They Shoot Zombies, Don't They?

#801-#900

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

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

The Werewolf

801. (new) The Werewolf

Fred F. Sears

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

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

Torture Garden

802. (new) Torture Garden

Freddie Francis

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

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

Color Me Blood Red

803. (new) 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

My Bloody Valentine

804. (-66) 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

The Dark Half

805. (+110) 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

Halloween H20: 20 Years Later

806. (-103) 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

Quarantine

807. (-311) 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

808. (+30) 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

809. (new) 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

Monkey Shines

810. (-33) 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

It Came from Beneath the Sea

811. (+147) 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

Wendigo

812. (+187) 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

The Little Girl Who Lives Down the Lane

813. (-357) 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 House on Sorority Row

814. (-177) The House on Sorority Row

Mark Rosman

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

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

Teeth

815. (-315) Teeth

Mitchell Lichtenstein

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

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

The Mummy

816. (new) The Mummy

Stephen Sommers

1999 / USA / 125m / 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

Friday the 13th Part VII: The New Blood

817. (+85) 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

Jaws 2

818. (new) 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

Blue Sunshine

819. (+85) 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

Jiao zi

820. (-94) 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

Omnibus: Whistle and I'll Come to You

821. (new) Omnibus: Whistle and I’ll Come to You

Jonathan Miller

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

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

Raising Cain

822. (+65) 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

Child's Play 3

823. (new) 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

Fascination

824. (-26) Fascination

Jean Rollin

1979 / France / 82m / 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

Roadgames

825. (+47) 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

Galaxy of Terror

826. (new) 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

La vergine di Norimberga

827. (new) La vergine di Norimberga

Antonio Margheriti

1963 / Italy / 83m / 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

828. (new) 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

Dracula: Dead and Loving It

829. (new) 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

Nachts, wenn Dracula erwacht

830. (new) 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!

Blood Freak

831. (new) 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

Friday the 13th Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan

832. (new) 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

Diary of a Madman

833. (new) 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

Crash

834. (new) 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

835. (-131) 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

Mary Reilly

836. (new) 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

El barón del terror

837. (new) El barón del terror

Chano Urueta

1962 / Mexico / 77m / BW / Supernatural | IMDb
Abel Salazar, Ariadna Welter, David Silva, Germán Robles, Luis Aragón, Mauricio Garcés, Ofelia Guilmáin, René Cardona, Rubén Rojo, Carlos Nieto

“Brainiac is delirious, sordid monster fun for ‘undiscriminating audiences.’ Its only practical function is to be able to say “I saw The Brainiac last night,” just to see which of your friends wants to hear more and which suddenly hurry away whenever you approach. Then again, it’s no trashier than any number of gory and cheap American movies of the 1950s… Viewers undeterred by those considerations will be floored by Urueta’s use of tacky, overly bright rear-projected stills to represent all exteriors not shot on interior sets. Like the best of American Z-filmmaking, Brainiac seems to take place in some unused broom closet of the imagination.” – Glenn Erickson, DVD Savant

Corridors of Blood

838. (new) Corridors of Blood

Robert Day

1958 / UK / 86m / BW / Gothic | IMDb
Boris Karloff, Betta St. John, Christopher Lee, Finlay Currie, Adrienne Corri, Francis De Wolff, Francis Matthews, Frank Pettingell, Basil Dignam, Marian Spencer

“Anyone expecting even a mild precursor to the slasher flicks of later decades is bound to be disappointed. We never see Karloff brazenly wielding a scalpel as he lurches through the London tenements (or more refined parlors he’s entitled to visit, for that matter), as much as we might enjoy watching such a spectacle. Instead, we get an impressively sensitive performance from the venerable old actor, around 70 years of age and widely considered washed up or at least irrelevant by the studios who originally employed him and enjoyed great success through his run of the 1930s and 40s following his legendary role in Frankenstein.” – David Blakeslee, Criterion Reflections

Cry of the Banshee

839. (new) Cry of the Banshee

Gordon Hessler

1970 / UK / 91m / Col / Gothic | IMDb
Vincent Price, Essy Persson, Hilary Heath, Carl Rigg, Stephan Chase, Marshall Jones, Andrew McCulloch, Michael Elphick, Pamela Moiseiwitsch, Joyce Mandre

“An intriguing, if not always entirely successful, hybrid of occult horror shenanigans and werewolf slasher flick. Hanging heavy with an eerie, doom-laden atmosphere, it revisits, and arguably rehashes, the story of Witchfinder General… It certainly revels in the same sadistic violence as its predecessor and boasts floggings, fiery brandings and buxom wenches burnt at the stake as witches… One of the most exciting and unusual elements of the film is actually its opening credits. The cut-out animations were provided by none other than Terry Gilliam and they really pre-empt his work on Monty Python.” – James Gracey, Behind the Couch

The Mask

840. (new) 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

Strangler of the Swamp

841. (new) Strangler of the Swamp

Frank Wisbar

1946 / USA / 59m / BW / Supernatural | IMDb
Rosemary La Planche, Robert Barrat, Blake Edwards, Charles Middleton, Effie Laird, Nolan Leary, Frank Conlan, Therese Lyon, Virginia Farmer

“While the film’s sparse setting is no doubt a result of its limited budget, director Wisbar makes it a strength by infusing it with an overbearing gloominess. This is actually a remake of his own film, Fahrmann Maria, and he ports the gothic leanings of his native Germany over in this translation. While it’s not as overtly stylish and expressionist as early German horror, Strangler of the Swamp is bathed in shadows, mist, and moonlight and feels like a spectral dream not unlike The Vampyr. The persistent presence of the ferry recalls Charon and the River Styx, and it’s almost as if viewers are transported to a dismal underworld inhabited by the sprits of the living and the dead.” – Brett Gallman, Oh the Horror!

The Return of Dracula

842. (new) The Return of Dracula

Paul Landres

1958 / USA / 77m / Col / Vampire | IMDb
Francis Lederer, Norma Eberhardt, Ray Stricklyn, John Wengraf, Virginia Vincent, Gage Clarke, Jimmy Baird, Greta Granstedt, Enid Yousen

““The Return of Dracula” is a vampire movie that rises far above its low budget thanks to a good script, a decent cast, and some clever touches on the part of the director. Francis Lederer (who plays Dracula) may not be a Dracula in the class of Christopher Lee or Bela Lugosi, but he holds his own here. He’s comparable to—and even a little better than—Lon Chaney Jr. While one is always hardpressed to describe a vampire movie as “realistic”, this one comes close… The film also has several unexpected moments of artful creepiness, including one of the spookiest vampire seduction scenes ever filmed. Dracula’s first victim is Jennie, a sick blind girl (Virginia Vincent) who can see him in her mind’s eye as he corrupts her and devours her soul.” – Steve Miller, Terror Titans

Trouble Every Day

843. (-551) Trouble Every Day

Claire Denis

2001 / France / 101m / Col / Drama | IMDb
Vincent Gallo, Tricia Vessey, Béatrice Dalle, Alex Descas, Florence Loiret Caille, Nicolas Duvauchelle, Raphaël Neal, José Garcia, Hélène Lapiower, Marilu Marini

“Denis’s films have always been shot through with a current of menace just waiting to be made explicit: it’s present in their off-balance close-ups, faintly unstable camera moves, obsessive attention to the texture of hair, clothes, and skin, and habit of letting the camera slide caressingly around actors’ bodies when they’re at their least self-conscious and most exposed. Where other Denis films seem to circle and drift around indecisively, Trouble Every Day itches with a kind of nervous forward momentum. It’s an extended come-on, full of teases and hints and come-hither gestures, finally climaxing — in every way — with two scenes of gruesome sexual violence.” – Max Nelson, Film Comment Magazine

Cape Fear

844. (-131) Cape Fear

J. Lee Thompson

1962 / USA / 105m / 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

Pitch Black

845. (-359) 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

Copycat

846. (new) 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

Vertigo

847. (new) Vertigo

Alfred Hitchcock

1958 / USA / 128m / Col / Psychological | IMDb
James Stewart, Kim Novak, Barbara Bel Geddes, Tom Helmore, Henry Jones, Raymond Bailey, Ellen Corby, Konstantin Shayne, Lee Patrick

“The film’s dynamics of chase, capture, and escape parallel the artist’s struggle with his work; the enraptured gaze of the Stewart character before the phantom he has created parallels the spectator’s position in front of the movie screen. The famous motif of the fall is presented in horizontal rather than vertical space, so that it becomes not a satanic fall from grace, but a modernist fall into the image, into the artwork — a total absorption of the creator by his creation, which in the end is shown as synonymous with death. But a thematic analysis can only scratch the surface of this extraordinarily dense and commanding film, perhaps the most intensely personal movie to emerge from the Hollywood cinema.” – Dave Kehr, Chicago Reader

Open Water

848. (-136) Open Water

Chris Kentis

2003 / USA / 79m / Col / Nature | IMDb
Blanchard Ryan, Daniel Travis, Saul Stein, Michael E. Williamson, Cristina Zenato, John Charles

“Chris Kentis, who wrote, directed, edited, and shot the film (with his wife, Laura Lau), is working with prime pulp material—but he doesn’t have a pulp sensibility. I mean this as a compliment. Shot on digital video and micro-budgeted, Open Water is terrifying precisely because it doesn’t go in for cheesy shock tactics and special effects. (Those sharks are real.) Strictly speaking, it’s not even in the shark-attack genre—it’s more like a black comedy about how things can go horribly wrong on vacation. You think you’re safe, and the next thing you know you’re lost at sea and something’s nibbling your gams. That’s an apt metaphor for a lot more than scuba diving.” – Peter Rainer, New York Magazine

Little Shop of Horrors

849. (-336) 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 Two Faces of Dr. Jekyll

850. (new) The Two Faces of Dr. Jekyll

Terence Fisher

1960 / UK / 88m / Col / Gothic | IMDb
Paul Massie, Dawn Addams, Christopher Lee, David Kossoff, Norma Marla, Francis De Wolff, Joy Webster

“Surprisingly sophisticated to a point where it’s easy to see why 1960 horror movie going audiences didn’t flock to it, while many viewers of a more high brow nature wouldn’t have been seen dead going to a Hammer film. Seen today though, its adult approach and persuasive amorality help make it hold up quite well… Just missing the mark as one of Hammer’s greats, The Two Faces Of Dr Jekyll still has a lot to recommend it and is thoroughly enjoyable from beginning to end as long as you don’t expect the usual blood and thunder. It reminds us very pointedly that it’s what’s on the inside that makes a man either good or bad, as well as being the last example in Hammer Horror of the greatness that was Jack Asher, a true genius of a cinematographer.” – Dr Lenera, HorrorCultFilms

X: The Unknown

851. (new) X: The Unknown

Leslie Norman

1956 / UK / 81m / BW / Science Fiction | IMDb
Dean Jagger, Edward Chapman, Leo McKern, Anthony Newley, Jameson Clark, William Lucas, Peter Hammond, Marianne Brauns, Ian MacNaughton, Michael Ripper

“Even before their Quatermass Xperiment hit the theaters, Hammer decided they wanted to make a sequel and hired Jimmy Sangster to write the first of his many scripts. Unfortunately, Quatermass’ creator, Nigel Kneale wasn’t about to give them the rights to his character… Rather than waste a good script, they changed a few names and hired Dean Jagger as the inevitable American actor. He brings a very welcome soberness and rationality to the part… one of the details that emphasizes the film’s quiet realism. They wisely keep their monster out of sight for most of the film, although a scene in which it melts the face off the scientist who gets too close to it is as gory a shock as Hammer would put in one of their films for years.” – Mark Cole, Rivets on the Poster

Exorcist II: The Heretic

852. (new) 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

V/H/S

853. (-456) V/H/S

Various

2012 / USA / 116m / Col / Anthology | IMDb
Calvin Reeder, Lane Hughes, Kentucker Audley, Adam Wingard, Frank Stack, Sarah Byrne, Melissa Boatright, Simon Barrett, Andrew Droz Palermo, Hannah Fierman

“Remarkably, given the premise, only one of the five short segments that make up V/H/S is an outright failure. The others — from such US indie darlings as House Of The Devil director Ti West, mumblecore luminary Joe Swanberg and fledgling YouTube collective Radio Silence — share an experimental bent, a knack for well-timed twists and they don’t pander to the squeamish. It puts these spooky miniatures head and shoulders above the bulk of this year’s featurelength horror fare… Forever chasing scares both cerebral and visceral, the filmmakers leave little space for cynicism and plenty for admiration — an invaluable accomplishment in a film form that’s so susceptible to weak spots.” – Charlie Lyne, Little White Lies

Severance

854. (-411) Severance

Christopher Smith

2006 / UK / 96m / Col / Slasher | IMDb
Toby Stephens, Claudie Blakley, Andy Nyman, Babou Ceesay, Tim McInnerny, Laura Harris, Danny Dyer, David Gilliam, Juli Drajkó, Judit Viktor

“A tidy mixture of old and new horror motifs, the British-German thriller “Severance” is sometimes scary, often silly and occasionally jaw-droppingly daring. While it initially invokes such German silent classics as “Nosferatu” and “The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari,” it quickly introduces a modern bogeyman: war criminals who were unleashed during the Soviet breakup… “Severance” can be taken as a political satire aimed at the military-industrial complex and its promoters, but despite its pretensions, it’s no “Lord of War.” At heart, it’s a sophisticated variation on “Friday the 13th,” a splatter film with a slightly more interesting collection of targets.” – John Hartl, Seattle Times

Freddy vs. Jason

855. (-360) Freddy vs. Jason

Ronny Yu

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

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

Oculus

856. (-268) Oculus

Mike Flanagan

2013 / USA / 104m / Col / Supernatural | IMDb
Karen Gillan, Brenton Thwaites, Katee Sackhoff, Rory Cochrane, Annalise Basso, Garrett Ryan, James Lafferty, Miguel Sandoval, Kate Siegel, Scott Graham

“In many ways, Oculus feels like the best J-horror remake not based on an existing film (apart from being based on Flanagan’s own short films). There’s a pervasive sense of tragedy throughout, as the details of Kaylie and Tim’s tragic past are slowly fed to us through flashbacks and hallucinations, calling to mind the disorientation of The Grudge and the mournful quality of Dark Water… Flanagan delivers plenty of horrible little shocks courtesy of the mirror’s ability to delude and misdirect, with a couple of moments that will have you putting your hands over your eyes, but Oculus is refreshingly light on cheap jump scares… By rooting its clever narrative structure in a tragic story, Flanagan has created a horror that pulls on the heartstrings as often as it grabs you by the throat, helped every step of the way by an excellent cast.” – Jonathan Hatfull, SciFiNow

Messiah of Evil

857. (-418) Messiah of Evil

Willard Huyck & Gloria Katz

1973 / USA / 90m / Col / Supernatural | IMDb
Michael Greer, Marianna Hill, Joy Bang, Anitra Ford, Royal Dano, Elisha Cook Jr., Charles Dierkop, Bennie Robinson, Morgan Fisher, Emma Truckman

““Messiah of Evil” is the kind of movie that’s made from its flaws as much as its strengths. The incoherence of the screenplay is actually a prime example of great horror storytelling. On the surface, it pretends to explain all, but the “explanation” only succeeds in raising more questions. A great horror film leaves giant holes in the screen for us to project our own fears and does not reassure us in the end that all is well. At its most basic level, a good horror story is about uncertainty, and “Messiah of Evil” is one of the most uncertain movies ever made.” – Brian Holcomb, Beyond Hollywood

Happy Birthday to Me

858. (-306) Happy Birthday to Me

J. Lee Thompson

1981 / Canada / 110m / Col / Slasher | IMDb
Melissa Sue Anderson, Glenn Ford, Lawrence Dane, Sharon Acker, Frances Hyland, Tracey E. Bregman, Jack Blum, Matt Craven, Lenore Zann, David Eisner

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

Poltergeist II: The Other Side

859. (new) Poltergeist II: The Other Side

Brian Gibson

1986 / USA / 91m / Col / Supernatural | IMDb
JoBeth Williams, Craig T. Nelson, Heather O’Rourke, Oliver Robins, Zelda Rubinstein, Will Sampson, Julian Beck, Geraldine Fitzgerald, John P. Whitecloud, Noble Craig

“If I’m being as objective as possible, I know that the movie just doesn’t measure up to the truly classic first film. There’s no doubt about that… But this doesn’t matter. Poltergeist II is fun, not just the usual, so-bad-it’s-good variety of horror film fun — though it is that, occasionally — but actual fun. You can’t help but enjoy how ridiculously far out it’s willing to go while still remaining completely straight-faced. What other film features a tequila worm monster, killer braces, a levitating chainsaw, and the wackiest failed doomsday prophet this side of Harold Camping?” – Casey Broadwater, Blu-ray.com

Swamp Thing

860. (new) 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

La campana del infierno

861. (new) La campana del infierno

Claudio Guerín

1973 / Spain / 106m / Col / Thriller | IMDb
Renaud Verley, Viveca Lindfors, Alfredo Mayo, Maribel Martín, Nuria Gimeno, Christina von Blanc, Saturno Cerra, Nicole Vesperini, Erasmo Pascual, Antonio Puga

“With a screenplay by Santiago Moncada, the character of John is ambiguous, as we never really know much about his past, how insane he really is and how much of what happens on screen is actually in his mind. But what A BELL FROM HELL may lack in logical contrivance is made up for in style and uniqueness. Even though it owes a bit to Hammer Films’ psychological horrors of the 1960s, the surrealist visions of Louis Bunuel, and the macabre writings of Edgar Allan Poe, the film has a number of clever shocks and a perversity about it that makes it fascinating to watch […] The camera is planted in the most unusual places, boasting some very inventive shots, and the film’s persistent ambiance of sexual and murderous tension, performed by a stellar international cast, makes this one of the genre’s finest of the 1970s.” – George Reis, DVD Drive-In

Perfect Blue

862. (-499) 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

What We Do in the Shadows

863. (-288) What We Do in the Shadows

Jemaine Clement & Taika Waititi

2014 / New Zealand / 86m / Col / Vampire | IMDb
Jemaine Clement, Taika Waititi, Jonathan Brugh, Cori Gonzalez-Macuer, Stuart Rutherford, Ben Fransham, Rhys Darby, Jackie van Beek, Elena Stejko, Jason Hoyte

“Fans of Clement and Waititi’s previous work know the kind of humour to expect: bone-dry, beautifully observed and deeply silly. There’s a brilliantly funny sequence in which the three speaking vamps furiously debate the washing up rota, the importance of virgin blood is floridly discussed, while a dinner party sequence in which potential victims are confronted with re-enacted Lost Boys sequences is beautifully done… Clement in particular is clearly having a brilliant time, as it soon becomes apparent that the lascivious Vlad’s best years are behind him, while Waititi slays with his portrayal of the sweetly heartbroken Viago. In short, the most important thing to know about What We Do In The Shadows is that it’s laugh-out-loud hilarious” – Jonathan Hatfull, SciFiNow

Seance on a Wet Afternoon

864. (-189) 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

Coraline

865. (-195) Coraline

Henry Selick

2009 / USA / 100m / Col / Fantasy | IMDb
Dakota Fanning, Teri Hatcher, Jennifer Saunders, Dawn French, Keith David, John Hodgman, Robert Bailey Jr., Ian McShane, Aankha Neal, George Selick

“You know from the very first sequence that Coraline is an extraordinary movie that is going to rattle the bejeezus out of young audience members and – the truth be told – their fathers as well… the most imaginative film in memory, a carnival of wonders – magical gardens, a charmingly choreographed circus of mice, a couple of old actresses who get together to put on a fairly lewd but very funny variety show – that at the same time seems to come directly from your nightmares. Seeing Other Mother change from button-eyed ideal to long-necked witch with steel-needle fingers and a hunger to keep you prisoner, is a deeply shaking transformation that isn’t easy to throw off once the show is over. Coraline will haunt you.” – Jay Stone, Canada.com

Prophecy

866. (new) 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

The Resurrected

867. (new) 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

Deadly Friend

868. (new) Deadly Friend

Wes Craven

1986 / USA / 91m / Col / Science Fiction | IMDb
Matthew Labyorteaux, Kristy Swanson, Michael Sharrett, Anne Twomey, Anne Ramsey, Richard Marcus, Russ Marin, Lee Paul, Andrew Roperto, Charles Fleischer

“Deadly Friend is an odd movie. It starts off as a 1980s teen romance picture, about a boy genius who wins the heart of the cute girl next door, with the help of his adorable and funny robot. Sort of like what Short Circuit would be like if it was directed by John Hughes. But Deadly Friend wasn’t directed by John Hughes… it was directed by Nightmare on Elm Street’s Wes Craven, and it is full of just as much violence, gore, and horror as it is of awkward teenage romance and cute robot hijinks. It makes for a really disconcerting sensation, like two different movies have been mashed up together. But that just makes the film wonderfully weird and fun to watch.” – Joshua Raymond, Misfit Robot Daydream

Maniac Cop 2

869. (new) Maniac Cop 2

William Lustig

1990 / USA / 90m / Col / Slasher | IMDb
Robert Davi, Claudia Christian, Michael Lerner, Bruce Campbell, Laurene Landon, Robert Z’Dar, Clarence Williams III, Leo Rossi, Lou Bonacki, Paula Trickey

“The film has a crazed sense of abandon that works with the pulpy material, reminding us at all times of its inherent absurdity, but never to the point that we completely lose interest in the plot. Cordell’s mission makes absolutely no sense, as he kills anyone and everyone, guilty and innocent, even though there is some lip service paid to the idea that he simply wants to have his name cleared. Lustig has even admitted that he punched up a lot of the style to help divert our attention from the plot holes, and it works. An early sequence in which Cordell first appears in a convenience store is garish enough to belong in a Dario Argento film, while the excessive blood sprays from bullet hits and manner in which bodies fly through the air against gravity is the clear product of Lustig seeing a few too many John Woo films […] Points for originality are certainly scarce, but Maniac Cop 2 scores high on sheer bravura and devil-may-care B-movie pleasure. It is exactly what it should be.” – James Kendrick, QNetwork

The Pit and the Pendulum

870. (new) 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

The Witches

871. (-188) 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 Legend of Boggy Creek

872. (new) 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

La bête

873. (+30) 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

Mais ne nous délivrez pas du mal

874. (-264) 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

I Drink Your Blood

875. (-284) 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

876. (-32) 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

House of Whipcord

877. (new) 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

The Manitou

878. (new) 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 Last Exorcism

879. (-415) The Last Exorcism

Daniel Stamm

2010 / USA / 87m / Col / Found Footage | IMDb
Patrick Fabian, Ashley Bell, Iris Bahr, Louis Herthum, Caleb Landry Jones, Tony Bentley, John Wright Jr., Shanna Forrestall, Justin Shafer, Carol Sutton

“The movie’s first forty-five minutes acts as a legitimately witty satire of religious fundamentalists and the now-totally-lame concept of exorcisms (“the spirit of Christ compels you … yawn”). When the stakes are raised in the final act, the audience has been utterly disarmed. And instead of winking at us and promising that it will be all right, they trust that we want to feel terror.” – Simon Miraudo, Quickflix

Yeogo goedam II

880. (new) 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

Matango

881. (-122) Matango

Ishirô Honda

1963 / Japan / 89m / Col / Science Fiction | IMDb
Akira Kubo, Kumi Mizuno, Hiroshi Koizumi, Kenji Sahara, Hiroshi Tachikawa, Yoshio Tsuchiya, Miki Yashiro, Hideyo Amamoto, Takuzô Kumagai, Akio Kusama

“Honda portrays the way in which the rapid economic growth of Japan has resulted in a population divorced from these cultural and natural origins. The rigid mechanical efficiency of a modern society is revealed to be merely illusionary, as the hierarchy crumbles steadily the further this ship of fools is removed from it. Carried away by the forces of nature on a freak ocean tide, the film’s irreversible conclusion is that of evolution turning full circle; man becomes mushroom as he reverts back to the primordial sludge.” – Jasper Sharp, Midnight Eye

Blood from the Mummy's Tomb

882. (new) Blood from the Mummy’s Tomb

Seth Holt

1971 / UK / 94m / Col / Supernatural | IMDb
Andrew Keir, Valerie Leon, James Villiers, Hugh Burden, George Coulouris, Mark Edwards, Rosalie Crutchley, Aubrey Morris, David Markham, Joan Young

“[Bram Stoker’s The Jewel Of The Seven Stars] was picked up by Hammer in the Seventies and heavily restructured as it made the transition to the screen. The result is a film that has the full-on grand guignol atmosphere at which Stoker excelled, with ancient artefacts and terrible curses and gushing blood, but which manages to hang together as a story much better than it did on the page. Key to its success is Valerie Leon in the meatiest role of her career… Despite the skimpy negligés and prominent cleavage, Leon delivers as much more than just eye candy. Her formidable presence is a match for any of Hammer’s celebrated male leads and gives the film the personality it needs to get away with its sillier aspects – of which there are quite a few.” – Jennie Kermode, Eye For Film

Twisted Nerve

883. (new) Twisted Nerve

Roy Boulting

1968 / UK / 112m / Col / Thriller | IMDb
Hayley Mills, Hywel Bennett, Billie Whitelaw, Phyllis Calvert, Barry Foster, Frank Finlay, Salmaan Peerzada, Christian Roberts, Gretchen Franklin, Thorley Walters

““Twisted Nerve” is a Bouting Brothers movie and as such every scene is beautifully crafted from the way a camera slides under the stairs to how the light reflects off of a pair of scissors. It means that “Twisted Nerve” is just as likely to entertain those who like to study movies as it will for those seeking entertainment. What this all boils down to is that “Twisted Nerve” is still a fantastic movie, a fantastic character study with great performances all round, especially from Hywel Bennett who when combined with that whistling theme tune becomes sensationally ominous.” – Andy Webb, The Movie Scene

Killer Klowns from Outer Space

884. (-566) Killer Klowns from Outer Space

Stephen Chiodo

1988 / USA / 88m / Col / Evil Clown | IMDb
Grant Cramer, Suzanne Snyder, John Allen Nelson, John Vernon, Michael Siegel, Peter Licassi, Royal Dano, Christopher Titus, Irene Michaels, Karla Sue Krull

“It’s a one-gag movie, but while some of the iterations of that gag are about as hilarious as a squirt in the face from a plastic flower, a few are genuinely rib-tickling: a clown makes a balloon-animal dog… then lets it loose to hunt down a pair of escaping teens; later, a hapless victim is turned into a hissing pile of melted flesh and bone by a barrage of corrosive custard pies. The designs are likeably lurid (particularly the surreal interior of the clown spaceship), and the animatronics are impressive, considering the budget. Killer Klowns was clearly a labour of love for the three brothers responsible (Stephen, Charles and Edward Chiodo). They never made a feature again… but they can be justly proud of their one big achievement.” – Ian Berriman, SFX Magazine

El ataque de los muertos sin ojos

885. (new) El ataque de los muertos sin ojos

Amando de Ossorio

1973 / Spain / 91m / Col / Zombie | IMDb
Tony Kendall, Fernando Sancho, Esperanza Roy, Frank Braña, José Canalejas, Loreta Tovar, Ramón Lillo, Lone Fleming, Maria Nuria, José Thelman

“Director Ossorio amasses a bunch of familiar genre faces and puts them in grave danger, killing them off one at the time in a plot eerily similar to one by a certain John Carpenter from 1979. The reliance on mood and fear in TOMBS is replaced with action and gore in the RETURN. There are some things that improve on Ossorio’s first, but overall this energetic sequel finishes a close second behind it. ATTACK is to TOMBS what ALIENS was to ALIEN. A highpoint in European horror and, like its predecessor, a must-see for horror enthusiasts.” – Brian Bankston, Cool Ass Cinema

Fiend Without a Face

886. (+108) 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

Noroi

887. (-491) Noroi

Kôji Shiraishi

2005 / Japan / 115m / Col / Found Footage | IMDb
Jin Muraki, Rio Kanno, Tomono Kuga, Marika Matsumoto, Angâruzu, Hiroshi Aramata, Yôko Chôsokabe, Dankan, Tomomi Eguchi, Gôkyû

“Noroi’s sense of realism may be unmatched in found-footage, and the journey of its idealistic, headstrong protagonist makes for gripping viewing; it’s the inseparable nature of the film’s form and content, however, that makes it a contender for one of the best horror films I’ve ever seen. Kobayashi’s film must feel real or else his journey would feel fake. If Noroi possessed the slightest suggestion of falsehood, the audience would have free reign to retreat to a comfortable spectator’s position, ready to let this fiction play out without any personal consequence. By convincing us of its veracity and giving us a protagonist whose drive for earth-shaking answers mirrors our own, Noroi directly interrogates our hunger for truth. In seeking truth, Noroi concludes, we become swallowed up by it. We’ve sought out Pandora’s box and wrest it open, and we deserve whatever comes out.” – Julian Singleton, Cinapse

Countess Dracula

888. (-76) 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

I corpi presentano tracce di violenza carnale

889. (-384) I corpi presentano tracce di violenza carnale

Sergio Martino

1973 / Italy / 89m / Col / Giallo | IMDb
Suzy Kendall, Tina Aumont, Luc Merenda, John Richardson, Roberto Bisacco, Ernesto Colli, Angela Covello, Carla Brait, Conchita Airoldi, Patrizia Adiutori

“So overloaded with red herrings that even Scandinavians would find it excessive, Torso is not the most complicated of whodunits. About an hour into the narrative, the identity of our villain is nothing more than a process of elimination. In essence, take whoever’s left alive, subdivide out the possible motives, and make with the Holmesian deductions. The answer, sadly, will seem pretty obvious. That doesn’t mean Martino can’t have a little frisky fun getting to the conclusion. If you like Me Decade ladies unclothed and submission, this movie is your ticket to titillation. Female mammaries are featured so often that they almost become a plot point. Similarly, Martino does his slasher genre best to handle every death from the killer’s bloody perspective. As the knife blade threatens another topless honey, it’s all so gratuitous and sleazy.” – Bill Gibron, Pop Matters

Les raisins de la mort

890. (-314) 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

Maniac Cop

891. (-255) 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

Una lucertola con la pelle di donna

892. (-289) Una lucertola con la pelle di donna

Lucio Fulci

1971 / Italy / 98m / Col / Giallo | IMDb
Florinda Bolkan, Stanley Baker, Jean Sorel, Silvia Monti, Alberto de Mendoza, Penny Brown, Mike Kennedy, Ely Galleani, George Rigaud, Ezio Marano

“By making the film grounded in physical actuality and more lingering, disgusting gore, Fulci and Kuveiller and the rest of the filmmakers were able to make the moments of drug or psychosis-induced fantasy pop that much more, and somehow, having just a little insanity ends up making the whole film feel more deranged than if it always occupied that heightened place. For as long as it works, A Lizard in a Woman’s Skin does as good a job of exploring what a mental breakdown might actually consist of as well as any giallo ever did, and given the genre’s huge enthusiasm for psychiatry, that’s one heck of an achievement.” – Tim Brayton, Antagony & Ecstasy

The Fall of the House of Usher

893. (+86) The Fall of the House of Usher

James Sibley Watson & Melville Webber

1928 / USA / 13m / BW / Surrealism | IMDb
Herbert Stern, Hildegarde Watson, Melville Webber

“What was theoretical in Epstein’s The Three-Sided Mirror is here freer, more lucid and ethereal, and from its first image of a visitor with busy fingers wading through a tangle of trees and branches to the final orgy of poetic destruction, the director intensely considers the push-pull relationship between life and art—the precarious soul-suck between the two and the chaos their battle risks. When Debucourt’s Usher looks at his painting, he is both staring at the visage of his elusive wife’s representation and the audience itself. Epstein treats celluloid not unlike Usher’s canvas—a delicate, fragile thing to draw on (slow or fast, sometimes twice, thrice, four times over)—and to look at the screen of this film is to witness a portal into a complex, heretofore unknown dimension of cinematic representation.” – Ed Gonzalez, Slant Magazine

The Children

894. (-466) The Children

Tom Shankland

2008 / UK / 84m / Col / Evil Children | IMDb
Eva Birthistle, Stephen Campbell Moore, Jeremy Sheffield, Rachel Shelley, Hannah Tointon, Rafiella Brooks, Jake Hathaway, William Howes, Eva Sayer

“For parents, the film will play on their personal fears and insecurities. Some parents (non-horror fans and insecure parents) will likely be appalled by the idea of children killing their parents, and vice versa (likely the reason why the film didn’t see a theatrical release). Others will simply enjoy the scary good ride – which is a brilliant byproduct of our own fears driven by pandemic paranoia. Director Tom Shankland skillfully crafts intensity through mostly non-scary images. With the help of his equally talented editor (Tim Murrell), Shankland intercuts several horrifying moments, juxtaposed with an energetic, pitch-perfect score from Stephen Hilton. And with such quick, focused intensity at play, seemingly innocent images like pinwheels and coffee mugs, or shots of children playing, drive fear into the hearts of his audience.” – R. L. Shaffer, IGN DVD

Ghostwatch

895. (-325) Ghostwatch

Lesley Manning

1992 / UK / 91m / Col / Haunted House | IMDb
Michael Parkinson, Sarah Greene, Mike Smith, Craig Charles, Gillian Bevan, Brid Brennan, Michelle Wesson, Cherise Wesson, Chris Miller, Mike Aiton

“Set up as a live broadcast, in the same manner that so many ghost hunting shows are now, the movie was actually banned from being broadcast again, because of negative reaction from audiences. Like Orson Welles had done with War of the Worlds, director Lesley Manning and writer Stephen Volk did with Ghostwatch. People believed this was happening, and the film was even said to have caused PTSD in children. It’s not hard to see why. The film is still incredibly frightening, bolstered by the way the evil ghost, Pipes, randomly appears in very quick shots, and how the presenters in the show played themselves. It feels quite real, and obviously had a tremendous impact.” – Will Brownridge, The Film Reel

The Crow

896. (-37) The Crow

Alex Proyas

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

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

Don't Go in the House

897. (-124) 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

898. (-24) 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

The Devil's Rain

899. (new) The Devil’s Rain

Robert Fuest

1975 / USA / 86m / Col / Supernatural | IMDb
Ernest Borgnine, Eddie Albert, Ida Lupino, William Shatner, Keenan Wynn, Tom Skerritt, Joan Prather, Woody Chambliss, John Travolta, Claudio Brook

“The best part about this silly little film is the cast. Where else can you get Ernest Bornine, Tom Skerritt, Eddie Albert, John Travolta, Ida Lupino and William fuckin’ Shatner in the same movie? Hell you even get John Travolta in his first film role (don’t blink or you’ll miss him and if you don’t you might not recognize him thanks to hideous makeup covering his face giving him the appearance of a masked Michael Myers). Surprisingly all these actors also take the silly film seriously (even to the point of over-acting) which only serves in anteing up the hilarity.” – Eric Reifschneider, Blood Brothers

From Beyond the Grave

900. (-180) From Beyond the Grave

Kevin Connor

1974 / UK / 97m / Col / Anthology | IMDb
Ian Bannen, Ian Carmichael, Peter Cushing, Diana Dors, Margaret Leighton, Donald Pleasence, Nyree Dawn Porter, David Warner, Angela Pleasence, Ian Ogilvy

“The first of this film’s strengths is that it takes itself seriously. The stories could easily lend themselves to parody or black comedy, but Connor and his screenwriters never fall for that temptation. With the exception of “The Elemental,” which does have one broad, comic character, the stories in this film are presented as straightforward ghost stories. This presentation lends the film a foreboding quality that inculcates a sense of unease that pervades all of the stories. We never get the feeling that the cast or the filmmakers feel that they are above this kind of film, and this adds a sense of believability to the stories.” – Eric Miller, Classic-Horror