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#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

Color Me Blood Red

801. (+2) Color Me Blood Red

Herschell Gordon Lewis

1965 / USA / 79m / Col / Splatter | IMDb
Gordon Oas-Heim, Candi Conder, Elyn Warner, Pat Finn-Lee, Jerome Eden, Scott H. Hall, Jim Jaekel, Iris Marshall, William Harris, Cathy Collins


“The film offers several elements of what became Lewis’ stock in trade (aside from clunky dialogue and wooden acting, that is): lots of pulchritudinous females in various states of undress and at least occasional forays into “splatter” (which in this case includes something akin to squeezing the last ounce of toothpaste out of the tube). The film is resolutely silly and never works up much in the way of suspense or even terror, but for Lewis fans it will no doubt be appreciated as, well, a work of art.” – Jeffrey Kauffman, Blu-ray.com

Maniac Cop

802. (+89) Maniac Cop

William Lustig

1988 / USA / 85m / Col / Slasher | IMDb
Tom Atkins, Bruce Campbell, Laurene Landon, Richard Roundtree, William Smith, Robert Z’Dar, Sheree North, Nina Arvesen, Nick Barbaro, Lou Bonacki


“Maniac Cop is quite action packed for a slasher and relies more on guns and explosions than than slow death, torment and suspense. Cordell’s victims meet brutal demises but the slash far outweighs the stalk with numerous victims getting nowhere near the expected 15 minutes of fame allocated by popular sayings. Viewers are even treated to a car chase which is also a valuable lesson in physics proving that cars go much faster when the back end is allowed to travel twice as far as the front in the eighties. There is so much to love about Maniac Cop despite it being in the genre of 80s trash horror. Lustig and Cohen’s styles meld together brilliantly, Campbell and Atkins never fail to entertain but most importantly there is not a hint of pretentiousness. The film knows exactly what it is and doesn’t try to be anything more.” – Pazuzu Iscariot, Horror Extreme

Gothic

803. (-104) Gothic

Ken Russell

1986 / UK / 87m / Col / Historical Drama | IMDb
Gabriel Byrne, Julian Sands, Natasha Richardson, Myriam Cyr, Timothy Spall, Alec Mango, Andreas Wisniewski, Dexter Fletcher, Pascal King, Tom Hickey


“Ken Russell uses imagery in cinema in a fashion often more akin to both theatre and painting, and Gothic’s most effective elements are unsurprisingly found in its visual construction. The oddity and nastiness of its imagery leave a strong impression, even when scored by an often distractingly abrasive electronic score from Thomas Dolby. Some of the film’s dialogue feels a little on the nose, particularly in regards to material that will form the basis of Frankenstein, though some of that, like a discussion of the titan Prometheus referenced in Shelley’s novel’s full title, have charm. Gothic is a vivid, hyperbolic work that often feels more silly than striking, but the lunacy on display does have bursts of great appeal.” – Josh Slater-Williams, Sound On Sight

The Mask of Fu Manchu

804. (-146) The Mask of Fu Manchu

Charles Brabin

1932 / USA / 68m / BW / Adventure | IMDb
Boris Karloff, Lewis Stone, Karen Morley, Charles Starrett, Myrna Loy, Jean Hersholt, Lawrence Grant, David Torrence


“The Mask Of Fu Manchu is a typical MGM production, with a headlining star, a name supporting cast, and lavish production values… There is a tendency these days to think of “back then” as a more innocent time; but even a brief examination of the films of the pre-Production Code era should be enough to dispel that misguided notion. The few years between the coming of sound and the crackdown in censorship from 1934 onwards saw the release of numerous films featuring a quite staggering degree of cruelty and perversion… Where The Mask Of Fu Manchu is likely to blindside modern audiences is in the explicit sexual sadism of Fu Manchu’s daughter, Fah Lo See.” – Liz Kingsley, And You Call Yourself a Scientist!?

Le pacte des loups

805. (new) Le pacte des loups

Christophe Gans

2001 / France / 142m / Col / Werewolf | IMDb
Samuel Le Bihan, Vincent Cassel, Émilie Dequenne, Monica Bellucci, Jérémie Renier, Mark Dacascos, Jean Yanne, Jean-François Stévenin, Jacques Perrin, Johan Leysen


“Christophe Gans’ “Brotherhood of the Wolf” takes a colossal leap at that opportunity, melding all sorts of different genres, visual styles, scripting techniques, plot gimmicks, characterizations and story arcs like it were collecting souvenirs on a tourist’s excursion through the northern hemisphere. What’s quite remarkable about the result, at least other than the basic effort to use every element it can in 140 minutes, is how well the movie is made without seeming overly worked or lazy in the process. This isn’t a product that requires time to adapt to all the techniques tossed into the court, either, because it masters a balanced pattern almost as swiftly as the characters sail through their dialogue. It’s a stylish, smart, edgy, exciting and profoundly involving trek though familiar folklore, often better than the masses have been told and even more appealing after repeat viewings.” – David Keyes, Cinemaphile

The Little Girl Who Lives Down the Lane

806. (+7) The Little Girl Who Lives Down the Lane

Nicolas Gessner

1976 / Canada / 100m / Col / Mystery | IMDb
Jodie Foster, Martin Sheen, Alexis Smith, Mort Shuman, Scott Jacoby, Dorothy Davis, Clesson Goodhue, Hubert Noël, Jacques Famery, Mary Morter


“One of the things that make Nicolas Gessner’s film crazier than most ‘70s killing sprees, is that it’s a 13-year-old girl murdering everybody. This, alone, should disturb us – but it doesn’t. Because all the people that die by Jodie Foster’s hands – or rather, in Jodie Foster’s house – had it coming. We don’t know these people that well, but what we do know about them would certainly make us want to kill them too (perhaps not us now, but us in the ‘70s). They are intrusive, harassing, irritating and arrogant, self-involved and out-of-touch. We should be disturbed every time someone dies in the little girl’s house down the lane, but all we can really find in us to do is cheer for her. We don’t disapprove of what she does, we’re just taken aback with how mature and matter-of-fact about it all she is.” – Angeliki Coconi, Unsung Films

The Creature Walks Among Us

807. (new) The Creature Walks Among Us

John Sherwood

1956 / USA / 78m / BW / Science Fiction | IMDb
Jeff Morrow, Rex Reason, Leigh Snowden, Gregg Palmer, Maurice Manson, James Rawley, David McMahon, Paul Fierro, Lillian Molieri, Larry Hudson


“The most interesting aspect… is [the film’s] subtext about the ability of mankind to both transcend his baser nature and decline into cruelty. This is partly represented by the twin nature of the surgically ‘enhanced’ Gill Man, and partly by the various intentions, good and bad, of the scientific community… Rather than the simple equation of monster with Anti-Americanism, we get a relatively complex meditation on the possible futures of man and his ability to create either something better or, equally, to destroy himself. Quite apart from this, the final scene, of the Gill Man staring longingly at the water he can no longer inhabit, is beautiful and moving – a summation of what the trilogy seems to be saying about the way human beings destroy their environment while having the best intentions, and the havoc which this causes to the balance of nature.” – Mike Sutton, The Digital Fix

Not of This Earth

808. (-148) Not of This Earth

Roger Corman

1957 / USA / 67m / BW / Science Fiction | IMDb
Paul Birch, Beverly Garland, Morgan Jones, William Roerick, Jonathan Haze, Dick Miller, Anna Lee Carroll, Pat Flynn, Barbara Bohrer, Roy Engel


“One of director/producer Roger Corman’s earliest science-fiction efforts, and one of his best… The performances are of particular note and Corman composes some finely structured sequences of suspense. But the major difference is in the tone and atmosphere of the piece. This film perhaps more than any illustrated the manner in which the horror film had been absorbed into science fiction in the 1950’s. The writers… offer up an interesting interpretation of vampirism for a post war America paranoid about nuclear annihilation.” – Shaun Anderson, The Celluloid Highway

The Man They Could Not Hang

809. (-147) The Man They Could Not Hang

Nick Grinde

1939 / USA / 64m / BW / Science Fiction | IMDb
Boris Karloff, Lorna Gray, Robert Wilcox, Roger Pryor, Don Beddoe, Ann Doran, Joe De Stefani, Charles Trowbridge, Byron Foulger, Dick Curtis


“The Man They Could Not Hang is a crime drama with dark horror elements; the only thing keeping it from being a complete murder mystery is the fact that the murderer is not a mystery at all. Truth be told, the movie follows a pretty predictable path. Nevertheless, the screenplay, adapted by Karl Brown… drips with tension and suspense… Although Dr. Savaard is one of Karloff’s least sympathetic characters, his performance is both subtle and melodramatic, and the audience still finds itself wanting to root for him, even when he makes the jump from hero to villain for the second half of the movie. It may not have been as big of a hit as some of his other films, but The Man They Could Not Hang helped to transform Boris Karloff from horror icon to legitimate movie star.” – James Jay Edwards, FilmFracture

Gokudô kyôfu dai-gekijô: Gozu

810. (-109) Gokudô kyôfu dai-gekijô: Gozu

Takashi Miike

2003 / Japan / 129m / Col / Surrealism | IMDb
Yûta Sone, Shô Aikawa, Kimika Yoshino, Shôhei Hino, Keiko Tomita, Harumi Sone, Renji Ishibashi, Ken’ichi Endô, Kanpei Hazama, Masaya Katô


“There is an intense emphasis on the sexual, especially on the interplay between imported Western taboos and the traditional (but now largely suppressed) explicit sexual celebrations of the spring fertility festivals. Boldly, Takashi has sidelined phallic imagery to concentrate on various aspects of feminine reproductive sexuality, especially lactation. From this he derives much of his trademark crude humour, but the female characters are never diminished by it. His unrelenting camera draws viewers in to the complex psychology of his virginal hero, at once attracted and repelled by the possibilities inherent in sexual contact, waiting for the remorseless supernatural to liberate him from his mundanely violent life.” – Jennie Kermode, Eye For Film

Grizzly

811. (-28) Grizzly

William Girdler

1976 / USA / 91m / Col / Nature | IMDb
Christopher George, Andrew Prine, Richard Jaeckel, Joan McCall, Joe Dorsey, Charles Kissinger, Kermit Echols, Tom Arcuragi, Victoria Johnson, Kathy Rickman


“A joyful, honest rip-off of many of the storylines, characters, and conventions of Jaws… Girdler’s ode to the friendship/survival horrors of Jaws captures much of that film’s tension on less budget. Besides showing (once again) how creativity, vision, and old fashioned stubbornness is so much more important than digital effects or money, Grizzly emphasizes Girdler’s general artistry and attention to detail. More importantly, the quality of the film as both exploitative shocker and story of meaningful human relationships shows us a director who knows as much about the nature of friendship and sacrifice as he does about techniques of shocking.” – William P. Simmons, Sex Gore Mutants

Voodoo Man

812. (-90) Voodoo Man

William Beaudine

1944 / USA / 62m / BW / Supernatural | IMDb
Bela Lugosi, John Carradine, George Zucco, Wanda McKay, Louise Currie, Tod Andrews, Ellen Hall, Terry Walker, Mary Currier, Claire James


“With Voodoo Man audiences get a glimpse of what the meta-minded future would hold for fans of horror. It’s tongue-in-cheek to be sure, but the thrills are there throughout. Most of the horror; however, is undercut by the humorous antics and comments of the cops who, ultimately, bring about the end of Voodoo Man’s reign… But pay no mind to them. The real focus of Voodoo Man is Lugosi who, in 1944, was churning out some pretty strong performances. The Hungarian-American actor, famous for his performance in the original 1931 version of Dracula, struggled to find his way through the shadowed corners of his career… His role in Voodoo Man might not have helped any of his struggles BUT, as a low grade thriller, his contribution to the thriller does enough to make it worthy of 60-minutes of your time.” – Loron Hays, Reel Reviews

Identity

813. (-29) Identity

James Mangold

2003 / USA / 90m / Col / Thriller | IMDb
John Cusack, Ray Liotta, Amanda Peet, John Hawkes, Alfred Molina, Clea DuVall, John C. McGinley, William Lee Scott, Jake Busey, Pruitt Taylor Vince


“The great thing about a movie like this is that it only reveals knowledge when it expects its own characters to be on the same page; if they are out of the loop, we are stuck right alongside them. And perhaps that’s what identity itself is all about, too: learn things as they come to you rather than have everything implanted in your head ahead of schedule. Watching the film is one of the most engaging experiences you will have at the movies; it is a taut, intelligent and fresh hybrid of a thriller that has as many effective ideas as a mind has brain cells. It tells a story not unlike the conventional murder mystery on the surface, but one very much stimulating and challenging once its skin has been ripped away.” – Peter Anderson, Nameless Horror

Dark Water

814. (-40) Dark Water

Walter Salles

2005 / USA / 105m / Col / Supernatural | IMDb
Jennifer Connelly, John C. Reilly, Tim Roth, Dougray Scott, Pete Postlethwaite, Camryn Manheim, Ariel Gade, Perla Haney-Jardine, Debra Monk, Linda Emond


“Dark Water is slow-paced yet never boring, sober and serious, but certainly not drab. The settings, New York’s dilapidated Roosevelt Island and one startlingly huge apartment complex, are pitch-perfect: gothic, domineering, and quietly unpleasant. While the feather in Dark Water’s cap is Ms. Connelly’s fragile, sympathetic, mildly disconcerting performance, there’s more than enough actors’ accolades to go around: John C. Reilly offers a great turn as a sleazy landlord; Pete Postlethwaite is suitably gamey as a mysterious superintendent; Tim Roth plays (perfectly) against type as an oddly endearing lawyer; folks like Dougray Scott and Camryn Mannheim do great work in decidedly smaller roles.” – Scott Weinberg, DVDTalk.com

Pitch Black

815. (+30) Pitch Black

David Twohy

2000 / USA / 109m / Col / Science Fiction | IMDb
Vin Diesel, Radha Mitchell, Cole Hauser, Keith David, Lewis Fitz-Gerald, Claudia Black, Rhiana Griffith, John Moore, Simon Burke, Les Chantery


“Weirdly cool, coolly weird, assembled with throwaway flair from cast-off sci-fi-thriller pistons and gears… Pitch Black is so jaunty, so limber, and so visually self-assured that art peeks through where crap has traditionally made its home… Rarely has the unknown looked so grubby and yet so beautiful; rarely have crash landings felt so visceral. Besides, the movie’s outlaw aesthetics liberate relatively unknown actors to make the most out of characters sketchier than guests on the Enterprise.” – Lisa Schwarzbaum, Entertainment Weekly

The Omen

816. (-28) The Omen

John Moore

2006 / UK / 110m / Col / Supernatural | IMDb
Predrag Bjelac, Carlo Sabatini, Bohumil Svarc, Liev Schreiber, Giovanni Lombardo Radice, Baby Zikova, Baby Morvas, Baby Muller, Baby Litera, Julia Stiles


“The art direction is superlative and Moore’s cache of visuals vibrant and chilling. The film deploys the color red frequently and to good effect, a sense of bloodcurdling beauty achieved in its subtle inclusion in the sets. The cinematography by Jonathan Sela is delightfully eerie and manages to maintain a sense of the unnerving whilst also offering a somewhat ethereal allure… Moore’s previous films also featured this same audacious and admirable stylistic bent, it might be premature but from a shot making and color blending aesthetic he shows all the signs of a visionary. It’s also worth applauding the restrained use of CGI, a tool often abused by today’s filmmakers; it’s only utilized when absolutely needed here.” – Daniel Kelly, DVD Verdict

Black Christmas

817. (-28) Black Christmas

Glen Morgan

2006 / Canada / 84m / Col / Slasher | IMDb
Katie Cassidy, Michelle Trachtenberg, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Lacey Chabert, Kristen Cloke, Andrea Martin, Crystal Lowe, Oliver Hudson, Karin Konoval, Dean Friss


“It’s no Scream, but it lives up to its title, a black (comedy) Christmas movie, with halls decked with holly, mistletoe and a Christmas tree full of popped eyeballs. Unlike the recent When a Stranger Calls remake (which also starred [Katie] Cassidy), Black Christmas has the smarts to be playful, with a choice selection of festive slasher gags pushing the envelope of bad taste: a candy cane’s sucked into a stabbing weapon and angel-shaped cookie cutters do more than cut cookies. The result’s an undemanding multiplex filler – a ho-ho-horror movie that knows it’s the season to be jolly.” – Jamie Russell, BBC.com

Thir13en Ghosts

818. (-28) Thir13en Ghosts

Steve Beck

2001 / USA / 91m / Col / Haunted House | IMDb
Tony Shalhoub, Embeth Davidtz, Matthew Lillard, Shannon Elizabeth, Alec Roberts, JR Bourne, Rah Digga, F. Murray Abraham, Matthew Harrison, Jacob Rupp


“What we’re here for are the ghosts, the gore, and the cheesy thrills. Whatever else may be said about 13 Ghosts, it does deliver those. It also boasts gorgeous production design in the form of the centerpiece haunted house — a bizarre glass-walled structure that proves the old adage, “A house is not a home.” In this case, it isn’t even really a house, but a fantasticated machine “designed by the devil and powered by the dead.” The idea is more interesting than the execution, but at least it’s interesting… Subtle the film may not be, but it does know how to make the audience jump. It isn’t a good movie. It doesn’t pretend to be. It’s just a straightforward thrill ride for the Halloween season. Take it for that and you might have some fun with it.” – Ken Hanke, Mountain Xpress

My Bloody Valentine

819. (-15) My Bloody Valentine

Patrick Lussier

2009 / USA / 101m / Col / Slasher | IMDb
Jensen Ackles, Jaime King, Kerr Smith, Betsy Rue, Edi Gathegi, Tom Atkins, Kevin Tighe, Megan Boone, Karen Baum, Joy de la Paz


“Most of the three-dimensional effects are precisely what you would expect, with everything from pickaxes to tree limbs to various body parts coming out of the screen. It’s undeniably hokey, but also giddily effective, turning what might otherwise be a routine slash-and-hack job into a ridiculously gory theme park ride (the fact that “3-D” is part of the film’s official title is a clue as to how important it is to its effectiveness). Director Patrick Lussier plays everything to the hilt, taking additional license with the third dimension to goose the audience with both old-school make-up special effects and digital trickery that, in the movie’s first true shock moment, puts an eyeball right in your lap.” – James Kendrick, QNetwork

Halloween H20: 20 Years Later

820. (-14) Halloween H20: 20 Years Later

Steve Miner

1998 / USA / 86m / Col / Slasher | IMDb
Jamie Lee Curtis, Adam Arkin, Michelle Williams, Adam Hann-Byrd, Jodi Lyn O’Keefe, Janet Leigh, Josh Hartnett, LL Cool J, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Branden Williams


“Scream scripter Kevin Williamson, a true-blue Halloween fan, revitalized the moribund stalk-and-slash genre with clever dialogue, self-referential irony and a healthy respect for horror traditions. Although he’s not credited as a screenwriter on H20 (he’s listed up with the co-executive producers), Williamson’s hand is all over it, from the sharp in-jokes to the fact that the about-to-be-terrorized teens are watching Scream 2 on TV before the real screaming starts. And it’s a blast… Director Steve Miner, who cut his teeth on Friday the 13th sequels, does a more than respectable job, supplying the requisite false scares (including a very effective sequence involving a mother, her little girl, and a highway rest-stop bathroom) and keeping the whole business moving at a brisk clip.” – Marc Savlov, Austin Chronicle

Friday the 13th: A New Beginning

821. (-104) Friday the 13th: A New Beginning

Danny Steinmann

1985 / USA / 92m / Col / Slasher | IMDb
Melanie Kinnaman, John Shepherd, Shavar Ross, Richard Young, Marco St. John, Juliette Cummins, Carol Locatell, Vernon Washington, John Robert Dixon, Jerry Pavlon


“Setting the movie in and around a mental institute provides some freshness, plus an amusingly excessive early moment in which a twitchy inmate hacks up a fellow resident just for being fat and annoying. The “mystery” killer gets an array of sinister close-ups just in case we can’t guess for ourselves, and many characters are introduced for the purpose of having flares / meat cleavers / machetes shoved into their bodies. The deepest character development is to give one guy a stutter.” – Steven West, Horrorscreams

Quarantine

822. (-15) Quarantine

John Erick Dowdle

2008 / USA / 89m / Col / Zombie | IMDb
Jennifer Carpenter, Steve Harris, Jay Hernandez, Johnathon Schaech, Columbus Short, Andrew Fiscella, Rade Serbedzija, Greg Germann, Bernard White, Dania Ramirez


“Spotlights constantly flashing into the building’s windows from buzzing helicopters, police sirens wailing outside, and blaring bullhorn announcements create an relentless feeling of discomfort. The constant drone nearly irritates. And a lack of light — the electricity is cut to the building — coupled with the hand-held camera’s narrow field-of-vision give us an extreme sense of claustrophobia. Despite its lack of originality, the film’s script is actually quite tight and plays a huge part in the effectiveness of the film. The writers managed to avoid the oft-traversed pitfalls that slap the viewer back to reality with situations that don’t seem real… or with people who don’t behave as we’d expect. Here we’re totally convinced and find ourselves completely absorbed in the tragic situation at hand. Especially in a post-911 world, it’s not unrealistic to think we could find ourselves abandoned by authority. Now more than ever, we realize that every man for himself can be the difference between life and death.” – Frank Wilkins, Reel Talk

Friday the 13th

823. (-15) Friday the 13th

Marcus Nispel

2009 / USA / 97m / Col / Slasher | IMDb
Jared Padalecki, Danielle Panabaker, Amanda Righetti, Travis Van Winkle, Aaron Yoo, Derek Mears, Jonathan Sadowski, Julianna Guill, Ben Feldman, Arlen Escarpeta


“Marcus Nispel’s remake… isn’t really a remake at all. After dispensing with Mrs. Voorhees before the opening credits, it launches into a brand new slaughterfest that sporadically pays homage to scenes from the first three films but stays truest only to their formula. And yet it works. It is easily the best Friday the 13th ever made, if only by virtue of the fact that it’s actually pretty good. How good? That depends what you’re looking for. By now, you know whether Friday the 13th is your kind of movie, and if it’s not, you’ve probably stopped reading by now. If it is, be assured that the acting is passable, the effects are impressively convincing, and the suspense is real. It’s not a great film, but it is a frightening one, and what more do you need to know?” – Rossiter Drake, San Francisco Examiner

A Nightmare on Elm Street

824. (-15) A Nightmare on Elm Street

Samuel Bayer

2010 / USA / 95m / Col / Slasher | IMDb
Jackie Earle Haley, Kyle Gallner, Rooney Mara, Katie Cassidy, Thomas Dekker, Kellan Lutz, Clancy Brown, Connie Britton, Lia D. Mortensen, Julianna Damm


“Jackie Earle Haley is the new Freddy Krueger, less camp and more scary than the Robert Englund version, as he slices and dices his way through a cast of exhausted all-Americans. Does it matter that the plot is little more than a cynical, machine-tooled retread of the 1984 original? Debut director Samuel Bayer was not hired to dismantle the franchise but to shoot it afresh. He gives us a film in which the teens are screaming and the blood is flowing; a steel-jawed little man-trap tucked just beneath the duvet.” – Xan Brooks, The Guardian

Terrore nello spazio

825. (+96) Terrore nello spazio

Mario Bava

1965 / Italy / 88m / Col / Science Fiction | IMDb
Barry Sullivan, Norma Bengell, Ángel Aranda, Evi Marandi, Stelio Candelli, Franco Andrei, Fernando Villena, Mario Morales, Ivan Rassimov, Federico Boido


“Planet of the Vampires certainly is schlock and pulp that’s been gorgeously rendered by Bava’s art house sensibilities. It’s perhaps as beautiful as a film can be when it’s dealing with reanimated bodies and soul-sucking beings from outer space, but it doesn’t come without that signature, underlying Bava weirdness that makes it genuinely effective beyond its goriness. At this point in his career, Bava still couldn’t be fussed to move his films along at the breakneck, nightmarish pace of his later work, so Planet of the Vampires is another one of those half-remembered dreams that unfolds in puzzle-like increments that are slowly pieced together.” – Brett Gallman, Oh, The Horror

I Am Legend

826. (-44) I Am Legend

Francis Lawrence

2007 / USA / 101m / Col / Post-Apocalyptic | IMDb
Will Smith, Alice Braga, Charlie Tahan, Salli Richardson-Whitfield, Willow Smith, Darrell Foster, April Grace, Dash Mihok, Joanna Numata, Abbey


“I Am Legend is a stark and stunning reality check nightmare portrait of a destroyed world, as Neville roams the dangerous urban wilderness that is now Manhattan, dodging carnivorous creatures, with a rifle in tow. And with his trusty German Shepherd Samantha as his sole companion, lending desperate new meaning to the notion of man’s best friend. Will Smith’s astounding performance as he carries the grim weight of this epic ordeal on his shoulders solo, is never less than physically, psychologically and emotionally shattering from moment to gripping moment.” – Prairie Miller, News Blaze

Friday the 13th Part VII: The New Blood

827. (-10) Friday the 13th Part VII: The New Blood

John Carl Buechler

1988 / USA / 88m / Col / Slasher | IMDb
Jennifer Banko, John Otrin, Susan Blu, Lar Park-Lincoln, Terry Kiser, Kevin Spirtas, Susan Jennifer Sullivan, Heidi Kozak, Kane Hodder, William Butler


“[It] really wants to do something different. “Different,” in this case, means gene-splicing elements from another film into the familiar formula, and the result – about a face-off between the hulking masked maniac and a troubled teen with telekinesis – is fondly if not quite respectfully called “Carrie Meets Jason.” You cannot really take the results seriously, but they are fun, offering both an interesting subplot and a chance to see something never really shown in a Friday film before: Jason getting his ass handed to him on a platter. “Purists” might object to seeing their favorite anti-hero dissed so badly, but anyone looking for a good time should be able to get at least a few chuckles out of seeing Jason meet his match.” – Steve Biodrowski, Cinefantastique

Le viol du vampire

828. (-87) Le viol du vampire

Jean Rollin

1968 / France / 95m / Col / Vampire | IMDb
Solange Pradel, Bernard Letrou, Ariane Sapriel, Eric Yan, Jacqueline Sieger, Catherine Deville, Ursule Pauly, Nicole Romain, Marquis Polho, Don Burhans


“The film is not really about anything, it is a series of abstract images, vaguely strung together with vampiric imagery that isn’t of the traditional stripe. This film is about atmosphere, more than perhaps any other film I’ve ever seen. It is incomparable in style and in substance, and yet feels quite at home in his filmography… Jean Rollin was a filmmaker for whom his work became an extension of himself. His films are all somewhat similar because he shot what he knew and what he felt. The chaos of late ’60s France made a huge impression on Rollin, and the abstract nature of The Rape of the Vampire reflects this chaos and puts it to the screen in a unique way that marries violence with eroticism in the very French tradition of the Grand Guignol.” – Charlie Hobbs, ScreenAnarchy

Monkey Shines

829. (-19) 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

Dracula: Dead and Loving It

830. (-1) Dracula: Dead and Loving It

Mel Brooks

1995 / USA / 88m / Col / Vampire | IMDb
Leslie Nielsen, Peter MacNicol, Steven Weber, Amy Yasbeck, Lysette Anthony, Harvey Korman, Mel Brooks, Mark Blankfield, Megan Cavanagh, Clive Revill


“[The title] is so perfect that it’s almost a good-will ambassador for Mel Brooks’s slight but amusing new parody. Mr. Brooks may no longer be at the forefront of silly comedy, but he’s still laying on the genre gags, horrible puns and enema references with dependable good cheer. So even if this “Dracula” is thin-blooded, its better moments redeem a lot of dead air… Mr. Brooks has recruited the ever-sporting Leslie Nielsen to play a charmingly dim Dracula and give this film the feeling of an undead “Naked Gun.” Mr. Nielsen proves equally good at capturing the Count’s hauteur and at falling down a flight of stairs after slipping on bat droppings.” – Janet Maslin, The New York Times

Little Shop of Horrors

831. (+18) Little Shop of Horrors

Frank Oz

1986 / USA / 94m / Col / Musical | IMDb
Levi Stubbs, Rick Moranis, Ellen Greene, Vincent Gardenia, Steve Martin, Tichina Arnold, Michelle Weeks, Tisha Campbell-Martin, James Belushi, John Candy


“Shot in vivid colour and interspersed with some terrific songs, this is a formulaic story but a hell of a ride. It benefits from pitch-perfect performances all round and a great villain in the form of the ever more elaborate plant. This is a film which the whole family can enjoy, but little ones may hide their eyes towards the end, when the plant resorts to violence. More graphic but without the darkness of the original, it’s a tale whose power is in the telling. After seeing it, you won’t look at your flowerbeds the same way again.” – Jennie Kermode, Eye For Film

The Witches of Eastwick

832. (-83) The Witches of Eastwick

George Miller

1987 / USA / 118m / Col / Witchcraft | IMDb
Jack Nicholson, Cher, Susan Sarandon, Michelle Pfeiffer, Veronica Cartwright, Richard Jenkins, Keith Jochim, Carel Struycken, Helen Lloyd Breed, Caroline Struzik


“Nicholson is definitely dancing on the edge as the antihero of “The Witches of Eastwick,” but then so was John Updike when he wrote the risque’ 1984 best seller. Now screen writer Michael Cristofer compounds the chaos with a beguiling brew of satanic spoof, sexual bickering, monster mash and Gothic slapstick comedy. If Hawthorne were alive and well in the ‘80s and inclined to caffeine abuse, he might have penned this frantic genre-bender, with its uninhibited exploration of repression’s fruits — political and physical — with Daryl as devil’s advocate to the women’s movement.” – Rita Kempley, Washington Post

The Mad Magician

833. (-104) The Mad Magician

John Brahm

1954 / USA / 72m / BW / Mystery | IMDb
Vincent Price, Mary Murphy, Eva Gabor, John Emery, Donald Randolph, Lenita Lane, Patrick O’Neal, Jay Novello


“[Director] Brahm never really penetrated into a permanent position on the A-list echelon, but he had his moments, as evidenced by big hits like The Lodger and its follow up Hangover Square. The Mad Magician is in itself something of a follow up, an obvious attempt to cash in on the huge box office that had been generated by 1953’s Vincent Price extravaganza House of Wax 3D… The Mad Magician doesn’t quite have the moody style of some of Brahm’s best work, but some of the film occasionally hints at German Abstract Expressionism in some of its framings, while also attempting to fully utilize the then already cooling fad of 3D.” – Jeffrey Kauffman, Blu-ray.com

Rose Red

834. (-165) 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

Linkeroever

835. (-93) Linkeroever

Pieter Van Hees

2008 / Belgium / 102m / Col / Mystery | IMDb
Eline Kuppens, Matthias Schoenaerts, Sien Eggers, Marilou Mermans, Frank Vercruyssen, Robbie Cleiren, Ruth Becquart, Tinneke Boonen, Sara De Bosschere


“A bizarre blend of urban drama, erotic thriller and occult mystery set in Antwerp… This modern horror tries to recreate the chills that were so brilliantly achieved by Roman Polanski in both Rosemary’s Baby and The Tenant, and by Robin Hardy in The Wicker Man; as well as the weirdness that made Lars von Trier’s The Kingdom a masterpiece of the genre. Technically the film is well crafted, with creative camerawork, moody photography (that perfectly captures the urban decay of this part of northern Europe) and sombre scoring. There are moments of pure scariness, like the strange physical manifestations that Marie suffers in the course of her journey – including icky secretions and thick hairs growing out of non-healing wounds… While it’s no masterpiece, and the film begs a better ending, Left Bank is a skilful exercise in atmospherics.” – Peter Fuller, Movie Talk

Jaws 2

836. (-18) Jaws 2

Jeannot Szwarc

1978 / USA / 116m / Col / Nature | IMDb
Roy Scheider, Lorraine Gary, Murray Hamilton, Joseph Mascolo, Jeffrey Kramer, Collin Wilcox Paxton, Ann Dusenberry, Mark Gruner, Barry Coe, Susan French


“Jaws 2 gets an unfair rap as a sequel, mainly because the following sequels were atrocious. Jaws 2 seemingly gets lumbered in with them when people talk about the follow-ups but it’s actually a rather decent sequel which is far better than it has any right to be. Though still a troubled production like its predecessor, Jaws 2 manages to deliver decent suspense, another solid performance (if better) by Roy Scheider and, of course, some plentiful shark action. The main problem is that it tries to replicate the original but without the best parts.” – Andrew Smith, Popcorn Pictures

Darkness Falls

837. (-167) Darkness Falls

Jonathan Liebesman

2003 / USA / 86m / Col / Monster | 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

Roadgames

838. (-13) 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

Blue Sunshine

839. (-20) Blue Sunshine

Jeff Lieberman

1978 / USA / 94m / Col / Zombie | IMDb
Zalman King, Deborah Winters, Mark Goddard, Robert Walden, Charles Siebert, Ann Cooper, Ray Young, Alice Ghostley, Stefan Gierasch, Richard Crystal


“The fantastic thing about Blue Sunshine is that it’s not some grungy, low-wattage chiller hanging on numbing shock value to entertain the masses. Instead, Lieberman scripts up something displaying a little restraint, turning the wrath of bald madmen into a tasteful thriller of sorts, highlighting Jerry’s clumsy attempts at detecting and evading. The majority of the movie is devoted to the wanted man gathering critical clues, trying desperately to understand what’s behind the sudden rash of murderous behavior. The investigative aspects of Blue Sunshine are actually semi-compelling, resembling a crisp television production from the 1970s (even including a cameo by Alice Ghostley), keeping tensions brightly lit and emphatically performed. Not that the central mystery behind the drug makes a whole heap of sense, but the director sells the rising anxiety with confidence, pulling the viewer into this odd world of emotional outbursts and heated interrogation.” – Bloody Disgusting

La vergine di Norimberga

840. (-13) La vergine di Norimberga

Antonio Margheriti

1963 / Italy / 84m / Col / Gothic | IMDb
Rossana Podestà, Georges Rivière, Christopher Lee, Jim Dolen, Anny Degli Uberti, Luigi Severini, Luciana Milone, Lucile Saint-Simon, Patrick Walton, Consalvo Dell’Arti


“Directed with a knowing hand by Antonio Margheriti, La Vergine di Norimberga is undoubtedly among the filmmaker’s finest work. This delirious dreamscape to the Cinema of Sadism is infused with gothic atmosphere and a ubiquitous sense of dread from start to finish. Along with the best works of Mario Bava and Riccardo Freda, La Vergine di Norimberga epitomises and legitimises the stellar reputation of Italy’s “Golden Age” of horror output in the 1960s. An under-appreciated classic, it is also a high watermark for genre films concerned with thematising Nazi atrocities.” – Christopher Dietrich, KinoEye

The Green Slime

841. (-13) The Green Slime

Kinji Fukasaku

1968 / USA / 90m / Col / Science Fiction | IMDb
Robert Horton, Luciana Paluzzi, Richard Jaeckel, Bud Widom, Ted Gunther, David Yorston, Robert Dunham, Gary Randolf, Jack Morris, Eugene Vince


“A crazy psychedelic sci-fi monster mash made in Japan with an American cast, The Green Slime is great fun on many levels… Aimed primarily at schoolkids, The Green Slime actually has elements of the later sci-fi horror Alien and its first sequel Aliens, as the green slime creature begins to replicate itself and the movie becomes an all-out battle between the creatures and a bunch of space marines! The special effects are dated but fun, the monsters look like something from The Power Rangers tv show and the space station designs are colorful and funky. On its original release in the States (in 1969) The Green Slime had great box-office but terrible reviews.” – Richard Gladman, Classic Horror Campaign

Hocus Pocus

842. (-63) 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

Crash

843. (-9) Crash

David Cronenberg

1996 / Canada / 100m / Col / Body Horror | IMDb
James Spader, Holly Hunter, Elias Koteas, Deborah Kara Unger, Rosanna Arquette, Peter MacNeill, Yolande Julian, Cheryl Swarts, Judah Katz, Nicky Guadagni


“A surreal meditation on sex, death and the eroticism of destruction, “Crash,” opening today at Bay Area theaters, focuses on an underground cult of car-crash fetishists. Transformed by scrapes with death, they sexualize each other’s scars and limb injuries, re-enact famous celebrity collisions – James Dean’s, for starters – and then have it off inside or next to the smashed-up mechanical corpses. Not surprisingly, “Crash” raised a huge stink at last year’s Cannes Film Festival, where it repulsed a big chunk of its audience but won a special jury prize for “originality, daring and audacity.” “Crash” also outraged Ted Turner, whose Turner Entertainment owns the film’s distributor, Fine Line Pictures, and held up the film’s release.” – Edward Guthmann, San Francisco Chronicle

Naked Lunch

844. (-9) Naked Lunch

David Cronenberg

1991 / Canada / 115m / Col / Body Horror | IMDb
Peter Weller, Judy Davis, Ian Holm, Julian Sands, Roy Scheider, Monique Mercure, Nicholas Campbell, Michael Zelniker, Robert A. Silverman, Joseph Scoren


“Cronenberg, a far more rational talent, plays down the hysteria-pitched homoeroticism and turns Naked Lunch into a poky, absurdist comedy of dehumanization — the story of a man quietly watching his own sanity dribble away. The movie suggests that the suppressed agony of killing his wife has turned Lee into a writer. He has to keep rechanneling his pain into paranoid visions; he literally can’t get the bugs out of his system. Peter Weller, the poker-faced star of RoboCop, greets all of the hallucinogenic weirdness with a doleful, matter-of-fact deadpan that grows more likable as the movie goes on. The actor’s steely robostare has never been more compelling. By the end, he has turned Burroughs’ stone-cold protagonist — a man with no feelings — into a mordantly touching hero. Naked Lunch is a folly, but a surprisingly resonant and amusing one. From first shot to last, it has the courage of its own dementia.” – Owen Gleiberman, Entertainment Weekly

Perfect Blue

845. (+17) Perfect Blue

Satoshi Kon

1997 / Japan / 81m / Col / Psychological | IMDb
Junko Iwao, Rica Matsumoto, Shinpachi Tsuji, Masaaki ôkura, Yôsuke Akimoto, Yoku Shioya, Hideyuki Hori, Emi Shinohara, Masashi Ebara, Kiyoyuki Yanada


“This striking picture… [pulls] off the rare trick of telling a story worth doing in live action while managing visual effects only possible in the cartoon medium… Though it’s a neat woman-in-peril thriller, this is most striking as a look into the life of a Japanese media sensation, used up at the end of her teens, and squashed into a tiny apartment with her goldfish and too many ghosts. The film even goes so far as to expose the bizarre streak of paedophilia in Japanese pop culture, whereby it’s all right for a doll-like girl child to be a fantasy object but a sexual woman is shockingly transgressive. Perfect Blue is scary, funny, poignant and thoughtful, but also delivers thriller set-pieces that rank with the best of De Palma or Argento” – Kim Newman, Empire

Raising Cain

846. (-24) 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

Friday the 13th Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan

847. (-15) Friday the 13th Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan

Rob Hedden

1989 / USA / 100m / Col / Slasher | IMDb
Todd Caldecott, Tiffany Paulsen, Tim Mirkovich, Kane Hodder, Jensen Daggett, Barbara Bingham, Alex Diakun, Peter Mark Richman, Ace, Warren Munson


“Directed by Rob Hedden, Jason Takes Manhattan is the one installment that I have a love/hate relationship with. I hate that I love it because it’s probably one of the weakest installments in the entire franchise but yet, there are so many great moments too including the rooftop boxing match between Jason and Julius, Jason knocking over the thugs boombox, the scene in the diner with a future “Jason”, and sewer-face Jason at the end… Overall, as a horror fan, even the weakest of movies can still hold a place in my heart and Jason Takes Manhattan is definitely one of them. I mean, taking the serial killer and putting him on a boat isn’t the silliest thing you could do — you could always send him to space.” – Heather Wixson, Dread Central

Copycat

848. (-2) Copycat

Jon Amiel

1995 / USA / 123m / Col / Crime | IMDb
Sigourney Weaver, Holly Hunter, Dermot Mulroney, William McNamara, Harry Connick Jr., J.E. Freeman, Will Patton, John Rothman, Shannon O’Hurley, Bob Greene


“So creepy and dangerous-feeling that it’s like a knife edge pressed against the jugular… Focused on the twisted minds of serial killers, one of whom is stalking the movie’s heroine, “Copycat” strangely combines fascinating forensics with a sense of certain, skin-ripping doom. Almost every moment of this film, set in San Francisco, is brilliant and disturbing, the two aspects mirroring each other. Directed by Briton Jon Amiel, who made the great “Singing Detective” for television, “Copycat” has an unusual twist — the heroes are female as well as the victims. The gender shift is both bold and subtle, a case of women reacting against the violence aimed at them and responding with calculated, equal force.” – Peter Stack, San Francisco Chronicle

The Mask

849. (-9) The Mask

Julian Roffman

1961 / Canada / 83m / Col / Thriller | IMDb
Paul Stevens, Claudette Nevins, Bill Walker, Anne Collings, Martin Lavut, Leo Leyden, Norman Ettlinger, Bill Brydon, Jim Moran, Eleanor Beecroft


“The strange aspect of the movie is that there is a very schizophrenic feeling it gives off. While the non-3D sequences are somewhat tame (while still being expertly shot in stark black and white by cinematographer Herbert S. Alpert), the 3D sequences are quite brilliantly directed and shot, almost as if they were created by an entirely different crew. They have this cerebral and surrealist vibe to them, something akin to the best aspects of Georges Franju, FW Murnau, Dali, and William Caste put in a blender, that results in a beautiful fever dream (literally) captured on celluloid… the strength of the film and the reason that people should continue watching The Mask despite its shortcomings — beyond its importance in Canadian cinematic history — lies in these scenes.” – Joe Yanick, Diabolique Magazine

I Drink Your Blood

850. (+25) I Drink Your Blood

David E. Durston

1970 / USA / 83m / Col / Exploitation | IMDb
Bhaskar Roy Chowdhury, Jadin Wong, Rhonda Fultz, George Patterson, Riley Mills, John Damon, Elizabeth Marner-Brooks, Richard Bowler, Tyde Kierney, Iris Brooks


“Energetic, sloppy and entirely watchable (especially if you’re sitting down with bong and/or beer), David Durston’s I Drink Your Blood is true-blue camp all the way. Plus it’s vicious, violent, and frequently fall-down funny. Clearly created with a grindhouse-style audience in mind, IDYB doesn’t worry too much about the quality of what’s onscreen, but the quantity of outrageous shit it can pull off before the end credits hit the scene. Frankly you haven’t lived until you’ve seen a gang of Satanist hippies massacre a house full of rats before chowing down on rabid dogmeat and flying into a mega-murderous rage. Before it’s all over, I Drink Your Blood has turned into a decidedly stupider version of Romero’s original Night of the Living Dead, but the thing whizzes along like a really bad hit of acid. And while it’s highly unlikely to ever be considered a “good film” (by any definition of the phrase), there’s little denying that I Drink Your Blood delivers on its promise of wild, weird and frequently wacky material.” – Scott Weinberg, DVD Talk

Frankenstein and the Monster from Hell

851. (+25) 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

Hands of the Ripper

852. (-160) Hands of the Ripper

Peter Sasdy

1971 / UK / 85m / Col / Slasher | IMDb
Eric Porter, Angharad Rees, Jane Merrow, Keith Bell, Derek Godfrey, Dora Bryan, Marjorie Rhodes, Lynda Baron, Marjie Lawrence, Margaret Rawlings


“While the character development is certainly the main cause for the sinister atmosphere in this tale, the director also must be give props for having a very keen eye for subtlety. Even though this film features much gorier deaths than we expect from Hammer, the gore never seems over-the-top. This is because the director shows just enough so you capture how horrible the crime was, but does not linger on it too much that you actually go “eeeewwwww… gross.” He didn’t want us to come away from this movie thinking it was a low-grade “hack em up film” Instead he focused our attention on the horror behind Anna’s multiple personalities. This is most seen in the end scene, which I will not ruin for anyone. What I can say is that while there was defiantly room to go with the lowest common gore denominator at the movie’s climax, he instead showed off some very impressive camera work and emphasized the suspense and tragedy instead.” – Jenn Dlugos

Fiend Without a Face

853. (+33) Fiend Without a Face

Arthur Crabtree

1958 / UK / 75m / BW / Science Fiction | IMDb
Marshall Thompson, Kynaston Reeves, Kim Parker, Stanley Maxted, Terry Kilburn, James Dyrenforth, Robert MacKenzie, Peter Madden, Gil Winfield, Michael Balfour


“Director Arthur Crabtree kept the formulaic story moving forward and the mood grimly earnest. His straight-ahead style serves the material without ruffles or flourishes, although his pacing is too leisurely through the first half. But when the monsters show at the climax, that’s when the oh-boy starts. They’re brought to life via Harryhausen-style stop-motion animation that’s better than you might expect while still maintaining a pleasurable cheese factor. Naturally, expect to whistle past gaps in plot logic (where’s all that light coming from in that sealed windowless crypt? Is dynamiting the control room to a nuclear reactor ever really a good idea?), which should be all part of the fun.” – Mark Bourne, DVD Journal

Nadja

854. (+62) Nadja

Michael Almereyda

1994 / USA / 93m / BW / Vampire | IMDb
Elina Löwensohn, Nic Ratner, Karl Geary, Peter Fonda, Martin Donovan, Jack Lotz, Galaxy Craze, David Lynch, Isabel Gillies, José Zúñiga


“Almereyda uses New York clubs as the backdrop for this vampire saga — a stroke of genius — much the way Jean Cocteau did when, in “Orphee,” he set the myth of Orpheus among a group of squabbling Left Bank poets — as a means of giving a classic story a sharp, contemporary edge. Almereyda shares some of Cocteau’s sense of film as a magic plaything. Shot in hallucinatory black-and-white by Jim Denault — who also works the Pixelvision camera used in some sequences — the film has an atmosphere that fluctuates between languid and hysterical. Visually, it’s a thrilling movie, gorgeously, hypnotically textured. Images fly in from all over—a snippet of Bela Lugosi’s Rorschach eyebrows, a few frames of a ravishing peasant girl, a grainy long shot of a skulking, caped figure — as if Almereyda had found a way of patching directly into the collective pop id.” – Hal Hinson, Washington Post

Countess Dracula

855. (+33) 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

Jiao zi

856. (-36) Jiao zi

Fruit Chan

2004 / Hong Kong / 91m / Col / Black Comedy | IMDb
Pauline Lau, Tony Leung Ka Fai, Bai Ling, Meme Tian, So-Fun Wong, Miriam Yeung Chin Wah, Miki Yeung


“A refreshing change from the usual lank-haired ghost stories of extreme Asian cinema, this Hong Kong horror trades on nausea rather than nerve-jangling. Cooked up by mysterious medicine woman Bai Ling, the titular delicacy takes years off desperate housewife Miriam Yeung thanks to a sinister special ingredient. It’s a blackly comic comment on society’s obsession with appearance… Fruit Chan’s movie is an expansion of his 37-minute contribution to 2002 omnibus Three Extremes. At times there’s a sense that it should’ve stayed in its shorter form; the plot treads water in places, especially in the lead-up to the final sick-trigger surprise. On the other hand, you can never have too much of ace cinematographer Chris Doyle’s (Hero, In The Mood For Love) lip-smacking work.” – Matthew Leyland, BBCi – Films

Les raisins de la mort

857. (+33) Les raisins de la mort

Jean Rollin

1978 / France / 85m / Col / Zombie | IMDb
Marie-Georges Pascal, Félix Marten, Serge Marquand, Mirella Rancelot, Patrice Valota, Patricia Cartier, Michel Herval, Brigitte Lahaie, Paul Bisciglia, Olivier Rollin


“If you appreciate Rollin’s gothic, sexually provocative films, you should love this, his most suspenseful and accessible production ever. Even if you aren’t a Rollin fan, you may like this. The apocalyptic story moves along at a much faster clip than the ordinary Rollin sex-vampire art film, and like “Night” it features an ending that doesn’t sell out. It’s also one of Rollins’ most chillingly beautiful films: He makes incredibly effective use of ancient French buildings. Seeing an army of Romero-esque ogres (one carrying a severed head) shuffling around them at night is wonderfully chilling.” – Lucius Gore, eSplatter

Fascination

858. (-34) Fascination

Jean Rollin

1979 / France / 80m / Col / Vampire | IMDb
Franca Maï, Brigitte Lahaie, Jean-Marie Lemaire, Fanny Magier, Muriel Montossé, Sophie Noël, Evelyne Thomas, Agnès Bert, Cyril Val, Myriam Watteau


“The story breaks down more or less into a series of surreal erotic episodes, with Rollin lingering over his trademark dreamy lesbian love scenes and plenty of nudity from the gorgeous Lahaie. However, as in Rollin’s best films no matter how off-kilter and strange the imagery, the plot proves surprisingly coherent when approached on its own terms as a waking dream. Rollin takes a cultured, elegant approach to sexploitation-horror with the emphasis on the poetic and magical aspects. He milks the dreamlike atmosphere provided by that fantastically evocative, mist-shrouded chateau, for all its worth and conjures other indelible images from close-ups on blood-stained lips to Lahaie’s big scythe-wielding moment. Arguably the finest hardcore porn star-turned straight actress, the future novelist/talk show host is mesmerising here.” – Andrew Pragasam, The Spinning Image

Curtains

859. (-131) 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

Don't Go in the House

860. (+37) Don’t Go in the House

Joseph Ellison

1979 / USA / 82m / Col / Exploitation | IMDb
Dan Grimaldi, Charles Bonet, Bill Ricci, Robert Osth, Dennis M. Hunter, John Hedberg, Ruth Dardick, Johanna Brushay, Darcy Shean, Mary Ann Chinn


“Think of Don’t Go In The House as a modern-day take on Psycho, and replace knives with flamethrowers and you’ve got the idea. In fact, it shares more with Psycho than a lot of the gorier slasher films from the era like The Prowler and My Bloody Valentine in that much of the film is more a psychological study of a severely disturbed individual irredeemably harmed by his mother, and that the film doesn’t really wallow in the explicit gore that other slasher films like Maniac did at the time. That’s not to say Don’t Go In The House isn’t unsettling or disturbing – it most certainly is, most notably in the film’s most infamous scene where Donny roasts his first victim in his self-made crematorium. The scene is chillingly clinical in its coldness, and the effects are surprisingly – and nauseously – well executed.” – Stuart Giesel, Digital Retribution

The Last Winter

861. (+37) 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

Return of the Living Dead III

862. (+39) Return of the Living Dead III

Brian Yuzna

1993 / USA / 97m / Col / Zombie | IMDb
Kent McCord, James T. Callahan, Sarah Douglas, Melinda Clarke, Abigail Lenz, J. Trevor Edmond, Jill Andre, Michael Decker, Billy Kane, Mike Moroff


“While it isn’t as gleefully excessive as the previous year’s Dead Alive, Return of the Living Dead III is an incredible display of body horror and splatter. Yuzna’s always been a sort of poor-man’s Cronenberg, but he’s hit some incredible highs during his career, with this being one of them. Not content to merely create nondescript, shambling zombies, Yuzna embraces the franchise’s legacy of unique designs. Tarman might be absent, but he’s not completely missed, as Yuzna conjures up a fun array of creatures, including one that has an elongated spine after his head is almost severed from its body. The accompanying eviscerations, impalements, and, (of course) brai(iiiiii)n eating are messy and gooey, so it’s a great practical effects showcase.” – Brett Gallman, Oh, The Horror

Nachts, wenn Dracula erwacht

863. (-33) Nachts, wenn Dracula erwacht

Jesús Franco

1970 / Spain / 98m / Col / Vampire | IMDb
Christopher Lee, Herbert Lom, Klaus Kinski, Soledad Miranda, Maria Rohm, Fred Williams, Paul Muller, Jack Taylor, Jesús Puente, José Martínez Blanco


“Christopher Lee had by 1970 quite had it with the Hammer presentation of the [vampire] count, though he continued to appear in several more of their Dracula films. Increasingly given less to do and what little there was being inane, Lee longed to do a proper version of Stoker’s book, with Dracula starting old and growing younger as he feeds on the blood of the living. He found what he wanted with Franco’s Spanish-Italian-German production, since it overall holds quite close to the original in story (far more so than the Coppola version) and in detail, while large chunks of dialogue are lifted straight from the text. Other than the necessary compaction of story to fit a movie, and the elimination of one of Lucy’s extraneous beaux, Arthur Holmwood, it does Stoker reasonably good justice.” – Mark Zimmer, Digitally Obsessed!

Alone in the Dark

864. (+43) Alone in the Dark

Jack Sholder

1982 / USA / 92m / Col / Slasher | IMDb
Jack Palance, Donald Pleasence, Martin Landau, Dwight Schultz, Erland van Lidth, Deborah Hedwall, Lee Taylor-Allan, Phillip Clark, Elizabeth Ward, Brent Jennings


“Director Sholder borrows from many of Carpenter’s storytelling staples, even including the slaying of a sexy babysitter, but for all intents and purposes, those derivations are forgiven. Because, it all sums up as a harrowing glimpse into madness, that becomes a wonderful variation on “Straw Dogs.” Folks like Jack Palance and Martin Landau give utterly menacing performances, as they dive into the personalities of these pure animals, and we’re aware that like it or not, Dr. Potter will have to fight them off eventually. What begins as a revenge film then transforms into a definite survival horror picture in the vein of “Night of the Living Dead” as Potter and his family must fend off the foursome of murderers and attempt to seek help from local police.” – Felix Vasquez Jr., Cinema Crazed

Paranoiac

865. (+46) Paranoiac

Freddie Francis

1963 / UK / 80m / Col / Thriller | IMDb
Janette Scott, Oliver Reed, Sheila Burrell, Maurice Denham, Alexander Davion, Liliane Brousse, Harold Lang, Arnold Diamond, John Bonney, John Stuart


“Paranoiac was directed by Freddie Francis, and the screenplay adapted by Jimmy Sangster from a Josephine Tey novel called Brat Farrar. The look of the film is beautiful, rich and moody, whether the setting is the unforgiving, jagged clifftop or the neglected and crumbling buildings on the mansion grounds, and the scares are so well done that they truly shock and leave a mark on your memory. I love this film; it’s stood a number of rewatchings, lived up to all the things I liked about it at different ages, and I’d recommend it highly to anyone who loves a good mystery, gothic or otherwise, with gorgeous cinematography, unique chills and fine acting. One of Hammer’s and Reed’s better movies.” – Kristina Dijan, Speakeasy

Diary of a Madman

866. (-33) Diary of a Madman

Reginald Le Borg

1963 / USA / 96m / Col / Gothic | IMDb
Vincent Price, Nancy Kovack, Chris Warfield, Elaine Devry, Ian Wolfe, Stephen Roberts, Lewis Martin, Mary Adams, Edward Colmans, Nelson Olmsted


“The prolific French writer Guy de Maupassant had every bit as much imagination and talent as Poe and Lovecraft. There just haven’t been enough movie adaptations of Maupassant’s work for him to have gained household name status. There have been some Maupassant movies, however – the best known being the 1963 chiller Diary of a Madman… Price was much more than simply an actor; he became a pop culture icon who transcended the horror genre, allowing him to showcase his sardonic sense of humor in mainstream outlets… His performance in Diary of a Madman is the perfect combination of Shakespeare and Schlock, a frightening portrait of a man who’s questioning his sanity while still winking at the camera and twisting his moustache. Diary of a Madman is essentially a one-man tour-de-force for Price, and he chews the hell out of the scenery.” – James Jay Edwards, FilmFracture

Begotten

867. (+76) Begotten

E. Elias Merhige

1990 / USA / 72m / Col / Experimental | IMDb
Brian Salzberg, Donna Dempsey, Stephen Charles Barry, James Gandia, Daniel Harkins, Michael Phillips, Erik Slavin, Arthur Streeter, Adolfo Vargas, Garfield White


“Few motion pictures have the power to jolt an audience with the fury, imagination, and artistic violence of Begotten, a 1991 tour de force from Elias Merhige currently debuting on home video. This cryptic independent production is a film of eccentric brilliance, skillfully balancing the glorious and the grotesque in an unforgettable work of art. Perhaps the most striking aspect of Begotten is its cinematography. Filmmaker Merhige photographed his work on 16-mm black-and-white reversal film and then rephotographed the footage frame by frame on black-and-white negatives through density filters, a four-year labor that required 10 hours of work for each minute of the 78-minute film. The result is a visual work unlike any other – one that looks like an ancient ritual filmed on the scene thousands of years ago and only recently dusted off for viewing.” – Phil Hall, Wired

The Pit and the Pendulum

868. (+2) The Pit and the Pendulum

Stuart Gordon

1991 / USA / 97m / Col / Supernatural | IMDb
Lance Henriksen, Stephen Lee, William J. Norris, Mark Margolis, Carolyn Purdy-Gordon, Barbara Bocci, Benito Stefanelli, Jeffrey Combs, Tom Towles, Rona De Ricci


“Of course, running throughout the film is the Inquisition’s sickly preoccupation with the ‘perils of the flesh’; although the majority of the torture scenes are quite bloodless, this obsession with carnality as something corrupting and malign lends the film and script an unseemly feel. It’s always there, finally coming to the fore in the film’s conclusion, but colouring word and deed throughout [..] Although The Pit and the Pendulum has an escalating pace and even odd moments of humour which makes it feel a long way away in tone from a period Gothic like, for instance, The Monk (2011), it does have substance and much to recommend it, aesthetically, stylistically and in its imaginative development of a classic horror short story (not forgetting Richard Band’s sweeping movie soundtrack).” – Keri O’Shea, Brutal as Hell

Trauma

869. (+81) Trauma

Dario Argento

1993 / Italy / 106m / Col / Giallo | IMDb
Christopher Rydell, Asia Argento, Piper Laurie, Frederic Forrest, Laura Johnson, Dominique Serrand, James Russo, Ira Belgrade, Brad Dourif, Hope Alexander-Willis


“Dario Argento’s first American feature, was almost uniformly ignored or disparaged as “Americanised,” ie, cleaned up and “dumbed down.” Another adjective, unutterable but couched there in the silence, was “feminised.” The maestro had suddenly gone soft on women… The film’s issues are the stuff of female gothic and 1990s “trauma culture”: anorexia/bulimia nervosa, dysfunctional mother-daughter relationships, oppressive medical institutions, malpractice cover-ups, recovered memories, incest and false memory syndrome. The pop psychology usually left by Argento to subtext or used to wrap an already baroque finale, Trauma foregrounds and then develops in its case-study of a suicidal anorexic and a mother traumatised by the loss of her infant son.” – Linda Badley, Kinoeye

The Witches

870. (+1) The Witches

Nicolas Roeg

1990 / UK / 91m / Col / Fantasy | IMDb
Anjelica Huston, Mai Zetterling, Jasen Fisher, Rowan Atkinson, Bill Paterson, Brenda Blethyn, Charlie Potter, Jane Horrocks, Anne Lambton, Sukie Smith


“Based on Roald Dahl’s 1983 children’s fantasy, executive produced by Henson and directed by Nicolas Roeg, it’s the kind of literate, imaginative children’s fantasy we see too rarely… Forgetting the new, questionably “upbeat” ending, Roeg and Scott have served Dahl well, embellished him intelligently… But what [Roeg has] also done is put disturbing flesh on Dahl’s fancies, visualize the witches with such revolting detail, and the mouse-eye view with such horrific vividness, that the movie takes on an unnerving pulse and threat. The setting becomes overwhelming, the evil palpable; Dahl’s book with its light, ironic tone, candy-coated the fear.” – Michael Wilmington, Los Angeles Times

The Dark Half

871. (-66) The Dark Half

George A. Romero

1993 / USA / 122m / Col / Supernatural | IMDb
Timothy Hutton, Amy Madigan, Michael Rooker, Julie Harris, Robert Joy, Kent Broadhurst, Beth Grant, Rutanya Alda, Tom Mardirosian, Larry John Meyers


“The idea that something real – an absorbed twin, a tumor in the brain – and something fictitious, like a nom de plume, could both be somehow intertwined is a very rare plot-point in cinema, and perhaps the greatest compliment one could give Romero is that, rather than trying to explain it all away or invent a justification through science or medicine, the situation is allowed to be as nuanced and unclear as cinema can be without becoming lazy. If you take away the psychopomps and all other literary flourishes, there is still the story of a man being hunted by something he invented but doesn’t understand; if you take away the blood-lust of the revenge-film hierarchy, there’s still a man at war with himself, or a physical representation of himself. The Dark Half, for all its flaws, is a movie happy to exist in a limbo where reality and fantasy are conjoined and almost inseparable, and that at least is worthy of admiration.” – Adam Balz, Not Coming To a Theater Near You

The Resurrected

872. (-5) The Resurrected

Dan O’Bannon

1991 / USA / 108m / Col / Mystery | IMDb
John Terry, Jane Sibbett, Chris Sarandon, Robert Romanus, Laurie Briscoe, Ken Camroux, Patrick P. Pon, Bernard Cuffling, J.B. Bivens, Robert Sidley


The Resurrected did leave me with a bit of a bitter sweet feeling. Sweet because the movie is a ton of fun. It has the genre charm that was found in a bunch of horror movies from the late 80’s and early 90’s. There are some really great practical effects used throughout. One in particular is of what I believe to be the resurrected remains of a person who has dissolved into some weird looking creature. It’s hard to explain with words, but The Resurrected does a great job explaining it visually. The bitter part is that this is O’Bannon’s second, and ultimately last film as a director. That’s a real shame because much like he did in Return of the Living Dead, O’Bannon shows he has a great style and feel behind the camera.” – Chris Coffel, Bloody Disgusting

Needful Things

873. (+93) Needful Things

Fraser Clarke Heston

1993 / USA / 120m / Col / Supernatural | IMDb
Max von Sydow, Ed Harris, Bonnie Bedelia, Amanda Plummer, J.T. Walsh, Ray McKinnon, Duncan Fraser, Valri Bromfield, Shane Meier, William Morgan Sheppard


“During his long career, Wise directed many tales of the eerie, such as the brilliant The Body Snatcher (1945) and The Haunting (1963). He also directed some of the finest women’s films around, including I Want to Live! (1958) and So Big (1953). He also created two classic science fiction films, The Day the Earth Stood Still (1951) and The Andromeda Strain (1971). His respect for the subject matter of each of these disparate genres, his knowing direction of the women in his films, and the skill he brought to bear to create the appropriate mood for any story come together in Audrey Rose, a disturbing film that stands with the best of his work.” – Marilyn Ferdinand, Ferdy on Films

Child's Play 2

874. (+90) Child’s Play 2

John Lafia

1990 / USA / 84m / Col / Evil Doll | IMDb
Alex Vincent, Jenny Agutter, Gerrit Graham, Christine Elise, Brad Dourif, Grace Zabriskie, Peter Haskell, Beth Grant, Greg Germann, Raymond Singer


“An inevitable sequel that’s not as good as its progenitor, but better than most movies with the numbers 2 through 8 in their titles… “2” actually gets clever at the end, when Andy (Alex Vincent) and sidekick Kyle (Christine Elise) battle Chucky in the Good Guys factory amid moving conveyor belts, hydraulic presses and molding units. As surreal as it is suspenseful, the climax may be a little too sophisticated for the genre, but it manages to lower its expectations at the last minute.” – Richard Harrington, Washington Post

The Mummy

875. (-59) The Mummy

Stephen Sommers

1999 / USA / 124m / Col / Adventure | IMDb
Brendan Fraser, Rachel Weisz, John Hannah, Arnold Vosloo, Kevin J. O’Connor, Jonathan Hyde, Oded Fehr, Erick Avari, Stephen Dunham, Corey Johnson


“Though the first film is a classic with memorably creepy moments and makeups, modern audiences (and the modern studios) have different expectations when it comes to genre films. So when it came to exploiting the Mummy property, Universal gambled on writer-director Stephen Sommers to make 1999’s The Mummy a fresh and appealing action-horror film… That The Mummy works as well as it does is largely due to Fraser, who sets the tone with his unique style of goofy bravado. Jerry Goldsmith’s epic scoring is also key, as is impressive effects work by the team at ILM. The 1999 CGI from this film holds up better than one might expect, with textured armies of soldier mummies and priest mummies providing a spot of Harryhausen-esque wonderment.” – Peter Canavese, Groucho Reviews

Tales from the Darkside: The Movie

876. (-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

Child's Play 3

877. (-54) Child’s Play 3

Jack Bender

1991 / USA / 90m / Col / Evil Doll | IMDb
Justin Whalin, Perrey Reeves, Jeremy Sylvers, Travis Fine, Dean Jacobson, Brad Dourif, Peter Haskell, Dakin Matthews, Andrew Robinson, Burke Byrnes


“More than ever, the kills are played for a laugh at the sound of Chucky cackling. This one is much closer in tone to the sequel than to the original because the doll is fully shown and lit. He can still pull a shiver, but he’s getting harder to take seriously… If you accept to trade chills for fun, cheese and one-liners, Child’s Play 3 might meet most of your expectations. Sure, it’s the laziest in the trilogy, takes a couple of shortcuts when it needs to move its characters from one place to another, and the finale is implausibly rushed, but as long as you suspend disbelief, you should enjoy yourself. If animatronics don’t do it, the body count will.” – Steve Hutchison, Tales of Terror

Bloody Birthday

878. (+96) Bloody Birthday

Ed Hunt

1981 / USA / 85m / Col / Evil Children | IMDb
Lori Lethin, Melinda Cordell, Julie Brown, Joe Penny, Bert Kramer, K.C. Martel, Elizabeth Hoy, Billy Jayne, Andrew Freeman, Susan Strasberg


“Directed by Ed Hunt, you get the distinct impression that Bloody Birthday was stalking the same crowd that came out in droves for Halloween. Released just four years after Michael Myers broke loose, Hunt’s horror shares many of the same tropes, including Lethin’s final girl, the sexy being punishable by death and – in retrospect – a healthy dose of post-70s kitsch. Obviously, Bloody Birthday didn’t share the runaway success of John Carpenter’s classic but that doesn’t make it any less potent. Despite an undeniably flimsy back story for its killer kids, the way they conduct their bloody business is pretty memorable. The three terror tykes… are never short of an evil plan and turn out performances that implore you to hate them, adding to the film’s endurability for modern eyes.” – Simon Bland, HorrorTalk

It Came from Beneath the Sea

879. (-68) It Came from Beneath the Sea

Robert Gordon

1955 / USA / 79m / BW / Monster | IMDb
Kenneth Tobey, Faith Domergue, Donald Curtis, Ian Keith, Dean Maddox Jr., Chuck Griffiths, Harry Lauter, Richard W. Peterson


“But for all its familiarity and flaws, It Came from Beneath the Sea stands as a magnificent accomplishment in pure cinema. It’s a film that not only exhibits the medium’s possibilities at the time but also its continuing appeal. Sometimes, we go to the movies for pure, sheer spectacle, and nobody delivered that more earnestly than Harryhausen. In this case, his work thrives due to a more theatrical flair, as one of Gordon’s most noteworthy decisions is to shroud the effects in mystery. We don’t get a good glimpse of the giant octopus for quite some time; like any good carnival showman, Gordon knows what his biggest attraction is, so he keeps the curtain down for as long as possible. While this does result in an overly talky and obvious approach (of course the military guys end up looking like dumb curmudgeons), it also ensures that the film earns its eventual awe.” – Brett Gallman, Oh, the Horror

La bête

880. (-7) 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

Swamp Thing

881. (-21) Swamp Thing

Wes Craven

1982 / USA / 91m / Col / Science Fiction | IMDb
Louis Jourdan, Adrienne Barbeau, Ray Wise, David Hess, Nicholas Worth, Don Knight, Al Ruban, Dick Durock, Ben Bates, Nannette Brown


“This is one of those movies like “Infra-Man” or “Invasion of the Bee Girls”: an off-the-wall, eccentric, peculiar movie fueled by the demented obsessions of its makers. “Swamp Thing” first saw the light of day, so to speak, as a hero in a celebrated series of DC Comics… [Wes Craven] betrays a certain gentleness and poetry along with the gore; in fact, this movie is a lot less violent than many others in the same genre. Craven’s inspiration seems to come from James Whale’s classic “Bride of Frankenstein” (1935), and he pays tribute in scenes where his swamp monster sniffs a flower, admires a young girl’s beauty from afar, and looks sadly at a photograph in a locket.” – Roger Ebert, RogerEbert.com

Wendigo

882. (-70) Wendigo

Larry Fessenden

2001 / USA / 91m / Col / Monster | IMDb
Patricia Clarkson, Jake Weber, Erik Per Sullivan, John Speredakos, Christopher Wynkoop, Lloyd Oxendine, Brian Delate, Daniel Sherman, Jennifer Wiltsie


“Writer/director Larry Fessenden throws everything including the kitchen sink into the visuals. “Wendigo” is a very good-looking film, even if a brief sequence using handheld cameras early on gets to be a bit tedious. The movie, despite being a slow and laborious character study, still manages to move well. Fessenden proves that he was paying attention in film school when the professors were talking about motifs and themes, and as a result the film’s visualization is swarming with secondary and third meanings — that is, if one cares to pick them out. Don’t go into “Wendigo” expecting a horror movie. Despite the title, the film is more about man’s interaction, and lack thereof, with one another than it is about a mythical beast. The film is never scary, but rather shocking in its nonchalant attitude toward human nature and violence.” – Nix, Beyond Hollywood

Galaxy of Terror

883. (-57) Galaxy of Terror

Bruce D. Clark

1981 / USA / 81m / Col / Science Fiction | IMDb
Edward Albert, Erin Moran, Ray Walston, Bernard Behrens, Zalman King, Robert Englund, Taaffe O’Connell, Sid Haig, Grace Zabriskie, Jack Blessing


“A crazy mish-mash of elements borrowed from the sci-fi blockbusters of years past (right down to Ray Walston as a Corman-styled Yoda) with a twist out of Forbidden Planet and Solaris (hand it to Corman to rip off high art and pulp cinema with equal vigor). But the budget-minded art direction (courtesy of a young production designer by the name of James Cameron) and special effects are engaging enough on their own thanks to the invention and creativity of hungry young filmmakers meeting the challenge… This is exploitation nirvana, weird and outrageous and silly and strangely compelling, delivering everything it promises without actually coming up with a coherent story” – Sean Axmaker, Parallax View

The Manitou

884. (-6) The Manitou

William Girdler

1978 / USA / 104m / Col / Supernatural | IMDb
Tony Curtis, Michael Ansara, Susan Strasberg, Stella Stevens, Jon Cedar, Ann Sothern, Burgess Meredith, Paul Mantee, Jeanette Nolan, Lurene Tuttle


“Director William Girdler made only nine films before a helicopter he was traveling in hit some live power lines and killed him at the age of thirty, but his filmography remains popular with horror movie buffs and cult film enthusiasts… The Manitou, which would be his swansong, isn’t his best movie but it is a really interesting one. Mixing elements of The Exorcist and Star Wars (two very unlikely bedfellows indeed), it’s a bit on the gimmicky side but it’s also quite an entertaining film even if it is completely all over the place. If you’ve ever lamented the fact that there aren’t more movies about demons, lasers, Indians, a cute topless female lead and Tony Curtis then this is the movie for you.” – Ian Jane, DVD Talk

The Legend of Boggy Creek

885. (-13) The Legend of Boggy Creek

Charles B. Pierce

1972 / USA / 90m / Col / Found Footage | IMDb
Vern Stierman, Chuck Pierce Jr., William Stumpp, Willie E. Smith, Lloyd Bowen, B.R. Barrington, J.E. ‘Smokey’ Crabtree, Travis Crabtree, John P. Hixon, John W. Oates


“The Legend of Boggy Creek is a film that is discussed more often than it is watched, leading to some misconceptions about its quality. Its reputation has been marred by a series of unrelated sequels, and there is a tendency to assume the film is in the same schlocky vein as those cash-ins. Boggy Creek is a far more accomplished film than its meager budget and Pierce’s lack of experience would lead you to expect, however, and it is easy to see how it captivated audiences for many years after its release. Furthermore, The Legend of Boggy Creek appears less dated than other films from the same period, due in large to its unique subject matter. An unprecedented success of low budget filmmaking, it is a historically important film for a number of reasons, not least of which is its place near the top of the Bigfoot cinema canon.” – David Carter, Not Coming to a Theater Near You

Popcorn

886. (-155) 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

Mais ne nous délivrez pas du mal

887. (-13) Mais ne nous délivrez pas du mal

Joël Séria

1971 / France / 102m / Col / Drama | IMDb
Jeanne Goupil, Catherine Wagener, Bernard Dhéran, Gérard Darrieu, Marc Dudicourt, Michel Robin, Véronique Silver, Jean-Pierre Helbert, Nicole Mérouze


“Never released in the United States and “banned” for blasphemy, this potent dose of pretty poison presents a wonderfully deceiving package. The story of two teenage convent girls who “dedicate ourselves to Satan” could have been some dippy horror movie — a T&A fest with demons and multiple slayings and loads of sex. It could have been one of those ’70s horror films that make you run for the shower directly upon watching because even your soul feels soiled. But that’s not what Don’t Deliver Us From Evil is attempting. Really about the obsessive nature of female friendship, of girls suffering a tedious, square world filled with hypocrisy and becoming hopped up by literature and the forbidden and hellfire and all the stuff that’s so intense when you’re 15, the movie is a fiendish paean to the freaky bad girl — girls who, when staring into that bland void would rather, quite literally, burn out than fade away.” – Kim Morgan, Sunset Gun

Seance on a Wet Afternoon

888. (-24) Seance on a Wet Afternoon

Bryan Forbes

1964 / UK / 121m / BW / Psychological | IMDb
Kim Stanley, Margaret Lacey, Marie Burke, Maria Kazan, Lionel Gamlin, Marian Spencer, Richard Attenborough, Godfrey James, Judith Donner, Ronald Hines


“The film’s opening is slowly and deliberately paced, as we see Myra and Bill exchange increasingly strained and sinister dialogue while making rather mysterious and methodical preparations around their house. Strong character scenes between the submissive husband and the increasingly unbalanced wife play effectively alongside the suspenseful kidnap and ransom sequences. This approach is seen at its best in the film’s central twelve minute section, in which Bill’s frantic collection of the ransom at Piccadilly Circus underground station is intercut with a sedate policeman’s interview with Myra back home. The scene effectively juxtaposes big city anonymity with suburban familiarity.” – Sergio Angelini, BFI

Yeogo goedam II

889. (-9) Yeogo goedam II

Tae-Yong Kim & Kyu-dong Min

1999 / South Korea / 98m / Col / Supernatural | IMDb
Gyu-ri Kim, Yeh-jin Park, Yeong-jin Lee, Jong-hak Baek, Min Han, Seung-Yeon Han, Jae-in Kim, Hyo-jin Kong, Hye-mi Lee, Seong-Eon Lim


“These days, films that depict gay characters are slowly becoming more commonplace, but when Memento Mori was released in its native country, it was a fairly big deal. Homosexuality was an extremely taboo topic even in 1999, so when such themes were prominently presented in a mainstream horror film, many eyebrows were raised. Luckily, the writing/directing team of Tae-yong Kim and Kyu-dong Min had the foresight to abandon all exploitative pretenses… The filmmakers handle the romantic aspect in all the right ways, coaxing out its most tragic qualities without overdoing the melodrama.” – A. J. Hakari, Passport Cinema

Deadly Blessing

890. (+22) Deadly Blessing

Wes Craven

1981 / USA / 100m / Col / Supernatural | IMDb
Maren Jensen, Sharon Stone, Susan Buckner, Jeff East, Colleen Riley, Douglas Barr, Lisa Hartman, Lois Nettleton, Ernest Borgnine, Michael Berryman


“[Wes Craven’s] 1981 opus Deadly Blessing, makes good use of the clichés that hadn’t been so severely overused at the time of its release and he also includes a few authentic ingredients of his own, which mark an intriguing addition to the [slasher] formula… The experienced cast members do a good job here, especially Ernest Borgnine who is restrained when handling a potential ham-feast. Obviously someone saw enough in Sharon Stone’s somewhat amateur portrayal, which would begin her on the road to mega stardom. It’s worth noting that Lana is probably the most approachable and sympathetic character that she’s ever played.” – Luisito González, A SLASH Above

Exorcist II: The Heretic

891. (-39) Exorcist II: The Heretic

John Boorman

1977 / USA / 118m / Col / Possession | IMDb
Linda Blair, Richard Burton, Louise Fletcher, Max von Sydow, Kitty Winn, Paul Henreid, James Earl Jones, Ned Beatty, Belinda Beatty, Rose Portillo


“One of the craziest films ever released by a major studio, a semi-coherent Grand Guignol romp involving telekinesis, James Earl Jones in a bee costume, and an airborne demon named “Pazuzu”… Exorcist II: The Heretic certainly has its defenders, chief among them Martin Scorsese, Pauline Kael, and Keith Phipps. Scorsese preferred it to The Exorcist while Pauline Kael gushed that it “had more visual magic than a dozen movies,” which is true only if those movies were directed by Uwe Boll or shot on grandma’s video camera.” – Nathan Rabin, The Onion A.V. Club

Prophecy

892. (-26) Prophecy

John Frankenheimer

1979 / USA / 102m / Col / Supernatural | IMDb
Talia Shire, Robert Foxworth, Armand Assante, Richard Dysart, Victoria Racimo, George Clutesi, Tom McFadden, Evans Evans, Burke Byrnes, Mia Bendixsen


“Prophecy is a widely respected monster movie amongst those that were around during its age. Although quite forgotten about and left behind since then, Prophecy was a gritty, violent, and deadly film that packed a death punch with very vivid, nightmarish special effects (as rubber as they were). Heads are bitten off and faces shredded beyond recognition as the local residents of a mountainside forest are eaten alive by a towering and deformed, bloodthirsty and vengeful bear… Realistic, dramatically acted, and supported with graphic violence, Prophecy is not easily forgotten – forging a professional horror film from the 70’s that holds its own and stands towering amidst the sub-genre from which it spawned.” – John Marrone, Bloody Disgusting

Blood Freak

893. (-62) Blood Freak

Brad F. Grinter

1972 / USA / 86m / Col / Exploitation | IMDb
Steve Hawkes, Dana Cullivan, Heather Hughes, Bob Currier, Anne Shearin, Linda Past, Debbie Smith, Sandy Kneelen, Domink Grutta, Randy Grinter


“It’s the whole murderous doped up turkey-man idea that shoots this movie into the surreal stratosphere. The scenes of our strung out strongman, big bullem bird head in place, attacking victims and letting blood have an unworldly, downright disturbing quality. You will be laughing, mind you, but some of the gore is fairly nasty. Especially effective is an elongated torture scene near the end of the film. Lets just say it involves our insane roaster, a table saw, and a drug dealer’s leg (Lucio Fulci would be proud). The kinetic, freestyle editing, the endless shots of Grinter babbling like an improvising, smut peddling Criswell, and actors who play dead by wincing and wiggling as all the while effects gore F/X across their face makes Blood Freak a first rate crazed capon caper.” – Bill Gibron, PopMatters

House of Whipcord

894. (-17) House of Whipcord

Pete Walker

1974 / UK / 102m / Col / Exploitation | IMDb
Barbara Markham, Patrick Barr, Ray Brooks, Ann Michelle, Sheila Keith, Dorothy Gordon, Robert Tayman, Ivor Salter, Karan David, Celia Quicke


The House of Whipcord is sort of a horror movie, sort of a women’s prison movie, and extremely English all the way around… It lumbers a bit, in that characteristic British way, but it’s relatively fearless in the face of its potentially controversial subject matter, and director Peter Walker seems to have spared not a moment’s concern for the sensitivities of the easily offended… The story has a genuine logic to it (watch enough European-made cheapies and you’ll really come to appreciate the rarity of that quality), and a number of satisfying little twists as well.” – Scott Ashlin, 1000 Misspent Hours and Counting

976-EVIL

895. (+22) 976-EVIL

Robert Englund

1988 / USA / 92m / Col / Supernatural | IMDb
Stephen Geoffreys, Patrick O’Bryan, Sandy Dennis, Jim Metzler, María Rubell, Lezlie Deane, J.J. Cohen, Paul Willson, Greg Collins, Darren E. Burrows


“976-Evil is a celebration of everything good and fun about 1980’s horror films: cheesy, eccentric, sexy and a little on the slow side, at first, but sprinkled with supernatural murders and a vague procedural to keep you caring. It spends quality time with its lead characters before things get bad, scary and gory. It’s a little clustered, sure, but it’s part of its charm, as it turns out… Along the lines of the Nightmare on Elm Street, Demons and Child’s Play franchises, it’s a supernatural slasher with hints of possession, demonology, genie mythology, and with a strong, memorable gimmick.” – Steve Hutchison, Tales of Terror

Mary Reilly

896. (-60) Mary Reilly

Stephen Frears

1996 / USA / 108m / Col / Gothic | IMDb
Julia Roberts, John Malkovich, George Cole, Michael Gambon, Kathy Staff, Glenn Close, Michael Sheen, Bronagh Gallagher, Linda Bassett, Henry Goodman


“John Malkovich plays both the good doctor and his bad side, Mr. Hyde. Aside from the fact that he’s actorly every minute, he gives the dual role fascinating dimensions… The real star of “Mary Reilly” is the atmosphere. The movie is made up almost entirely of interior scenes. Shot on sets at Pinewood Studios near London, the foggy dark look permeates the doctor’s expansive household. Production designer Stuart Craig based the look on Robert Louis Stevenson’s native city of Edinburgh with its dank masonry and murky gray surroundings.” – Peter Stack, San Francisco Chronicle

Vierges et vampires

897. (+21) Vierges et vampires

Jean Rollin

1971 / France / 95m / Col / Vampire | IMDb
Marie-Pierre Castel, Mireille Dargent, Philippe Gasté, Dominique, Louise Dhour, Michel Delesalle, Antoine Mosin, Agnès Petit, Olivier François, Dominique Toussaint


“A film which is almost totally void of dialog in its first half and void of any significant characterization, REQUIEM FOR A VAMPIRE is an easily watchable surreal exercise in foreign filmmaking, crammed with bizarre comic art imagery strung together with various incidents of fetishistic kinkiness and sadism. With the usual low budget Rollin was allotted, he makes excellent use of some authentic gothic locations, and the picturesque, massive chateau makes for a better vampires’ liar than any studio could possibly provide. The use of oddball props, including rotted corpses affixed with squirming worms, severed arms protruding from stone walls, a line of hooded standing skeletons and assorted bats real and phony, add to the film’s unique appearance, and the clever use of colored lighting in some of the outdoor nighttime scenes is also noteworthy.” – George R. Reis, DVD Drive-In

Kyôfu kikei ningen: Edogawa Rampo zenshû

898. (+21) 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

The Killer Shrews

899. (new) The Killer Shrews

Ray Kellogg

1959 / USA / 69m / BW / Nature | IMDb
James Best, Ingrid Goude, Ken Curtis, Gordon McLendon, Baruch Lumet, Judge Henry Dupree, Alfredo DeSoto


“This is an excellent piece of vintage schlock for fans of classic b-movies. Genetic fiddling accidentally creates a few hundred DOGS WEARING CARPET REMNANTS that get loose on a private island!… I like this movie because it had some good ideas, like the makeshift tank, but what I love about it is the killer shrews and the drinking. Watching an actor scream in mortal terror at a coon hound wearing carpet remnants is hilarious, especially when the disguised pooch is doing the “happy dog” (the dogs probably got belly rubs and treats after every scene).” – Andrew Borntreger, Badmovies.org

Cape Fear

900. (-56) Cape Fear

J. Lee Thompson

1962 / USA / 106m / BW / Thriller | IMDb
Gregory Peck, Robert Mitchum, Polly Bergen, Lori Martin, Martin Balsam, Jack Kruschen, Telly Savalas, Barrie Chase, Paul Comi, John McKee


“While this may not be the most original story ever – ex-con looking for payback – it is intelligently written, superbly acted and brilliantly edited. There’s not a scene out of place, not a moment that’s not designed to pull the noose even tighter around our heroes. Mitchum is stunning in his brutal contempt for humanity. Cady is sly and charming, using violence to take what he believes he deserves. It’s a performance you won’t soon forget and one that will make you think twice about the nature of men.” – Crazy 4 Cinema