They Shoot Zombies, Don't They?

#801-#900

The 1,000 Greatest Horror Films: #801-#900

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

War of the Worlds

801. (+112) War of the Worlds

Steven Spielberg

2005 / USA / 116m / Col / Science Fiction | IMDb
Tom Cruise, Dakota Fanning, Miranda Otto, Justin Chatwin, Tim Robbins, Rick Gonzalez, Yul Vazquez, Lenny Venito, Lisa Ann Walter, Ann Robinson

“Spielberg has made the first serious post-9/11 sci-fi movie… This is where the vague origins of War’s out-of-nowhere-yet-among-us-everywhere enemies is also useful as metaphor. In the bravura scenes of people fleeing and being trapped, of them helpless and dying, War of the Worlds cannot help but remind us of recent history. The director also makes this timely theme dovetail with a timeless one, in which the American character is always tested in times of stress, and found profoundly heroic. Just as Spielberg can create a character as deeply ordinary as Ray and thrust greatness upon him, so can he create a summer popcorn movie that deserves a great and varied audience to appreciate his achievement.” – Ken Tucker, New York Magazine

Un chien andalou

802. (-51) Un chien andalou

Luis Buñuel

1929 / France / 16m / BW / Experimental | IMDb
Simone Mareuil, Pierre Batcheff

“Not only was ‘Un Chien Andalou’ Buñuel’s first film, but also his first collaboration with Salvador Dali (with whom he worked again a year later on L’Âge d’Or). His stated intention was ‘to admit no idea, no image for which there might be rational, psychological or cultural explanation’ – and even if some of the film’s bourgeoisie-baiting and psycho-sexual imagery is far from opaque, Buñuel has created an enigmatic and uncanny stream of (sub)consciousness which continues even today to exert its influence on the dark imaginings of both cinemagoers and cinema itself. For, apart from showing filmmakers just how dreams can be realised on celluloid, ‘Un Chien Andalou’ is arguably the reason that we all dream in black and white. – Movie Gazette

Monkey Shines

803. (+45) Monkey Shines

George A. Romero

1988 / USA / 113m / Col / Nature | IMDb
Jason Beghe, John Pankow, Kate McNeil, Joyce Van Patten, Christine Forrest, Stephen Root, Stanley Tucci, Boo, Janine Turner, William Newman

“Horror fans have seen these things before, but to Romero’s credit where many filmmakers would use this story as a launching pad for gory set pieces and offer up a symphony of murder at the monkey’s hand, here the emphasis is more on the psychological aspect of things. As Allan breaks down we get inside his head a bit thanks to the genuinely strong performance from Jason Beghe. We don’t always like him but the movie is calculating enough to ensure that we do always understand him. This makes the more macabre scenes in which the murders do take place considerably more suspenseful than they would be had they just been simple gore films. As Allan’s anger grows and he starts to crack, the film does grow in intensity thanks to the character development that came before it starting to pay off in interesting ways.” – Ian Jane, DVDTalk

Byzantium

804. (+135) Byzantium

Neil Jordan

2012 / UK / 118m / Col / Vampire | IMDb
Saoirse Ronan, Barry Cassin, Gemma Arterton, David Heap, Warren Brown, Ruby Snape, Thure Lindhardt, Jenny Kavanagh, Glenn Doherty, Edyta Budnik

“Nearly 20 years after Interview with the Vampire, director Neil Jordan returns to the land of the living dead with Byzantium, the tale of a mother-daughter vampire duo whose 200-year history is threatened when their existence comes to light. Though much surer in tone than its predecessor, this is not quite as far from the Tom Cruise-Brad Pitt, big-budget razzle-dazzle as it would appear on the surface. While certainly made on a much smaller scale, Byzantium shares the earlier movie’s gorgeous look, signature Jordan lyrical touches and the material again focuses on the brooding nature of its central characte… this is a romantic, sensual, bloody good time of a movie for sophisticated adults.” – Richard Knight, Windy City Times

The Last Wave

805. (+25) The Last Wave

Peter Weir

1977 / Australia / 106m / Col / Thriller | IMDb
Richard Chamberlain, Olivia Hamnett, David Gulpilil, Frederick Parslow, Vivean Gray, Nandjiwarra Amagula, Walter Amagula, Roy Bara, Cedrick Lalara, Morris Lalara

“Peter Weir’s extraordinary film is a visually startling and totally engrossing meditation on the close connection between the mysteries of nature and the power of dreams. We have often been told of the importance of dreamtime in the religion of the American Indian. We have seen the same force at work in Carlos Castaneda’s trilogy about Don Juan. Now the theme emerges from the Australian aborigine culture. Yet can we live in the presence of a mystery that consistently baffles reason and challenges our consensual vision of reality? The Last Wave is another in a series of works urging us to attempt the descent into the unconscious. And it does so with an aesthetic sureness that is both salutary and stunning. Russell Boyd’s cinematography and Max Lemon’s editing are absolutely brilliant. They snare us in a web that interweaves everyday happenings with the inexplicable in a totally convincing way.” – Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat, Spirituality & Practice

Premature Burial

806. (+38) Premature Burial

Roger Corman

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

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

Wishmaster

807. (-4) Wishmaster

Robert Kurtzman

1997 / USA / 90m / Col / Black Comedy | IMDb
Tammy Lauren, Andrew Divoff, Robert Englund, Chris Lemmon, Wendy Benson-Landes, Tony Crane, Jenny O’Hara, Kane Hodder, Tony Todd, Ricco Ross

“A well directed, extremely gory, funny romp. It grabs you in the beginning with an over the top slaughter fest set in old Persia and never lets go. This flick has enough imagination for three movies and is not ashamed to also borrow elements from previous genre films . A little bit of “Hellraiser” here, a pinch of “Elm Street” there…hey…it never hurts. This film is a throwback to 80’s vibe horror with jaw dropping special effects, weird dream sequences, funny one liners and a wonderful nasty villain.” – The Arrow, Arrow in the Head

Jack Frost

808. (+147) Jack Frost

Michael Cooney

1997 / USA / 89m / Col / Slasher | IMDb
Scott MacDonald, Christopher Allport, Stephen Mendel, F. William Parker, Eileen Seeley, Rob LaBelle, Zack Eginton, Jack Lindine, Kelly Jean Peters, Marsha Clark

“Cooney knows that he cannot pull off everything in the script to perfection so he acknowledges it to the audience by forgoing realism. Rather he winks at the camera giving us something to laugh at that would otherwise be just plain bad. But in making it really, really, horribly bad, Jack Frost is at the very least entertaining. And is there anything else you could ask for from a B-movie about a serial-killing snowman?” – Ryan Cracknell, Movie Views

Red State

809. (+68) Red State

Kevin Smith

2011 / USA / 88m / Col / Thriller | IMDb
Michael Angarano, Deborah Aquila, Nicholas Braun, Ronnie Connell, Kaylee DeFer, Joey Figueroa, Kyle Gallner, Anna Gunn, Matt Jones, John Lacy

“It’s casually referred to as a ‘horror movie’, but that’s not quite right. In fact, Red State feels a bit like a movie grappling with an identity crisis: it’s not gruesome enough to qualify as horror, just as it’s neither exclusively funny enough to be comedy nor ‘action-y’ enough to tempt the Michael Bay crowd, yet it has more than enough of each to remain both gripping and entertaining throughout… Overall, Red State delivers a captivating story unlike most of what finds its way to screens these days. It’s a tense, unnerving, infuriating and even amusing film that pulls no punches when it comes to Smith’s passionate sentiments regarding all things sex, religion and politics.” – Tom Glasson, Concrete Playground

Cat's Eye

810. (-35) Cat’s Eye

Lewis Teague

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

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

Santa's Slay

811. (+36) Santa’s Slay

David Steiman

2005 / Canada / 78m / Col / Comedy | IMDb
Bill Goldberg, Douglas Smith, Emilie de Ravin, Robert Culp, Dave Thomas, Saul Rubinek, Rebecca Gayheart, Chris Kattan, Fran Drescher, Alicia Lorén

“The film doesn’t quite keep up the relentless pace the entire time, but it’s mostly one hell of a slay ride, full of cheesy dialogue, colorful characters, and plenty of laughs. It’s obviously silly as hell, but it’s hard not to crack a smile at a movie that features a killer Santa Claus laying waste to a strip club (that’s full of “ho, ho, hos”) and firing explosive gifts from his sleigh. The ridiculous tone permeates the entire film, which features a stocking-full of black humor and satire. Though it features its fair share of clunkers and juvenile humor, there’s some clever wit to be found at times in this instantly-quotable effort, which might be more unbelievable than Santa himself.” – Brett Gallman, Oh, The Horror

Patrick

812. (-10) Patrick

Richard Franklin

1978 / Australia / 112m / Col / Supernatural | IMDb
Susan Penhaligon, Robert Helpmann, Rod Mullinar, Bruce Barry, Julia Blake, Helen Hemingway, María Mercedes, Walter Pym, Frank Wilson, Carole-Ann Aylett

“Director Richard Franklin (Psycho II) eventually lets Patrick’s powers go haywire, but the first half of the film combines sinister atmosphere-building with a justified faith that an immobile killer is still an ever-present threat. The spitting is a shock every time—and when Patrick starts getting some feeling back in his lower regions, that’s plenty creepy too—but there’s tension every time Kathie or another hospital worker blithely works the monitors or adjusts the sheets around him. He’s like a coiled rattlesnake ready to strike, and taking a cue from the Italians, Franklin focuses heavily on Thompson’s baby blues, sensing not only life behind his eyes, but a kind of chilling, crystal-ball omniscience.” – Scott Tobias, The Dissolve

The Devil's Advocate

813. (-7) The Devil’s Advocate

Taylor Hackford

1997 / USA / 144m / Col / Thriller | IMDb
Keanu Reeves, Al Pacino, Charlize Theron, Jeffrey Jones, Judith Ivey, Connie Nielsen, Craig T. Nelson, Tamara Tunie, Ruben Santiago-Hudson, Debra Monk

“You don’t go into a movie called The Devil’s Advocate (Warner Bros.), starring Al Pacino and his gleaming teeth, expecting to see a finely calibrated portrait of evil. You go in expecting a brazenly hokey, in-your-face portrait of evil, and that, I’m happy to say, is just what you get. Directed by Taylor Hackford, The Devil’s Advocate is a schlock-religioso legal thriller — The Firm meets Angel Heart — and it’s at once silly, overwrought, and almost embarrassingly entertaining.” – Owen Gleiberman, Entertainment Weekly

Ghost Story

814. (+52) Ghost Story

John Irvin

1981 / USA / 110m / Col / Supernatural | IMDb
Fred Astaire, Melvyn Douglas, Douglas Fairbanks Jr., John Houseman, Craig Wasson, Patricia Neal, Alice Krige, Jacqueline Brookes, Miguel Fernandes, Lance Holcomb

“Ghost Story plays its horror cards in all suits, from classical atmospheric chills (and as a note to Irvin’s love for detail, watch how the wind doesn’t begin to blow in the graveyard until Houseman says, “And the wind began to blow”) to Dick Smith’s excellent zombie make-up. It’s not gory, really, but some scenes, such as a body falling from a high-rise, shattering through a glass roof, and landing with a thud next to a pool, are more brutal than usual–Irvin graphically captures the tragedy and weight of the fall in a way that splattered body parts simply couldn’t do. The film’s real strength, though, lies in its ability to create ghostly thrills via deep characters who have a reason to be scared. And that, combined with all the other unique, superb elements, make this a must see for any genre fans or any serious fan of film.” – Brandt Sponseller, Classic-Horror

Chopping Mall

815. (+47) Chopping Mall

Jim Wynorski

1986 / USA / 77m / Col / Science Fiction | IMDb
Kelli Maroney, Tony O’Dell, Russell Todd, Karrie Emerson, Barbara Crampton, Nick Segal, John Terlesky, Suzee Slater, Paul Bartel, Mary Woronov

“So even if Chopping Mall has horrible characters played by almost uniformly poor actors; it’s still made with a seriousness of purpose and a focus missing in most of its competition. The killbots themselves are a tiny miracle of low-budget production and design, legitimately menacing all the more because they don’t seem to be off in some sci-fi wonderland, and because the puppeteers (and Wynorski, who provided their deep monotone, weirdly amusing voices) put so much little touches into their movements, giving these featureless, emotionless machines more legitimate personality than any of the humans involved. It is a ridiculous film that is above ridicule, and a film that manages to gather up seemingly every current in 1980s genre cinema into one nimble package, in short, and despite a somewhat too-long Final Girl sequence, it does this all without ever dragging. It does not talk down to us, or assume that we are idiots – it knows that it is goofy, but it does not therefore mock itself or ask to be mocked.” – Tim Brayton, Antagony & Ecstasy

The Dead

816. (-84) The Dead

Howard J. Ford & Jonathan Ford

2010 / UK / 105m / Col / Zombie | IMDb
Rob Freeman, Prince David Oseia, David Dontoh, Ben Crowe, Glenn Salvage, Dan Morgan, Julia Scott-Russell, Laura Jane Stephens, John Dunton-Downer

“THE DEAD, amazingly, makes zombies scary again. Not just creepy, or disgusting, but genuinely threatening and authentically chilling. British directors, the Ford brothers, have pulled the zombie genre kicking and screaming, back into the realm of real fear. Finally these most beloved of monsters are no longer the subject of ridicule that we’ve seen them become in recent years. These aren’t background threats or comedy material, these are the living fucking dead, endlessly hungry for your warm flesh and unrelenting in their singular pursuit.” – Kyle Scott, The Horror Hotel

Panna a netvor

817. (+144) Panna a netvor

Juraj Herz

1978 / Czechoslovakia / 83m / Col / Gothic | IMDb
Zdena Studenková, Vlastimil Harapes, Václav Voska, Jana Brejchová, Zuzana Kocúriková, Josef Laufer, Milan Hein, Jan Augusta, Josef Langmiler, Vít Olmer

“[Beauty and the Beast] already lends itself well to a horror adaptation, especially considering the mysterious castle setting and the fact one of the main characters is, you know, a monster… The Beast is not a big woolly teddy bear as seen in most other versions, but instead a hideous creature with a hairy body, sharp claws, a bird-like head and a thirst for fresh warm blood. He shares his home with a variety of other strange creature servants that mostly lurk in the shadows and barely make their presence even known. Where he’s been forced to live a life of solitude and loneliness for so long, The Beast has also picked up some schizophrenic traits along the way. A whispering, nagging, persistent voice in his head… tries to tempt him back to his more animalistic ways.” – Justin McKinney, The Bloody Pit of Horror

Dead & Breakfast

818. (+64) Dead & Breakfast

Matthew Leutwyler

2004 / USA / 88m / Col / Zombie | IMDb
Jeremy Sisto, Erik Palladino, Bianca Lawson, Oz Perkins, Ever Carradine, Gina Philips, Zach Selwyn, Miranda Bailey, Brent David Fraser, Diedrich Bader

“While the movie doesn’t fall into the scary movie category it never the less provides some thrills and spools, more claret than a Liberal party cabinet meeting can get through, and a high level of comedy. Yes we’re talking a splatter fest mixed in with a lot of sight gags and one liners rather than an out and out attempt to scare your knickers off you. Director/Writer Matthew Leutwyler knows exactly what he is doing and has this puppy collared and on a leash, if you don’t have a smile on your dial by the end credits then you are pretty much as brain dead as one of the possessed rednecks the movie is littered with.” – ScaryMinds

Zodiac

819. (+84) Zodiac

David Fincher

2007 / USA / 157m / Col / Thriller | IMDb
Jake Gyllenhaal, Mark Ruffalo, Anthony Edwards, Robert Downey Jr., Brian Cox, John Carroll Lynch, Richmond Arquette, Bob Stephenson, John Lacy, Chloë Sevigny

“Running almost three hours, without much action, it’s hard to think that David Fincher’s Zodiac would be as gripping as it is. Fincher employs a strong visual style that doesn’t draw attention to itself right away, but as you sit there you slowly realize that Fincher is indeed flexing is creative muscles. The end result is a complex crime drama that limits its action, opting to save it for the times that bring the greatest impact… It’s subtle and doesn’t jump out and grab you at first. But when you dwell and contemplate it, the fine craftsmanship of Fincher is clearly apparent.” – Ryan Cracknell, Movie Views

Ghost Ship

820. (-102) Ghost Ship

Steve Beck

2002 / USA / 91m / Col / Supernatural | IMDb
Gabriel Byrne, Julianna Margulies, Ron Eldard, Desmond Harrington, Isaiah Washington, Alex Dimitriades, Karl Urban, Emily Browning, Francesca Rettondini

“Director Beck (who also made 13 Ghosts) really keeps things moving, spending the first half of the film setting up the atmosphere, showing us the ship and its ghostly passengers… then suddenly dispatching each character with over-the-top slasher-film gruesomeness. The cast gamely goes along with this combination of action movie heroics and ghost movie terror, injecting humour into every scene to keep us off balance. And it works, because the characters are actually intriguing and the “mystery” plot is preposterous and clever at the same time. It’s refreshing to watch a horror film that’s this unpretentious.” – Rich Cline, Shadows on the Wall

Lady in White

821. (-10) Lady in White

Frank LaLoggia

1988 / USA / 112m / 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

El vampiro

822. (new) 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

Gritos en la noche

823. (-33) Gritos en la noche

Jesús Franco

1962 / Spain / 90m / Col / Thriller | IMDb
Conrado San Martín, Diana Lorys, Howard Vernon, Perla Cristal, María Silva, Ricardo Valle, Mara Laso, Venancio Muro, Félix Dafauce, Faustino Cornejo

“The audio elements of Orlof complement the visuals, combining efforts to keep the audience on their toes. The dizzy musical score by José Pagán and Antonio Ramírez Ángel… Actually, I misspeak – “music” is far too nice a word for the cacophony of percussion and bizarre arrangements that permeate Orlof’s soundscape. Pagán and Ángel’s work is more of a thrumming wakeup call to the senses, a bucket of cold water tossed down the ear. The camerawork and the soundtrack combine to form a general aesthetic of “screw aesthetics,” infusing Orlof with a manic, exhilarating energy that enlivens and rejuvenates the clichés in the script.” – Nate Yapp, Classic-Horror

The Crow

824. (+4) The Crow

Alex Proyas

1994 / USA / 102m / Col / Action | IMDb
Brandon Lee, Rochelle Davis, Ernie Hudson, Michael Wincott, Bai Ling, Sofia Shinas, Anna Levine, David Patrick Kelly, Angel David, Laurence Mason

“One key to the surprising success of “The Crow,” a movie adaptation of J. O’Barr’s comic book saga of a vengeful spirit in a murderous city, is the way its violence is capable of shocking us. The movie has a wild, shivery impact. It’s incandescently brutal and gory-and not just because it’s the infamous film whose star, Brandon Lee, died in a shooting accident on the set. The Lee tragedy-effectively disguised in the film, which was completed after his death-simply makes the picture obvious fodder for op-ed pieces about media violence and Hollywood irresponsibility. What’s scary about “The Crow” is the story and the style itself: American Gothic, Poe-haunted nightmare, translated to the age of cyberpunk science fiction, revenge movies and outlaw rock ‘n’ roll, all set in a hideously decaying, crime-ridden urban hell, populated by victims, cops and psychos.” – Michael Wilmington, Chicago Tribune

The Haunted House

825. (+119) The Haunted House

Edward F. Cline & Buster Keaton

1921 / USA / 21m / BW / Comedy | IMDb
Buster Keaton, Virginia Fox, Joe Roberts, Edward F. Cline

“The Haunted House is a veritable treasure chest of quality gags strung together in an absurd but highly amusing plot and executed with crackerjack speed. Its title is a bit misleading as the titular haunt is only one of several settings in the picture and it isn’t even the most exciting […] The film’s first, and best, set piece is a bit of old style vaudeville comedy wherein Buster spills a pot of glue while handling paper money at the bank. It’s an old comic bit that any modern viewer has seen in dozens of films performed by lesser comedians but Keaton’s dedication, his precise and unselfconscious acting style and the way in which each moment builds upon the next really elicit some hearty laughs.” – Kristen Sales, Sales on Film

Masters of Horror: John Carpenter's Cigarette Burns

826. (new) Masters of Horror: John Carpenter’s Cigarette Burns

John Carpenter

2005 / USA / 59m / Col / Psychological | IMDb
Norman Reedus, Colin Foo, Udo Kier, Christopher Redman, Chris Gauthier, Zara Taylor, Gary Hetherington, Chris Britton, Julius Chapple, Taras Kostyuk

“Cigarette Burns is a very dialogue-driven story; exposition followed by exposition followed by a gross-out KNB [EFX Group] special, taking us towards a climax that not only delivers, but does so with outrageous OTT aplomb. Such is the stunning originality of the final sequence that it actually comes off as being a little ridiculous. But you know what? That’s fine with me… No JC experience would be complete without his signature music and one of the most pleasant aspects of his latest is that the soundtrack is the debut of one Cody Carpenter – JC’s son. Young Cody has obviously not just been walking past the plethora of musical instruments scattered throughout their home – he has been picking them up, learning how to use them, and has proffered a plinkety-plonk soundscape that his old man would be proud of.” – Zomblee, Eat My Brains

La morte vivante

827. (+157) La morte vivante

Jean Rollin

1982 / France / 86m / Col / Zombie | IMDb
Marina Pierro, Françoise Blanchard, Mike Marshall, Carina Barone, Fanny Magier, Patricia Besnard-Rousseau, Jean Berel, Jean-Pierre Bouyxou, Véronique Carpentier

“Language aside, Francoise Blanchard dedicates herself to the part of Catherine so completely, that the story works. You’re not scared of Catherine; you’re scared for her – disturbed by the concept of being self-aware enough to realize that you’re dead and that there may be no escape from a life of feeding on other humans. It’s rich material for a horror film, and this is one Rollin movie that’s a more satisfying genre effort than what we’re used to from the director. Typically, Rollin’s films combine gothic horror visuals with avant garde arthouse sensibilities. Living Dead Girl is a more straight-forward, dedicated horror effort – more thoroughly plotted, more exciting, more gruesome, and more unsettling than Rollin’s typical vampire work, while still feeling unmistakably like a Rollin film.” – John Gholson, Horror’s Not Dead

Sílení

828. (-5) Sílení

Jan Svankmajer

2005 / Czech Republic / 118m / Col / Surrealism | IMDb
Jan Tríska, Pavel Liska, Anna Geislerová, Martin Huba, Jaroslav Dusek, Pavel Nový, Stano Danciak, Jirí Krytinár, Katerina Ruzicková, Iva Littmanová

“By turns absurdly funny, disturbingly dissolute, unnervingly claustrophobic, and caustically misanthropic, Lunacy offers viewers the sort of punishing pleasures that so many of its characters seem, in their different ways, to seek. Perhaps it is not to everyone’s tastes, but if your idea of exotic fun can accommodate the sight of two animatronic cows’ tongues rutting away with sinewy abandon, then you would be mad to miss Lunacy. And the sound of the Marquis’ frenzied cackling, coupled with the film’s final, devastatingly simple image, will haunt the corridors of your mind long after the credits have stopped rolling.” – Anton Bitel, Eye For Film

Kingdom of the Spiders

829. (-44) Kingdom of the Spiders

John ‘Bud’ Cardos

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

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

Rose Red

830. (-3) Rose Red

Craig R. Baxley

2002 / USA / 254m / Col / Haunted House | IMDb
Nancy Travis, Matt Keeslar, Kimberly J. Brown, David Dukes, Judith Ivey, Melanie Lynskey, Matt Ross, Julian Sands, Kevin Tighe, Julia Campbell

“Having said all that Rose Red still came through; even with its screenplay flaws. Sure it’s far from original (House on Haunted Hill, The Haunting, The Legend Of Hell House anyone?) but the film goes further than those puppies in terms of imagination. I’ve also never seen EVERY single haunted house cliché ever written compacted in one movie. It made for a hefty meal that I digested very well. Tag to that it’s multitude of horrific action, its endearing performances, its mad special effects, its inventive sets and it’s efficient directing and you get some groovy times in the house. Let’s crash this party!” – The Arrow, Arrow in the Head

4 mosche di velluto grigio

831. (-97) 4 mosche di velluto grigio

Dario Argento

1971 / Italy / 104m / Col / Giallo | IMDb
Michael Brandon, Mimsy Farmer, Jean-Pierre Marielle, Bud Spencer, Aldo Bufi Landi, Calisto Calisti, Marisa Fabbri, Oreste Lionello, Fabrizio Moroni, Corrado Olmi

“The little-seen Four Flies on Grey Velvet is perhaps most remarkable for it’s unusual spiritual underpinnings and Dario Argento’s deft attention for sexual signifiers. The title of this third and final film in Argento’s “animal trilogy” is as egregious as the weird science that literalizes the eye as a photographic camera… If Argento’s signature use of a black-gloved killer is noticeably absent, this is compensated by the presence of [Michael] Brandon himself, whose striking features recall those of the giallo director’s. There isn’t much to Four Flies on Grey Velvet besides pent-up rage though much of the film’s sexual frenzy prefigures themes from Deep Red.” – Ed Gonzalez, Slant Magazine

Tales from the Darkside: The Movie

832. (-103) Tales from the Darkside: The Movie

John Harrison

1990 / USA / 93m / Col / Anthology | IMDb
Deborah Harry, Christian Slater, David Johansen, William Hickey, James Remar, Rae Dawn Chong, Matthew Lawrence, Robert Sedgwick, Steve Buscemi, Julianne Moore

“Director John Harrison doesn’t do too much wrong here, but he’s helped immensely by three decent stories, a fun wraparound, and a collection of great actors in the main roles […] There’s plenty of dark humour, there’s just enough gore to keep fans of the red stuff happy, and there are some enjoyable practical effects (some enjoyable for being good, and some enjoyable for being amusingly fake). It’s also perfectly paced, coming in at about 90 minutes, therefore preventing any one tale from outstaying its welcome.” – Kevin Matthews, For It Is Man’s Number

The Bay

833. (-61) The Bay

Barry Levinson

2012 / USA / 84m / Col / Found Footage | IMDb
Nansi Aluka, Christopher Denham, Stephen Kunken, Frank Deal, Kether Donohue, Kristen Connolly, Will Rogers, Kimberly Campbell, Beckett Clayton-Luce, Dave Hager

“Where Levinson really shows his experience is in choosing not to make a ghost story, the subgenre’s most tired cliché; secondly, he’s managed to construct a film from fake Skype, home video and news footage to create something that feels believable… It’s cleverly put together, the threat nicely revealed via various footage and is never over exaggerated to such an extent that it loses touch with reality. There are a few gross-out moments that will definitely make your skin crawl. However the multiple sources and multiple viewpoints mean there is minimal character development. The ending is a bit of an anticlimax but in many ways that also makes it feel more authentic.” – Henry Northmore, The List

La setta

834. (-131) La setta

Michele Soavi

1991 / Italy / 125m / Col / Supernatural | IMDb
Kelly Curtis, Herbert Lom, Mariangela Giordano, Michel Adatte, Carla Cassola, Angelika Maria Boeck, Giovanni Lombardo Radice, Niels Gullov, Tomas Arana

“As much as I usually champion self-indulgence, I have to say that The Sect’s high standing in Argento and Soavi’s oeuvre seems to have more to do with the restraint they show in all respects. As I mentioned, the oil painting-like visuals never take over and the cinematographic techniques aren’t just techniques; they’re storytelling aids. In the same vein, the Goblin-like score doesn’t sound like you accidentally left an early-70s Pink Floyd disc blasting on the stereo while you try to watch a movie-instead it’s understated and always perfect. The gore doesn’t seem intended only to earn a prominent placement in Fangoria-it always serves some other purpose. The surrealness isn’t an excuse for the lack of a coherent script. Etc. Best of all, perhaps, The Sect has the properties that many horror fans think define the genre-it’s creepy and scary.” – Brandt Sponseller, Classic-Horror

Lovely Molly

835. (-55) Lovely Molly

Eduardo Sánchez

2011 / USA / 99m / Col / Psychological | IMDb
Gretchen Lodge, Johnny Lewis, Alexandra Holden, Field Blauvelt, Camilla Zaidee Bennett, Kevin Murray, Katie Foster, Doug Roberts, Bus Howard, Josh Jones

“Since scaring the living daylights out of audiences with Blair Witch, writer-director Eduardo Sanchez has rather been left behind in the found-footage stakes thanks to the likes of Cloverfield and Paranormal Activity. Here he returns to the concept (as Molly gets increasingly frazzled she captures it all on a camcorder) with a truly disturbing sequence of events that rely on a rumbling sound design and the occasional big bang to keep audiences teetering on the brink… We could have probably done without the libidinous preacher and the running time could do with a trim, but this succeeds thanks to Lodge’s extraordinary central performance, a terrifyingly mesmerising study of a woman in diabolic torment” – Tim Evans, Sky Movies

Frankenweenie

836. (+99) Frankenweenie

Tim Burton

2012 / USA / 87m / Col / Family | IMDb
Catherine O’Hara, Martin Short, Martin Landau, Charlie Tahan, Atticus Shaffer, Winona Ryder, Robert Capron, James Hiroyuki Liao, Conchata Ferrell, Tom Kenny

“This ode to Frankenstein and his horror brethren is monstrously good, from its evocative 3-D, black-and-white style, stop-motion animation, to a story that strikes directly at the hearts of everyone who’s ever loved – and lost – a pet. That includes Burton, who conceived “Frankenweenie” from the memory of mourning his own childhood mutt, whom he often fantasized about bringing back to life – Frankenstein style. He touched upon the idea at the beginning of his career with a live-action short, also titled “Frankenweenie.” But he always envisioned expanding the concept into a full-length, animated feature… Next to “Edward Scissorhands,” “Frankenweenie” ranks among Burton’s most personal films, encompassing familiar themes of loneliness, isolation and an insatiable need for love and acceptance” – Al Alexander, The Patriot Ledger

The Black Room

837. (-16) The Black Room

Roy William Neill

1935 / USA / 70m / BW / Gothic | IMDb
Boris Karloff, Marian Marsh, Robert Allen, Thurston Hall, Katherine DeMille, John Buckler, Henry Kolker, Colin Tapley, Torben Meyer

“This unassuming period thriller about fratricide, ancient familial prophecies, and lust for power remains an enjoyable treat for film fanatics, thanks primarily to the central performance by inimitable horror icon Boris Karloff. Karloff embodies the dual roles of both “good brother” (Anton) and “bad brother” (Gregor) with relish and nuance, immediately convincing us that they’re two different men — but his most impressive work comes once he’s playing Gregor-as-Anton, maintaining a simmering aura of calculated greed and sociopathic arrogance underneath a facade of noble charm. The screenplay is surprisingly tight and suspenseful — especially given that Anton is killed off fairly early — and the denouement offers a nifty resolution to the ancient prophecy. Atmospheric cinematography, creative direction, and appropriately baroque set designs add to the ambience of this compelling B-level flick.” – FilmFanatic

Willard

838. (-72) Willard

Daniel Mann

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

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

The Ghost of Frankenstein

839. (+28) The Ghost of Frankenstein

Erle C. Kenton

1942 / USA / 67m / BW / Monster | IMDb
Lon Chaney Jr., Cedric Hardwicke, Ralph Bellamy, Lionel Atwill, Bela Lugosi, Evelyn Ankers, Janet Ann Gallow, Barton Yarborough, Doris Lloyd, Leyland Hodgson

“Overall Ghost of Frankenstein is a better movie than if often gets credited for. While this might be the weakest of the series (ignoring the crossover movies) it’s still a pretty good movie with solid characters and solid acting. While Lon Chaney isn’t anywhere near the level of Karloff as the Monster, Chaney still delivers an excellent take on the Monster and with a strong cast Ghost of Frankenstein is a fun B-Movie and while it may not reach the epic of heights of past Frankenstein films it does provide a fun time.” – Last Road Reviews

Alien³

840. (-90) Alien³

David Fincher

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

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

Body Snatchers

841. (-22) Body Snatchers

Abel Ferrara

1993 / USA / 87m / Col / Science Fiction | IMDb
Terry Kinney, Meg Tilly, Gabrielle Anwar, Reilly Murphy, Billy Wirth, Christine Elise, R. Lee Ermey, Kathleen Doyle, Forest Whitaker, G. Elvis Phillips

“On the assumption that the audience already knows the premise, Body Snatchers doesn’t explain the alien invasion, it simply shows it with gloopily effective special effects. Ferrara, in a rare medium-budget excursion, shows he can make a smooth-looking, well paced film, while his acute ear for character tensions deftly captures the untidy human emotions that the pods live without. The writing and acting are way above average for a sci-fi quickie: note how a “truth” game between Anwar and soldier hero Billy Wirth sets up resonances that pay off throughout the film.” – Kim Newman, Empire Online

The Thing

842. (+53) The Thing

Matthijs van Heijningen Jr.

2011 / USA / 103m / Col / Science Fiction | IMDb
Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Joel Edgerton, Ulrich Thomsen, Eric Christian Olsen, Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje, Paul Braunstein, Trond Espen Seim, Kim Bubbs

“The good news is that the lack of originality does not preclude effectiveness. An atmosphere of dread and uncertainty is augmented by the relative anonymity of the cast with a lack of star names to latch onto… While the characterisation is thin and delivered in broad strokes, by the time havoc breaks loose it’s unlikely you’ll care too much. Although the slick and plentiful CGI lacks the earthy, visceral punch of the 1982 version… what The Thing lacks in finesse and nuance, it more than makes up for in sustaining a relentless level of threat, progressing at a fast clip and containing its fair share of shocks and surprises.” – Ashley Clark, Little White Lies

The Last Winter

843. (-124) The Last Winter

Larry Fessenden

2006 / USA / 101m / Col / Thriller | IMDb
Ron Perlman, James Le Gros, Connie Britton, Zach Gilford, Kevin Corrigan, Jamie Harrold, Pato Hoffmann, Joanne Shenandoah, Larry Fessenden, Oscar Miller

“The Last Winter, like many great horror movies, builds upon existing conventions within its genre – the creature feature film – but injects into its narrative contemporary anxieties and tensions that should force horror fans to re-evaluate that genre’s template, meaning, and aesthetic value. With a potent dose of realism – the film’s themes and dialogue echo reports on the evening news – The Last Winter is one of those unique horror films that makes the genre so hauntingly relevant. After watching The Last Winter, viewers will not only gain a newfound respect for classic 1950s creature feature films, and particularly those set in polar regions, but they’ll also gain important insights into some of global society’s most daunting challenges: namely, global warming, climate change, and human ecology.” – Chris Justice, Classic-Horror

Insidious: Chapter 2

844. (new) Insidious: Chapter 2

James Wan

2013 / USA / 106m / Col / Supernatural | IMDb
Patrick Wilson, Rose Byrne, Ty Simpkins, Lin Shaye, Barbara Hershey, Steve Coulter, Leigh Whannell, Angus Sampson, Andrew Astor, Hank Harris

“The story is told with suggestion more than with effects, and director James Wan’s mastery of sound, both soft and loud, not to mention its timing, is once again superb. Most of the effects are practical, which lends a verisimilitude to them that makes them all the scarier for the odd sort of familiarity they evoke… When the supernatural does show itself, it’s not with blaring music and jump cuts designed to make us jump. It’s just sitting there, minding its own business in a quiet corner, all the more terrifying for not being noticed, and for making us wonder what it’s going to do next. Yet nothing is more terrifying than the image of Josh, framed in a doorway, sunlight glowing behind him, streaming around him, and yet leaving him a looming darkness in the midst of it.” – Andrea Chase, Killer Movie Reviews

House on Haunted Hill

845. (+11) House on Haunted Hill

William Malone

1999 / USA / 93m / Col / Haunted House | IMDb
Geoffrey Rush, Famke Janssen, Taye Diggs, Peter Gallagher, Chris Kattan, Ali Larter, Bridgette Wilson-Sampras, Max Perlich, Jeffrey Combs, Dick Beebe

“House on Haunted Hill revels in the earthy limits it sets for itself, and its infectious tone makes for good cheesy fun for those in the right mindset. And though it dates itself a bit here and there, it holds up quite well in comparison to plenty of more recent horror films. The film was made when computer effects were still getting their feet under them, and the combination of practical make-up and sophisticated optical effects makes for some supremely creepy moments.” – Rob Vaux, Mania.com

Squirm

846. (-90) 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

Juan de los Muertos

847. (+87) Juan de los Muertos

Alejandro Brugués

2011 / Spain / 92m / Col / Zombie | IMDb
Alexis Díaz de Villegas, Jorge Molina, Andros Perugorría, Andrea Duro, Jazz Vilá, Eliecer Ramírez, Blanca Rosa Blanco, Susana Pous, Antonio Dechent, Eslinda Núñez

“Cuba’s first zombie flick gives a twist of rum-soaked lime and shuffle-stepped tango to the social satire of George A Romero’s Dawn of the Dead, while also observing the post-modern metacinematic savvy of Edgar Wright’s Shaun of the Dead. For when Brugués is not using the revenant deceased as a prism through which to affectionately lampoon half a century of Cuban history, he is either pastiching everything from the shark-on-zombie action of Lucio Fulci’s Zombie Flesh Eaters to the priest who likes to ‘kick ass for the Lord’ in Peter Jackson’s Braindead, or having his characters pose such daftly crucial genre questions as why, when it comes to the post-millennial living dead, ‘some are fast and some are slow.’” – Anton Bitel, Little White Lies

The Pact

848. (-40) The Pact

Nicholas McCarthy

2012 / USA / 89m / Col / Haunted House | IMDb
Caity Lotz, Kathleen Rose Perkins, Haley Hudson, Sam Ball, Mark Steger, Agnes Bruckner, Casper Van Dien, Dakota Bright, Petra Wright, Sam Zuckerman

“There is little unnecessary expository dialogue and there are few scenes here that fail to pay off with at least an eerie moment, which is refreshing in a genre that so often takes so long to deliver the goods. Though there are not many moments in The Pact that seem likely to make a viewer shriek, at least before its climax, McCarthy is rather masterful at establishing atmosphere, which becomes doubly impressive once one considers that the bulk of the action here takes place in a single, nondescript suburban home. While The Pact hardly forges new ground for the genre, it comes about its scares honestly, without reliance upon gimmicks or cheap tactics.” – Jeremy Heilman, Movie Martyr

The Sacrament

849. (new) The Sacrament

Ti West

2013 / USA / 95m / Col / Found Footage | IMDb
Joe Swanberg, Amy Seimetz, Kate Lyn Sheil, AJ Bowen, Gene Jones, Kentucker Audley, Shawn Parsons, Madison Absher, Derek Roberts, Donna Biscoe

“A clever and thoroughly chilling tale of group psychosis, Ti West’s thriller “The Sacrament” takes its inspiration (and many of its details) from the 1978 events at Jim Jones’ People’s Temple in Guyana… If you don’t know what happened at Jonestown, this film will shock you; if you do know, it brings an entirely different kind of horror — that creeping-up knowledge that something inevitable and awful is coming, and can’t be stopped. West’s found-footage structure doesn’t always entirely make sense, but it’s easy to forgive “The Sacrament” its flaws. The eerie quiet, near its end, is utterly haunting; a lost Eden, in the sunshine.” – Moira MacDonald, Seattle Times

Devil

850. (+26) Devil

John Erick Dowdle

2010 / USA / 80m / Col / Supernatural | IMDb
Chris Messina, Logan Marshall-Green, Jenny O’Hara, Bojana Novakovic, Bokeem Woodbine, Geoffrey Arend, Jacob Vargas, Matt Craven, Joshua Peace

“[John E. Dawdle and Brian Nelson]’s synergy inspires creative and technical sparks that announce them as guiding forces in the ongoing evolution of this genre; Nelson is careful to observe his story from the inside without removing emphasis from characters, and his vision is brought to life by a director who shoots the material in steep camera angles, as if watching critical events from beyond the realm of the living. What they have created together in “Devil” is a movie that accomplishes exactly what it sets out to do, and more: namely, tango with a vivid representation of evil while suggesting, without shame, that the forces guiding the actions of these characters are more than just the stuff of superficial horror film plot devices.” – David Keyes, Cinemaphile

Innocent Blood

851. (-94) Innocent Blood

John Landis

1992 / USA / 112m / Col / Vampire | IMDb
Anne Parillaud, David Proval, Rocco Sisto, Chazz Palminteri, Anthony LaPaglia, Robert Loggia, Tony Sirico, Tony Lip, Kim Coates, Marshall Bell

“As the undead body count rises amidst lots of extremely messy gore effects, genre chills turn to urban thrills as contemporary vampire horror becomes ultra-violent action movie. French beauty Parillaud is superbly confident in her first Hollywood picture, conveying a languid sensuality with a melancholy edge befitting a character of… ‘indeterminate’ age. John Landis struggles to do for vampires what An American Werewolf In London did for lycanthropes, but the flaws of Innocent Blood are relatively minor when compared to most of today’s vampire films, and the director almost succeeds in finding the ideal balance of animalistic horror and aggressive comedy, with an element of modern fantasy romance thrown in.” – Ian Shutter, Nunayer Business

The Wizard of Gore

852. (+17) The Wizard of Gore

Herschell Gordon Lewis

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

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

Starry Eyes

853. (new) Starry Eyes

Kevin Kolsch & Dennis Widmyer

2014 / USA / 98m / Col / Psychological | IMDb
Alex Essoe, Amanda Fuller, Noah Segan, Fabianne Therese, Shane Coffey, Natalie Castillo, Pat Healy, Nick Simmons, Maria Olsen, Marc Senter

“A savage allegory about the sacrificial, soul-crushing price of fame and recognition in a town notoriously guilty for building up its talent only to tear them down, the perfectly titled “Starry Eyes” spares no one. Shooting on location in Los Angeles… writer-directors Kevin Kolsch and Dennis Widmyer paint a despairing but, from certain angles, accurate portrait of Hollywood’s grim underbelly. Beyond the sunshine and palm trees is an imminent danger that nears, each callback Sarah receives taking her closer to the part and further from her identity… Soaked in viscera and complemented by composer Jonathan Snipes’ phenomenally foreboding old-school, synth-heavy music score, the powerful finished product announces Kolsch and Widmyer as filmmaking forces to watch and remember.” – Dustin Putman, TheFrightFile.com

Das Wachsfigurenkabinett

854. (+17) Das Wachsfigurenkabinett

Paul Leni

1924 / Germany / 65m / BW / Anthology | IMDb
Emil Jannings, Conrad Veidt, Werner Krauss, William Dieterle, Olga Belajeff, John Gottowt, Georg John, Ernst Legal

“Don’t let the lack of horror chops deter you from this; after all, it is close enough, plus it has an early treatment of the Jack the Ripper story that’s been mined dozens of times for the genre. Plus, the technical display is quite astonishing; this was a huge production for the age, and it shows in the elaborate set design, especially in that first segment. Taking us from Arab streets to lavish palaces to dingy, humble abodes, Leni masterfully transports us through a fancifully realized land that recalls the whimsy of the Arabian Nights tales. Toss in some dazzling color tinting and you’re basically treated to an Expressionist feast.” – Brett Gallman, Oh, the Horror!

Frankenstein and the Monster from Hell

855. (+51) Frankenstein and the Monster from Hell

Terence Fisher

1973 / UK / 99m / Col / Monster | IMDb
Peter Cushing, Shane Briant, Madeline Smith, David Prowse, John Stratton, Michael Ward, Elsie Wagstaff, Norman Mitchell, Clifford Mollison, Patrick Troughton

“Returning to the series after the misfire of Horror Of Frankenstein (1970), Terence Fisher turns in one of his finest works. He makes virtue of a minuscule budget by crafting a deeply claustrophobic piece. The image is heavy on greys and browns, Brian Probyn’s cinematography almost radiating stench and decay. Cushing’s final outing as Frankenstein is quite simply inspired. To paraphrase philosopher George Santayana, the Baron has become the definition of a fanatic, re-doubling his efforts long after he has lost sight of his original objective. The Baron of old is still visible, lurking in there somewhere, but the sparkling enthusiasm of the young and eager medical student has been replaced by something cold, world weary, methodical and calculating.” – Richard Phillips-Jones, The Spooky Isles

Frogs

856. (-61) Frogs

George McCowan

1972 / USA / 91m / Col / Nature | IMDb
Ray Milland, Sam Elliott, Joan Van Ark, Adam Roarke, Judy Pace, Lynn Borden, Mae Mercer, David Gilliam, Nicholas Cortland, George Skaff

“Frogs is another entry in the “it’s so bad, it is good”. Frogs took on the idea that the little creatures of the environment, working together, could kick humanity’s butt. The movie has a total, ’70s feel, even down to the totally glamorous Judy Pace (playing Bella Garrington) who as the out of place African-American woman who seems randomly inserted into the plot to reach the full gambit of characters. The music, how it is shot, and how people talk just can’t be recreated now no matter how some directors try. Be it the dialogue or the style of film, Frogs is just laughable. The best part of Frogs, is that the frogs pretty much are just innocent victims of the title. The real threat comes from poisonous snakes, alligators, lizards, and even a giant alligator snapping turtle. The frogs just kind of hop around…it is menacing hopping, but still it is just hopping (and to be honest, I think most of them are toads).” – Jerry Roscoe, Basement Rejects

Countess Dracula

857. (+31) Countess Dracula

Peter Sasdy

1971 / UK / 93m / Col / Vampire | IMDb
Ingrid Pitt, Nigel Green, Sandor Elès, Maurice Denham, Patience Collier, Peter Jeffrey, Lesley-Anne Down, Leon Lissek, Jessie Evans, Andrea Lawrence

“A Hammer Film production, the picture eschews gothic severity to portray a unique panic tied to the aging process, with the titular character not interested in drinking blood, only out to bathe in the stuff. Details, people. While “Countess Dracula” runs out of drama after the hour mark, this is an engaging effort from director Peter Sasdy… who wisely plays up the exploitation aspects of the production to avoid answering questions, keeping the film more invested in a dark hunt for virgin flesh as it teases strange fairy tale elements, though, overall, it’s executed with enough exposed flesh and growling jealousies to keep it engaging in a B-movie manner.” – Brian Orndorf, Blu-ray.com

Raising Cain

858. (+26) Raising Cain

Brian De Palma

1992 / USA / 91m / Col / Psychological | IMDb
John Lithgow, Lolita Davidovich, Steven Bauer, Frances Sternhagen, Gregg Henry, Tom Bower, Mel Harris, Teri Austin, Gabrielle Carteris, Barton Heyman

“Brian De Palma’s Raising Cain is an intricate puzzle, a heady brew of multiple personalities and multiple perspectives vetting a story of American masculinity in crisis; of a director’s film career in crisis, even. Fortunately, De Palma provides viewers all the clues necessary to pick the film’s lock. The keys to the mystery involve cinematic antecedents from Powell and Hitchcock, the language of film grammar and even the specifics of the director’s own canon. And that’s why Raising Cain is no mere retread, but De Palma’s valedictory psychological thriller.” – John Kenneth Muir, Reflections on Cult Movies and Classic TV

Mother's Day

859. (+60) Mother’s Day

Darren Lynn Bousman

2010 / USA / 112m / Col / Thriller | IMDb
Rebecca De Mornay, Jaime King, Patrick John Flueger, Warren Kole, Deborah Ann Woll, Briana Evigan, Shawn Ashmore, Frank Grillo, Lisa Marcos, Matt O’Leary

“While the high level of violence and the respect paid to the source material serve to sell the movie, this version also brings a lot more to the table. The beauty of the film is that through various character arcs and plot points things aren’t as black and white as you’d expect. By the time the film reaches its conclusion, Bousman and writer Scott Milam manage to intelligently create quite a few shades of grey that will garner some true sympathy for their devils while leaving it up to viewers to ultimately decide who exactly said devils are.” – Steve Barton, Dread Central

Halloween II

860. (+8) Halloween II

Rob Zombie

2009 / USA / 105m / Col / Slasher | IMDb
Sheri Moon Zombie, Chase Wright Vanek, Scout Taylor-Compton, Brad Dourif, Caroline Williams, Malcolm McDowell, Tyler Mane, Dayton Callie, Richard Brake

“Despite the limitations inherent in the genre, it actually delivers. It’s not about the pure scares in a movie like this (almost any junky spookfest can get those, with the old face-in-a-mirror trick and various hoary techniques). No, a “character-based” monster flick – and Michael Myers is in that first generation, make no mistake – needs to play with that conceit, and Zombie’s dirty, disturbing, even dream-based approach works perfectly. And McDowell, that old pro, is a real hoot as Dr. Loomis… in a world where the “Hostel” and “Saw” films are the norm, and the recent remake of “Last House on the Left” set the bar nauseatingly low, Zombie knows a thing or two about keeping it pure.” – Joe Neumaier, New York Daily News

Los sin nombre

861. (-30) Los sin nombre

Jaume Balagueró

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

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

Lik Wong

862. (+86) Lik Wong

Ngai Choi Lam

1991 / Hong Kong / 91m / Col / Martial Arts | IMDb
Siu-Wong Fan, Mei Sheng Fan, Ka-Kui Ho, Yukari ôshima, Chi-leung Chan, Tetsurô Tanba, Gloria Yip, Philip Kwok, Bill Lung Biu, Yiu-Sing Cheung

“A martial arts film like no other, with characters’ fists not just making full contact with their opponents’ bodies, but actually going through them. When one person in ‘The Story of Ricky’ threatens to turn another ‘into mincemeat’ or to cut them ‘into little pieces’, their words are meant all too literally… Based on a popular Japanese manga, and released in 1991, ‘The Story of Ricky’ has the honour of being the first totally sex-free Hong Kong film to receive a Category 3 rating (equivalent to the 18 certificate here). Apart from ‘Ichi the Killer’, it is the only live-action film ever to capture the anarchic, excessive, highly stylised violence of manga… a truly visceral film that will leave you feeling battered and bruised, but strangely liberated nonetheless.” – Anton Bitel, Movie Gazette

The Burrowers

863. (+24) The Burrowers

J.T. Petty

2008 / USA / 96m / Col / Western | IMDb
Clancy Brown, David Busse, William Mapother, Jocelin Donahue, Alexandra Edmo, Brighid Fleming, Karl Geary, Christopher Hagen, Doug Hutchison, Galen Hutchison

“An atmospheric, slightly loopy mix of western lore and monster movie shocks – best described as The Searchers meets The Thing… Though shot on a measly US$7million budget, The Burrowers recreates the early West and envisions pure evil with an A-grade attention to detail. As a throwback to the great B-movies of years gone by, it echoes the middle America-vs-monster movie Tremors (1990), the astronauts-vs-monster movie Alien (1979) and the lost campers-vs-monster movie Prophecy (1979). Like those films, The Burrowers is a choice example of this paranoid, claustrophobic, tummy-tightening genre.” – Simon Foster, Screen-Space

Brainscan

864. (-78) 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

Hocus Pocus

865. (new) Hocus Pocus

Kenny Ortega

1993 / USA / 96m / Col / Witchcraft | IMDb
Bette Midler, Sarah Jessica Parker, Kathy Najimy, Omri Katz, Thora Birch, Vinessa Shaw, Jodie-Amy Rivera, Larry Bagby, Tobias Jelinek, Stephanie Faracy

“Like many movies about sorcery – The Witches of Eastwick comes to mind – Hocus Pocus does not always make a great deal of sense, yet it makes for a great deal of fun. Midler’s fans might be disappointed that she doesn’t have a whole lot to do beyond puckering her kewpie-doll lips and flouncing onto her broom. But the witches have an amusing, Three-Stooges rapport, with a lot of bonking, slapping and cursing (of the witch rather than the profane variety) that make them particularly satisfying villains. Director Ortega successfully fuses their slapstick onto a teen adventure that, by the way, encourages moody big brothers to watch out for their pesky kid sisters – and vice versa.” – Carrie Rickey, Philadelphia Inquirer

Housebound

866. (new) Housebound

Gerard Johnstone

2014 / New Zealand / 107m / Col / Black Comedy | IMDb
Morgana O’Reilly, Rima Te Wiata, Glen-Paul Waru, Ross Harper, Cameron Rhodes, Ryan Lampp, Mick Innes, Bruce Hopkins, Wallace Chapman, Millen Baird

“It’s difficult to talk too much about Housebound without spoiling it. First-time writer-director Johnstone’s ingenious script consistently wrong-foots the audience and shifts from one subgenre to another without ever once losing its grip on the comedic elements. It’s creepy, tense and scary. The film’s greatest success is the relationship between Kylie and her mum. Their back and forth, complete with ancient resentments, is beautifully observed, and both O’Reilly and Te Wiata are absolutely spot-on as the bitter teen and the well-meaning mum respectively. It’s also worth mentioning Harper, who is a particularly deadpan delight as Graeme.” – Jonathan Hatfull, SciFiNow

Le frisson des vampires

867. (+19) Le frisson des vampires

Jean Rollin

1971 / France / 95m / Col / Vampire | IMDb
Sandra Julien, Jean-Marie Durand, Jacques Robiolles, Michel Delahaye, Marie-Pierre Castel, Kuelan Herce, Nicole Nancel, Dominique

“A nutty mix of hippie vampires, lesbian seduction, and moonlight ceremonies in a graveyard unaccountably bathed in deep reds and blues in the dark of night, it’s full of passages of naked women wordlessly wandering through the castle hallways and towers. And in true Rollin fashion, he can’t seem to decide if the gallant groom or the bloodsucking sensualists are the true heroes of this counter-culture vampire tale. While Isolde gives in to the allure of blood and sex and Pierre holds on to the material world, it’s clear that Rollin’s heart goes with Isolde. Even more deliriously absurd than most of Rollin’s low budget horror fantasies, this is a mad skin flick for surrealists where bad acting, slapdash effects, and narrative abstraction are transformed into an aesthetic.” – Sean Axmaker, Parallax View

Il mulino delle donne di pietra

868. (-98) Il mulino delle donne di pietra

Giorgio Ferroni

1960 / Italy / 95m / Col / Gothic | IMDb
Pierre Brice, Scilla Gabel, Wolfgang Preiss, Dany Carrel, Herbert A.E. Böhme, Liana Orfei, Marco Guglielmi, Olga Solbelli, Alberto Archetti

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

Count Yorga, Vampire

869. (+99) Count Yorga, Vampire

Bob Kelljan

1970 / USA / 90m / Col / Vampire | IMDb
Robert Quarry, Roger Perry, Michael Murphy, Michael Macready, Donna Anders, Judy Lang, Edward Walsh, Julie Conners, Paul Hansen, Sybil Scotford

“Count Yorga – Vampire (originally conceived as a soft-core porn film entitled The Loves of Count Iorga) is a nifty little low-budget exploitation effort that uses its resources to good effect. The shocks are crude but effective. Although relatively tame by later standards, the gore has a nasty edge to it, underlining the film’s cynical sensibility and downbeat ending… [it] survives on the strength of its title performance and on the inventiveness of its approach to modern day vampirism. Yorga may not be a very refined film, but it packs a lot of attitude, and there’s no denying that the surprise ending is like a wicked little punch in the face.” – Steve Biodrowski, Cinefantastique

Kitchen Sink

870. (-35) Kitchen Sink

Alison Maclean

1989 / New Zealand / 14m / Col / Surrealism | IMDb
Theresa Healey, Peter Tait, Annagretta Christian

“The relationship that developed between the woman and the man/monster was reminiscent of myths and fairy tales. Containing almost no dialogue, KITCHEN SINK presented the story as a dreamlike succession of events. Cleverly structured, the film returned again and again to a few motifs – hair, water, eye and razor – reminiscent of early surrealist films such as Un Chien Andalou. These images, reinforced by an eerie soundtrack, had a gut-level impact on audiences, who gasped, laughed, and screamed.” – Roger Horrocks, Film in Aotearoa New Zealand

La bête

871. (-93) La bête

Walerian Borowczyk

1975 / France / 93m / Col / Fantasy | IMDb
Sirpa Lane, Lisbeth Hummel, Elisabeth Kaza, Pierre Benedetti, Guy Tréjan, Roland Armontel, Marcel Dalio, Robert Capia, Pascale Rivault, Hassane Fall

“Like so much provocative 1970s cinema, The Beast is representative of both the visual and aesthetic freedom allowed by the decade’s ease in censorship. Ironically though, having imbued its narrative with so much heavy thematic material, it was refused classification by the BBFC (though perhaps it was more to do with the continuous presence of giant, endlessly excited stallion). The combination of extreme sexual imagery and Borowczyk’s usual sense of powerful art-house ideas is still a shock today though one that is perhaps even more relevant in times of easy access misogyny and unquestioning desires of will at the click of a button.” – Adam Scovell, Celluloid Wicker Man

Roadgames

872. (-141) Roadgames

Richard Franklin

1981 / Australia / 101m / Col / Psychological | IMDb
Stacy Keach, Jamie Lee Curtis, Marion Edward, Grant Page, Thaddeus Smith, Steve Millichamp, Alan Hopgood, John Murphy, Bill Stacey, Robert Thompson

“Director Richard Franklin has openly confessed that his Road Games is an “Alfred Hitchcock derivative.” Replacing Jimmy Stewart’s apartment view in Rear Window with the fly-splattered windscreen of an 8-wheel truck, Road Games hurtles into a world of obsession, mistaken identity and psycho killers as if the master himself were in the passenger seat. But the sheer unhinged energy Franklin injects into the narrative make this more than just a simple pastiche. This is Hitchcock at 80mph and it doesn’t let up for a second.” – Tom Fallows, Classic-Horror

La sindrome di Stendhal

873. (-100) La sindrome di Stendhal

Dario Argento

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

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

Secuestrados

874. (new) Secuestrados

Miguel Ángel Vivas

2010 / Spain / 85m / Col / Home Invasion | IMDb
Fernando Cayo, Manuela Vellés, Ana Wagener, Guillermo Barrientos, Dritan Biba, Martijn Kuiper, Xoel Yáñez, Luis Iglesia, Pepo Suevos, Eduardo Torroja

“Vivas’ biggest contribution to a familiar premise comes in his staging. Kidnapped consists almost exclusively of long tracking shots, which closely follow the characters in and out of cars, around the house, and even when they get violently knocked to the ground. Vivas also makes good use of split-screens, simultaneously showing what’s happening with Cayo and the kidnapping ringleader as they drive to an ATM, and what’s happening with the people they left behind, or showing what’s happening in adjoining rooms as Vellés and Wagener desperately try to call the police while the invaders try to stop them by threatening a surprise visitor.” – Noel Murray, AV Club

Sette note in nero

875. (-114) Sette note in nero

Lucio Fulci

1977 / Italy / 95m / Col / Giallo | IMDb
Jennifer O’Neill, Gabriele Ferzetti, Marc Porel, Gianni Garko, Ida Galli, Jenny Tamburi, Fabrizio Jovine, Riccardo Parisio Perrotti, Loredana Savelli, Salvatore Puntillo

“What makes The Psychic such a unique film is its atmosphere. This is neither your typical giallo nor your typical Lucio Fulci movie. Unlike Bava or Argento, who are well known for the array of eye-catching color in their films, Fulci has painted a canvas of grim darkness; the director went for a stripped-down, no-B.S. aesthetic in making The Psychic. You have none of the flashy, eye-gouging gore effects of Zombi 2, except for a brief pre-credits sequence; here the horror is more cerebral than visceral. Fulci doesn’t find it necessary to throw blood and entrails all over the place in this film, and so his genius for nauseating effects is sublimated into suspense.” – Lindsey Churosh, Classic-Horror

The Vault of Horror

876. (-75) The Vault of Horror

Roy Ward Baker

1973 / UK / 83m / 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

TerrorVision

877. (-40) TerrorVision

Ted Nicolaou

1986 / USA / 83m / Col / Comedy | IMDb
Diane Franklin, Gerrit Graham, Mary Woronov, Chad Allen, Jon Gries, Bert Remsen, Alejandro Rey, Randi Brooks, Jennifer Richards, Sonny Carl Davis

“Make no bones about it, ‘Terrorvision’ falls firmly into the horror-comedy category with the emphasis heavily on the latter. Unlike many B-Movies, it’s self-aware and every one of the frequent laugh out loud moments is intentional and earned. The cast are solid and Ted Nicolaou’s direction is quirky and interesting in depicting the seediness and suburban weirdness of the family – slightly reminiscent of Tim Burton’s work, back in those long gone days when Burton still made films with original ideas in them. These elements would be enough to give the film a recommendation, but the absolute clincher for monster kids everywhere should be the creature itself. It looks truly fantastic and is full of personality with a face that’s pug-like in its ugly/cuteness.” – Michael Rose, Mysterious Universe

Mum & Dad

878. (-73) Mum & Dad

Steven Sheil

2008 / UK / 84m / Col / Thriller | IMDb
Perry Benson, Dido Miles, Olga Fedori, Ainsley Howard, Toby Alexander, Micaiah Dring, Mark Devenport, Chris Roebuck, Clare Dyer, Penny Andrews

“A blackly comical twist on the torture porn genre, this lean, mean British horror is just gonzo enough to overcome the limits of the formula and keep us entertained. And it’s a truly vicious satire of family life… Filmmaker Shiel is pretty daring to take on heavy shades of the Fred and Rosemary West story here, mixing a biting pastiche of family movies with extreme gore. Cleverly shot and edited, the film continually shifts from bright and perky to dark and terrifying within moments, and constantly undercuts the horror with grim humour. It’s a bold mix, and credit should go to Shiel and his cast for making it work as well as it does.” – Rich Cline, Shadows on the Wall

Scary Movie

879. (new) Scary Movie

Keenen Ivory Wayans

2000 / USA / 88m / Col / Comedy | IMDb
Carmen Electra, Dave Sheridan, Frank B. Moore, Giacomo Baessato, Kyle Graham, Leanne Santos, Mark McConchie, Karen Kruper, Anna Faris, Jon Abrahams

“A raucous, satirical attack on slasher movies, teenage horror movies and “The Matrix.” I saw the movie, I laughed, I took notes, and now I am at a loss to write the review. All of the usual critical categories and strategies collapse in the face of a film like this… The bottom line in reviewing a movie like this is, does it work? Is it funny? Yes, it is. Not funny with the shocking impact of “Airplane!,” which had the advantage of breaking new ground. But also not a tired wheeze like some of the lesser and later Leslie Nielsen films. To get your money’s worth, you need to be familiar with the various teenage horror franchises, and if you are, “Scary Movie” delivers the goods.” – Roger Ebert, rogerebert.com

Rituals

880. (-159) 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

Bride of Re-Animator

881. (+55) Bride of Re-Animator

Brian Yuzna

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

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

The Car

882. (-27) The Car

Elliot Silverstein

1977 / USA / 96m / Col / Thriller | IMDb
James Brolin, Kathleen Lloyd, John Marley, R.G. Armstrong, John Rubinstein, Elizabeth Thompson, Roy Jenson, Kim Richards, Kyle Richards, Kate Murtagh

“As you watch The Car, pay attention to how the cinematography and the music propel the film to something far more artistically adept than it has any right to be. The use of sweeping vistas, and the gorgeous framing of specific sequences, make The Car as beautiful as it is entertaining. The music may sound familiar to horrorphiles; harboring tinges of the eerie French horn arrangement from the beginning of The Shining, which would be released three years later. They both seem to be formidable iterations of the Gregorian chant “Dies Irae.” Despite its b-movie trappings, The Car is high-quality horror from start to finish and film deserving of far more attention and accolades than its unfortunate obscurity affords.” – Brian Salisbury, Film School Rejects

Below

883. (+103) Below

David Twohy

2002 / USA / 105m / Col / Supernatural | IMDb
Matthew Davis, Bruce Greenwood, Holt McCallany, Dexter Fletcher, Nick Chinlund, Olivia Williams, Scott Foley, Andrew Howard, Christopher Fairbank, Chuck Ellsworth

“There isn’t a lot of blood and gore in it, and the movie prefers to get its chills from a more atmospheric approach. Also, CGI effects are kept to a minimum unlike recent horror movies such as “The Haunting” and “Thirteen Ghosts”. In this sense, “Below” is an almost old-fashioned movie. Not only are the special effects used sensibly, but it is edited and put together in a way that doesn’t treat the audience as if they might have attention deficit syndrome. So no swirling camera movements and music video editing… Its cast of unknowns is effective, and “Below” tries to keep the amount of submarine warfare clichés to a minimum… If the movie has any faults, it is perhaps because it doesn’t employ its atmospheric setting as effectively as it could have.” – James O’Ehley, Movie Gurus

Darkness Falls

884. (-84) Darkness Falls

Jonathan Liebesman

2003 / USA / 86m / Col / Supernatural | IMDb
Chaney Kley, Emma Caulfield, Lee Cormie, Grant Piro, Sullivan Stapleton, Steve Mouzakis, Peter Curtin, Kestie Morassi, Jenny Lovell, John Stanton

“As far as semi-abandoned midwinter Hollywood compost goes, though, “Darkness Falls” basically brings home the bacon for horror fans. It may be an utterly formulaic combination of elements borrowed from Stephen King novels and “Nightmare on Elm Street” films (not to mention “The Ring,” the latest re-energizer of the horror genre), and you’re not going to remember much about it in two months. But it offers decent special effects and a nice array of those moments where you shriek and jump and nearly pee your pants but it turns out to be Mom or the cat after all.” – Andrew O’Hehir, Salon.com

Popcorn

885. (-69) Popcorn

Mark Herrier

1991 / USA / 91m / Col / Slasher | IMDb
Jill Schoelen, Tom Villard, Dee Wallace, Derek Rydall, Malcolm Danare, Elliott Hurst, Ivette Soler, Freddie Simpson, Kelly Jo Minter, Karen Lorre

“Reggae, a Zaza score, a Vincent Price-ish villain with shades of Freddy Krueger, the film is a mish-mash of several different influences and makes for quite a unique film. It may not be the scariest or goriest movie that you could choose to watch during a festive October evening, but wearing it’s love of horror films of the past on its sleeve, I can’t help but recommend it. It’s a lot like mixing a bag of M&Ms into your warm buttery popcorn. Sure, it doesn’t completely fit, but somehow makes for a delicious taste uniquely its own.” – Wes R., Oh, The Horror

Hardware

886. (-28) Hardware

Richard Stanley

1990 / UK / 94m / Col / Cyberpunk | IMDb
Carl McCoy, Iggy Pop, Dylan McDermott, John Lynch, Mark Northover, Stacey Travis, Paul McKenzie, Lemmy, William Hootkins, Mac McDonald

“With its post apocalyptic setting, robot gone mad, extreme gore and a cast that includes Iggy Pop – well, his voice, anyway – and Lemmy from Motorhead, it is easy to consider Richard Stanley’s Hardware to be essentially a lower budget, more intentionally punk take on The Terminator. This is essentially correct, though Stanley’s film would be a Terminator set in a world where the humans are hell-bent on destroying themselves and their planet while the robotic killing machines are just on the verge of turning on their creators and supposed masters… Though the body count is low there are several truly gruesome moments pulled of with an undeniable, and undeniably revolting, sense of style.” – Todd Brown, Twitch

Anaconda

887. (new) 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

Kyôfu kikei ningen: Edogawa Rampo zenshû

888. (+45) Kyôfu kikei ningen: Edogawa Rampo zenshû

Teruo Ishii

1969 / Japan / 99m / Col / Exploitation | IMDb
Teruo Yoshida, Yukie Kagawa, Teruko Yumi, Mitsuko Aoi, Michiko Kobata, Yumiko Katayama, Kei Kiyama, Reiko Mikasa, Miki Obana, Michi Tanaka

“Visually the film is breathtaking. Ishii, a director known for revelling in the erotic, violent and bizarre, is on top form in this quirky tale. While the scripting weaves an incredibly intricate and unconventional narrative, the look and feel of the film follows suit. There are some spectacular scenes on offer. The cinematography is just mind-blowing; the colours gaudy and luscious, which makes the whole thing just pop. Ishii also adds in a psychedelic flavour with some innovative editing techniques- also applying light filters in a couple of scenes to build on this factor.” – Kat Ellinger, The Gore Splattered Corner

Anthropophagus

889. (-19) Anthropophagus

Joe D’Amato

1980 / Italy / 90m / Col / Cannibal | IMDb
Tisa Farrow, Saverio Vallone, Serena Grandi, Margaret Mazzantini, Mark Bodin, Bob Larson, Rubina Rey, Simone Baker, Mark Logan, George Eastman

“The hapless bunch come face to face with “the monster” and all chaos ensues in one of the scariest, most atmospheric, jump out of your seat, Suspiria-ish movies you will ever see. The tension is very high as are the atmospherics in the setting, not to mention the suspense. The back-story builds up wonderfully as we make sense of it all and realize that this “monster” is, or at least used to be, all too human. This villain must truly be seen to be believed… he is very odd. I would be leaving an important aspect out if I did not mention the certain… ahem… underground notoriety of Anthropophagus. This film is known in some circles as the ultimate gross-out movie, primarily due to one scene involving the pregnant woman that I wont delve into here, as well as a couple of other extremely gory YIKES scenes. Yes, this is an extremely gory and sometimes shocking movie, but it also has a huge story and so much more.” – Ronnie Angel, Best Horror Movies

Curtains

890. (-119) Curtains

Richard Ciupka

1983 / Canada / 89m / Col / Slasher | IMDb
John Vernon, Samantha Eggar, Linda Thorson, Anne Ditchburn, Lynne Griffin, Sandee Currie, Lesleh Donaldson, Deborah Burgess, Michael Wincott, Maury Chaykin

“In lieu of a straightforward plot pitting dopey teens against a psychopath picking them off one at a time, “Curtains” has an entirely adult cast and a layered narrative that embraces its eccentricities. The central goal is not to merely slice through the ensemble—though this does happen, as well—but to explore the seedier cutthroat politics of moviemaking and the desperation that often comes when reality does not match up to one’s aspirations. Beyond that, the film features a truly disconcerting killer cloaked in an old hag’s mask, and a round-up of outstanding horror setpieces, two in particular saturated with an eerie mood and theatrical ingenuity.” – Dustin Putnam, The Movie Boy

Misterios de ultratumba

891. (-78) Misterios de ultratumba

Fernando Méndez

1959 / Mexico / 82m / BW / Supernatural | IMDb
Gastón Santos, Rafael Bertrand, Mapita Cortés, Carlos Ancira, Carolina Barret, Luis Aragón, Beatriz Aguirre, Antonio Raxel, J. Portillo, Abel Salazar

“Mexican director Fernando Méndez crafts astoundingly atmospheric visuals and writer Ramón Obón spins a dizzyingly suspenseful story, both creating an unforgettable film with The Black Pit of Dr. M. The visuals of the long halls of the arcane mental hospital, the dense fog, the Doctor’s villa and the dark shadows will strike you first. There are certain shots that are framed to perfection, including one scene that features the starkly back-lit gallows, which rival any of the classic Universal horror films for their gothic mystique. Secondly, you will notice that the story of intrigue builds upon itself and never leaves a dull moment. Not only that, but time is adequately taken to properly develop the characters as the story unfolds. While the gorgeously gothic visuals help grab your attention and establish the dark mood of the film, it’s the compounding storyline that keeps building that really sets this masterpiece apart.” – Sarah E. Jahier, Fatally Yours’ Horror Reviews

Lady in a Cage

892. (+48) Lady in a Cage

Walter Grauman

1964 / USA / 94m / Col / Thriller | IMDb
Olivia de Havilland, James Caan, Jennifer Billingsley, Rafael Campos, William Swan, Jeff Corey, Ann Sothern

“Usually lumped with the other ‘hag horror’ films after What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? by virtue of the presence of golden-age screen star Olivia de Havilland, Lady in a Cage is actually an upscale version of marginal movies like The Sadist – realistic accounts of everyday atrocious crimes in the modern world. Tricked up with blatant criticisms of contemporary society, Luther Davis and Walter Grauman’s film can’t escape an essential sickness: Like its low-grade drive-in competition, it is first and foremost an exercise in sordid exploitation.” – Glenn Erickson, DVDTalk

Yi boh lai beng duk

893. (+72) Yi boh lai beng duk

Herman Yau

1996 / Hong Kong / 98m / Col / Splatter | IMDb
Anthony Wong Chau-Sang, Ming Wan Yeung, Fui-On Shing, Tsui-Ling Wong, Miu-Ying Chan, Meng Lo, Lu Cheung, Edward Corbett, Lorraine Ho, Cheung-Lung Kai

“As unbelievable as it may sound, veteran director Herman Yau’s film is actually a comedy, albeit a very, very sick one, which only those with cast iron stomachs and loose sensibilities are liable to find funny. Despite, or perhaps due to the torrent of non-stop atrocities on screen, the film is far too ridiculous to be taken seriously, and everyone involved seems to have had a great deal of fun challenging the viewer’s sense of morality, with a sly wink and their tongues placed firmly in their cheeks. At the end of the day, it’s pretty hard not to crack a smile at a film which has scenes of genre king Anthony Wong, again playing a drooling psychotic, on the run in the wilds of Africa trying to hold up his trousers while being chased by a leopard.” – James Mudge, Beyond Hollywood

The Stand

894. (+2) The Stand

Mick Garris

1994 / USA / 366m / 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

The Sadist

895. (-146) The Sadist

James Landis

1963 / USA / 92m / Col / Thriller | IMDb
Arch Hall Jr., Richard Alden, Marilyn Manning, Don Russell, Helen Hovey

“But what sticks out most sharply about The Sadist, at least to my eye, is the way it prefigures the ruthless harshness of 70’s horror and hints at the structural formula of the 80’s slasher movie. When Tibbs pulls the trigger on his first victim, it’s like a slap in the face for the audience— the viewer suddenly realizes that writer/director Landis isn’t kidding around, and that The Sadist is miles removed from the usual safe horror fare of the 60’s. It’s just as disorienting later on, when what looks like a certain rescue for the two surviving teachers is nipped savagely in the bud, leaving them once again to fend entirely for themselves. There’s even a slasher-style “finding the bodies” scene and a concluding reel which looks a lot like a precursor of the Final Girl endings we’re accustomed to today. You just don’t see this sort of thing in movies from 1963, and it’s that shock of the unexpected that gives The Sadist most of its power.”- Scott Ashlin, 1000 MISSPENT HOURS AND COUNTING

The Incredible Torture Show

896. (-137) The Incredible Torture Show

Joel M. Reed

1976 / USA / 91m / 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, Bloodsucking Freaks 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 Hamiltons

897. (+50) The Hamiltons

Mitchell Altieri & Phil Flores

2006 / USA / 86m / Col / Vampire | IMDb
Cory Knauf, Samuel Child, Joseph McKelheer, Mackenzie Firgens, Rebekah Hoyle, Brittany Daniel, Al Liner, Jena Hunt, Tara Glass, Larry Laverty

“The Butcher Brothers really wanted to make something different that was an amalgamation of genres and have pulled it off admirably with The Hamiltons, mixing the plight of trying to fit in in American suburbia with the rather unique drama that’s involved with keeping live women chained in your basement Certainly not an easy task at all… The Hamiltons is a tough movie to categorize. Though horror is its most obvious place setting, the other elements that are mixed in help to give it a unique voice. Ultimately it’s a question of whether you want some more subtly in your horror as well because The Hamiltons is virtually gore free aside from a few key shots.” – Johnny Butane, Dread Central

Isolation

898. (-81) Isolation

Billy O’Brien

2005 / Ireland / 95m / Col / Nature | IMDb
Essie Davis, Sean Harris, Marcel Iures, Crispin Letts, John Lynch, Ruth Negga, Stanley Townsend

“Looking for an overlooked film? A little something much better than it sounds? A film you might pass by on the video shelf because you’ve never heard how good it is? Then check out ISOLATION. Working from a rather inauspicious premise (a genetic experiment on an Irish cow farm creates a killer mutant calf), writer-director Billy O’Brien conjures a remarkable genre achievement: a somber, sad, and absolutely convincing film that is also genuinely terrifying. ISOLATION is a wonderful example of the heights that the genre can achieve when the material is treated with absolute conviction and human sympathy, instead of the gleeful gore that mars too many modern efforts.” – Steve Biodrowski, Cinefantastique

Schock

899. (-172) 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

Dementia

900. (-47) Dementia

John Parker

1955 / USA / 56m / BW / Psychological | IMDb
Adrienne Barrett, Bruno VeSota, Ben Roseman, Richard Barron, Ed Hinkle, Lucille Rowland, Jebbie VeSota, Faith Parker, Gayne Sullivan, Shorty Rogers

“This mostly ‘silent’, black and white film opens with a high-angle, night-time shot of a neon-lit street, when, after being invited by the narrator to come with him, ”into the tormented, haunted, half-lit night of the insane”, we are drawn slowly through an open window into a young lady’s bedroom, á la Orson Welles. On the bed lies the sleeping beauty squirming and clutching her bed-sheet tightly. Is she having a nightmare… or an erotic dream? Of this the audience is kept guessing, and from here on in, the tone is set for a private view into the young lady’s twisted and perverse psyche. After wakening from her dream-state, she takes a flick-knife from the drawer and ventures out onto the streets, where she encounters all forms of low-lives, debauchery and sexual depravity, all tied together by hallucination sequences that even have the viewer questioning ‘what is reality/ what is fantasy?’.” – Tony D’Ambra, Filmsnoir