Six-Foot Tall Insects, Werewolf Commandos, Undead Pets and a Vampire Classic

My countdown of my 100 favorite horror films continues with some relatively new movies with some recognizable faces. Exhaustion overcame me last night and I was unable to go last night so you get six films tonight.

  1. The Relic – 1997

Tom Sizemore, before he went off the rails on a crazy drug train, and Penelope Ann Miller star in this transformative creature feature. Linda Hunt and James Whitmore also star as a creature born of myth and deep jungle folklore terrorizes a museum. The truth about the origin of the creature is startling as the museum staff pieces together that the monster was once a colleague.

  1. Mimic – 1997

1997 also brought us Guillermo Del Toro’s Mimic. Mira Sorvino plays a scientist who breeds special cockroaches to help wipe out a child-killing plague. Good intentions right? Well, the unintended consequences result in a colony of six-foot tall cockroaches that can mimic human beings and blend in their surroundings. Charles S. Dutton stars as Charles S. Dutton.

These two films are late night favorites. They are fun horror films made in the proper spirit of the genre.

  1. Pet Sematary – 1989

Cat gets killed. Cat gets buried in ancient Indian burial ground. Cat comes back. Simple right? What could possibly go wrong? Dale Midkiff, Denise Crosby and Fred Gwynne (yes, Herman Munster) star in the Stephen King adaption. Miko Hughes is brilliant as young Gage. Getting the dead to come back isn’t the problem. It’s what they do when they come back. They’re not quite right. Not a particularly well-made film, it endures.

  1. Fright Night – 1985

This has become a classic vampire film. Again, not particularly well-made, but I am a sucker for Roddy McDowell and he is wonderful as late-night horror film TV presenter Peter Vincent (thinly-veiled homage to Peter Cushing and Vincent Price) enlisted as a vampire expert by William Ragsdale’s character. Ragsdale must save his girlfriend, played by Amanda Bearse, from the vampire next door (Chris Sarandon). It has a charm to it that allows it to play today. The remake with Colin Farrell was horrendous. Avoid that and watch this instead.

  1. Dog Soldiers – 2002

Before SyFy became the haven for very bad CGI snakes and crocodiles (and Glenn Hetrick) and a lot of things that are not science fiction, it was the Sci-Fi channel and they made some decent original movies. We won’t talk about Ice Spiders, but I will discuss Dog Soldiers. What a wonderful werewolf movie you have probably never seen. Game of Thrones’ Liam Cunningham is the only recognizable name among the cast. Commandos are accosted and transformed into werewolves in a dark and scary forest while on maneuvers. Never mind who made it or who is in it, just watch it. With so many bad werewolf movies on celluloid, this one is worth peeping out.

  1. Mansquito – 2005

The ultimate scientific accident results in horrific murdering monster creation movie, Mansquito is Sci-Fi’s greatest original film. Featuring nobody you know, a criminal is turned into a six-foot-tall, ravenous mosquito. Okay, maybe you know Corin Nemec. That’s not important right now. This has become a favorite of mine for many reasons. The name of the movie alone screams horror schlock. It’s a fun film, it makes absolutely no sense and it’s as predictable as can be. These, plus some fantastic make-up effects, are the qualities that make it great.

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