FINAL GIRL explores the slasher flicks of the '70s and '80s...and all the other horror movies I feel like talking about, too. This is life on the EDGE, so beware yon spoilers!

Aug 20, 2010

awesome movie poster friday - the UNDERRATED edition!

As the title of this edition may let on, I find that the following movies are vastly underrated- criminally overlooked, even! Sure, we hardcore horror nuts might know about 'em or talk about 'em, but...won't someone think of the children? How are the softcore horror nuts supposed to know about these if we don't spread the gospel? SPREAD IT! SPREAD IT I SAY!

Okay...this is getting weird. Anyway.

Candyman (1992)

"Candyman? Say wuuuuut?"- yeah, I know how you do. Look, we've all seen Candyman and maybe we all like Candyman. Some of us even love Candyman. Yet...somehow it's neglected when great horror movies are discussed. Is it because it hit during the Great Horror Drought (c. 1987-1996)? Is it because it's lumped in with slasher flicks when it's really so much more? I don't know. I don't have all the answers, so get off my damn back with your damn questions! I admit: it's one of my favorite horror movies, but I'm always forgetting about it...but then maybe I've just trained myself to be that way so Candyman doesn't get me.

Paperhouse (1988)

One of the coolest, most imaginative genre films is one you've perhaps never seen, thanks to the fact that it's never been given a proper DVD release in the US and it's pricy to come by on VHS. This spare, creepy film about a sickly girl who can dream herself into the worlds she draws was directed by Bernard Rose, who also directed Candyman. Hmm...

Look, I made my case for Messiah of Evil earlier today, so what else can I say? Okay, I can say this: check out the second ad here, which uses one of Messiah's alternate titles...and the tagline from Romero's Dawn of the Dead. Oh, misleading so crazy!

When this cult classic was released on DVD not too long ago, some people were all "Eh, I don't see what the big deal is." Let's shun those people!

Ah, one of the first movies I reviewed here on Final Girl...way back when I didn't know what I was doing and most of you weren't even born yet. That's okay- we all learn and grow. Crappy writing on a nascent horror blog doesn't change the fact that Alice, Sweet Alice is an exercise, sweet exercise in terrifying, perverse slasher filmmaking that will leave your teeth feeling scuzzy and your face rocked off into the atmosphere.

I can't blame you if you've yet to get on board with this sorta-zombie flick from Jean Rollin- why, I'm but a recent convert myself. Therefore, you get a 6-month grace period (STARTING NOW) to check it out before you are SHUNNED.

Just kidding. I'll only shun you behind your back, I swear!

PS: If you haven't seen the film, a warning: the middle poster miiiiiight be a liiiiiiittle which I mean it totally is.

PPS: This movie deserves better posters. I think the first is actually a DVD cover, and the third is...well, what's it trying to convey? That there are giants running amok, or perhaps that the woman is very tiny? Are they implying there's some sort of weird Dr. Moreau-style fusing of humans and fruit- some Fruit of the Loomening, if you will- to be found in the film? There isn't, although I might be into that. DON'T JUDGE ME.


Anonymous said...

What?! That scene in the second poster totally happens in Grapes of Death. Or is my imagination overtaking my memory with perversity?

I second your praise of the film though.

Bill Walsh said...

Japanese Candyman is a transliteration: キャンディマン, Kyandeiman.

The Paperhouse German poster advises it’s “the secret tip of fantasy films,” and the tagline is NIGHTMARES BECOME REAL!

Japanese Messiah of Evil is a sort-of transliteration: メサイア・オブ・デッド, Mesaia obu Deddo (Messiah of [the] Dead]

Japanese Let’s Scare Jessica… is a sort-of translation: 呪われたジェシカ. Norowa reta Jieshika or something like “Is Jessica Cursed?”

The German title of Grapes of Death is Ghostella-worthy: The Torture Mill of Captive Women.


A.J. Axline said...

Andy, man!

Anonymous said...

I love Alice Sweet Alice, but hate that it's Brooke Shields name that gets the big billing when she's killed off pretty quick, she's barely even in the movie. Same thing happened to the 80's horror film, Trick or Treat. Ozzy Osbourne and Gene Simmons are on the cover of my DVD but they are barely in the film at all.
I have never heard of Paper House, but now I'm so intrigued
Dreaded Dreams
Petunia Scareum

dfordoom said...

Candyman, Messiah of Evil and Grapes of Death are all great movies. And you're right about Candyman - I love the movie but if asked to list my horror favourites I'd probably overlook that one as well. Now I want to watch it again.

Good to see another convert to the cult of Rollin! I think Fascination and The Night of the Hunted are his best but all his movies are worth a look. And don't overlook his more recent films - Two Orphan Vampires is superb.

Hannah said...

I'm pretty jaded when it comes to horror movies, or maybe jaded isn't the right word since I still enjoy them very much, but they don't often SCARE me anymore and I'll watch almost anything on my own in the dark nowadays.
Candyman is the only exception. A friend described it to me in primary school and it freaked me out so much that I still haven't watched it. Just thinking about the concept makes me shiver. Scariest horror movie EVER and I haven't even seen it, so I'm probably going to keep it that way.

Marc Edward Heuck said...

Excellent choices.

I watched LET'S SCARE JESSICA TO DEATH in prime time on TV years ago on a school night, and it still managed to screw up my head. It's too bad Paramount cheapskated the DVD - a commentary track with John Hancock and Zohra Lampert would have been really interesting.

ALICE SWEET ALICE - frankly, it's one of the best films about East Coast Catholic guilt that Scorsese *didn't* direct. While it is supposed to take place in Kennedy-era '60's, it felt like it could have happened in the present of its '70's shoot, or to some degree even today; the issues have never gone away.
The current DVD has that great Alfred Sole commentary but the transfer is outdated. WB actually owns the negative, so I kinda hope they might put it out as a burn-on-demand Archive title; I would double dip for a better looking picture.

Andreas said...

Yay for Candyman! One of the smartest, Philip Glass-iest horror movies I've ever seen, yet it's unjustly neglected. And Paperhouse looks awesome... maybe time for a Bernard Rose marathon?

Sam Hain said...

Thank-you! Candyman is incredibly underrated. I must admit though, I barely saw it for the first time last year. I was one of those "late to the party" peoples. :(

I love the faces on the second "Grapes of Death" poster. The one middle is totally enjoying the view and yet the one on his left seems so disgusted and upset with what's going on.

Neil Fulwood said...

Good call on 'Paperhouse'. A controlled and very creepy film that really gets under the skin.

ClevelandPoet said...

of all the ways I've described Alice Sweet Alice I think your "leave your teeth feeling scuzzy" is the best.


Been trying to get a friend to watch Grapes of Death for a while. May have to threaten shunning.

Less Lee Moore said...

Let's Scare Jessica . . . is on DVD now?!?!?!

WHEEEE! Thank you!

I shall have to check out GRAPES OF DEATH, too.

Anonymous said...

Candyman scared me so much when I was little. So, so much. So I love it now. Thanks for including it.

Todd said...

Oh my goodness! I'll admit I ignored Candyman for a long time thinking it was a generic crappy slasher. I'm so glad I checked it out finally, that's one bizarre, creepy, sexy, neat movie right there.

Kyle said...

"When this cult classic was released on DVD not too long ago, some people were all "Eh, I don't see what the big deal is." Let's shun those people!"

YES! Indubitably! What people!? You mean those imagination deprived mcguppies down there? let em flop around in their own jaded, desensitized brackish already.

And now I must ask, assuming I haven't on here before, have you seen Images? It's like Bergman crossed with Psycho and it's freaky as hell. The eerie use of internal monologue is somewhat similar to LSJTD.