South African Horror Films
The cinema of South Africa has turned out some quality films over the years, although many of these tend to be co-productions with other nations. The same holds true for South African horror films, but this also allows for a deeper exploration of the genre and a more diverse field of vision.
In the following list, we’ll take a look at some South African horror movies that you may want to put into your Netflix queue. From critically-maligned movies about Dracula in space, to the return of Corey Feldman, these horror flicks are a diverse and frequently terrifying lot.
- Night Drive (2010) - One of the most controversial South African horror films in the history of the nation, Night Drive follows a former undercover cop who takes part in a safari tour into the heart of Africa. The group is soon hunted by animal poachers who have turned to killing humans in order to harvest their organs for witchcraft, and this band of villains is headed up by the deranged Hyena Man. As they’re stalked by witch doctors and bloodthirsty hyenas, the group must also face dangers from within. A brutal film filled with solid performances, it also manages to shine a light on a social issue in Africa that’s not often talked about (especially in the suburbs).
- Lost Boys: The Thirst (2010) - A co-production between the U.S. and South Africa, this film stars Corey Feldman as Edgar Frog, the comic-book-loving vampire hunter last seen in the 80’s classic, The Lost Boys. With his vampire-killing days long behind him, Edgar struggles to make ends meet. But just when it looks like he’ll have to sacrifice his prized comics collection, a woman shows up offering him work. The employment opportunity, of course, just so happens to involve vampires. A fun bit of nostalgia for fans of the original.
- The Bone Snatcher (2003) - Filmed in Cape Town by South African director Jason Wulfsohn, The Bone Snatcher follows a diamond mine that has a tendency to claim the life of anyone who goes inside. When a team decides to investigate, you know the body count is about to rise again. Not many horror films take place primarily in the desert, so this one holds a unique place in film history.
- Dracula 3000 (2004) - Critics blasted this adaptation of the Dracula legend set in the 31st century, but you may still want to judge for yourself. While the story and effects are suspect at times, the cast does include Casper Van Dien, Erika Eleniak, Tiny Lister, Coolio, and Udo Kier. When the crew of a space salvage ship finds the Demeter floating in space, their investigations turn up a dead crew and a cargo that’s largely comprised of coffins.
- The Mangler (1995) - Tobe Hooper heads up this American/South African co-production that’s an adaptation of the Stephen King short story from Night Shift. Robert Englund stars in this tale of a sheet-steaming and ironing machine nicknamed “The Mangler.” After a freak set of circumstances occur, the device seems to take on a malevolent personality and develop a taste for human blood.
- Surviving Evil (2009) - Billy Zane headlines this South African horror film about a group of filmmakers who journey to a isolated island in the Philippines to make a special about survival. They’ll need to put what they’ve learned to the test, as the island turns out to be home a shape-shifting creature who likes to feed on the flesh of the living. A co-production between South Africa and the UK.
That concludes our look at South African horror films. If you’d like to experience the cinema of a foreign land, be sure to start your search at local retailers like Eerie Books. If you don’t have a local retailer that specializes in horror, then there are always sites like Amazon and the like.