The Important Cinema Club’s Super Scary Movie Challenge (2022 Edition)

I made it! Here’s a recap of everything I watched during The Important Cinema Club’s Super Scary Movie Challenge. You can also check out the Letterboxd list.

  1. A Horror Film Seemingly For Kids. That’s Way Too Scary For Kids: Ernest Scared Stupid
  2. Horror Film Featuring Non-Avian Dinosaurs and Mesozoic Reptiles: Dinosaur from the Deep
  3. An Egyptian Horror Film: Real Dreams
  4. A Horror Film Released by SRS Cinema: House Squatch
  5. A Horror Film Directed by a Fine Artist: Office Killer
  6. A Horror Film That Takes Place In One Room (No CUBEs): Coherence
  7. An Action Film That’s Secretly a Horror Film: Night Watch
  8. A Film Made After 1989 that features a Mummy but not Brendan Fraser or Tom Cruise: Prisoners of the Sun
  9. A Horror Film Directed by Jeff Leroy: Furious Road
  10. A Horror Film Scored by Paul Zaza: The Pink Chiquitas
  11. A Thai Horror Film: Sick Nurses
  12. A Horror Film Written by Nigel Kneale: The Stone Tape
  13. A Horror Film That Takes Place at a fair, Carnival or Amusement Par: Carnival of Blood
  14. A Horror Film About Killer Insects (No Bigger than Humans): The Nest
  15. A Horror Film with Special Effects by Olaf Ittenbach: Premutos: The Fallen Angel
  16. A Horror Film Featuring Caroline Munro: The Last Horror Film
  17. A Horror Film From the Hong Kong New Wave (1979-1984): We’re Going To Eat You
  18. Death March Horror Film (A group of people go on a trip and slowly get killed one by one, but keep moving): Triangle
  19. A Musical Horror Film (That’s not Rocky Horror, Little Shop of Horrors, or Nightmare Before
    Christmas): The Lure
  20. A Horror Film That Features Testicular Trauma: The Blood Spattered Bride
  21. A Horror Film That’s Shot on Mini-DV (But is not a found footage film): Visitor Q
  22. A Horror Film That Michele Soavi Appears In: Day of the Cobra
  23. A Horror Film Based on an Indie Comic Book (EC Comics adaptions don’t count): G-Men From Hell
  24. A Horror Film About an Invisible Killer: The Invisible Maniac
  25. A Horror Film That Prominently Features A Gorilla Costume: Gorilla At Large
  26. A Horror Film Released By Gold Ninja Video: Killer Queen
  27. A Horror Film by a Director who made more than three movies but only made one horror film. (Not THE SHINING. You can be more creative than that!): Near Dark
  28. A Horror Film That Runs on Dream Logic: Eyes Wide Shut
  29. A Horror Film Shot by Tokushö Kikumura: Crazy Lips
  30. A Horror Film Covered in the ShockMarathons Books (See Letterbox For a List): Curse of the Screaming Dead
  31. A Horror Film You Love, But Don’t Think Enough People Watch: Frankenstein ’80


30. A Horror Film Covered in the ShockMarathons Books.

In his book, All I Need to Know about Filmmaking I Learned from the Toxic Avenger, Troma president Lloyd Kaufman lists this among the five worst films in Troma’s library. Yet another reason for me to say it: Fuck Lloyd Kaufman.

Director Tony Malanowski and star Steve Sandkuhler had already made this movie a year before as Night of Horror. Yet the idea that a bunch of zombie Confederate soldiers could rise up and destroy some hippies in a Winnebego seemed to be too good of an idea to pass up. So they went back and made it again, this time putting six twenty-something teens — Wyatt (Sandkuhler), Mel (Christopher Gummer), Sarah (Rebecca Bach), Bill (Jim Ball), Blind Kiyomi (Mimi Ishikawa) and Lin (Judy Dixon) — up against the South as it rises once again.

Yes, who knew that deer hunting would lead to this? This movie is a lesson for us all. If you stay in an area that has a Confederate graveyard, don’t steal their stuff and don’t read the book they left behind. Nobody — not even the cops — can survive once those zombies come back and want back their stuff. That’s why the other title for this film, Curse of the Cannibal Confederates — is so truthful.

Look, I get that this movie is shot in complete darkness, no one knows how to act and the story has been done before. If that stopped me, I wouldn’t watch anything. There’s a hiss and echo on the bass heavy soundtrack to this movie that makes me convinced that somehow this movie exists on the same collective unconsciousness place as the second wave of black metal. Everything is as dark as it can be, day for night but night for day, and in the same way that some people laugh off corpsepaint and bad production on those albums, they are also filled with moments of drone drug floating out of our reality abilities that this finds and seizes on. I mean, the zombie attacks are legitimately unsettling, the sounds of zombies masticating their prey beyond disgusting. And that church set! In Norway, they would have burned it down. Here, we turn it into the setting for a zombie film.

If this came out today, it would have the tagline “We are going to eat y’all.”

Malanowski went on to edit Dr. Alien and Nightmare Sisters. He’s still at it.  and Nightmare Sisters. He’s still at it. I’d love if he made this one more time.


29. A Horror Film Shot by Tokushö Kikumura.

Hirohisa Sasaki also directed Gore From Outer Space, but this movie, wow. A man may have killed several women and the press line up outside their family home, needing to know the truth. One of his sisters decides that she must prove her brother’s innocence, so she goes to a psychic but that’s when things get really bad, as the psychic and his assistant brutalize the family, using their own trauma to get inside and then destroy them.

This is in no way recommended for sane people or those with any level of morality. Also, you may be confused whether this is a comedy — what with all the singing and kung fu scenes, as well as the weird FBI agents — or a movie out to shock you with necrophilia, assaults and incest or just something that could only come from Japan, which is probably the best answer to “What did I just watch?”

Japan —  you embrace a bleak ending like no one else save 1970s New Hollywood directors.


EDITOR’S NOTE: This was first on the site on October 23, 2018 and you can also read Bill Van Ryn’s amazing breakdown that was posted on November 9, 2019. Vinegar Syndrome, Arrow, Cauldron, Severin — I beg you — release this movie.

31. A Horror Film You Love, But Don’t Think Enough People Watch

Dr. Otto Frankenstein works in his lab all day and to the normal daytime world, he seems like an ordinary doctor. But at night, he works on perfecting his own form of life, Mosiac, putting together this inhuman human from several dead bodies. Then, once completed, Mosiac repays him by killing him and we still have an hour left.

Directed by Mario Mancini (who was the cinematographer for Frankenstein’s Castle of Freaks and The Girl in Room 2A), this is a film featuring real surgical footage, nonsensical dialogue and a total lack of plot. Suffice to say I loved it.

Mosiac spends the rest of the movie replacing his constantly failing organs, which means that he must murder and murder and murder some more. Have you ever wondered, “What if someone used a giant leg bone to kill someone?” this would be the movie that answers your inquest.

Also, in whatever nameless city in some unknown country that this is supposed to be set in, possibly Germany, the women in the night have no issues with a gigantic monster in a leather Nazi-esque outfit picking them up with merely a few grunts. No money discussion — he kills them way before they tell him how much a half and half costs.

This movie was inspired by Italian horror, sex and gore comics, like Oltretomba. If you’re offended by the blood and guts and books of this film, consider this a stern warning: avoid these comics at all costs if you have. any morals. They take it even further. And then further. And then some.

There’s a new blu ray of this that’s been released — the film is in public domain — that finally fixes the rough prints that are out there right now. It’s nearly impossible to find, but that doesn’t mean I’m going to stop looking. For all the foibles of this film, it has a certain something. It’s a sex roughie about a monster like Frankenstein, made by filmmakers who do not in any way care just how sleazy they’re getting.

You can watch an absolutely battered version of this movie on Tubi.

As a bonus, here’s some artwork that I did of the film.


28. A Horror Film That Runs on Dream Logic.

How much dream logic is in this movie? Well, it’s based on a book named Traumnovelle (Dream Story) by Arthur Schnitzler.

This movie has the world record for longest shoot — 400 days — and has an entire New York City street recreated inside Pinewood Studios, so of course I’m obsessed. I love when movies could have been made on location or in normal places and are all made on a stage. I also kind of love that director, co-writer and producer Stanley Kubrick had created for himself a world where he could honestly get anything that he wanted.

Dr. William Harford and his wife Alice (the at-the-time married super couple of Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman) live in a world of wealth and sexual availability. At a holiday party thrown by Victor Ziegler (Sydney Pollack), an older man tries to take Alice while two models offer a threeway to Bill. He’s stopped when Zieglar asks him to save the life of Mandy (Julienne Davis) as she overdoses. The next evening, Alice confesses thinking of leaving him when she fell for a navy officer on vacation this disturbs him but he’s high and also on call and heads off on a house call to pronounce a patient dead and another attempted seduction, this time by that man’s daughter Marion, then picks up a call girl named Domino (Vinessa Shaw) and learns of a costumed orgy in which his friend Nick Nightingale (Todd Field) will play piano blindfolded while an occult-themed sex ritual will be held.

I mean, somehow this descends from Tom Cruise wanting to get laid to him narrowly avoiding HIV and death at the hands of an underground cult that rules the world, all while his wife is asleep. And then,  when they go holiday shopping with their daughter, she tells him that they have to do something as soon as possible: Fuck.

It’s weird that the novel is all about anti-Jewish persecution and Kubrick removed all those references. Keep in mind both his parents were Jewish.

But maybe, as some have claimed, this movie is an in-code atonement for Kubrick’s conspiracy ties. He’d been wanting to make this since 2001. Or maybe he just wanted to make his porn movie, who can say. As it is, some think the movie wasn’t even finished. Like Garrett Brown, inventor of the Steadicam, who said, “I think Eyes Wide Shut was snatched up by the studio when Stanley died and they just grabbed the highest number Avid edit and ran off as if that was the movie. But it was three months before the movie was due to be released. I don’t think there’s a chance that was the movie he had in mind, or the music track and a lot of other things. It’s a great shame because you know it’s out there, but it doesn’t feel to me as it’s really his film.”

Then again, who knows?

Kubrick was, of course, an absolute maniac about every moment of this movie.

Here’s an example. For just one minute of the dream within a dream where Alice makes love to the navy man (model Gary Goba) Kidman had to shoot six days of naked sex scenes — fifty positions! — with a male model. Kubrick banned Cruise from the set.  He also would not allow Kidman to tell him what happened during the shoot. Yet this was one of Kidman’s personal favorite experiences, saying that working with Kubrick was like attending film school.

But let me hit that one harder. In a scene that never made it into the film, Kidman had a merkin over her private parts and Kubrick ordered Goba to go down on her. The model would later say, “He really wanted me to go for it.” I did and he was like, ‘You’ve got to really push in there and really move your head around,’ and I’d see him laughing and she would be like, ‘Oh God, Stanley!’ So I was really grinding away in there, with my mouth on her patch and there was hair in my mouth, too, and I’d be pulling one out.”

I find it hilarious that Kubrick was basically cucking the biggest movie star in the world.

Then he made him walk through a doorway 95 times for one shot.

And pretty much it makes fun of Scientology if you believe that theory.

Ah man, Kubrick. You were one weird dude.

Back to dreams: Kidman said, “It is a great memory for us, and at times it was almost a dreamlike state.”

Eyes Wide Shut opened on the same weekend that John Kennedy Jr., his wife and her sister were killed in a plane crash. I can’t even imagine what Q people would think of this movie because like all Kubrick, it’s filled with so much, well, stuff, that you can make it about anything. But hey this has an occult sex party set in the mansion of the Rothschilds, so that has to mean something, right?

Then again, it ends with a very easily explained way of saying that this was all a fantasy:

“I think we should be grateful. Grateful that we’ve managed to survive through all of our adventures, whether they were real, or only a dream. Sure as I am that the reality of one night, let alone that of a whole lifetime can ever be the whole truth. And no dream is ever just a dream. The important thing is we’re awake now and hopefully for a long time to come.”

Oh man. I could obsess — and I sure will obsess — over this movie for my entire life.


27. A Horror Film by a Director who made more than three movies but only made one horror film. (Not THE SHINING. You can be more creative than that!)

EDITOR’S NOTE: I honestly couldn’t think of any that I haven’t written about before, so I had to post this, which was first on the site on September 8, 2020.

Two vampire movies came out in 1987.* One became a celebrated big-budget film that launched the careers of the Coreys and Kiefer Sutherland, with songs that people still sing, shirtless saxophonists and quotable dialogue about why there’s no need for a TV when you have TV Guide. The other movie was in and out of theaters in the time it took to read the last sentence and has stuck in my mind forever since.

Kathryn Bigelow had never directed a movie before. She was given five days to succeed or be replaced. She wanted to make a Western, but they weren’t popular. So she combined the vampire genre — the word is never mentioned — and hired three of the actors from her future husband James Cameron’s recently completed Aliens, Lance Henriksen, Bill Paxton and Jenette Goldstein.

Caleb Colton (Adrian Pasdar) falls for the mysterious Mae (Jenny Wright, who is another beyond cult horror film that few discuss, I, Madman) but then learns her family — Severen (Paxton), Jesse Hooker (Henriksen), Diamondback (Goldstein) and Homer (Joshua John Miller) — are a roving band of RV driving maniacs given to acts of merciless terror.

The only problem that I’ve ever had with this film is that I have always seen the normal people in the world as the real monsters, despite the hints that Jesse and Severen set the Great Chicago Fire. The blood transfusions that save the beautiful people seem way too easy of a way out of the hell that the gang promises.

Biglow would go on to make the equally well-made Blue Steel. Most of the cast went on to fame, at least in the circles of people who read our site. And if you look close enough, there’s a picture of a torn-apart Severen on my fridge.

If you’d like to learn more about the films scored by the band who gave this movie its unique soundtrack, check out our article Exploring: 10 Tangerine Dream Soundtracks.

*We know that A Return to Salem’s Lot and My Best Friend Is a Vampire also came out in 1987. For the sake of poetic license, we hope you understand why we juxtaposed these two films. Ironically, both movies have a son of The Exorcist star Jason Miller in their casts, with Joshua John Miller is in Near Dark and his half-brother Jason Patric in The Lost Boys.

BONUS: You can hear Becca and Sam discuss this movie on our podcast.


26. A Horror Film Released By Gold Ninja Video.

First off, rush out and buy this from Gold Ninja or watch it on Tubi. This movie feels like it emerged from another time and place and everyone who claims to be making movies that feel like they came from the past are liars because this movie gets every moment right while also staring into the future like it’s a blinding sun.

Shot on 8mm and looking like a grainy blast from out of nowhere, Ramin Fahrenheit wrote, directed and stars in this movie. She’s a young woman just out of the mental ward who goes from simple robbery to murder in the same way that I would try to decide what I want for dinner. She’s driven to kill by something that she can’t control, keeping herself hidden but always finding herself in the glaring spotlight and unleashing her vengeance.

Lo-fi as fuck in the best of ways, pushed forward by a score by Norman Orenstein, this honestly amazes me that it came from years and not decades or realities away, a movie that feels like Jess Franco coming through the fabric of time and space to become Canadian and devastate your senses all over again, yet with a more feminine understanding of just how cruel the world is but never forgetting to have scummy gore and a screwy narrative like Driller Killer without the New York art scene.

Every grindhouse inspired movie goes for broke with wacky action, goofy trailers and throwing some video effects to make it all look like it’s on dirty film. This is on dirty film with the beauty that can only come when audio and picture are made in two worlds, lending this a disjointed quality that activates the movie drug endorphins in my fragile mind, bringing me into that most magical planes of mental existence, that place where movies are perfect for their imperfection.


25. A Horror Film That Prominently Features A Gorilla Costume.

Cameron Mitchell, Anne Bancroft, Lee J. Cobb, Raymond Burr, Lee Marvin and Warren Stevens. What a cast! Throw in George Barrows as Goliath, the titular gorilla and man, we have a movie. Wait — it’s in 3D? How much do you want to give us, Panoramic Productions?

The carnival has come to town and its big selling point is watching the giant gorilla Goliath get cock teased by Laverne, a trapeze artist (Bancroft). Yet the owner, Cyrus Miller (Burr) thinks the act is growing old. So carnival barker Joey (Cameron Mitchell) puts on a gorilla costume and they change it up, with a new ending where the beast really does get the girl. This upsets Goliath’s trainer Kovacs (Peter Whitney) and Joey’s fiancee Audrey (Charlotte Austin), who doesn’t want him near another woman.

Of course, murders ensue, a hall of mirrors and a rollercoaster make for amazing set pieces and the ending is a genuine surprise. When this aired on TV in the 80s, the giveaway glasses smelled like bananas, which is what I want all movies to have the whiff of.


24. A Horror Film About an Invisible Killer.

Director and writer Rif Coogan is really Adam Rifkin and this movie is goofy in a great way. Dornwinkle (Noel Peters) is a scientist that specializes in molecular reconstruction. As a kid, his mother was told that he has the potential for madness but if she raises him correctly, it’ll be OK. Instead, she raises him to have a major issue about women because sex is wrong. Of course, that goes horribly and he kills four people moments into the movie when his fellow scientists make fun of his latest experiment. He escapes and hides out as a substitute high school physics teacher with the name of Dr. Kevin Smith.

Between the students harassing him and the principal trying to seduce him, Dornwinkle explodes in a rage, drowning people in fish tanks, throwing a radio into the shower to kill another and even using a sandwich as a murder weapon. A janitor ends up getting his invisibility secret and the two have a unseen person battle for the ages. Also: as you can imagine, nearly non-stop nudity.

The Invisible Maniac also had a major role for Shannon Wilsey, better known as the adult star Savannah. She was debating going mainstream, but she was upset at the film’s premiere, unsure whether the audience was laughing with or at her. She decided to go full time into pornography after that. She was also in Sorority House Massacre II the same year as this, along with co-star Melissa Moore.


23. A Horror Movie Based On an Indie Comic Book (EC Comics Adaptions Don’t Count).

Directed by Christopher Coppola and written by Robert Cooper, Richard L. Albert and Nicholas Johnson, this movie was based on Mike Allred’s Grafik Muzik. It stars William Forsythe as Dean Crept and Tate Donovan as Mike Mattress, two dead FBI agents who have no idea of morality that are working on buying their way into heaven.

Along the way, they investigate Greydon (Barry Newman) and Gloria Lake (Vanessa Angel), a married couple who both hire them to investigate one another, deal with an investigation by police officers Lt. Langdon (Gary Busey) and Detective Dalton (Zach Galligan) and steal a crystal from Satan (Robert Goulet). They may have also killed a police informant who may have killed our detectives named Buster (Bobcat Goldthwait), who is resurrected by a mad scientist (David Huddleston) and oh yeah, there’s also a superhero named Cheetah Man (Gregory Sporleder), Paul Rodriguez is a demonic gossip and Kari Wuhrer plays their secretary.

It looks really strange, like a 60s TV adventure series made in 2000 which is exactly what it is. I had no idea this movie even existed and yet here it is, packing so many actors into one weird little movie.