Last week, I looked at five horror movies that for various reasons had never been distributed in the United States. Check out my original list here. Today, we are looking at another five unavailable titles. All of these have one thing in common- they are international pictures, though heralded in their home countries, have never had any distribution stateside, and one has never been released at all. Each one of these is a great reason to invest in a region-free Blu-ray player!
LIVID (2011) (Pictured above)
Helmed by the French duo that brought us the disturbing film INSIDE, 2011’s LIVID played a handful of festivals around the globe. The story follows a convalescent nurse as she and some friends break into the home of an elderly, disabled patient in hopes of robbing the place. They soon discover that the house holds some very dark, supernatural secrets. Once LIVID gained minor acclaim in the US, the remake and international distribution rights were purchased by The Weinstein Company. They are apparently holding the release of the original French film with the intention of eventually remaking the movie in the states. Thus, LIVID has sadly never been released, even 5 years after its initial festival run.
IN THE MIDST OF LIFE (1963)
IN THE MIDST OF LIFE was a product of the wrong time. It was released at the height of New Wave cinema in France, and this quiet, moody anthology war horror became rather disregarded. It was later cut up into segments, and one of those segments was released as a solo short and won an academy award- “La Riviere du Hibou”. It was also released as a TWILIGHT ZONE episode. But all the segments are amazing, especially one about a solider battling an army of zombies (note-this pre-dates NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD). A restoration is LONG overdue! Hope you are reading this Criterion!
THE ANCINES WOODS (1970)
This Spanish film is a refreshing and innovative take on the werewolf myth. It treats the werewolf-ism like a disease that is passed from person to person, but it is presented against a small Spanish town that can only see it as a supernatural curse. Think like MARTIN but with a werewolf.
THE MOOR’S HEAD (1995)
This movie was written by Michael Haneke who would go on to make FUNNY GAMES and CACHE. An Austrian scientist learns of a toxic gas leak at a nearby chemical plant and becomes convinced the toxic fumes are permeating the air. So he sets up a completely self-sufficient ecosystem in his apartment, sealing himself off from the outside world. Eventually, his wife and kids return home from a trip, but then it becomes hard to tell what is real and what is just in the scientist’s degraded mind. The final moments of this movie are intense and will stick with you! Though it is available in Europe (even playing on some overseas HULUs), it has never been released stateside.
MIDNIGHT BALLAD FOR GHOST THEATER (2006)
This horror musical falls right in line with the likes of ROCKY HORROR or REPO THE GENETIC OPERA, but yet it has never been released in the United States. The musical weaves a fairy tale style adventure of a teenage girl who takes a job at a local rundown movie palace after her grandmother disappears there one evening. She soon discovers the theater is haunted with many ghosts from film history.