Blog Home - Archives

The Occult in Film: A Scarecrow Video Special Section

Scarecrow has a new special rental section to go along with the upcoming Occultural Film Series at Northwest Film Forum. Here's Tobi Nussbaum, co-organizer of the Occultural Film Series, with a description:

Embracing historical and contemporary currents in film, video, and moving images, the Occultural Film Series was established in 2012 to feature the esoteric and occult in cinema. The series is excited to collaborate with Scarecrow Video in creating a special section dedicated to occult film. Many of the films in the section extrapolate upon the body of films that will be showing at the Occultural Film Series Volume One:  Magick and Cinema with Brian Butler on Thursday, April 5 at 7pm at the Northwest Film Forum.


A Pandora’s Box of mystery and phantasmagorical imagery, occult cinema spans many genres, from experimental to horror. The Occultural Film Series created a special section at Scarecrow Video to trigger interest in a fascinating and complex subject. Occult filmmakers often play with the immeasurable, paranormal, extrasensory, and rich symbolism that permeates the diverse world of the esoteric arts. There are numerous occult films to choose from that encompass a large spectrum of belief, practice, and history. Perhaps those who search deep enough could find something hidden, whilst transformative, in most cinema. Film as a medium often requires one to step outside of the ordinary and believe, if only for a moment, in the extraordinary, possibly resulting in a transformation of the viewer’s consciousness. So why then create such a category as occult cinema? And how do we define it as separate from other films? Perhaps it is the viewer who decides this. Is it the altered state that it gifts us, or is it the multilayered symbolism that speaks to various levels of our consciousness? Is it the exploration of particular thematic, philosophical, and conceptual ideas that transmit mysterious and secret teachings? Is it a type of inverted cosmology? Or is it all in the details? There are esoteric currents that run along many mystical and religious paths. The occult draws from these currents, and is often seen as a symbiotic force. For our purposes, we might define some of these currents and occulture as: Alchemy, Hermeticism, Theosophy, Mystery Traditions, Rosicrucianism, Freemasonry, Traditional and Contemporary Witchcraft, Heathen Symbolism, Northern European Mysteries, Divinatory Arts, Shamanism, Haitian Voodoo, Esoteric Tantric Buddhism, Astrology, Thelema, Necromancy, Ceremonial Magick, Sex Magick, Chaos Magick, Hermetic Qabalah, Enochian Symbolism, Gnosticism, Paganism, Charming Traditions, Spiritualism, and so forth.

Enjoy !

Tobi Nussbaum

Co-organizer of the Occultural Film Series

The Occultural Film Series would like to thank Bryan Kent Ward and Pserah Be for their help in creating the list of films and video on display at Scarecrow Video.
Here are the titles we have in the section.  All are on DVD unless otherwise noted:
Alechemical Dream: Rebirth of the Great Work

Alice (Jan Svankmajer)

Alraune (1928) (VHS)

Altered States


Angel Heart (1987)

The Films of Kenneth Anger: Volumes 1 & 2

Beauty and The Beast (1946)


Bizarre Rituals: Dances Scared and Profane (VHS)

Black Orpheus (1959)

Blood of a Poet

Born of Fire (1986)

Close Your Eyes (2002)

The Color of Pomegranates/Paradjanov, A Requiem

Aleister Crowley: In Search of The Great Beast

Day of The Beast (PAL Code 2 DVD or VHS)

Maya Deren: Experimental Films

The Devil Rides Out (1968)


Dust Devil

Eyes Wide Shut

Fando y Lis

Faust (1926)

Faust (Jan Svankmajer)

The Golem (1920)

Haxan/Witchcraft Through the Ages

Heaven and Earth Magic (VHS)


Holy Mountain

Hour of The Wolf

In the Mirror of Maya Deren

In The Shadow of the Sun (VHS)

Jubilee (1977)

Lair of the White Worm

The Last Wave

Legend of The Witches

Lord of Illusions (Unrated Director’s Cut)

Lunacy (Jan Svankmajer)

Magic of Melies

The Magician (1958)

Melies the Magician: Magic of Melies

George Melies: Encore-New Discoveries 1896-1911

George Melies: First Wizard of Cinema

The Ninth Gate

Occult Experience (VHS)

Occult History of the Third Reich

Orpheus (1949)

Prospero’s Books (PAL Code 2 DVD)

Psychic TV: Black Joy

Psychic TV: Time’s Up-Live

Religions Sauvages (PAL DVD)

Renegade (2004)

Salome (1973)/The Forbidden (1978)

The Saragossa Manuscript

Secrets of the Occult

The Serpent and the Rainbow

The Seventh Seal (also on Blu-ray)

Shamans of The Amazon

Shout (1978) (PAL Code 2 DVD or VHS)

Harry Smith: Early Abstractions

Solaris (1972)

Speak of the Devil

The Tempest (1979, dir. Derek Jarman)

The Testament of Orpheus (1959)

El Topo

2001: A Space Odyssey

Vali: Witch of Positano (VHS)

Valerie and Her Week of Wonders (1970)

The Wicker Man (1973)

You'll find the section in the front of the store (parallel to the return slot) on the shelves facing the front counter.


To post a comment, please login.