not every film in his resume is a great one, but there are certainly some underseen gems, like this one about a scarecrow —possessed by the spirit of a dead warlock. As soon as the horror kicks in, Burr unleashes his inner Sam Raimi and directs NIGHT OF THE SCARECROW with more enthusiasm than most DTV movies in the 1990s deserved. With Bruce Glover, Stephen Root, John Hawkes and even Road Rash from HOBGOBLINS himself, Duane Whitaker.
4. TOYS ARE NOT FOR CHILDREN (D: Stanley H. Brassloff, 1972)
If there’s anything you can say about this one, it’s that it’s a pretty horrifying exploitation film that lives up to its reputation of ickiness. In her first and only movie, Marcia Forbes is perfect as Jamie, a sexually repressed woman obsessed with toys that wants to reunite with her estranged father — which leads to a horrifying finale. I love the scratched-up print on the Something Weird DVD, which adds to the grimy aesthetic of the movie.
5. THE NEW YORK RIPPER (D: Lucio Fulci, 1982)
I thought I had watched THE NEW YORK RIPPER before. Then the bottle scene happened, and I realized, “No, I’ve never seen all of this movie before.” This is probably the nastiest and most cynical Lucio Fulci movie I’ve seen, featuring a killer — that quacks like a duck — that stalks and kills women in NYC. Everyone seems to be a suspect except for the cynical cop (Jack Hedley), investigating it all. It all leads to a pretty grim ending, which helps make it a masterpiece in the Fulci canon.