28th Sep2017

From VHS to VOD #5

by Phil Wheat


We’ve covered plenty of obscure films available on iTunes in previous From VHS to VOD columns but Apple’s digital service is not the only VOD service making waves into the strange and obscure – there’s plenty of odd, unseen and unreleased (well unreleased on disc formats) films available on Amazon Video.

Unlike iTunes, a lot of the more obscure titles are only available for streaming rather than purchase, though the wide variety of films you don’t, and probably won’t see elsewhere makes up for that. Like iTunes there are some truly obscure films hidden away in the depths of Amazon’s vast collection of movies. Some of which have been made available in the UK for the first time since VHS and a LOT that have been added to the service in their original uncut form!

So, with that said here’s highlight some of the best (well, I say best but as always taste is subjective!) obscure and/or uncut films that have made the jump from VHS to VOD here in the UK – complete with links to watch.

The Incubus

From the best-selling book by Ray Russell, The Incubus sees a small town doctor and sheriff join forces to track down a vicious sex-killer who may be the indestructible incarnation of a demon spawned from hell… An early 80s genre-bending sci-fi horror, The Incubus was directed by John Hough, whose 70s horror career including helming not only Hammer’s Twins of Evil (1971), but the classic haunted house flick The Legend of Hell House (1973). However by the early 80s Hough’s particular brand of gothic horror was out of favour – horror was now entrenched in the stalk and slash era – and so The Incubus slipped into the horror ether.

With an eclectic cast, which includes John Cassavettes and John Ireland, The Incubus was unfairly maligned upon release – so now the UK VOD release (admittedly the film has had a couple of overseas DVD releases) is a perfect time for British horror fans to rediscover this odd, yet satisfying, horror gem.

Watch The Incubus now on Amazon

Flesh and Bullets


Essentially a sleazy re-imagining of Hitchcock’s Strangers on a Train, Flesh and Bullets sees a duo of unhappily married men, both of whom have bloody pasts, meet in Las Vegas and hatch a scheme to murder each other’s ex wives. However, in the process of preparing for their deadly plot, they become romantically attached to each of their targets. Will they be able to pull off the perfect murders or will love get in the way…

With a cast that includes Aldo Ray, Yvonne De Carlo, Cesar Romero, Robert Z’Dar AND Cornel Wilde in his last role? Directed by one of the greatest names in adult cinema, Carlos Tobalina? What’s not to like?! A rare non-XXX outing for the adult director, Flesh and Bullets comes to VOD courtesy of Vinegar Syndrome, who also put this film out on DVD in the US back in 2015. Definitely an oddity in the directors oeuvre – this is literally a film that needs to be seen to be believed. And even then you still might not believe that such a cast appeared in a Carlos Tobalina film!

Watch Flesh and Bullets now on Amazon


Screamplay is the story of aspiring sreenwriter Edgar Allen (Rufus Seder) as he arrives in Hollywood carrying his most valuable possessions: a suitcase and a typewriter… However it seems screenwriting is not the only talemnt Edgar has. If the detective investigating a series of murders is to be believed, Edgar also has a talent for murder – as a series of slayings that occur in Hollywood that eeriely match Edgar’s latest script!

A film I remember more for the bizarre and strange stylistic choice to film the story entirely like one of the early “talkies” than for its actual plot, Screamplay is a true auteurs vision – star Rufus Seder also directed, wrote, edited, made the coffee… he did everything. Which is probably why he never made another film. I like to think this was his one masterpiece, the one story he HAD to tell! Only he decided to film with black and white photography, with effects that look like they’re scratched onto the film rather than being shot in camera and with a look and feel that was [obviously] heavily inspired by the likes of Nosferatu and the work of directors like Robert Wiene and Fritz Lang – only done as a parody!

If that sounds like it’s up your street, then thank the lord for Troma dumping Screamplay to VOD.

Watch Screamplay now on Amazon


Comments are closed.