(Welcome to The Best Movies You’ve Never Seen, a series that takes a look at slightly more obscure, under-the-radar, or simply under-appreciated movies. In this edition, we mix it up with a look at movies featuring people who cross their DNA streams with non-people, with typically unfortunate results.)
I’m always eyeballs deep in genre movies, but with The Meg opening this weekend I’ve been digging into animal-related horror films a bit more. One of the best mentioned throughout my online travels is David Cronenberg’s The Fly (1986) starring Jeff Goldblum as a scientist turned Brundlefly. It’s a phenomenal movie – horrifying, emotional grim, and utterly disgusting at times – and it got me thinking about other movies featuring some manner of human/? hybrids. The hybrid element can be anything from animal to vegetable to mineral, and it can be accomplished genetically (Splice), surgically (Tusk), through good old-fashioned fornication (Species), or even via a bite ,as werewolves and vampires are technically hybrids too.
The Island of Dr. Moreau (1977, 1996) is probably the most well-known with its island of lost souls howling their half human/half animal hearts out through the jungle, but plenty more have appeared on screen with decidedly less fanfare and staying power. The premise of people being enhanced, lessened, or changed altogether with the addition of some other form of life is an intriguing one, but I’m also the guy who enjoys Manimal and Automan – both short-lived TV series from 1983 featuring hybrid heroes – so maybe it’s just my own questionable tastes. Let’s find out together, shall we?
Keep reading for a look at some of the best movies you haven’t seen featuring human/something hybrids!
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(Welcome to The Best Movies You’ve Never Seen, a series that takes a look at slightly more obscure, under-the-radar, or simply under-appreciated movies. In this edition, we explore movies that pretend to be true despite clearly not being true unless they’re actually true?!)
Documentaries are snapshots of real life and narrative films tell stories (true or otherwise) in fictional form, but resting somewhere in between the two sits the faux-documentary. They come in all manner of shapes, sizes, and genres, but the overwhelming majority seem to be comedies. From This Is Spinal Tap (1984) to Best in Show (2000), reality gets mocked quite a bit – hence the term mockumentary – but there are serious ones too including Punishment Park (1971) and Death of a President (2006).
There are also horror-themed ones including Noroi: The Curse (2005) and The Poughkeepsie Tapes (2007) though they’re often lumped incorrectly in with found footage films. Incorrectly because while found footage is exactly that – footage that’s been supposedly discovered and presented as is (hence the usual long, dull build-up to the final minutes where something frightening actually happens) – fake docs are properly edited for official release, include interviews, and feature music scores.
Keep reading for a look at six great “documentaries” you probably haven’t seen.
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(Welcome to The Best Movies You’ve Never Seen, a series that takes a look at slightly more obscure, under-the-radar, or simply under-appreciated movies. In this edition, we’re stealing your time with a look at good movies about bad abductions.)
There are no “good” abductions, of course, but sometimes you’re compelled to use an adjective. It’s not fun, but as compulsions go there are far, far worse examples. Like being compelled by force to go with someone who plans on holding you prisoner until your loved ones pay a hefty ransom for your safe return. Kidnappings and abductions are horrifying to consider in the real world, but the trauma, suspense, and terror sure can make for some stellar cinema.
To clarify, we’re talking strictly about movies involving kidnappings for ransom, so while Misery (1990) is a brilliant movie (and too well-known for this column anyway), it doesn’t fit the category as Annie Wilkes wants no ransom and has no intention of returning Paul Sheldon back to his normal life. Think movies like High and Low (1963), Fargo (1996), and Taken (2009), and then think about the ones that aren’t already beloved by you and millions of other movie-lovers around the world.
Keep reading for a look at six good to great movies about kidnappings and abductions that you’ve probably never seen and that are ripe to steal a little bit of your time.
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(Welcome to The Best Movies You’ve Never Seen, a series that takes a look at slightly more obscure, under-the-radar, or simply under-appreciated movies. In this edition, we look towards our neighbors to the north for some chilly tales of terror.)
2018’s only half over, but it’s already been a pretty fantastic year at the movies for horror fans. One of the best and creepiest is Adam MacDonald’s Backcountry follow-up, Pyewacket, which is as terrifying a feature as you’re likely to find from an otherwise polite and kind-hearted Canadian filmmaker. Canadians are a humble people and don’t often brag about their accomplishments, but the country has gifted us with numerous horror gems over the years including acknowledged classics (Black Christmas, The Changeling), slasher favorites (Happy Birthday to Me, My Bloody Valentine), early David Cronenberg flicks (The Brood, Shivers), and ridiculous cult favorites (Cathy’s Curse, The Pit).
There are plenty more where they came from – the country’s filmmakers didn’t earn the Canuxploitation label for nothing – and in the spirit of this very bi-weekly column, I thought I’d point you in the direction of a few films that aren’t talked about nearly enough. Keep reading for a look at six of the best Canadian horror movies you probably haven’t seen.
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(Welcome to The Best Movies You’ve Never Seen, a series that takes a look at slightly more obscure, under-the-radar, or simply under-appreciated movies. In this edition, we put our hands together, drop to our knees, and then realize that’s a terribly uncomfortable position in which to watch movies featuring men of God as lead characters.)
When it comes to priests (preachers, pastors, etc) in movies, they typically fall into just a handful of character types. There are exceptions, of course, but the majority of them seem to find life as casual guys (Mass Appeal), pervs (Spotlight), or the last line of defense against the devil Himself (The Exorcism of Emily Rose). As with most professions, though, people who choose this line of work are typically more complicated than those one-note descriptions suggest. They’re not all good or all bad and instead usually offer the same gray slate as the rest of us.
Keep reading for a look at six movies with memorably atypical lead portrayals of men of God.
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(Welcome to The Best Movies You’ve Never Seen, a series that takes a look at slightly more obscure, under-the-radar, or simply under-appreciated movies. In this edition, we whip out our passport and go looking for Spanish terrors deserving of more eyeballs.)
Spain is a beautiful nation filled with rich culture, wonderful people, and the abomination that is bullfighting, and like most countries, it’s also home to past sins and acts of government-sanctioned barbarism. It’s no surprise that Spanish (and Mexican) filmmakers often infuse their horror films and thrillers with that history, and that reflection on very real pain has resulted in some fantastically dark genre films from the grisly fun of Tombs of the Blind Dead (1972) to the emotionally scarring loneliness of The Devil’s Backbone (2001). More recently, they’ve proven themselves capable of delivering kick-ass “zombie” films with REC (2007) and REC 2 (2009), the supernatural masterpiece that is The Orphanage (2007), and terrifying psychological horror movies including Julia’s Eyes (2010), Kidnapped (2010), and Sleep Tight (2011).
In addition to being well-known, though, most genre fans have already seen those movies. (Although if you haven’t, you should fix that sooner rather than later as they are all fantastic.) So in an effort to do what I do, I’m highlighting some other Spanish horror films this week that are a bit less recognizable despite being equally fantastic. All six are Spanish productions (despite two being in English), and while they lean heavily towards the horrors humans inflict upon each other, I made sure to toss in some hungry gastropods for good measure.
Keep reading for a look at some of the best Spanish horror movies you probably haven’t seen.
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(Welcome to The Best Movies You’ve Never Seen, a series that takes a look at slightly more obscure, under-the-radar, or simply under-appreciated movies. In this edition, we take a vacation and explore the best movies you’ve never seen that are set on islands.)
It’s the summer movie season, which means it’s the season of big, CG-filled adventures, and one of the biggest (and most CG-filled) of this summer’s offerings is next month’s Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom. I bring it up for a wholly different reason, though, as its franchise features some of the most well-known movies set on islands. It might seem like a pointless designation, but island-set features are almost a sub-genre to themselves as they create an immediately understood atmosphere for the story at hand.
Their geography dictates isolation from the rest of the world, and that in turn works to build suspense, desperation, and tension (if that’s the goal). Protagonists are far removed from civilization, , and the setting works to enhance their loneliness whether it be a dramatic adventure (Cast Away), comedy (Forgetting Sarah Marshall), survival tale (Lord of the Flies), coming of age story (The Blue Lagoon), folk horror (The Wicker Man), or underappreciated Michael Bay flick. Of course, you’ve already seen those movies.
Keep reading for a look at some of the best island-set movies you’ve never seen.
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(Welcome to The Best Movies You’ve Never Seen, a series that takes a look at slightly more obscure, under-the-radar, or simply under-appreciated movies. In this edition, we look up in the sky for the best superhero movies you’ve never seen.)
You may or may not be aware of it, but superhero movies are big business these days. From Supergirl to Sgt. Kabukiman NYPD, from Darkman to Doctor Mordrid, audiences just can’t get enough of heroes with superpowers and/or good intentions. One just released in theaters to the biggest opening weekend in film history, meaning the people suggesting “superhero fatigue” is setting in are clearly not to be trusted. They’re not all as successful as the likes of Condorman (pictured above), though, and that’s where I come in.
My name’s Rob, and while I hesitate to call it a “superpower” exactly, I do enjoy drawing attention and eyeballs towards underappreciated and underseen films. The big names in this genre belong almost exclusively with Marvel and DC, so I’m going to point you elsewhere for movies that satisfy your need for justice, action, and the kind of heroics that only a cape and mask can provide.
Keep reading for a look at six of the best superhero movies you’ve probably never seen.
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Posted on Wednesday, April 18th, 2018 by Rob Hunter
(Welcome to The Best Movies You’ve Never Seen, a series that takes a look at slightly more obscure, under-the-radar, or simply under-appreciated movies. In this edition, we take a look at the best South Korean horror movies you’ve never seen.)
Train to Busan and The Wailing are two of the best horror films in recent years, and they couldn’t be more different. The former is a highly energetic and suspenseful zombie tale while the latter blends a methodically paced battle between good and evil with some incredibly intense sequences. Toss in less recent fare like Thirst, The Host, and A Tale of Two Sisters, and it’s clear that South Korea is home to some terrific and terrifying horror movies.
Of course, as you probably surmised by the title of this post, I’m not here to talk about the great movies you’ve already seen – I’m here to recommend ones you haven’t. Below, you’ll find six Korean chillers featuring murder, madness, monsters, and more. Some of the threats are supernatural while others are all too human, but all of them are worth watching with the lights off and a hot cocoa in your hand.
Keep reading for a look at the best South Korean horror movies you probably haven’t seen.
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Posted on Wednesday, April 4th, 2018 by Rob Hunter
(Welcome to The Best Movies You’ve Never Seen, a series that takes a look at slightly more obscure, under-the-radar, or simply under-appreciated movies. In this edition we take a look at some lesser-known movies directed by actors.)
The big film hitting screens this weekend is a horror film starring and directed by John Krasinski, and while A Quiet Place is neither the first nor the last movie to be directed by an actor it’s definitely the most recent. The joke about actors wanting to direct is an old one, but most never actually make the jump behind the camera. Those that do often leave acting behind in the process while others find a way to balance the two careers – sometimes in the same film.
Robert Redford, Sarah Polley, Denzel Washington, and Angelina Jolie are just a few of the many actors turned directors whose films have won both awards and recognition, but plenty of others have toiled behind the camera far less noticeably. Did you know that Al Pacino and Tom Noonan have each directed four movies? Or that two of the six friends from Friends have helmed films? I’ll let you Google to see if I’m lying on that count, but for now, keep reading for a look at some worthwhile movies you’ve probably missed that were directed by actors.
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