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Thursday, February 29, 2024

5 Deep Cut Horror Movies to Seek Out in March 2024

New month, new recommendations from Deep Cuts Rising. This installment features random picks as well as selections reflecting the month of March 2024.

Regardless of how they came to be here, or what they’re about, these past movies can generally be considered overlooked, forgotten or unknown.

This month’s horror offerings include a killer robot, a haunted mini-mart and more.


The Telephone Box (1972)

Horror

Pictured: José Luis López Vázquez’s character talks to a boy inside the namesake of The Telephone Box.

Directed by Antonio Mercero.

An obvious rec for International Find a Pay Phone Booth Day (March 10) is La Cabina (a.k.a. The Telephone Box). This Spanish, made-for-TV short-film turns a silly situation into surreal horror. José Luis López Vázquez‘s unfortunate character enters a freshly installed phone booth, only to then learn it neither works nor allows him to leave. As onlookers gather around and fail to help him, the protagonist becomes increasingly panicked. The outcome is even more bizarre than the setup would suggest.

This short has gone on to become rather iconic in its homeland; it even has the distinction of winning an International Emmy Award back in ’73. As tribute to both La Cabina and its late director, a replica of the titular object was erected near where the original film was shot.

RTVE has since officially uploaded the short (with optional English subtitles) to YouTube.


The Oracle (1985)

horror

Pictured: Pam La Testa in The Oracle.

Directed by Roberta Findlay.

With March being Women in Horror Month, now is a good time to spotlight Roberta Findlay. The filmmaker’s horror output has enjoyed a positive reevaluation after years of dismissal and neglect. The needle has especially shifted on The Oracle; audiences and critics have come around to this oddball tale of a spirit who uses a young medium to get his revenge on the living. The wild script by R. Allen Leider — his previous work included XXX pics Liquid A$$ets and Sexcapades — certainly helped the movie earn its reputation.

The Oracle could have turned out to be a basic possess-and-haunt affair, but, thankfully, Findlay chose chaos over convention. Between Caroline Capers Powers‘ frenzied performance and the schlocky yet charming practical effects, this movie is wonderfully excessive. There is never a dull moment here.

The Oracle is currently streaming on sites like Tubi and is also available on Blu-ray from Media Blasters.


Evolver (1995)

horror

Pictured: The titular character of Evolver rolls out of a crashed van and searches for its next opponent.

Directed by Mark Rosman.

Fans of ’90s techno-horror should be amused by this straight-to-video offering from the director of The House on Sorority Row. Taking a few lessons from Chopping Mall, Evolver centers on a young computer whiz (Ethan Embry) who “wins” a dueling robot in a laser tag competition. The movie’s namesake is designed to play laser tag with his human companions, but there is a catch: whenever defeated, Evolver becomes more difficult to beat in the next round. As anticipated, the ‘bot loses control and turns deadly.

Evolver closely follows the instructions of the “good robot goes bad” handbook. And although this movie is cheesy, it delivers solid bits of excitement. It is also fun to point out the outdated tech in this celluloid nostalgia trip.

Evolver is currently streaming at Roku and other sites.


Dead Bodies (2002)

Horror

Pictured Andrew Scott in Dead Bodies.

Directed by Robert Quinn.

If looking for something Irish and offbeat but still in the realm of horror for St. Patrick’s Day (March 17), then keep Dead Bodies in mind. While this movie is, arguably, more of a dark comedy and thriller than absolute horror, the story eventually becomes pitch black and shows no signs of humor toward the end. The movie is also prone to unexpected twists.

In Dead Bodies, Andrew Scott plays Tommy, the slacker who accidentally takes a life and then hides the evidence out in the woods. What Tommy and the audience did not foresee, though, is the police’s discovery of not only his victim’s body, but also a second one at the burial site. Yet, who was responsible for that other murder? The killer is still on the loose and could be closer to Tommy than he realizes.

Dead Bodies is still currently available on DVD, and it is also streaming on various platforms like Vudu.


Cursed (2004)

horror

Pictured: Hiroko Satō holds a dead crow on the poster for Yoshihiro Hoshino’s Cursed.

Directed by Yoshihiro Hoshino.

This weird, low-budget Japanese horror movie was based on entries from “Chō” Kowai Hanashi (Super Scary Stories), a long-running strand of books where various authors recounted eerie stories (kaidan) collected from personal interviews. Yumeaki Hirayama‘s run as author was the specific inspiration for Yoshihiro Hoshino’s one and only movie as a director; Hirayama even has a small role in the 2004 adaptation. Once shipped off for international distribution, the title was changed from Super Scary Stories “A”: Dark Crow to Cursed. The new name, while simpler, makes viewers think of Wes Craven’s Cursed, which came out shortly before Hoshino’s movie was released on home video in the U.S.

Similar to Ju-OnCursed follows several characters who are connected to a haunted location: in this case, a mom-and-pop convenience store called Mitsuya Mart. The owners, a few employees and customers, and a representative of the corporation hoping to buy Mitsuya all experience strange and unexplained events (a haunted refrigerator, a mysterious killer, and so on). This is not a movie where everything is explained in detail — or really at all — however, that ambiguity is one of its selling points.

Copies of Tokyo Shock’s out-of-print DVD are still floating around.


No genre is as prolific as horror, so it’s understandable that movies fall through the cracks all the time. That is where this recurring column, Deep Cuts Rising, comes in. Each installment of this series will spotlight several unsung or obscure movies from the past — some from way back when, and others from not so long ago — that could use more attention.

The post 5 Deep Cut Horror Movies to Seek Out in March 2024 appeared first on Bloody Disgusting!.



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