Continuing from our last feature, which you can find here, we return to the VHS vault once more. Let’s look back at 10 more forgotten VHS horrors!
10. THE NEW YORK RIPPER (Lucio Fulci, 1982)
It’s hard to see why Fulci’s quacking serial killer didn’t catch on. I mean, maybe it was the painfully drawn-out female mutilation scenes that turned some viewers off, because it can’t possibly have been the incessant quacking. Nope. That wasn’t annoying as Hell.
9. THE ABOMINATION (Bret McCormick, 1986)
I bought my first copy of The Abomination from a bloke working on a market stall. It had a printed cover, and had been concealed in a box under his stall, presumably sharing a home with hardcore pornography and God knows what else. You see, you couldn’t just walk into your local Blockbuster and rent a copy of this film, it was deemed far too extreme for a mainstream release and thus a black market trade began for films of this ilk.
The film itself is a bizarre one to say the least. An old woman who coughs up what she thinks is a tumor, unwittingly unleashes a plague of parasitic creatures that turn their hosts into unstoppable killers, before eventually morphing into what can only be described as a giant, angry meatball. How this film didn’t make it onto the Video Nasty list is anybody’s guess.
The Abomination is not just a catchy title folks. This is one film that does exactly what is says on the can.
8. REVENGE OF BILLY THE KID (Jim Groom, 1991)
If you were expecting a horror western in which the famous gun slinging outlaw rises from the dead, then you’re about to be very disappointed. Instead audiences were treated to a film about the bastard offspring of a kinky farmer and an unassuming goat, which grows into a murderous hybrid monster.
Played mainly for laughs, this British offering is certainly an acquired taste and remains a rare gem on the VHS black market. Look out for an appearance by Hammer Horror regular Michael Ripper.
7. RAVENOUS (Antonia Bird, 1999)
In the interest of full disclosure, cannibal films almost always make me hungry. With that in mind, watching a film in which Robert Carlyle makes stew for a bunch of weary soldiers out of human flesh was a real challenge, especially as I hadn’t yet had lunch.
6. C.H.U.D. 2: Bud the C.H.U.D (David K. Irving, 1989)
Following the relative success of 1984’s C.H.U.D., Lightening Pictures released a follow up in 1989, humorously sub titled Bud the C.H.U.D. Oh how we laughed.
A sequel in name only, C.H.U.D. 2 follows one surviving creature’s attempts to recruit an army to battle the human race. Instead of the humanoid mutants we saw in part 1, the creatures now look like cast offs from a mega low budget zombie movie.
Unsurprisingly a 3rd C.H.U.D. never materialized, but both this and the original remain underrated genre classics even referenced in episodes of The Simpsons.
5. THE PEOPLE UNDER THE STAIRS (Wes Craven, 1991)
Allow me to be frank, A.J. Langer was my childhood crush. Having her in a leading role probably had a lot to do with the amount of times I watched it growing up, but there’s no denying The People Under the Stairs is one of Wes Craven’s most overlooked classics.
A couple of local hoods, up to no good, break into a house to make some quick money but stumble upon a house of horrors in which a young girl is kept hostage by her apparent parents, surviving day to day as long as she sees, speaks and hears no evil. Ving Rhames stars in a very early role alongside a kid who I genuinely thought was Michael Jackson for about 10 years.
It wasn’t him.
4. TICKS (Tony Randel, 1993)
A gang of troubled teens are unwittingly led to their deaths on a wilderness retreat, not knowing that the woods they will be camping in have become infested by hideously mutated, blood-sucking ticks.
Not a bad little monster flick, until you realise it stars this guy as the main thug:
3. SNUFF (Michael Findlay, 1975)
Back in the so-called Video Nasty era, there was rumors that films were being circulated in which people were killed for real on camera. They were known simply as snuff films. 1975’s Snuff was an attempt to market this bizarre sub genre and inevitably found itself on the banned list.
2. THE VAGRANT (Chris Walas, 1992)
Imagine moving into your dream home, but having it quickly turn into a nightmare when a giant, hairy, grotesque vagrant decides he’s going to terrorize you by moving in too. Not only is this a pretty accurate representation of life with my ex-girlfriend, it’s also the plot of Chris Walas’ home invasion thriller, The Vagrant, starring Bill Paxton.
1. IDLE HANDS (Rodman Flender, 1999)
When his hand becomes possessed and starts offing his neighbors it’s up to slacker Anton (Devon Sawa) and the recently resurrected corpses of his two best friends to save the day. Clerks meets Evil Dead 2 in this horror-comedy pastiche that proves smoking pot is the cause of and answer to all of life’s problems.
Man, I remember this one time my hand was possessed. The things it typed into Google. That’s what I told my wife anyway.