Kevin Strange’s Top 8 Obscure Monster Movies


I don’t know about you dudes, but when I was a kid, there was nothing cooler than finding a brand new monster flick at the video store. There was Godzilla and King Kong, horror monsters like zombies, demons, giant insects, werewolves, vampires, mummies, you name it. I loved them all. Sit me in front of the TV and all my worries went away as soon as those monsters hit the screen!

I was a fucking monster kid and still am. I used to wish I WAS a monster. To this day I still make movies full of monsters and write novels about monsters. And still to this day I LOVE to find new and cool monster movies that I never saw when I was a kid.

This list is my attempt to introduce you lot to some monsters you may not necessarily be familiar with. Of course since I’m an 80s kid, my list is going to be biased toward rad 80s flicks. Here are my top 8 obscure monster movies. Hope you like em!

8. Dead Heat

This whopper of a flick stars Joe Piscopo and Treat Williams and is so weird and wacky it flies right under most people’s radars. I can’t in good faith call it a good movie, but it IS an obscure movie so I can include it on my list and still sleep well tonight.

In essence, this is a zombie cop buddy movie but it takes such bizarre twists and turns and basically turns all of the main characters into monsters that I just HAD to include it on my list. Furthermore, I like this movie so much I dedicated a whole podcast to it.

Melty love interests, killer cold-cuts, violently murdered partners. This flick brings the monster gore!

7. Brain Damage

So if you’re worth your salt as a monster kid, you’ve probably seen the BASKET CASE series of films. They were displayed prominently at video stores in the 80s. Each subsequent sequel got weirder and weirder until there were musical numbers and shit. Totally wacky stuff.

But the BASKET CASE dude also made this weird little gem (and FRANKENHOOKER which will inevitably end up on another of my movie lists in the future) that most people haven’t seen. It’s called BRAIN DAMAGE which often gets confused with BRAINDEAD, the original title of the Peter Jackson zombie flick DEAD ALIVE.

This low budget nonsense is about a parasitic alien thing named Aylmer who lives inside a dude’s body and gets the dude hooked on his blue brain-piss or something.

It’s very reminiscent of the BASKET CASE storyline but with an even weirder monster and even more violent kills. Definitely a must watch if you’re into the body horror sub genre and love getting grossed out by bodily fluids.

6. Rawhead Rex

Just look at that goofy muppet face! How could yo not love RAWHEAD REX? Written by Clive Barker himself, this is probably his most obscure writing credit based on one of his most popular books.

RAWHEAD REX appeared in Barker’s Books of Blood short story collection series. The movie basically ends up being nothing like the story and has some of the worst practical effects for a monster shown so prominently and made to be taken so seriously.

Add in some great gore, some awkward monster-stalking and some bizarre priest-pissing scenes and you’ve got yourself one helluva monster flick most people have never even heard of!

5. Killer Tongue

This is another of my personal favorite flicks. KILLER TONGUE takes the hot chick zombie from RETURN OF THE LIVING DEAD 3 and pits her against Freddy Krueger himself, Robert Englund as a sadistic prison warden bent on hunting down said hot chick’s boyfriend at all costs.

KILLER TONGUE features insane cannibalism, sexy leather body suits, a talking tongue monster, a gaggle of poodle-turned-transvestite sidekicks and you have one of the weirdest most batshit crazy monster movies you’re ever likely to come across.  I dedicated a podcast to this one, too.

4. Society

SOCIETY is a flick that I’ve already included in another one of my movie lists but we’re gonna go ahead and cover it again here because it’s both one of the coolest melt movies ever AND one of the most obscure monster movies you’ve probably never heard of.

The flick features literal “butt heads” a chick who turns her entire body around to soap up her own ass in the shower and a ton of other absolutely bonkers monsters and ends in a gigantic orgy where all of the monsters melt into a gigantic orgy of connected flesh.

It’s so odd that most people have never even bothered to watch it. But if you like the off-the-wall shit, you should totally check it out!

3. Hardware

Alright so this flick only has one monster in it and that monster is actually a killer robot but let’s take a damn second, settle down and talk about just how cool HARDWARE is.

Richard Stanley is an auteur renegade filmmaker who shamefully never got a real shot at making a gigantic visionary film. Well, he actually did. He was set to make that awful 90s ISLAND OF DR. MOREAU disaster but got fired part of the way through.

He’s never worked on another significant film which is a crying shame. BUT he did make HARDWARE and it is an absolute visual treat. It is the film equivalent of the 90s industrial metal music genre. In fact, it uses music from MINISTRY as part of its soundtrack.

The gore is brief but brutal and the killer robot’s design is magnificent. You’ve probably never seen HARDWARE but you owe it to yourself as a monster movie fan to rectify that immediately!

2. The Keep

THE KEEP for sure has one of the coolest soundtracks of any monster flick and also one of the coolest monsters that you’ve probably never even heard of. THE KEEP is Michael Mann’s red-headed step child. It’s never been released on Blu Ray or even DVD because he’s embarrassed that he made a low budget horror flick early in his career.

Well fuck him, buddy. This movie is fucking badass! It features Nazis getting the fuck killed out of them and one of the absolute coolest monsters you will ever see on film, guaranteed.

Nazis try to loot a citadel only to unleash a demonic force that proceeds to wipe them out to one of the best Tangerine Dream synth soundtracks ever! This demon spends the first half of the movie as some sort of anthropomorphic smoke with glowing red eyes. Seriously you have to see it to understand just how fucking cool it looks.

Find THE KEEP if you can. It’s worth every penny.

 

1. Return of the Living Dead 3

Known for its super sexy zombie girl Julie, RETURN OF THE LIVING DEAD 3 has been surprisingly hard to find for years. It was recently released as a limited edition blu ray, like a lot of the movies on this list, but also like a lot of those blu rays is extremely over priced and will probably be out of print soon.

What’s often overlooked about this flick, though, is just how amazing the zombie monsters are. From the gang leader having his spine stretched up into some kind of horrific snake-like creature, to the homeless guy who gets screwed into a metal exoskeleton and the Trioxin barrel zombie who rips half its own face off crawling out of the barrel, this flick is LOADED with great gore and even cooler zombie monsters.

If you think zombies ended with Romero or the first ROTLD, you’re playing yourself. I put ROTLD 3 above almost any other zombie flick in terms of monster factor. This one is the business!

 

Kevin Strange’s Top 6 Melt Movies

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In honor of Calrton Mellick’s new novel BIO MELT (which you can pick up from Amazon right now!), I’ve decided to put together my top six favorite melt movies. The 80s and early 90s were THE decades for weird horror films, but while most people were watching slashers like Freddy and Jason carve up the silver screen, I was watching the weird home video shit. And one of my favorite genres was the melt movie. Lots of movies had meltdowns in that era. The Toxic Avenger, The Fly 2, and Robocop to name a few had some of the more memorable melting scenes. But a few movies took it upon themselves to theme the ENTIRE feature around melting. They’re all cool, but these six are my absolute favorites.

6. Bio CopBio-Cop-01

Bio-Cop is the reason this list is 6 movies instead of 5. While not actually a real movie, the mock trailer for Bio-Cop alone is brilliant enough to garner inclusion on this list. The story is, a beat cop has an accident in a lab, covering him in chemicals, turning him into a walking, talking slime monster. What makes this fake movie brilliant, is that ole Bio-Cop doesn’t take his transformation into a melt-man very well at all. Scene after scene in the trailer shows him deep in existential crisis. A poster for the film even has the tag line, “Why am I alive?”

 1373855248_75. Street Trash

Street Trash is a late 80s gem about a bunch of homeless people who get their hands on an alcoholic beverage called Viper. Problem is, when they drink it, they melt down into glorious technicolor puddles of goo. How this flick wasn’t produced by Troma is a mystery because it shares the same brash, low budget sleeze antics as Troma greats like The Toxic Avenger and Class of Nuke Em High. It also has one of the best posters in all of cult cinema.

TheStuffDVD4. The Stuff

The Stuff is a goofy, almost noir tale about an ex-FBI agent and a young boy trying to solve the mystery of a new yogurt-like food item on the market turning people into crazed, zombie addicts. The film runs long and doesn’t really focus too heavily on The Stuff in question on screen, but once it gets going there are some great melty goo shots that make this a definitive entry on my list of top melt flicks.

large_society_13_blu-ray_-e14320953701803. Society

Brian Yuzna of Empire Pictures fame brings us a rare non-Lovecraftian gem in his first feature film outing. Society is an allegory about wealthy secret societies. Unfortunately for our rich, young protagonist, this particular secret society is made up of hideous monsters with the ability to melt together and form ridiculously weird shapes out of their bodies. This flick is probably the most graphic of any of the entries on this list. Yuzna loves his slimy latex creatures, and the climax of Society might just be the coolest melt scene in cinema history.

Body_Melt_1993-Movie-72. Body Melt

Body Melt looks and feels a lot like Peter Jackson’s early works like Dead Alive and Bad Taste. That’s because this weird ass movie was also filmed in New Zealand. With its shoe string budget, wildly divergent story lines and absolutely wicked melt effects, Body Melt will keep your head spinning as you try to keep up with the plot, all while putting a huge smile on the face of any true melty movie fan. In essence, it’s the tale of a corporation monitoring the effects of a product on a small neighborhood totally unaware that they’re being watched. But that plot probably makes up less than half the run time of the movie. With hillbilly cannibals and all kinds of other crazy shit going on, Body Melt has something for every cult movie fanatic.

blob-19881. The Blob 1988

For me, The Blob 1988 is the holy grail of melt movies. Taking the basic premise of the original, a meteorite falls from space onto a small farm, only reveal a purple, translucent blob lurking inside hungry for human flesh. What the 88 version does is crank up the gore and slime FX to 11. There are so many awesome graphic, horrific shots of people suffering, melting and dying inside the blob. By the time the thing grows to the size of a building and decimates a small town during the film’s climax, any discerning melty movie fan should be howling with delight. This is the best of the bunch. The biggest budget melt movie of all time, I’d suspect. And it uses all of that money to gobble up and melt as many humans as possible during its run time. A true melt masterpiece.