Writer/director Eric England is taking no prisoners in the horror genre. He wrapped production on his first feature, Madison County, in September; and while he’s currently in post-production on the project, he’s already gearing up for his next called Roadside.
We asked England to give us his five favorite independent horror projects, but he was so conflicted, he had to give us two lists.
According to England, “When asked to pick 5 ‘under the radar’ type horror films, my mind instantly began to wander. In a genre filled with such passionate and excited fans, it’s hard to find rare gems. I, myself, try to seek out and find every horror film I can that looks like it may hold some hidden gold that I’ve never seen before.”
“Short films I knew would be easier. There are tons of great short films out there that mass audiences have yet to find. But with features, most hardcore genre fans have seen it all. So instead of trying to pull a rabbit out of my hat, I thought I’d just talk about a few features that you may, or may not have, heard about—that I don’t think get enough attention,” England added.
1. THE BRAIN THAT WOULDN’T DIE
The Brain That Wouldn’t Die is a cult classic film from the 60’s that is batshit crazy and just an all around good time. It’s about a “crazed” doctor that’s so obsessed with science that when his fiancée dies in a terrible car crash, he tries to re-attach her head to a different body. The title of the film makes no sense to the overall movie. It’s all for shock value, and the acting is horrible. When the 60’s produced films like Psycho and Night of the Living Dead, this film pales in comparison. But if you’re like me and you like to look deeper than just what’s on the surface—you’ll find that this movie is a gem.
2. THE CURVE (A.K.A. DEAD MAN’S CURVE)
The Curve is more of a dramatic thriller, but it still has its horrific moments. Very similar in tone to films like Swimfan, Scream and I Know What You Did Last Summer (but without the killers). The Curve is an overlooked gem in the 90’s teen thriller genre. Largely swept under the rug due to the release of Dead Man on Campus, the film follows a couple of college students who decide to try and get good grades by getting their roommate to commit suicide. Stacked with a great cast and pretty sharp writing, The Curve is one of those movies you missed in the 90’s but you’re glad you found it today.
Once again, maybe not a gem to hardcore horror fans, but this film is definitely overlooked when mentioned in indie genre talk. This is the kind of film you have to be ready for. Slow paced, but brilliantly executed. This is the kind of movie I suggest to my friends when they’re asking for a film they haven’t seen before. Very disturbing all around. A girl that’s obsessed with “perfect?” Yes, please.
4. THE BURNING
Made during a time when Friday the 13th, My Bloody Valentine, and every other 80’s slasher film was getting made, The Burning is largely overlooked when talking about some of the greatest slasher films of all time. With a great cast featuring Jason Alexander (and even a little Helen Hunt), featuring effects by Tom Savini, and a great campfire tale of a plot about a prank gone wrong on a camp caretaker—this movie is a must see on a Friday night with friends.
5. THE LOVED ONES
This film is a gem right now because it hasn’t been released in the US yet, but it won’t be a gem for long. The story is simple: A girl wants to go to prom, gets rejected, and her dad decides to kidnap the guy that turned her down and torture the shit out him. Great, right? The acting is amazing. The story is simple and it’s brilliantly directed. We need more films like this.
Make sure to check back tomorrow for England’s favorite indie short films!
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