Obscure Horror Cinema: Screams of a Winter Night

by William Burns

Hey all you horror fanatics:

Although there are thousands of horror films on DVD and Blu-ray, a significant number of horror movies have not made the migration from screen or VHS to the Hi-Def age. While some of these films should remain buried, there are many that deserve much more attention and praise. Through the good graces of fellow horror fans, lots of these neglected gems have been posted on YouTube, available for all to discover and enjoy. Are these films really lost gems or has their luster dulled over time? Do these movies merit the search or has their obscurity artificially inflated their value? Each week, HNN will brave the bottomless pit of YouTube, peer through the fuzzy images, and listen to the wobbly soundtracks to bring to light obscure films that are worthy of your time.

This week’s film is a wonky regional anthology film called Screams of a Winter Night. Released to drive-ins in 1979 and onto VHS by VCI, Screams of a Winter Night was shot on 16 mm in Louisiana by director James L. Wilson. The film opens with an unseen but loudly heard vicious attack on a family at Lake Durand, the same lake where a group of young adults go to have some fun. Though rumored to be the stomping grounds of the Wendigo, the revelers occupy a cabin and proceed to try to scare each other by telling ghost stories. The stories are based on urban legends are provide the episodes of this anthology film. Unfortunately, the film hasn’t been granted a DVD or Blu ray release, which could be the result of a rights issue or the lack of a big selling point. There isn’t any explicit gore or nudity in Screams of a Winter Night but if you are looking for atmospheric, low budget late 70’s horror, this obscurity should satisfy that itch.



Leave a Comment