Supernatural (1933) is directed by Victor Halperin and stars Carole Lombard as Roma Courtney, a young woman who finds herself entangled in a web of eerie supernatural events. After a strange encounter with a fortune-teller Madame Gourjan (Beryl Mercer), Roma’s life takes a dark turn. She becomes connected to the mysterious and malevolent spirit of Ruth Rogan (Vivienne Osborne), a black widow murderess who returns to life in Roma’s body, her evil spirit wants to exact revenge on her former lover, a phony spiritualist Grant Wilson (Randolph Scott) who betrayed her.
As Roma investigates the circumstances surrounding Ruth’s death, she becomes increasingly convinced of the supernatural forces at play. The film weaves a tale of suspense and eerie occurrences as Roma races against time to uncover the truth behind the threat that is haunting her.
The Slime People 1963
The Slime People is a 1963 science fiction/horror film directed by actor Robert Hutton. The movie is set in Los Angeles, where a thick, mysterious fog suddenly engulfs the city. As the fog dissipates, it reveals a group of grotesque creatures known as the Slime People who have emerged from the underground. These slimy and subterranean beings begin to terrorize the city’s residents.
The film primarily follows the efforts of a small group of survivors who band together to combat the Slime People and find a way to escape the city. Along the way, they must navigate the treacherous streets of Los Angeles, evade the Slime People’s attacks, and uncover the mystery behind the creatures’ origins. It also stars sci-fi regular Les Tremayne. The Slime People was photographed by William G. Troiano who did the cinematography for the exploitation film Scream of the Butterfly 1965, The Devil’s Messenger 1962, and Horror of the Blood Monsters 1970. Tom Hollan is the guy in the slime suit.
Scars of Dracula 1970
Scars of Dracula is a 1970 Hammer horror directed by Roy Ward Baker. In this installment of the Dracula series, the infamous vampire Christopher Lee’s Count Dracula returns to terrorize a small Eastern European village.
Paul (Christopher Matthews) seeks refuge in the village after escaping from Dracula’s castle. However, as Dracula sets his sights on Paul’s girlfriend Sarah (Jenny Hanley), the villagers become increasingly desperate to rid themselves of the vampire’s curse. The battle between good and evil intensifies as the villagers and a fearless priest attempt to confront the immortal Dracula and put an end to his malevolent reign. Scars of Dracula stars Dennis Waterman, Michael Gwynn as the priest, and beloved Michael Ripper as the Landlord.
Simon King of the Witches 1971
Simon, King of the Witches is a 1971 cult film directed by prolific television scriptwriter Bruce Kessler (Chopper ep. Kolchak). The film follows the surreal journey of the enigmatic Simon Sinestrari, a modern-day, self-proclaimed witch and occultist who lives in the counterculture of Los Angeles. Simon, portrayed by Andrew Prine, uses his mystical knowledge and psychedelic experiences to navigate the tumultuous world of the 1970s. Simon is deeply involved in mysticism and practices witchcraft.
Simon’s quest for enlightenment and his desire to harness supernatural powers lead him to experiment with various rituals and mind-altering substances. Along the way, he encounters a colorful cast of characters, including a fellow witch named Linda (real-life love Brenda Scott), and a police officer who becomes obsessed with him.
As Simon delves deeper into the occult and his own psyche, the film blurs the lines between reality and hallucination, taking viewers on a bizarre and psychedelic journey into the world of magic, mysticism, and countercultural rebellion.
Simon is a complex character who combines elements of mysticism, rebellion, and a sense of being an outsider in society.
Andrew Prine captures Simon’s eccentric nature with a charismatic and unconventional performance as a nonconformist who rejects societal norms, and Prine embodies this by delivering his lines with a mix of intensity and whimsy. His portrayal of Simon’s oddball behavior, such as his penchant for wearing outlandish clothing and embracing a bohemian lifestyle is superb.
Sugar Hill 1974
Sugar Hill 1974 is an American International film, a unique and potent blend of blaxploitation and horror directed by Paul Maslansky. It’s known for its stylish and gritty portrayal of 1970s New Orleans. The story is centered by Diana “Sugar” Hill, portrayed by Marki Bey whose performance is marked by her charisma, confidence, and undeniable screen presence. a nightclub owner in the vibrant city of New Orleans. When Sugar’s boyfriend, Langston (Larry Don Johnson), is brutally murdered by a group of gangsters led by the ruthless Morgan played by Robert Quarry, she becomes determined to seek revenge. Bey effortlessly manifests Sugar’s journey from a nightclub owner into a vengeful force of supernatural retribution. The Black culture magazine Jet asked the question of why Black horror films drew their inspiration from the Christian vision of the Dracula mythos, ”when there was Voodoo in the Black experience.” Sugar Hill, attempts to rescue the legitimacy of Voodoo. ‘‘If most Blaxploitation celebrated a ‘bad N…’ who challenges the oppressive White system and wins, then Sugar Hill celebrated the ”Baad Bitch who did the same.” (Robin R. Means Coleman)
Mama Maitresses ‘‘How strong is your hate?’’
Sugar Hill ‘‘As strong as my love was, my hate is stronger.”
However, Sugar doesn’t turn to conventional methods of retribution, she uses supernatural forces to combat her adversaries. Instead, she seeks out the assistance of Mama Maitresse (the wonderful Zara Cully), a voodoo priestess, to help her get vengeance through supernatural means. With the guidance of Mama Maitresse and the power of voodoo, Sugar raises an army of undead, zombie-like enforcers to take down Morgan and his criminal empire one by one.
Sugar Hill [after feeding a man to a sounder of starving pigs in a pig pen] I hope they’re into white trash.
Sugar Hill ”Hey, Whitey! You and your punk friends killed my man.’
Tank Watson ‘‘You know, you got one of the prettiest asses in town. I’d sure hate to see it kicked in for accusin’ people.’
Sugar Hill ‘‘I’m not accusin’ you, Honk. I’m passin’ sentence”
Marki Bey’s performance as Diana “Sugar” Hill in “Sugar Hill” is a standout in the blaxploitation genre. She brings a captivating mix of strength, determination, and vulnerability to her character. As Sugar, Bey portrays a woman who transforms from a grieving girlfriend into a fearless avenger, seeking justice for her murdered lover. Sugar Hill also co-stars Don Pedro Colley as Baron Samedi, Richard Lawson as Valentine, and Charles Robison as Fabulous.
The zombies in this film more closely resemble the creatures of voodoo legend – i.e., the walking dead who do the bidding – than the flesh-eating “living dead” popularized by Romero. According to the film, the zombies are the preserved bodies of slaves brought to the United States from Guinea, Africa.
“Much like the White Final Girl, Black women stare down death. However, these Black women are not going up against some boogeyman; rather, often their battle is with racism and corruption. In this regard, there is no going to sleep once the ”monster” is defeated, as the monster is often an amorphously coded as ‘Whitey”, and Whitely’s oppressions are here to stay. From Horror Noire Blacks in American Horror FIlms from the 1890s to Present by Robin R. Means Coleman
Strange Behavior 1981
Strange Behavior 1981 is a disturbing and uneasy atmosphere that fills this science fiction/horror film directed by Michael Laughlin (Strange Invaders 1983, produced The Whisperers 1967 and Two-Lane Blacktop 1972). Set in a small American town, the film follows a series of gruesome murders that seem to be connected to a mysterious research project. The film explores the exploration of mind control, innocence lost, the terrifying realization that they may be capable of committing heinous acts against which they have no free will, paranoia and the juxtaposition of innocence all played out with graphic violence.
The story centers around a teenager named Pete Brady ( Dan Shor), who becomes entangled in the investigation when his friends are brutally murdered. As Pete delves deeper into the case, he discovers that the murders are linked to a behavioral experimentation program led by the enigmatic Dr. Le Sange (Arthur Dignam).
What makes the killings even more chilling is that the perpetrators are seemingly ordinary townsfolk who have been turned into mind-controlled killers on a homicidal rampage.
The film is known for its eerie and atmospheric cinematography, as well as its unique take on the horror genre. It explores themes of psychological manipulation, the consequences of unethical scientific experiments, and the dark side of human behavior.
With its combination of a small-town setting, a mysterious conspiracy, and a rising body count, Strange Behavior is a cult classic that offers a distinctive and unsettling take on the horror genre of the early 1980s. The murders are gruesome, one scene in particular still makes me queasy, not so much for its gore but for the naked realism that it conveys with its cold and mindlessness, and I don’t mean unapologetic, I mean somnambulistic viciousness. The brutal, violent acts of controlled killing, like homicidal puppets, still have a quite shocking effect. This intelligent visual construction of gore and violence diverges from the work of the father of the splatter genre -Hershell Gordon Lewis.
Strange Behavior is set in a small, seemingly peaceful town, which enhances the sense of isolation and vulnerability. The idea that such disturbing events can occur in an otherwise idyllic setting creates a feeling of unease and an atmosphere of mystery and paranoia as characters try to unravel the enigmatic events taking place in their community. The sense of not knowing who can be trusted and who may have succumbed to mind control adds to the film’s tension. The film stars Louise Fletcher, Michael Murphy as Pete’s dad John Brady, and Fiona Lewis as Gwen Parkinson Le Sang’s assistant.