Since I wanted to focus on more under-the-radar titles for Horror Movie A Day: The Book (I certainly didn't focus on a clever title), I didn't think I'd end up with too many Scream Factory titles within it. After all, they've made their mark by putting out definitive releases of beloved franchise fare like Day of the Dead and Phantasm II (or beloved franchises as a whole with their Halloween set), and fan favorites like Demon Knight - all movies that were far too famous to be considered for inclusion. But the outlet turned out to be very well represented because they alternate between those sort of big guns and the smaller obscurities that seasoned horror fans - i.e. the target audience for my book - would be excited about seeing again, or maybe even for the first time.
So out of the 366 titles I chose for the book, Scream Factory has put out over a dozen - 2nd only to Lionsgate in that regard (LG more or less started as a distributor of unusual fare and dove head-first into independent acquisition throughout the '00s, so it makes sense they'd have the, er, lion's share of representation). Some are movies I saw before Scream Factory even existed but have since been re-released (and usually improved) by the company, others I saw for the first time thanks to their release. Their library continues to expand, and, like Criterion does for movies in general, their output as a whole can give you a pretty complete crash course in horror. Slashers, monster movies, silly '70s Jaws knockoffs, zombie flicks... they've done several of each, leaving no sub-genre under-represented.*
My book is the same way - even though it's aimed at seasoned horror fans as opposed to newcomers, I wanted to suggest a little bit of everything, which is why Scream Factory is a perfect partner for a contest I've cooked up. One lucky winner will not only get a copy of the book (for Kindle*, the physical release hinges on the success of the electronic one, which costs a measly $4.95 for 800 pages!), but a nice stack of their Blu-rays, all of which are titles recommended in the book and thus worth your time. I've seen a couple folks pledge to see every movie I've selected, so if you plan to do the same this is a great (and free!) way to get a head start. Some of the titles include the awesome Lifeforce, Larry Cohen's magnum opus Q: The Winged Serpent, and the goofy as hell slasher Final Exam, which in some ways is a fine example of what NOT to do when making a slasher, but is undeniably important to the sub-genre's history (it served as a direct inspiration for some sequences in Scream 2, for starters). You also get Vampire's Kiss, featuring one of Nic Cage's all-time best unhinged performances, and the 1970's howler The Sentinel, which is just plain unhinged.
I'll leave the other titles as a surprise for now, so we can move on to what's important: how do you win? Very simple - shoot me an email at [email protected] and tell me about the most obscure horror movie you have seen. No half-memories, either - I want the title and a description so I can verify that the movie isn't "obscure" because you simply made it up. There are no wrong answers; if you've never dug any deeper than the DTV Hellraiser sequels or It Follows, that's fine. One thing I struggled with when selecting titles for the book was knowing the difference between what I find obscure and what the general public does. To me, the 2007 French import Inside is the best horror film of the '00s - others might have never even heard of it. So this will be informative to me, and potentially lucrative for you! I'll be picking a winner on Monday the 22nd, so get those entries in fast! Please include your mailing address and phone number so we can make sure you get your Blu-rays - and sorry, but this is for US residents only. You should probably have a Blu-ray player too, otherwise you'll just be winning a box full of very elaborate coasters. Good luck!
*OK, they could use a few more evil children movies, admittedly. But I'm biased. I really only say this because I want them to be the ones to do the definitive release of Cathy's Curse, should it ever exist.