Some films are grounded squarely in our reality, and when their characters drink soda, or eat potato chips, or smoke cigarettes, they do so with brands that we recognize. Other films exist in a reality all their own, such as the cult classic Repo Man, whose brands we cannot recognize because brands mysteriously do not exist. Others still exist in a reality very much like our own, only slightly shunted to the left. In these films, the characters may drink Kepsi Cola or eat Flays Potato Chips. Or, for our purposes, they may have access to movies that simply do not exist in our world. Here are ten fictional genre films from those alternate realities that we wish really existed.
The Stab Series
Existing within the Scream universe, the Stab franchise starts out by telling the same basic story that unfolded in the original three Scream film. However, after Sidney Prescott threatened to sue the producers over the unauthorized use of her life story, they had to switch over to fictional stories, resulting in (as far as we know) seven movies in all. Stab 5 would appear to be the low point, as it introduced time travel, which means if they ever start work on a Stab 8, it will probably be Ghostface in Space. In spite of that, if the Stab films actually existed, I would gladly give them a chance.
As seen in the 1993 film Matinee, Mant! is a 1962 sci-fi flick from producer Lawrence Woolsey, whose tagline pretty much tells you all you need to know: Mant! Half Man-Half Ant! Nearly every gimmick you can imagine was used to promote this film. It was shot in Atomo-Vision and utilized Rumble-Rama. Considering its primary competition in theaters at the time was The Shook Up Shopping Cart, I know precisely which picture I would have been attending.
It may not have the most original title on the marquee, but this film from 1991’s Popcorn has a few other things going for it. First of all, it was filmed in Super Three-Dimensional ProjectoVision, which is much cooler than plain old 3D; and secondly, it was Cubby Scott’s first role, seen here as a kind but cowardly army private who mugs for the camera. Condor Films delivered a fantastic story of giant mosquitoes terrorizing a rural community, as a result of atomic testing. It would have made for a great double-feature alongside Mant!
Ok, so this is technically a television series that exists within the confines of the television from hell in 1992’s Stay Tuned. But I’m going to count it. Sure, it’s a dated parody of a dated Saturday Night Live sketch, but nostalgia gets the best of me on this one. A pseudo-underground talk show hosted by a pair of grunge zombies? It likely wouldn’t last a season, but sign me up!
This film, which is featured in the episode of The Alfred Hitchcock Hour of the same name, stars real-life Satanist Karl Jorla, a creepy and foreboding presence, and the beautiful Kitty Frazier. Its depiction of Satanism and witchcraft is so authentic that even after Jorla is murdered, his spirit appears onscreen for one last memorable scene.
The Hills Run Red
This film exists in the movie of the same name, and even then, just barely. The “true master of horror” Wilson Tyler Concannon directed this classic slasher flick about a masked killer named Babyface whose depictions of murder were so real that all prints were pulled from circulation, never to be seen again. Just remember: “if you hear his rattle, it’s already too late.” The faux controversy surrounding this film within a film was enough to make any horror fan curious.
This Hammer-style horror film from the original 1985 Fright Night stars world famous vampire hunter Peter Vincent, taking on a bevy of beautiful vamps. It’s just one of many such films that he appeared in, along with Dracula’s Blood Slaves, Vampire Virgins, and Scream for your Supper. If I can’t have this, I’d even settle for Fright Night Theater, which Vincent hosts weekly on local television.
This film from Berberian Sound Studio is something of an anomaly here, as it’s the only title on this list from which a single frame is never seen. It certainly sounds horrific, though, as our man Gilderoy crafts some of the messiest, squishiest, grimace-inducing sound effects you have ever heard in his role of sound engineer and foley artist. This tale of long dead witches arising from the grave for retribution is full of eerie whispers, blood curdling screams, and misappropriated prayers.
This movie comes from an episode of Seinfeld, and although it appears to have been made in the ’80s or ’90s, it feels like a cheap sci-fi flick from 30 years prior. I’m guessing there is an apocalyptic plotline at play here, based on the sole piece of dialogue that we get to hear, as delivered by a mad spaceman: “It’s just as you prophesied! The planets of our solar system, incinerating. Like flaming globes, Sigmund. Like flaming globes!” Until this becomes a reality, I’ll be watching Rochelle, Rochelle.
Super 8 housed this amateur film written, directed, shot by and starring kids. In it, detective Hathaway takes on a zombie outbreak caused by the Romero Chemical Company, despite the stress that it puts on his marriage. Although the completed short film was available to watch during Super 8′s closing credits, I like to believe that filmmaker Joe Lamb eventually turned it into a feature.