With the new “Evil Dead” in theaters, and doing much better than expected at the box office, it proves that cult horror classics still hold an important place in the minds of movie lovers. There might not be a more beloved cult classic than the “Evil Dead” franchise, but the Criterion Collection has a series of movies that might rival it for the true film cineaste. Here is a look at some of the best cult horror classics available in the Criterion Collection.
There are two versions of “The Blob” out there, including one made in the ’80s starring Kevin Dillon of all people. However, the original is a true cult horror classic and is available on Blu-ray from the Criterion Collection. The movie tells the story of a gelatinous alien blob that lands in a small country town and begins feeding on the citizens of the town. It is true B-level schlocky horror but has a number of things that makes it rise above the rest and live on as a cult classic.
The first is the composer Burt Bacharach, who was a fresh face just getting his career underway at the time. His opening theme song might be one of the most iconic catchy songs to ever start a movie and set the tone for the rest of the film. The second thing is the star of the movie, Steve McQueen. The actor went on to become one of Hollywood’s coolest stars, but at this time he was just another unknown actor with a ton of promise.
“Equinox” has one of the most interesting stories of any movie in the Criterion Collection. Dennis Muren was the man who went on to become an Oscar winning visual effects artist on the “Star Wars” franchise. However, before that, he made this very cheap, low budget monster movie using visual effects he created himself. The movie cost a grand total of $6,500 and Jack H. Harris (“The Blob”) picked it up for distribution. He then shot new footage and released it to great fanfare from the B-movie loving audience.
The United States is not the only place to have cult movie horrors, as Japan has some of the most unique cult horror movies you could ever imagine. “House” was made in 1977 by Nobuhiko Obayashi and is very hard to describe. It is a ghost story that is very hallucinogenic and defies most descriptions. A schoolgirl and her classmates travel to visit her aunt and face demons, evil spirits and more. It is the strangest movie you might ever see.
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Criterion Collection Releases: April 2013