Back in the early to mid Eighties, my dad would pick us up and we would all stay at my Uncle’s, and watch horror movies. Being a kid I wasn’t crazy about them and half watched/listened. The Evil Dead gave me consecutive nightmares for days. Now, looking back some of those movies just seem silly, but here are some pretty good low budget ones.
The Evil Dead
Filmed in the foggy woods of Tennessee, the Evil Dead is in a word, dark. Considered a cult classic, it stars Bruce Cambell as Ash, who with a bunch of friends go vacationing to a shack in the middle of nowhere. Unfortunately, they find a tape of recitations from the dreaded Necronomicon, The book of the Dead, and play it! What follows, is a game of Tag, demon style with Ash as the last man standing against his now possessed pals.
The film is creepy because of the dark atmosphere and jolting reverse camera tricks of director Sam Raimi, who also did Evil Dead 2, 3 and Drag me too Hell. After the first film, the rest of the series, while good, took on an evil Three Stooges kind of feel.
“You think you go to Heaven, you come to us”, says The Tall Man (Angus Scrimm) an evil out of this world undertaker, who condenses corpses into slaves to be shipped to his world. When two brothers discover town folk missing they are led to a mausoleum where The Tall Man, controlled by the alien sphere in his head conducts ghoulish operations. The film ends as a nightmare, but is it really over? You’ll have to watch the other three to find out!
Trilogy of Terror “Amelia”
Amelia, is the name of the third tale from the Trilogy of Terror. It stars Karen Black as a single woman who buys a Zuni African warrior doll, who according to the scroll around its neck is possessed. Of course, she reads the scroll and brings the hideous doll to life, wherein ensues a game of the hunter and the hunted.
It’s the little things that kill. There is something about small things running around in the dark with evil intent that instills dread in a person, that the story Amelia accomplishes.
This movie is scary because it can and does happen. When Thomas C. Howell stops to pick up rain soaked Rutger Hauer the terror begins, with Hauer holding a knife to Howell’s throat and says, “say I want to die”. After, slamming on the breaks, Hauer hurt, rolls out the passenger seat, but the ride is far from over. Hauer plays a tortuous game of cat and mice, hitchhiking his way to Howell leaving a road paved with death in his wake.
These are just a handful of decent horror flicks you might want to checkout this October. Reminiscing, watching the Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2 as Leather face holds up the skinned face of his victim, I can hear my Uncle say, “that’s where sliced ham comes from”. Happy Halloweeeeeeen.