I Like to Watch (Instantly): Special Day of the Dead edition
Four notable undead titles from the Netflix Watch Instantly world
The Devil's Backbone (2001)
Directed by Guillermo del Toro
Cast: Eduardo Noriega, Marisa Paredes, Federico Luppi, Inigo Garces, Fernando Tielve, Irene Visedo, Jose Manuel Lorenzo, Junio Valverde, Berta Ojea, Adrian Lamana
Set during the Spanish Civil War, this atmospheric ghost story finds a young boy sent to an isolated orphanage where he must deal with hunger, school bullies, the specter of war and the understandably upset ghost of a murdered orphan. Director Guillermo del Toro (Cronos, Mimic) ladles on the old-fashioned chills, creating a top-notch horror flick along the lines of The Sixth Sense and The Others. In Spanish with English subtitles.
Bubba Ho-Tep (2003)
Directed by Don Coscarelli
Cast: Bruce Campbell, Ossie Davis, Ella Joyce, Heidi Marnhout, Reggie Bannister, Bob Ivy, Larry Pennell, Edith Jefferson, Daniel Roebuck, Daniel Schweiger, Harrison Young, Linda Flammer, Cean Okada, Solange Morand, Karen Placencia
From the tweaked-out imaginations of director Don Coscarelli (Phantasm) and writer Joe R. Lansdale (Electric Gumbo) comes this inspired horror comedy about an aged Elvis Presley (the great Bruce Campbell) laid up in an east Texas rest home. When a soul-sucking Egyptian mummy shows up to harvest some easy pickings, the King teams up with an elderly black man (Ossie Davis) who claims to be J.F.K. Together, the two (possibly crazy) oldsters battle the forces of evil. The budget is low and the action is slow, but the cast is great and the dialogue is endlessly quotable. Pure cult film fun.
Directed by Chan-wook Park
Cast: Kang-ho Song, Ok-bin Kim, Hae-sook Kim, Ha-kyun Shin, In-hwan Park, Dal-su Oh, Young-chang Song, Mercedes Cabral, Eriq Ebouaney
Brilliant South Korean filmmaker Chan-wook Park (Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance, Oldboy) writes and directs this offbeat horror drama about a beloved priest who selflessly volunteers for a medical experiment. He ends up craving some sins of the flesh thanks to an accidental transfusion of vampire blood. Gorgeous, original and filled with Park's wonderfully deadpan sense of black humor.
Shock Waves (1977)
Directed by Ken Wiederhorn
Cast: Brooke Adams, Peter Cushing, John Carradine, Don Stout, Luke Halpin, D.J. Sidney, Fred Buch, Jack Davidson
The “Nazi zombie” has become something of a subcategory these days. But nothing beats the original, 1977’s subtle Shock Waves. The sight of a legion of sub-aquatic Nazi zombies rising from the ocean is absolutely indelible. Plus it’s got Peter Cushing and John Carradine for added street cred.