Horror movie alert! Starting tonight and running through Friday is 5 Nights of Fear, a monsteriffic event from home-entertainment company Shout! Factory to celebrate the fifth anniversary of its Scream Factory imprint. The movies they’ll be showing during the week are:
Monday, June 12: Nightbreed: The Director’s Cut: Writer/director/author Clive Barker’s 1990 follow-up to his big-screen directorial debut Hellraiser never reached the pop-culture status of Pinhead’s cinematic adventures, but it still has its fans. Starring Craig Sheffer, Anne Bobby, and David Cronenberg (acting this time instead of directing), it’s the tale of Aaron Boone, a man who discovers he’s one of the Nightbreed—a race of monsters who’ve hidden their existence from humanity. But the real monster is Aaron’s psychotherapist, who’s a serial killer in his spare time.
Tuesday, June 13: Bad Moon: This often-overlooked werewolf film from 1996—based on the novel Thor by Wayne Smith (Thor being the dog in the story)—stars Michael Paré (Streets of Fire) as Ted, the creepy brother of single-mom Mariel Hemingway (Star 80), who’s trying to make ends meet while raising her son. Unfortunately, Ted has a habit of unleashing his murderous inner beast when the moon is full, and the only one who can stop Tedwolf from making a meal of his sister and nephew is Thor, the family German shepherd. Yes, a non-talking dog is the protagonist of this not-for-kids flick that culminates in Ted going full monster, with the best-looking practical-effects werewolf suit I’ve seen since the original Howling.
Wednesday, June 14: The Exorcist III: Author William Peter Blatty didn’t just start the exorcism craze with his 1971 novel The Exorcist (which he then adapted for director William Friedkin’s memorable 1973 film), he also took the director’s reins for this 1990 adaptation of his 1983 sequel novel, Legion. Acting legend George C. Scott (Patton, The Changeling) is Lieutenant Kinderman (played first in The Exorcist by Lee J. Cobb, who died in 1976), who’s investigating a series of gruesome murders that mirror the style of a serial murderer dubbed the Gemini Killer—problem is, Gemini has been dead for seventeen years. The trail of clues leads Kinderman to a psychiatric hospital, and an encounter with another character from the original Exorcist—one everyone thought was dead…
Thursday, June 15: Hellhole: This 1985 thriller is one of those exploitative “inmates running the asylum” type of psychiatric institution horror tales. After her mother is murdered by a serial killer named Silk (Ray Sharkey), a traumatized and amnesiac Susan (Judy Landers, a regular of 1980s TV shows) is committed to an institution run by an evilly crazy doctor who likes to perform chemical lobotomies on his patients—and he’s got his sights set on the new girl. And then to make matters worse Silk shows up, looking for Susan…
Friday, June 16: Rabid: Wrapping up the week is this 1977 take on the zombie-epidemic genre by writer/director David Cronenberg (The Fly, The Dead Zone, Videodrome). Rose (played by adult film star Marilyn Chambers) is seriously injured in a traffic accident and undergoes experimental reconstructive surgery, with an unexpected result: it leaves her with an appetite for flesh and blood, and her victims turn into ravenous zombies. It’s as gory and body horror–oriented as you’d expect from a Cronenberg film, so be prepared to look away if you’re not into that kind of stuff!
Of course, the reason for these selections is that all five films are available on DVD and BluRay from Scream Factory, so if you like them enough to want to own them after you’re done watching, they’re not that had to track down. Additionally, Shout! Factory TV has a slew of horror movies you can stream for free right now, including the George Romero/Dario Argento collaboration Two Evil Eyes; Larry Cohen’s Q, The Winged Serpent (one of my favorites, about a monster living in NYC’s Chrysler Building); and episodes of Mystery Science Theater 3000 and Elvira’s Movie Macabre.
5 Nights of Fear starts each night at 10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT on Shout! Factory TV and Pluto TV Channel 512. For more information, visit the Shout! Factory TV website.