Death Spa: The Jane Fonda Workout of Late 80s Horror

By the late 1980s, horror was spinning its wheels. Major horror franchises – including Friday the 13th – were running on fumes. As the slasher declined in profitability, horror increasingly found its way to the straight-to-video market. What followed was bizarre, cheapo horror movies like Slaughter High, Nightmare Beach, and Cheerleader Camp. Occasionally, some of […]

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The Slayer Overcomes Low Budget With Surrealist Atmosphere

We’re digging deep into the 80s horror library for this edition of The Obscuratorium. In total, the United Kingdom added 72 movies – mostly from the horror genre – to their ‘Video Nasties‘ list. This was part of a moral panic that saw sweeping hysteria over the perceived corrupting effect of horror on youth. Just […]

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Fear No Evil: The Omen Meets Revenge of the Nerds

Satan was alive and well in America during the 1970s and 1980s. On the heels of Rosemary’s Baby, religious-themed supernatural horror from The Exorcist to The Omen dominated horror for the next decade. As the 70s gave way to the 1980s and heavy metal, a new wave of Satanic panic took hold of Americans. All […]

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The Sentinel a (Justifiably) Forgotten 70s Occult Thriller

Arguably, the 1970s was one of the best decades for horror. As censorship and content standards relaxed, the horror genre – and movies in general – experimented with style and subject. It was also a decade where public interest in the occult hit a peak. Following on the heels of 1960s counterculture, new age movements […]

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Alone in the Dark: Forgotten Home Invasion Thriller Worth a Few Scares

Before New Line Cinemas struck gold with the Nightmare on Elm Street franchise, it was largely an independent film distribution company. By the 1980s, New Line was slowly breaking into producing its own original movies. Not surprisingly, one of its early successes was a small horror movie – Alone in the Dark. And no, not […]

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The Baby a Disturbing Example of Early 70’s Exploitation Cinema

As the Hays Code receded and the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) rating system too over, Western cinema took a drastic turn into the experimental in the late 60s and 1970s. Briefly, this was an era that saw a rise in more risky story-telling. Art-house sensibilities mixed with box office mainstream in movies like […]

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Dark Night of the Scarecrow a Made-For-Scares Hidden Gem

Though they’re not quite as scary as clowns, scarecrows have a small spot in Halloween lore. Aside from ‘Harold’ in Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark and maybe The Creeper from Jeepers Creepers, most horror movie scarecrows have popped up in straight-to-video fare. There’s no scarecrow equivalent of Pennywise the Clown. But scarecrows – […]

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The Dead Pit a Forgotten ‘Sort of’ Zombie Movie From The VHS Era

Few horror fans have probably heard of The Dead Pit. If you’re old enough, you might have caught it on a local television station playing late at night. Or perhaps you saw its VHS cover with the glowing zombie eyes. But Brett Leonard’s (The Lawnmower Man) early directorial effort has languished in obscurity. Neither a […]

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