ByMark Capehart, writer at
An academic lover of all things horror and folklore posting my thoughts and observations
Mark Capehart

I have already written about Mad scientists but I just gotta go on an talk about some good old fashioned killers in this mix.Note: there will be more to this here list. This is just a start.

1. Bela Lugosi in the Raven:

Gotta start a bit off the beaten path but not to0 far. Did anyone else play crazy than Bela Lugosi? I don't think so. And in this film you get him and Boris Karlof having fun together. What is more fun that a crazed Edgar Allan Poe fanatic trying to rid himself of fear through the torture and killing of helpless victims so he can become the "sanest man in the world?"

Gotta throw in my favorite line..."POE IS AVENGED!!!!!". I should note that Karlof almost steals the movie as Bateman, the disfigured criminal assistant. Also has some great lines himself. What better way way to explain your crimes than by saying. "sometimes you just can't help things like that."?

2. Dr. Giggles:

I always liked this actor from LA Law plus you get a pre-Charmed Holly Marie Combs. Also adding to my pleasure is the inclusion of some nice sardonic humor as well. "Time for Dr. Giggles to do what doctors do best." The next shot is him getting out his golf clubs. It is a weird fun film from a time when I had plenty of time to see horror films. Furthermore he really lives up to the name in the title.

Come on folks, give him a hand! (Couldn't resist.)
Come on folks, give him a hand! (Couldn't resist.)

Need more crazed doctors not named Hannibal in my opinion.

3. Maniac:

Several films with this title and I love them all. Well, maybe not love but have serious affection for some and outright love of one in particular Start with my the one I love which is the 1980 version.

This film actually develops a character. Is gross beyond belief (whole lotta scalping and fun with mannequins) , and some of the best bargain basement effects in film history. (what can you do with pasta sauce and Tom Savini's head? Wonderful things!)

Re-imagined in the past couple of years. This went for more coherent plot and giving a more complete reason for why the killer did what he did. That kinda annoys me when horror films do that. Hence my lower expression of affection for this one. Still, great killer, plenty of scalping, lots of screaming. What more could you want?

and not to be confused with the campy early sound film effort. No plot relation between this one and the previous films. The picture below gives a good sense of the low budget glory of this one.

He's got the look though
He's got the look though

If nothing else the title is so nice and concise and descriptive you gotta love it. If I have to pick one of the above it is going to be the 1980 version. Its tight, gory and shows off NYC as all remember and love it from the 1970's, a massive decaying pool of depravity.

4. How to be a serial killer:

Ran into this one at a film fest a few years back and it provides some good life lessons from a very capable teacher. And lets face it, it is always nice to see someone who enjoys their work. Breaks down the process of the job as well as you can see below. Hard to find but definitely worth a look for those who love yucks with their psycho horror.

5. Profundo Ruso:

Gotta get in my Giallo, mainly for style and the obscure references to fascism. That second part is bit hard to explain. Just look up "White Telephone Movies" in a film history textbook. This is also fun for technically ruining the mystery for us in the first killing. Again, hard to explain but very cool. You will also be thrown off if you do not know the dynamics of public restrooms in Italy in the 1970s. Again..ah heck just watch the movie. You got a killer haunted by the past, a kid haunted by the killers past, the least effectual hero in film history (seriously, does he actually help anyone in this film). Mucho gruesome deaths, thanks in particular to inattentive garbage truck drivers. And, of course, one of the creepiest puppets in film history. Love this movie.

Yeah, he is messed up for life.
Yeah, he is messed up for life.

And one non-horror entry just to be different (or difficult): The chief in "The Naked Prey."

What happens when one of your lieutenants is insulted by obnoxious British explorers, and Cornell Wilde? You come up with bizarre ways to kill them, such as seen below; (pissed off cobras to be added in a moment), roasting alive and a fun game so the kids and women can get involved. Most of the film is an adventure story as the lone survivor is chased through the African landscape but this brief shot of early torture horror and some later tension shots make me always wonder...How often is this guy insulted by visitors. Apparently so often that you have these tortures ready to go with a single word!! Maybe you should send someone else to visit the foreigners, just saying.

Clearly some thought and planning went into this.
Clearly some thought and planning went into this.

That is all for right now. Gonna be putting up more and more to come. Getting new ideas and suggestions all the time along with my reports from fests and events. More on those as well. Will be back soon with more rantings.


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