Think you’ve seen every horror movie out there? Well not without a VCR you haven’t. Many great horror films are trapped on tape, meaning they never got distribution after the initial VHS home video release. Dust off your VHS player, and happy hunting for these horror gems!
DON’T GO TO SLEEP (1982)
This movie traumatized an entire generation of now warped kids who saw it on television in 1982. After the death of her sister, Mary begins seeing her sister all over the house, and often sis is trying to convince Mary to kill the rest of the family. This movie is pretty chilling, including an especially memorable and haunting scene with a pizza cutter. The movie had a very limited VHS release decades ago, but no word yet on any DVD or Blu-ray editions.
SOUNDS OF SILENCE (1989)
A family with a child that cannot speak or hear inherits a mansion in Sweden. They pack up and move to Sweden only to discover that the residence used to be a children’s home where all the kids mysteriously died. This one is arty and plays with the fact that one character cannot hear or communicate, yet he seems to be the only one who realizes the danger they are in.
ALISON’S BIRTHDAY (1981)
This Australian film had a very limited run on VHS but never made it beyond that. A group of teen girls are playing around with a Ouija board during a birthday party. They are convinced they are speaking to a deceased family member, but a demon reveals its sinister side and a cult emerges.
CTHULHU MANSION (1998)
A group of teens break into an old mansion, taking an elderly occult magician and his daughter hostage. But soon some of the magician’s demons wake up. The movie has fun effects, and a very young Demi Moore is in it!
THE BRAIN (1988)
A self-help guru is trying to convince his followers to think more independently via his new age program, but the mastermind is actually a giant alien brain who is using mind control in an attempt to achieve world domination. This is just pure 80s fun!
QUEENS OF EVIL (1970)
I’m not sure this one even had a VHS release. I’m fairly certain QUEENS OF EVIL has never had any type of a mass distribution (VHS, DVD, or Blu). Because of that, I will say that I’ve heard you may be able to find it streaming online if you look hard enough. QUEENS OF EVIL is a trippy, 70s hippy-filled witchcraft flick about a carefree young man who is lost in the woods and happens upon a stylish pad owned by three lovely witches. It is a psychedelic remix of Hansel and Gretel.
THE KINDRED (1987)
On her deathbed, a scientist begs her son to destroy all of her notes and experiments. But after her death, he finds one of her experiments is his rather monstrous brother. THE KINDRED has great creature effects and gets very Lovecraftian.
NOCTURNA is a campy b-grade late 70s flick about disco dancing vampires. In addition to amazing music (featuring tunes by Gloria Gaynor and Vicki Sue Robinson), the movie features dark comedian Brother Theodore (THE BURBS). Don’t expect a “good” movie, but it is a fun one!
DREAM DEMON (1988)
While spending the night in her fiancé’s family mansion, a young woman looks into a mirror sees bizarre, hallucinogenic visions. She soon finds herself stuck in her own nightmarish world of past, present, and future. The movie admittedly has some pacing problems with some scenes explosively fast-moving, while other segments crawl by. But the imagery and special effects are killer.
HIDE AND GO SHRIEK (1988)
A happy ending for this title: HIDE AND GO SHRIEK is soon releasing to Blu-ray via Code Red!
A group of teenagers play a deadly game of hide and seek in closed department store. It is a fun slasher with some nice suspense set pieces and a rather fascinating killer.
And a bonus non-horror title- DUDES (1987)
I suspect this movie’s amazing soundtrack (which includes Jane’s Addiction, WASP, The Vandals, and Megadeth) is making this title a bitch to re-distribute. Directed by Penelope Spheeris (DECLINE OF WESTERN CIVILIZATION and WAYNE’S WORLD), the movie follows two punk rockers who go full western redemption on a gang that kills one of their friends.