1993 - I don't even know where to start
The early 90s have been a wasteland for horror movies. Something interesting here or there, but for the most part it's all just filler.
First up is Army of Darkness. For some reason, Universal sat on the movie for a year, something that upset Bruce Campbell. It might be the reason that this was the only studio film he ever starred in as the lead. On top of the delay, Campbell was frustrated with the studio's meddling in the final cut. In fact, there are 4 different cuts released - US theatrical, European, Director's, and US TV - each with different run times and order of scenes.
Another questionable decision by Universal was the distancing from the name Evil Dead. This is the final part of the trilogy, but Universal wanted the film to stand on its own and refused to include the name in the final title.
With all these issues, I still believe this is the #1 choice for 1993. It's another Evil Dead. It's one more movie Sam Raimi added to his impressive lineup on his road to making Spider-Man in 2002. It kept the humor of the series while continuing to push the envelope with killer special effects. Bruce Campbell is great as Ash. Check it out on HBOMax.
Blurb - A sardonic hardware store clerk is accidentally transported to 1300 A.D., where he must retrieve the Necronomicon and battle an army of the dead so he can return home.
Paramount no longer thought the Friday the 13th movies were money makers and sold the rights to New Line Cinema, home to Freddy Kruger. The title Friday the 13th, however, was not part of the deal so we don't get Friday the 13th part IX, instead, the first NLC movie is Jason Goes to Hell: The Final Friday.
While it is the 2nd lowest-grossing movie of the Friday The 13th Franchise, it did better than Part VIII and was the highest-grossing horror movie in 1993. I think this tells us all we need to know about the state of the genre. If you have Cinemax you can stream it.
Blurb - Serial killer Jason Voorhees' supernatural origins are revealed.
Bride of Re-Animator director Brian Yuzna is handed the director's duties for Return of the Living Dead 3 by Trimark Pictures. The first 2 are horror comedies, with an emphasis on the comedy, but Yuzna was told part 3 only needed one thing to carry over from the first 2 movies - the zombies' love and need for brains. Another one that needs Cinemark to stream.
Blurb - Having recently witnessed the horrific results of a top secret project to bring the dead back to life, a distraught youth performs the operation on his girlfriend after she's killed in a motorcycle accident.
Another Trimark produced movie in 1993 is Warlock: The Armageddon. The sequel was originally supposed to be directed by Frank LaLoggia but his vision for the film was deemed too expensive and the job was handed to Waxwork/Hellraiser 3 director Anthony Hickox. It can be streamed on tubi and VUDU free.
Blurb - An order of Druids train their children to battle an evil Warlock determined to unleash Satan upon the world by bringing a collection of five mystic rune stones together.
1993 is important as it gives us Guillermo del Toro's first feature-length film, Cronos. With a budget of $1.5 million that went over to end at $2 million, this was at the time the highest budget ever for a Mexican film. It took a little time for people to catch on, but in 4 years we will see his name on pop up again. You can check it out on HBOMax.
Blurb - A mysterious device designed to provide its owner with eternal life resurfaces after four hundred years, leaving a trail of destruction in its path.
Trimark's 3rd movie in 1993 is The Leprechaun. Maybe we are finding the central theme to why horror movies are so bad in the 90s. The biggest thing about this movie is it is the film debut of Jennifer Aniston and Warick Davis stars as the leprechaun. Stream it on tubi if you feel lucky.
Blurb - An evil, sadistic Leprechaun goes on a killing rampage in search of his beloved pot of gold.
Dario Argento returns to the director's chair with his film, Trauma. After dominating Italian horror, Argento came to the US to direct. He continues his visual style of horror in this film, but it falls a bit flat compared to his earlier works. Stream it on IMDBTV to see for yourself.
Blurb - A young man tries to help a teenage European girl who escaped from a clinic after witnessing the murder of her parents by a serial killer, and they try to find the killer before the killer finds them.
Originally supposed to be the beginning of a Showtime Anthology series, John Carpenter Presents Body Bags ended up being a single anthology movie. Each segment focuses on a different sub-genre of horror. You can find this one on Peacock, shudder, tubi, and VUDU free.
Blurb - Three short stories in the horror genre: the first about a serial killer, the second about a hair transplant gone wrong, and the third about a baseball player.
There are 3 Stephen King movies from 1993, but only one makes the list. George Romero directs another King-based project with The Dark Half. This film was shot in 1991, but Orion Pictures had money problems and it delayed the release until 1993. This is considered to be one of the most faithful adaptations of a King novel. He was a close friend of Romero and many believe this to be the reason why. Find it on Cinemax.
Blurb - A writer's fictional alter ego wants to take over his life...at any price.
Dreamscape & The Step-Father director, Joseph Ruben, gives us the horror/thriller The Good Son. In my mind, I would probably put this with movies like Silence of the Lambs and not consider it a horror film, but man 1993 kinda sucks so here it is.
Breaking out of his comedic and heart-felt dramatic roles, Macaulay Culkin shins as the psychopath Henry. You'll have to rent/buy to check this one out.
Blurb - A young boy stays with his aunt and uncle and becomes friends with his cousin, a boy of the same age who shows increasing signs of violent and psychopathic behavior.
Is Ed and His Dead Mother a horror movie? Well, no ... not really, but man, 1993 just isn't even trying. It does involve a zombie, and it stars one of my favorites - Steve Buscemi. I'm a sucker for low-budget hard to find films and this was one of those. You can stream it on tubi, or come on over and I'll hook up the VHS player. I'm pretty sure I still have the copy I found a few years after it was released.
Blurb - A mourning son makes a deal to reanimate his one year dead mother, however things turn into an unexpected direction.
Six non-horror movies that made a big impact or are important to me from 1993.