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For eleven months of the year, horror films tend to get overlooked. If it’s not October, it’s blockbuster/Oscar season. And, to be fair, plenty of horror movies wouldn’t find an audience at Halloween anyway. Gore-fests done on the cheap and without imagination are too boring to catch on, and there are far too many of them. But from time to time decent efforts get forgotten as well, lumped in with drivel and schlock. And if it’s done well, schlock can be fun anyway.

Anything that’s done well, with fun and imagination – or done so poorly it’s hilarious – deserves some degree of recognition. And here are 15 forgotten horror films worth re-visiting. They may not be classics, but that doesn’t mean they’re worth burying in a shallow grave.

1. The Little Girl Who Lives Down The Lane

15 Forgotten Horror Films Worth Re-visiting via Facebook / The Little Girl who lived down the Lane

Jodie Foster plays 13-year-old Rynn Jacobs, who lives alone in a big house in a small, high-class Quebec town. She says she lives with her father, but her father never seems to be around. Rynn’s landlady, played by Alexis Smith, tries to find out why, aided by her son (Martin Sheen). While some might not classify it as a horror movie, some elements of the film are horror-worthy and certainly squirm-inducing, and it did win a Saturn Award for Best Horror Film for 1977 – and Jodie Foster took one home as Best Actress as well.

Why re-visit it? First, you might not believe Martin Sheen was ever that young, let alone that he would play a child molester. And Jodie Foster’s performance elevated it beyond a mere TV movie.

2. Alice, Sweet Alice

15 Forgotten Horror Films Worth Re-visiting via tumblr / moviesludge

A classic cry-for-attention tale, Alice, Sweet Alice focuses on the relationship between Alice Spages (Paula Sheppard), her sister Karen (Brooke Shields), and her mother, Catherine (Linda Miller). Alice attracts suspicion immediately, although she’s only 12 years old, and as bodies pile up, the suspicions grow.

Why re-visit it? It’s Brooke Shields’s big screen debut, and there’s a creepy mask that might just enter your nightmares.

3. Frogs

15 Forgotten Horror Films Worth Re-visiting via FFF Movie Posters

The time-honored battle between Man and Nature goes another round in this flick, which sees Jason Crockett (Ray Milland) and his family’s Florida homestead overrun by critters after he sprays them down with pesticides. Straightforward eco-revenge-horror, even if the title is a bit misleading.

Why re-visit it? A young Sam Elliott makes an appearance as the hero, and it’s never bad when he shows up. Seriously though, it’s pretty bad, but that’s part of the fun.

4. Bloody Birthday

15 Forgotten Horror Films Worth Re-visiting via Schlockmania

Apparently in the ’70s and ’80s, kids were terrors. In Bloody Birthday, it’s three kids all born during a total eclipse who turn into killers ten years later – because doesn’t all the interesting stuff happen during total eclipses? So the kids can get away with it because they’re kids, but some teenagers are onto them and have to survive and you can probably guess the rest.

Why re-visit it? It’s a pretty nice time capsule of early ’80s horror slasher schlock, and come on, look at that glorious poster.

5. Schizoid

15 Forgotten Horror Films Worth Re-visiting via Wrong Side of the Art

There’s a crazed killer offing members of advice columnist Julie’s (Marianna Hill) therapy group while she’s receiving threatening notes. Julie has to figure out the connection and who the killer is before she becomes the next victim. But there are almost too many viable suspects, including her therapist (Klaus Kinski) and a custodian played by a decidedly not funny Christopher Lloyd.

Why re-visit it? Not only is it a prime example of the gratuitous-violence-and-nudity slasher genre, but the performances of the supporting cast will actually have you guessing who the killer is.

6. Burnt Offerings

15 Forgotten Horror Films Worth Re-visiting via Horrorpedia
It might remind you of The Shining with caretakers moving into a haunted house with their son in tow, but – okay, that’s pretty similar. And having come out in 1976, it pre-dates The Shining. That’s where the similarities end though. There are no psychic powers, and it’s not nearly as metaphorically deep as The Shining.
Why re-visit it? The cast is sort of a mid-’70s powerhouse with Oliver Reed, Karen Black, Burgess Meredith, and Bette Davis all on board. It also won three Saturn Awards, for Best Horror Film, Best Supporting Actress (Bette Davis), and Best Director (Dan Curtis).

7. Tourist Trap

15 Forgotten Horror Films Worth Re-visiting via Absurd Noise

Not to be confused with Disney’s Tourist Trap – they’re very different movies, although at times this one might even be funnier. David Schmoeller’s tale of a group of teenagers being stalked by a telekinetic museum owner while they’re trapped in his house of wax horrors features some truly disturbing masks.

Why re-visit it? It was a pretty effective horror movie in its day; did it stand the test of time? You be the judge.

8. Nightmare

15 Forgotten Horror Films Worth Re-visiting via Horrorphilia

Mental patient George Tatum (Baird Stafford), who suffers from terrible nightmares linked to a childhood trauma, escapes the psych ward and goes on a killing spree. When he tries to add his ex-wife and children to his list of victims, however, he runs into some difficulties.

Why re-visit it? The movie made the video nasty list in Britain and actually landed its UK distributor in prison – it’s always interesting to see what ruffled the feathers of previous generations.

9. The Slumber Party Massacre

15 Forgotten Horror Films Worth Re-visiting via The Cinephiliac

An 18 year-old’s slumber party gets crashed by an escaped killer wielding a power drill. Hmmm, how did this every find an audience?

Why re-visit it? Noted feminist Rita Mae Brown wrote the script as a satire of slasher flicks, but the producers filmed it straight up.

10. Deadly Friend

15 Forgotten Horror Films Worth Re-visiting via HorrorMovieFilms.com
Director Wes Craven’s first theatrical release after A Nightmare on Elm Street, Deadly Friend takes on the Frankenstein story with a twist. Paul Conway (Matthew Labyorteaux), a robotics genius, falls in love with his neighbor Samantha, (Kristy Swanson), who gets beaten into brain death by her abusive father (Richard Marcus). Of course Paul uses his knowledge of robotics to revive Samantha and horror ensues.
Why re-visit it? Kristy Swanson’s first starring role after a handful of small parts sees her committing what must be the first (and likely only) murder with a basketball in movie history.

11. Dr. Giggles

15 Forgotten Horror Films Worth Re-visiting via Blu-ray.com

Nothing runs in a family like revenge, unless it’s a propensity for revenge-fueled murderous rampages – at least, not in horror movies. Dr. Giggles is out to avenge his mass-murdering father’s death at the hands of some meddling townsfolk, and he has a medicine bag full of tools to use for his bloody purpose.

Why re-visit it? If the name alone isn’t enough, it has an incredible level of gore for an early ’90s slasher flick – director Manny Coto had to make deep cuts to get it down to an R-rating.

12. Brainscan

15 Forgotten Horror Films Worth Re-visiting via Grimmbreak Reviews

When a teenage loner plays a brutal video game that hypnotizes him and tailors a terrifying experience specifically for him, the curtain between reality and fantasy comes down. One of the earliest films to use video game violence as the boogeyman.

Why re-visit it? Edward Furlong and Frank Langella make a compelling combo – what, you thought Eddie took a four-year nap between T2 and American History X?

13. Rampage

15 Forgotten Horror Films Worth Re-visiting via KL5-FILM

Remember Michael Biehn? He was big in the ’80s and ’90s: The Terminator, Aliens, The Abyss, Navy Seals,Tombstone, and so on. In Rampage, he plays a crusading attorney seeking the death penalty of a deranged killer who slaughtered a family at Christmas and drank their blood. But of course the killer escapes captivity and goes on a rampage. It’s right there in the title.

Why re-visit it? It’s based on the real-life killings of Richard Trenton Chase, and an underrated offering from The Exorcist director William Friedkin.

14. Shocker

15 Forgotten Horror Films Worth Re-visiting via Joblo
A few years after Nightmare on Elm Street, Wes Craven re-visited dreams and death in Shocker. Serial killer TV repairman Horace Pinker (Mitch Pileggi) goes after the family of the detective (Michael Murphy) investigating him, killing his wife, son, and daughter. One of the detective’s sons (Peter Berg) survives, however, and has a mysterious dream connection to the crazed repairman that they can use to track him. But the story doesn’t end when they catch Pinker and fry him in the electric chair…
Why re-visit it? To a point, it’s actually a pretty intense thriller in addition to being a gory horror flick, quite an accomplishment with a low budget and lesser-known actors.

15. Dead and Buried

15 Forgotten Horror Films Worth Re-visiting via Film on Paper
When visitors to a small town start turning up dead, the sheriff’s investigation turns up a couple of startling revelations: that the townsfolk, many of whom are his friends, are the muderers – and the victims aren’t staying dead.
Why re-visit it? For low-budget horror, director Gary Sherman managed to build a creepy, stifling atmosphere, and the story is surprisingly strong. Best of all, veteran character actor Jack Albertson puts in a genuinely unsettling performance in his final theatrical film role.
15 Forgotten Horror Films Worth Re-visiting
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