This month’s installment from Deep Cuts Rising offers a variety of horror movies, with some selections reflecting a specific day or event in November and others being chosen at random.
Regardless of how they got here or what they’re about, these past films can usually be considered overlooked, forgotten, or unknown.
This month’s offerings include Dracula, a giant zombie poodle, a golem and more.
Tomb of Dracula (1980)
Directed by Minoru Okazaki.
For World Television Day (November 21), Dracula followers as well as Marvel fans can enjoy the 1980 animated TV movie based on the serialized comics Tomb of Dracula. Between 1972 and 1979, the iconic Count Dracula was recast as a master antagonist, routinely pitted against a team of vampire slayers. The same series also features the introduction of the popular Marvel character Blade.
Marvel and Toei Animation have collaborated on a feature-length Japanese language TV movie called Yami no Teiō: Kyūketsuki Dracula (The Dark Emperor: Dracula the Vampire). It was then dubbed into English and renamed Dracula: Lord of the Damned. Although it was once hard to find, a fan subber called Kineko Video got hold of an original 16mm print and uploaded it to the internet not too long ago. So if you’re craving a wild and fun take on the Dracula myth, sink your teeth into this hidden gem.
The territory (1981)
Directed by Raul Ruiz.
For many people, it’s getting colder outside, but that doesn’t mean camping is off the menu. To Raul Ruiz The territory is a reminder that you can enjoy the great outdoors even when the temperatures drop. And for Take a Hike Day (November 17), fans of survival stories should give this Portuguese psychological thriller a treat.
Infighting quickly plagues these irritating characters as they rough it in the South of France. An unexplained force affects everyone, causing them to act strangely. Once lost, the group succumbed to a taboo human act: cannibalism. Expect a sometimes violent art film that asks its audience what they would do if they were put in the shoes of the characters.
The territory available on various but scarce DVDs. Fortunately, someone was kind enough to upload a digitization online. And despite the French setting, the film’s dialogue is in English for the most part.
Directed by Banmei Takahashi.
There’s no better movie to watch on National Housewife Day (November 3) than door. Banmei Takahashi’s story of domestic terror was thought to be long lost at one point, but has since been rediscovered and reworked. Now everyone can rejoice Keiko TakahashiYasuko’s heroine as she fights against an unexpected tormentor.
Housewife and mother Yasuko can’t be blamed if she’s a bit careless now and then; her husband is either too busy with work or too sick to help around the house. So when she accidentally injures an aggressive door-to-door salesman named Yamakawa (Daijiro Tsutsumi), the offense is not taken lightly. Instead, Yamakawa starts stalking this poor woman in her own building. shockingly door erupts into a symphony of domestic violence that places it high in the “home is hell” subgenre of horror. It’s easy to see why this film is gaining a legion of new fans.
door now streaming SCREAMBOX. Also available on Blu-ray from both Vinegar Syndrome and Third Window Films. The latest physical edition includes the first of the two door sequels as a bonus feature. Takahashi also directed Door 2: Tokyo Diary.
The Boneyard (1991)
Directed by James Cummins.
The BoneyardIts reputation precedes it, but uninitiated viewers shouldn’t worry too much that this early ’90s horror comedy falls short of expectations. Artist and special effects designer turned director James Cummins (A house) turned into a wonderful directorial debut. Here, a group of random characters get locked in the coroner’s building with zombies.
This is not a typical or even serious story about the undead. This is more in line with Return of the Living Dead franchise. And anyone who has seen the movie will surely remember the giant zombie poodle. And why wouldn’t they? Oh, and since Thanksgiving (Nov. 23) is briefly mentioned in throw-in order, the film can be included in your Turkey Day horror watches.
While The Boneyard once faced with the possibility of disappearing, this comedic chiller starring Phyllis Diller can now be easily found on sites like Pipes. It has also been remastered for Blu-ray.
Directed by Andrew Gunn.
Gateway horror is on the rise these days. Anyone wanting a more mature dose of formative scares, however, might be interested in the BBC’s adaptation of David Almond’s 2005 novel. clay. The TV movie of the same name seems more like a tantrum drama; two boys are tired of being bullied, so they and a new kid at their school create an amazing protector.
clay plays a bit like the 80s twilight zone episode “Shadow Man”. The two young heroes and their classmate here end up losing control of their creation, a golem made of clay that goes too far to protect its masters. The boys also have the exact opposite ethics, which makes doing the right thing even more difficult.
clay currently streaming on Main video.
No genre is as prolific as horror, so it’s understandable that movies fail all the time. This is where this repeating column, Deep Cuts Risingenters Each part of this series will highlight a few unsung or obscure films from the past—some from way back, some from not so long ago—that could use more attention.