I have such fun with the Dirty Dozen countdowns!
Today I’d like to discuss underground films. No, not indie underground. Subterranean horror! I’m counting down my favorite movies that take place under the surface of the earth.
12) THE CATACOMBS (2007)
Vic, who is visiting her sister in Paris, ends up at a party in the catacombs. If you don’t know, that’s basically a giant labyrinth of bones under the city. To me, throwing a rave in the catacombs seems equal parts awesome and morbid. Naturally, since a reckless crowd of young adult party-goers is disrespecting a mass grave, an evil presence begins to pick them off. Main character Vic becomes lost in the Paris catacombs, instantly trapped in a game of Life and Death.
11) THE MIDNIGHT MEAT TRAIN (2008)
I’m a huge fan of Clive Barker’s written work, but the films are hit and miss. This one is compelling to watch, quite cringey, and layered with gory misadventures.
10) CREEP (2004)
Not to be confused with a more recent horror film of the same title, Creep follows a young woman who awakes in a London tube station to find it locked up and deserted. She’s forced to navigate her way through the vacant tunnels, pursued by an unseen attacker. This one will make you realize how dreadful it can feel to be all alone in a bad situation.
9) HOUSE OF 1,000 CORPSES (2003)
Most of House of 1000 Corpses takes place above ground, but the weirdest, and–arguably–most out of place scene, is the ending, when our heroine descends into the subterranean realm of Dr. Satan.
8) THE PYRAMID
The Pyramid (2014) provides its audience some good scares. To be honest, I don’t remember how it ends, but I’m pretty sure it had a confusing ending, which I hate in a movie! Hm… I’ll have to re-watch it now. I’ve always loved anything to do with Ancient Egypt, though, and I *do* recall some creepy moments. That’s why this one is #8.
7) THE HILLS HAVE EYES 2 (2007)
Two generations of a murderous family, mutated by radiation, terrorize a National Guard platoon by forcing them into their lair–the abandoned mines beneath the desert sand. This movie was well done, surprisingly so for a sequel. I identified with the characters and rooted for their escape. The gory scenes looked realistic, causing me to empathize with the victims. Good stuff, all around.
6) THE CAVE
A group of cave-divers and scientists become trapped while exploring a cave system in Romania, and encounter a pack of deadly creatures. This movie combines subterranean horror with aquatic horror, as there are plenty of water scenes that will make your toes curl.
5) MIMIC (1997)
Entomologist Dr. Susan Tyler genetically creates an insect to kill cockroaches that are carrying a virulent disease, a hybrid between a mantis and a termite that releases an enzyme which accelerates the roaches’ metabolism, causing the disease-carrying pests to starve to death. Three years later, a new breed of insect is discovered infesting the subway tunnels below town, and it is out to destroy mankind. Mimic is one of those movies, like Jurassic Park, in which scientists should leave nature well enough alone.
4) THE DESCENT 2 (2009)
All right, if you saw the first one, it will drive you CRAZY that she is RETURNING to the caves where she narrowly escaped death, but the writers imply it’s from memory loss, which is plausible, so…. buckle up, buttercups, it’s back to the deep dark caves! Pretty scary. A good enough movie to make the #4 spot.
3) AS ABOVE, SO BELOW (2014)
I don’t usually go for the “found footage” style of filming, but this one gave me the heebie jeebies! The French catacombs are the perfect setting to send goosebumps down the back of your neck.
2) THE DESCENT
You’d be hard-pressed to find anyone who’s watched The Descent and not given it raving reviews. This gruesome survival situation feels like a true story as it unfolds. You can almost picture this happening in real life! Admittedly, this movie is a huge reason why I’ll never be convinced to go on a cave-exploring adventure! No way!
AND IN THE #1 SPOT:
If you’ve somehow managed to miss Tremors because you’ve been living under a rock since 1990, don’t feel bad. Graboids live under rocks, too, and they have a whole series of movies modeled after them! What is a “graboid”, you ask? Good god, go watch Tremors immediately!
So there you have it, my picks for the Dirty Dozen Top 12 Subterranean Horror Movies.
Which ones did I miss? Let me know in the comments!
Dirty Little Horror is back from the dead!
Contact me if you’re a creator of horror films and/ or fiction. I’d love to work with you.
Man, I MISSED doing my Dirty Dozen countdowns these past few years. It is SO much fun! So I give you…
The Dirty Dozen: Top Twelve Creepshow Episodes
12) Sibling Rivalry
“Sibling Rivalry” stars rising actress, Maddie Nichols, whose performance I really enjoyed in the true crime film, A Murder to Remember. There’s something downright likeable about the girl. The chemistry with co-actor, Andrew Brodeur, brings their roles as brother and sister to life as they deal with some horrific decision making.
11) Bad Wolf Down
I always say that anything starring Jeffrey Combs is bound to be good, and this episode was no exception. It’s difficult to put a new spin on old monsters, but sometimes all you need is a solid storyline and a good supporting cast.
10) A Dead Girl Named Sue
In a post-apocalyptic world, Police Chief, Kevin Foster, delivers his own brand of justice to the town menace, whose been getting away with his misdeeds for too long.
9) Night of the Living Late Show
I love Justin Long. Don’t you? Doesn’t everyone? Don’t miss the chance to see him “co-star” with horror legend, Christopher Lee. Okay, okay, he’s superimposed into an already-existing Christopher Lee film. Still great! This story was an hour long, deviating from Creepshow’s usual half-hour back-to-back stories, but you’ll barely notice, you’ll be so engrossed.
8) Skeletons in the Closet
“Skeletons in the Closet” could be any horror fan’s wet dream, if “wet dreams” meant like…. really, really bloody. Our favorite icons of horror get a mention, and there’s a good balance between the comedy and horror here.
7) All Hallow’s Eve
“All Hallow’s Eve” has a cozy nostalgia that reminds me of my favorite show as a kid, Are You Afraid Of The Dark. Hardcore horror nerds might be able to make accurate predictions early on in the plot, but that doesn’t stop this storyline from hitting hard when it hits.
6) Drug Traffic
I’m not going to ruin this episode by telling you much about it, other than two things: 1) Michael Rooker is in it, and 2) My husband and I sat with our jaws literally dropped as this story played out.
Being overweight is hard enough. But imagine if EVERYONE around you seemed to be shedding pounds due to a breakthrough new diet plan. Would you feel like a freak, being the only one left with some bulges? As it turns out in this episode, the real freaks are the ones hiding under the so-called “perfect” physique.
4) Public Television of the Dead
OMG. Fan girl freak out. This one is seriously funny and CANNOT be passed over! What would happen if the Necronomicon’s “wretched incantations” were read aloud on live TV? Chaos, of course!
3) Time Out
I probably owe my husband an apology because “Time Out” had me yelling at the TV screen like, “Why are you DOING that??!! Stop doing that!” as the main character, Tim, repeatedly risked his life, health, and family to get ahead in his career. But hey, if protagonists didn’t make bad decisions, I wouldn’t be here writing this.
2) The Finger
DJ Qualls stars as a lonely loser who stumbles upon a severed finger, which he saves, and ends up spawning his new best friend, Bob. Bob is simultaneously deadly and adorable. I had to use a motion GIF above to capture his cuteness. One problem, though, Bob is viciously loyal!
1) The Man In The Suitcase
Some viewers might disagree with my selection of “The Man in the Suitcase” as my favorite episode thus far, but my reasoning is simple. The scariest part of horror–for me– is not the dark and supernatural magic that fuels it, but the ruthlessness of the human beings who are willing to abuse and exploit that magic for their own gain. This story was truly grim, and therefore, it made my #1 slot.
Feel free to comment with YOUR favorites!
Hello to all the Dirty Little Horror followers out there. It’s been over 2 years since I posted on this blog. 2 years and 4 months, to be more specific. I still keep this dot com address active, for possible future use, renewing the domain each year. It was a lot of fun, and I’ve considered returning to Dirty Little Horror dot com. But for now, please follow my new blog at: www.weirdwideweb.org
Sooo… what have I been up to besides starting a new blog? Not much, to be honest, but I hope to start writing more often in coming months. I’ve always had an affinity for short stories, like the one posted below – a YouTube audio story.
Anyway, thanks for following. Sorry I disappeared on ya! You can stay in touch by following me at www.weirdwideweb.org!
Enjoy this free short story, and take care!
Devils and demons are a staple of horror literature, and I adore them in novels, novellas, and short stories. Funny enough, I feel the opposite about demonic possession in films. There are a thousand-and-one possession movies, and all of them use more or less the same plot, same tricks. But the written word is full of possibilities. It doesn’t suffer the restrictions of film and gives us room to examine the idea of demons from varying viewpoints. The loss of control, the loss of one’s self, is so frightening in a horror book.
Lately, I’ve read a lot of novels based around this very idea – possession, the devil, and ancient evil. I enjoyed each title, though no two were alike. Here are some of them – a list I’m calling Half A Dozen Devilish Books.
by: Sara Gran
I decided to buy this book when someone recommended it in the comments of a Facebook thread. The status asked something like: “What was the last book that genuinely scared you?” I read this book in a day, which is a record for me. I’m normally a slow reader. The story moves along quickly, yet you really get a sense of the narrator’s desperation, her loss of self-control, and her fear. What would you do if you thought you were possessed by a demon? Who could you turn to? Who would listen?
A Head Full of Ghosts
by: Paul Tremblay
Was teenager, Marjorie Barrett, a victim of demonic possession, or was she mentally ill? Years later, her sister looks back on their family’s dark past to unravel a tragic mystery. This book was full of suspense and chills. I absolutely loved it.
by: John Langan
Some might question my inclusion of The Fisherman here. It’s not about devils, or demons, or Hell. The Fisherman tells the tale an ancient evil capable of possessing humans, and manipulating them through their grief and sadness. Sounds pretty demonic, right? This is a slow-moving, crawl-under-your-skin-and-stay-there sort of book. I had to include it on the list.
Johannes Cabal the Necromancer (Johannes Cabal #1)
by: Jonathan L. Howard
I’ll admit, this book was not exactly my cup of tea. Not every book is going to become a personal favorite. But I see the value of Johannes Cabal for lovers of supernatural fantasy and dark comedy. It’s a lighthearted adventure through Hell and back, and especially if you love a good series, this might be a better match for you than it was for me. It did make me laugh a bit, and I gave it 3/5 stars on Goodreads. There are several more books to follow this one, including: Johannes Cabal the Detective, Johannes Cabal: The Fear Institute, The Brothers Cabal, Johannes Cabal and the Blustery Day: And Other Tales of the Necromancer, and The Fall of The House of Cabal.
by: Tim Miller
I don’t read much extreme horror. And I’m certain that statement is something extreme horror authors hear all the time and get sick of hearing, but hey, as sub-genres go, it’s simply not for everyone. That being said, I picked up a copy of Cassie Kills because I admire the author’s imagination and energy. It was a dark and depraved read, and kept me entertained throughout. I’m told some of the more graphic parts were edited out to meet Amazon’s requirements, but this was graphic enough for me as-is! A sick revenge story and a journey through a world worse than Hell.
by: Stephen King
This is an oldie but a goodie. To be honest, I didn’t read much King in my youth. I didn’t have the patience for his story layers and – let’s face it – the enormous word counts! I’ve been reading him more in my thirties, and so far, this one ranks among my favorites. Store owner, Mr. Gaunt, is everything you could ask for in a Devil. Sly, experienced, charming, mystical, and terrifying. The shop he just opened up in Castle Rock has something for everyone. And I mean everyone. Won’t you step inside?
So there you have it. The six most devilish books I’ve read lately. Feel free to comment with your own devilish suggestions.
I just finished watching 100 Bloody Acres, and I must say… it’s the perfect mix of horror and comedy. Here’s the breakdown:
Reg and Lindsay run a family business and have all the typical sibling scuffles, but younger brother Reg is constantly eager to win his bro’s approval, despite their rocky relationship. The two run an organic fertilizer business and have a shocking idea about how to obtain some special ingredients for their new fertilizer mix. Seeking flesh and bone to process through their meat grinder at no cost out of pocket, Reg makes his rounds in the Morgans Organic company truck, searching for dead meat. He comes across three (live) friends on their way to a music festival and immediately recognizes the fresh opportunity.
Hitching a ride with Reg due to their broken down vehicle, the trio of friends fall into the clutches of the murderous Morgan brothers and soon find themselves on the path to certain doom, rather than a music festival. But maybe, just maybe, the three of them could escape…. if only one of them wasn’t tripping acid and the other two weren’t fully engulfed in some serious relationship drama!
I found this movie for sale at Family Video and paid a whopping $1.50 for it. I had very little faith in the review on the back given by RogerEbert.com: “The best low-budget horror comedy since Shaun of the Dead!” Yeah right, I thought. But you know what? I really did enjoy the film. So much that I decided to recommend it here on the blog. It didn’t deliver quite as many laughs as Shaun of the Dead, but the back cover also boasts: “A witty, gory blend of Australian humor and horror tropes, the Cairnes Brothers 100 Bloody Acres is a bloody good time,” and with that statement, I fully agree. Great character development, lots of funny moments, tons of suspense. An all-around good movie!
I’ve been busy all summer long and never got a chance to post, but it’s Back To School time for the kiddos, and in honor of that, I’m doing a Back To Scares blogging event!
On today’s agenda: The Dirty Dozen: 12 Most Memorable Black Horror Movie Characters
Horror cinema would benefit from more black characters. We don’t see it enough. The following is my list of the most MEMORABLE black horror movie characters. Not all are lead characters (some had very little screen time but stole the show). This isn’t about Best Acted Roles or even Best Characters. These are the most memorable… because there is just something about the character that makes us connect with them, remember them…
Some of you will argue genre: “Scary Movie is a comedy” and “Seven is a crime thriller.” Look, just sit back and let me entertain you, okay?
There’s an Honorable Mentions section at the bottom. I’ll let you in on a little secret: This is my way of keeping the “Dirty Dozen” theme without actually narrowing it down to 12! So tough! And you know what? There’s actually more in the Honorable Mentions section than on the list! LOL.
So here we go….
Fool – People Under The Stairs
When young Fool (Brandon Adams) breaks into the home of his family’s greedy and uncaring landlords, he discovers a disturbing scenario where incestuous adults have mutilated a number of boys and kept them imprisoned under their stairs.
Peter Washington – Dawn of the Dead
Peter Washington is a member of Philadelphia’s SWAT when the walking dead crisis has reached critical condition. He saves the life of a fellow SWAT member of another squad, and he is offered a ride out of Philly and so joins the party that ends up at the notorious Monroeville Hyper-Mall. And that’s only where the drama begins!
Jeryline – Demon Knight
Demon Knight is a feature-length film presented by the HBO series Tales from the Crypt, and features scenes with the Crypt Keeper, but what really drives the plot forward is the strong and beautiful character Jeryline, played by Jada Pinkett Smith. A must-see, if you haven’t.
Detective Lt. William Somerset – Seven
What more do I need to say? Morgan Freeman is amazing in every role he plays, but the sheer intensity of the plot in Seven kicks his acting up another notch. This is such an engrossing film, and – like I said in my intro – you can argue that Seven is a “crime-thriller” all you want. This movie scared the shit out of me. I say horror!
Lance Shroeder – House on Haunted Hill 1999
A millionaire with theatrical tendencies invites a number of people to stay in a vast creepy building that used to be an insane asylum. Lance Shroeder, played by Taye Diggs, is one of the unfortunate crew to accept this invitation. He’s so darn likeable, guys, you just have to root for him the whole time. Gotta love this character.
Maximillian – Vampire in Brooklyn
Maximillian is the only survivor from a race of vampires on a Caribbean Island, and he must find a mate to keep the bloodline from ending. Horror comedy at its finest. Directed by Wes Craven and starring Eddie Murphy, this is definitely a memorable character.
Sara Tidwell – Bag of Bones
I know a lot of people did not enjoy the film adaptation of Stephen King’s 1998 novel Bag of Bones. It was a two-part miniseries, which appeared on regular TV. Maybe I’m lucky I hadn’t read the book, because I really enjoyed it. Sara Tidwell is a vivacious singer and a lost soul who does not get much screen time, but she stuck in my mind long after the credits rolled. Actress Anika Noni Rose was hauntingly gorgeous in this role.
I love Tony Todd, and you’ll see him twice more in the Honorable Mentions. His portrayal of Candyman is horrifying, with a genuinely creepy voice that invades your mind like the sweetest of poisons. For real. You’ll almost want to call upon the Candyman yourself, though you know it’s a bad idea. There’s something so alluring and so revolting at the same time about this character…. malicious to the core but with such a sad backstory.
Russell Franklin – Deep Blue Sea
On an island research facility, a scientist is harvesting the brain tissue of DNA-altered sharks as a possible cure for Alzheimer’s disease. When the facility’s backers send executive Russell Franklin (Samuel L. Jackson) to investigate the experiments, a routine procedure goes awry and sharks start attacking the researchers. As you can imagine, Russell snaps and screams, “Enough is enough! I have had it with these motherfuckin’ sharks on this motherfuckin’ island!” Oh wait… nevermind, nevermind. That was a different movie… 🙂
Brenda Meeks – Scary Movie 1, 2, 3, and 4
Brenda Meeks cracks me up. She’s the only character who kept me coming back to the Scary Movie sequels. Watching her fight Samara from The Ring in #3 had me rolling, some of her one-liners in #4 were even funnier, and really… she had me from the start in #1. Brenda Meeks is lively and sweet, and she is anything but “meek” if you light her fuse.
Chris Washington – Get Out
Chris Washington is a young photographer in an interracial relationship, and when it comes time to meet his girlfriend’s family, he is hesitant. He worries that her parents won’t accept him. He’s in love, so he agrees to the trip anyway, and while staying at his girlfriend’s family home, he discovers things are much worse than he feared. The character of Chris played on the heartstrings of audiences worldwide. We really felt for him.
Andre – Dawn of the Dead 2004
From the moment we meet Andre, we understand he has a lot to protect. His girlfriend’s belly is swollen, and he’s nervous to protect the child inside. That’s easier said than done in a post-apocalyptic world full of zombies and untrustworthy humans, but he is determined. There’s one scene in particular that is unforgettable.
“You’ve gotta dance like there’s nobody watching,
Love like you’ll never be hurt,
Sing like there’s nobody listening,
And live like it’s heaven on earth.” – William W. Purkey
“We should consider every day lost on which we have not danced at least once.” -Friedrich Nietzsche
“Do a loony-goony dance
‘Cross the kitchen floor,
Put something silly in the world
That ain’t been there before.” – Shel Silverstein
Dancing. It makes us human. Whether we do it in front of others or bust a move in private when we hear our favorite song, most of us have enjoyed a little dancing. But in horror movies, dancing takes on a whole new element. It’s either absurdly out-of-place, insanely cheesy, eerily seductive, or downright creepy.
I offer you my Top Twelve Weirdest and Creepiest Horror Movie Dances. They are all listed here for different reasons… but all of them possess a certain WTF factor. Like seriously…. WTF?
Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter – Total Spaz Dance
Okay, we all know this wasn’t the final chapter. But hopefully it was the final chapter in Crispin Glover’s dancing efforts. What is happening here?!?!?!
Insidious – Tiptoe Through The Tulips
Hey, even the ghosts of creepy little dead boys like to dance. Don’t hate.
Freddy’s Revenge – Jesse Cleans His Room
Jesse just moved into a new house and his parents are nagging him to get his room straightened up. So he vents his frustration in this awesome and very uncomfortable dance! Hahaha.
Dead & Breakfast – Zombie Line Dance
I don’t even… uhhh…. I don’t even know what to say about this one. I’m so confused. Lol.
Carrie – Spinning
I have to mention the dance from the original Carrie because I refuse to believe I’m the only person in the world who can’t watch this scene without getting queasy. I mean… the spinning. The spinning is too much. *gag*
Sleepwalkers – Getting The Job Done
Sticking with Stephen King, here’s a great scene from Sleepwalkers. Man, oh man, I wish I could have this much fun at work.
Night of the Demons – There’s Something Different About Angela
Is it just me, or does this chick make demonic possession look HAWT?
Evil Dead 2 – Dance of the Headless Lover
Poor Ash. The dead just never seem to stay dead for him.
Scout’s Guide to the Zombie Apocalypse – Groovy Janitor
Sadly, I couldn’t find a high-quality clip of Blake Anderson (from Comedy Central’s Workaholics) dancing his way toward doom in Scout’s Guide to the Zombie Apocalypse. But at least someone out there has uploaded something because, man, it’s so darn funny.
Friday the 13th: A New Beginning – Everyone’s A Critic
Hey, Jason, Violet’s dancing wasn’t that bad. It was actually sorta cute. You didn’t have to KILL her!! Sheesh!
Troll 2 – Holly Gets Down
Troll 2 was released in 1990, which meant the 80s were over. But as you can see from this clip, the 80s were still very much alive. And you have to admit, she’s got some pretty good moves.
Return of the Living Dead – Trash’s Strip Tease
Again, I apologize for the quality. It’s hard to find this video, I guess because of the adult content. But I could never leave out the nude graveyard dance from Return of the Living Dead.
So there you have it. My Top Twelve.
Horror is full of strange and wonderful dancing, so feel free to comment with your favorites. Thanks for reading.