Shudder has a surprisingly diverse selection of horror movies. There are plenty of never-heard-of-it Z movies on the site, but for everyone of those dreadful creations there’s something valuable to sink your teeth into. We have a tendency to highlight new VOD releases on a regular basis, but today we’re actually going to highlight some of the true, vintage classics that many of you have no doubt missed!
Editor’s note: You will not find a film in this list newer than 1979. You will also discover that some of these films are absolutely terrible, in the greatest of fan-pleasing ways!
The Devils (1971)
Cardinal Richelieu and his power-hungry entourage seek to take control of seventeenth-century France, but need to destroy Father Grandier – the priest who runs the fortified town that prevents them from exerting total control. So they seek to destroy him by setting him up as a warlock in control of a devil-possessed nunnery, the mother superior of which is sexually obsessed by him. A mad witch-hunter is brought in to gather evidence against the priest, ready for the big trial.
The Wicker Man (1973)
Sgt. Howie travels to Summerisle to investigate the disappearance of a young girl. He discovers that the locals are weird and unhelpful, and becomes determined to get to the bottom of the disappearance.
The Creeping Terror (1964)
A creature that looks like a cross between a Chinese dragon puppet and the Pope sucks up people into its maw. A sheriff, his wife, and a “handsome” scientist battle it to the end, with a sub plot about the evils of bachelorhood.
Night of the Devils (1972)
In this adaptation of Tolstoy’s story the Wurdulak, a mentally ill patient known as Nicola (Gianni Garko) flashes back to horrifying experiences that he encountered while driving through the country. Upon damaging his car, Nicola sets out for help, only to meet a mysterious family that lives in total fear of someone or something. This evil force slowly penetrates the household and thrusts each of its members into a frenzy of absolute terror!
Count Dracula (1970)
Jess Franco’s version of the Bram Stoker classic has Count Dracula as an old man who grows younger whenever he dines on the blood of young maidens.
The Death Kiss (1932)
While filming the closing scene of “The Death Kiss”, leading man Myles Brent is actually killed. Having played around with, or been married to, most of the women connected with the movie studio, there are lots of suspects. When leading lady Marcia Lane is arrested for the killing, her suiter, a studio writer, starts to investigate the killing in order to prove her innocence.
Daughters of Darkness (1971)
A chic, good-looking and suitably 70’s couple arrive at an extravagant and deserted seaside hotel after eloping. Stefan is wealthy and happily English, with a hidden streak of sadism, while Valarie is intelligent but of inferior (Swedish) blood. To keep her with him at the eerie hotel he lies consistantly about his relationship with his mother and his plans to tell her of their marriage. Meanwhile he has mysterious phone conversations with an older, dominant and pampered sissy. Two fresh guests arrive; the Hungarian countess, Elizabeth Bathory and her voluptuous protege, Ilona. Virgin corpses begin showing up about the city drained of their blood. A wary detective lurks around the hotel taunting his only suspect, the Countess.
Black Christmas (1974)
It’s time for Christmas break, and the sorority sisters make plans for the holiday, but the strange anonymous phone calls are beginning to put them on edge. When Clare disappears, they contact the police, who don’t express much concern. Meanwhile Jess is planning to get an abortion, but boyfriend Peter is very much against it. The police finally begin to get concerned when a 13-year-old girl is found dead in the park. They set up a wiretap to the sorority house, but will they be in time to prevent a sorority girl attrition problem?
The Death Wheelers (1973)
A gang of young people call themselves the Living Dead. They terrorize the population from their small town. After an agreement with the devil, if they kill themselves firmly believing in it, they will survive and gain eternal life. Following their leader, they commit suicide one after the other, but things don’t necessarily turn out as expected…
The Giant Spider Invasion (1975)
A black hole hits North Wisconsin and opens a door to other dimensions. Giant 15 meter spiders emerge from it, who have an appetite for human flesh! Dr. Jenny Langer and Dr. Vance from the NASA try to save the world.
Lust for a Vampire (1971)
In 1830, forty years to the day since the last manifestation of their dreaded vampirism, the Karnstein heirs use the blood of an innocent to bring forth the evil that is the beautiful Mircalla – or as she was in 1710, Carmilla. The nearby Finishing School offers rich pickings not only in in the blood of nubile young ladies but also with the headmaster who is desperate to become Mircalla’s disciple, and the equally besotted and even more foolish author Richard Lestrange.
Blood from the Mummy’s Tomb (1971)
An archaeological expedition brings back to London the coffin of an Egyptian queen known for her magical powers. Her spirit returns in the form of a young girl and strange things start to happen.
The Hands of Orlac (1924)
Orlac is a world famous pianist. One day he is badly hurt in a big train wreck. He is in danger of losing both his hands so his wife begs the doctors to save them. They eventually manage to transplant his hands with those of another deceased person. After his recovery Orlac discovers that there is something seriously wrong with his new pair of hands — it is as if they had a will of their own. But Orlac doesn’t know that they actually belonged to a dangerous murderer.
Scars of Dracula (1970)
A young man, Paul Carlson, is on a trip and spends the night at count Dracula’s castle. Needless to say, he is murdered. After some time has passed, the young man’s brother Simon comes to the small town where all the traces end to look for him.
Demons of the Mind (1972)
Baron Zorn keeps his teenaged children locked up and drugged, fearing that his insane wife passed along a congenital curse to them before her own suicidal death. Elizabeth escapes for a brief tryst with a local before being recaptured and subjected to a bleeding process to ‘draw out the bad blood.’ Emil keeps trying to escape, but is thwarted time and again by his aunt Hilda who runs the house like a prison. One reason the siblings have to be kept apart, is their incestuous attraction to each other. Local wenches are being murdered in the woods, and the superstitious peasants think demons are responsible. A wandering Priest dedicates himself to root out the evil, but isn’t taken seriously. Arriving at the castle are two more interested parties: Mountebank scientist-huckster Falkenberg stands to make a small fortune if his strange apparatus can cure the children of their inherited evil. Young Carl simply wants to rescue Elizabeth. As more murders mount, Falkenberg enlists village lass …
The Blob (1958)
A mysterious creature from another planet, resembling a giant blob of jelly, lands on earth. The people of a nearby small town refuse to listen to some teenagers who have witnessed the blob’s destructive power. In the meantime, the blob just keeps on getting bigger.
The House That Dripped Blood (1971)
A Scotland Yard investigator looks into four mysterious cases involving an unoccupied house and its tragic previous tenants: 1) A hack novelist encounters a strangler who’s the villain of his books, leading his wife to question his sanity, 2) Two men are obsessed with a wax figure of a woman from their past, 3) A little girl with a stern, widowed father displays an interest in witchcraft, and 4) An arrogant horror film actor purchases a black cloak which gives him a vampire’s powers.
Tenderness of the Wolves (1973)
In 1925, in Germany, Fritz Haarmann is a homosexual, thief and sneak, having a special license from the police. He sells meat in the black market. He also kills boys and young men, drinking their blood, quarter-sewing their bodies and throwing away the parts in a river. Certainly what he sells in the black market is human meat.
A young Seminole Indian uses his rattlesnake to take revenge on all those he believes have wronged him.
The Tingler (1959)
Dr. Warren Chapin is a pathologist who regularly conducts autopsies on executed prisoners at the State prison. He has a theory that fear is the result of a creature that inhabits all of us. His theory is that the creature is suppressed by our ability to scream when fear strikes us. He gets a chance to test his theories when he meets Ollie and Martha Higgins, who own and operate a second-run movie theater. Martha is deaf and mute and if she is unable to scream, extreme fear should make the creature, which Chapin has called the Tingler, come to life and grow. Using LSD to induce nightmares, he begins his experiment.