With All Hallows' Eve fast approaching, The List canvassed a distinguished panel of horror-film aficionados, aka the people on either side of the compiler's office cube, to present this tally of some relatively obscure but deserving chillers. Whether you buy, rent or stream, consider projecting these at your Halloween-themed party.
• Häxan; Witchcraft Through the Ages (1922); with Benjamin Christensen (who also directed), Elisabeth Christensen. This atmospheric, color-tinted silent film by a pioneering Danish filmmaker presents a kaleidoscopic history of demons and witches from the Middle Ages through the start of the Roaring Twenties, with an emphasis on the hysteria such creatures engendered.
• Kongo (1932); with Walter Huston, Lupe Velez; directed by William Cowen. A crippled madman who rules an African colony seeks payback by torturing the daughter of the man who paralyzed him. Huston would go on to win as Best Supporting Actor for The Treasure of the Sierra Madre (1948), so if anyone objects to this good but gruesome film, just tell them, "Hey, it stars Walter Huston, an Oscar winner!"
• The Man Who Changed His Mind (1936); with Boris Karloff, Anna Lee; directed by Robert Stevenson. Off-kilter scientist Karloff discovers a way to switch the personalities of two monkeys, eventually trying the routine with a rival for his lover's affections and an (again) crippled madman. Aha, now you get the title.
• Voodoo Man (1944); Bela Lugosi, John Carradine; directed by William Beaudine. Nut-job Lugosi experiments on innocent women to find a way to cure his zombie wife. This is one of those movies that's so bad, it's good. Director Beaudine ended his career combining genres in gems like Jesse James Meets Frankenstein's Daughter (1966).
• The Giant Claw (1957); Jeff Morrow, Mara Corday; directed by Fred F. Sears. This turkey is a riot thanks to a monster bird that looks like a big beat-up puppet. Star Morrow later told an interviewer he left the premiere early, he was so embarrassed.
• Eyes Without a Face (1960); Pierre Brasseur, Alida Valli; directed by Georges Franju. This French horror classic goes into squirm-inducing detail depicting the efforts of a warped doctor to graft a succession of beautiful models' faces onto his disfigured daughter, but they never quite "take."
• Dr. Jekyll and Sister Hyde (1972); Ralph Bates, Martine Beswick; directed by Roy Ward Baker. The hoary old tale gets a (literally) gender-bending twist in this fun romp.
• John Dies at the End (2012); with Chase Williamson, Rob Mayes, Paul Giamatti; directed by Don Coscarelli. A couple of college dropouts mess with a street drug that can send users on a trip through time and space, but there's a drawback: They might return as shape-shifting ghouls. There are some genuine chills in this mordantly funny spoof.
Source: Meetings & Conventions