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Old 12-24-2006, 05:27 AM
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The Unsung, The Underapperciated & the Bizarre: the 'Other' HDC Top 100

Here it is, long debated and anticipated. The experience was great, and I have to tell you all you did a hell of a job picking your judges.

It's a unique experience, getting seven people together who are arguing over movies to keep someone else from watching them. At the end of the day, though, we came up with a list that everyone here should be proud of. To put it in the words of one of your judges: "That's a good god damn list!"

Without further ado, your next HDC 100
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Old 12-24-2006, 05:44 AM
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Accion Mutante (aka Mutant Action) (1993)



The Amazing Mr. X (aka The Spiritualist) (1948)

Many reviews would tell you that the strength of this film lies in the cinematography, and there is no way that I can entirely disagree: Crisp, striking camerawork and brilliant use of light and shadow are truly an asset to The Amazing Mr. X.

However in my mind, the single aspect that elevates this film from your typical “B” mystery can be stated in two words: Turhan Bay. As the title character, a “Psychic Counselor” who may or may not be a con artist, he owns every scene that involves him. His screen presence is simply incredible and turns what would be an OK film into a great one.

Though I would like to go into the plot, it’s a very complex story and I fear that I would spoil it. Suffice to say that it has a couple pretty good twists, and an ending that you probably won’t be expecting.

Beautiful cinematography, strong acting and a solid plot make this film a worthy addition to any collection. The fact that you can get it in a set with 49 other films for less than $20 makes it that much sweeter. - The Return


Bad Taste (1987)

Sure, its just a splatter film, but theres a certian charm in the way Peter Jackson does it. It feels kinda like what would happen if someone turned a childs film into a bloody massacre. It almost has some kind of slap-stick feeling to it, except instead of someone getting smacked in the face, someone is getting shot in the face. One of the best things about this film is its pace. Once the action starts, it pretty much doesn't let up until the bloodsoaked end. Not much of a plot here. Aliens from mars kill a bunch of people on earth in order to use their flesh for their fast food resaurant. In conclusion, if you like horror comedies, gross out humor, and loads of gore, this is definetly one to catch. - The Mothman


Begotten (1991)

You won’t like this film. Don’t even try to watch it. There is no dialogue and there are no title cards. It’s shot in a grainy black and white. The story? That’s anyone’s guess. The effect? Skin crawling terror. Still interested? The film looks and feels old – not silent film old, but Dead Sea Scrolls old. It all revolves around the birth and subjugation of a human-like god-thing…at least that’s what I’m told. What makes this film so maddening and terrifying is how director E. Elias Merhige (Shadow of the Vampire) shoots the film in such an overly-distressed manner that you’re never quite sure what you’re seeing. This combined with a stunning sound design and the most transgressive acting style I’ve ever witnessed makes this film unnerving to watch. It took me several attempts to get past the first 10 minutes and I had nightmares for weeks. Because there is no real text of which to speak, the film attacks your subconscious, digging up whatever darkness your imagination can render. Like I said, you won’t like this film. Don’t even try to watch it. - Roderick Usher

I tre volti della paura (aka Black Sabbath) (1963)

This is my favorite anthology film.

While this movie has been released in numerous chopped up versions in the U.S. since its release, it is now finally available in its original version on dvd (the original had many lines spoken in english and then dubbed in Italian), complete with the hokey ending starring the host and star, Boris Karloff.

This is a fantastic film on its own merits, but it also deserves a watch because it is the very first movie in which the "bad guy" wins (I won't give away which of the three faces of fear this occurs in).

There is no way I could pick a favorite of the three stories because they all succeed in their own ways, but I will tell you that I think they get scarier as they go along (meaning that, to me, the first is the least frightening, while the last is just plain unnerving and sleep-depriving).

A must watch and, on a side note, I've heard that the band got their name from it (not sure about that one). - knife_fight
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Old 12-24-2006, 05:58 AM
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Le pacte de loups (aka Brotherhood of the Wolf) (2001)

This French movie is an awesome combination of excellent direction and script-pacing, gorgeous cinematography and vivid colouring, and with a haunting soundtrack, rounded off by terrific performances, most notably by Mark Dacascos and Vincent Cassel.

Right from the very first frame of the opening scene, one is in awe of the way in which this movie is shot...and it is totally breathtaking! This is a movie which combines many genre elements together and with such surreal ease, that it remains a perfect and unequalled example of unique film-making. Christophe Gans, who has gone on to direct the highly successful Silent Hill, is pure genius as he guides us through a tale of the supernatural with enough bizarre twists and suspenseful moments that keep us bound to our seats till the end, with quite a few unexpected surprises in the latter part of the movie.

Slightly resembling the Baskervilles and Gevaudan legends, Brotherhood of the Wolf is based on the premise of a huge unknown creature preying on the innocents of the 17th Century French countryside. and two travellers trying to find it and bring an end to its reign of terror. The plot is full of action and non-stop suspense, and the visual depictions of each scene make this a continuous Sunday barbecue for the eyes.

Using stunning camera-work and some decent CGI, Brotherhood of the Wolf is a movie which leaves a permanent mark in the horror movie buff's mind. The length of the movie stretches well over two and half hours, but the dazzling reels of absolute visual joy make the time look insignificant. Watch it, and let it sweep over you with its lovely surrealness, interspersed with some genuinely frightening and creepy sequences. - __V__

Alferd Packer: The Musical (aka Cannibal! The Musical) (1996)



Captain Kronos - Vampire Hunter (1974)



Cat People (1942)

Cat People can justifiably be named one of the boldest and genuinely well-made films in horror history. For most of his career, Val Lewton worked off of RKO's table scraps to create vividly stunning horror masterpieces. What makes Lewton's works so damn scary, most especially Cat People, is not what we see, but what we don't see. This terrifying picture's strength falls into director Jacques Tourneur's creative and masterful use of shadows and sound. - alkytrio666

Creep (2004)
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Old 12-24-2006, 06:10 AM
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Cube (1997)

A room with four walls and four doors and seven people contained within. It doesn't sound exciting, but fortunately for Cube those four doors lead to an entertainment experience that a lot of movies with ten times the budget can't match. Through each door is another room, another cube. Inside each of these rooms could lie a trap which will violently end all life that enters. The traps themselves are deliciously evil and from the first scene we see what horrors the Cube has to offer. Luckily for the seven individuals trapped inside the Cube they each possess a talent that can be used to escape certain death and lead them to safety... as long as they work together. Being human beings however, those who are trapped begin to become suspicious and accusatory toward each other which becomes the beginning of the end and seals the fate for many of those inside. I won't give the ending away but it's one of those films where the ending can make or break the entire movie for you. Don't expect deep and multi-dimensional characters. It's not the acting that takes center stage here but rather the emotions suggested by the choices that the characters make. This one doesn't throw buckets of blood at the viewer but the gore that is shown doesn't fail to impress. If you're interested in a low budget, suspenseful movie with a dark atmosphere and bleak attitude toward human nature then you've found it. - Despare


The Fearless Vampire Killers (aka Dance of the Vampires) (1967)


Danza Macabra (aka Castle of Blood) (1964)

This classic, claimed to have been written by a certain Edgar Allan Poe is arguably one of the most mesmerising pieces of horror cinema ever made. The plot concerns a journalist, George Riviere, who accepts a bet to spend one night in a haunted castle. Once in, he finds himself sorrounded by phantoms, both beautiful and evil, re-enacting the ways in which they died, and who need his blood to maintain their nightly orgy of death.
The movie has been beautifully shot, and now released on DVD, looks great for its 89 min length. Evoking both spookiness and depressing moments, it leaves the viewer feeling helpless, once they empathize with Riviere and the atmosphere he finds himself in - multiple murders, cold-blooded passion, vampiric killings all mixed together and played in front of his eyes. Compelling viewing, even for Riviere, even when he has an option to escape. Margheriti has directed a masterpiece of compelling viewing, and once it starts, the viewers stay glued to their seats till the end. Excellent entertainer. - ___V___


Dark Heritage: The Final Descendant (1989)

From a critical point of view, this really isn’t a great movie by any stretch of the imagination. The actors are some of the worst that I have ever witnessed; the script is just as bad, and the budget makes Evil Dead look like the new King Kong.

“If it’s so bad, why do you like it so much?” you’re asking. Well despite its flaws, Dark Heritage has a sort of magic to it that would be the envy of even Ed Wood.

The story, based loosely on Lovecraft’s “Lurking Fear”, centers around a newspaper reporter named Clint Harrison and his quest to solve a strain of mysterious, brutal murders. The mystery leads him and his co-workers to an abandoned mansion deep in the woods…a mansion with a terrible, violent past and a shocking secret.

Even though he might be the only person involved that knows anything about filmmaking, the director is actually fairly competent (David McCormick, who amusingly enough was also an editor on the recent Wallace & Gromit film). If nothing else he creates some great atmosphere in many of the scenes, especially the tunnel sequences and the grisly spectacle near the end. Furthermore, the sepia toned dream sequence mid-film is one of the most memorable dream sequences since Hitchcock’s Vertigo.

Go into this movie with an open mind. By the typical definitions it might not be great filmmaking, but I can assure you that you will not be disappointed. - The Return

Dark Waters (aka Dead Waters) (1994)
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Old 12-24-2006, 06:22 AM
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Dead and Breakfast (2004)

Dead & Breakfast manages to stir a lot of laughs into the cheesy and gory mix that makes this indy film shine. The gags are mostly funny with the occasional joke that falls flat but the good outweighs the bad. D&B did the gore thing right as well with some innovative death scenes some of which manage to be amusing as well as bloody. Mix those things with a cheesy story and some great music that hops from genre to genre as well and you've got a great little independent horror comedy. This movie doesn't take itself too seriously and you shouldn't either. If you're looking to have some fun with a zombie flick then you have to pick up Dead and Breakfast. - Despare


Dead of Night (1945)

So how can a horror film from 1945 be scary, right? Especially when it's a mish-mash of short stories from different authors.

When an architect arrives at a country house to which he's been invited, he has the feeling he's met all these people before. He's able to predict some minor occurrences that will happen in the room, and when they come to pass it leads the others to describe weird experiences of their own, while a sceptical psychiatrist attempts to provide a rational explanation for each. However, the architect is convinced that this gathering of people can only end in horror...

A beautifully crafted film, this is a great example of an intangible 'fear of something', though we don't know what. Though the characters are very dated, as would be expected, nonetheless the film creates a great atmosphere and the wonderful ending brings everything together.

It shouldn't work at all, but it really, really does. I would highly recommend this film to everyone. - Ash's_evil_hand


Dead Birds (2004)


Deathwatch (2002)


Profondo rosso (aka Deep Red) (1975)

Dario Argento is a name that has become somewhat legendary in the roots of underground horror. Most famous for Suspiria, Argento uses bizzare color schemes, shocking gore, and dramatic play-like sets to create giallo (Italian crime horror dripping with style) masterpieces. His true masterpiece, however, is Profondo Rosso. The entire film is a trip into what we horror fans are always searching for- a two hour, grimy nightmare that completely takes us out of our comfort zone. The movie doesn't get the credit it deserves, and has given way to many beloved horror movies of today (look out for a scene which completely sucks the "originality" out of Saw). We are never safe, and Profondo Rosso is chock full of surprises. - alkytrio666
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Old 12-24-2006, 06:32 AM
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Doctor X (1932)


Don't Look Now (1973)

Atypical, unusual, dream-like, bizarre…all apt descriptions of Nicolas Roeg’s masterpiece of impending dread. Donald Sutherland and Julie Christie play grief-stricken parents whose daughter recently drowned to death. In an effort to get away from their depression, Sutherland takes a gig in Venice, Italy…and that’s when things get weird.
Psychics, an elusive serial killer and visions of the dead daughter wandering the Venetian canals all serve to build to a stunning climax that comes right out of the blue. As much a meditation on the destructive nature of guilt and grief as it is a horror film, this one is not for everybody. And to the mix a sex scene between Sutherland and Christie that stunned audiences at the time of release, had to be extensively trimmed in the US to receive an R rating and has long been rumored to have been “non-simulated” intercourse. All parties involved deny the rumor that they actually had sex on screen, but the rumor persists…and like they said in The Man Who Shot Liberty Valence “when the legend becomes fact, print the legend.” - Roderick Usher


Zombi Holocaust (aka Doctor Butcher, M.D.) (1980)


Dungeon of Harrow (1962)

“How many times have I stood before this symbol of my family's greatness? And now this crest and I are dying together. In another time and another place, I might have brought honor and glory to the Fallon family, but instead I shall leave a legacy of decay and unspeakable horror.”

Just try and tell me that that isn’t one heck of an awesome way to start a horror movie. A little overdramatic perhaps, but in a film like Dungeon of Harrow you should never expect anything less.

At first the plot is really nothing new or exciting, but it soon progresses into incredibly bizarre and original territory. The lone survivors of a shipwreck, the son of a wealthy Englishman and the captain of his ship find themselves on the Isle de Sade, home to a more-than-slightly off his rocker Count. They are found and welcomed into his castle, but soon discover that not everything is as it seems. To reveal more would be to spoil the plot, but suffice to say I bet you can’t guess where it’s going to go from here.

The actors are all deliciously over the top, especially William McNulty in the role of the Count. His hallucination scene near the first really sets the tone for the rest of the film: Strange, whacked out and a whole heaping load of fun. Take one spoonful of one of Roger Corman’s Poe movies, remove most of the budget and a lot of the talent involved, add a generous pinch of LSD for good measure and voila! Dungeon of Harrow, ready to serve. Best consumed with an open mind. - The Return

El dia de la bestia (aka The Day of the Beast) (1995)
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Old 12-24-2006, 07:10 AM
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Eraserhead (1977)

Eraserhead isn't a movie; Eraserhead is an experience. David Lynch's nightmare may seem like a surreal narrative of non-sense, but one must take a deeper look, and multiple viewings, to fully appreciate the film. When it all comes down to it, after we are exposed to horrifying depictions of issues such as abortion, affairs, suicide, and sin, Eraserhead becomes more real than almost any film in history. - alkytrio666

The Exorcist III (1990)

Where do I begin my dissertation on this movie? It's the last movie I've seen that creeped me out so bad it caused me to lose sleep. It's the movie I've seen more than any other movie intentionally (although Bob Clarks brilliant A Christmas Story probably has it beat simply because my family leaves it on for the full 24 hour marathon on Xmas every year.) It's my personal favorite movie of all time, and one of the most underappreciated movies ever made.

After Exorcist II: The Heretic (which is utterly horrible) I think people lost faith in the franchise. This is what the sequal to what a lot of people consider to be one of the best, if not the best, horror movies of all time should have been. It did everything that part II was supposed to do, and it did it successfully. The brilliant acting of George C. Scott shines throughout. His interaction with Ed Flanders is a perfect example of how comedy can be used effectively in a serious horror movie. Brad Dourif is incredible in his role, and brilliantly mixed with short appearances by Jason Miller.

The thing Exorcist III is truly king at is blind siding you. Unlike other movies, whom use false scares such as a cat jumping from the closet, it sets you up with brilliant dialogue and long camera shots. If you've seen it, I'm sure the hallway scene comes to mind. If not, you'll know what I mean after you watch it. Even though the ending was a bit overdone (and there are rumors that it is not the original ending), you'll find no in your face Hollywood FX here. Subtlety is the name of the game here, and it's a game that no other movie has done so well. - The Flayed One

Family Portraits: A Trilogy of America

An anthology of short films. Three of them. I don't think I've ever been so emotionally drained after them. This did something I thought couldn't be done to me after watching horror for so long: it affected me in a way that I'm not sure I like.

Douglas Buck shows a masterful control of atmosphere and storytelling in all three of his shorts. Welcome to middle class suburbia in midwestern America, now allow me to bludgeon you with this hammer.

Although most people think Cutting Moments is the highlight of the trilogy, each film is uniquely engrossing and disturbing in its own way. A neglected housewife who desperately tries to hold onto her idea of a nuclear family; a blue collar husband whos family life is not what he imagined it to be; a young girl coming home from the hospital after a terrible tragedy. These are simple ideas that almost anyone can relate to, and yet Buck extracts every piece of ugliness he can from them and throws them in your face. I'm not sure I want to recommend these to anyone. If you want the experience, please watch it. Just be warned that it won't be a pleasant one. - The Flayed One

Feast (2005)


Feed (2005)

I first heard about Feed on the HDC forums. I believe it was Mr. Usher who commented about it being really hard to eat food after watching the movie. To me, that meant it must be really great, at least in the department of grossness or gore or something to that effect.
The severe disgust that Feed can command over the viewer isn't so much due to on screen blood and guts, more so it is its commentary on the degeneration of our society. From abusive relationships, to extreme fetishes, to the spiraling weight problem in North America (even tho the film was made in Aussie if im not mistaken), to people's narccisisstic approach to themselves, it touches on many interesting subjects that are very relevant and manages to juxtapose them in way that brings out the ugliness in all and allows the viewer to decide which one is truly most disgusting to them. The relatively unknown (at least to me) cast adds alot to the movie, especially since it is quite serious, not just some gorehound shocker out to gross you out with special effects (although there are definetly a few look-away type scenes sprinkled throughout). I really liked this flick, probably mostly because it didn't bother apologizing for what it is : a derpaved look into parts of our culture that people think are so few and far between but are probably just next door or closer. Highly recommended for people who like a sick flick with a bit of an edge. - Spec7ral
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Old 12-24-2006, 07:20 AM
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Freaks (1932)

Freaks is a movie that tests the viewer's every faculty. It widens our eyes as we look upon sad, frightening, human oddities, it tries our spirit, as we watch them downtrodden, and it kindles our compassion for everybody considered strange or deviant. Horror is meant to transgress and meant to test us, and Freaks does so in a way few other films can. It tests our minds, our wills and our hearts and lets us see the highest and lowest parts of our natures. It shows human nature as the monster it is, reminding us to be at our best. A film with a rare combination of realism, craft and soul. - Doc Faustus


Funny Games (1997)

My dad brought this movie home pretty soon it came out on video, i guess around ten years ago. I was pretty much in love with horror flicks and I had just started seeking out the goriest stuff i could find ( i didnt know shit about the internet at the time, so it was guess and check at local videostores). This movie totally changed my outlook on what a movie could really do to fuck with your head. Believe it or not I actually watched it with my dad, a friend of mine and my MOM, which is what really put it into perspective. This movie is absolutely over the top, and it goes out of its way to make the viewer feel as uncomfortable as possible through its duration. I have only seen two other films by Michael Haneke (cache, bennys video) The constant I find between them is him using television to make points, or at least using TVs in general for focal points of his flicks. This adds a certain surreal esssence to situations that are generally quite vivd, violent and viable. As with Feed, this movie is a difficult movie to watch, it lacks the in your face social commentary that Cache and Benny video have but it still sends a bit of a message in the end, even if that message is that you might not ever want to watch this flick again, at least not with your mom. - Spec7ral


Galaxy of Terror (1981)

Anyone who has already seen this Roger Corman production will tout it as an Alien rip-off, and not surprisingly, it somewhat resembles the Ridley Scott tour-de-magnifique in its premise. But Scott's marauder came from outside, while director Bruce Clark's creepiness seeps from the deepest-rooted fears of the human psyche; the ultimate reason for all evil.

Visually, the movie isnt that great and resembles a TV episode of Star Trek. The effects, done by a young James Cameron, make the deaths memorable, especially the flying-tentacles and the horrific rape of the vivacious blonde by a huge maggot. Direction is okay, when the limited budget of the movie is taken into account, and so also are the performances by Eddie Albert, Robert Englund and an enigmatic-looking Sid Haig. Overall, its worth a watch, just for the deaths alone. - ___V___

Ghost Story (1981)



Gothic (1986)
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Old 12-24-2006, 07:34 AM
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Hardware (aka M.A.R.K. 13) (1990)



Horror Express

It's got a stylish, modern title, and its opening titles are in a slick, hyper-modern font...from the opening moments, this is clearly a film for the modern mind. But it's actually a period film set in 1906...and it closes with a rock music version of its theme...I guess we could call this Period Cool!

A frozen ape creature dug up during a geological expedition comes to life and begins killing the passengers of the Trans-Siberian Express. That may sound like sufficient material for a low-budget horror piece. But two sparring scientists on the train quickly discover that much more is going on. The enigmatic creature appears to be getting smarter with each person it kills--indeed, it appears to be draining the minds of its victims and absorbing their intelligence. It gets a lot stranger from there--and you're going to have to watch the film to find out what happens.

This is one of the best horror films of the 1970's, featuring many creative ideas and a fine cast including Christopher Lee, Peter Cushing, Telly Savalas (who steals the show during his brief appearance) and Silvia Tortosa. While this film is fairly gory, it's no mere bloodbath. It requires constant attention from the viewer as the story is actually rather complex. And unlike the tailor-made victims we find in most current horror films, the characters in "Horror Express" are intelligent people, and their attempts to analyze the strange science-fictional situation in which they find themselves are most engrossing.

Though it features all the trappings of a horror film, "Horror Express" has little of the conventional atmosphere...it's very thinky, and so cleverly funny that the word "giddy" can be used to describe it. The cast seems to have enjoyed the opportunity to work with such an interesting story. It transcends its genre.

So much fun that the rough edges from its low budget are easy to ignore. One of the most enjoyable things Lee and Cushing did together. - crabapple


Horrors of the Black Museum (aka Crime in the Museum of Horrors) (1959)



Suel contre tous (aka I Stand Alone) (1998)



I Vampiri (aka The Devil's Commandment) (1956)
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Old 12-24-2006, 07:45 AM
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Koroshiya 1 (aka Ichi the Killer) (2001)



Yabu no naka no kuroneko (aka The Black Cat) (1968)



La maschera del demonio (aka The Mask of Satan, Black Sunday) (1960)

although Black Sunday is on the underrated list, it recently has gained notoriety since it was cited by Tim Burton as one of his favorite films. whether you trust Tim Burton or not (anymore), you can see the influence of Bava's masterpiece (in my opinion) written all over some of Burton's more famous films; from the semi-expressionist set design to the "fate is inescapable" themes.

this film is also notable because the beautiful, and legendary, Barbara Steele plays the dual roles of both heroine and villain with grace and style.

to me, this is a good example of why to watch foreign films. it is completely different than American film, with a heavy emphasis on style as well as substance (while American films mostly lack both, ha). Bava seems to have had no interest in making "Hollywood" movies and almost zero concern for reaching an American audience.

well worth owning if you can find it (the dvd is currently oop) and, at the very least, worth renting just to get a taste of what 1960s Italian horror was like before Fulci. - knife_fight


Lady in White



Lemora: A Child's Tale of the Supernatural (1973)
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