The horror genre is the perfect breeding ground for movies based on true events. Of course, we have flicks like The Conjuring, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, and A Nightmare on Elm Street that all derived their stories from real-life incidents. These, of course, are commonly known. However, there are plenty of others that you may not have known were based on true events. So here you are: 10 horror movies you didn’t know were based on true events.
Dr. Lamb (1992)
Let’s start with an obscure one. This Category III flick from Hong Kong is based on Lam-kor Wan, a serial murderer based on Hong Kong. Wan worked nights as a taxi driver and was responsible for the deaths of four women in the early eighties. He would pick them up, strangle them with electrical wire, then take him to his family’s home (where he lived) and dismember them. Wan committed necrophilia with the final victim – and recorded it! Wan was caught after attempting to develop photographs of one of his dismembered victims. He was sentenced to death, but his sentence was commuted to life imprisonment.
The Eight Immortals Restaurant: The Untold Story (1993)
Another Category III flick from Hong Kong. On August 4th, 1985, the murder of a family of 10 took place at the Eight Immortals Restaurant in Macau. The film infers that the murderer, named Wong Chi-hang (Anthony Wong) in the movie, then posed as the owner and served the bodily remains to the customers. The bit about cannibalism is not certain; rather, it is suspected due to the incomplete discovery of the bodies as well as the lack any smell of decomposition despite the summer heat.
Cannibal! The Musical (1993)
Trey Parker and Matt Stone’s debut feature is based on Alfred Packer, a miner who claims to have cannibalized his traveling companions when they got trapped in the snowy mountains of Colorado in the winter of 1874. However, he changed his story several times which ended up getting him tried for murder. After being sentenced to death, his sentence was commuted to life imprisonment. However, he was paroled after two years. He lived out his life in Colorado and died at the age of 65. It is widely rumored that Packer became a vegetarian after the ordeal.
Eaten Alive (1977)
Tobe Hooper’s second flick is based on American serial killer, Joe Ball. Known as “The Alligator Man,” Ball had a pond containing six alligators which he charged people to see. According to his accomplice, Clifford Wheeler, Ball killed about 20 women and fed their bodies to the alligators. When the authorities showed up to question him, Ball shot himself.
The Blob (1958)
Yes, you read that right: The Blob is based on a true story. Not about a man-eating blob from space – well, not exactly – so calm down. Star jelly is, according to folklore, a substance that rains upon the earth during meteor showers. It is a translucent substance that evaporates not long after landing on Earth. In 1950, four policemen in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania reported the discovery of a disk of jelly nearly six feet in diameter. Upon trying to pick it up, it dissolved into a sticky mess. This incident became the basis for The Blob.
Borderland is based on Aldofo de Jesus Constanzo, an American serial killer, drug dealer and leader of the cult Los Narcos-satanicos. On March 13th, 1989, Constanzo kidnapped pre-med student, Mark Kilroy, outside of a bar in Mexico and took him to Rancho Santa Elena, a house in the desert where Constanzo and his followers were living at the time. Texan politicians pressured the Mexican authorities, and four of Constanzo’s followers were picked up. Police quickly learned that Constanzo had murdered Kilroy. Fifteen mutilated bodies were discovered buried around the ranch. Constanzo committed suicide before being arrested.
The Serpent and the Rainbow (1987)
Wes Craven’s film is based on the book of the same name by anthropologist Wade Davis. Davis was in Haiti investigating the case of Clairvius Narcisse, a man who reportedly died and came back to life. Narcisse had been living as a zombie for two years when Davis got around to investigating his case.
The Hills Have Eyes (1977)
Alexander “Sawney” Bean was the leader of a clan of 48 Scottish men and women who murdered and cannibalized over 1,000 people sometime between the 13th and 16th centuries. The clan was brought to justice after attacking a married couple (the wife was killed). The men were hanged, drawn, and quartered; the women were burned at the stake.
I Spit on Your Grave (1978)
According to director Meir Zarchi, he and his friend were walking in New York when they stumbled upon a woman who’d been brutally raped. They took her to the cops where she was interrogated by an officer – who, according to Zarchi, wasn’t fit to wear the uniform. Zarchi decided to make a movie in which a raped woman brings her attackers to justice.
Child’s Play (1988)
This popular horror flick derived its story from “Robert,” a supposedly cursed doll that was once owned by painter and author Robert Eugene Otto. The doll was given to Otto by a badly-treated servant girl who was well-versed in the arts of voodoo. “Robert” stayed with Otto for the duration of his life. According to Otto’s wife and various neighbors, the doll would move about the house, taunt schoolchildren from the windows, and would move about the house. “Robert” is now on display in the Key West Martello Museum in Florida.
These are just some of the horror flicks out there that most don’t know were inspired by true events, but there are plenty of others out there just waiting to be found out. So what are you waiting for? Get out there and seek ‘em out!