I recently wrote about a couple of lesser known films starring former Bond Girls in my Top 20 Sexiest Movies You’ve Never Seen article. It’s probably not a big surprise that actresses who appeared in the venerable spy series would also show up in an erotically-tinged film or two. They were, after all, chosen for their roles (at least in part) due to their physical gifts. What many people may not be aware of is that 007′s interests also graced more than a few horror flicks with their fantasy-caliber figures.
‘Tis the season for cinephiles to be watching their holiday favorites. TV stations are airing the usual array of heartwarming holiday classics around the clock. Most of you will be watching the traditional Christmas fare. Whether it’s the touching morality fables like ‘It’s a Wonderful Life’ or the nostalgic Rankin/Bass animations, everyone has their can’t miss holiday movie. Here in the ‘Depths of Obscurity’, I like to buck the traditional fare, dig deep into the well of long-forgotten films, and maybe start some new Christmas traditions.
In this very special holiday edition of Depths of Obscurity, I’m going to do things a little bit differently. Normally I pick one specific filter, then watch and rank every film on that list. This time around I found that method too limiting and instead opted to go with five films that span the gamut of obscurity, from overlooked classics from the 40’s to low grade B slasher flicks from the 2000’s. Each film is from a different decade, and has a distinctly different genre. My one rule was that they had to be a holiday film and be virtually invisible on Flickchart, which I defined as having a ranking of 10,000 or lower.
With this second edition of Depths of Obscurity I wanted to get festive. Now, I’m not a horror guy. Most horror flicks just don’t do anything for me. I have a hard time getting scared or disturbed by movies, and in the rare cases where I am, its not a fun movie experience. I’ve never understood the thrill in trying to scare yourself for recreation. I prefer to sleep soundly at night. That being said, every October there are countless horror films on seemingly all the time and I feel obligated to catch at least a few of them. Like a food which I don’t like, I feel if I expose myself to enough of it, my palate may change and someday I might finally start to appreciate the fine art of gore.
In this blog I use the rank filters to scour Flickchart searching for the most obscure lists possible. Lists that are so niche that there exist only a few movies which fall into the specific category. There are many horror related filters available. I could have gone with ‘Costume Horror from the 1950s‘ or ‘Haunted House Films of the 1990s‘, but I decided to go all out and really try to shake myself. Why not go to the origins and see what was the worst of the worst in in the golden age of exploitation. In this post I delve into the twisted world of ‘Sadistic Horror Films from the 1970s‘. This was the birth of the genre that is currently at its peak of popularity with franchises like ‘Saw‘ and ‘Hostel‘ achieving mainstream consumption. Looking at the top Sadistic Horror films of all time, the top twenty are nearly exclusively dominated by movies released in the last decade. In the 1970′s these films were fringe, playing primarily in grindhouses and facing heavy censorship. Today’s audiences are inundated with blood and violence with each successive slasher film trying to outdo the last. As I ventured into this mini-marathon of mutilation, I asked myself: Could forty year old films possibly disturb the mind of a person tempered in modern gore?
By now we’ve all spent countless hours on Flickchart endlessly agonizing over matchups in relentless pursuit of our ultimate movie lists. Flickchart is a drug, and like any junkie, I’m always looking for a better high. Something new to satisfy my movie ranking addiction. Globally ranking movies is great, but sometimes I want to narrow down my choices and really focus on a specific type of movie. Fortunately, the site allows for customized filters allowing for matchups that are more specific. This lets you quickly polish up your ‘best of the decade’ lists, or aids in helping you pick your favorite slasher flick, but what about when you get REALLY specific. Just how many ‘Unglamorized Spy Films From the 90s‘ are there? Exactly how many crime dramas starring Robert Di Niro have I seen? This is the purpose of this series; I seek out the most obscure lists, watch all the films, make the definitive call on how they stack up against each other, and hopefully find some underrated diamonds in the rough.
In this first article, I combine two of my favorite things: cheesy 80′s flicks and dinosaurs. The category is ‘Prehistoric Fantasies from the 1980s‘. Now in the past twenty years we’ve been treated to some of the very best of this genre, with films like ‘Jurassic Park‘ and ‘Ice Age‘, but narrowing the focus to the 80s leaves just four films. Of course there is the one almost everyone over the age of twenty has seen, ‘The Land Before Time‘. Maybe you even have some fond memories watching the campy ‘Baby… Secret of the Lost Legend‘ on cable, but beyond that it starts to get pretty obscure. There is the low brow comedy ‘Caveman‘ starring a Beatle, and then there is the Daryl Hannah lead ‘Clan of the Cave Bear‘ chronicling the difficulties of a young Cro-Magnon woman living in a clan of Neanderthals. Despite having such a specific genre, there is a wide range of types of films in this category. From family friendly to satirical, to serious drama, it’s almost impossible to compare these films. But that’s Flickchart. Only one will triumph and be crowned as the ‘Best Prehistoric Fantasy from the 1980s’!