Man With 10000 Eyes

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5 SURREALIST HORROR MOVIES THAT ARE WORTH YOUR TIME

 

Writer / Artist Joe Badon is diving headfirst into surealist horror (not to mention a bit of sci-fi, drama, and a pinch of romantic comedy) with his new one-shot comic, The Man with Ten Thousand Eyes.  He dropped by HorrorTalk to share a great starter set for anyone interested in checking out the sub-genre.

Eraserhead

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Eraserhead (1977)

This is the epitome of a strange, hard-to-classify horror film. You have earned your weird card by finishing this 89-minute nightmare.

Although David Lynch will never explain the meaning behind the film's dark poetry, it's seems rather clear that the filmmaker is struggling with the reality of becoming a father and the fear of raising a child.

The movie stars Jack Nance as Henry, the fragile father of an equally fragile mutant baby. The baby and its cries in sickness and hunger are enough to keep anyone up at night. And that's just the beginning of Eraserhead's surreal eccentricity. This film is full of uneasy peculiarities. From a lever pulling man on another planet to a girl with tumored cheeks singing from inside of Henry's radiator, Eraserhead is just one freaky scene after another.

Many may not classify this as a true horror film, but if you watch this slice of celluloid alone in the middle of the night then I guarantee you that it will creep you out just as much as any good slasher film.

Repulsion

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Repulsion (1965)

Repulsion is like watching a vase shatter on the ground in extremely slow motion. The story centers on Carol (played by Catherine Deneuve) as her emotional and mental state slowly crumbles into strange sexual paranoia while she reverts back to a broken child-like state.

This movie makes you feel like you are gradually going crazy as you watch Carol's waking nightmarish fantasies.

The surrealism comes from all the horrific visions that Carol sees that aren't really there. We see visions of molesting hands emerging from cracking walls and scenes of rape (of which we're not sure if they're real or all in Carol's head). All of this culminates in a horrible murderous crescendo that leaves the viewer feeling terribly unclean.

3 Women

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3 Women (1977)

Like Eraserhead, some could definitely argue that 3 Women is not a horror movie per se.

Having said that, because this film is based off of a dream that director Robert Altman had, it is extremely hard to classify in the first place. It also makes this one of the best examples of true dream-like surrealism that I've seen.

With a very ‘70s, horror-esque soundtrack from composer Gerald Busby, we feel extremely unsettled throughout the film, even when scenes are especially mundane. This also creates tension as our two main characters, Millie and Pinky, become strangely obsessed with one another. Over time, the lines of the girls' identities are blurred and the two characters become one character that eventually becomes three characters. If that sounds confusing, it is.

The horror aspect comes from the mysterious obsessiveness between the girls (similar to that of the film "Single White Female"). The terror is heightened by a very horrifying child birth scene in the third act.  

If you've ever wanted to see a truly unsettling, twisted dream set on film, this is it.

Beyond The Black Rainbow

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Beyond the Black Rainbow (2010)

With visuals and music that harken back to the ‘80s, Beyond the Black Rainbow is a cocktail of scary, sci-fi surrealism dressed in an ‘80s retro jumpsuit. The story centers on a young girl named Elena (played by Eva Bourne) as she attempts to escape from a religious cult using her untrained telekinetic powers.  

Between the drug soaked lens of Elena's escape and the hallucinatory flashbacks from the mind of the cult leader, we are given a slow ride into madness that is very creepy.

House

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House (1977)

Not to be confused with the 1986 horror/comedy with the same name, this House is much more trippy and, arguably, way funnier than its ‘80s counterpart.

House (or Hausu) is a 1977 Japanese horror film about seven girls who decide to visit one of the girl's aunt's house. Upon arriving, all hell breaks loose (literally) as each girl is attacked one by one and eaten by the house itself.

Where should I start? I know: This movie is bat-shit crazy! This movie is saccharine coated, blood soaked bananas! From start to finish, House lives up to its cult status as one of the very weirdest horror movies of all time. Part horror, part musical, part comedy, part teen-girl goofiness, this is a seventies, psychedelic, pop music, wacky ride of bloody absurdity. It's so much fun to experience that you'll be having friends over to watch and re-watch this for years to come!

The amazing thing is that it stretches conventional story telling until it's paper thin, but the film still seems to make sense it some nonsensical sort of way. Like going to a haunted fun house inside of a traveling circus, you'll be left dizzy, satisfied and full of sugar.


If you're into Surrealist Horror, then I encourage you to check out the Kickstarter campaign that I'm running for my Surrealist, Sci-Fi Horror comic book entitled THE MAN WITH TEN THOUSAND EYES!

 

 

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