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Curse of the Living Corpse (1964)

Now here's an oddity - an ultra low-budget indie from B-movie maven Del Tenney, probably best known (if at all) for being the "other movie" to feature Carnival of Souls actress Candace Hilligoss.

It's a "body count" whodunit with a strange time-displaced pseudo-gothic atmosphere, in which the various greedy heirs to the fortune of a recently-deceased patriarch are killed off by a mysterious cloaked figure after the funeral. The gimmick is that the deaths mirror each victim's oddly-specific worst fear.

This was impossible to find around for years, but just made DVD a few years back as a double-feature with Tenney's more well-known opus, Horror of Party Beach - which is exactly what you think it is (and later became an above-average episode of MST3K).

Alone in the Dark (1982)

No, it doesn't have anything to do with the videogame franchise or the outlandishly awful movie based on the same.

This literal "lost classic" of the 80s was the first release from indie studio New Line Cinema, soon to make its biggest impact with Nightmare on Elm Street. A power outage allows a group of hostile mental-asylum inmates to escape, and they make a beeline for the home (and family) of their least favorite doctor. It's as unnerving as it sounds, and actually plays out much more intelligently than most other entries in the genre, but was largely dismissed during its initial release. In the years since, though, it's become something of a rediscovered cult classic.

Eaten Alive (1977)

Texas Chainsaw director Tobe Hooper's "other" psycho-redneck movie, a loosely fact-based yarn that dares to ask the question: "What if Psycho had had a giant crocodile in it, and also wasn't as good?" A disturbed rural motel manager kills guests who annoy him with a scythe, then feeds them to his pet croc.

Depending on where and when you grew up, you may have seen this around under a baffling number of other titles, including Death Trap, Horror Hotel, Legend of The Bayou, Horror Hotel Massacre, Murder on the Bayou and Starlight Slaughter.

Slumber Party Massacre (1982)

A psychopath with a power-tool hang-up (especially a giant-size power-drill) sets his sights on a houseful of high school girls.

Famed feminist author Rita Mae Brown wrote this screenplay as a parody/deconstruction of the misogynist tropes of the teen-slasher genre, but the producers filmed and released it as though it was the real thing. The result, depending on your point of view, is either cheekily subversive or a full-blown mess, but you won't see another genre entry quite like it.

There's Nothing Out There (1992)

Years before Scream made self-referential humor the in thing for slashers, this low-budget indie oddity pulled it off first - and some have said better.

A group of teens head for a cabin in the woods, but find something waiting for them. Fortunately, one of their group is an obsessive horror movie fanatic, who insists that his expertise can help them survive the situation. Cheezy gore effects, broad comedy and pre-TV Tropes formula-nitpicking result and ... well ... here's the trailer.

Bob Chipman is a film critic and independent filmmaker. If you've heard of him before, you have officially been spending way too much time on the internet.

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