50 amazing films you've probably never seen

The Warped Ones (1960)

The Film: Violent teen jazz fans cruise around Japan, causing trouble.

Why It's Amazing: Way ahead of its time, this brutal expos of teenage cruelty could be shot today and still be as shocking. Shot with so much hyperactive energy it could've been directed by the protagonists, this is an unforgettable combination of form and content.

Why You've Never Seen It: Currently only available on the Criterion label, let's hope that Masters Of Cinema get hold of it soon.

Red Beard (1965)

The Film: A lazy and selfish trainee doctor learns the value of human life.

Why It's Amazing: The last of Kurosawa's 16 collaborations with Toshiro Mifune is arguably the best. It's not so much a film as an essential treatise on what it means to be human. If everyone watched it, the world would be a better place.

Why You've Never Seen It: Seven Samurai is talked about so often, Kurosawa's arguably superior films are often overlooked. Also, the 3 hour runtime may put you off taking a chance on this one. Still, you can pick it up on Amazon for a bargain.

Yesterday's Enemy (1959)

The Film: A group of British soldiers stumble upon a Burmese village occupied by Japanese soldiers.

Why It's Amazing: An incredibly complex war movie, with your allegiances constantly shifting, Enemy should be as revered as Paths Of Glory as an exploration of the futility of war. The fact it was made by Hammer Films adds to the intrigue.

Why You've Never Seen It: Hammer's horror output has overshadowed this wonderful film, which you can pick up super-cheap on Amazon.

Nightmare (1964)

The Film: A young girl is sent home from boarding school after experiencing a series of bad dreams. But when she gets home, the dreams get worse--and the line between fantasy and reality starts to shift.

Why It's Amazing: Another Freddie Francis classic, this is as gripping as thrillers get. And, like so many of his films, it comes complete with an unforgettable ending.

Why You've Never Seen It: With the BFI in possession of the only 35mm print, and no DVD release forthcoming, your best hope is to wait for a Freddie Francis season. Or, ideally, a boxset.

Mystics In Bali (1981)

The Film: A young woman wants to learn the secrets of black magic and encounters cackling witches, flying severed heads and giant pigs.

Why It's Amazing: With as much crazed energy as Evil Dead II (surely Sam Raimi's seen this one) Mystics will probably be the most barking film you'll ever seen. And one of the most fun.

Why You've Never Seen It: There's a chance you have, and put the experience down to a fever dream. The uninitiated can pick up a R1 DVD for a reasonable price.

The Yellow Sea (2010)

The Film: A gambler goes to extraordinary lengths to settle his debts.

Why It's Amazing: It starts out as a generic--if beautifully shot--Korean gangster film before essentially turning into Terminator 2.

Seriously, the action in this thing is insane--made all the more involving because of how much we've come to care about the lead by the time it all kicks off.

Why You've Never Seen It: The Yellow Sea didn't experience a break-out into the western mainstream like OldBoy and I Saw The Devil, which is a shame as it's as good as both. It's available in the UK on DVD and Blu-ray pretty affordably.

The Runestone (1991)

The Film: When an ancient monster is unearthed in '90s Pennsylvania, the Norse god of combat arrives to kill the creature.

Why It's Amazing: It's as cheesy as hell, but if you miss practical effects monster movies, this is a real gem.

Why You've Never Seen It: Despite an amazing VHS cover, the DVD cover is awful--making it look like an Asylum version of Thor. But it is available on R2 DVD, at least.

The Strange Vengeance Of Rosalie (1972)

The Film: A traveling businessman picks up a teenage hitchhiker, who proceeds to kidnap him.

Why It's Amazing: Essentially Misery with a hillbilly, we're pretty certain Stephen King's seen this one even if you haven't.

Why You've Never Seen It: It's available on Region 1 DVD, but has never secured a UK release.

The Skull (1965)

The Film: Peter Cushing buys the Marquis De Sade's skull, only to find it's possessed by an evil spirit.

Why It's Amazing: See above.

Why You've Never Seen It: Made by Amicus Studios, who are essentially a slightly more obscure Hammer Films, The Skull seems to have been almost entirely forgotten by anyone other than underground film fans. It's ripe for a remake though--Sam Raimi could have a lot of fun with this.

Monster From Green Hell (1957)

The Film: When rocket scientists accidentally create giant creatures via cosmic rays, it's up to a fairly patronising colonial doctor in Africa to track the beasts down.

Why It's Amazing: Any film that features stock-footage elephants stampeding in fear from a giant polystyrene wasp is all right in our book. Sure, Monsters From Green Hell is terrible movie, but it's so profoundly bad it can't help but entertain.

Why You've Never Seen It: Because it's awful. But if you have enough beers / friends / pizza, you can make it amazing.