10 Hard to Find Horror Rarities

Jon and Eric e-mailed awhile back with an interesting article on the number of films that languish in obscurity because they've received little or no love on DVD. Chances are, if you are even a moderate film buff you have a short list of your own unattainable favorites. As you can imagine there is no shortage of really fun, nearly unavailable movies in our dark little neck of the film woods. What follows is a short list of some of the dandies that have yet to be deemed worthy of a second (or third) life on home video. Be sure to let us know what your favorite missing movies are...

The Devils (1971)

Ken Russell has a unique cinematic voice and watching him interpret Aldous Huxley’s super challenging “The Devils of Loudon” is something that the studio should make available just on principle. This one is highly stylized and maybe even a bit dated but it is also more fun than it has a right to be given the source material.

Availability: VHS

Der Todesking (1990)

Call Jorg Buttgereit a necrophile if you want but his films are seldom boring. They’re also never as flatly visceral as countrymen Olaf Ittenbach and Andreas Schnaass. “Der Todesking” is his best film by a whisker beating out the greatest, girl-keeps-boyfriend’s-decaying-penis-in-the-fridge movie ever, Nekromanitk 2. An aesthetically disparate collection of death vignettes that fuse into an enveloping river of gloom, “The Death King” is one depressing little trip through the doldrums.

Availability: Region 2 DVD OOP

Humongous (1982)

Pure nostalgia here. I am pretty sure this is not a ‘good’ movie, but the memories I do have of a deformed cannibalistic rape-spawn terrorizing Canadian teens left enough of an impression that I wanna see it again.

Availability: VHS

Blood Beach (1980)

If I had a nickel for every time my parents told me not to stick my penis in the sand… I never fully understood the reason for this warning until I saw ‘Blood Beach”. There is no reason this should have gone out of print.
Availability: DVD OOP

Rolling Vengeance (1987)

Quick question, if a mob of violent hicks murder your family then rape your girlfriend, what do you do? You do what Joey Rosso did, outfit your Monster truck with a retractable 20 inch mining drill, a nasty pair of pneumatic tin snips and a flamethrower; then you go hick pickin’.

I believe the phrase you’re looking for here is:

“Fuck Yeah, Hoss!”
Availability: DVD OOP

The Town that Dreaded Sundown. (1977)

The poster has you thinking Zodiac Killer or Potato sack Jason. The truth is, the mood on this one is a lot harder to peg than that. No matter what its design may be it is an interesting little thriller deserving of a DVD release.
Availability: VHS

The Awakening (1980)

I haven’t seen this one in 30 years. I do remember some sort of horrendous glass in the face moment though. That and Charlton Heston are reason enough to make it a desirable commodity. This one is available through video on demand via Amazon.
Availability: VHS; Amazon Video on Demand

(Editors Note: This movie's so obscure, we can't find a trailer!)

Dr. Caligari (1989)

This is the biggest reach on the list and the least likely to ever get a DVD release. This is an oddball riff on the 1920 silent classic “The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari”. Instead of a traveling hypnotist Dr. Caligari is a bob-wearing mod chick doing electro-shock experiments on a housewife with a raging libido. Stephen Sayadian, the director of “Café Flesh” brings a porn feel to the proceedings but also packs it with goofy dialog and low-rent Tim Burton atmosphere.
Best Line: “My husband had an erection once, silly really.”

Availability: VHS

The Destroyer (1988)

Lyle Alzado plays an electrocuted serial killer who terrorizes Anthony Perkins and Deborah Foreman (Valley Girl) in an abandoned prison. If you thought the big lunk was terrifying on the football field you really owe it to yourself to see him shaved down, oiled up and running amuck with a 150lbs jack hammer while impersonating Ogre from “Revenge of the Nerds”. Wes Craven was so smitten with this film that he remade it a year later and called it “Shocker”.
Availability: VHS

The Chain Reaction aka Nuclear Run (1980)

No Keanu, no Morgan Freeman just a whole mess of guys in hazmat suits chasing an amnesiac nuclear engineer through the wilds of Australia. Nuclear incident, something, something, corporate greed, something, something, I can’t really remember too much. What has stuck with me is that the hero in this film drives what amounts to the bitchin’est King-god, big balls, pistol-whip, tits and ass magnet, motherhumper of a supped-up Subaru Brat that ever burned ass on the Aussie blacktop. To this day bucket seats still give me a chub.

Availability: DVD!!

Okay so this isn’t that hard to find unless you don’t know what you are looking for, of course with that framing everything is hard to find. Anyway, I skipped over this DVD several times because it features a huge picture of Mel Gibson who apparently wanders through the background of the film as a bearded mechanic. Maybe the most egregious example of shadow marketing ever perpetrated.



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