Eyehategod Vocalist Mike IX Williams Picks His Favorite Obscure and Odd Low-Budget Horror Films from the ’70s and ’80s
Co-founded by metal lifer Phil Anselmo and true-crime author Corey Mitchell, the inaugural Housecore Horror Film Festival goes down in Austin, Texas, October 25 – 27. Brazilian horror legend Coffin Joe will be there, Nekromantik director Jörg Buttgereit will be there, The Manson Family director Jim VanBebber, Goblin will be there live-scoring a screening of Susperia while Mayhem vocalist Attila Csihar will provide a live score to The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari in his Void ov Voices alter ego. Down, Crowbar, Eyehategod, and Warbeast will play, as will Anselmo’s solo project, Philip H. Anselmo & the Illegals. All in all, it will be a sick, twisted, and terrifying experience for all who attend. In anticipation of the event, various members of the HHFF staff and bands will be providing weekly lists on a variety of ghoulish topics; here, Eyehategod vocalist Mike IX Williams picks his top five Obscure and Odd Low-Budget Horror Films from the ’70s and ’80s.
1) John Russo’s Midnight
“I’ve loved this film since I saw it in the mid ’80s and, in fact, it was released a few years earlier in 1982. If the name John Russo sounds familiar, he and George Romero were writing partners on the screenplay for Night of the Living Dead, and his personal directorial effort Midnight to me is well worth watching. Satanic and evil backwoods cops hunting hitchhiking runaway chick! The dark-sided authority figures, amongst my all-time favorite big-screen villains, as you’ll learn, are brought to life here for a reportedly modest five-figure sum of a budget, so the cash saved on cinematography is made up for by brutal ritualistic murders, a great creepy atmosphere, and the make-up effects of Tom Savini. These elements melted together make for an entertaining view into the psychosis of devil-worshiping pigs with mommy issues.”
2) Maniac Cop
“The brainiac behind the original wonderfully sleazy scalp fest that is Maniac, his majesty William Lustig, once again delves deep into pre-Mickey Mouse 1980s gritty NYC fire and ire to bring us back down…waaay down, underground and under arrest with a search warrant for DEATH! Catchy huh? Anyway, another of my faves for one of the most evil and tortuous monsters of all time: The NYPD. Disfigured and out to kill, this outcast of society and the anti-hero of the slogan ‘to protect and serve’ does his best to terrorize and neglect. Apparently possessing other worldly powers, this cop is on a supernatural city-wide house wrecking high. Bruce Campbell (Evil Dead alumni) is here wrongly accused and mayhem ensues. The tagline says it all for this great Horror B-movie: ‘You Have the Right to Remain Silent…Forever!’
“I kind of prefer Maniac Cop 2 and I have not seen the remakes or other sequels, so for the sake of the timeline this jewel holds a spot at No. 2.”
3) The Cars that Ate Paris, A.K.A. The Cars that Eat People (title for U.S. release)
“I saw this Aussie produced flick at a matinee as a kid and the spiked and armored vicious Volkswagon from the movie sat out in front of the theater all week as a promotional device and I chewed my nails and stared at that bug with anticipation every day I passed down Main St. It’s technically a horror film, but as the genre winds around and through itself, it’s got elements of mystery, dark unintentional(?) comedy, and just plain strangeness… I always have been fascinated by the plot, which is essentially a town of eccentrics in the business of purposely staging and causing car wrecks in and around their small community of Paris to ultimately sell off the leftovers for a valuable profit, all the while surgically experimenting on any survivors in a most peculiar way. Long-winded yet disturbing, plus cool human slaying automobiles make this a cheapo cinematic treasure.
4) Blood Sucking Freaks
“I’m sure you’ve all heard of this cult classic, right? Exploitation in it’s finest form: tons of naked females, most of them slaughtered/tortured/dismembered in some bizarre fashion, a wild ass-dart shooting midget…err, sorry, little person, professional creep Dr. Sardu, below no-budget special effects, and some of the worst acting I’ve ever seen in my life…and that’s all the good things! The shitty yet atmospheric organ keyboard soundtrack will hypnotize your mind and deaden your soul, and I mean deaden as in numb to the point of needing to walk around the block a few times. As a teenager, I recorded the entire movie on audio cassette and we would drive around smoking and drinking in some psychodrama of just being pummeled by B.S.F’s retarded comical violent nonsense. Brain-drilling, straw-sucking out said drilled brain, amputations, thumb screws, crushed skulls, chainsaws, guillotines all in the name of a Grand Guignol live stage performance, which of course leaves the viewer wondering: Are these girls actual actors or are they unwilling victims kidnapped into this wild scene just for some sicko’s fantasies.”
5) I Drink Your Blood
“LSD, sex, rabid satanic hippies, kids with syringes, and as the title says, plenty o’ blood drinking/splattering/dripping/oozing. As a youth, I remember the ad for this one in my city’s paper for the midnight showing at our local drive-in, but I was a too young to check it out at that age. That never stopped me from obsessing about it and now having watched it numerous times, I can confess to how brilliant this zero-budget flick certainly was and is. Usually paired with the 1960s walking dead cheapo I Eat Your Skin, a really bad movie renamed for the sole reason of going on double duty with I Drink Your Blood. These tarnished reels are an exploration in bad acting and even worse editing. A true economical gory genius with dialog that will, by itself, have you scratching your head more than just once.”