Horror films mean scares and thrills. And scares and thrills put bums on seats and popcorn in mouths. A certain proportion of the cinema viewing population loves Horror. Traditionally not taken seriously as a genre or pooh poohed by snobby film academics, I maintain that the horror film community is the most tightly knit, most knowledgeable and most laid-back group on the Net.
Most of us horror fans have sampled all of the major genre staples – Halloween, Friday the 13th, The Exorcist etc. – and while we appreciate these films as masterpieces, there is usually, in the serious horror fan, a desire to delve more deeply into the genre.
This can lead to dodgy ground. Crap acting, lame special effects and poor directing. In any other genre films with these attributes would be scorned. However, with Horror, some of us find them quite endearing. Perhaps we like the overall mood of the film or it’s so bad it is funny.
The list below follows in that ethos. These films are not great works of art but they are masterpieces of a kind for horror connoisseurs. And so I urge you to wallow in crapulence in these cult films – films that despite their flaws, are growing in appreciation today. Add your own films in the comments section below so we can mass debate!
10. Autopsy (1973)
Revived recently by Blue Underground with 15 minutes of footage restored, Autopsy is a horror-Giallo directed by Armando Crispino which is pretty damn good. The direction is bizarre and quirky and there are many weird and frightening scenes. The Ennio Morricone score is chilling.
Basically in Rome, there has been a big heat wave and a massive surge in suicides. Are the two interrelated? Young pathologist Simona (Mimsy Farmer) is becoming traumatised by these bodies – they are haunting her in her dreams. She is questioning whether all these deaths are suicides…
Excellently acted across the board, Autopsy is a complexly plotted movie but this – instead of wrecking the film the way over-plotting does to so many Giallos – only makes the film more enjoyable. It is a rather sleazy little film if you are into that – with shots up Mimsy Farmer’s skirt, clothes getting ripped off, partial rapes, a slideshow of vintage erotic photographs. So it’s a great film for Eurosleaze fans (of which I proudly count myself).
It is very different to a standard Giallo and manages to create it’s own atmosphere and style which makes it a nice little movie if you fancy something obscure.
This article was first posted on February 6, 2013