Lighthouse Horror Films Galore

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, October 31, 2019 06:05pm | Post a Comment

By Kai Wada Roath
Ambassador of Confusion Hill and host of the Super Shangri-La Show

"It's bad enough to accept a musician into this family, but a jazz musician is asking too damn much."
~ from Bert I. Gordon's 1960 cult classic, Tormented

If Robert Eggers' new film The Lighthouse left you intrigued to see more eerie lighthouse flicks, let me humbly suggest you watch or re-watch these classics before you lazily settle your craving by watching the evil tooth fairy in Darkness Falls.

The Monster of Piedras BlancasThe Monster of Piedras Blancas (1959)
Why are the rocks white you ask? Maybe Sturges the lighthouse keeper should have worn a "Damn Seagulls" hat in the movie. Filmed in Cayucos, California (south of Der Tinkerpaw's Nitt Witt Ridge and just north of Alex and Phyllis Madonna's world famous Madonna Inn), the movie The Monster of Piedras Blancas sits close to my heart. The monster had a fantastic look and would have been a great tag team partner with either the Gill-Man from the Creature of the Black Lagoon or the monster from It! The Terror from Beyond Space. The Piedras Blancas monster would return in 1965 on TV in an episode of Flipper...not to be confused with the punk band Flipper, however many of you may recognize the monster from the Angry Samoans' 1982 album cover, Back from Samoa. Personally I never listened to either of those bands, because I'd rather listen to CRIME!

Here's a photo of Jeanne Carmen, lead actress of The Monster of Piedras Blancas (and trick-shot golf expert) taking a filming break to frolic in the sand and show how delightful a lavender sweatsuit can look. To quote a small, 25th century robot, "Beedy beedy beedy. What's up, Buck!?"

Jeanne Carmen, Piedras Blancas


TormentedTormented (1960)
If you think you've had a crazy ex come back to haunt you, this one takes the whole enchilada (I prefer red sauce over green). A jazz pianist gets haunted by his curvy, temptress ex-girlfriend before he tries to tie the knot with his wholesome new one. This movie has some great haunting scenes and yes, the grand finale takes place at a lighthouse. If you like ghost stories and floating heads, this one is for you. If you do not like ghost stories and floating heads, I'm not sure we can be friends.

Here's director Bert I. Gordon and actress Juli Reding, whom I would let haunt me. Bert is known for many B movies from The Amazing Colossal Man and Empire of the Ants, to Necromancy, in which Orson Wells plays a warlock who likes wine.

Juli Reding


Day of the TriffidsDay of the Triffids (1962)
Another lighthouse horror classic is Day of the Triffids. Well, maybe it's more of a giant killer plant invasion movie, but there are some great scenes on an island where a couple must fight off the triffids while inside of...yes...a lighthouse. Not only is the original 1951 book excellent, but I love this movie version of it. My friend Sven has great taste in cinema and he, however, prefers the 1981 Day of the Triffids British TV series. Sven also does not eat avocados, so I can only trust his taste so far.

Eleven years ago I sat drinking beer and writing postcards in Egypt under the shade of Fort of Qaitbay, which was once the Lighthouse of Alexandria, one of the Seven Ancient Wonders of the World. Nowadays, I sit drinking guava juice while eating a burrito and watching Thundarr the Barbarian. Oh how the sands of time have changed the desert.

Tower of Evil (1972)
A British horror fim about crazy people on a crazy lighthouse island. Let's face it, most 1950's to early-70's British horror films are all superb and any country that makes a dish called Toad in the Hole with sausages and Yorkshire pudding knows what they are doing. Just watch it already and get freaked out like I did when my car stalled on the way to a job interview.

The Fog (1980)
I don't think I have to really suggest you see The Fog if you have read this far, as it has become a beloved household name like Lucille Ball and Elaan of Troyius, and I'm sure you have seen it. However, watch it again! Then you can go visit Bolinas and the historic Point Reyes Lighthouse where they filmed it. (They'll reopen the lighthouse next year after the current big restoration job is finished.) And remember that when the fog returns to Antonio Bay, the men at the bottom of the sea out in the water by Spivey Point, will rise up and search for the campfire that led them to their dark, icy death...twelve o'clock...the 21st of April.

The Fog

Tower of Evil

Relevant Tags

Kai Wada Roath (42), Cult Film (36), Film (202), Robert Eggers (2), Lighthouses (1), Horror Films (8), Flipper (6), Angry Samoans (1), Crime (6), Jeanne Carmen (2), Bert I. Gordon (3), Juli Reding (1), Cayucos (1), Point Reyes (1)