10 Lesser-Known Horror Films Based on Books

In the spirit of Friday the 13th, here’s a quick guide to ten great but lesser-known horror flicks that were based on books.  You’ll also find information about how you can watch them online and/or order them on DVD.

1) Bram Stoker’s Count Dracula

count_dracula
Directed by: Jesus Franco
Based on the book: Dracula by Bram Stoker
Where you can watch the movie: You can find the DVD on Amazon.
This version of the classic Bram Stoker tale is one of my personal favorites.  It stars Christopher Lee as the mustached Count who grows younger as he drinks.  Herbert Lom portrays Van Helsing, and Klaus Kinski steals the show as the mad Renfield.  If you’re a horror fan, this is a must-watch.

 

2) Black Sunday

black sunday
Directed by: Mario Bava
Based on the book: The Collected Tales of Nikolai Gogol  by Nikolai Gogol
Where you can watch the movie: It’s available on Netflix Instant-Watch.
Horror starlet Barbara Steele takes on a double role in this film, portraying a witch who was burned at the stake and her beautiful innocent double, Katia.  This Mario Bava’s masterpiece of horror cinema is based loosely on Gogol’s “The Vij”.

3) The Masque of the Red Death

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Directed by: Roger Corman
Based on the book: Edgar Allan Poe: Complete Tales and Poems
Where you can watch the movie: It’s available on Amazon Prime Instant Watch
In this Roger Corman classic, aristocrats dine and dance while the plague claims the common folk. Vincent Price is outstanding as the satanic prince, Prospero in this dazzlingly colorful Poe rendition.

4) Countess Dracula

countess
Directed by: Peter Sasdy
Based on the book: The Blood Countess by Andrei Codrescu
Where you can watch the movie: You can find the DVD on Amazon.
Ingrid Pitt is brilliant as the wicked Elizabeth Bathory, Countess of Hungary. The film stays true to the legend of the aptly named “Countess Dracula”, who was said to have murdered 612 young women and bathed in their blood to restore her youthful beauty.

5) Nightbreed

nightbreed
Directed by: Clive Barker
Based on the book: Cabal by Clive Barker
Where you can watch the movie: It’s available on Amazon Prime Instant Watch
Based on Clive Barker’s “Cabal”, Aaron Boone is plagued by nightmares and unexplainable blackouts when he seeks psychiatric help. His calculating psychiatrist, (horror director David Cronenberg), convinces him that he is responsible for the recent rash of serial killings in the area.

6) Dr. Jekyll and Sister Hyde

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Directed by: Roy Ward Baker
Based on the book: Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson
Where you can watch the movie: You can find the DVD on Amazon.
Ralph Bates is the resolute Dr. Jekyll in this Hammer Films adaptation of the Robert Louis Stevenson tale. Dr. Jekyll is working on an anti-viral serum when he becomes convinced that he won’t live to see his work completed. Instead, he decides to work on creating an elixir of life. The serum brings to the fore all of his feminine attributes and he transforms into the beautiful but deadly Sister Hyde.

7) Servants of Twilight

servants
Directed by: Jeffrey Obrow
Based on the book: “The Servants of Twilight” by Dean Koontz
Where you can watch the movie: It’s available on Amazon Prime Instant Watch
Based on the novel “The Servants of Twilight” by Dean Koontz. A mother hires a private detective to protect herself and her son from a fanatical religious sect who believe him to be the Antichrist

8) The Face of Fu Manchu

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Directed by: Don Sharp
Based on the book: The Fu Manchu Omnibus, Vol. 1 by Sax Rohmer
Where you can watch the movie: It’s available on Amazon Prime Instant Watch
The Christopher Lee/Fu Manchu series consisted of five films with three different directors, the order of the films is: “The Face of Fu Manchu”, 1965, Don Sharp, “Brides of Fu Manchu”, 1966, Don Sharp, “The Vengeance of Fu Manchu”, 1967, Jeremy Summers, “The Castle of Fu Manchu”, 1968, Jess Franco, “The Blood of Fu Manchu”, 1968, Jess Franco. This first installment sees Fu Manchu experimenting with chemical warfare on his quest for world domination.

9) The Watchers

watchers
Directed by: Jon Hess
Based on the book: Watchers by Dean Koontz
Where you can watch the movie: You can buy the used DVD on Amazon.
Teen Travis, (Haim), befriends a super-intelligent golden retriever who turns out to have escaped from a top secret government genetics lab. Unfortunately, his new best friend is not the only experiment to have escaped the installation.

 

10) The Dunwich Horror

dunwich
Directed by: Daniel Haller
Based on the book: The Best of H. P. Lovecraft: Bloodcurdling Tales of Horror and the Macabre by H. P. Lovecraft
Where you can watch the movie: It’s available on Netflix Instant-Watch.
Based on the H. P. Lovecraft tale “The Dunwich Horror”, this scary flick follows Dean Stockwell as he uses the “Necronomicon” in an attempt to resurrect the powers of evil. Sandra Dee costars as the intended sacrifice.