Hollywood Screams, Lost Gems

Maybe these are found gems, not lost gems. These are the unknown horror or scary movies which have not been in the spotlight. Some of these you might have watched. These slipped through the cracks for most fans of scream movies.

The Innocents

Deborah Kerr was one of Hollywood's top box office stars when she made this unusual film. She had done The Naked Edge with Gary Cooper which also had some chilling moments ala Hitchcock, but she was more known as a great actress who made very dramatic films. She had also appeared as the star opposite Yul Brynner in The King and I, which was a musical.

Without spoiling anything for you I will say there is one scene in this which made me gasp in the theater when I first saw it years ago. This is a very well made black and white thriller that has mysteries throughout the story. Highly recommended.

Midnight Lace

Unusual movie for a song and dance star. Doris Day had many hit records and she sang in many of her movies. Even in the Alfred Hitchcock movie The Man Who Knew Too Much she sang a song which became a number one pop hit (Que Sera, Sera). In Midnight Lace she does not sing. She does do a wonderful acting job as a victim or would be victim of what we might now call a stalker, but much more feindish. This movie starts sweetly and with a light carefree mood. It manages to get dark and scary before it ends.

When Midnight Lace was released in 1960 I lived in New York City. I saw this movie at the Radio City Music Hall. The Rockettes came onstage and did their dance number and then the theater darkened and the movie began. I had no idea what to expect. It is best to watch this one knowing only that the stars, Doris Day and Rex Harrison were both known for their appearances in musicals and light comedies. Just expect that and see what direction this movie goes. A true lost gem.

Let Sleeping Corpses Lie

Italian/Spanish production filmed in England with an American actor in the lead role. This is a fine zombie film which is often called "One of the best zombie movies ever." This one is difficult to find at a good price. Some of Hollywood's finest movies were made outside the US.

Les diaboliques

Simone Signoret and Vera Clouzot deliver the chilling performances that have been seen before in Hitchcock's greatest films. This movie was not directed by Hitchcock, however. Hitchcock wanted to direct this story, but apparently his phone call came about a half hour after the directing was assigned to Henri-Georges Clouzot. This is a black and white movie with some great acting, locations and believability. It is hard to find at a reasonable price but worth the search. Much of this movie takes place at a boy's academy. Just when you think you know what is about to happen a twist develops in the plot.

House of Wax

Originally released in 3D in 1953. This is a true classic horror tale with a great cast. Vincent Price is as nasty as he can be but with a gentleman's manners and smiling face. Is that really his face? Charles Bronson is in this as a very young looking guy with no hint of how big he would become. The street exteriors, especially the chase or stalking scene is extremely well paced and delivers chills up the spine.

Go to Lost Gems, Page 2


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Night of the Creeps

Creepiosious. I think that is a word or something. I have watched this one several times. Night of the Creeps is funny at times with some great quotes but it also has slime and gore and a cast of some of the finest looking teen zombies to be found anywhere. There's good news and bad news. Your dates are here... Watch the movie to hear the bad news. This one has some wiggly little creatures too.

The Stepfather

Obviously from the title we can see this is a family film. Possibly not in the same vein as a Disney movie, but you still might see a vein or two from time to time. There is a Stepfather movie from the 1990s but this is a 1987 version. There also is a Stepfather II which gets good reviews. Step on it and see this one.

The Last Man on Earth

Vincent Price in this title role is able to do more without dialog than most actors who are using paragraphs of Shakespeare. This is a black and white oldie but there is a colorized version. This movie is often found in packages of multiple DVDs of horror films for very low prices. Vincent Price was like Boris Karloff and Bela Lugosi in that he possessed a magnificent scary voice. Vincent could say "Hello" and be frightening.

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