Vampire of the Opera (1964) Available July 5

An acting troupe secures an old theater for the group’s new play. They are warned by the aging caretaker that the theater is home to a vampire, who might be awakened. The group pays no heed, though, and when the vampire shows up, it sees that the most beautiful member of the troupe looks lke the woman he once loved in real life. Things spiral downhill from there. Lots of gothic thrills in this well-made chiller.

STARRING: Marco Mariani, Alberto Archetti, Giuseppe Addobbati, Barbara Hawards

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The Unnaturals (1969) Available July 5

What a great Euro-horror film this is! Five people travel by car through a howling storm. They end up in a nearby forgotten, shunned inn. It is occupied by a strange man and his wizened, clairvoyant mother. A séance ensues that shows in flashback the travelers’ involvement in sexual depredations, crime, and murder. The clairvoyant tells them that the murdered man will soon return to exact his revenge. Then, in an amazing climax, the proceedings come to a catastrophic ending—all to the sound of Pigozzi’s maniacal laughter. Pigozzi (aka Alan Collins) is superb as the sinister innkeeper who knows far more about his guests than he should. Fuchsberger is also good in a bad guy/victim role. But it’s Koch who nearly steals the show as Fuchsberger’s wanton wife. Director Margheriti develops a foreboding sense of impending doom.

STARRING: Joachim Fuchsberger, Marianne Koch, Luciano Pigozzi, Helga Anders, Claudio Camaso

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Tales From the Other Side (2022) Available July 5

Three kids want to have the best Halloween night ever. Their trick-or-treat adventure brings them to the home of the local town legend “Scary Mary” who shares six scary stories to the children. With each story leading down a path to the unexpected.

STARRING: Roslyn Gentle, James Duval, Vernon Wells

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The Student of Prague (1935) Available July 5

The setting is Prague in the 1860s. Walbrook plays Balduin, a handsome young student. He and his pals celebrate the birthday of the innkeeper’s daughter, Lydia, for whom Balduin has affections. But into the inn walks a beautiful singer named Julia. Balduin is swept away by her charms, but winning her love comes with a price; for hovering over her life is the sinister Dr. Carpis, a Satan-like figure who’s more of a human shadow than a flesh-and-blood being. Carpis “helps” Balduin obtain Julia’s affections and financial success, too. However, the price is a heavy one, and Balduin’s life soon sinks into madness and terror. This terrific movie is filled with contrasts of light-hearted gaiety and shadowy dread. Walbrook and Wieck are superb, but Loos, as the sinister Dr. Carpis, steals the show in a role usually given to actors like Boris Karloff or Bela Lugosi.

STARRING: Anton Walbrook, Dorothea Wieck, Theodor Loos, Erich Fiedler

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A Place of One’s Own (1945) Available July 5

Mason, his wife, and their beautiful young companion move into an eerie mansion. Odd things begin to happen. It’s soon obvious that a murdered woman’s ghost is taking over Lockwood’s body. Price plays the loving doctor who’s unable to combat the uncanny powers draining her life. One great scene has Lockwood playing the piano, then suddenly breaking into a strange piece she’s never played before. Look for veteran horror star Thesiger in a small but important role. Fine acting, beautiful photography, and a subtle music score make this a very effective ghost tale.

STARRING: James Mason, Dennis Price, Margaret Lockwood, Barbara Mullen, Ernest Thesiger

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The Murder Clinic (1966) Available July 5

Another fine Italian horror thriller, obviously inspired by The Horrible Dr. Hichcock. Berger plays Dr. Vance, a strange physician who owns a clinic for the mentally ill, located in the wilds of a gloomy forest. He’s surrounded by a bevy of pretty women, all of whom he has eyes for. Unfortunately, there’s also a hooded killer on the grounds, slashing people to death with a straight razor. There’s also a grotesque, club-footed lady living on the upper floor, whom the doctor is trying to cure of a hideously ugly face. This film is great fun and really keeps you guessing who the mad killer is, right up to the very end.

STARRING: Williams Berger, Barbara Wilson, Mary Young, Françoise Prévost, Massimo Righi

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Monstrous (2022) Available July 5

A terrifying new horror awaits Laura (Christina Ricci) and her seven-year-old son Cody when they flee her abusive ex-husband and try to settle into a new life in an idyllic and remote lakeside farmhouse. Still traumatized, their physical and mental well-being are pushed to the limit as their fragile existence is threatened.

STARRING: Christina Ricci, Santino Barnard, Don Durrell

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Machination (2022) Available July 5

News of an out of control pandemic has gripped the world and mass panic is pushing humanity into an uncertain future. Maria, a sensitive and anxious woman, struggles to cope in self-isolation. With fear mounting and the demands of the world closing in, Maria is forced to confront her past and the monsters that surround her … both without and within. Machination is a psychological horror/drama inspired by COVID-19 and its effect on mental health. Claustrophobic, intense, and led by a gripping performance by Steffi Thake, Machination is a sharp, spiralling thriller about the consequences of breathing in constant fear.

STARRING: Steffi Thake, Rambert Attard

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