They Shoot Zombies, Don't They?

#501-#600

The 1,000 Greatest Horror Films: #501-#600

The 1,000 Greatest Horror Films: Introduction | #1-#100 | #101-#200 | #201-#300 | #301-#400 | #401-#500 | #501-#600 | #601-#700 | #701-#800 | #801-#900 | #901-#1000 | Full List | Sources | The 21st Century’s Most Acclaimed Horror Films | Top 50 Directors

Calvaire

501. (-85) Calvaire

Fabrice Du Welz

2004 / Belgium / 88m / Col / Psychological | IMDb
Laurent Lucas, Brigitte Lahaie, Gigi Coursigny, Jean-Luc Couchard, Jackie Berroyer, Philippe Nahon, Philippe Grand’Henry, Jo Prestia, Marc Lefebvre, Alfred David


“It helps to find the very dark, dark humor in “Calvaire,” a grueling, disgusting and quite effective horror film from Belgium. Part “Psycho,” part “Deliverance” and all creepy, it is simultaneously off-putting and absorbing… What sells this movie is the realistic attention to detail and the bravura direction of Fabrice Du Welz, who draws a gut-wrenching performance from Lucas, who cries, squeals and screams with the best of them… this feels different and fresh. At the very least, it gets under your fingernails.” – G. Allen Johnson, San Francisco Chronicle

Planet Terror

502. (-108) Planet Terror

Robert Rodriguez

2007 / USA / 105m / Col / Zombie | IMDb
Rose McGowan, Freddy Rodríguez, Josh Brolin, Marley Shelton, Jeff Fahey, Michael Biehn, Rebel Rodriguez, Bruce Willis, Naveen Andrews, Julio Oscar Mechoso


“Planet Terror – Robert Rodriguez’s contribution to his Grindhouse collaboration with Quentin Tarantino – is a first-rate homage to the schlocky, sleazy B-movies of decades past, loading on the gore, clichés, and self-referential dialogue like there’s no tomorrow with a cascade of influences from John Carpenter, James Cameron, George A. Romero and Lucio Fulci (just to name a few), all the while topping off its gimmicky (though totally effective) construction with countless scratches, blips, audio/visual inconsistencies and even a carefully placed “missing reel” in its loving ode to the almost lost end-of-the-line theater experience.” – Rob Humanick, Projection Booth

Histoires extraordinaires

503. (-85) Histoires extraordinaires

Federico Fellini & Louis Malle & Roger Vadim

1968 / France / 121m / Col / Anthology | IMDb
Brigitte Bardot, Alain Delon, Jane Fonda, Terence Stamp, James Robertson Justice, Salvo Randone, Françoise Prévost, Peter Fonda, Marlène Alexandre, David Bresson


“This tryptich is notable for sporting three of the most recognizable names in 1960s European cinema: Roger Vadim, Louis Malle, and Federico Fellini. Each director was tasked with visualizing an obscure Poe story, translating Poe’s dream-like prose poetry to the movie screen. The results could hardly be more mixed… Roger Vadim starts us off with a plodding gender-bending retelling of Poe’s “Metzengerstein”… Malle’s episode is an engaging enough entry, but in the end it doesn’t amount to much and leaves too many plot holes unfilled… Episode 3, however — this is the one people talk about when they talk about Spirits of the Dead. Federico Fellini’s “Toby Dammit” stars Terence Stamp in a piece that’s a Fellini film festival in miniature… stylish, dense, hypnotic, and a perfect 40-minute introduction if you’ve been wondering what “Fellini-esque” means. By itself this makes Spirits of the Dead worth a look.” – Mark Bourne, DVDJournal.com

Silent Hill

504. (+1) Silent Hill

Christophe Gans

2006 / Canada / 125m / Col / Supernatural | IMDb
Radha Mitchell, Sean Bean, Laurie Holden, Deborah Kara Unger, Kim Coates, Tanya Allen, Alice Krige, Jodelle Ferland, Colleen Williams, Ron Gabriel


“The film is overlong, with too many unnecessary scenes (a lot of the movie seems like pointless running around), but it packs in a few scary moments and offers a nicely ambiguous conclusion. In Silent Hill, atmosphere trumps storyline… I have never played the game Silent Hill, but that didn’t stop me from appreciating some of what director Christophe Gans (who displayed a similar visual flair in Brotherhood of the Wolf) puts on the screen – although I suspect aficionados will have a better grasp of what is transpiring. Silent Hill looks great. The town is suitably eerie and the periods of darkness are ominous. The movie is all about visual appeal, feel, and tone, because the story underwhelms.” – James Berardinelli, ReelViews

The Craft

505. (+18) The Craft

Andrew Fleming

1996 / USA / 101m / Col / Witchcraft | IMDb
Robin Tunney, Fairuza Balk, Neve Campbell, Rachel True, Skeet Ulrich, Christine Taylor, Breckin Meyer, Nathaniel Marston, Cliff De Young, Assumpta Serna


““The Craft” has a remarkable sense of style and it offers something for everyone with sharp performances, great special effects, and a unique horror story that ends on a truly twisted note. It’s a film that deserves much more attention than it gets in the span of the decade, as “The Craft” is a pure nineties gem that offers great imagery, strong special effects, and a story that will appeal to fantasy and horror buffs alike.” – Feliz Vasquez Jr., Cinema Crazed

The Faculty

506. (-27) The Faculty

Robert Rodriguez

1998 / USA / 104m / Col / Science Fiction | IMDb
Jordana Brewster, Clea DuVall, Laura Harris, Josh Hartnett, Shawn Hatosy, Salma Hayek, Famke Janssen, Piper Laurie, Christopher McDonald, Bebe Neuwirth


“Scream writer, Kevin Williamson, has teamed up with Robert Rodriguez, the director of Tarantino’s Mexican vampire gorefest, From Dusk Till Dawn. The result is far more intelligent than you might dare suppose. As a teenage take on Invasion Of The Body Snatchers, it combines strong characters with paranoid thriller techniques – can I trust her? Is she one of them? – and wicked special effects. The film succeeds so well in a genre, where pastiche is the norm, by accepting absurdity as real. Rodriguez is less showy than he was with From Dusk Till Dawn and Desperado. He takes it seriously, as do the young actors, all of whom deserve praise. It makes the difference between shlock horror and interesting fear.” – Angus Wolfe Murray, Eye for film

Bubba Ho-Tep

507. (-83) Bubba Ho-Tep

Don Coscarelli

2002 / USA / 92m / Col / Comedy | IMDb
Bruce Campbell, Ossie Davis, Ella Joyce, Heidi Marnhout, Bob Ivy, Edith Jefferson, Larry Pennell, Reggie Bannister, Daniel Roebuck, Daniel Schweiger


“Campbell could have been born to play Elvis – he completely nails both the voice and the mannerisms, even under a hefty amount of old age make-up. It’s a superb performance – if there were any justice, Campbell would get an Oscar nomination. Davis is equally good and the pair make a great screen couple – their friendship is genuinely touching… Bubba Ho-Tep isn’t quite the full-on schlock-fest you might be expecting – in fact, it’s relatively short on action, and the actual showdown, though funny, is rather anti-climactic. Instead, the film emerges as a surprisingly moving story about death, dignity and doing what needs to be done. (Noting, in the process, that anything’s better than meeting your maker while on the toilet).” – Matthew Turner, ViewLondon

Land of the Dead

508. (-15) Land of the Dead

George A. Romero

2005 / USA / 93m / Col / Zombie | IMDb
Simon Baker, John Leguizamo, Dennis Hopper, Asia Argento, Robert Joy, Eugene Clark, Joanne Boland, Tony Nappo, Jennifer Baxter, Boyd Banks


“The ideas fly as fast and furious as the body parts, but brilliantly Romero never stoops to obvious, dialogue-driven harangues, instead opting to submerge his conceit- that is, a divided society where zombies reflect our own political complacency – in the forgotten stuff of subtext. The gore is amped up appropriately from earlier films, and provides a literal cross-section of destruction and dismemberments; some of them exist for sheer thrill value, but Romero, unlike many of his style-stealing disciples, knows that substantive storytelling is the key to evoking true dread, not a coroner’s checklist of body parts.” – Todd Gilchrist, IGN Movies

Koroshiya 1

509. (-58) Koroshiya 1

Takashi Miike

2001 / Japan / 129m / Col / Splatter | IMDb
Tadanobu Asano, Nao ômori, Shin’ya Tsukamoto, Paulyn Sun, Susumu Terajima, Shun Sugata, Toru Tezuka, Yoshiki Arizono, Kiyohiko Shibukawa, Satoshi Niizuma


“‘Ichi the Killer’ is a bizarre sado-masochistic love story, an unnerving excursion into criminal and sexual extremes, and a comicbook explosion of lurid colours and freakish characters – but most of all, it is a furious, frenetic and at times very funny piece of bravura filmmaking, with outstanding performances, spectacular setpieces, dizzying moodswings, a killer soundtrack, and a mindbending conclusion. Guaranteed to amaze, shock, disgust and intrigue in equal measure, ‘Ichi the Killer’ is one of the most striking films ever made.” – Movie Gazette

Død snø

510. (-115) Død snø

Tommy Wirkola

2009 / Norway / 90m / Col / Zombie | IMDb
Vegar Hoel, Stig Frode Henriksen, Charlotte Frogner, Lasse Valdal, Evy Kasseth Røsten, Jeppe Beck Laursen, Jenny Skavlan, Ane Dahl Torp, Bjørn Sundquist, ørjan Gamst


“I’m not going to bother here with the argument that tremendously over-the-top gore like this is or isn’t a wicked thing, or a guilty pleasure, or balls-out fun; when I’m watching a movie in which the filmmakers are plainly loving their gore as much as Tommy Wirkola plainly loves gore, that is what I am going to respond to. Dead Snow is a movie made with a childlike glee for the material, which translates into marvelously playful geysers of blood. It’s all so much fun, made with a minimal level of contempt for the characters that makes it far unlike so many American horror films, and for this reason the comedy in the film (which is a horror-comedy more than it is a horror film with comedy relief) actually works, better than the comedy works the vast majority of English-language horror. This is the sprightliest movie about mowing down revenants with a chainsaw that you are are ever likely to see.” – Tim Brayton, Antagony & Ecstasy

Stake Land

511. (+61) Stake Land

Jim Mickle

2010 / USA / 98m / Col / Vampire | IMDb
Connor Paolo, Gregory Jones, Traci Hovel, Nick Damici, James Godwin, Tim House, Marianne Hagan, Stuart Rudin, Adam Scarimbolo, Vonia Arslanian


“Making the most of a modest budget, director and co-writer Mickle profitably focuses on establishing character and the film’s overall haunted tone rather than simply conjuring gratuitous mayhem. An effective economy of style and the faded color scheme admirably suit this stripped-down aesthetic. The lead performances are solid, despite somewhat generic characterizations, and all-importantly, the vampires’ acting, makeup and costuming are persuasive, even if they appear nearly as dim-witted as a typical zombie. Stake Land’s trenchant worldview, both dystopian and completely rational, shows more affinity with the likes of The Road, 28 Days Later and Night of the Living Dead than it does with movies inclined to romanticize or demonize vampires. The message that America, with all of its social ills and conflicts, is a nation devouring itself seems particularly appropriate as budget battles and culture wars rage on unabated.” – Justin Lowe, The Hollywood Reporter

House of Wax

512. (-9) House of Wax

Jaume Collet-Serra

2005 / USA / 108m / Col / Slasher | IMDb
Elisha Cuthbert, Chad Michael Murray, Brian Van Holt, Paris Hilton, Jared Padalecki, Jon Abrahams, Robert Ri’chard, Dragicia Debert, Thomas Adamson, Murray Smith


“House of Wax seemingly exists solely for visceral response, and even hardened horror genre buffs will find some things to squirm about here. The process of turning a victim into a wax figure is thoroughly disturbing, and the prolonged death sequences will leave some audience members screaming for mercy. This is one of the more gruesome horror offerings in recent years, and unapologetically so. Just the way it should be.” – Bill Clark, From The Balcony

House

513. (+60) House

Steve Miner

1986 / USA / 93m / Col / Haunted House | IMDb
William Katt, George Wendt, Richard Moll, Kay Lenz, Mary Stavin, Michael Ensign, Erik Silver, Mark Silver, Susan French, Alan Autry


“Even though the creatures in the film are truly disgusting, there is a lack of blood and gore. That makes this the perfect kind of film for the horror hunting 12 year old kids out there. Just creepy and gruesome enough to satisfy their curiosity, but not enough to have them sleep with the lights on. The lighthearted nature that some of the more frightening scenes take helps to ease the tension. House ranks up there as one of the best horror comedies around, sitting in a list that includes Evil Dead 2 and Dead Alive. There’s a lot to enjoy here, and it’s pretty fast paced, rarely slowing down once the insanity starts. If you haven’t had a chance to watch this one yet, I suggest picking it up right now. You won’t be disappointed.” – The Film Reel

Altered States

514. (-18) Altered States

Ken Russell

1980 / USA / 102m / Col / Science Fiction | IMDb
William Hurt, Blair Brown, Bob Balaban, Charles Haid, Thaao Penghlis, Miguel Godreau, Dori Brenner, Peter Brandon, Charles White-Eagle, Drew Barrymore


“The film’s real hook was—and is—the fantasy scenes, and these hold up remarkably well 30 years after the fact. There’s a true sense of wonder, awe and terror to them, and Russell—working with the biggest budget of his career—allowed his imagination to run wild. In fact, Altered States became a cult classic on this basis alone, being particularly cherished by the late-night stoner crowd, who had timed the film so they could sneak out for another toke or two during the dialogue scenes. While that’s amusing, it’s also rather unfortunate, because it obscures the fact that the film itself is pretty darn impressive on a number of other levels and has a cumulative emotional punch that’s quite unexpected.” – Ken Hanke, Mountain Xpress

Wolfen

515. (-4) Wolfen

Michael Wadleigh

1981 / USA / 115m / Col / Werewolf | IMDb
Albert Finney, Diane Venora, Edward James Olmos, Gregory Hines, Tom Noonan, Dick O’Neill, Dehl Berti, Peter Michael Goetz, Sam Gray, Ralph Bell


“It plays primarily as horror, but as the mystery as to what is behind the killings unravels, thriller and fantasy elements begin to take over. It’s an uneven experience, but does have its rewards, and the quirky nature of it can probably be attributed to the previous directorial experience of counter-culture director Michael Wadley, whose previous work includes putting together the highly influential documentary, Woodstock. Although the goriness of the film isn’t excessive, mostly generated by graphic descriptions of the events, this does have the effect of making the movie a little more unnerving. There are a few shots of dismembered bodies and the like, but the more these are shown, the less convincing they become. In fact, that can be said of the film as a whole, which retains more interest as a mystery than after all the cards are shown, but by the time it all clicks together, enough thrills and chills have been had to make it a worthwhile viewing experience for those looking for that kind of entertainment.” – Vince Leo, Qwipster’s Movie Reviews

Jason Lives: Friday the 13th Part VI

516. (-96) Jason Lives: Friday the 13th Part VI

Tom McLoughlin

1986 / USA / 86m / Col / Slasher | IMDb
Thom Mathews, Jennifer Cooke, David Kagen, Renée Jones, Kerry Noonan, Darcy DeMoss, Tom Fridley, Alan Blumenfeld, Matthew Faison, Ann Ryerson


“The previous FRIDAY films were one-note affairs; this time out, a slightly new tune is being played (this is literally the case: composer Henry Manfredini’s familiar theme music is augmented with a couple songs performed by Alice Cooper (including “He’s Back: The Man Behind the Mask”). Whatever its weaknesses, JASON LIVES is a reasonably fun attempt at remaking the franchise into an old-fashioned monster movie, and fans of Frankenstein, the Mummy, and other creatures of the walking dead may find it appealing.” – Steve Biodrowski, Cinefantastique

Deliria

517. (-4) Deliria

Michele Soavi

1987 / Italy / 90m / Col / Slasher | IMDb
David Brandon, Barbara Cupisti, Domenico Fiore, Robert Gligorov, Mickey Knox, Giovanni Lombardo Radice, Clain Parker, Loredana Parrella, Martin Philips, James Sampson


“If most surreal horror is something like a messy dream, Soavi’s debut is something almost better, a film in which dreamlike horror keeps interfering with something almost realistic, from the moment that dance number erupts in a back alley, to the deliberately obnoxious joke ending. It is horror expressed as purely as it can be, not so very frightening, but massively unsettling and chaotic, an exercise in crafting 90 minutes of uncanny sensory overload just for the pure brutal delight in doing it. This is, as such things go, not a terribly “meaningful” horror movie, theme-wise; but oh how very wonderfully it captures the capriciousness of the inexplicable and the psychotic!” – Tim Brayton, Antagony & Ecstasy

Halloween

518. (-14) Halloween

Rob Zombie

2007 / USA / 109m / Col / Slasher | IMDb
Malcolm McDowell, Brad Dourif, Tyler Mane, Daeg Faerch, Sheri Moon Zombie, William Forsythe, Richard Lynch, Udo Kier, Clint Howard, Danny Trejo


“The good news is, Zombie in no way diminishes our nightmares. While not so much a unique vision as a loving tribute, director Zombie updates the classic with a tighter script, re-thought locations for some key scenes, and a decent cast willing to to make a true slasher film, teen nudity and all. Unlike The Fog remake that threw out all the elements that made the original so scary and watchable, Zombie lifts scenes and lines from the original while making better sense and setting a better pace. Amazingly, Zombie’s Halloween is an improvement over the original film, exactly the kind of film one expects when lamenting, “Wow, can you imagine what this movie would be like if they made it today?”” – Kevin A. Ranson, MovieCrypt

The Driller Killer

519. (+2) The Driller Killer

Abel Ferrara

1979 / USA / 96m / Col / Exploitation | IMDb
Abel Ferrara, Carolyn Marz, Baybi Day, Harry Schultz, Alan Wynroth, Maria Helhoski, James O’Hara, Richard Howorth, Louis Mascolo, Tommy Santora


“Do not approach Driller Killer expecting a shocking parade of exploitation and horror because you will only be disappointed and miss the sublime squalor of Ferrara’s early artistic sensibilities. It isn’t an exploitation film that attempts to shock and horrify through contrived indecencies, but rather acts as an examination of urban squalor as both a subject matter and an aesthetic sensibility. The film is ugly because the realities of inner city life are ugly, and Driller Killer examines these unexposed realities with macabre fascination.” – Matthew Blevins, Next Projection

Dagon

520. (+8) Dagon

Stuart Gordon

2001 / Spain / 95m / Col / Supernatural | IMDb
Ezra Godden, Francisco Rabal, Raquel Meroño, Macarena Gómez, Brendan Price, Birgit Bofarull, Uxía Blanco, Ferran Lahoz, Joan Minguell, Alfredo Villa


“Re-Animator director Stuart Gordon returns to literary horror with Dagon, another H.P. Lovecraft adaptation that takes his trademark grisliness to Spain for a real fish-out-of-water yarn having to do with love, sex and demon worship… Despite the Lovecraftian pedigree, what we really have here is a cheap horror potboiler: Stuart Gordon’s Attack of the Fish People. I swear that’s not a bad thing… Given the downright conservative tone of most horror films lately, the ripping and raping that caps Dagon’s leisurely build is itself startling. Replete with gore and nudity, the final reels make it to giddy exploitation territory.” – Bryant Frazer, Deep Focus

The Shout

521. (+11) The Shout

Jerzy Skolimowski

1978 / UK / 86m / Col / Psychological | IMDb
Alan Bates, Susannah York, John Hurt, Robert Stephens, Tim Curry, Julian Hough, Carol Drinkwater, John Rees, Jim Broadbent, Susan Wooldridge


“Bates’s brilliant performance certainly makes his character all the more enigmatic; his delivery and steely glances bring a charismatic strength to Crossley’s weirdness. The sound used is as present and important as another main character; every effect is surreal and distorted from the call of a peacock to the intense sound of Crossley’s shout – turn the volume right up when you watch. The flash forwards, quick cuts and flashbacks also serve to keep the audience guessing about what is really going on, embarking on a tense, mysterious and sometimes confusing narrative where we’re never really sure who is lying to who.” – Beth Squires, Screen Jabber

The Funhouse

522. (+13) The Funhouse

Tobe Hooper

1981 / USA / 96m / Col / Slasher | IMDb
Elizabeth Berridge, Shawn Carson, Jeanne Austin, Jack McDermott, Cooper Huckabee, Largo Woodruff, Miles Chapin, David Carson, Sonia Zomina, Ralph Morino


“Menacingly scored by composer John Beal, the booming orchestrations complimenting the onscreen action, “The Funhouse” is a scary, fantastical, and most of all intelligent thriller that, like the original “Halloween,” proves slasher films can be sleek and upscale without going for low-rent gore tactics. The climax, rising to a fever pitch within the bowels of the funhouse, is first-rate, while the final scene subtly says a lot without spelling things out.” – Dustin Putnam, The Movie Boy

April Fool's Day

523. (-102) April Fool’s Day

Fred Walton

1986 / USA / 89m / Col / Slasher | IMDb
Jay Baker, Pat Barlow, Lloyd Berry, Deborah Foreman, Deborah Goodrich, Tom Heaton, Mike Nomad, Ken Olandt, Griffin O’Neal, Leah Pinsent


“Lest it seem like “April Fool’s Day” is but a talky, introspective bore, the film does a solid job of intermixing the character work with a well-paced horror plot that grows creepier and more involving once the ensemble has been whittled down to only a few. The climax, wherein Kit and boyfriend Rob (Ken Olandt) piece together the dark secrets from Muffy’s past as they sense an immediate danger lurking around them, generates slick suspense, several indelible images (murdered baby dolls and eyes behind a painting spring to mind), and a whopper of a twist ending that lifts the picture above and beyond the typical, standard-issue slasher fare.” – Dustin Putnam, The Movie Boy

Mil gritos tiene la noche

524. (-96) Mil gritos tiene la noche

Juan Piquer Simón

1982 / USA / 85m / Col / Slasher | IMDb
Christopher George, Lynda Day George, Frank Braña, Edmund Purdom, Ian Sera, Paul L. Smith, Jack Taylor, Gérard Tichy, May Heatherly, Hilda Fuchs


“Throughout the course of the narrative we’re given absurd red herrings, hammy acting, and bad dubbing all set to the tune of pure nihilistic gore and grue that involves the shadowy figure mutilating these women in the most horrific ways imaginable and stealing parts of their bodies. The mystery leads us down many roads and suspects where Simon plays with the audiences perceptions and allows them a guess or two with tricky camera shots and slight of hand, but by the time the climax rolls around it’s clear he’s just given up and is intent on making the most out of this insane scenario while making his stamp on the horror genre living in cult infamy. “Pieces” is such a fun little blood soaked gem, you’ll be surprised if you don’t see it again immediately after to catch its little nuances.” – Felix Vasquez Jr., Cinema Crazed

The Monster Squad

525. (+8) The Monster Squad

Fred Dekker

1987 / USA / 79m / Col / Comedy | IMDb
Andre Gower, Robby Kiger, Stephen Macht, Duncan Regehr, Tom Noonan, Brent Chalem, Ryan Lambert, Ashley Bank, Michael Faustino, Mary Ellen Trainor


“Although a heart felt tribute to the great movie monsters of filmland this little gem was especially appealing to an 80s kid because it dared to stick an affectionate middle- finger up at the stately Hammer Horror movies that were concurrently screened on our TVs ad nauseum. This movie opens with Van Helsing fucking up! It also depicts the classic character of the Wolf Man being kicked in the nuts! That singular boot to the balls kick starts the Squad’s ascendancy to a force to be reckoned with and also acted as the ultimate revenge for a legion of sleep deprived kids haunted by late night werewolf TV escapades.” – Dan Palmer, You’ve Got Red On You

Angustia

526. (+63) Angustia

Bigas Luna

1987 / Spain / 86m / Col / Slasher | IMDb
Zelda Rubinstein, Michael Lerner, Talia Paul, Àngel Jové, Clara Pastor, Isabel García Lorca, Nat Baker, Edward Ledden, Gustavo Gili, Antonio Regueiro


“With this film I get the feeling of having got two different film for the price one and the whole thing is definitely greater than the sum of it parts. I loved the over-the-top melodrama of The Mommy with its grisly eye horror, vengeful madwoman and deeply trippy hypnosis scenes but I also thought Anguish itself was nice tense thriller film too all framed nicely together to form a wry and entertaining examination of the relationship between the audience and the film. This film had me gripped me right up until the old man in the cloth cap got up and left the cinema.” – Peter Anderson, Nameless Horror

The Beast Within

527. (-44) The Beast Within

Philippe Mora

1982 / USA / 98m / Col / Werewolf | IMDb
Ronny Cox, Bibi Besch, Paul Clemens, Don Gordon, R.G. Armstrong, Katherine Moffat, L.Q. Jones, Logan Ramsey, John Dennis Johnston, Ron Soble


“While at times excessively slow-moving and ultimately over-thinking the building of its mystery a little too hard, overall THE BEAST WITHIN is a smart, effective film about all-too-human evil, especially the sort one finds in extremely small, close-knit communities where blood ties are stronger then the rule of law, manifesting itself as a superhuman evil, while at the same time providing an excellent twist on the werewolf theme that was popular in horror in the early 1980s and a deliciously visceral take on the old canard about “the sins of the father.”” – Bill Adcock, Radiation-Scarred Reviews

Cat's Eye

528. (+9) Cat’s Eye

Lewis Teague

1985 / USA / 94m / Col / Anthology | IMDb
Drew Barrymore, James Woods, Alan King, Kenneth McMillan, Robert Hays, Candy Clark, James Naughton, Tony Munafo, Court Miller, Russell Horton


“As a whole, CAT’S EYE is a well-written and well-produced slab of 80’s horror nostalgia, and aside from some of the music and dated special effects, there’s not much that prevents the film from being timeless. There’s a certain amount of black humor present that Stephen King was so good at, and there are brilliant callbacks throughout the film, be it portions of the film referencing earlier segments, or subtle things that reference scenes or bits of dialogue that didn’t initially seem noteworthy.” – Aaron Duenas, The Death Rattle

The Addiction

529. (+14) The Addiction

Abel Ferrara

1995 / USA / 82m / Col / Vampire | IMDb
Lili Taylor, Christopher Walken, Annabella Sciorra, Edie Falco, Paul Calderon, Fredro Starr, Kathryn Erbe, Michael Imperioli, Jamal Simmons, Robert W. Castle


“Shot in b/w, with an effectively murky jungle/funk/rap score, this is the vampire movie we’ve been waiting for: a reactionary urban-horror flick that truly has the ailing pulse of the time. AIDS and drug addiction are points of reference, but they’re symptoms, not the cause. Ferrara’s chiaroscuro imagery is as striking as anything in Coppola’s Dracula, while the voice-over narration often recalls Apocalypse Now. Scary, funny, magnificently risible, this could be the most pretentious B-movie ever – and I mean that as a compliment.” – Time Out

Frightmare

530. (+31) Frightmare

Pete Walker

1974 / UK / 88m / Col / Cannibal | IMDb
Rupert Davies, Sheila Keith, Deborah Fairfax, Paul Greenwood, Kim Butcher, Fiona Curzon, John Yule, Trisha Mortimer, Victoria Fairbrother, Edward Kalinski


“”Frightmare” is perhaps [Pete Walker’s] most admired production, if only because it caused quite a stir during its initial theatrical release, upsetting critics at the time with its X-rated vision of cannibalism and murder, while offering a provocative condemnation of criminal rehabilitation services. In 2014, it’s difficult to understand why such a fuss was raised, with the genre now exposing every perversion and evil known to man, but what remains under the aged layers of condemnation is a crafty chiller, wonderfully performed and executed with a refreshing grimness. “Frightmare” has its share of ugliness, but it’s also considered work from Walker, who isn’t merely out to sicken, but haunt his audience with this effective picture.” – Brian Orndorf, Blu-ray.com

The Sorcerers

531. (+8) The Sorcerers

Michael Reeves

1967 / UK / 86m / Col / Science Fiction | IMDb
Boris Karloff, Catherine Lacey, Elizabeth Ercy, Ian Ogilvy, Victor Henry, Sally Sheridan, Alf Joint, Meier Tzelniker, Gerald Campion, Susan George


“”How long do you think all this can last?” asks a bored Mike at a swinging 60s happening. And this throwaway line becomes the central thread of Michael Reeves’s stunning second film The Sorcerers, the movie that would pave the way for his masterpiece Witchfinder General in 1968. While on the surface offering a seemingly carefree world of mind altering drugs, free love and promiscuous sex, Reeves instead probes deeper and suggests a darker side where moral laxity leads not to joy, but to destruction. For the characters who abandon responsibility, death is waiting.” – Tom Fallows, Classic-Horror

The Hound of the Baskervilles

532. (+47) The Hound of the Baskervilles

Terence Fisher

1959 / UK / 87m / Col / Mystery | IMDb
Peter Cushing, André Morell, Christopher Lee, Marla Landi, David Oxley, Francis De Wolff, Miles Malleson, Ewen Solon, John Le Mesurier, Helen Goss


“Fisher, at the peak of his career, used Conan Doyle’s plot to establish a stylish dialectic between Holmes’ nominally rational Victorian milieu and the dark, fabulous cruelty behind the Baskerville legend. This opposition is expressed within the first ten minutes, when he moves from the ‘legend’ with its strong connotations of the Hellfire Club (the nobleman tormenting a young girl with demonic satisfaction) to the rational eccentricities of Baker Street. Holmes is indeed the perfect Fisher hero, the Renaissance scholar with strong mystical undertones, and Cushing gives one of his very best performances, ably supported by Morell (who does not make the usual mistake of overplaying Watson). Lee is in equally good form as the Baskerville heir, and Jack Asher’s muted Technicolor photography is superb.” – Derek Adams, Time Out

Captain Kronos - Vampire Hunter

533. (-17) Captain Kronos – Vampire Hunter

Brian Clemens

1974 / UK / 91m / Col / Vampire | IMDb
Horst Janson, John Carson, Shane Briant, Caroline Munro, John Cater, Lois Daine, Ian Hendry, Wanda Ventham, William Hobbs, Brian Tully


“By the time the 1970s had rolled around, British production studio Hammer Films… seemed to represent that last bastion of clear demarcation in horror films as to what represented good and what represented evil. In the late ’60s and early ’70s, moral ambiguity was the trampoline most horror films bounced their terror off of, and Hammer’s unique brand of Neanderthal ethics were looking more and more like relics… At any rate, and putting reactionary readings of horror fads aside, writer-director Brian Clemens’s Kronos (though Clemens wrote hundreds of scripts, this was his sole helming gig) is still a fascinating blend of swashbuckling Renaissance Fair heroics and an un-traditional peek at the Vampire myth” – Eric Henderson, Slant Magazine

Dr. Phibes Rises Again

534. (+11) Dr. Phibes Rises Again

Robert Fuest

1972 / UK / 89m / Col / Black Comedy | IMDb
Vincent Price, Robert Quarry, Valli Kemp, Peter Jeffrey, Fiona Lewis, Hugh Griffith, Peter Cushing, Beryl Reid, Terry-Thomas, John Cater


“Like any good sequel, ‘Dr. Phibes Rises Again’ builds on the first film, recycling what worked while adding some new elements…. If there is a weakness, it is that the sequel tends to emphasize the campy humor at the expense of the horror. With Phibes now nominally the hero, the audience is not really expected to be frightened by him; instead, we are invited to identify and laugh along with him as he polishes off everyone in his way. Still, this is a small price to pay for the faster-paced plot and many imaginative and amusing touches that make this an extremely entertaining fantasy adventure, if not a very scary horror film.” – Steve Biodrowski, Cinefantastique

A Nightmare on Elm Street Part 2: Freddy's Revenge

535. (+9) A Nightmare on Elm Street Part 2: Freddy’s Revenge

Jack Sholder

1985 / USA / 87m / Col / Slasher | IMDb
Mark Patton, Kim Myers, Robert Rusler, Clu Gulager, Hope Lange, Marshall Bell, Melinda O. Fee, Tom McFadden, Sydney Walsh, Robert Englund


“Viewed strictly on the surface, “A Nightmare on Elm Street Part 2: Freddy’s Revenge” is a well-made and suspenseful possession-laden thriller that drops some of the rules distinguished by the first “A Nightmare on Elm Street” in order to avoid being a mere lazy redux […] For its underlying message about sexual oppression in a cynical world, though, the film endeavors to go one step deeper. Psychology majors could have a field day with “A Nightmare on Elm Street Part 2: Freddy’s Revenge.” So much is left to open-ended interpretation that it couldn’t have possibly been by accident that the picture plays not only as slasher fantasy, but as poignantly-felt coming-of-age story in which the hero’s complicated struggles to find himself and be accepted by others aren’t so easily wrapped up with a tidy ribbon.” – Dustin Putnam, The Movie Boy

Magic

536. (+51) Magic

Richard Attenborough

1978 / USA / 107m / Col / Evil Doll | IMDb
Anthony Hopkins, Ann-Margret, Burgess Meredith, Ed Lauter, E.J. André, Jerry Houser, David Ogden Stiers, Lillian Randolph, Joe Lowry, Bob Hackman


“Magic is an exceptional work of cinema that has much to offer to the viewer who is willing to indulge at different levels. Attenborough and Goldman conjure up a nightmarish world that grows creepier with every passing moment. Slowly but relentlessly, the viewer is sucked into the eerie world of endless uncertainties wherein he must come face to face with his deepest fears and innermost desires before being plunged into a psychological maelstrom of varied emotions. Magic is indeed magical! And it’s the dream-like director-actor pairing of two great English thespians, Richard Attenborough and Anthony Hopkins, which lifts the film above the other cinematic products of its kind.” – Murtaza Ali, A Potpourri of Vestiges

The Prophecy

537. (+58) The Prophecy

Gregory Widen

1995 / USA / 98m / Col / Supernatural | IMDb
Christopher Walken, Elias Koteas, Virginia Madsen, Eric Stoltz, Viggo Mortensen, Amanda Plummer, Moriah ‘Shining Dove’ Snyder, Adam Goldberg, Steve Hytner, J.C. Quinn


“Yes, this is Walken’s show, but you have to give credit to Elias Koteas, Eric Stoltz and Virginia Madsen for doing a fantastic job, and also to a very young Viggo Mortensen as Lucifer himself. The Prophecy is a superb horror, which has a great story, some decent shocks and a nice level of gore which is not too much. The only thing that really lets it down is some of the effects are a bit crap, but hey, it would seem the director put most of his effort into creating a great story and getting the best from his actors, which he has done to brilliant effect.” – Matt Wavish, Horror Cult Films

Hannibal

538. (-32) Hannibal

Ridley Scott

2001 / USA / 131m / Col / Thriller | IMDb
Anthony Hopkins, Julianne Moore, Gary Oldman, Ray Liotta, Frankie Faison, Giancarlo Giannini, Francesca Neri, Zeljko Ivanek, Hazelle Goodman, David Andrews


“There is not one inessential scene in Hannibal — it’s extremely plot-centered, and those who treasured the quiet pockets of dread and sadness in Silence will miss those things here. (I would’ve liked a little more competitive scenery-chewing between Verger and Lecter, for instance.) Hannibal hits the ground running and sprints for more than two hours towards its grisly, by-now-infamous climax. What the movie lacks in emotional tonality, though, it more than makes up for in operatic Grand Guignol and dark comedy, as well as a ghoulish parody of a tragic love story. Lecter, it seems, is mesmerized by Clarice — her pain, her strength, but mainly her force of will. In the movie’s major departure from the book, the feeling is not mutual; Clarice wants to save Lecter, but only to bring him back to a cell. The choice he eventually gives Clarice — and himself — in a key moment defines both their characters superbly.” – Rob Gonsalves, eFilmCritic

Willard

539. (-45) Willard

Daniel Mann

1971 / USA / 95m / Col / Nature | IMDb
Bruce Davison, Sondra Locke, Elsa Lanchester, Michael Dante, Jody Gilbert, William Hansen, John Myhers, J. Pat O’Malley, Joan Shawlee, Almira Sessions


“Despite it’s reputation as simply a horror film about a creepy guy who loves rats (a reputation confirmed by the forgettable Crispin Glover remake), Willard is actually much more than that. It’s a complex and sympathetic character study and for a few misfits in the audience, it gave us a protagonist we could finally identify with and a film that helped define our later lives. It was Willard and not Catcher in the Rye, where we finally came to recognize our own alienation.” – Jim Knipfel, Den of Geek

Los sin nombre

540. (-38) Los sin nombre

Jaume Balagueró

1999 / Spain / 102m / Col / Mystery | IMDb
Emma Vilarasau, Karra Elejalde, Tristán Ulloa, Toni Sevilla, Brendan Price, Jordi Dauder, Núria Cano, Isabel Ampudia, Carles Punyet, Aleix Puiggalí


“Rather than bombard viewers with shocking scares, Jaume Balaguero’s multi-award-winning feature debut builds up an overwhelming and oppressive sense of dread with plenty of suspense thrown in. As the characters’ fear grows, so does yours… There are a few plot weaknesses – many questions go unanswered – but The Nameless gets it right in so many other areas it is easy to forgive. Albert Carreras and Xavi Giménez’s cinematography is stunning and creates pit-of-your-stomach dread from the off. There is very little colour in the film – the world is icy blue and grey aside from the old home movies Claudia pores over… Balaguero sets out to define evil – and he manages it in truly graphic yet glorious style.” – Leanne McGrath, Eye for Film

Dementia 13

541. (+10) Dementia 13

Francis Ford Coppola

1963 / USA / 75m / Col / Mystery | IMDb
William Campbell, Luana Anders, Bart Patton, Mary Mitchel, Patrick Magee, Eithne Dunne, Peter Read, Karl Schanzer, Ron Perry, Derry O’Donavan


“The central murder sequence, basically the film’s “shower scene” is still one of the most atmospheric, poetic, and nightmarish horror set pieces ever photographed. It’s derivative, but honestly scarier than anything in Psycho. When the conniving Louise (Luana Anders) strips down to her underwear to dive into a lake at night, Coppola designs the sequence for eroticism, poetic atmosphere, classic gothic creepiness and the revelation of a “double scare”. Coppola’s handling of the “double scare” is timed perfectly, shifting gears from the spooky to the shocking in just a few seconds. From the eerie image of a perfectly preserved dead little girl in an underwater grave memorial to Louise meeting a violent and painful death by ax on the shore above, the moments go off like firecrackers.” – Brian Holcomb, KinetoFilm

The Kiss of the Vampire

542. (-62) The Kiss of the Vampire

Don Sharp

1963 / UK / 88m / Col / Vampire | IMDb
Clifford Evans, Edward de Souza, Noel Willman, Jennifer Daniel, Barry Warren, Brian Oulton, Noel Howlett, Jacquie Wallis, Peter Madden, Isobel Black


“But where Kiss works so well is in its restraint; holding back on the horrors in favour of subtlety- an unusual move for Hammer one might think, but one Sharp felt was right for the film and adjusted the screenplay accordingly. What was important was the story, the development of characters, the creation of mood, the building of tension – so that when the invitable shock/horror comes it is all the more effective. Less is certainly more in this case. And while, yes, the film is let down somewhat at the end by the unconvincing bat attack, what preceeds it more than makes up for this. Hind’s intelligent riff on the vampire theme, Sharp’s wonderful construction of pace, mood, scene and characterisation, some stand-out performances, and poetically beautiful score and design, make Kiss of the Vampire one of Hammer’s more off-beat but satisfying Gothics.” – MovieFanFare

Vampire Circus

543. (-23) Vampire Circus

Robert Young

1972 / UK / 87m / Col / Vampire | IMDb
Adrienne Corri, Thorley Walters, Anthony Higgins, John Moulder-Brown, Laurence Payne, Richard Owens, Lynne Frederick, Elizabeth Seal, Robin Hunter, Domini Blythe


“Modern viewers will indeed be amazed at the level of grue here. Throats are slashed, human beings torn limb from limb by ferocious beasts. Said vivisected bodies are discovered in horrific fashion, and gunshots blow holes in the back of hunky henchmen. This isn’t your pathetic piecemeal PG-13 shocker. From a crucifix to a cutlass, weapons draw gallons of blood here, and Young shows a real flare for fatalistic invention. Indeed, the director is Vampire Circus‘s certified wild card here. While sticking to the storytelling conventions rather well, he adds unique visual elements to the mix, including obvious homages to then arthouse cinema hits and moments of his own unique invention (a pair of aerialists are shot from below as they spin and contort in the air, giving their performance a surreal, hallucinogenic aura).” – Bill Gibron, Pop Matters

Dracula

544. (+3) Dracula

John Badham

1979 / USA / 109m / Col / Vampire | IMDb
Frank Langella, Laurence Olivier, Donald Pleasence, Kate Nelligan, Trevor Eve, Jan Francis, Janine Duvitski, Tony Haygarth, Teddy Turner, Sylvester McCoy


“This film is not a standard horror film, though there are some horrific moments. It plays up the notion that Dracula is a sensual, smoldering, sexual creature rather than an animal with no soul. In that respect, Frank Langella (who played the role on stage) plays it up to the hilt and delivers – using his body language and his fluid lines with the mark of a real actor. He is a tall, charismatic and towering presence and brings Dracula alive with more relish and attitude than most others who have attempted the role.” – Jerry Saravia, Jerry Saravia on Cinema

Frankenstein

545. (-45) Frankenstein

Kenneth Branagh

1994 / USA / 123m / Col / Monster | IMDb
Robert De Niro, Kenneth Branagh, Tom Hulce, Helena Bonham Carter, Aidan Quinn, Ian Holm, Richard Briers, John Cleese, Robert Hardy, Cherie Lunghi


“Writers Steph Lady and Frank Darabont (The Shawshank Redemption) retain much of the source’s action and all of its spirit, but still make the work speak to our age. Their lines echo modern concerns, from the boundaries of medicine to epidemics even to students on athletic scholarships. The mayhem that overtakes so many versions of Frankenstein doesn’t here. Through all the passion and horror runs a strong philosophical cord, questioning our ability to challenge nature, to remake it simply because we can. The film is ever reminding us there are costs to crossing frontiers, human lives, that must be considered.” – Robert Faires, Austin Chronicle

The Night Flier

546. (+37) The Night Flier

Mark Pavia

1997 / USA / 94m / Col / Vampire | IMDb
Miguel Ferrer, Julie Entwisle, Dan Monahan, Michael H. Moss, John Bennes, Beverly Skinner, Rob Wilds, Richard K. Olsen, Elizabeth McCormick, J.R. Rodriguez


“THE NIGHT FLIER stays true to the source material, while changing a few things up that actually work better in this visual medium. Even though Dees is a complete and utter tool, we can’t help ourselves enjoy watching this despicable man go through a creepy investigation that ultimately leads to a confrontation that will decide his fate. In the realm of Stephen King adaptations, THE NIGHT FLIER is great. In the world of vampire films, it’s also great. This is an underrated gem of a movie that deserves more acclaim than it gets.” – Derrick Carter, For The Love Of Celluloid

House of Dark Shadows

547. (-63) House of Dark Shadows

Dan Curtis

1970 / USA / 97m / Col / Vampire | IMDb
Jonathan Frid, Grayson Hall, Kathryn Leigh Scott, Roger Davis, Nancy Barrett, John Karlen, Thayer David, Louis Edmonds, Don Briscoe, David Henesy


“The soap opera Dark Shadows was Curtis’ baby and it ran on ABC from 1966-1971 hitting the peak of its popularity with the release of this film in 1970. While the show had many long running storylines and even storylines in different eras, Curtis decided that the film version was going to tell the Barnabas vampire tale alone. Audiences were a bit shocked by how much harsher the film version of the show was, with a Barnabas that was much less sympathetic and violence that was, well, violent. With a tightly focused vampire story, Curtis produced a film which has the feel of a classic Hammer film… The film is aided immeasurably in this regard by its location photography in upstate New York and Connecticut.” – Brian Holcomb, Kinetofilm

Et mourir de plaisir

548. (+1) Et mourir de plaisir

Roger Vadim

1960 / France / 87m / Col / Vampire | IMDb
Mel Ferrer, Elsa Martinelli, Annette Stroyberg, Alberto Bonucci, René-Jean Chauffard, Gabriella Farinon, Serge Marquand, Edith Peters, Nathalie Lafaurie


“In some ways, Blood and Roses strikes me as a much-belated European response to Val Lewton’s horror movies for RKO. Like the majority of those films, Blood and Roses cloaks what is fundamentally a psychological thriller in a skin of supernatural horror, and circumvents the target audience’s natural antipathy for “rational” explanations by making the validity of the supernatural manifestations the story’s central mystery. Obviously, that demands from Vadim and his collaborators a much more acute understanding of people’s mental and emotional processes than was typically displayed by horror filmmakers in this era, together with a far greater investment in character development. At a time when most fright films were simplistic stories of good vs. evil, Blood and Roses presents a startlingly mature examination of sexual neurosis and the dark side of exactly the sort of romanticism in which escapist cinema normally trades.” – Scott Ashlin, 1000 Misspent Hours

The Keep

549. (-51) The Keep

Michael Mann

1983 / USA / 96m / Col / Supernatural | IMDb
Scott Glenn, Alberta Watson, Jürgen Prochnow, Robert Prosky, Gabriel Byrne, Ian McKellen, William Morgan Sheppard, Royston Tickner, Michael Carter, Phillip Joseph


“The best way I can describe everything is this: The Keep isn’t a movie. The Keep is an experience. It’s impossible for anyone not to get taken in by the lush visuals and the fantastical score, and if you can ignore the choppy plot, you’re going to have a great time. While the novel was really more of a Gothic horror story (and the movie is to an extent), this is more of a fairy tale filled with the classic good versus evil scenario, a romance, engaging characters, and some exploding Nazi heads thrown in for good measure.” – James Oxyer, Obscure Cinema 101

Kingdom of the Spiders

550. (-8) Kingdom of the Spiders

John ‘Bud’ Cardos

1977 / USA / 97m / Col / Nature | IMDb
William Shatner, Tiffany Bolling, Woody Strode, Lieux Dressler, David McLean, Natasha Ryan, Altovise Davis, Joe Ross, Marcy Lafferty, Adele Malis-Morey


“If you’ve come to Kingdom of the Spiders expecting Oscar-caliber material or high art, turn away now – this is a bona fide B-movie… Kingdom of the Spiders might not be the finest film ever made, but it’s a solid monster movie filled with jumps, bumps and spine-tingling jolts. The biggest highlight of this film is the spiders themselves. Spider trainer Jim Brockett did an amazing job creating a sense of invasion and threat, despite using such surprisingly timid creatures. The tarantulas are horrifying villains, creeping and crawling into our heroes’ safe house, just like zombies from a Romero picture, or a slasher like Michael Meyers from a horror film. They even cut the power in one scene.” – R.L. Shaffer, IGN UK

The Wizard of Gore

551. (-32) The Wizard of Gore

Herschell Gordon Lewis

1970 / USA / 95m / Col / Splatter | IMDb
Ray Sager, Judy Cler, Wayne Ratay, Phil Laurenson, Jim Rau, Don Alexander, John Elliot, Karin Alexana, Jack Gilbreth, Corinne Kirkin


“In both its approach and execution, the original Wizard of Gore is a sleazy, surreal treat. It uses a shoestring narrative thread that allows Lewis to indulge in his ever increasing bits of brutality. The splatter set pieces are rather inventive, including a human hole punch and a tasty chainsaw attack. While the mystery of what’s happening to these young girls is part of the plot process, Wizard would rather spend the majority of its time watching Sager overact. A longtime associate of Lewis’, this on-set jack-of-all-trades in gray sprayed hair is pure ham as our perverted prestidigitator. His line delivery would be laughable if the actor wasn’t trying to take it all so sincerely. Together with the red stuff, the 1970 Wizard is some goofy, grotesque fun.” – Bill Gibron, Pop Matters

Street Trash

552. (+26) Street Trash

J. Michael Muro

1987 / USA / 91m / Col / Splatter | IMDb
Mike Lackey, Bill Chepil, Vic Noto, Mark Sferrazza, Jane Arakawa, Nicole Potter, Pat Ryan, Clarenze Jarmon, Bernard Perlman, Miriam Zucker


“Awful business aside, “Street Trash” is a fantastically directed picture, enjoying fluid camera movement and textured locations, with crisp, smartly framed cinematography that makes the minimal budget look like the production spent millions of dollars. Muro has a terrific eye for the dark delights of the movie, and his visual sense is masterfully boosted by extraordinary achievements in set design and make-up effects, with the melt scenes unforgettable. It’s unnerving how polished “Street Trash” is, once again disturbing expectations with a virile cinematic appearance.” – Brian Orndorf, Blu-Ray.com

Lo squartatore di New York

553. (-29) Lo squartatore di New York

Lucio Fulci

1982 / Italy / 91m / Col / Giallo | IMDb
Jack Hedley, Almanta Suska, Howard Ross, Andrea Occhipinti, Alexandra Delli Colli, Paolo Malco, Cinzia de Ponti, Cosimo Cinieri, Daniela Doria, Babette New


“The ugly duckling and the slashed nipple, a Géricaultian composition. A bald steal from Friedkin’s Cruising introduces the view under the Brooklyn Bridge, the credits roll over a freeze-frame of a purplish, severed hand gripped by an old man’s dog. One young woman is slaughtered while trapped in the belly of the Staten Island Ferry (the cityscape vanishes in the distance, the switchblade fills the screen), another is mutilated backstage at a 42nd Street sex club (green and scarlet neon bathes the splayed corpse), two of the pit-stops in Lucio Fulci’s American Sodom Tour… Fulci’s most corrosive vision. What comes in from Fleischer’s The Boston Strangler goes into Fincher’s Seven.” – Fernando F. Croce, CinePassion

Fido

554. (-28) Fido

Andrew Currie

2006 / Canada / 93m / Col / Zombie | IMDb
David Kaye, Jan Skorzewski, Kevin Tyell, Andy Parkin, Lynn Pendleton, Gary Slater, Taylor Petri, Glenn Richards, Raphael Kepinski, Carl-James Kalbfleisch


“[The] set-up sounds like an amusing premise for a mild little low-budget spoof, but FIDO is much more than that: it’s a full-blown social satire with zombies at its center. Equal part LASSIE, old TV sit-coms, and 1950s movie melodramas, the film pokes fun at contemporay society in the tradition of the old TWILIGHT ZONE series – by hiding its commentary in another time, another place. It’s not very scary; it’s not even always hysterically funny. But its satire is always sharp as steel, cutting through the facade of happy, everyday “normality” with almost as sting as David Lynch’s BLUE VELVET.” – Steve Biodrowski, Cinefantastique

The Crazies

555. (-28) The Crazies

George A. Romero

1973 / USA / 103m / Col / Zombie | IMDb
Lane Carroll, Will MacMillan, Harold Wayne Jones, Lloyd Hollar, Lynn Lowry, Richard Liberty, Richard France, Harry Spillman, Will Disney, Edith Bell


“The underlying cynicism and despair about individual initiative and governmental intervention reflect the social insecurity of the period when The Crazies was released. The senseless prolongation of the war in Viet Nam and the decay of urban centers gnawed at the public mood, leading not to renewed social activism, but to the self-defeating narcissism that typified the latter years of the ‘70s. Romero’s horror films—like those of John Carpenter, Wes Craven, and David Cronenberg—illustrated a mood of entropy. The monsters these directors conjured may have been figments of their imagination, but they drew attention to very real horrors. And, at a time when SARS and terrorism exercises are daily news, the fabricated panic of The Crazies feels more than a little close to home.” – David Sanjek, Popmatters

Q

556. (+91) Q

Larry Cohen

1982 / USA / 93m / Col / Fantasy | IMDb
Michael Moriarty, Candy Clark, David Carradine, Richard Roundtree, James Dixon, Malachy McCourt, Fred J. Scollay, Peter Hock, Ron Cey, Mary Louise Weller


“Cohen gives Q the Jaws treatment for as long as possible, showing a shadow here and a neck there, but holding off on the whole creature until later. This limitation gives him plenty of opportunities for clever staging, like a death from above revealed through a sprinkle of blood rain on the people below, and wry dark comedy, like when Shepard shrugs off the question “Did you find the guy’s head yet?” with a nonchalant “It’ll turn up.” When Cohen finally relents and shows Q flapping around in all its glory, he doesn’t try to hide the effects to make them seem slicker than they are; all the attacks take place during the day, and while Q won’t give anyone nightmares, there’s a throwback charm to it that honors Japanese monster movies more authentically than an expensive Hollywood production ever could.” – Scott Tobias, The Dissolve

Quella villa accanto al cimitero

557. (-45) Quella villa accanto al cimitero

Lucio Fulci

1981 / Italy / 86m / Col / Splatter | IMDb
Catriona MacColl, Paolo Malco, Ania Pieroni, Giovanni Frezza, Silvia Collatina, Dagmar Lassander, Giovanni De Nava, Daniela Doria, Gianpaolo Saccarola, Carlo De Mejo


“A “video nasty,” THE HOUSE BY THE CEMETERY brings the blood in a big way, thanks to Fulci’s special effects muse Giannetto De Rossi. There are painstakingly long decapitations, stabbings, throat-removals and more throughout the film, all presented with disgusting Eurohorror depth and detail. Even though not the most horrific of Fulci’s career, THE HOUSE BY THE CEMETERY is by no means for the weak at heart, especially those adverse to creepy, crawly insects. Above all else THE HOUSE BY THE CEMETERY is a damn fine Fulci film, and a good launching point for those who want to get into European Horror and giallo. Good gore, fantastic atmosphere and heartfelt performances are on display, all topped off with the standard, bleak Fulci ending.” – Ken W. Hanley, Fangoria

Pin

558. (+38) Pin

Sandor Stern

1988 / Canada / 103m / Col / Psychological | IMDb
David Hewlett, Cynthia Preston, Terry O’Quinn, Bronwen Mantel, John Pyper-Ferguson, Helene Udy, Patricia Collins, Steven Bednarski, Katie Shingler, Jacob Tierney


“Written and directed by Sandor Stern and adapted from the novel by Andrew Neiderman, Pin succeeds by treating its questionable premise with unflinching conviction. Stern’s direction, successfully building tension when required, is generally workmanlike – and this is what saves the film. A more sensationalistic treatment of the subject matter could easily have become ludicrous, but Stern’s entirely matter-of-fact approach makes the whole exercise oddly convincing.” – N. Emmett, Shadowgum

Night of the Demons

559. (-23) Night of the Demons

Kevin Tenney

1988 / USA / 90m / Col / Haunted House | IMDb
Hal Havins, Allison Barron, Alvin Alexis, Harold Ayer, Billy Gallo, Cathy Podewell, Karen Ericson, Lance Fenton, Donnie Jeffcoat, Linnea Quigley


“”Night of the Demons” doesn’t have anything of importance to say and offers no deep messages. Instead, it’s got violence, sex, nudity and a good-humored script. There are all different types of genre films, and this one was purely made to entertain. Its technical and creative ingenuity is but a plus on the scorecard, and its wraparound sequence, involving a grouchy old man who has the tables turned on him when he slips razorblades in the trick-or-treaters’ apples, is a bewitchingly grim capper. “Night of the Demons” isn’t free of flaws, but it is practically dripping with the blood, sweat and tears of those who set out to make a genuinely good party movie, and did exactly that.” – Dustin Putnam, The Movie Boy

The Terminator

560. (-68) The Terminator

James Cameron

1984 / USA / 107m / Col / Science Fiction | IMDb
Arnold Schwarzenegger, Michael Biehn, Linda Hamilton, Paul Winfield, Lance Henriksen, Rick Rossovich, Bess Motta, Earl Boen, Dick Miller, Shawn Schepps


“As an action film, The Terminator remains a surprisingly meditative work, its concentrated visceral bursts not unlike punctuation marks among something more brooding, even prayerful… It’s one of the most hopeful films ever made, and its one that we can yet take much from. Knowing what she does of the future, Sarah driving off into the coming storm in the films final shot is a profound acceptance of unimaginable responsibility, but the film argues further that every life is meaningful, even vital, in the final equation. Even on the eve of self-destruction, mankind is still worth saving, and the most complex machine can yet fall to the simplest.” – Rob Humanick, Slant Magazine

The Woman in Black

561. (-60) The Woman in Black

Herbert Wise

1989 / UK / 100m / Col / Haunted House | IMDb
Adrian Rawlins, Bernard Hepton, David Daker, Pauline Moran, David Ryall, Clare Holman, John Cater, John Franklyn-Robbins, Fiona Walker, William Simons


“With the phenomenal success of both the West End play and the recent Hammer Films adaptation, it’s easy to forget this earlier version of Susan Hill’s spine-chilling ghost story. Broadcast on the ITV network on Christmas Eve in 1989 The Woman in Black still manages to stir up a few scares in a slow-moving but effective yarn… Adrian Rawlins as Arthur Kidd is particularly sympathetic and you cannot help but feel for our handsome but haunted hero as he is mercilessly pursued by the terrifying spectre of the mysterious woman in black… there are enough twists and turns of the plot to leave an uneasy chill long after the credits have rolled.” – Richard Gladman, Classic Horror Campaign

The Nightmare Before Christmas

562. (-54) The Nightmare Before Christmas

Henry Selick

1993 / USA / 76m / Col / Musical | IMDb
Danny Elfman, Chris Sarandon, Catherine O’Hara, William Hickey, Glenn Shadix, Paul Reubens, Ken Page, Edward Ivory, Susan McBride, Debi Durst


“Only the deliciously demented imagination of Edward Scissorhands director Tim Burton could have come up with such a dark vision of the holiday season. Producing here, Burton called on the services of innovative animation director Henry Selick and composer Danny Elfman for this wonderfully weird fable. Packed with scary spooks, gags and dazzling décor, it enchants with every busy frame as spindly Jack Skellington, the mastermind behind Halloween, hijacks Christmas out of boredom, becoming a frightening Santa delivering nasty surprises instead of presents to terrified children. The film’s affectionate trashing of Christmas traditions is conceptually cunning and clever enough to please every generation, making it an unmissable treat that’s destined to become as great a yuletide favourite as The Wizard of Oz.” – Alan Jones, Radio Times

The Hidden

563. (-54) The Hidden

Jack Sholder

1987 / USA / 97m / Col / Science Fiction | IMDb
Kyle MacLachlan, Michael Nouri, Claudia Christian, Clarence Felder, Clu Gulager, Ed O’Ross, William Boyett, Richard Brooks, Larry Cedar, Katherine Cannon


“With a fantastic blend of wit and horror, The Hidden is a surprisingly overlooked flick from the ‘80s that would have gone well paired with They Live or some of Fred Dekker’s past films. There’s an absurdity to the whole thing that makes the film laughable; but then again, The Hidden might be seen in a more morbid light by our post-9/11 audiences, especially when it comes to the multiple scenes of aimless violence the alien commits. Even decades later, the film remains relatable, despite the obvious tale of fiction it presents.” – Ryne Barber, Horror News

Jigoku

564. (-42) Jigoku

Nobuo Nakagawa

1960 / Japan / 101m / Col / Splatter | IMDb
Shigeru Amachi, Utako Mitsuya, Yôichi Numata, Hiroshi Hayashi, Jun ôtomo, Akiko Yamashita, Kiyoko Tsuji, Fumiko Miyata, Akira Nakamura, Kimie Tokudaiji


“Jigoku is a beautiful film. Its play with lighting effects, colour gels and jarring camera angles makes everything – both on earth and below – seem an off-kilter nightmare, while the soundtrack of jazz, wood percussion and theremin only adds to the sense of disorientation. Realism this is not, but Nakagawa is nonetheless concerned with depicting a society that has lost its moral balance, at a time when memories of war-time horror were still fresh in the Japanese mind, while post-war modernisation was engendering its own anxieties about over-permissiveness and the dissipation of traditional values.” – Anton Bitel, Eye For Film

Dracula A.D. 1972

565. (-40) Dracula A.D. 1972

Alan Gibson

1972 / UK / 96m / Col / Vampire | IMDb
Christopher Lee, Peter Cushing, Stephanie Beacham, Christopher Neame, Michael Coles, Marsha A. Hunt, Caroline Munro, Janet Key, William Ellis, Philip Miller


“[I]n the proud cinematic tradition of Abbott & Costello Meet the Mummy and The Three Stooges Meet Hercules, I give you this week’s title, Dracula A.D. 1972 — a riotously campy encounter between Christopher Lee’s legendary Carpathian bloodsucker, Peter Cushing’s tweedy Van Helsing, and a bevy of swinging Carnaby Street ‘birds’ lining up for the kill in miniskirts and go-go boots. Let me be clear about one thing upfront… Dracula A.D. 1972 isn’t a great movie. It isn’t even a great Hammer Dracula movie. But it is an undeniable hoot to watch” – Chris Nashawaty, Entertainment Weekly

A Clockwork Orange

566. (-37) A Clockwork Orange

Stanley Kubrick

1971 / UK / 136m / Col / Science Fiction | IMDb
Malcolm McDowell, Patrick Magee, Michael Bates, Warren Clarke, John Clive, Adrienne Corri, Carl Duering, Paul Farrell, Clive Francis, Michael Gover


““A Clockwork Orange” is about the rise and fall and rise of Alex in a world that is only slightly less dreadful than he is… Yet Kubrick has chosen to fashion this as the most elegantly stylized, most classically balanced movie he has ever made–and not, I think, by accident… It seems to me that by describing horror with such elegance and beauty, Kubrick has created a very disorienting but human comedy, not warm and lovable, but a terrible sum-up of where the world is at. With all of man’s potential for divinity through love, through his art and his music, this is what it has somehow boiled down to: a civil population terrorized by hoodlums, disconnected porno art, quick solutions to social problems, with the only “hope” for the future in the vicious Alex.” – Vincent Canby, New York Times

The Dunwich Horror

567. (-37) The Dunwich Horror

Daniel Haller

1970 / UK / 90m / Col / Supernatural | IMDb
Sandra Dee, Dean Stockwell, Ed Begley, Lloyd Bochner, Sam Jaffe, Joanne Moore Jordan, Donna Baccala, Talia Shire, Michael Fox, Jason Wingreen


“One of the first appearances of the Necronomicon on the big screen was director Daniel Haller’s 1970 creep-fest The Dunwich Horror… even though the script takes a few liberties with Lovecraft’s original story, it is a surreal mix of a supernatural occult thriller and an alien monster movie. Because it was adapted from a short story and expanded into a feature length movie (by L.A. Confidential screenwriter Curtis Hanson and Lock Up scribe Henry Rosenbaum), the story does drag a bit in places, but the plot moves in a way that makes sense towards a classic B-movie climax, and the characters, although stereotypical, are well written enough to carry the scenes in which action is light.” – James Jay Edwards, FilmFracture

Macabre

568. (-37) Macabre

William Castle

1958 / USA / 72m / BW / Thriller | IMDb
William Prince, Jim Backus, Christine White, Jacqueline Scott, Susan Morrow, Philip Tonge, Jonathan Kidd, Dorothy Morris, Howard Hoffman, Ellen Corby


“Macabre is deservedly well known for its audacious advertising campaign (the old insurance policy if you die of fright slant)… At heart, Macabre is much more of a suspenser — albeit not one that’s as nail-biting as it wants to be… Still, Macabre has a few good setpieces that, through surprise and shock, do manage to produce a decent number of chills. Castle’s direction is competent, but not inspired enough; he benefits from fine assistance from cinematographer Carl Guthrie. While not as good as one wants it to be, Macabre has enough high points to make it worth a look.” – Craig Butler, AllMovie

Diary of the Dead

569. (-23) Diary of the Dead

George A. Romero

2007 / USA / 95m / Col / Zombie | IMDb
Michelle Morgan, Joshua Close, Shawn Roberts, Amy Lalonde, Joe Dinicol, Scott Wentworth, Philip Riccio, Chris Violette, Tatiana Maslany, Todd Schroeder


“Diary may initially struggle to get up to speed as it reprises business from the earlier films, but Romero has lost none of his wild inventiveness. This film has more left-field weirdness and edgy suspense than Land, with unexpected characters (a deaf, dynamite-throwing Amish farmer), grim jokes (the zombie birthday clown who bleeds when his red nose is pulled off) and horror scenes you have never seen before (in a crowded, gloomy warehouse, amid reserves of gasoline, a single, hard-to-find zombie mingles with jittery, well-armed folk). It turns out that despite decades of experiment, there are still spectacular new ways of killing zombies on screen (a slow acid-dissolve of the skull), while presenting state-of-the-art make-up effects vérité-style recalls the impact of the gruesome intestine-gobbling scene in 1968.” – Sight and Sound

Spalovac mrtvol

570. (-14) Spalovac mrtvol

Juraj Herz

1969 / Czechoslovakia / 95m / Col / Black Comedy | IMDb
Rudolf Hrusínský, Vlasta Chramostová, Jana Stehnová, Milos Vognic, Zora Bozinová, Ilja Prachar, Eduard Kohout, Jirí Menzel, Míla Myslíková, Vladimír Mensík


“Herz’s direction has an expressionist feel, shot in black and white with a striking use of shadow and marked gothic sensibility. The film is very much seen through Kopfrkingl’s eyes, and as such, the city is given the look of a tomb, with the crematorium resembling the grand temple of death which he imagines it to be. This does mean that the proceedings do at times slip into the realm of the surreal, though this is skilfully done and works well as a method of illustrating both the character and the country’s decent into madness, giving the atmosphere that of an inescapable nightmare. “The Cremator” is a unique example of modern gothic cinema, being both fantastic and grimly realistic.” – James Mudge, Beyond Hollywood

Il rosso segno della follia

571. (-6) Il rosso segno della follia

Mario Bava

1970 / Italy / 88m / Col / Giallo | IMDb
Stephen Forsyth, Dagmar Lassander, Laura Betti, Jesús Puente, Femi Benussi, Antonia Mas, Luciano Pigozzi, Gérard Tichy, Verónica Llimera, Pasquale Fortunato


“Forsyth’s over the top performance, Bava’s impeccable direction, and the fantastic art design of the film combine to create a fun giallo to rival the best of the genre. While this film may not be the most original of his works, Hatchet for the Honeymoon certainly is one to check out. The pacing is very sprightly, and this makes for a great night’s viewing. There’s not too much gore, most of the violence is implied rather than splattered across the screen, but there’s enough to keep horror fans happy and placate the thriller fans who dig the occasional gruesome tableau.” – J. Hurtado, Twitchfilm

The Prowler

572. (+5) The Prowler

Joseph Zito

1981 / USA / 89m / Col / Slasher | IMDb
Vicky Dawson, Christopher Goutman, Lawrence Tierney, Farley Granger, Cindy Weintraub, Lisa Dunsheath, David Sederholm, Bill Nunnery, Thom Bray, Diane Rode


“But without a doubt the movie’s strongest and most talked about asset is its groundbreaking special effects, courtesy of Friday the 13th‘s Tom Savini. By far his most impressive work, his gruesome makeup includes a pitchfork being stabbed through several stomachs and a rather nauseating throat slashing (with the help of a bayonet). The effects were convincing enough for the movie to run into censorship trouble in Britain, where it was eventually released as Rosemary’s Killer, although thankfully the films manages to stand on its own two feet even without the bloodletting. Over the years, The Prowler has become a favourite among many slasher fans due to its fresh spin on the genre but, more importantly, the brutal violence that is littered throughout, which results in an impressive head shot to rival Savini’s previous attempt on Maniac.” – Christian Sellers, Retro Slashers

Wolf

573. (-35) Wolf

Mike Nichols

1994 / USA / 125m / Col / Werewolf | IMDb
Jack Nicholson, Michelle Pfeiffer, James Spader, Kate Nelligan, Richard Jenkins, Christopher Plummer, Eileen Atkins, David Hyde Pierce, Om Puri, Ron Rifkin


“In the business world Stewart is something of a bizarre jellyfish, but in full lycanthropic form, he is something of a surreal and absolutely menacing evil that Spader makes his own. “Wolf” is an underrated horror gem, one that works as social commentary and horror cinema, and it’s a great piece of nineties filmmaking. Filled with an understated intellect and using the werewolf movie formula as a commentary for aging and the battle of the males in a society obsessed with power and dominance, Mike Nichols “Wolf” is one of our favorites of the genre, and a guaranteed good time for anyone looking for a different kind of horror film.” – Felix Vasquez Jr., Cinema Crazed

Dr Jekyll & Sister Hyde

574. (-34) Dr Jekyll & Sister Hyde

Roy Ward Baker

1971 / UK / 97m / Col / Gothic | IMDb
Ralph Bates, Martine Beswick, Gerald Sim, Lewis Fiander, Susan Brodrick, Dorothy Alison, Ivor Dean, Philip Madoc, Irene Bradshaw, Neil Wilson


“The overall atmosphere is a pitch-perfect evocation of period London, complete with dark, foggy alleyways, street merchants bawling out their slogans, men in top hats and women in flouncy dresses. Then, of course, there’s Jekyll’s laboratory full of Mysterious Equipment, Mrs. Hyde’s signature blood-red outfits, bawdy beer halls, stained-glass windows casting splashes of color – lots and lots of nice sets and costumes and cool stuff. Not to be ignored, either, is the amazing similarity between Martine Beswick’s and Ralph Bates’ facial features, apparently a complete coincidence discovered only after the film had been cast. She really does look quite a lot like a beautiful female version of him, which adds a good deal of authenticity to the transformation sequences, accomplished solely through skillful trick photography.” – Deneb T. Hall, Mutant Reviewers

Ugetsu monogatari

575. (-13) Ugetsu monogatari

Kenji Mizoguchi

1953 / Japan / 96m / BW / Jidaigeki | IMDb
Machiko Kyô, Mitsuko Mito, Kinuyo Tanaka, Masayuki Mori, Eitarô Ozawa, Sugisaku Aoyama, Mitsusaburô Ramon, Ryôsuke Kagawa, Kichijirô Ueda, Shôzô Nanbu


“Like a painter determined to catch one vista in canvas after canvas, Mizoguchi considers how the price of indulging men’s desires is often the suffering of women. This is done in individual shots (e.g. the highway robbers in the background gorging themselves on food the victimized Miyagi was carrying) as well as in the film as a whole. On another level the film can be read as paralleling the plight of post-WWII Japan. Either way, the film’s subtle mix of realism and fantasy (consider a tracking shot with a near-invisible dissolve which “impossibly” links a sensual bath with a picnic) makes for challenging viewing. Working within Japanese genre conventions which seek to validate traditional values, Mizoguchi also considers their inherent contradictions. Look carefully at the pan and tracking shot as the errant Genjuro thinks he’s returning to home and hearth near the end and you will witness a great moment in the history of cinema as both art and social commentary.” – TV Guide’s Movie Guide

Angst

576. (-10) Angst

Gerald Kargl

1983 / Austria / 87m / Col / Crime | IMDb
Erwin Leder, Robert Hunger-Bühler, Silvia Rabenreither, Karin Springer, Edith Rosset, Josefine Lakatha, Rudolf Götz, Renate Kastelik, Hermann Groissenberger, Claudia Schinko


“Kargl’s genius here is to show everything in real time, with numerous close-ups and diegetic sound. Viewers get to experience none of the pleasure (whether guilty or gleefully acknowledged) that comes from watching stylized, aestheticized killing—replete with slow-motion camerawork, overlapping edits and a meticulously composed mise-en-scene. Instead, writer-cinematographer Zbigniew Rybczynski alternates close-up point-of-view shots of the victim and her attacker and some canted overhead shots besides, constantly altering our relationship to the action. We have no one to identify with, or rather, no one person with whom to identify, experiencing not only the old woman’s terror but the killer’s increasing excitement and determination as well.” – Steven Jay Schneider, CE Review

Hangover Square

577. (+194) Hangover Square

John Brahm

1945 / USA / 77m / BW / Film Noir | IMDb
Laird Cregar, Linda Darnell, George Sanders, Glenn Langan, Faye Marlowe, Alan Napier


“To accompany some fine acting, Brahm especially flexed his directorial muscles here, with some very stylish set-ups. The opening murder is startlingly shot partly with subjective camera, and he utilises a range of closeups, swooping camera moves and camera effects to work up a sense of delirium… its histrionics and hyperbole create a texture of tragic madness that perfectly compliments Cregar’s haunted playing… The real shame of it would be that there would be no more Cregar performances: still in his twenties, he was dead by the time this was released.” – Graeme Clark, The Spinning Image

Taste of Fear

578. (-10) Taste of Fear

Seth Holt

1961 / UK / 81m / Col / Thriller | IMDb
Susan Strasberg, Ronald Lewis, Ann Todd, Christopher Lee, John Serret, Leonard Sachs, Anne Blake, Fred Johnson


“The best writer doesn’t get far without a great director, and Seth Holt proved to be up to the task. In these ages of computerized technology and “jump out at you scares,” the method of “slowly graduating creepiness” has all but been lost. But while modern techniques get tired very quickly (especially to us true horror fans), primal fear never gets old. And this is what Taste of Fear taps into. The scenes where the corpses appear are absolutely crap-inducing, mostly because Holt takes his sweet time in drawing you into the scene, slowly but relentlessly building the suspense. It’s the primordial Hitchcock formula at its finest, and for this reason, Taste of Fear is far more effective than most of its modern counterparts. “Jump out at you scares” have their time and place, but they are quick shots of adrenaline and moments later you are back to normal. But a director who can keep your adrenaline pumping for long stretches at a time will, by default, be much more intriguing.” – Jenn Dlugos, Classic-Horror

La piel que habito

579. (+111) La piel que habito

Pedro Almodóvar

2011 / Spain / 120m / Col / Psychological | IMDb
Antonio Banderas, Elena Anaya, Marisa Paredes, Jan Cornet, Roberto Álamo, Eduard Fernández, José Luis Gómez, Blanca Suárez, Susi Sánchez, Bárbara Lennie


“Everything made by Pedro Almodóvar seems to have been developed from the outside in: surfaces yield psychology, decor becomes depth, kitsch proves porous, a parade of pop props dimpled with wells of violently conflicted feelings and frustrated lusts. Seen through this lens, The Skin I Live In, based on Thierry Jonquet’s 1995 novel Tarantula, can be read as a work of perfect unity between its filmmaker’s MO and its fabulous premise… An uneasy forecast of looming advances in posthuman sciences, an extravagant extrapolation of Eyes Without a Face, and a fresh opportunity for Almodóvar to fix his unapologetically (queer) male gaze on more immaculate female flesh, The Skin I Live In embodies a rather studied sort of perversion that nonetheless resonates with Almodóvar’s evolving concerns in interesting ways.” – José Teodoro, Film Comment Magazine

Strait-Jacket

580. (-107) Strait-Jacket

William Castle

1964 / USA / 93m / Col / Psychological | IMDb
Joan Crawford, Diane Baker, Leif Erickson, Howard St. John, John Anthony Hayes, Rochelle Hudson, George Kennedy, Edith Atwater, Mitchell Cox


“It’s tempting to enjoy Straight-Jacket for all the external reasons; there’s a compelling perversity in watching the movie and knowing that Joan Crawford’s real daughter wrote a book accusing her mother of being a monster that tried to ruin her life. It’s also enjoyable to know that William Castle was over the moon working with names like Robert Bloch and Joan Crawford, thinking that he was finally creating that elusive A-picture. But I love Straight-Jacket for just being what it is: a cooky 1960s shocker that makes absolutely no sense and is full of great moments. That alone would guarantee at least a few fingers. But having Joan Crawford, wig askew and gams on full display, in the center of it all easily elevates this one to FIVE FINGER-ed classic status.” – Tower Farm Reviews

Friday the 13th Part III

581. (-10) Friday the 13th Part III

Steve Miner

1982 / USA / 95m / Col / Slasher | IMDb
Dana Kimmell, Paul Kratka, Tracie Savage, Jeffrey Rogers, Catherine Parks, Larry Zerner, David Katims, Rachel Howard, Richard Brooker, Nick Savage


“This is the movie where the series first fully realized its true DNA as a slasher with atmosphere fantastical enough that siding with the masked maniac was okay. More importantly, it was wiling to add fun to its frights. If at all possible, see the film in 3-D at a revival screening with a live audience and what the film accomplishes will be thoroughly evident. With Jason’s character and behavior relatively settled at this point, and with the familiar mask finally adorning his face, “Friday the 13th” was free to be more comfortable in its identity and surer of its stride as the saga continued to develop. There is definitely a sense of déjà vu with the third chapter, in both the kills and in several mundane moments. But entrenched in its own formula, there is enough blood, enough brutality, enough comedy, and enough “Friday the 13th” to make “Part III” one of the most memorable installments, and the first real benchmark for everything that fans would come to expect from the series.” – Ian Sedensky, Culture Crypt

La sindrome di Stendhal

582. (-6) La sindrome di Stendhal

Dario Argento

1996 / Italy / 120m / Col / Psychological | IMDb
Asia Argento, Thomas Kretschmann, Marco Leonardi, Luigi Diberti, Paolo Bonacelli, Julien Lambroschini, John Quentin, Franco Diogene, Lucia Stara, Sonia Topazio


“Dario Argento’s The Stendhal Syndrome from 1996 is among one of his finest gothic/slash/occult/slash/horror and gore films and the first [Italian] film to use CGI. In this film his own daughter Asia Argento takes the blows, as opposed to his former partner Dario Niccolodi… Dario Argento tries to make a connection, as in all of his films, to the irresistible pull of the supernatural that captivates people and makes them prisoner despite premonitions of danger or perhaps because of them. At least as spectators we know that the danger is out there but when it’s going to hit is an unknown… a compelling film that doesn’t get vulgar or cheap, but stays in some kind of respectable depravity.” – Moira Sullivan, Movie Magazine International

[Rec]²

583. (-2) [Rec]²

Jaume Balagueró & Paco Plaza

2009 / Spain / 85m / Col / Zombie | IMDb
Jonathan D. Mellor, Óscar Zafra, Ariel Casas, Alejandro Casaseca, Pablo Rosso, Rafa Parra, Pep Molina, Andrea Ros, Àlex Batllori, Pau Poch


“The story being depicted elaborates on the original scenario and is endlessly intriguing. We only got a taste of the virus’ demonic nature in the original and here, that concept is expanded in a frightening manner. This is no longer the story of crazed infected humans running around biting each other’s faces off; it’s a terrifying tale of deadly people being influenced by a demonic source… Balagueró and Plaza really know what they’re doing. The continuation of their story is what keeps you intrigued, but it’s the eeriness and constant need to be prepared for what’s lurking around the corner that makes this film downright as horrifying as it is relentless. REC 2 it isn’t as good as its predecessor, but only finds itself a notch below, making it an enjoyable and honorable sequel” – Perri Nemiroff, CinemaBlend

L'orribile segreto del Dr. Hichcock

584. (-2) L’orribile segreto del Dr. Hichcock

Riccardo Freda

1962 / Italy / 88m / Col / Gothic | IMDb
Barbara Steele, Robert Flemyng, Silvano Tranquilli, Maria Teresa Vianello, Harriet Medin, Al Christianson, Evar Simpson, Nat Harley, Neil Robinson


“Raptus, the alternative title of Riccardo Freda’s L’Orribile segreto del dottor Hichcock (The Horrible Secret of Dr Hichcock, Italy, 1962) is certainly apt, as its effect on individuals attracted to the macabre is not unlike a rapture or delirium of cinematic pleasure. The atmospheric visuals of Riccardo Freda’s masterpiece of sexual alienation and necrophilia stands without precedent in the Golden Age of Italian Horror that virtually seized the Roman film industry from 1956 to 1966. With more than a nod to the literary influences of Ann Radcliffe and the 19th Century that informed them, L’Orribile segreto del dottor Hichcock is a catalogue of Victorian repressions regarding desire and death, the marriage bed and the grave.” – David Del Valle, Kinoeye

Il mulino delle donne di pietra

585. (-1) Il mulino delle donne di pietra

Giorgio Ferroni

1960 / Italy / 96m / Col / Gothic | IMDb
Pierre Brice, Scilla Gabel, Wolfgang Preiss, Dany Carrel, Herbert A.E. Böhme, Liana Orfei, Marco Guglielmi, Olga Solbelli, Alberto Archetti


“These aforementioned artistic elements work in layers to create the films overall sense of mood with Hans’s hallucination sequence being a primary example. After receiving a sedative from Dr. Bohlem, Hans begins to stumble from one room to the next, putting the mill’s bizarre architecture on full display. Pavoni, in turn, fills these rooms with shadows and occasional flashes of red or blue light which adds to the chilling atmosphere. Underlying this is Innocenzi’s score which uses its central motif to build tension, and piercing high pitched arrangements to punctuate terror, as Hans begins to unravel the mystery of the Mill through a series of spectral visions. In these scenes, like many others throughout the film, the combination of visuals and sound allow the film to take on a dreamlike quality that is both ominous as well as frightening.” – Bruce Jordan, Classic-Horror

The House That Dripped Blood

586. (-1) The House That Dripped Blood

Peter Duffell

1971 / UK / 102m / Col / Anthology | IMDb
Christopher Lee, Peter Cushing, Nyree Dawn Porter, Denholm Elliott, Jon Pertwee, Joanna Dunham, Joss Ackland, John Bennett, Chloe Franks, Tom Adams


“Although the film was made for the general public, the more serious horror fan will have a blast with the film’s story lines as they supply several subtle (and not so subtle) winks to the genre. Within these four tales are several visual references to dark literature (such as The Complete Stories and Poems of Edgar Allan Poe, and Montague Summers’ The Vampire: His Kith and Kin), mention of the Universal films Frankenstein, The Phantom of the Opera, and Dracula, as well as narratives revolving around genre artists such as actors and writers. The fourth installment (“The Cloak”) is of particular interest to fans as it shows the behind the scenes details of making a low budget feature. These delicate nods to the film’s perceived audience are done with tongue planted firmly in cheek which adds a touch of wit and humor to a picture that was otherwise designed to frighten.” – Bruce Jordan, Classic-Horror

Black Sheep

587. (-135) Black Sheep

Jonathan King

2006 / New Zealand / 87m / Col / Comedy | IMDb
Nathan Meister, Peter Feeney, Danielle Mason, Tammy Davis, Oliver Driver, Tandi Wright, Glenis Levestam, Nick Blake, Matthew Chamberlain, Nick Fenton


“Jonathan King’s Black Sheep, from New Zealand, has no doubt about the style of movie it is attempting to make: trash gothic. It duly makes it. A deadly chemical escapes from a South Island animal lab and turns sheep sociopathic. Never mind the silence of the lambs. Listen out for the bloodthirsty baa-ing of the man-eating ovines. The special effects are of the kind you could do at home with a bottle of ketchup and leg of mutton. The scream-ridden soundtrack is often drowned out by audience laughter. It is all good, camp fun.” – Nigel Andrews, Financial Times

The Ruins

588. (+4) The Ruins

Carter Smith

2008 / USA / 90m / Col / Nature | IMDb
Jonathan Tucker, Jena Malone, Laura Ramsey, Shawn Ashmore, Joe Anderson, Sergio Calderón, Jesse Ramirez, Balder Moreno, Dimitri Baveas, Patricio Almeida Rodriguez


“Enjoyable, well made and genuinely creepy horror flick that transcends its ridiculous premise thanks to a strong script, some sure-handed direction and superb performances from a talented young cast… The script is excellent and director Carter Smith gets the tone exactly right, playing everything straight, despite the ridiculous premise, and orchestrating some genuinely creepy scenes. He also includes some impressively nasty gory moments that, crucially, derive naturally from the characters and situations rather than just looking to gross you out for the hell of it… In short, The Ruins is a worthy addition to the Tourism Is Bad genre that ensures that you’ll never look at a rustling vine quite the same way again.” – Matthew Turner, ViewLondon

The Midnight Meat Train

589. (+4) The Midnight Meat Train

Ryûhei Kitamura

2008 / USA / 98m / Col / Splatter | IMDb
Bradley Cooper, Leslie Bibb, Brooke Shields, Vinnie Jones, Roger Bart, Tony Curran, Barbara Eve Harris, Peter Jacobson, Stephanie Mace, Ted Raimi


“As a horror picture plain and simple (though Midnight Meat Train is too convoluted to be called simple), there’s certainly no reason to complain here. The film delivers the goods in terms of graphic, bloody and quite brutal horror. This is one of the bloodier films in recent memory, and yet it is never goes into the area of torture porn. The film doesn’t linger over pain for its own sake and isn’t in the least sadistic in the manner of so much that passes for horror these days. Oh, it’s nasty enough—make no mistake. This is not a film for the squeamish, and I can easily imagine people who would be offended by its in your face bloodiness. I can also imagine a good many viewers who would be turned off by its occasional outbursts of dark-hued splattery comedy, especially the fate of the Jurgis character. Put bluntly, if bloody horror and the occasional flying eyeball aren’t your flagon of grue, this isn’t your movie.” – Ken Hanke, Mountain Xpress

Tarantula

590. (+4) Tarantula

Jack Arnold

1955 / USA / 80m / BW / Nature | IMDb
John Agar, Mara Corday, Leo G. Carroll, Nestor Paiva, Ross Elliott, Edwin Rand, Raymond Bailey, Hank Patterson, Bert Holland, Steve Darrell


“Riddled with clichés and populated by cardboard cutout characters spewing the most obvious lines (“I’ve never seen anything like this!”) and daffy dialogue (“Did you ever see your best friend die in your arms?”), Tarantula lumbers along to its inevitable end (U.S. armed forces to the rescue!) set to urgent, super-dramatic music and gasp-inducing special effects. Actually, the f/x — for the period, and the B-factor — are pretty impressive. The ambling arachnid set against the desert dunes looks almost plausible, even as its furry feet occasionally seem to glide above-ground. Also sublime is the sole female lead, a bullet-brassiered Stephanie “Steve” Clayton (Mara Corday, who was also in The Giant Claw), a grad student who steps into the fray with high heeled pumps and 50s femme fearlessness (punctuated by the occasional girly scream).” – Staci Layne Wilson, Horror.com

Predator

591. (+41) Predator

John McTiernan

1987 / USA / 107m / Col / Science Fiction | IMDb
Arnold Schwarzenegger, Carl Weathers, Elpidia Carrillo, Bill Duke, Jesse Ventura, Sonny Landham, Richard Chaves, R.G. Armstrong, Shane Black, Kevin Peter Hall


“McTiernan’s second directorial effort is just about the epitome of ‘80s macho action, with human action figure Schwarzenegger kicking ass while leading a team of racially diverse (and stereotypical) juiceheads prone to spouting one-liners, posing like pro wrestlers (hence The Body’s participation), and firing machine guns with wild abandon. The racial connotations of the Predator (thanks to his dreadlocks) provide a queasy minority-monster subtext, though if that’s true, Jim and John Thomas’ story also functions as an allegorical portrait of indigenous Third World forces rising up against American might. Such undercurrents, however, are just about trampled underfoot by the film’s vigorous tough-guy bluster.” – Nick Schager, Lessons of Darkness

Resident Evil

592. (+14) Resident Evil

Paul W.S. Anderson

2002 / UK / 100m / Col / Zombie | IMDb
Ryan McCluskey, Oscar Pearce, Indra Ové, Anna Bolt, Joseph May, Robert Tannion, Heike Makatsch, Jaymes Butler, Stephen Billington, Fiona Glascott


“This science-fiction cannibal zombie adventure does not dislodge George Romero as czar of the Living Dead but does implant Paul Anderson (Mortal Kombat, Event Horizon) as a possible franchise horror director. The story about genetics experimentation and corporations that think they are above the law offers a balanced blend of high-tech conspiracy and low-tech flesh munching… The gruesome action borrows Cube’s slice and dice laser and The Matrix’s combat special effects while bloodied Dobermans from Hell and rotting humans chomp at the gorgeously stone-faced Milla Jovovich (The Fifth Element), the ever-pouting Michelle Rodriguez (Girlfight) and their male entourage.” – Mark Halverson, Sacramento News & Review

Prom Night

593. (+8) Prom Night

Paul Lynch

1980 / Italy / 92m / Col / Slasher | IMDb
Leslie Nielsen, Jamie Lee Curtis, Casey Stevens, Anne-Marie Martin, Antoinette Bower, Michael Tough, Robert A. Silverman, Pita Oliver, David Mucci, Jeff Wincott


“Lynch’s Prom Night is quite chilling, entertaining, and absolutely not a boring film, which surely will be appreciated by horror film lovers and others as well. This film does aim to terrify the audience and makes them want to stop watching it somewhere in the middle due to way too many blood and violent scenes… But, you will still watch since it is smartly executed, with interesting lines, and solid performances by the entire cast, This refreshes our memory and reminds us, once again, why we love so much the films of the sweet 80s.” – Ulkar Alakbarova, Movie Moves Me

Bride of Re-Animator

594. (-8) Bride of Re-Animator

Brian Yuzna

1989 / USA / 96m / Col / Zombie | IMDb
Jeffrey Combs, Bruce Abbott, Claude Earl Jones, Fabiana Udenio, David Gale, Kathleen Kinmont, Mel Stewart, Irene Cagen, Michael Strasser, Mary Sheldon


“Bride of Re-Animator is among the most gleefully disgusting films of all time, a splatterfest leavened by liberal doses of macabre good humour (“My god, they’re using tools!”) that, in sort of an odd way, speaks to the inappropriateness of the whole enterprise. Moments of mordant hilarity aside, what works in the picture works extremely well (namely the old-school special effects, and Combs), and if Bride of Re-Animator lacks the intimate cohesion of the first film despite its desire to resurrect a feeling of doomed love, it at least isn’t coy about ladling out the goodies.” – Walter Chaw, Film Freak Central

The Gorgon

595. (+12) The Gorgon

Terence Fisher

1964 / USA / 83m / Col / Gothic | IMDb
Christopher Lee, Peter Cushing, Richard Pasco, Barbara Shelley, Michael Goodliffe, Patrick Troughton, Joseph O’Conor, Prudence Hyman, Jack Watson, Redmond Phillips


“Of all the Hammer Horror films, The Gorgon features some of the most straightforward debate between science and faith, with the analytical minds challenged by the appearance of the Greek mythological creature appearing in a village and turning citizens into solid stone… Finding this type of conflict in one of the minor Hammer Horror films certainly is a surprise that elevates the material, but it’s not the only reason to see it. The gothic mood that made Hammer a household name is present, along with the excitable Peter Cushing and Christopher Lee, who both provide a good mix of dread and discovery in their performances… While it’s not one of the tent poles of Hammer Horror, The Gorgon still has enough engaging elements to make it a memorable and unique member of the Hammer canon.” – Jae K. Renfrow, Sound on Sight

Gremlins 2: The New Batch

596. (-48) Gremlins 2: The New Batch

Joe Dante

1990 / USA / 106m / Col / Comedy | IMDb
Zach Galligan, Phoebe Cates, John Glover, Robert Prosky, Robert Picardo, Christopher Lee, Haviland Morris, Dick Miller, Jackie Joseph, Gedde Watanabe


“Let’s be honest – Gremlins 2: The New Batch is a pretty strange sequel to Gremlins. It’s like if Scream were a direct sequel to A Nightmare on Elm Street. Not to say that Gremlins 2 is a bad film, not by a long shot. Rather, it was a risky endeavor, and as the box office numbers show ($153 million for Gremlins vs. $41 million for Gremlins 2), the world wasn’t ready for a sequel as blatantly meta as Gremlins 2… a film that spins the potential franchise on its heels, focusing more on comedy and quirk than actual horror. While, on some levels, this is disappointing for those who loved the classy blend of freakish horror and bizarre comedy from the first outing, it does make for an interesting, and often very funny, sequel.” – R. L. Shaffer, IGN DVD

Dust Devil

597. (+1) Dust Devil

Richard Stanley

1992 / South Africa / 87m / Col / Supernatural | IMDb
Robert John Burke, Chelsea Field, Zakes Mokae, John Matshikiza, Rufus Swart, William Hootkins, Terry Norton, Russell Copley, Andre Odendaal, Luke Cornell


““Dust Devil” doesn’t rush its story, and it doesn’t intend on creating a fast pace. It’s slow, and steady, and sometimes sluggish, and with the constant narration, Stanley devotes much of the dialogue to exposition on the plot, and on mounting tension. Stanley relies on much of the settings of sand, dunes, mountains, and peaks to create a sense of the barren and void, a world where Dust Devil reigns and controls without hope of outwitting him. He has powers, and he’s utterly relentless, and Stanley lets us explore him while keeping him an enigma. “Dust Devil” is a surreal experience, but it’s also one truly underrated piece of work.” – Felix Vasquez Jr., Cinema Crazed

Lust for a Vampire

598. (+12) Lust for a Vampire

Jimmy Sangster

1971 / UK / 95m / Col / Vampire | IMDb
Barbara Jefford, Ralph Bates, Suzanna Leigh, Yutte Stensgaard, Michael Johnson, Helen Christie, Mike Raven, Christopher Cunningham, Harvey Hall, Michael Brennan


“Lust for a Vampire has a reputation as a B-grade Hammer film (which is like being a C-grade Hollywood flick), but really it’s a wry, energetic, and fun example of the heaving bosom school of old fashioned gothic horror… The fiery finale leaves the film in a somewhat ambiguous position, but ninety minutes of sarcastic asides, blood-shot eyes, psychedelically tinted dream sequences, and lesbian neck-biting make Lust for a Vampire more than just a pop-cult artifact. While it may not be one of the horror classics that Hammer is noted for, LUST FOR A VAMPIRE definitely has its appeal. The movie remains titillating horror fun for genre fans and devotees of the legendary production company.” – Gil Jawetz, DVD Talk

Premature Burial

599. (-47) Premature Burial

Roger Corman

1962 / USA / 81m / Col / Gothic | IMDb
Ray Milland, Hazel Court, Richard Ney, Heather Angel, Alan Napier, John Dierkes, Dick Miller, Clive Halliday, Brendan Dillon


“With Premature Burial, Corman’s talent for efficient direction and making the most of limited budgets actual works to the film’s benefit. Corman strips the story of Burial down to its minimum, focusing almost exclusively on Carrell’s unraveling mind and whether he’s doing it all himself or being helped along. To achieve this, Corman turns Poe’s tale into, essentially, a filmed play and puts the emphasis squarely on dialogue and the emotions of the main characters. There’s a modest amount of Corman horror trappings on display (fog, Victorian sets, dim lighting) as well as bits of action, but they only serve as the framework for a grim personal drama. By putting the Carrell character under the intense scrutiny, Corman makes the film much more realistic and terrifying.” – Kevin Nickelson, Classic-Horror

Alien³

600. (+50) Alien³

David Fincher

1992 / USA / 114m / Col / Science Fiction | IMDb
Sigourney Weaver, Charles S. Dutton, Charles Dance, Paul McGann, Brian Glover, Ralph Brown, Danny Webb, Christopher John Fields, Holt McCallany, Lance Henriksen


“Fincher’s early exterior landscape of Fury 161 has an apocalyptic gorgeousness that’s in tune with the pessimism of his story, which replicates many elements of Alien and Aliens (more the former than the latter) while seeming intent on killing the series off. The much-ballyhooed revelation about Ripley’s physical condition struck many in ’92 as unforgivably mean but, in retrospect, it plays like the natural evolution of the franchise’s running birth-mother-child subtexts, downbeat thematic threads well-suited to Fincher’s gloomy, cynical Christ-like conclusion.” – Nick Schager, Lessons of Darkness