Good horror movies are such a rarity these days, they’re almost like a mythical creature – a cinematic unicorn, if you will. Aged fans speak of them as if through a great and terrible fog: “Remember, long ago, when horror movies used to be awesome? Yeah, those were the days."
Most horror fans have, of course, sampled all of the major genre staples – Halloween, The Shining, A Nightmare On Elm Street, The Exorcist - all are rites of passage. And while it's important to appreciate these films as masterpieces, there is usually, in the serious horror fan, a desire to delve slightly more deeply into the genre. And that's the topic at hand today, the horror movie cult classics.
Cult films are known for their dedicated, passionate fanbase, an elaborate subculture that engage in repeated viewings, quoting dialogue, and audience participation. Inclusive definitions allow for major studio productions, especially box office bombs, while exclusive definitions focus more on obscure films shunned by the mainstream. Whatever the definition, there are definitely plenty to choose from.
So, instead of traipsing through Camp Crystal Lake once again or inviting some Child’s Play to unfold with bloody inevitability in your living room, why not check out one of these twenty severely underrated cult classics?
Minor spoilers ahead.
20. Night Of The Creeps (1986)
"The good news is your dates are here. The bad news is... they're dead." So ran the tagline for writer/director Fred Dekker’s Night Of The Creeps, and whether you’re a seasoned zombie fan or are beginning to suffer from burn-out on Hollywood’s current monster du-jour, this one remains a jewel worth checking out from the decade when teen horror ruled.
Set around a college campus, this nutty gem shows what happens when slug-like alien parasites start turning frat guys and Summa Cum Laude geeks into killer, slow-moving cadavers.
The best thing about Night Of The Creeps is that it that it loves the fact that it's a B-movie, Even more, it's quite clear that this is a B-movie that actually strives to be the best B-movie it can be. This is evident in an early scene which takes place in 1959 when the alien slugs first come to Earth and attack a young man out on a date with his girlfriend. This part is shot in black and white and looks like a compilation of the most cliché '50s drive-in movies ever.
There are sweaters, ponytails, and words like "dreamy" and "neato," plus the main guy in this story is named Johnny, just like every other hunky stud in the '50s, apparently.