Sure, you know the likes of THE EVIL DEAD, PENITENTIARY, AMERICAN POP and CAT PEOPLE, but who the hell has time to watch a whole feature film? Plenty of filmmakers got their starts by directing short films on minimal budgets, and often they’re just as interesting as some of their feature work. The internet is a treasure trove of vintage media, and what was once relegated to the darkest corners of film schools and basement screenings now has a home on your screen — as we’ll see with this batch of short films by notable genre filmmakers that you can watch RIGHT THIS VERY SECOND.
A Day in the Life of Willie Faust, or Death!! on the Installment Plan (1972)
Dir. Walter Gordon (Jamaa Fanaka)
Before he took on his new name and became the director of the PENITENTIARY trilogy and WELCOME HOME, BROTHER CHARLES, Jamaa Fanaka directed this short at UCLA, a (very loose) adaption of “Faust” with non-sync sound and music from The Beatles and SUPER FLY. Watch it before it mysteriously vanishes due to music rights issues.
Marvin Digs (1967)
Dir. Ralph Bakshi
One of four shorts made for Paramount to play before a theatrical feature, this early Bakshi cartoon wasn’t released in the form the director of FRITZ THE CAT had originally conceived.
Dir. Sam Raimi
WITHIN THE WOODS, the basis for EVIL DEAD, is also available to watch online, but lesser-seen is his earlier horror short about a serial killer (Scott Spiegel) stalking a woman.
Attack of the Helping Hand! (1979)
Dir. Scott Spiegel
The director of INTRUDER and frequent Raimi collaborator helped this entertaining little short about the Hamburger Helper “hand” with a mind of its own.
Holding It (1978)
Dir. Josh Becker
And if that’s not enough of the hidden history of the Raimiverse, you can see Sam and Bruce Campbell in Josh Becker (RUNNING TIME)’s tale of a wimpy husband who accidentally ends up on the wrong side of the law.
Dir. Tim Burton
It’s fairly well known, but Tim Burton’s excellent stop-motion tribute to Vincent Price (narrated by Price himself) is still a joy to watch.
Le Toy Shop (1980)
Dir. Chuck Vincent
Prolific filmmaker Chuck Vincent made plenty of films both R and X-rated, but he also made the occasional foray into shorts, like this NSFW tale of animated dolls come to life.
Black Panther: Throne of Blood (1980)
Dir. Jeffrey Neal
Neal may not have made features, but this short marks an early work of special effects pioneer Greg Cannom, and is a fairly entertaining homage to the martial arts films of the era.
The Contraption (1977)
Dir. James Dearden
ROCKY HORROR‘s Richard O’Brien saws wood while his off-screen wife yells in this odd little short from the director of ROGUE TRADER and the 1991 A KISS BEFORE DYING.
The Man in the Barn (1937)
Dir. Jacques Tourneur
The earliest short in our batch comes from the director of I WALKED WITH A ZOMBIE and CAT PEOPLE, a strangle little tale that shows conspiracy theories have been around much longer than Alex Jones.
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