Elric Kane is 1/4 of the excellent horror podcast Shockwaves and -- in new podcast news, he is also co-host with me of our new show Pure Cinema:
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1. Sole Survivor (1983) - Dir. Thom Eberhardt
Every year I’m lucky enough to discover at least one film that blows my mind. This year there were a few but nothing got me more than this dread fueled nightmare film from the director of ‘Night of the Comet’. The plot follows a woman who survives a plane crash and is then stalked by dead people. It’s literally a mix of ‘Final Destination’ and ‘It Follows’ before either existed and may just well be the blue print for both. It’s an out of print Code Red DVD but well worth tracking down as it’s a truly creepy under seen 80’s gem.
2. Let’s Scare Jessica To Death (1971) - Dir. John D Hancock
For years I mixed this film up with ‘April Fool’s Day’ thinking I had already seen it due to one of the most misleading titles imaginable. What sounds like a playful 80’s slasher is in fact a serious adult horror film about a woman’s sanity and ‘Emily’ the Vampiric spectre who seeks to take over her life. It’s a wonderfully dreamy psychodrama that feels like an American Jean Rollin film but with great characters. This joins MARTIN & FULL CIRCE on my list of films most deserving of a Blu-ray release.
3. The Seventh Victim (1943) - Dir. Mark Robson (Prod. Val Lewton)
I’ve long been a fan of auteur producer Val Lewton’s RKO cycle of low budget “horror” films but somehow missed this one. With its classy sect of Satanists hanging out in Greenwich village to Jean Brooks early Goth style it may not be particularly scary but it has one of the most shockingly nihilistic endings in all of cinema. It’s part of a great Lewton box set of all his films.
4. Blood Rage (1987) - Dir. John Grissmer
I first became aware of this film prior to its re-release when my buddy filmmaker Jackson Stewart (Beyond the Gates) listed in his top 3 films of all time. ALL TIME! So I needed to see it and thankfully Arrow delivered an amazing Blu. Until Eli Roth finally makes his ‘Thanksgiving’ this will remain the ultimate Thanksgiving slasher film. Buy this one blind, grab a six pack of Old Style beer and thank me later.
5. Silent Rage (1982) – Dir. Michael Miller
Chuck Norris versus an indestructible axe murderer. Sells itself. Streaming on SHUDDER.
6. Cut- Throats Nine (1972) – Dir. Joaquin Romero Marchent
The influence of this film on Tarantino is obvious from the title alone but it’s the ugliness and unrelenting violence that also has its fingerprints all over ‘The Hateful Eight’. It’s a Spanish western as opposed to the Italian “Spaghetti Western” so it’s jokingly termed a “Paella Western” and reminds me of the ‘The Great Silence’ but it’s a much more vicious film. Makes for a great snowbound western triple feature. The Blu Ray from Code Red is a must for Tarantino acolytes and fans of brutal Westerns.
**Bonus best Kindertrauma discovery:
The Brain (1988) Dir. Ed Hunt – Opening sequence may be the ultimate in Kindertrauma and is utterly bonkers. Special effects courtesy of the great Screaming Mad George. If the rest of the film was as good it would be on my main list. Streaming on Amazon.