FINALLY! A new episode is here

Hey there Horrorfiends! James J. Coker here with the long awaited new episode of Hidden Horrors.

This time about a little known but batshit wonderful Mexican horror movie from the 70s.

Enjoy and dont forget to subscribe



HIDDEN HORROR- Children Shouldn’t Play with Dead Things

slideshow_1001767362_children-play-dead-thingsIn the horror community Bob Clark, the same guy who made “A Christmas Story,” is best known for “Black Christmas.” However Clark made other horror films that are very interesting and tend to get overlooked. For this entry I’m going to discuss his 1972 film “Children Shouldn’t Play with Dead Things,” a dark, gory and very disturbing entry in the zombie genre.

A group of actors are brought to a creepy island by their jerk of a director Alan. On the island is an abandoned house and cemetery, where several criminals have been buried. Alan has a corpse dug up and performs a satanic ritual to make the dead rise from their graves. It doesn’t work, so the disappointed Alan uses the corpse for sick, disturbing jokes. An actress tries the ritual again and this time it works. The dead do rise from their graves, however they are hungry for flesh so the actors take refuge in the house. Unfortunately the zombies overpower them.

It may sound like a typical zombie movie but it isn’t. One aspect that separates this film from others is there is no hero. In addition things just get worse and worse for our characters, to the point where there is no silver lining for them. Also the way Alan interacts with the corpse he digs up is very disturbing, it reminds very much of “Nekromantik.” It was a disturbing film for time and is quite frankly still disturbing today.  In addition the foggy, mysterious island and cemetery make for a perfect for horror movie atmosphere. There is not a modern horror movie I have seen that can match the vibe of this film. Composer Carl Zitter’s score deserves mention as well.

The most impressive aspect about this film though is that it was made for only $70,000 and shot in two weeks. Watching the film you wouldn’t think that it was made for that relatively low amount of money. Just goes to show creativity will beat budget any day.

I highly recommend this film, especially if you are a fan of zombie movies. Sleazy, dark and a perfect representation of ‘70s horror.

PS: If anyone wants a recommendation for a really cool and hardcore heavy metal band check out Superjoint Ritual, they were a bad ass band. While no longer together they put two fantastic albums, which kill modern rock and generic fake metal bands,”Use Once and Destroy” in 2002 and “A Lethal Dose of American Hatred in 2003.” If you love ass-kicking heavy metal these guys are worth your time. RIP Superjoint Ritual.

-Dakota Bailey



zombie_poster“Zombie,” also known in the UK as “Zombie Flesh Eaters” or in Italy as “Zombi 2,” is a legendary film directed by Italian filmmaker Lucio Fulci, aka the “The Godfather of Gore.” Horror fans might not consider this a Hidden Horror, however I feel that outside of the horror community the movie does not get the credit it deserves. I have seen several polls on the greatest horror movies of all time and many of them do not mention this film. That makes no sense as it is one of the best fucking zombie movies ever made and deserves just as much respect as “Night of the Living Dead” or “Dawn of the Dead.”

The movie opens with a ship floating in the New York harbor. Some policemen go aboard to investigate and a bloated and rotten zombie attacks and kills one of them. A woman named Anne Bowles is questioned by the police as the boat belongs to her father. Anne tells the police that her father left for a tropical island to do some research. She meets a news reporter named Peter West, who is assigned to report on the mysterious boat, and the two go to the island to find Anne’s father. However when they arrive they find the island is infested with zombies and they are hungry for flesh.

Here is an interesting tidbit of information: When released in Italy the film was titled “Zombi 2” because the studio wanted viewers to think it was a sequel to “Dawn of the Dead,” which was re-titled as “Zombi.” This might be controversial statement but I stand by this, in my opinion “Zombie” is a better film than “Dawn of the Dead.” In fact I have not seen a zombie movie that measures up to the standards of Fulci’s film, with the exception of Romero’s original “Night of the Living Dead.”

The special effects were ahead of their time and very cutting edge. To this day the effects still look great. The zombies look really rotten and nasty, you can see maggots in their faces. There is also lots and lots of gore. Truly this film represents the essence of Lucio Fulci’s style. There are several iconic and memorable scenes such as the shark vs. the zombie, the eye gouging scene, and who can forget the conquistador zombie rising from the grave? Another interesting aspect of this movie is that it has zombies in a jungle/island environment, which you don’t see too often.

If you have not seen this film then watch it as fast as you can and add it to your movie collection. Myself and other horror fans will tell you this one is a mandatory watch. If you are new to the horror movie genre and want a zombie film that is as good as “Night of the Living Dead” or “Dawn of the Dead”, or you just want a great horror film to watch, then this is the movie for you. This film also serves as a great introduction to the world of Italian horror. A classic film that truly does live up to its reputation. Just reviewing this movie makes me want to watch it again.

-Dakota Bailey