One of the great perks of being a film connoisseur is uncovering one of those hidden gems - some astounding, unusual and unknown jewel of the past that invigorates us for days.

Now that the video/DVD explosion, combined with the on-line information revolution, has brought to light and popularized dozens of previously recondite titles, we must dig even deeper to unearth what completely obscure nuggets remain. And of course, the law of diminishing returns avers that these gems will in general shine less brilliantly than their predecessors. Furthermore, with almost every title discussed at least to some extent in reference books, film databases and specialized websites, it is becoming increasingly difficult to make a truly independent discovery. Thus, the eternal paradox - the more details we know of the film, the less it can surprise (and therefore thrill) us, but the need to identify and locate candidates is an inevitable prerequisite of the task.

Our goal here is to point out and whet your appetite for a few such candidates, and direct you to their sources. We assume that you are already conversant with the "usual suspects" like Detour and Carnival of Souls, and endeavour to sound the depths of truly obscure classic second features, independents and films maudits. Good hunting to all!

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