31 Days of October Madness – Part 5


Welcome to the fifth chapter of our October Madness feature! Here are five more titles I highly recommend visiting on your October movie nights.

Stay tuned next week for more, and be sure to share your choices with us in the comments section.

Related Stories: 31 Days of October Madness – Part 1, 31 Days of October Madness – Part 2, 31 Days of October Madness – Part 3, and 31 Days of October Madness – Part 4

Happy Halloween

Dead Alive

These days Peter Jackson he has spent so much time in Middle Earth, it seems ages ago that we’ve seen the spirit of the New Zealand renegade filmmaker that created Bad Taste, Meet the Feebles and this work of splatter genius that gave us a Sumatran rat-monkey infected geriatric zombie, fun creative dismemberment by lawnmower, hilarious impalement by light bulb and best of all, a kung fu priest kicking ass for the lord. Several impressive recent genre offerings like Housebound and Deathgasm are clearly inspired by Jackson’s early balls-to-the-wall approach to cinema, and this wickedly entertaining gem is a reminder that we’re still waiting for the king of splatter to come back and reclaim his throne!

Dead Alive

Tombs of the Blind Dead

This 1971 Spanish horror film written and directed by Amando de Ossorio was the first in a series of films that follows a legion of knights who have become blind reanimated corpses of evil wreaking havoc in the 13th century on those unfortunate enough to have their blood drained and bodies sacrificed to their unholy allegiance.

Atmospheric and chilling, Tombs of the Blind Dead is good exploitation fun. There’s an alternate ending included on the DVD from Blue Underground that was alternately used to cash in on the Planet of the Apes franchise that’s worth checking out as well.

Tombs of the Blind Dead

At Midnight I’ll Take Your Soul

In 1964 a Brazilian filmmaker named José Mojica Marins introduced horror movie fans to fiendish gravedigger Zé do Caixão, known infamously as Coffin Joe. Coffin Joe is searching for a female companion to give ritual birth to his damned offspring, only his mischievous deeds have a price, and his destiny may beckon an inevitable journey to the depths of hell. At Midnight I’ll Take Your Soul is the first in a trilogy of films featuring Marins’ Coffin Joe character that includes This Night I’ll Possess Your Corpse and Embodiment of Evil, and to say that these films are sheer insanity is putting it lightly. The director ended up playing the main role when the original actor quit, and there was a rumor that things got so crazy while filming that the director forced his crew to shoot a scene by pointing a gun at the cameraman. Coffin Joe is one of the most demented characters ever committed to celluloid, and this is where it all began.

At Midnight Ill Take Your Soul

The Devil’s Backbone

A deep labor of love for director Guillermo del Toro, The Devil’s Backbone was strongly influenced by his relationship with his uncle, who del Toro claimed has visited him in spiritual form. Set in 1939 during the ghastly civil war in Spain, del Toro created beautiful and haunting visual poetry that pulls at the heartstrings as much as it sends chills down the spine. The pale ghost in this feature has Japanese horror aesthetic inspiration that works wonderfully with this film’s Gothic tone. This film is a perfect companion to Pan’s Labyrinth, a pure and euphoric cinematic experience.

Devils Backbone


Martin is a personal favorite of Romero and his first collaboration with special effects wizard Tom Savini, a truly overlooked masterpiece. Like Dawn of the Dead, there is an Italian cut with a kick-ass Goblin score that’s worth seeking out once you’ve seen the original cut. Romero originally had a cut that ran 165 minutes that will never see the light of day, and his original vision was for this intimate film to be in black and white, which didn’t seem like a good idea to the studio. I personally have no problem whatsoever with this version and find it to be Romero’s finest work. There’s also voice-over narration that was cut out and can be heard in the theatrical trailer; however, there was a novelization containing the missing narration if you feel like you’re missing out and want to track it down. Either way, when it comes to unique vampire lore in the movies, it doesn’t get much better than this.




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