Sunday, April 17, 2011

Horror Movie Posters You've (Probably) Never Seen, From Horror Movies You've (Probably) Never Heard Of!

Scream...and Scream again!
This weekend, Wes Craven's Scream 4 hit theaters. It's hard to believe that Craven's first Scream came out back in 1996! Nevertheless, the series is still able to pull in viewers and reassert that the horror genre is alive and well.

One of the highlights of the Scream films is their self-referential quality and their ability to reflect upon past horror movies. Yet, there are many horror films that aren't mentioned in any of the Scream films. In fact, there are an unheard of legion of horror films that would probably never make it onto anyone's 'favorite scary movie' list. Even so, they are still out there - and although many have better movie posters than actual movies, they are worth mentioning:


"Creating monsters was easy...the problem is getting rid of them!"
The Alchemist, starring Robert Ginty (The Exterminator I & II), tells the tale of a man who seeks revenge on an evil magician who had placed a curse on him. Fantastic, simplistic poster art.

"A legend of terror is no campfire story anymore!"
A horror-slasher flick by Harvey and Bob Weinstein (yes, the infamous producers and owners of the now-defunct Dimensions Films and Miramax). The plot revolves around a former summer camp counselor who was burned (hence the title) after a prank goes wrong. Now, years later, he lurks deep within the nearby woods, killing any teenagers he can get his hands on. Be on the lookout for a cameo by Jason Alexander from Seinfeld!

"Give me a K...give me an I...give me an L...give me an L..."
Cheerleader Camp is a late '80s flick about a mysterious killer who seems hellbent on murdering off cheerleaders at a small, remotely located cheerleading camp. Leif Garrett (Walking Tall) and Lucinda Dickey (Ninja III: The Domination) star.

"There are those who kill violently!"
Directed by Abel Ferrara, Driller Killer was a interesting film about a down-and-out artist who slowly goes insane and takes to the streets of with his power drill to work out some stress. Ferrara would later go on to direct other gritty films, such as Bad Lieutenant and The King of New York.

"Alexandria High...Class of '81...
All the students are going to hell,
except Andrew...he sent them there!"
Fear No Evil certainly had an interesting concept, and greatly differed from many of the 'teen horror films of the early '80s. The story focuses on Andrew, who is, in fact, the Devil. As with most demonic entities, Andrew's goal is a hellish undertaking - in this case the youthful hellion sends most of the high school class to his fiery domain for some detention!

FRIGHT (1972)
"Now the screen has a new definition of terror!"
Starring Susan George (Venom, The House Where Evil Dwells), Fright centered around a babysitter, a scary old house, and an escaped lunatic from a mental institution. A simple premise, but surprisingly chilling.

"Nothing can prepare you for what happens when
she fights back"
As with many films of this nature, the premise revolves around a prank gone horribly wrong, leading to a growing number of murders, all of which are centered at a sorority house.

"And that was only the beginning..."
After a string of ritualistic murders occur during Mardi Gras in New Orleans, the police are sent to capture a deranged Aztec High Priest.

"I'm so proud of my boys - they never forget their mama"

It would seem that every holiday or particular 'stand-out' day has a horror movie:
Black Christmas, April Fool's Day, Friday the 13th, Halloween, Memorial Valley Massacre, etc -- and Mother's Day is no exception. Mother's Day focuses on a maniacal mother's two crazed sons as they kidnap, kill, and rape for dear ol' mama.
"They're out...for blood! Don't let them find you--
--Alone In The Dark!"
Alone In The Dark is a criminally underrated film, not to be confused with the Uwe Boll video-game based farce. Alone In The Dark centers around a group of escaped mental patients who tear up a small town, causing widespread panic and chaos. The cast is rounded out by the great Donald Pleasance, Jack Palance, and Martin Landau.

ANGUISH (1987)
"The eyes of the city are mine"
A strange film of a man collecting eyeballs for his mother. If that isn't bizarre enough, there's a weird twist where Anguish turns into a film-within-a-film. Starring Zelda Rubinstein (Poltergeist) and Michael Lerner. 

PHOBIA (1980)
"Murder put an end to their fears"
Paul Michael Glaser -- Starsky from television's Starsky and Hutch, stars in this little known horror film. After Glaser, a psychiatrist in the film, develops a new treatment for his patients, they begin to die one-by-one by from what they fear most.

"The truck driver plays games...the hitchhiker plays games...
but the killer is playing the deadliest game of all!"
 Starring Stacy Keach and Jamie Lee Curtis, Road Games focuses on a truck driver, a hitchhiker, and a killer who are interconnected through a bizarre series of events.

"He's out now...the terror has just begun!"
Cashing in on the 3-D craze of the early '80s, Silent Madness features a killer who, can you guess...escaped from a mental institution (apparently facilities that held the criminally insane were not well guarded in the 1980s).

"Who'll survive the final exam?"

This one features the best of both worlds when in comes to '80s slasher films: an escaped madman from (of course!) a mental institution
and a sorority house!
"At last the world's first comedy horror movie"
Before Scream, there was Student Bodies. Though, while Scream did still play up the scares with the laughs, Student Bodies centered purely on it's comedic, satirical nature. 

"By axe...bye bye"
The Mutilator was nothing really new as far as '80s slasher films went. There were a few original twists thrown in here and there as the killer stalks, once again, a group of teenagers.

"In 1946 this man killed five people...
Today he still lurks the streets of Texarkana, Ark."
Though it claims to be based on a true story, it should be considered a 'loose' term in the same way that The Texas Chainsaw Massacre is 'based on a true story'. The plot? A Texas Ranger hunts down a hooded killer who stalks a small town. No wonder the town dreads sundown!

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