The Occult: An Echo from Darkness (1972)

Years before it was a hotbed of technological innovation and unaffordable housing, the San Francisco Bay Area was the “headquarters of occult and metaphysical activity in the United States.” This is just one of many bizarre assertions by the creators of the 1972 religious short film, THE OCCULT: AN ECHO FROM DARKNESS, that makes it perfect viewing for the spooky season.

Halloween party (1953)

While the Halloween costumes of today are often clever, shameless, or absurdly referential, their burlap and paper counterparts from last century still hold the all-time crown for creepy (doing an online image search for “creepy vintage halloween costumes” is the new “Bloody Mary”)! The main character in 1953’s HALLOWEEN PARTY brandishes one such mask in a way that inadvertently sets off a chain of events which concludes with him wearing a straw hat and made up in his mother’s lipstick.

Furious (1984)

The sort of film that gives you five straight minutes of old women eating chicken while a man in a kabuki mask performs magic tricks for a baby and a shirtless man twirls swords around in the back of a dimly-lit restaurant.

Fists of Steel (1989)

Carlos is a former boxing champion hired by the CIA to bring down a homicidal drug dealer in Hawaii. Will he be able to infiltrate the madman’s sprawling defenses and put a stop to the senseless killings? Will he be able to quickly and frequently traverse the island given the cost of gas, or instead be forced to ride a bicycle to get from one location to the next?

Black Lizard (1968)

A cinematic hero is only as good as the opposing villain. The films that brought us Skywalker-Vader, Creed-Balboa, and Matrix-Bennett are all examples of how contrasting characteristics bring balance to the contentious relationships between protagonists and antagonists. The characters headlining Kinji Fukasaku’s 1968 crime film BLACK LIZARD may or may not have chairs at the same table as the aforementioned duos, but they are definitely in the same restaurant.

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