I really dig horror movies. Ever since I was a kid, and I mentioned it on a previous blog. I have so many of them, but this time I’m only going to list 20 of them, and later I’ll add to it.
Feast – A great modern mixture of horror and comedy. I was amazed at how great it turned out to be, and it was a blind buy for me. Surprising moment was Jason Mewes getting his face ripped off. That was hilarious.
Leviathan – Another good old fashioned underwater monster movie. I loved seeing it as a kid, and the mutation effects, plus Daniel Stern sporting his “Marv” look a year before Home Alone are highlights. As is “Say ah motherfucker!” and “Woooo! Look at those white legs!”
Wolfen – This is one of my favorite wolf movies, and I don’t have many. It’s notable to me for the great chemistry that Finney and Hines have, and the fact that this movie gives Albert Finney the opportunity to be an action hero. I don’t think there’s any other movie where he’s sported a sniper rifle, or blown up a car that was brimming with wolves by shooting at it.
Cabin Fever -This flick gets a shitload of hate from many, but when it was released, I was hyped for this throwback to 80’s. It did not disappoint at all. It even succeeded in showing the when push comes to shove, Rider Strong lives up to his name. It also made guys beware that they should look before they stick.
Wrong Turn – Released the same year as Cabin Fever, this was another throwback this times to 70’s survival flicks. It’s pretty much an extended version of the X-Files episode “Home”, but thats what I like about it. It’s dirty, nasty, and not afraid of killing off people you think will make it to the end. The sequel does the unthinkable and actually tops the original.
Childs Play – When Chucky was actually scary. Dourif does a great job as the voice of the psychotic doll, and the effects are still pretty great. Chilling is the scene with the voodoo doll and Chucky’s voodoo priest friend.
Twilight Zone: The Movie. “You want to see something scary?” that line still chills me to this day. Also CCR’s “Midnight Special” will always be ingrained in my head in association with this flick. It’s a friggin’ great song to boot. The segment that cost Vic Morrow his life is good, mostly for his superb acting, but it’s the last two segments that really bring the scare. Especially the gremlin and Lithgow’s paranoid performance. Right from the start, you know he’s already on the edge. The gremlin just takes him over it.
Frontier(s) – Enjoyed this French flick which takes from a lot of different places in the genre, and gets shockingly gory at times. It’s also notable to me for being a movie that I didn’t think I’d ever watch with anyone, but I did. With my girlfriend, and she liked it.
The House On The Edge Of The Park – The sleazier version of The Last House On The Left. This movie actually has moments of comedy that are so black it’s almost like cancer. It also treats woment like shit which is never a good thing, but in this flick, once you see it and discover the “twist” you really wonder what the hell the women characters were thinking. Also the music in the movie is amazing. The main theme is infectious.
Halloween III: Season Of The Witch – A great atmosphere, and an eerie score make this sequel worthy of my list. Many deride it for not featuring the headliner of the franchise, but it’s got Tom Atkins in the lead, and Daniel O’Herlihy as a warlock out to play the nastiest trick ever played on children. This movie doesn’t end the way you’d think either.
Friday The 13th I-IV – I know I’m cheating here, but the first 4 movies are just that good. They are like their own little set of films and they have a certain look and feel that the rest of the series, (save for some of part 5) don’t have. It doesn’t hurt that II-IV are one little continuing storyline either.
Zombie – Lucio Fulci’s answer to Dawn Of The Dead (which I’ve read he already had this flick in production, it just came out after DOTD and people assumed it was just another ripoff) has it all in a zombie flick. A great low key opening theme that stays with you marvelous effects, and a great final last stand with the survivors battling it out with the island zombies in the old church/hospital. Great action, and a simple, yet effective plot.
The Evil Dead/Evil Dead II – More cheating on my part. I actually saw II before the first one, so that made the first one even more frightening in my eyes. The first one just sets out to assault you at every turn, and it succeeds. The second one succeeds by doing virtually the complete opposite of the first, and still being effective.
Maniac – Joe Spinell’s virtual one man show is something to see. He really puts his all into it, and most serial killer flicks no matter how dirty they try to make the killer, never succeed. In Maniac, Spinell is grossly over weight, sweats at every moment, and even gets to go out on a date with Caroline Munro! A winner on all counts. Has some gallows humor too. Try not to laugh when Spinell has his face smashed up against the car window while Savini is all over the broad. I dare you.
Day Of The Dead – Bet you’re wondering where I’m going to put Dawn Of The Dead? I’m not putting it anywhere on this list. The only Romero flick other than the original Night that gets mulitple play from me nowadays is this one. An interesting development, since the first time I saw it I hated it. I rented the dvd of it later, and found myself watching it every day that I had it as a rental, then I bought the 2 disc dvd, and it became the first horror movie I bought on blu-ray. Great score (yeah, I like it a lot) great acting, and of course top notch Savini effects.
Alien – Before it became action, it was a haunted house in outer space. Alien does everything that isn’t in the book. It kills off the person who you thought would be the main character, not long into the movie, the creature stalks like a slasher, and admit it that the hand popping out of the wall at the end scared the shit out of you, and still does.
Psycho II – I’ll give this one a slot over the original (which I’ll put on my next list), because Anthony Perkins had the courage to revisit the character 22 years later. Not a few years later, but 22. Jerry Goldsmith’s score is beautiful, and the story is not half assed. It’s quite good, and adds to the mythos set by the first one. It’s a sequel done right.
The Fly – Scared me ever since I was a kid, and I was actually not able to sit through the ending sequence entirely for years. Mostly for Stathis’ scene. Cronenberg made the second great remake ever, and Goldblum’s slow descent into madness should have netted him at least an Academy Award. The fact that the tables turn and the jealous ex-boyfriend turns into the unlikely hero at the end just goes to show that there are many shades of gray, and not every one is a “villain” or a “good guy” in Cronenberg’s world.
Jacob’s Ladder – A movie that will forever be burned into my mind because my parents took me to see it when I was 6, mostly because it was playing as a double feature with Robot Jox which was what I really wanted to see, and I saw this movie that scared the crap out of me. Even the tv spots which showcased the creepy faceless creature that was in close up in the car that almost runs Jacob over scared me. Another great score, and the hospital sequence will never be anything less than unsettling.
The Thing – Carpenter’s masterpiece. Another flick that got it’s hooks into me as a young kid in the early 90’s. Paranoia, Russell’s awesome hat, Morricone’s score, and Bottin’s effects run rampant here, and there’s not one instant of voodoo bullshit. A perfect movie through and through.
My next listing will continue with more that I didn’t mention this time, along with some that I’m not as crazy about as I used to be.
Rene’s song of the day: “Theme from Brannigan” by Dominic Frontiere
Thanks for reading my blog and see you next time!