The beautiful thing about horror is that even if you’re a ridiculously knowledgeable geek, there’s still so much more out there waiting to be discovered. Thanks to streaming services like Shudder and Netflix, older films are being dusted off and rediscovered daily. It’s the gift that keeps on giving.
One of my personal drives in life is to learn something new each day. Being one of those ridiculously knowledgeable geeks I alluded to earlier, I take this challenge very seriously when it comes to entertainment’s greatest genre. In that spirit, I give to you a list of older stuff that you really need to see. You’re welcome.
Vincent D’Onofrio is a cab-driving serial killer who’s been keeping a young boy for years and is now grooming him to follow in his footsteps. This one is uncomfortable and thought-provoking in a thoroughly awesome way.
A lesser-known slasher that employs chainsaws and plenty of dismemberment. There’s also hammy acting, bad line delivery, and vintage early '80s sensibility. I’m kind of ashamed of myself for not having seen this one sooner. It’s a total keeper.
Humanoids From the Deep (1980)
The king of the “Giant Fish People Rape Women” sub-sub-genre. Okay, so it’s the only one in that genre to the best of my knowledge, but I can’t remember the last time I had so much fun with a truly weird and unique film.
Another Italian movie where an abandoned ship rolls into New York Harbor full of grim death. This time the death comes in the form of alien eggs being harvested at a coffee plantation. The score alone makes it worth watching. I love the Italians!
Wake in Fright (1971)
The Australians stand slightly off to the side in horror and exploitation with a wheelbarrow to hold their giant testicles. This movie does things that you won’t believe while making a strong statement about toxic masculinity and man’s base nature. I was floored in a new way. You will be, too. I’ll literally never forget this movie. Don’t let PETA see this one.
Blood Rage (1987)
I’m not going to try and describe this one. Watch it on the Dinners of Death marathon on Shudder so you get the commentary from Joe Bob Briggs. How in God’s name did I miss this one in my youth? The definition of “so bad it’s good” …the literal definition.
Dead and Buried (1981)
A hidden gem from the screenwriter and director of Return of the Living Dead, the late Dan O’Bannon. The score is perfection, the shocks are genuine, and the setting is both creepy and gorgeous. What would you do if murder victims came back to life and resumed as they were?
Man Bites Dog (1992)
I have to thank my editor for turning me on to this. Also, I have to tell my editor to fuck off for introducing me to this, because it is just that ugly. Dear, sweet baby Jesus…I think I’m going to hell for watching it. One of the ballsiest things I’ve ever seen. I’ve not yet gotten over it.
Street Trash (1987)
Technically, I saw this as a kid, but it was the edited for TV version. There are melting bums, toxic booze, junkyard kingdoms, sleazy fat bosses, awkward rape scenes, and a very memorable game of monkey in the middle with a severed penis. I don’t need to sell you any more, now do I? I thought not.
The Cell (2000)
I dismissed this when it came out due to a deep loathing of Jennifer Lopez. I must now apologize to Mrs. Lopez. This movie is one of the five best things ever made from a visual standpoint. The imagery is terrifying and unforgettable…and she’s not that bad in it either. One of the more memorable villains I’ve ever seen.
The Stepfather 1 & 2, The Legend of Boggy Creek, Channel Zero (all seasons), Roald Dahl’s Tales of the Unexpected, Deep Red, Tenebrae, Beyond the Black Rainbow
Stuart D. Monroe is a man of many faces – father, husband, movie reviewer, published author of short horror, unsuccessful screenwriter (for now), rabid Clemson Tiger, Southern gentleman, and one hell of a model American who goes by the handle "Big Daddy Stu" or "Sir". He's also highly disturbed and wears that fact like a badge of honor. He is a lover of all things horror with a particular taste for the fare of the Italians and the British. He sometimes gets aroused watching the hardcore stuff, but doesn't bother worrying about whether he was a serial killer in a past life as worrying is for the weak. He was raised in the video stores of the '80s and '90s. The movie theater is his cathedral. He worships H.P. Lovecraft, Stephen King, and Clive Barker. When he writes, he listens obsessively to either classical music or the works of Goblin to stimulate the neural pathways. His favorite movie is Dawn of the Dead. His favorite book is IT. His favorite TV show is LOST.