Crimes at the Dark House – 1940 – England
The year 1850: A gold prospector in Australia murders another prospector and assumes his identity. Masquerading as Sir Percival Glyde, the imposter returns to London and inherits Glyde’s mansion and estate. He also inherits a mountain of debt and an illegitimate child with a homicidal hatred of him. To maintain his false identity and lifestyle of debauchery, the imposter perpetrates further crimes. For a film of its age, Crimes at the Dark House has a remarkable amount of mayhem as the imposter commits fraud, extortion, rape, and murder, not to mention lots of petty cruelty.
Attack of the Giant Leeches – 1959 – United States
In the Florida Everglades, redneck poachers are attacked by giant leeches. The victims are kept alive in the leeches’ underwater cave while their blood is slowly drained. A handsome game warden investigates the poachers’ disappearance and eventually discovers that monsters are afoot. He hunts the leeches underwater with a harpoon gun.
Manos: The Hands of Fate – 1966 – United States
A family gets lost in the Texas desert. After a pointless ten minute driving scene, they reach a ranch. Michael, the man of the family, knocks on the door to ask for help. He meets the satyr-like Torgo who famously claims, “I take care of the house while the Master is away.” Michael insists that he and his family stay the night, even though every other character in the film is against it. Living in the house is a pagan cult. The Master and his many wives conduct rituals to Manos, the “god of primal darkness”. During the night, the family dog is killed by a bigger dog and Michael’s wife is sexually harassed by Torgo. Meanwhile, the Master abuses Torgo (because he grovels pathetically), and the Master’s wives have a big catfight. Eventually, Torgo is massaged (?) to death, Michael’s daughter and wife are married to the Master, and Michael is the Master’s brainwashed slave.
Suspiria – 1977 – Italy
Suzy, an American woman, enrolls in a German ballet school. She arrives late at night in a torrential downpour. The door is locked and she is told to go away. She sees a panicked woman flee into the woods. The next day, Suzy returns to school to discover the fleeing woman was murdered later that night. Suzy begins training at the school and the ominous events escalate. Maggots infest the dormitory. A friendly dog goes berserk. Suzy suffers from a mysterious illness. Her friend believes the faculty is a coven of witches. When her friend disappears mysteriously, Suzy investigates the school’s mysteries.
Cemetery of Terror – 1985 – Mexico
College students party in an abandoned house beside a cemetery on Halloween. They find a book of Satanic rituals and decide to try one out. This involves stealing a corpse from a morgue, which happens to be the corpse of a serial killer. After the ritual, the killer comes to life and murders all the students by tearing their guts out with his deformed claw-like hands. Meanwhile, some trick-or-treaters get trapped in the cemetery. The killer raises a legion of (really unthreatening) zombies to chase them around ineffectually. A crazy paranormal investigator comes to the rescue, and the Satanic book is burnt up in a fire.
Zombie Bloodbath 2 – 1995 – United States
Topeka, Kansas. 1945: Satanic cultists crucify a man and then make him into a human scarecrow.
Topeka, Kansas. Present day: Escaped convicts take a jacket from the cursed scarecrow and awaken an army of zombies as heavy metal music plays. The convicts struggle to survive along with some college students, some little girls, and a member of the U.S. Special Forces. The motley survivors flee from an isolated farmhouse to a deli where they are assaulted by redneck serial killers. Eventually, the survivors find vials of flesh-eating bacteria improbably left in an old pick up truck. They splash these on the zombie horde, killing most of the zombies and themselves. The last woman is killed by a face-devouring kiss from her newly undead boyfriend.
Dead Silence – 2007 – United States
A young couple mysteriously receives a puppet (named Billy) in the mail. That night, the husband (Jamie) returns home to find his wife dead with her tongue torn out. He relates the murder and the puppet to the legend of a ghostly ventriloquist from his hometown of Ravens Fair. Jamie drives (his bitchin’ red muscle car) to Ravens Fair to investigate. Having been away for many years, he discovers that the town has become a decrepit ruin. His estranged father has been paralyzed by a stroke, and has a new (much younger) wife. The superstitious townies refuse to discuss the ghostly ventriloquist, but numerous tongue-less corpses have been attributed to her haunting. Meanwhile, a police detective suspects Jamie for his wife’s murder, and Jamie is tormented by Billy, the diabolic puppet.
Mayhem Motel – 2001- United States
Mayhem Motel takes place during one night in a sleazy motel. The movie follows various deranged, foul-mouthed, sex-obsessed characters as they try to get laid and occasionally kill each other. In the first 15 minutes, a man carries around a hamper labeled “human organs”, another man vomits while taking a bath (the tub has Easter eggs floating in it, for some reason), and another man gets his crotch shaved by a woman in a Marilyn Monroe costume.
Yokai Monsters: Spook Warfare – 1968 – Japan
In medieval times, treasure hunters explore the Babylonian ruins of Ur and awaken a bird-like vampire monster. The vampire (named Daimon) flies to Japan and possesses the magistrate of a town. He commits various atrocities such as drinking blood, acting rude, kidnapping children, and killing a dog. A young samurai teams up with a Buddhist monk and some friendly monsters from Japanese folklore. They defeat Daimon by stabbing out his eyes.
The Blancheville Monster – 1963 – Italy/Spain
France 1884: After attending college in England, a young woman returns to her ancestral castle. Since her father recently died (under mysterious circumstances) and her favorite servants have left, the castle is now a foreboding place. Furthermore, she learns of a family prophecy indicating that her family will die if a girl child ever reaches the age of 21. Predictably, the young woman’s 21st birthday is in 5 days. Also predictably, her father is not really dead. Disfigured and insane, he stalks the castle, trying to prevent the prophecy by killing his daughter with the power of hypnosis.