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#701-#800

The 1,000 Greatest Horror Films: #701-#800

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

Demon Seed

701. (+8) Demon Seed

Donald Cammell

1977 / USA / 94m / Col / Science Fiction | IMDb
Julie Christie, Fritz Weaver, Gerrit Graham, Berry Kroeger, Lisa Lu, Larry J. Blake, John O’Leary, Alfred Dennis, Davis Roberts, Patricia Wilson


“Ultimately, this is the film’s greatest strength—that while he seems to hybridize Kubrick, Polanski, and Keaton in an initially obvious manner, Cammell eventually combines these influences into an idiosyncratic and oddly equivocal morality tale. Demon Seed recasts HAL as the ultimate, network bugaboo, revisits Rosemary’s insemination for its biological, and not its occult, unpleasantness, and re-erects an electric house that is not fraught with faulty, schlemiel-baiting technology, but is instead menacingly and incontrovertibly perfect. In this way, it is a great help that Cammell’s film (due in no small part to the Dean Koontz novel upon which it was based) remains quite relevant, and far more so now than when originally released.” – Leo Goldsmith, Not Coming To a Theater Near You

Shallow Grave

702. (-28) Shallow Grave

Danny Boyle

1994 / USA / 89m / Col / Thriller | IMDb
Kerry Fox, Christopher Eccleston, Ewan McGregor, Ken Stott, Keith Allen, Colin McCredie, Victoria Nairn, Gary Lewis, Jean Marie Coffey, Peter Mullan


“For the future brains behind “Trainspotting” and “The Beach”, it was an auspicious debut which was much admired at the time and has been much imitated since. It also gave a young Scottish newcomer by the name of Ewan McGregor his first chance to shine in a starring role on the big screen… Brilliantly combining Grand Guignol horror with gallows humour, shocking violence, and bold stylistic flourishes, “Shallow Grave” proved Quentin Tarantino didn’t have the monopoly on dark crime capers. The script loses its way in the last third and the dialogue is a little arch, but these are small prices to pay in a movie that’s not so much a thriller as a 90-minute adrenaline shot.” – Neil Smith, BBC

Saw II

703. (-62) Saw II

Darren Lynn Bousman

2005 / USA / 93m / Col / Splatter | IMDb
Tobin Bell, Shawnee Smith, Donnie Wahlberg, Erik Knudsen, Franky G, Glenn Plummer, Emmanuelle Vaugier, Beverley Mitchell, Tim Burd, Dina Meyer


“”Saw II” is pitch-black, ugly, and stomach-churning in spots, but those are precisely the characteristics director Darren Lynn Bousman was shooting for. And the ending, building one twist and revelation upon another, craftily comes full-circle with the original “Saw,” making a fresh viewing of that one worthwhile before seeing the sequel. Rough around the edges, but knowing how to ratchet up distinct feelings of tense giddiness and extreme apprehension, “Saw II” is an exploitation flick with style and skill to go along with its stream of red stuff.” – Dustin Putnam, The Movie Boy

Species

704. (-60) Species

Roger Donaldson

1995 / USA / 108m / Col / Science Fiction | IMDb
Ben Kingsley, Michael Madsen, Alfred Molina, Forest Whitaker, Marg Helgenberger, Natasha Henstridge, Michelle Williams, Jordan Lund, Don Fischer, Scott McKenna


“Boasting a solid cast (Michael Madsen, Ben Kingsley, Marg Helgenberger, Forest Whitaker, Alfred Molina, and, in her debut, Natasha Henstridge) and a few rather cool sci-fi concepts, Species is as slyly smart as it is silly, and the flick delivers a clever idea that’s wedged in between some rather slick action scenes. All in all, a very good time for the genre fans, and the original Species turned out to be a mildly bigger hit than anyone really expected.” – Scott Weinberg, DVDTalk

Village of the Damned

705. (+5) Village of the Damned

John Carpenter

1995 / USA / 99m / Col / Evil Children | IMDb
Christopher Reeve, Kirstie Alley, Linda Kozlowski, Michael Paré, Meredith Salenger, Mark Hamill, Pippa Pearthree, Peter Jason, Constance Forslund, Karen Kahn


““Village of the Damned” is the kind of supernatural allegory that invites you to find your own meanings in it as well as catching you up in its increasing tension, an effect underlined by the eerie, ominous score… a good-looking, well-wrought film with some knockout special effects, some dark humor and crisp portrayals. As fine as the stars are, amid a large and capable ensemble cast, the two standouts are Lindsay Haun as Reeve’s icy, brilliant and implacable daughter and Thomas Dekker as Kozlowski’s angelic-looking son, the one child among the towheads who suggests the possibility of possessing a capacity for human emotion and compassion.” – Kevin Thomas, Los Angeles Times

Anaconda

706. (+5) Anaconda

Luis Llosa

1997 / USA / 89m / Col / Nature | IMDb
Jennifer Lopez, Ice Cube, Jon Voight, Eric Stoltz, Jonathan Hyde, Owen Wilson, Kari Wuhrer, Vincent Castellanos, Danny Trejo, Frank Welker


“To watch “Anaconda” is to get the impression that there is only one snake in the entire rain forest and that it’s been waiting its whole life for a chance to devour Eric Stoltz, Jennifer Lopez and Ice Cube. The three play the leaders of the expedition, who are traveling with their crew by barge, looking for the lost tribe. But those actors are mere window dressing for the main attraction of “Anaconda,” Jon Voight, who does to the scenery what the snake does to the supporting players. He plays Sarone, a Paraguayan snake trapper who’s rescued by the crew. Voight gets ethnic in a shameless way reminiscent of Al Pacino in “Scarface.” He turns the corners of his mouth down so far that it’s impossible to tell if he’s smiling or sneering… He is the movie’s all-purpose embodiment of mystery and destruction, and as such he provides some of the most deliriously absurd moments in the picture.” – Mick LaSalle, San Francisco Chronicle

The Mangler

707. (+32) The Mangler

Tobe Hooper

1995 / USA / 106m / Col / Supernatural | IMDb
Robert Englund, Ted Levine, Daniel Matmor, Jeremy Crutchley, Vanessa Pike, Demetre Phillips, Lisa Morris, Vera Blacker, Ashley Hayden, Danny Keogh


“Just because The Mangler isn’t good doesn’t mean it isn’t worthwhile… There’s so much to recommend, simply due to the sheer watchability of it. Robert Englund’s performance is so great. It’s so confusing that it makes you question what both he and Hooper were thinking when coming up with this character… When the machine does completely come to life at the end, it’s the best, most absurd thing that happens during the entire running time. It feels like the only climax The Mangler could have had. Because it’s just ridiculous. But as campy, stupid and bizarre as it is, you’re never not entertained.” – Nat Brehmer, Wicked Horror

Dolls

708. (-20) Dolls

Stuart Gordon

1987 / USA / 77m / Col / Evil Doll | IMDb
Ian Patrick Williams, Carolyn Purdy-Gordon, Carrie Lorraine, Guy Rolfe, Hilary Mason, Bunty Bailey, Cassie Stuart, Stephen Lee


“What I got was a gory fairy tale about the importance of remaining a child at heart and loving and respecting the people around you – or else. Dolls is made on film, which I’ve always thought lends well to horror movies. It gives them a heavy, slightly scratchy look that adds to the intensity of their purpose. You just can’t get scared when things are all bubblegum pink and bright. It takes place somewhere in the country wilds of England (I think) which lends a bit of gentility to the haunted house-style setting. And with a kindly old English couple serving as host and hostess of creepy doll Hell, it really is a live action Grimm’s story waiting to happen.” – Melissa Voelker, Horror News

What Lies Beneath

709. (+24) What Lies Beneath

Robert Zemeckis

2000 / USA / 130m / Col / Haunted House | IMDb
Michelle Pfeiffer, Katharine Towne, Miranda Otto, James Remar, Harrison Ford, Victoria Bidewell, Diana Scarwid, Dennison Samaroo, Jennifer Tung, Eliott Goretsky


“A slick cross between a Hitchcock movie (two in particular, but to identify them would give away too much) and Stir of Echoes, What Lies Beneath is a supernatural thriller whose plot struggles to hold water. It’s the sort of thriller where the twists and surprises are decided first, and then the writers hang the story around those twists as best they can… What Lies Beneath works – to the extent that it works – because of Robert Zemeckis… Zemeckis is synonymous with slick, but he does have an impressive record of making the most out of material even when it’s weak. He gets an audience to care about what’s going on in a story rather than think about what’s wrong with the story. He knows how to entertain.” – Carlo Cavagna, AboutFilm.com

The Gate

710. (+30) The Gate

Tibor Takács

1987 / USA / 85m / Col / Supernatural | IMDb
Stephen Dorff, Christa Denton, Louis Tripp, Kelly Rowan, Jennifer Irwin, Deborah Grover, Scot Denton, Ingrid Veninger, Sean Fagan, Linda Goranson


“The most memorable aspects of THE GATE are unquestionably the special FX work. For a film of its size and scale, no other film boasts such an incredible production design. In addition to stop-motion animation, director Tibor Takacs also incorporates miniature set designs with gigantic demonic beasts as well as tiny minions that each interact with the children in a series of incredible green-screening shots that seamlessly meld the range of characters on screen. Though it takes its time in creating a growing tension and suspense, the gate literally unleashes hell on earth once it has been fully unlocked. THE GATE is the perfect argument against the use of computerized imaging in film, and serves as one of the strongest examples of a low budget Horror film accomplishing a big budget look and feel through imaginative FX and a unique plot.” – Carl Manes, I Like Horror Movies

Phantasm II

711. (-31) Phantasm II

Don Coscarelli

1988 / USA / 97m / Col / Fantasy | IMDb
James Le Gros, Reggie Bannister, Angus Scrimm, Paula Irvine, Samantha Phillips, Kenneth Tigar, Ruth C. Engel, Mark Anthony Major, Rubin Kushner, Stacey Travis


“Angus Scrimm is a valuable asset, too. As the Tall Man, he’s deeply menacing. The perpetually grimacing Scrimm looms over the other actors, speaking his dialogue in a booming, quiver-inducing voice. And then there are those glorious orbs, which inflict gruesome damage upon helpless victims. Their sheer unlikeliness as instruments of death makes them sinister, while the film devises ingeniously nasty things for them to do. Phantasm II’s special effects team does magnificent work showing the ghastly results of a ball attack. Phantasm II has plenty of these moments, and that’s what makes it fun, in spite of a half-baked plot. There’s even a subtle sense of humor displayed; a briefly-seen bag of cremated ashes lists the them as being the body of “Mr. Sam Raimi,” a nod to the director of The Evil Dead. I don’t know whether you could accurately call Phantasm II “good” or not, but as a gore-filled piece of ’80s horror with a premise unlike any other in the genre, it’s completely enjoyable.” – Mike McGranaghan, The Aisle Seat

Darkman

712. (-5) Darkman

Sam Raimi

1990 / USA / 96m / Col / Action | IMDb
Liam Neeson, Frances McDormand, Colin Friels, Larry Drake, Nelson Mashita, Jessie Lawrence Ferguson, Rafael H. Robledo, Dan Hicks, Ted Raimi, Dan Bell


“Darkman is equal parts hilarious comedy, raging action film, comic book brilliance, monster movie, and relentless revenge epic. How can a movie balance that many equal parts? Only Sam Raimi can know for sure. The man can pack unholy amounts of entertainment into his films, and it is the frenetic energy and successful integration of all of these different elements that makes Darkman a genuine genre masterpiece… The third act of Darkman is a relentless series of set pieces involving a real live human stunt men dangling from a helicopter, getting shot at and dipped into traffic, and then a nail-biting conclusion atop a girdered skyscraper in the making. This is a thrilling and exciting movie with some iconic visuals to accentuate the excitement and the masterful staging of it all.” – Ed Travis, Cinapse.co

Sleepwalkers

713. (+1) Sleepwalkers

Mick Garris

1992 / USA / 91m / Col / Supernatural | IMDb
Brian Krause, Mädchen Amick, Alice Krige, Jim Haynie, Cindy Pickett, Ron Perlman, Lyman Ward, Dan Martin, Glenn Shadix, Cynthia Garris


“Those who find value in horror flicks like Pet Sematary will find value in Sleepwalkers, while grim drones will likely want to move on from King’s tale as quickly as possible. This may seem combative, but finding enjoyment in Sleepwalkers really does depend on approach. There is humour and horror in abundance in this motion picture and it’s a perceptively campy and catty delight. Taking it seriously is a grave mistake.” – Jordan Richardson, Canadian Cinephile

Island of Terror

714. (+5) Island of Terror

Terence Fisher

1966 / UK / 89m / Col / Science Fiction | IMDb
Peter Cushing, Edward Judd, Carole Gray, Eddie Byrne, Sam Kydd, Niall MacGinnis, James Caffrey, Liam Gaffney, Roger Heathcote, Keith Bell


“Although low-budget, this is an excellent and often cliche-defying little horror movie in which the characters are not only mostly likable, but also behave competently and avoid looking stupid. The monsters end up being killed in a believable and scientifically-accurate fashion as well. The Silicates themselves work better as an unseen menace, though, and the movie sort of falls apart when the downright silly-looking creatures first put in an appearance. Luckily, as goofy as they look, they remain a credible threat due to their indestructibility, their breakneck reproduction rate (these critters multiply faster than rabbits on Viagra!), and, above all else, their unique and downright nasty way of killing their victims.” – Andrew Borntreger, BadMovies.org

Gorgo

715. (+5) Gorgo

Eugène Lourié

1961 / UK / 78m / Col / Monster | IMDb
Bill Travers, William Sylvester, Vincent Winter, Christopher Rhodes, Joseph O’Conor, Bruce Seton, Martin Benson, Maurice Kaufmann, Basil Dignam, Barry Keegan


“Long held as a favorite among SciFi and giant monster movie fans, GORGO (1961) is still an impressive piece of filmmaking some fifty years after its release. Packed with an enormous amount of whimsy, this childhood favorite was a major attraction for monster kids who caught the creature feature during its original theatrical release; and was summarily introduced to a new generation of monster film fans upon its inevitable videocassette release in the 1980s… The destruction rivals, if not surpasses that of [Eugène Lourié’s] first B/W SciFi spectacle [The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms]; but among the many scenes of screaming humans burned and crushed by falling debris, the script keeps child-like wonder close to its heart.” – Brian Bankston, Cool Ass Cinema

Panic in Year Zero!

716. (+5) Panic in Year Zero!

Ray Milland

1962 / USA / 93m / Col / Post-Apocalyptic | IMDb
Ray Milland, Jean Hagen, Frankie Avalon, Mary Mitchel, Joan Freeman, Richard Bakalyan, Rex Holman, Richard Garland, Willis Bouchey, Neil Nephew


“An unrelentingly grim relic of the atomic age. Milland’s Harry Baldwin, ever the patriarchal father, will go to any extreme to protect his family. His earliest protective measures are noble, but he’ll soon turn completely paranoid – and commit a series of increasingly alarming cold-blooded acts out of sheer desperation. This film, in the manner of a similarly themed sci-fi title, Stanley Kramer’s On the Beach (1959), concentrates not on those incinerated but instead entirely on those who have survived a nuclear attack. The protagonists in the film are not foreign invaders or militarists; the folks Milland is most wary of are, sadly, his fellow citizens.” – Hank Reineke, Cinema Retro

Omnibus: Whistle and I'll Come to You

717. (+104) Omnibus: Whistle and I’ll Come to You

Jonathan Miller

1968 / USA / 42m / Col / Supernatural | IMDb
Michael Hordern, Ambrose Coghill, George Woodbridge, Nora Gordon, Freda Dowie


“To a modern audience, who have come to expect a big twist at the end of their ghost stories and are accustomed to being told loudly through music and editing when it’s time to feel scared, the more subtle and uncluttered narrative of Whistle and I’ll Come to You may at first glance feel a little primitive. But this simplicity allows Miller and Horden the scope they need to develop the film as a character study, with Dick Bush’s immaculately framed camera observing [the protagonist] Parkins with almost microscopic precision… With the pared-down plot and only one major character, [Miller] is able to really get inside Parkins’ head, using his lead actor and some striking locations to create an unnerving sense of a disrupted normality in which undefined dangers are stalking us even in daylight.” – Slarek, Cine Outsider

Straw Dogs

718. (-45) Straw Dogs

Sam Peckinpah

1971 / USA / 113m / Col / Psychological | IMDb
Dustin Hoffman, Susan George, Peter Vaughan, T.P. McKenna, Del Henney, Jim Norton, Donald Webster, Ken Hutchison, Len Jones, Sally Thomsett


“Straw Dogs frustrates and compels not because it tells us easy things like “violence lurks in the hearts of men” (which it does), but because it ultimately refuses to make any absolute value judgments about such a statement. Peckinpah clearly believed that humans are inherently violent beings—he said as much in interview after interview. Yet, he was also a committed liberal democrat and humanist who detested the violence and scandal of the world around him. Thus, like its depictions of violence, the film’s stand on David’s descent into destruction to protect what’s his is, in the end, ambiguous.” – James Kendrick, Q Network Film Desk

Attack of the Killer Tomatoes!

719. (-6) Attack of the Killer Tomatoes!

John De Bello

1978 / USA / 83m / Col / Comedy | IMDb
David Miller, George Wilson, Sharon Taylor, J. Stephen Peace, Ernie Meyers, Eric Christmas, Ron Shapiro, Al Sklar, Jerrold Anderson, Don Birch


“In some ways there’s very little that can be said about this totally gonzo effort that the title doesn’t already disclose. This is guerilla filmmaking at its most basic, to the point that a horrifying helicopter crash inadvertently caught on film during the shoot was simply folded into the plot because — well, horrifying helicopter crash. Anyone looking for finely reasoned plot points or even a baseline level of verbal humor in this film is probably going to want to keep looking, but when taken on its own decidedly lo-fi terms, there’s nothing quite like seeing an army of sentient tomatoes attacking helpless humans.” – Jeffrey Kauffman, Blu-ray.com

Billy the Kid vs. Dracula

720. (-4) Billy the Kid vs. Dracula

William Beaudine

1966 / USA / 73m / Col / Western | IMDb
John Carradine, Chuck Courtney, Melinda Plowman, Virginia Christine, Harry Carey Jr., Walter Janovitz, Bing Russell, Olive Carey, Roy Barcroft, Hannie Landman


“Famously shot in an extremely short amount of time and surprisingly it actually features the legendary John Carradine as Dracula, the film cuts a lot of corners when it comes to special effects yet even so, they are not as bad as they could be. If you were to remove the horror element from the movie completely and replace Dracula with another villain, it would have ended up being a fairly solid B Western because despite the lack of a budget, the script and story are half-decent and the acting is not all that bad. If you factor the horror back in, it actually creates a pretty compelling picture as you truly have no idea where it might go next. You can guess, and a little of it is obvious, but the sheer zaniness of crossing these two properties over is genius and not something you would normally see in today’s film world.” – Geoff Rosengren, The Telltale Mind

Night Monster

721. (+3) Night Monster

Ford Beebe

1942 / USA / 73m / BW / Mystery | IMDb
Bela Lugosi, Lionel Atwill, Leif Erickson, Irene Hervey, Ralph Morgan, Don Porter, Nils Asther, Fay Helm, Frank Reicher, Doris Lloyd


“Night Monster is a neat little B thriller in the “old dark house” tradition with some memorable twists and a very competent cast. Although Bela Lugosi is top-billed, he’s completely wasted as the head butler who has little more to do than knit his brows, roll his eyes, and occasionally stare malevolently… Although it drags in places, Night Monster is a very effective and very dark B programmer. Charles Van Enger’s superb cinematography and Ford Beebe’s assured direction enhance some very chilling moments. Dr. Timmon’s demise is particularly notable – as he cowers in a darkened corner of his massive bedroom, a menacing shadow first covers half of his quivering form, then envelops him completely as the thing casting the shadow runs full speed at him. No less a film titan than Alfred Hitchcock is said to have admired Night Monster.” – Brian Schuck, Films From Beyond the Time Barrier

Riget

722. (-46) Riget

Lars von Trier & Morten Arnfred

1994 / Denmark / 561m / Col / Supernatural | IMDb
Ernst-Hugo Järegård, Kirsten Rolffes, Holger Juul Hansen, Søren Pilmark, Ghita Nørby, Jens Okking, Baard Owe, Birgitte Raaberg, Peter Mygind, Vita Jensen


“The horror aspects of the show are compelling, but in many ways Riget is a somewhat generic hospital soap opera, drawing you in to the lurid goings-on that happen once the rubber gloves come off. It’s a familiar format, and an effective one, but in much the same way that Twin Peaks lured unsuspecting viewers in with a murder mystery and a seemingly recognizable small town setting, Von Trier uses the power struggles and trysts of the medical staff as a springboard into the surreal and fantastic. In fact, the influence of David Lynch’s TV masterpiece, which aired a few short years before, permeates the show […] There’s also something very Lynchian about its disorienting tonal shifts, going from corporate thriller to gruesome darkness to offbeat comedy in the blink of an eye, which adds a bitingly satirical dimension to the proceedings.” – Thomas Michalsky, WFMU’s Beware of the Blog

The Terror

723. (new) The Terror

Roger Corman

1963 / USA / 81m / Col / Mystery | IMDb
Boris Karloff, Jack Nicholson, Sandra Knight, Dick Miller, Dorothy Neumann, Jonathan Haze


“The story goes that Roger Corman had Karloff for a couple extra days after wrapping The Raven, so he ad-libbed a scenario with Nicholson, Francis Ford Coppola, Monte Hellman and Jack Hill, each of whom took uncredited directorial turns over the course of the week-long production. Characters creep around the same torch-lit cardboard dungeons over and over for padding, but, scene by scene, it’s a delightful Ovidian creature. The pastiche of Poe — soldier crashes at Baron’s manse, dead wife (Sandra Knight) keeps sneaking out of crypt — is sketched with quick, offhand brushes that accommodate the witch’s frosted-glass, mesmerist wheel spinning for the camera, and Jonathan Haze with bloody eye sockets like Oedipus tumbling from a cliff… such is the faith of low-budget auteurs.” – Fernando F. Croce, Cinepassion.org

La belle et la bête

724. (-1) La belle et la bête

Jean Cocteau

1946 / France / 96m / BW / Fantasy | IMDb
Jean Marais, Josette Day, Mila Parély, Nane Germon, Michel Auclair, Raoul Marco, Marcel André, Janice Felty, John Kuether, Jacques Marbeuf


“Blissfully free of the PC feminist leanings of the animated version, this black-and-white fantasia revels instead in grandiose medieval settings and technical trickery. Marvellous surreal effects live on the mind’s eye long after the lights go up: the beast’s smoking paws; a living mantelpiece; the billowing white drapes as Belle is carried along a castle corridor, seemingly without moving her feet; and ethereal human arms brandishing candelabra. Cocteau uses wispy strands of lighting to magical effect and, to his credit, never attempts to fashion anything but a fairytale, inducing a childlike wonder rather than some cerebral reaction — the subtitles are of a limited nature. Even the warm comedy of the sleeping footmen in the farmyard and Belle’s spiteful sisters’ bickering still rings true. Years have not dulled the lustre of this classic, the impact of a big screen viewing is nothing short of astonishing.” – Louise Brealy, Empire

The Legend of Sleepy Hollow

725. (-162) The Legend of Sleepy Hollow

Clyde Geronimi & Jack Kinney

1949 / USA / 34m / Col / Family | IMDb
Bing Crosby


“The genius of the film comes from how innocent the film is when it first begins but gradually shows it’s darker side until we get to the climactic appearance of the Headless Horseman himself. I wouldn’t be surprised if this film scarred for life some kids who saw it the first time. For a Disney film that was produced in 1949 it definitely had a high-level of scare when put in the context that it was advertised as a kid’s film. If this film had been produced in this day and age I don’t think it would’ve made it out of the ratings board with a G-rating. They definitely don’t make animated films like this nowadays and that is a shame.” – Arleigh, Through The Shattered Lens

Psychomania

726. (-35) Psychomania

Don Sharp

1973 / UK / 85m / Col / Zombie | IMDb
Nicky Henson, Mary Larkin, Ann Michelle, Roy Holder, Denis Gilmore, Miles Greenwood, Peter Whitting, Rocky Taylor, Robert Hardy, Patrick Holt


“It remains an iconic, idiosyncratic anomaly in a creepshow category overrun by reanimated bodies and rotting monsters. Sure, fright fans like their zombies hobbled and hungry, patrolling the countryside for available brains. All the members of The Living Dead want to do is cause trouble and “blow some squares’ minds”. While it may have been intended as nothing more than double feature filler, a 90 minute companion piece to something more substantial, it actually wound up doing what few horror films can – it set itself apart from the rest of the paranormal pack. Cinematic scares are often predictable at best. While it avoids many of the basic bone rattling moves, Psychomania is still one memorable fright flick.” – Bill Gibron, Pop Matters

The Vault of Horror

727. (-33) The Vault of Horror

Roy Ward Baker

1973 / UK / 87m / Col / Anthology | IMDb
Daniel Massey, Anna Massey, Mike Pratt, Erik Chitty, Jerold Wells, Terry-Thomas, Glynis Johns, Marianne Stone, John Forbes-Robertson, Curd Jürgens


“One of the last of Amicus’ portmanteau horror movies, The Vault of Horror was, like Tales from the Crypt before it, based on the popular but at the time controversial comics from William Gaines’ 1950s E.C. line. The originals were marked not simply by their gruesome traits, but by their black sense of humour as well, yet the glee with which they were presented was somewhat lacking when producer and writer Milton Subotsky brought his adaptations to the screen – in fact, they were a little dry. There’s nothing wrong with the stories themselves, as they all have decent set ups and fitting punchlines, it’s just that a more than a modicum of jokiness could have lifted them above the routine. As it is, they are more quietly amusing than all-out thrill rides.” – Graeme Clark, The Spinning Image

El vampiro

728. (-3) El vampiro

Fernando Méndez

1957 / Mexico / 95m / BW / Vampire | IMDb
Abel Salazar, Ariadna Welter, Carmen Montejo, José Luis Jiménez, Mercedes Soler, Alicia Montoya, José Chávez, Julio Daneri, Amado Zumaya, Germán Robles


“The movie is enveloped in an all pervading atmosphere of gothic fantasy: cobwebs glisten in artificial moonlight and luminescent mist enshrouds the dilapidated hacienda which is ensconced in permanent shadows. The film has a surprisingly expensive look to it. Although the turn toward horror and fantasy in fifties Mexican cinema was largely inspired by the decline of the industry, the superior production values of it’s heyday in the forties are still very much in evidence in “El Vampiro”. The film is loaded with exceptional moments of directorial brilliance and great imagination – and the camera often moves with a Bava or Argento-like mind of it’s own.” – Blackgloves, Horrorview

La llorona

729. (-2) La llorona

Ramón Peón

1933 / Mexico / 73m / BW / Mystery | IMDb
Ramón Pereda, Virginia Zurí, Carlos Orellana, Adriana Lamar, Alberto Martí, Esperanza del Real, Paco Martínez, María Luisa Zea, Alfredo del Diestro, Conchita Gentil Arcos


“Adapted to the screen by two legendary figures of early Mexican cinema, Carlos Noriega Hope (of “Santa” fame) and Fernando De Fuentes (who would become a famous filmmaker on his own right), “La Llorona” is based on a story by A. Guzmán Aguilera which is essentially the narrative of the two most famous variations on the legend of “La Llorona”, framed by a modern tale of mystery and horror, making technically a collection of three stories linked by the legend… [it] may not be the best horror movie of the 30s, but as the very origin of the Mexican tradition of horror film-making (and one of Mexico’s first talkies) is of great interest and importance.” – J. Luis Rivera, W-Cinema

Bat sin fan dim: Yan yuk cha siu bau

730. (+16) Bat sin fan dim: Yan yuk cha siu bau

Herman Yau

1993 / Hong Kong / 96m / Col / Splatter | IMDb
Anthony Wong Chau-Sang, Danny Lee, Emily Kwan, Chun Hung Cheung, Si Man Hui, James Ha Jim-Si, Eric Kei, Joh-Fai Kwong, Dave Lam Jing, King-Kong Lam


“While labeled as one of the most shocking Asian horror films, The Untold Story is surprisingly not as graphically gory as one would expect with such title; the shock and the horror originate not from what’s seen, but from what takes place in off-screen. Directors Danny Lee and Herman Yau build up a disturbing atmosphere, very much in tone with the unbalance mind of Wong. Employing a stylish narrative, directors Yau and Lee cleverly orchestrate the grotesque details of the crimes in such a harrowing, powerful way that, no matter that the actual act takes place off-screen, the horrific effect is still felt.” – J Luis Rivera, W-Cinema

Intruder

731. (+6) Intruder

Scott Spiegel

1989 / USA / 83m / Col / Slasher | IMDb
Elizabeth Cox, Renée Estevez, Dan Hicks, David Byrnes, Sam Raimi, Eugene Robert Glazer, Billy Marti, Burr Steers, Craig Stark, Ted Raimi


“While Intruder follows much of the slasher film formula, it truly stands out from the ilk of that time for many reasons, the first being Speigel’s amazing style. As one of the guys behind the first two Evil Dead movies, Director and co-writer Scott Speilgel brings that same kinetic look to this movie. There are some crazy angles and snake-like movements, including some of the most innovative POVs, you’ve ever seen. Ever wonder what it would be like to see the POV of a bucket, telephone, or floor? Well, you’ll see it here. Add in the tight and ingenious editing and you have a movie that is technically superior to many of the stalk and slash that were out at that point in time. Speigel knows how to build up the tension. Intruder takes it’s time setting up the place, situation, and, more or less, the characters. The climax is pretty exciting and highly suspenseful.” – Giovanni Deldio, Best Horror Movies

The House on Sorority Row

732. (+82) The House on Sorority Row

Mark Rosman

1983 / USA / 91m / Col / Slasher | IMDb
Kate McNeil, Eileen Davidson, Janis Ward, Robin Meloy, Harley Jane Kozak, Jodi Draigie, Ellen Dorsher, Lois Kelso Hunt, Christopher Lawrence, Michael Kuhn


“The score by Richard Band is victorious in setting the mood, deploying an orchestral warmth that carries the movie to a richly cinematic level, while [the] editing concentrates on smooth transitions and tension, building the picture into a legitimately effective chiller, even with a few pokey spots of exposition. Rosman takes cues from the suspense masters and infuses “The House on Sorority Row” with traditional stalking sequences and mysterious happenings, most tied to court jester imagery. The helmer also makes good use of the location, working through basements and bedrooms, while the pool area plays a critical part in the story. The feature is unexpectedly competent, providing refreshing attention to the stages of fear, while allowing for some college student stupidity to open up the viewing experience, with most of the male characters complete oafs, reinforcing the strong feminine viewpoint of the movie.” – Brian Orndorf, Blu-ray

The Slumber Party Massacre

733. (-84) The Slumber Party Massacre

Amy Holden Jones

1982 / USA / 77m / Col / Slasher | IMDb
Michelle Michaels, Robin Stille, Michael Villella, Debra De Liso, Andree Honore, Gina Smika Hunter, Jennifer Meyers, Joseph Alan Johnson, David Millbern, Jim Boyce


“Even if one wanted to ignore the obvious overtones, they’re left with a pretty rad little slasher with impressive gore and ass-kicking girls. I’m not sure why anyone would want to discard the interesting subtext, though—it’s much more fun to read it as a film by two women who were quick to call the slasher genre out on its bullshit. Their initial vision may have been somewhat thwarted, but the hints in the margins here result in a slasher film that’s actually more interesting now than it was when I first watched it as a kid (when I was interested in it for all the things Brown and Jones were trying to highlight, of course).” – Brett Gallman, Oh, The Horror

Happy Birthday to Me

734. (+124) Happy Birthday to Me

J. Lee Thompson

1981 / Canada / 111m / Col / Slasher | IMDb
Melissa Sue Anderson, Glenn Ford, Lawrence Dane, Sharon Acker, Frances Hyland, Tracey E. Bregman, Jack Blum, Matt Craven, Lenore Zann, David Eisner


“One of the strongest entries in the 80s splatter canon, Happy Birthday to Me is both quite simplistic and unusually sophisticated for a slasher. On the one hand, it’s clearly driven by the petulant, juvenile pangs of youth and will resonate with anyone who was ever jilted on their birthday by a group of friends (hopefully it doesn’t resonate too much because things will get awkward and bloody in a hurry). But on the other hand, this one sets itself apart from its contemporaries by spinning one hell of a yarn around this concept, as it’s lined with enough twists and turns that would even make giallo masters blush. In many ways, Happy Birthday to Me is a perfect stopgap between that genre and the standard issue American body count flick; it really can’t be claimed as either, which makes it all the more intriguing.” – Brett Gallman, Oh, The Horror

Hell Night

735. (+8) Hell Night

Tom DeSimone

1981 / USA / 101m / Col / Slasher | IMDb
Linda Blair, Vincent Van Patten, Peter Barton, Kevin Brophy, Jenny Neumann, Suki Goodwin, Jimmy Sturtevant, Hal Ralston, Carey Fox, Ron Gans


“Hell Night stays away from particularly explicit violence. Part of that, undoubtedly, was the culture: after the first rush of slasher films in 1980, the moral watchdogs started barking and most of the second-wave films in ’81 were toned down considerably (the quintessential example being, of course, Friday the 13th giving way to the comparatively chaste Friday the 13th, Part 2). Even by those reduced standards, though, Hell Night is a violence-averse film, so much so that I wonder if that’s part of why it doesn’t have more visibility among casual slasher fans. What it does have, though, is a fairly amazing degree of tension and atmosphere for a cheap genre quickie.” – Tim Brayton, Antagony & Ecstasy

Cannibal ferox

736. (+11) Cannibal ferox

Umberto Lenzi

1981 / Italy / 93m / Col / Cannibal | IMDb
Giovanni Lombardo Radice, Lorraine De Selle, Danilo Mattei, Zora Kerova, Walter Lucchini, Fiamma Maglione, Robert Kerman, John Bartha, Venantino Venantini


“Cannibal Ferox is a popcorn cannibal flick, if such a thing can exist. Sure, Lenzi throws in the “we’re the savages” type dialogue that cannibal films seemingly all have, but the focus of the film is the gore and nothing else. A lot of dialogue is cheesy in the good way and there are a handful of familiar Italian horror faces to reminisce about and try to decipher just what the hell you’d seen them in before. The score and music in the film is great fun as well and fits the tone of the film perfectly.” – Brett H., Oh, The Horror

Shiryô no wana

737. (-42) Shiryô no wana

Toshiharu Ikeda

1988 / Japan / 102m / Col / Slasher | IMDb
Miyuki Ono, Aya Katsuragi, Hitomi Kobayashi, Eriko Nakagawa, Masahiko Abe, Hiroshi Shimizu, Kyôko Hashimoto, Yûko Maehara, Yûko Suwano, Mari Shimizu


“The plot of Evil Dead Trap moves at the speed of sound. Gone are the drawn out scenes of characters discussing their predicament. Who needs those when there are pretty eyeballs to puncture? This film definitely knows where its priorities are. It’s definitely not for the squeamish or for those looking for a cerebral experience. Like the films that influenced it, Evil Dead Trap is a rollercoaster ride of blood and mayhem, with characters becoming isolated and disposed of in various gruesome ways. Don’t let the film’s early predictability get you down—the surprise ending is well worth the wait.” – Ross Chen, Love HK Film

Frontière(s)

738. (-100) Frontière(s)

Xavier Gens

2007 / France / 108m / Col / Splatter | IMDb
Karina Testa, Samuel Le Bihan, Estelle Lefébure, Aurélien Wiik, David Saracino, Chems Dahmani, Maud Forget, Amélie Daure, Rosine Favey, Adel Bencherif


“There’s enough blood in the unrated French horror film “Frontier(s)” to satiate even the most ravenous gore hounds. The real surprise here is that this creepy, contemporary gross-out also has some ideas, visual and otherwise, wedged among its sanguineous drips, swaying meat hooks and whirring table saw. Much like other recent French-language horror films (“High Tension,” “Calvaire,” “Inside”), this one owes a debt to the modern American slasher flick, the original “Texas Chain Saw Massacre,” among many others, though “Frontier(s)” adds an amusingly glib and timely political twist to its wholesale carnage… “Frontier(s)” finally works because its shivers are as plausible as they are outrageous.” – Manohla Dargis, The New York Times

C.H.U.D.

739. (-24) C.H.U.D.

Douglas Cheek

1984 / USA / 88m / Col / Science Fiction | IMDb
John Heard, Daniel Stern, Christopher Curry, Kim Greist, Laure Mattos, Brenda Currin, Justin Hall, Michael O’Hare, Cordis Heard, Vic Polizos


“Director Douglas Creek does a great job building up the anticipation of the monsters. We barely see them at all until the third act, building the up the terror little by little, disappearance after disappearance. It’s not the same, but this could have easily been an episode of The X-Files. Ok, so the plot gets a little messy the longer it goes and things end up a bit too standard issue by the end, but C.H.U.D. is a stupidly great example of what a quality B movie can be: gory, overtop, and socially aware.” – Ryan Doom, Arrow in the Head

Vredens dag

740. (-111) Vredens dag

Carl Theodor Dreyer

1943 / Denmark / 97m / BW / Drama | IMDb
Kirsten Andreasen, Sigurd Berg, Harald Holst, Albert Høeberg, Emanuel Jørgensen, Sophie Knudsen, Preben Lerdorff Rye, Lisbeth Movin, Preben Neergaard


“Often seen as an allegory on the Nazi occupation of Denmark, this austere and very sombre account of the persecution of witches in 17th century Denmark is arguably Dreyer’s most pessimistic film. When a pious elderly parson sends an old woman to the stake, she curses him. His young wife (the daughter of a woman suspected of witchcraft) falls in love with her stepson; the affair induces the parson’s death. Is the wife, then, herself a witch? Dreyer remains wisely ambivalent, preferring instead to focus on the powerful, earthly emotions of fear and love: the grim, grey confession chambers – location of perhaps the most discreet yet horrific torture scenes in cinema – embody the former, rippling streams and sun-dappled meadows the latter. Almost paradoxically, Dreyer evokes the soul through the physical world; the result is a masterpiece, its slow, measured pace and stark visuals achieving an almost unbearable emotional intensity.” – Geoff Andrews, Time Out

Oldeuboi

741. (-55) Oldeuboi

Chan-wook Park

2003 / South Korea / 120m / Col / Crime | IMDb
Min-sik Choi, Ji-tae Yu, Hye-jeong Kang, Dae-han Ji, Dal-su Oh, Byeong-ok Kim, Seung-Shin Lee, Jin-seo Yoon, Dae-yeon Lee, Kwang-rok Oh


“The violence remains appalling, but it’s an essential element in this brutally inspired mystery. The low-tech dentistry, the masticated octopod, they’re part of the modern hell in which a Korean businessman finds himself… [Oldboy] tantalizes and tortures you as it lures you into its mysterious vortex. You die from what you see and from what you don’t know. And it takes looking beyond the violence to realize the power of Choi’s performance… There is a conclusion to all this, an existential punch line that explains everything in a climactic pileup of melodramatic detail. But whatever you make of that, you will surely leave this movie shocked, shaken and surprisingly moved. And definitely stuck on that poor octopus.” – Desson Thomson, Washington Post

Ta paidia tou Diavolou

742. (+8) Ta paidia tou Diavolou

Nico Mastorakis

1976 / Greece / 108m / Col / Exploitation | IMDb
Robert Behling, Jane Lyle, Jessica Dublin, Gerard Gonalons, Jannice McConnell, Ray Richardson, Marios Tartas, Efi Bani, Clay Half, Jeremy Rousseau


“In its exploration of the relationships that exist between cultural outsiders or tourists (and their patronising, often naïve interpretations of the ‘purity’ or ‘simplicity’ of the cultures they are visiting) and locals, Island of Death explores a similar dynamic to films such as Sam Peckinpah’s Straw Dogs (1971)… and John Boorman’s Deliverance (1972)… Like those films, Island of Death foregrounds the concealed brutality of the white, bourgeois ‘tourist’ (in this case, the couple of Chris and Celia), except in Mastorakis’ film – as compared with Peckinpah and Boorman’s pictures – the locals do nothing to provoke the ire of Chris and Celia, other than simply pursue their own desires.” – Paul Lewis, DVD Compare

The 'Burbs

743. (+9) The ‘Burbs

Joe Dante

1989 / USA / 101m / Col / Black Comedy | IMDb
Tom Hanks, Bruce Dern, Carrie Fisher, Rick Ducommun, Corey Feldman, Wendy Schaal, Henry Gibson, Brother Theodore, Courtney Gains, Gale Gordon


“The ‘Burbs may look, feel and seem like a simple movie, and the outset of things it is. It relies on out-of-the-box comedy methods like pratfalls and wacky dialogue delivery to help Dana Olsen’s well-conceived script, but it succeeds on the most basic level of taking ordinary people and putting them in an extra-ordinary situation. Just like a genre classic like Ghostbusters, The ‘Burbs is is laugh-out-loud hilarious because you can see something of yourself and the life around you in this series of very bizarre events.” – Luke Owen, Flickering Myth

La ragazza che sapeva troppo

744. (-57) La ragazza che sapeva troppo

Mario Bava

1963 / Italy / 86m / Col / Giallo | IMDb
Letícia Román, John Saxon, Valentina Cortese, Titti Tomaino, Luigi Bonos, Milo Quesada, Robert Buchanan, Marta Melocco, Gustavo De Nardo, Lucia Modugno


“At any rate, it’s notoriously hard to define a giallo. It’s not a formula quite as much as a mood and a point of view, and if The Girl Who Knew Too Much is a bit breezier than many of its children, it still shares their casual acceptance of metaphysics as a component of medical science, cops who’ll believe anything but the hero’s eye-witness account, people doing everything they can to find a killer, and are then shocked when they run across the killer. In the next few weeks, I hope to dig up some of these trends when I can find them: in the meanwhile, let me conclude by proposing that The Girl Who Knew Too Much is a gialli like The Texas Chainsaw Massacre is a slasher: it created the genre, and the rules followed, and thus it’s hardly the germinating film’s fault if it occasionally ignores those rules.” – Tim Brayton, Antagony & Ecstasy

Lady in White

745. (-15) Lady in White

Frank LaLoggia

1988 / USA / 113m / Col / Mystery | IMDb
Lukas Haas, Len Cariou, Alex Rocco, Katherine Helmond, Jason Presson, Renata Vanni, Angelo Bertolini, Joelle Jacobi, Jared Rushton, Gregory Levinson


“The overall mood of the movie changes from charming to alarming and back to charming as the story unfolds to its incendiary ending atop the cliffs by the white cottage. LaLoggia’s simple, old-time, approach using in-camera effects combined with basic process shots build his story in an economical but creative way. Like a good ghost story, simple elements combine to create an ethereal dread, making Lady in White a memorable movie.” – JM Cozzoli, Zombos’ Closet

Lo strano vizio della Signora Wardh

746. (-50) Lo strano vizio della Signora Wardh

Sergio Martino

1971 / Italy / 98m / Col / Giallo | IMDb
George Hilton, Edwige Fenech, Conchita Airoldi, Manuel Gil, Carlo Alighiero, Ivan Rassimov, Alberto de Mendoza, Bruno Corazzari, Marella Corbi, Miguel del Castillo


“‘The Strange Vice of Mrs Wardh’ is not a beautiful film in the usual sense. There are no lavish shots of the breathtaking cities of Europe nor does one see any overt attempt to dazzle the viewer with aesthetic style. Instead, we are presented with a sleazy, bleak and repellent film brimming with atmosphere and brutality and from which one can take a vulgar sense of enjoyment. This is an example of repugnant beauty, the way in which a dark subject can be treated in such a manner that it becomes strangely absorbing. A few pacing problems aside, ‘The Strange Vice of Mrs Wardh’ is a strong all-around offering for those interested in a slow-burn, mature mystery-horror movie.” – Chris Austin, Cult Reviews

The Stone Tape

747. (-50) The Stone Tape

Peter Sasdy

1972 / UK / 90m / Col / Haunted House | IMDb
Michael Bryant, Jane Asher, Iain Cuthbertson, Michael Bates, Reginald Marsh, Tom Chadbon, John Forgeham, Philip Trewinnard, James Cosmo, Neil Wilson


“It is a genuinely scary and affecting piece of work, and applying rational thought to the ghost makes it more terrifying, not less. The Stone Tape continues to work because it does such a good job of raising questions to which we still don’t know the answers, even if our recording and computing equipment has changed beyond recognition. The fear of the inexplicable remains, and Jane Asher finds something malevolent recorded in the stone that defies our understanding. The feeling at the end of watching is that the surface of the stone has only just been scratched. Who knows what memories are locked up in the walls that surround us?” – Aliya Whiteley, Den of Geek

Buio Omega

748. (+187) Buio Omega

Joe D’Amato

1979 / Italy / 94m / Col / Splatter | IMDb
Kieran Canter, Cinzia Monreale, Franca Stoppi, Sam Modesto, Anna Cardini, Lucia D’Elia, Mario Pezzin, Walter Tribus, Klaus Rainer, Edmondo Vallini


“A hypnotically gruesome cult hit that may not be for everyone in the genre, especially the squeamish (and the very impatient), Beyond the Darkness is as close to Italian-gore-trash perfection as you’re going to get. Accompanied with a groovy score by Goblin that perfectly juxtaposes Frank and Iris’ evil nature, Beyond the Darkness is a true thrill that will leave you genuinely creeped out and disturbed.” – Juliana Bennett, Horror in the Attic

Children Shouldn't Play with Dead Things

749. (-51) Children Shouldn’t Play with Dead Things

Bob Clark

1973 / USA / 87m / Col / Zombie | IMDb
Alan Ormsby, Valerie Mamches, Jeff Gillen, Anya Ormsby, Paul Cronin, Jane Daly, Roy Engleman, Robert Philip, Bruce Solomon, Alecs Baird


“Many people have written this film off as, like I mentioned above, campy, but there’s something deliberate in the tone that the director crafted for this film. He loaded the script with silly lines and inside jokes that you would traditionally hear when in close quarters with a theatrical group such as this one, yet offsets that harmless scenario with the hauntingly macabre idea of a group of kids desecrating a cemetery and then walking off with one of it’s inhabitants to just goof off with it. I think the combination is both fun and demented and I enjoy those ingredients each and every time I view this film. The characters are so off the wall and have such different personalities that you just enjoy listening to the ridiculous things that come out of their mouths. There’s enough one liners and quotable lines in this one that it’s hard to get bored and that’s not including the hauntingly vibrant soundtrack.” – Jay Shatzer, The Lucid Nightmare

Play Misty for Me

750. (-2) Play Misty for Me

Clint Eastwood

1971 / USA / 102m / Col / Thriller | IMDb
Clint Eastwood, Jessica Walter, Donna Mills, John Larch, Jack Ging, Irene Hervey, James McEachin, Clarice Taylor, Don Siegel, Duke Everts


“The movie revolves around a character played with an unnerving effectiveness by Jessica Walter. She is something like flypaper; the more you struggle against her personality, the more tightly you’re held. Clint Eastwood, in directing himself, shows that he understands his unique movie personality. He is strong but somehow passive, he possesses strength but keeps it coiled inside. And so the movie, by refusing to release any emotion at all until the very end, absolutely wrings us dry. There is no purpose to a suspense thriller, I suppose, except to involve us, scare us, to give us moments of vicarious terror. “Play Misty for Me” does that with an almost cruel efficiency.” – Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times

Teeth

751. (+64) Teeth

Mitchell Lichtenstein

2007 / USA / 94m / Col / Comedy | IMDb
Jess Weixler, John Hensley, Josh Pais, Hale Appleman, Lenny von Dohlen, Vivienne Benesch, Ashley Springer, Laila Liliana Garro, Nicole Swahn, Adam Wagner


“While “Carrie” is the obvious influence (with genital transmogrification instead of telekinesis, and the other sex doing the bulk of the bleeding), “Teeth” could be seen as a “Reefer Madness” for the New Chastity Generation. The camp sensibility, however, is fully self-aware, not unlike certain Todd Haynes’ movies: the Barbie-doll biopic “Superstar: The Karen Carpenter Story,” or the black-and-white venereal horror/sci-fi segment of “Poison.” Writer-director Lichtenstein, best known for his central part in Robert Altman’s 1983 film of David Rabe’s “Streamers,” straddles one line between earnestness and facetiousness and another between horror and satire, shifting and pivoting from one to the other. Most of the time his balance is just right.” – Jim Emerson, Chicago Sun-Times

Funny Games U.S.

752. (-1) Funny Games U.S.

Michael Haneke

2007 / USA / 111m / Col / Home Invasion | IMDb
Naomi Watts, Tim Roth, Michael Pitt, Brady Corbet, Devon Gearhart, Boyd Gaines, Siobhan Fallon, Robert LuPone, Susi Haneke, Linda Moran


“This transposed Funny Games registers more strongly than the original as a film about privileged white people… Next to their Austrian equivalents, Corbet and Pitt seem less outwardly presentable, more outlandish and fey… While both iterations of Funny Games are schematic to a fault, their anti-illusionism opens up a Pandora’s box of unanswered questions. Haneke scolds us for our bloodlust, yet leaves us wondering how the suffering of a fictional character can carry any weight at all. As onscreen narrators employed to articulate these puzzles, Peter and Paul could be cousins to the Joker in The Dark Knight or Javier Bardem’s smiling assassin in No Country For Old Men.” – Jake Wilson, The Age

Fire in the Sky

753. (0) Fire in the Sky

Robert Lieberman

1993 / USA / 109m / Col / Science Fiction | IMDb
D.B. Sweeney, Robert Patrick, Craig Sheffer, Peter Berg, Henry Thomas, Bradley Gregg, Noble Willingham, Kathleen Wilhoite, James Garner, Georgia Emelin


“What’s strange about Fire in the Sky is that it’s based on a true story. That’s what the makers of this movie want us to believe, anyway. On Nov. 5, 1975, in northeastern Arizona, Travis Walton was abducted by aliens. In the small fragment that he remembers of the five days and six hours that he was missing, he saw humanoids perform experiments on him… The movie is intentionally like a dramatized documentary. The producers want us to share their belief in Walton’s story. To make the story appear more believable, they use the real names of the loggers, shy away from fancy special effects that would distract the audience from the plot (the UFO looks like two pie-pans taped together, like Walton said it did), and, besides James Garner, don’t use any celebrity actors.” – John Jacobs, The Tech (MIT)

Tôkaidô Yotsuya kaidan

754. (0) Tôkaidô Yotsuya kaidan

Nobuo Nakagawa

1959 / Japan / 76m / Col / Jidaigeki | IMDb
Shigeru Amachi, Noriko Kitazawa, Katsuko Wakasugi, Shuntarô Emi, Ryûzaburô Nakamura, Junko Ikeuchi, Jun ôtomo, Hiroshi Hayashi, Shinjirô Asano, Arata Shibata


“Along with the masterful camerawork, the film’s lighting and music play an integral role in selling the dreadful feeling that permeates the entire film. The final moments are scored with traditional Japanese music that grows in driving intensity with the images on-screen, culminating in a stunning, powerful ending that perfectly caps off the film. The violence is surprisingly graphic and still very effective, over fifty years after release. No US film would have ever gotten away with the stuff they do in this film, and as such it feels like a more recent film than 1959. The violence is nothing compared with later films of course, but given the time, it’s incredible. The Ghost of Yotsuya is an amazing, haunting, wonderful horror film that fans of the genre should definitely not miss. It is proof that horror films can be artful and grotesque simultaneously.” – Will Kouf, Silver Emulsion

Nightmares

755. (0) Nightmares

Joseph Sargent

1983 / USA / 99m / Col / Anthology | IMDb
Cristina Raines, Joe Lambie, Anthony James, Clare Nono, Raleigh Bond, Robert Phelps, Dixie Lynn Royce, Lee Ving, Emilio Estevez, Mariclare Costello


Nightmares is very obviously a product of the eighties. Just about every aspect of the movie is dated, from the clothing and hair to the language and technology. The visual effects are primitive by today’s standards as well; although it’s the single biggest line-item in the production’s budget, the “hi-tech” computerized imagery in “The Bishop of Battle” is laughably bad. The soundtrack is full of eighties music as well… As funny as it seems at times, the datedness of Nightmares doesn’t really take away from the entertainment value of the movie. Instead, it kind of makes the film serve more as a fun time capsule to a simpler era of cinematic history.” – James Jay Edwards, FilmFracture

The Lost World

756. (0) The Lost World

Harry O. Hoyt

1925 / USA / 106m / BW / Science Fiction | IMDb
Bessie Love, Lewis Stone, Wallace Beery, Lloyd Hughes, Alma Bennett, Arthur Hoyt, Margaret McWade, Bull Montana, Frank Finch Smiles, Jules Cowles


“Great chunks of Doyle’s plot are discarded and replaced with dramatic dinosaur scenes. And this is what makes The Lost World so memorable and important to the development of fantasy on screen. Sure, by modern CGI standards O’Brien’s stop-motion animation is at times jerky and primitive, but these scenes are still impressive. O’Brien and his team employed techniques of animation and monster-creation that he later perfected in King Kong, and even today the dinosaurs of The Lost World are among the best ever put on screen… It built the mold for much of what came afterward, and those of us who enjoy fantastical films have much to thank it and Willis O’Brien for.” – Mark Bourne, The DVD Journal

Freddy's Dead: The Final Nightmare

757. (0) Freddy’s Dead: The Final Nightmare

Rachel Talalay

1991 / USA / 89m / Col / Slasher | IMDb
Robert Englund, Lisa Zane, Shon Greenblatt, Lezlie Deane, Ricky Dean Logan, Breckin Meyer, Yaphet Kotto, Tom Arnold, Roseanne Barr, Elinor Donahue


“The Nightmare movies have also, to this point, refused to take themselves too seriously, walking a line between absurd and creepy and placing a toe (or ten) on either side every once in a while. This movie goes whole hog into a tone that bordered on slapstick in more than one scene. Freddy is also back to his old self, quipping with his victims and vogueing as though he is, on some level, aware of the film audience. Even with much more history and backstory than we’ve gotten so far, this movie manages to stay squarely in the kind of territory that Nightmare does best.” – Sophie Day, Bloody Good Horror

Sheitan

758. (0) Sheitan

Kim Chapiron

2006 / France / 94m / Col / Black Comedy | IMDb
Vincent Cassel, Olivier Barthelemy, Roxane Mesquida, Nico Le Phat Tan, Leïla Bekhti, Ladj Ly, Julie-Marie Parmentier, Gérald Thomassin, Quentin Lasbazeilles


“With its continued display of gross-out behaviour, Satan is clearly not going to cater for all tastes. Whilst there are certainly horror elements within the story it isn’t a particularly gory picture, preferring to shock the viewer instead through the nature of the community’s relationship and the way they interact with their new arrivals. For me though, it works perfectly. Cassel’s over-the-top performance coupled with Chapiron’s wild approach produce a fresh, invigorating film which makes for ideal late night viewing. At the same time, it’s also one of the most unconventional Christmas movies you’re ever likely to see!” – Eat My Brains

The Stand

759. (0) The Stand

Mick Garris

1994 / USA / 361m / Col / Supernatural | IMDb
Gary Sinise, Molly Ringwald, Jamey Sheridan, Ruby Dee, Miguel Ferrer, Corin Nemec, Matt Frewer, Adam Storke, Ray Walston, Rob Lowe


“It doesn’t have anything like the usual steady, predictable rhythms of a miniseries-its scenes are of uneven lengths, and sometimes important characters disappear for hours at a time. The unexpected structure of the film-sort of an artful jumble-helps build suspense, because you realize very quickly that this movie doesn’t behave like other TV shows; anything can happen at any time. Garris also takes more care with the look of his film than most TV-movie directors-surely this is one of the prettiest scary movies ever made-and some entire scenes unfold without dialogue, a great rarity in television land.” – Ken Tucker, Entertainment Weekly

Svengali

760. (0) Svengali

Archie Mayo

1931 / USA / 81m / BW / Drama | IMDb
John Barrymore, Marian Marsh, Donald Crisp, Bramwell Fletcher, Carmel Myers, Luis Alberni, Lumsden Hare, Paul Porcasi


“[Svengali] may have lost some of the romantic charm of the author’s tale, but it compensates for this by Mr. Barrymore’s imaginative and forceful portrayal, and also by Archie Mayo’s knowledgeful supervision of the camera work. Where it is possible the producers have introduced some mirthful moments, but, as might be presumed, this feature is mostly concerned with Svengali’s hypnotic powers… And in these sequences there is Mr. Barrymore’s fine performance, which surpasses anything he has done for the screen, including his masterful acting in the motion pictures of Stevenson’s “Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde” and Clyde Fitch’s “Beau Brummell.” He is aided in no small way by remarkable photographic wizardry, for during those scenes wherein he hypnotizes Triby, his eyes appear to lose the iris and become a luminous white.” – Mordaunt Hall, New York Times

Eaten Alive

761. (+3) Eaten Alive

Tobe Hooper

1977 / USA / 91m / Col / Slasher | IMDb
Neville Brand, Mel Ferrer, Carolyn Jones, Marilyn Burns, William Finley, Stuart Whitman, Roberta Collins, Kyle Richards, Robert Englund, Crystin Sinclaire


“Even though dated, [Eaten Alive] delivers everything you could want from a Video Nasty, and delivers it head on, in your face and makes no excuses. This is a film which only needs the most basic of plots simply to tie together the scenes of carnage. This is a film which relishes, and glorifies its violence and unsavoury characters, and this is a film which demands you take your head out of your ass and just enjoy horror for what it is. [Eaten Alive] is a horror intended to be enjoyed on face value, there is nothing deep or meaningful here, and you certainly will not need to use your brain. All you have to do is sit back and enjoy the madness, the insanity, the completely mad ride into the Starlight Hotel, its owner Judd and is beloved pet Croc out back.” – Matt Wavish, Horror Cult Films

Tales from the Hood

762. (new) Tales from the Hood

Rusty Cundieff

1995 / USA / 98m / Col / Anthology | IMDb
Clarence Williams III, Joe Torry, De’aundre Bonds, Samuel Monroe Jr., Wings Hauser, Tom Wright, Anthony Griffith, Michael Massee, Duane Whitaker, David Alan Grier


“All four of the stories differ in tone – some are darkly comic, others outright gruesome – yet they share a thoughtful quality. Each one addresses some kind of relevant issue: racist cops, domestic violence, people who inexcusably cling to the ideals of the Jim Crow South, and black-on-black killings. What happens in them is appropriately eerie. More vitally, they give you something to think about. Despite having been released 22 years ago, none of the tales have lost their sting. They hold on to their urgency, making every bit as much of an impact now as they did then.” – Mike McGranaghan, Aisle Seat

20 Million Miles to Earth

763. (-2) 20 Million Miles to Earth

Nathan Juran

1957 / USA / 82m / BW / Science Fiction | IMDb
William Hopper, Joan Taylor, Frank Puglia, John Zaremba, Thomas Browne Henry, Tito Vuolo, Jan Arvan, Arthur Space, Bart Braverman


“I don’t know of any other artist in Hollywood who has ever dwarfed the rest of the film in such a way as Harryhausen did… the Ymir, the Venusian alien creature, is one of Harryhausen’s most interesting creations, not least because you can see elements of some of his more famous monsters in the mannerisms of the creature (I can see the cyclops from The 7th Voyage of Sinbad and the Kraken from Clash of the Titans to name but two). It’s these mannerisms and the way in which Harryhausen animates the creature, which makes it more like-like and believable than any of the human actors involved.” – Andrew Smith, Popcorn Pictures

Triangle

764. (-116) Triangle

Christopher Smith

2009 / UK / 99m / Col / Science Fiction | IMDb
Melissa George, Joshua McIvor, Jack Taylor, Michael Dorman, Henry Nixon, Rachael Carpani, Emma Lung, Liam Hemsworth, Bryan Probets


“After his passable, low-budget horror movie, Severance, the British writer-director Christopher Smith takes a big leap forward with this clever and compelling occult thriller. Shot on the coast of Queensland but set in Miami, it interweaves to potent effect Nietzsche’s theory of “eternal recurrence”, the mystery of the Mary Celeste and Sutton Vane’s once popular play Outward Bound… It’s creepy, atmospheric stuff and at every twist of this Möbius strip we wonder how Smith will keep things going. But he manages it with considerable skill and we leave his picture suitably shaken.” – Philip French, The Observer

Creepshow 2

765. (-2) Creepshow 2

Michael Gornick

1987 / USA / 92m / Col / Anthology | IMDb
Domenick John, Tom Savini, George Kennedy, Philip Dore, Kaltey Napoleon, Maltby Napoleon, Tyrone Tonto, Dorothy Lamour, Frank Salsedo, Holt McCallany


“The stories in “Creepshow 2” improve upon each other, and they’re all pretty good. “Old Chief Wood’nhead” and “The Raft” deliver the twists and carnage anticipated while still being dramatically cohesive, but it is “The Hitchhiker” that runs off with the glory. Fiendishly horrifying and hilariously acerbic, this third offering features one classic line and hair-raising situation after the next. – Dustin Putnam, The Movie Boy

Schock

766. (-1) Schock

Mario Bava

1977 / Italy / 95m / Col / Supernatural | IMDb
Daria Nicolodi, John Steiner, David Colin Jr., Ivan Rassimov


“Shock differs sharply from earlier Bava features as it is much more understated – there is no gothic setting, no baroque décor, and no elaborate costumes. Obviously saddled with a much more economical budget this time around, Bava chose to concentrate on creating a tense, claustrophobic environment within the confines of a family home – and succeeds admirably. He blends psychosomatic and paranormal themes into a nice ambiguous twist – it’s up to the viewer to decide whether the house is really haunted or entirely a creation of Dora’s tormented mind.” – Michelle R., Digital Retribution

The Boogey Man

767. (-5) The Boogey Man

Ulli Lommel

1980 / USA / 82m / Col / Splatter | IMDb
Suzanna Love, Ron James, John Carradine, Nicholas Love, Raymond Boyden, Felicite Morgan, Bill Rayburn, Llewelyn Thomas, Jay Wright, Natasha Schiano


“The film has an effectively Southern gothic atmosphere to it and even the stiff performances and unnatural dialogue help to give the film a certain dream-like atmosphere. I know quite a few people who argue that Ulli Lommel is the worst director of all time but he actually comes up with some effectively surreal and disturbing images… Whether by intentional design or not, these flashes of genuine fright and oddness are all the more effective because they’re surrounded by such mundane material. The end result is a film that’s either brilliant or terrible depending on which point you actually start watching it.” – Lisa Marie Bowman, Horror Critic

Dead End

768. (-2) Dead End

Jean-Baptiste Andrea & Fabrice Canepa

2003 / USA / 85m / Col / Psychological | IMDb
Ray Wise, Lin Shaye, Mick Cain, Alexandra Holden, Billy Asher Rosenfeld, Amber Smith, Karen S. Gregan, Sharon Madden, Steve Valentine, Jimmie F. Skaggs


“Jean-Baptiste Andrea and Fabrice Canepa’s Grimm fable is hardly blessed with originality, its road trip to hell device being a staple of everything from The Texas Chainsaw Massacre to the recent Wrong Turn. Moreover, those with even a passing acquaintance with the genre will guess how the movie pans out long before it reaches its abrupt and rather unsatisfying conclusion. Where it scores is in its canny exploration of family dynamics and a jet-black gallows humour that will have you tittering into your popcorn… while there’s ultimately less to Dead End than meets the eye, it remains an ingenious exercise in nerve-shredding tension that makes a virtue of its limited means.” – Neil Smith, BBC

The Flesh and the Fiends

769. (-2) The Flesh and the Fiends

John Gilling

1960 / UK / 97m / BW / Gothic | IMDb
Peter Cushing, June Laverick, Donald Pleasence, George Rose, Renee Houston, Dermot Walsh, Billie Whitelaw, John Cairney, Melvyn Hayes, June Powell


“While many films from the sixties have quickly become dated thanks to modern filmmaking, this film actually seems to be just as fresh as if it were written only last year. Sure, there are some lengthy dialogue passages indicative of the era and a few of the performances have that acting feel common to most films prior to the seventies, but I can think of very few films from that period of time whose script could easily be re-submitted today to a major Hollywood studio and filmed for contemporary audiences just as it appeared on the page. Iím not sure if that has a little something to do with the fact that the film is filled with uncharacteristically large amounts of nudity and violence that were common only to grindhouse films of the time, but it is absolutely amazing how well this film still stands up over forty years later.” – The Deuce Grindhouse Cinema Database

Twilight Zone: The Movie

770. (-2) Twilight Zone: The Movie

Joe Dante & John Landis & George Miller & Steven Spielberg

1983 / USA / 101m / Col / Anthology | IMDb
Dan Aykroyd, Albert Brooks, Vic Morrow, Doug McGrath, Charles Hallahan, Rainer Peets, Kai Wulff, Sue Dugan, Debby Porter, Steven Williams


“TWILIGHT ZONE THE MOVIE was a slick, randomly creepy and easy watch. When hit the mark, it did it from fair to great. When it missed, it did by a yard. With a stronger wrap around story, more variety to Landis’ tale and Spielberg’s sissy, stops the flick dead in its tracks entry taken out, the movie would’ve been tighter and stronger if you ask me. But when all was stabbed and bled dry, there was enough groovy-groove-groove stuff in here to warrant a sit down.” – Arrow in the Head

Hard Candy

771. (-2) Hard Candy

David Slade

2005 / USA / 104m / Col / Thriller | IMDb
Patrick Wilson, Ellen Page, Sandra Oh, Odessa Rae, G.J. Echternkamp


“Hard Candy works superbly as a character-driven piece, rather than one which has to resort to graphic violence and standard-issue thriller clichés to get its point across. What’s more, the did-he-or-didn’t-he? element is bound to divide audiences — Jeff comes across as a likeable guy, one who dispels the stereotypical image of the internet paedophile as sleazy and/or socially awkward — and it’s all too easy to end up feeling sorry for him in spite of his alleged crimes. Like many movies which focus on just a few characters and a handful of settings, this would make a great stageplay — but as a cinematic experience, it delivers the goods.” – Caroline Westbrook, Empire

Amityville II: The Possession

772. (-2) Amityville II: The Possession

Damiano Damiani

1982 / USA / 104m / Col / Haunted House | IMDb
James Olson, Burt Young, Rutanya Alda, Jack Magner, Andrew Prine, Diane Franklin, Moses Gunn, Ted Ross, Erika Katz, Brent Katz


“[Director] Damiani forgoes any authentic connection to the actual DeFeo case and opts for a very loose fictional retelling more suitable for grindhouse theaters. That’s not a complaint, but a compliment. Continuity and originality be damned, Amityville II: The Possession is so off the rails crazy that it’s fun. Bolstered by great effects and a higher budget, this sequel is not only better than the first film, but it’s the best in the series.” – Meagan Navarro, Bloody Disgusting

Maximum Overdrive

773. (-198) Maximum Overdrive

Stephen King

1986 / USA / 98m / Col / Science Fiction | IMDb
Emilio Estevez, Pat Hingle, Laura Harrington, Yeardley Smith, John Short, Ellen McElduff, J.C. Quinn, Christopher Murney, Holter Graham, Frankie Faison


“Stephen King had big problems with filmmakers, who’d often “ruin” his great books/stories with all the terrible adaptations of his short stories and books coming out, so what does he do? Writes and directs his own, which got hailed as King’s worst film ever, though I think “Graveyard Shift” and “Mangler” were the worst ones. I really enjoyed this one however. It’s a real stinker if you are expecting good horror and a decent film, but otherwise, if you’re looking for a fun, ridiculous, campy b-movie to watch with the friends to crack up at, you’re sure to enjoy this one… the pace doesn’t move fast and the film runs out of steam in the last half hour, but otherwise, this is a great b-movie that provides a 98 minute laughfest.” – Andrew Borntreger, BadMovies.org

The Collector

774. (+12) The Collector

Marcus Dunstan

2009 / USA / 90m / Col / Slasher | IMDb
William Prael, Diane Ayala Goldner, Juan Fernández, Josh Stewart, Michael Reilly Burke, Andrea Roth, Karley Scott Collins, Madeline Zima, Haley Pullos


“Writer/director Dunstan, emerging from the ‘creative’ team behind a bevy of the Saw films, takes this relatively simple conceit and milks it for maximum chills. That said, much of the film’s gut-level effectiveness comes from his staging of some truly hideous moments; scenes involving fish-hooks, cockroaches, Alsatian guard dogs and bear traps go pretty close to crossing the line, as does the involvement of pre-teen actress Collins, who is party to several particularly heinous acts. (And cat owners…trust me, avoid at all costs) […] Collaborators on the film all seem at the top of their game – the film benefits from atmospheric, dreamlike lighting; Jerome Dillon’s music nods to electro-soundtrack maestros, Tangerine Dream; and restrained, precise editing, especially of scenes shot in slow-motion, adds to the overall ‘waking-nightmare’ impact.” – Simon Foster, Screen-Space

Hexen bis aufs Blut gequält

775. (-3) Hexen bis aufs Blut gequält

Michael Armstrong

1970 / Germany / 90m / Col / Exploitation | IMDb
Herbert Lom, Udo Kier, Olivera Katarina, Reggie Nalder, Herbert Fux, Johannes Buzalski, Michael Maien, Gaby Fuchs, Ingeborg Schöner, Adrian Hoven


“Whilst it has been over shadowed a little by Michael Reeves’ equally outstanding Witchfinder General (1968) Mark of The Devil stands as something of a companion piece to that film. Both approach the subject matter with a historical eye and are arguably not horror films in the strictest sense of the word. But where Reeve’s film is now an acknowledged classic, Mark of The Devil has the reputation of being a sleazy, violent exploitation film. To some extent this is a fair criticism as director Michael Armstrong is wholly unafraid to linger on the slow, unpleasant torture of those accused of consorting with The Devil. There is also no escaping the garish and gloatingly manipulative marketing campaign used by Hallmark on its original release. However, for all its horror, the film retains an integrity and intelligence that lifts it far above the simple minded gore films that would begin to flood the market as the 1970’s progressed.” – Stuart Smith, UK Horror Scene

A Nightmare on Elm Street 4: The Dream Master

776. (-1) A Nightmare on Elm Street 4: The Dream Master

Renny Harlin

1988 / USA / 93m / Col / Slasher | IMDb
Lisa Wilcox, Andras Jones, Danny Hassel, Rodney Eastman, Tuesday Knight, Ken Sagoes, Brooke Bundy, Nicholas Mele, Toy Newkirk, Brooke Theiss


“Though patently silly, the film is certainly gory enough to offer some halfway decent chills, even if the deaths themselves seem relatively un-scary and low-risk. (Besides, how many surviving characters are likely to make it through the next movie?) But with an overstuffed frame and a relentless soundtrack featuring The Fat Boys, Billy Idol, and — you guessed it — Tuesday Knight herself, does the film really need to add genuine fear to the sensory overload?” – Leo Goldsmith, Not Coming to a Theater Near You

Creep

777. (+10) Creep

Christopher Smith

2004 / UK / 85m / Col / Slasher | IMDb
Vas Blackwood, Ken Campbell, Kathryn Gilfeather, Franka Potente, Grant Ibbs, Joe Anderson, Jeremy Sheffield, Sean De Vrind, Ian Duncan, Debora Weston


““Creep” is a very atmospheric film, both in its early depiction of instantly recognisable London life, and its latter scenes of dark, oppressive tunnels that seem to have been influenced by the “Resident Evil” series of videogames. There are a good number of genuine scares, and the whole film has a claustrophobic feel which the director exploits to the full with uncomfortable moments, often involving the legions of rats which the creep seems to command. Similarly, in terms of blood, the film will certainly satisfy fans, with a good amount of splatter, and a couple of genuinely foul scenes that are sure to raise a shudder.” – James Mudge, Beyond Hollywood

Homicidal

778. (0) Homicidal

William Castle

1961 / USA / 87m / Col / Slasher | IMDb
Glenn Corbett, Patricia Breslin, Eugenie Leontovich, Alan Bunce, Richard Rust, James Westerfield, Gilbert Green, Joan Marshall


“Despite its obvious flaws, however, Homicidal comes across today as a reasonably enjoyable cult film, primarily because all its ludicrous elements add up to such silly fun. Plus, though the primary plot twist is far too easy to guess, the hidden secret behind this twist comes as a genuine surprise. If you forget that Homicidal was ever meant as a serious rival to Hitchcock’s masterpiece, you’ll probably get a kick out of its enjoyably campy approach to sibling rivalry, gender, loyalty, and murder.” – Film Fanatic

The Incredible Torture Show

779. (+14) The Incredible Torture Show

Joel M. Reed

1976 / USA / 84m / Col / Splatter | IMDb
Seamus O’Brien, Luis De Jesus, Viju Krem, Niles McMaster, Alan Dellay, Dan Fauci, Helen Thompson, Ellen Faison, Ernie Pysher, Carol Mara


“A bizarre and irreverent plot which is seemingly just an excuse to exploit every taboo in a movie and take it to its distasteful extreme, [it] has to be seen to be believed. With the usual histrionic characters that are expected in a Troma movie and the excessive lengths that the plot evolves to shock and disgust, this is not a movie to take seriously. Fans of hardcore exploitation movies such as Last House on the Left and I Spit on your Grave may find Bloodsucking Freaks a bit difficult to digest with its campiness and farcical interpretation of the genre but would have to appreciate the depths of distaste that the movie is willing to sink to in order to achieve the desired reaction from the audience. A definite cult classic and a defining moment in Troma history in the guise of a sadistic and torturous voyage into the brainwashing and slavery industry where women are used as dartboards before being fed to their feral sisters.” – Pazuzu Iscariot, Horror Extreme

The Lawnmower Man

780. (+14) The Lawnmower Man

Brett Leonard

1992 / USA / 108m / Col / Science Fiction | IMDb
Jeff Fahey, Pierce Brosnan, Jenny Wright, Mark Bringelson, Geoffrey Lewis, Jeremy Slate, Dean Norris, Colleen Coffey, Jim Landis, Troy Evans


“Despite its quick dating, the movie is a slice of enjoyable hokum that can get by despite its dodgy FX work. Brosnan and Fahey do very well to deliver some nonsense lines with straight faces and the actors also give just enough to their roles to invest them with a little humanity that sees you genuinely caring about the final outcome… Director Brett Leonard may have upset Stephen King, Stephen King fans and CGI-lovers everywhere but he also gave us a movie that does contain some good moments and does actually deliver its central ideas quite well. It may fade into obscurity but I, for one, will still recommend it as a harmless diversion.” – Kevin Matthews, Flickfeast

The Cars That Ate Paris

781. (+14) The Cars That Ate Paris

Peter Weir

1974 / Australia / 91m / Col / Black Comedy | IMDb
John Meillon, Terry Camilleri, Kevin Miles, Rick Scully, Max Gillies, Danny Adcock, Bruce Spence, Kevin Golsby, Chris Haywood, Peter Armstrong


“With echoes of Nabokov and Ballard, this is the story of an ordinary man drawn into a world where nothing is as it seems, and where the logical rules he has followed all his life can only lead him down the wrong road… Effortlessly employing surrealist and fantasy tropes in a story that is, ultimately, never very far from the possible, Weir steers us on a dizzying journey through autophilia, survivalist politics, and the darker side of human nature. Above all, the town’s very special cars will stick in your memory. Modified into something ferociously unnatural and yet curiously animal, they are at once works of art and deadly killing machines.” – Jennie Kermode, EyeForFilm.co.uk

Brain Dead

782. (+14) Brain Dead

Adam Simon

1990 / USA / 85m / Col / Psychological | IMDb
Bill Pullman, Bill Paxton, Bud Cort, Nicholas Pryor, Patricia Charbonneau, George Kennedy, Brian Brophy, David Sinaiko, Lee Arenberg, Andy Wood


“One of those movies that offers an “awakening” shock about halfway through, the kind that makes the viewer quickly re-assess everything that’s happened up to that point, Brain Dead is low-budget and entirely un-flashy, but it houses a a few nifty sci-fi concepts, a handful of unpredictable twists & turns, and enough Pullman/Paxton goodness to keep and movie geek suitably entertained. (For at least 80 minutes, anyway.) Notably better written than it is directed, Brain Dead isn’t any sort of hidden cult classic or B-movie masterpiece, but there’s something to be said for a twisted little science-fiction story that gets to the meat of the matter and doles out a generally tasty little meal.” – Scott Weinberg, DVD Talk

The Penalty

783. (-65) The Penalty

Wallace Worsley

1920 / USA / 90m / BW / Crime | IMDb
Charles Clary, Doris Pawn, Jim Mason, Lon Chaney, Milton Ross, Ethel Grey Terry, Kenneth Harlan, Claire Adams


“As far as film villains go, you’d be hard pressed to find one more unique than Chaney’s Blizzard. Bitter, hate-filled and with machinations that take a simple crime thriller and turn it into a potentially gruesome tale about a man virtually consumed with thoughts of revenge and a lust for power. To that end, ‘The Penalty’ is surprisingly captivating – being that you’re never quite sure just how far the film will take things once Blizzard gains the upper hand. Addiitonally, Worsely’s clever, sometimes suggestive direction and the emotive cinematography by Dan Short combine to create a rather compelling, if somewhat overly symbolic feature that still manages to be an entertaining film by today’s standards. For those familiar with his later work that would make him a legend, ‘The Penalty’ stands as a remarkable accomplishment for Chaney’s imagination and skill as both an actor and special effects guru.” – Kevin Yeoman, High-Def Digest

Hatchet

784. (-8) Hatchet

Adam Green

2006 / USA / 85m / Col / Slasher | IMDb
Joel David Moore, Tamara Feldman, Deon Richmond, Kane Hodder, Mercedes McNab, Parry Shen, Joel Murray, Joleigh Fioravanti, Richard Riehle, Patrika Darbo


“For people who miss the early-’80s heyday of the slasher film, Hatchet will seem like a gift from the horror-movie gods; for everyone else, it’ll at least be a fun way to kill 80 minutes… There’s nothing revolutionary about Hatchet; with its simplistic plot and cameos from horror legends Robert Englund and Tony Todd, it’s a deliberate throwback to the uncomplicated slasher movies of yore. But Green re-creates the style with affection and a knack for building suspense. The acting is above average, the bits of comic relief are actually funny, and multiple limbs are severed in highly graphic fashion. What more could you ask for?” – Josh Bell, Las Vegas Weekly

Versus

785. (+163) Versus

Ryûhei Kitamura

2000 / Japan / 119m / Col / Zombie | IMDb
Tak Sakaguchi, Hideo Sakaki, Chieko Misaka, Kenji Matsuda, Yuichiro Arai, Minoru Matsumoto, Kazuhito Ohba, Takehiro Katayama, Ayumi Yoshihara, Shôichirô Masumoto


“All in all, “Versus” delivers on its one basic promise: action, and tons and tons of action. This movie has, for lack of a better word, style. It is obviously a low-budget film, since there are barely any special effects of the computer variety, but many of the old-fashion practicals and gallons and gallons of fake blood variety. It’s gore at its finest, and it’s quite fine, let me assure you. Gorefiends will pray their eyes don’t fail them during the viewing.” – Beyond Hollywood

Audrey Rose

786. (+11) Audrey Rose

Robert Wise

1977 / USA / 113m / Col / Thriller | IMDb
Marsha Mason, Anthony Hopkins, John Beck, Susan Swift, Norman Lloyd, John Hillerman, Robert Walden, Philip Sterling, Ivy Jones, Stephen Pearlman


“Judging from his work helming 1963’s The Haunting and, to a lesser degree, 1949’s Curse of the Cat People, director Robert Wise once knew what worked in horror — especially that which is suggested rather than seen — but exhibits that skill only in Audrey‘s first half. Before taking a huge shift in story direction, Wise achieves a creepy uneasiness that will remind viewers of The Exorcist‘s early scenes, as an apple-cheeked only child not suffering from a lack of parental love and attention suddenly becomes inexplicably abnormal.” – Rod Lott, Flick Attack

Feast

787. (-148) Feast

John Gulager

2005 / USA / 95m / Col / Comedy | IMDb
Balthazar Getty, Henry Rollins, Navi Rawat, Judah Friedlander, Josh Zuckerman, Jason Mewes, Jenny Wade, Krista Allen, Clu Gulager, Anthony ‘Treach’ Criss


“We’re introduced to our buffet of victims in unique style, as each cast member is presented with accompanying text giving their nickname (“Hero,” “Grandma,” “Bozo”), occupation, and life expectancy. Such an obvious goof on horror movie cliché nets some laughs, but might lead you to think you’re in for another excruciating post-modern genre wankfest. Such concern is unwarranted, happily, and the audience finds out rather quickly that everything presented in the first five minutes was a diversion, and absolutely no character is safe… This is a superior horror film. It hits hard and fast, letting up only to inject some black humor and amp up the tension again before coming back for more. “Feast” is nasty, brutish, and short, just like Hobbes said all horror flicks should be.” – Pete Vonder Haar, Film Threat

La chiesa

788. (-200) La chiesa

Michele Soavi

1989 / Italy / 102m / Col / Supernatural | IMDb
Hugh Quarshie, Tomas Arana, Feodor Chaliapin Jr., Barbara Cupisti, Antonella Vitale, Giovanni Lombardo Radice, Asia Argento, Roberto Caruso, Roberto Corbiletto


“Only Michele Soavi has ever come close to matching the breathtaking awe of a hyper-stylized Argento set piece. Soavi and Argento are no strangers to perfunctory storytelling, but while a Soavi tableaux may be considerably less colorful than Argento’s stained glass cinema, the man possesses a singular attentiveness for the poetry of signs and symbols. Though sometimes referred to as Demons 3, La Chiesa (The Church) is too visually breathtaking to be treated as another entry in Lamberto Bava’s schlocky Demons series… Soavi’s horror is terrifyingly suggestive, so much so that its difficult to determine what is real and what is the product of subconscious sexual desire and altered consciousness. There’s plenty of schmaltz to go around but there is no denying the dreaminess of Soavi’s stream-of-conscious horror show.” – Ed Gonzalez, Slant Magazine

Terror Train

789. (-137) Terror Train

Roger Spottiswoode

1980 / Canada / 97m / Col / Slasher | IMDb
Ben Johnson, Jamie Lee Curtis, Hart Bochner, David Copperfield, Derek McKinnon, Sandee Currie, Timothy Webber, Anthony Sherwood, Howard Busgang, Steve Michaels


“And damn me, but I left Terror Train feeling not just satiated as one will after watching a slasher film, full but slightly queasy and aware of the imminent fact of indigestion, as after the final bite of a Big Mac with large fries; I was engaged, and delighted. It’s such a snazzy way to end what was already an irreproachably decent flick that it’s even easy to overlook that Terror Train has effectively no gore to speak of and blandly-staged killings: amazingly, when you have compelling, entertaining filmmaking on your side, you don’t need to do anything tawdry to keep things interesting.” – Tim Brayton, Antagony & Ecstasy

You Better Watch Out

790. (+1) You Better Watch Out

Lewis Jackson

1980 / USA / 100m / Col / Slasher | IMDb
Brandon Maggart, Jeffrey DeMunn, Dianne Hull, Andy Fenwick, Brian Neville, Joe Jamrog, Wally Moran, Gus Salud, Ellen McElduff, Brian Hartigan


“Beautifully photographed, extremely well-acted and accompanied by a truly unnerving avant-garde sound design that is inclusive of a score that’s full of warped nerve frazzling Christmassy melodies played on toy instruments but mixed in with discordant synthesiser atmospherics, Christmas Evil is a class above most of its peers, but sometimes gets little credit from those expecting a more conventional ‘slasher’ approach. It is indeed very deliberately paced, and concludes with what continues to rank as a gloriously ludicrous conceit; but for me it completely works and weaves its own demented spell.” – Nothing But the Night

Zombi Holocaust

791. (+7) Zombi Holocaust

Marino Girolami

1980 / Italy / 84m / Col / Zombie | IMDb
Ian McCulloch, Alexandra Delli Colli, Sherry Buchanan, Peter O’Neal, Donald O’Brien, Dakar, Walter Patriarca, Linda Fumis, Roberto Resta, Franco Ukmar


“The writing is so weak and flimsy that you wonder why they bothered to begin with… But the beauty is that by the end of it, you won’t care. Everyone knows that it’s going to be exploitative but you will never guess at how badly. From having lead actress Alexandra Delli Colli get stripped full-frontal and placed onto a large sacrificial rock (which looks suspiciously like the one Ursula Andress got strapped to in The Mountain of the Cannibal God) to the copious amount of intestines on display, Zombie Holocaust punches for the lowest common denominators to hook its audience. Combining the two bloodiest sub-genres going promised that Zombie Holocaust would be a messy ride and it was certainly that. From open skull brain surgery to a zombie getting a motor boat propeller right to the face, there are plenty of gory set pieces on display.” – Andrew Smith, Popcorn Pictures

Rituals

792. (-113) Rituals

Peter Carter

1977 / USA / 100m / Col / Slasher | IMDb
Hal Holbrook, Lawrence Dane, Robin Gammell, Ken James, Gary Reineke, Murray Westgate, Jack Creley, Michael Zenon


“Rituals is truly a defining slasher film. Although much less known than its brothers, cousins and further mutations as a result of inbreeding, it certainly isn’t due to lack of quality. Slasher enthusiasts celebrate celluloid masochism; they thrive on cinematic pain for pleasure. Without a doubt the subgenre is full of fun and there are all kinds of treasures to find, but it is an area of horror where stereotypes aren’t merely accepted, but are encouraged. It’s for this reason that films like Humongous or The Forest are incredibly well known for such obscurities. The amazing cover/poster art and quirky taglines didn’t hurt, either. Unlike the typical slasher film, Rituals doesn’t go out of its way to thrill the audience with a cheap kill or tit flash; it will have you writhing on the edge of your seat with suspense.” – Brett H., Oh, The Horror

Mother's Day

793. (-1) Mother’s Day

Charles Kaufman

1980 / USA / 91m / Col / Slasher | IMDb
Nancy Hendrickson, Deborah Luce, Tiana Pierce, Frederick Coffin, Michael McCleery, Beatrice Pons, Robert Collins, Peter Fox, Marsella Davidson, Kevin Lowe


“”Mother’s Day” is gritty and grimy—a bath may be in order after watching it—but it is not without merit. Whether viewed as a stark horror pic, a wildly offbeat comedy, a female-empowerment saga, or a cutting depiction of consumerist society gone woefully wrong, the film has something to offer all but those with weak stomachs. The socko surprise ending—let’s just say it involves Mother’s deranged, forest-prowling sister Queenie—is the perfect capper on a relic of the 1980s slasher craze that still, oddly enough, feels awfully relevant.” – Dustin Putnam, The Movie Boy

Squirm

794. (-143) Squirm

Jeff Lieberman

1976 / USA / 92m / Col / Nature | IMDb
Don Scardino, Patricia Pearcy, R.A. Dow, Jean Sullivan, Peter MacLean, Fran Higgins, William Newman, Barbara Quinn, Carl Dagenhart, Angel Sande


“As ridiculous as all this sounds, Squirm really doesn’t veer off into absolute camp—it’s the sort of movie that obviously invites mockery on the premise level but doesn’t actively wink at the audience to goad them into taking the piss out of it. Instead, Lieberman leads the audience right to the precipice and delivers exactly what’s to be expected from a killer worm movie: some grisly, squishy sequences meant to both amuse and disgust all at once.” – Brett Gallman, Oh, The Horror

Witchboard

795. (+4) Witchboard

Kevin Tenney

1986 / UK / 98m / Col / Witchcraft | IMDb
Todd Allen, Tawny Kitaen, Stephen Nichols, Kathleen Wilhoite, Burke Byrnes, James W. Quinn, Rose Marie, Judy Tatum, Gloria Hayes, J.P. Luebsen


““Witchboard” is cheesy goodness in all the right ways. Mid-1980s hair and fashions look rather silly nearly thirty years removed from the era, but if nothing else it serves as an amusing stylistic time capsule. Moving past this, the film is largely well-made, building upon a creepily enthralling backstory and full of savvy atmospheric touches… That director Kevin Tenney takes the time for his characters (including Kathleen Wilhoite’s supremely offbeat jokester psychic Zarabeth) while never losing sight of the movie’s genre roots helps the outcome immeasurably. The possession climax is perhaps too campy for its own good, but before this third-act guffaw, “Witchboard” holds one in rapt, chilling attention.” – Dustin Putman, TheFilmFile.com

Brainscan

796. (+4) Brainscan

John Flynn

1994 / USA / 96m / Col / Science Fiction | IMDb
Edward Furlong, Frank Langella, T. Ryder Smith, Amy Hargreaves, James Marsh, Victor Ertmanis, David Hemblen, Vlasta Vrana, Domenico Fiore, Claire Riley


“Brainscan is an interesting and engaging film because it takes the violent images so often present in the games, movies, and music popular with teenagers today and uses them to create a moral dilemma for Michael when his violent fantasies start to become reality. Like many of his peers, Michael does not have much of a support system in the outside world, and he is devastated when his inner world becomes a gothic nightmare. Edward Furlong gives a powerful performance as Michael, providing the complexity necessary for his role to work. Sometimes he has the steely-eyed look of a serial killer as he goes through the grisly paces of the Brainscan game or defends his interest in horror movies to his school principal. On the other hand, he shows the vulnerability of a lonely teenager, awkward in social situations with girls which causes him to escape into a world of vicarious sexual desire, embarrassed by his deformity and slight lisp, horrified by what is happening to him, and retreating into his fantasy world of media when unwilling to deal with the real world.” – Chucks Connection

Freddy vs. Jason

797. (+58) Freddy vs. Jason

Ronny Yu

2003 / Canada / 97m / Col / Slasher | IMDb
Robert Englund, Ken Kirzinger, Monica Keena, Jason Ritter, Kelly Rowland, Chris Marquette, Brendan Fletcher, Katharine Isabelle, Lochlyn Munro, Kyle Labine


“Two dead horror franchises and two one-note jokes combine their burnt-out story lines and collective myths in “Freddy Vs. Jason,” and the result is a horror movie that’s better than it has any right to be… The Jason (‘Friday the 13th’) and the Freddy Krueger (‘Nightmare on Elm Street’) series were limp self-parodies long before they went dormant. But something in the combination of the two villains wakes things up. The presence of Freddy liberates this Jason entry from the monotony of a guy lumbering about with a ski mask and a sword, while the presence of Jason liberates this Freddy film from the monotony of the usual endless dream sequences… Director Ronny Yu… keeps it as light as possible.” – Mick LaSalle, SFGate

The Werewolf

798. (+3) The Werewolf

Fred F. Sears

1956 / USA / 79m / BW / Werewolf | IMDb
Steven Ritch, Don Megowan, Joyce Holden, Eleanore Tanin, Kim Charney, Harry Lauter, Larry J. Blake, Ken Christy, James Gavin, S. John Launer


“The Werewolf is horror noir and why shouldn’t it be? It’s the 1950s. Lots of front lighting and carefully picked camera angles, showcasing the outdoors beauty against the supernatural, and Sears knows better than to turn this thing over to blatant carnage. The beast kills off-screen, like in the prison cell scene where it offs the doctors. The screams and mashing are happening just below frame, almost inviting us to lean over and look down to see what’s happening. Sears leaves the details to our imaginations, playing off the tried-and-true trick of what we don’t see scares us most.” – Anthony Moretta, Out of the Gutter

Urban Legend

799. (-144) Urban Legend

Jamie Blanks

1998 / USA / 99m / Col / Slasher | IMDb
Jared Leto, Alicia Witt, Rebecca Gayheart, Michael Rosenbaum, Loretta Devine, Joshua Jackson, Tara Reid, John Neville, Julian Richings, Robert Englund


“The notion of a new horror film devoted to urban legends is somewhat redundant, given that horror films routinely mine urban legends and arguably represent them. Urban Legend, a first feature directed by 26-year-old Australian Jamie Blanks, places the modern-day folktale at the center of what might otherwise be yet another Scream offshoot… As horror movies and first directing efforts go, Urban Legend offers decent suspense and a few genuine jolts; it has a kind of loud, insistent charm, which eventually grinds down. James Chressanthis’ wide-screen cinematography is attractive and assured, but Silvio Horta’s screenplay scarcely breaks new ground, content instead with serving up stock characters in familiar settings.” – Ed Kelleher, Film Journal International

Torture Garden

800. (+2) Torture Garden

Freddie Francis

1967 / UK / 93m / Col / Anthology | IMDb
Jack Palance, Burgess Meredith, Beverly Adams, Peter Cushing, Maurice Denham, Barbara Ewing, Michael Bryant, John Standing, Robert Hutton, John Phillips


“Cinematographer turned director Freddie Francis was already an old hand at Amicus, having already helmed Dr. Terror and two non-anthology films… Though not his strongest film, this one is a solid example of his style with its vivid colors, nicely burnished cinematography, and swift, efficient storytelling that ensures the audience won’t get bogged down in one story for too long. The framing device is a great opportunity for Meredith ham it up like nobody’s business, and though the ending comes off as more than a little muddled, at least it avoids the usual cliché of revealing that everyone was dead the whole time. Perhaps most significantly, this was one of five Amicus films written by Robert Bloch, a very in-demand writer in the ’60s after the mammoth success of Alfred Hitchcock’s adaptation of his novel, Psycho.” – Nathaniel Thompson, Mondo Digital