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Hidden Horrors

Hidden Horrors

Current Version: May 2017 (3rd edition)

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

This is an extra little feature to highlight some of the lesser seen films that have been nominated. I’ve excluded films with more than 1000 IMDb votes. A bit of a mixed bag here, but hopefully there are some hidden gems to be found. The ranking is exactly the same as it is in the full ranked list of nominations. This list can also be found on iCheckMovies and IMDb.

Et mourir de plaisir

1. (0) Et mourir de plaisir

Roger Vadim

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

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

Ganja & Hess

2. (0) Ganja & Hess

Bill Gunn

1973 / USA / 110m / Col / Vampire | IMDb
Duane Jones, Marlene Clark, Bill Gunn, Sam Waymon, Leonard Jackson, Candece Tarpley, Richard Harrow, John Hoffmeister, Betty Barney, Mabel King

“Pieced together in a disjointed, nonlinear fashion, Ganja & Hess is a strange, heady blend of grindhouse horror and avant-garde experimentation. Writer/director Bill Gunn was apparently tasked with creating a blaxploitation vampire movie in the vein of Blacula, but he instead managed to make something that feels wholly separate from any one genre- something bizarre and beautiful and horrible and totally unexpected. It is not an easy film to follow, with its story jumping back and forth, seemingly unfinished scenes, and unstable characters, but its imagery is so potent I found myself transfixed.” – Alex Kittle, Art, Film and Over-Enthusiasm

A Warning to the Curious

3. (+2) A Warning to the Curious

Lawrence Gordon Clark

1972 / UK / 50m / Col / Mystery | IMDb
Peter Vaughan, Clive Swift, Julian Herrington, John Kearney, David Cargill, George Benson, Roger Milner, Gilly Fraser, David Pugh, Cyril Appleton

“A perfectly-realized ghost story with no bells and whistles, no gore, no needless filler and no special effects. Instead this offers up excellent direction, fine performances, a low-key, otherworldly score punctuated by frantic violins and stark, low-budget 16mm photography that manages to brilliantly draw the eerie supernatural elements of the story out of the everyday world.” – The Bloody Pit of Horror

Panna a netvor

4. (+2) Panna a netvor

Juraj Herz

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

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

Il mulino delle donne di pietra

5. (+4) Il mulino delle donne di pietra

Giorgio Ferroni

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

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

The Queen of Spades

6. (+10) The Queen of Spades

Thorold Dickinson

1949 / UK / 95m / BW / Gothic | IMDb
Anton Walbrook, Edith Evans, Yvonne Mitchell, Ronald Howard, Mary Jerrold, Anthony Dawson, Miles Malleson, Michael Medwin, Athene Seyler, Ivor Barnard

“Between the pair of them, and with Dickinson’s drive to exacerbate the melodramatic, feverish atmosphere, they make a virtue out of the small budget and limited sets, using mirrors, shadows, candelabra, religious icons and period paraphernalia to encrust the Countess’s palace and its myriad doorways, passages and rooms. The Countess’s boudoir and the ornate Russian church used in the heartstopping funeral sequence of the film are brilliant examples of their craft and they emphasise the film’s squeezing in and expansion of space, from claustrophobia to agoraphobia.”- Frank Collins, Cathode Ray Tube

El vampiro

7. (0) El vampiro

Fernando Méndez

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

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

Mumsy, Nanny, Sonny & Girly

8. (+7) Mumsy, Nanny, Sonny & Girly

Freddie Francis

1970 / UK / 102m / Col / Black Comedy | IMDb
Michael Bryant, Ursula Howells, Pat Heywood, Howard Trevor, Vanessa Howard, Robert Swann, Imogen Hassall, Michael Ripper, Hugh Armstrong

“Girly is not the nightmarish blur of sex, color, and violence one would expect judging by the poster. Instead, it is a slow, psychological meditation, a playful look into the disturbing details of suppressed sexuality, morbid isolation, and the notion of insanity by proxy. We are led into a world fully contained within a decaying mansion, but we aren’t met with a parade of bloody horrors and gleefully violent imagery; instead, we are witness to a coy, clever game of cat and mouse, where no action or emotion is ever true. Comically depraved actions and lustful yearnings hidden behind a strange veil of morality are commonplace.” – James Merolla

Kitchen Sink

9. (+1) Kitchen Sink

Alison Maclean

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

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

Kyôfu kikei ningen: Edogawa Rampo zenshû

10. (+2) Kyôfu kikei ningen: Edogawa Rampo zenshû

Teruo Ishii

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

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

Misterios de ultratumba

11. (+2) Misterios de ultratumba

Fernando Méndez

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

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

The Stone Tape

12. (+2) The Stone Tape

Peter Sasdy

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

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

Valkoinen peura

13. (+7) Valkoinen peura

Erik Blomberg

1952 / Finland / 74m / BW / Supernatural | IMDb
Mirjami Kuosmanen, Kalervo Nissilä, Åke Lindman, Jouni Tapiola, Arvo Lehesmaa

“When it comes to sex or death, The White Reindeer’s American and European contemporaries generally traipse in darkness; in this rare collaboration, a husband-and-wife team managed to make daylight more terrifying. By endowing its fairy tale gimmick with the fruits of documentary filmmaking, The White Reindeer neutralizes the usual kill-the-monster anxieties that loom over 50s gothic, instead giving grandeur and melancholy to its feminist subtext by burying it – as countless other stories must be buried – in the frozen wilderness.” – Steve MacFarlane, Not Coming

The Fall of the House of Usher

14. (+4) 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

La campana del infierno

15. (+6) 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

Tôkaidô Yotsuya kaidan

16. (+6) Tôkaidô Yotsuya kaidan

Nobuo Nakagawa

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

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

L'orribile segreto del Dr. Hichcock

17. (+6) L’orribile segreto del Dr. Hichcock

Riccardo Freda

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

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

Cuadecuc, vampir

18. (+6) Cuadecuc, vampir

Pere Portabella

1971 / Spain / 67m / Col / Vampire | IMDb
Christopher Lee, Herbert Lom, Soledad Miranda, Jack Taylor

“Vampir-Cuadecuc was made in and around the shooting of Jesús “Jess” Franco’s Count Dracula in 1970. An avant-garde ‘making-of’ is perhaps the best description of the film because it utilises material from within and around the other production in order to retell the story in question in its own inimitable style. Director Pere Portabella could be described as an experimental filmmaker – he was outside of the mainstream by political necessity during the dictatorship – which makes him an odd pairing with the more ‘commercial’ (to be polite) Jess Franco (although he nonetheless also had his own run-ins with the regime’s censors). But Portabella’s repurposing and reimagining of the elements at Franco’s disposal creates something genuinely (and appropriately) otherworldly.” – Rebecca Naughten, EyeForFilm.co.uk

The Signalman

19. (+6) The Signalman

Lawrence Gordon Clark

1976 / UK / 37m / Col / Supernatural | IMDb
Denholm Elliott, Bernard Lloyd, Reginald Jessup, Carina Wyeth

“Apparently inspired by both the Clayton Tunnel collision of 1961 and the Dickens’ first-hand experience of Staplehurst rail crash four years later, The Signalman is without question one of the strongest films in the [BBC] Ghost Story series and remains today of the finest of all televisual tales of the supernatural. The story was adapted by Andrew Davies – who was later to pen such luminary television works as A Very Peculiar Practice, House of Cards and a number of adaptations of literary classics, including two Dickens novels – and benefits greatly from being faithful to the source story, right down to the period formality of the dialogue.” – Slarek, Cine Outsider

Horrors of the Black Museum

20. (+19) Horrors of the Black Museum

Arthur Crabtree

1959 / UK / 95m / BW / Crime | IMDb
Michael Gough, June Cunningham, Graham Curnow, Shirley Anne Field, Geoffrey Keen, Gerald Anderson, John Warwick, Beatrice Varley, Austin Trevor, Malou Pantera

“The film is considered the first of what is known as the Sadian trilogy, along with Circus Of Horrors and Peeping Tom, films dealing with sadistic murder and psychology as opposed to Hammer’s more gothic and fantastic output of the same period. It’s probably the weakest of the three films, but, that said, it’s still an interesting and enjoyable movie and worth watching. Interestingly the role of Bancroft was intended for Vincent Price, but he proved too expensive. The film was also originally released in “Hypno-vista”, a William Castle style gimmick, and the film began with 15 minutes of psychologist Emile Franchel explaining hypnotism and including a woman having needles inserted through the skin of her arm while under hypnosis.” – Mark Satchwill, Classic Horror Campaign

Mo

21. (+5) Mo

Chih-Hung Kuei

1983 / Hong Kong / 105m / Col / Martial Arts | IMDb
Somjai Boomsong, Tien-Chu Chin, Phillip Ko, You-hsing Lai, Wai Lam, Hak Shun Leung, Chih Tai Lin, Xiaoyen Lin, Chun Liu, Han-yuan Ma

“The Boxer’s Omen is a hell of an experience and it should really be right up there with the likes of Evil Dead 2, Hausu, Phantasm, Suspiria, and anything Jodorowsky made, but it’s still relatively obscure. Director Kuei Chih-Hung’s filmography is made up mostly of crime-thrillers, but his 70s/80s work consists of sick horrors like brutal Snakesploitation shocker The Killer Snakes (1975), Corpse Mania (1981) and Bewitched (1981), which I was surprised to find that The Boxer’s Omen was actually a sequel to. There is a strong visual flair throughout the movie, especially during the more magical scenes that enhance the surrealism and make you believe in what you’re seeing — even if what you’re seeing is clearly a cheap rubber spider biting into somebody’s face.” – Chris Purdie, Mondo Exploito

Schalcken the Painter

22. (+5) Schalcken the Painter

Leslie Megahey

1979 / UK / 68m / Col / Gothic | IMDb
Jeremy Clyde, Maurice Denham, Cheryl Kennedy, John Justin, Anne Tirard, Anthony Sharp, Val Penny, Roy Evans, Eric Francis, Charles Gray

“First aired on the BBC on 23rd December 1979, Leslie Mehagey’s Schalcken the Painter is lush, weird, postmodern and creepy. Based on Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu’s 1839 ghost story, both works craft an unsettling fiction around real 17th-century Dutch painters, Godfried Schalcken and his tutor, Gerrit Dou. Pitching his script as an arts lecture that morphs into a horror story, Megahey plays with Le Fanu’s use of historical figures by presenting the film as a documentary, a trick aided by its screening as part of the arts series Omnibus. The film meticulously recreates the interiors made famous by the Dutch masters, lifting them from the gallery wall, and having our protagonists inhabit them.” – Stephanie King, Electric Sheep Magazine

The Man Who Changed His Mind

23. (+23) The Man Who Changed His Mind

Robert Stevenson

1936 / UK / 66m / BW / Science Fiction | IMDb
Boris Karloff, John Loder, Anna Lee, Frank Cellier, Donald Calthrop, Cecil Parker, Lyn Harding

““The Man Who Changed His Mind” is perhaps one of the most intense horror films from the 1930s that I’ve come across. From the first time Boris Karloff’s chain-smoking mad scientist crosses paths with Anna Lee’s brilliant and independent-minded surgeon, you know things are going to end badly for more than one of the film’s characters. But even with that knowledge, you’re not going to guess how badly and for whom until the story is all but done unfolding. Even after nearly 75 years, this is a horror film that countless modern-day filmmakers need to study and emulate’ their films would be far better for it.” – Steve Miller, Shades of Gray

The Brotherhood of Satan

24. (+10) The Brotherhood of Satan

Bernard McEveety

1971 / UK / 92m / Col / Supernatural | IMDb
Strother Martin, L.Q. Jones, Charles Bateman, Ahna Capri, Charles Robinson, Alvy Moore, Helene Winston, Joyce Easton, Debi Storm, Jeff Williams

““TBOS” starts off odd & disquieting with a couple of kids turning toys into real weapons and for a short while you might not understand what the hell is going on but trust me…give the film a little time to work it’s way into your head and you won’t be able to take your eyes off of the screen. McEveety’s direction paints every scene with an ambiance of dread & despair from the first frame on & after you get your bearings that dread jumps off of the screen and into your soul. It’s a seriously unnerving atmosphere that he’s created and it really gets to you after awhile.” – Victor De Leon, Vic’s Movie Den

Carodejuv ucen

25. (+6) Carodejuv ucen

Karel Zeman

1978 / Czechoslovakia / 73m / Col / Fantasy | IMDb
Ludek Munzar, Jaroslav Moucka

“The atmospheric energy that continues throughout the film relates from the contrast between the innocent boy, Krabat, who confronts life with humor and a whistle, and the bloodthirsty sorcerer who has designs on the lives of his apprentices. This energy is created through very simple drawings – be it dark clouds, the silhouette of the mill, or the evil look of crow that turns out to be a masked magician. The imagery is simple, the figures spindly – there is no question of this being reality. Nevertheless, the atmosphere remains tight and the hand-made quality is as noticeable as it is absent in so many current 3D productions.” – Tamar Baumgarten-Noort, Schnitt Online

Next of Kin

26. (+6) Next of Kin

Tony Williams

1982 / Australia / 89m / Col / Thriller | IMDb
Jacki Kerin, John Jarratt, Alex Scott, Gerda Nicolson, Charles McCallum, Bernadette Gibson, Robert Ratti, Tommy Dysart, Debra Lawrance, Simon Thorpe

“All of the best horror films have an element of ambiguity. And that is not a generalized sweeping statement, look at any list of great horror films and you will always find the true greats such as The Haunting or The Innocents in the top 10. What makes Next of Kin different and, dare I say, so very intriguing, is how very sane our hero appears to be… Depending on how well you deal with being kept in the dark, this could be an uncovered masterpiece or a forgettable exercise of undeniably impressive direction. Irritation with the ending rises in direct proportion of how invested you are in the film as a whole, which really is a most unfortunate ultimatum.” – Stephen Hill, HorrorNews.net

Der Student von Prag

27. (+15) Der Student von Prag

Henrik Galeen

1926 / Germany / 110m / BW / Drama | IMDb
Conrad Veidt, Elizza La Porta, Fritz Alberti, Agnes Esterhazy, Ferdinand von Alten, Werner Krauss, Erich Kober, Max Maximilian

“Superior [to the 1913] version, thanks to some moody direction by Henrik Galeen (who was involved in either a writing or directorial capacities in an astonishing number of German horror movies, such as both versions of THE GOLEM, WAXWORKS, ALRAUNE and NOSFERATU) and a fine, powerful performance from Conrad Veidt, who may actually have been the finest horror actor of the silents and is here reunited with his CABINET OF DR. CALIGARI co-star Werner Krauss… there’s a real power in the growing horror of the story, and the final sequences in which Veidt is stalked by himself are absolutely chilling. In a sense, there’s no other horror movie out there quite like this one” – Dave Sindelar, Fantastic Movie Musings and Ramblings

La maldición de la Llorona

28. (+17) La maldición de la Llorona

Rafael Baledón

1963 / Mexico / 74m / Col / Supernatural | IMDb
Rosa Arenas, Abel Salazar, Rita Macedo, Carlos López Moctezuma, Enrique Lucero, Mario Sevilla, Julissa, Roy Fletcher, Arturo Corona

“The film lasts a mere eighty minutes and, with the possible exception of a fight scene between two men that feels more at home in one of the popular lucha libre films of the time, not a moment is wasted. Though there is nothing original at all about it (in addition to its murderous title character, it has a crippled manservant and a madman in the attic), the film is so tightly constructed, the narrative moved along so propulsively, and the experience of watching it so consistently and thrillingly strange, that it rises above the also-rans to become a minor classic of its genre.” – Matt Bailey, Not Coming to a Theater Near You

L'assassino è costretto ad uccidere ancora

29. (+14) L’assassino è costretto ad uccidere ancora

Luigi Cozzi

1975 / Italy / 86m / Col / Giallo | IMDb
George Hilton, Antoine Saint-John, Femi Benussi, Cristina Galbó, Eduardo Fajardo, Tere Velázquez, Alessio Orano, Dario Griachi, Luigi Antonio Guerra, Carla Mancini

“Cozzi brings an experimental edge to the film with his off-kilter visual style and repeatedly cross-cuts between parallel actions, contrasting a murder with a party, a frenetic chase sequence with a slow-burning police interrogation, a passionate sex scene with an horrific rape. The cat-and-mouse finale is all the more interesting because Cozzi forgoes the usual Dario Argento suspense mechanisms and instead mounts the action as believably awkward, ugly and slow. Luciana Schiratti’s art direction combines well with the photography by Riccardo Pallotini to conjure one of the best looking giallo films while outstanding ensemble performances make the most out of the suspenseful script.” – Andrew Pragasam, The Spinning Image

Temnye vody

30. (+5) Temnye vody

Mariano Baino

1993 / Russia / 94m / Col / Supernatural | IMDb
Louise Salter, Venera Simmons, Mariya Kapnist, Lubov Snegur, Alvina Skarga, Valeriy Bassel, Pavel Sokolov, Anna Rose Phipps, Tanya Dobrovolskaya, Valeriy Kopaev

“That was weird. Those were the first words that spilled out of my mouth as the end credits rolled on Dark Waters, a British/Italian/Russian co-production filmed in post-Soviet Ukraine. Directed and co-written by Mariano Baino, Dark Waters is a singular experience. Steeped in Lovecraftian influence, the film can be dizzying, even maddening, to watch. However, with the captivating direction and surprisingly engaging story, Dark Waters may actually be worth your time. It is not, however, a film for the feeble-minded… in order to enjoy it, it really needs to be taken as a whole – the dizzying story embraced and experienced. If you’re willing to enter that kind of mindset, that kind of half-fantasy world, Dark Waters has the potential to be understood not only as a creepy religious horror, but as a fine addition to Lovecraftian filmmaking.” – Julia Merriam, Classic-Horror.com

Omnibus: Whistle and I'll Come to You

31. (+5) 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

The Mad Doctor

32. (+5) The Mad Doctor

David Hand

1933 / USA / 7m / BW / Haunted House | IMDb
Billy Bletcher, Pinto Colvig, Walt Disney

“Mickey Mouse started out as a mischievous, somewhat anarchic character, more in the mode of Woody Woodpecker or Daffy Duck than the mellow suburban everymouse he became in the 1940s… When 1933’s “The Mad Doctor” was released, some theaters considered it too scary and gruesome for children. That’s not just because of the scenes of Mickey falling down tunnels, or walking up staircases that turn out to be coffins filled with animated skeletons. No, what’s really disturbing in “The Mad Doctor” are the images of Mickey’s dog Pluto being terrorized by the bearded maniac of the short’s title — with no rescue in sight, unless his master wakes from this awful dream.” – Noel Murray, The Dissolve

El espejo de la bruja

33. (+29) El espejo de la bruja

Chano Urueta

1962 / Mexico / 75m / Col / Witchcraft | IMDb
Rosa Arenas, Armando Calvo, Isabela Corona, Dina de Marco, Carlos Nieto, Alfredo Wally Barrón

“The general mood and the visual style of “The Witch’s Mirror” is probably influenced by the old Universal horror-films and legendary tales by the ones like Edgar Allan Poe, and its gothic-mood has many similarities to the films by Mario Bava from the same era. The very imaginative and clever visual tricks in the film are not necessarily that hard to achieve and are occasionally dated, but they do work very well for the movie and for the black & white cinematography. Flowers are withered for no reason, the piano is playing the favourite tune of the late Elena by itself, the wind is blowing and the mood is restless and spooky. Some optical tricks (like superimposing) are surprisingly good, and filmmakers have used their best imagination to create the illusion with the mirror, the essential object in the film. The movie has almost as much fantasy elements as it has horror, and together they create a pretty effective little flick.” – Jari Kovalainen, DVD Compare

La semana del asesino

34. (+4) La semana del asesino

Eloy de la Iglesia

1973 / Spain / 90m / Col / Cannibal | IMDb
Vicente Parra, Emma Cohen, Eusebio Poncela, Charly Bravo, Fernando Sánchez Polack, Goyo Lebrero, Vicky Lagos, Ismael Merlo, Rafael Hernández, José Franco

“Eloy de la Iglesia’s film has very little in common with Umberto Lenzi’s jungle excursions, or even one of Jason Vorhees’ stalk and slash trips to Crystal Lake, and is more comparable to John McNaughton’s Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer. Though Marcos’ decent into madness isn’t as easy to believe as Hitchcock and Polanski’s better creations, the film still has an uncanny ability to deeply disturb. Though the plot isn’t terribly intricate… and the camera work could charitably be referred to as ‘minimalist’, the filthy set design, buyable performances, and greasy atmosphere grindhouse their way under the skin and stay there pretty effectively.” – Gabriel Powers, DVDActive

Miss Muerte

35. (+5) Miss Muerte

Jesús Franco

1966 / Spain / 86m / BW / Science Fiction | IMDb
Estella Blain, Mabel Karr, Howard Vernon, Fernando Montes, Marcelo Arroita-Jáuregui, Cris Huerta, Alberto Bourbón, Lucía Prado, Guy Mairesse

“Many viewers will be coerced into pinching themselves to remember this is a Franco film. Beautifully shot in stunning black-and-white, Franco beautifully composes each shot into a tableau of light and shadow, creating an eerie atmosphere throughout the feature. This is a stunningly beautiful film, filled with luscious outdoor sequences and great suspense setpieces (the capture of Nadia in an abandoned theater is one of Franco’s best)… As with many Franco films, jazz is an important element. Not only is the film’s soundtrack made up primarily of catchy little jazz ditties and horn-driven melodies, the film’s climax is an experimental jazz piece laid onto film: frenetic, wild, and outrageous.” – Casey Scott, DVD Drive-In

Ye ban ge sheng

36. (+34) Ye ban ge sheng

Weibang Ma-Xu

1937 / China / 113m / BW / Drama | IMDb
Menghe Gu, Ping Hu, Shan Jin, Chau-shui Yee, Wenzhu Zhou

“Besides having a great story, Song at Midnight is also a visual treat. Ma-Xu was a not only a fan of Tod Browning’s Universal monster films, he was also an admirer of German universal_style_thumbexpressionism, most notably the works of Fritz Lang and Robert Wiene. Ma-Xu put together a film heavy with gothic atmosphere and haunting images. Ma-Xu sets the mood from the very beginning, by introducing the audience to the cobweb infested theater at night, and having a mysterious man lurking in the shadows. From that point on the scene is set and what follows truly comes from an artistic mind.” – Kimberly J.M. Wilson, 1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die

La torre de los siete jorobados

37. (+17) La torre de los siete jorobados

Edgar Neville

1944 / Spain / 85m / BW / Mystery | IMDb
Antonio Casal, Isabel de Pomés, Guillermo Marín, Félix de Pomés, Julia Lajos, Julia Pachelo, Manolita Morán, Antonio Riquelme, José Franco, Manuel Miranda

“Neville’s film is not exactly good, but it certainly is fascinating. In many ways it’s like a rather corny Universal horror movie of the ’30s (featuring a few performances that would show even Lugosi in an impressive light); but no Hollywood film-maker – with the possible exception of Whale or Browning – would pepper a plot with such delightful nonsense (the ghost of Napoleon turns up at one point) and grotesquerie. The Spanish taste for the fantastic, the bizarre and the surreal is much in evidence, and one is left breathless by the sheer audacity of the ludicrous plot. It can, of course, be seen as an allegory on the state of the nation after the Civil War, but is best viewed as weird but wonderful wackiness.” – GA, Time Out London

Before I Hang

38. (+41) Before I Hang

Nick Grinde

1940 / USA / 62m / BW / Science Fiction | IMDb
Boris Karloff, Evelyn Keyes, Bruce Bennett, Edward Van Sloan, Ben Taggart, Pedro de Cordoba, Wright Kramer, Bertram Marburgh, Don Beddoe, Robert Fiske

“The mechanical zest with which Director Nick Grinde usually manages to obscure script deficencies in films of this genre is conspicuously absent in “Before I Die.” But if you’re taken in by reels and reels of test tubes, mechanical hearts and other scientific gadgets, or the brooding atmosphere provoked through the use of murky photography, then “Before I Hang” should prove to be moderately entertaining. It’s strictly a one-man show—Mr. Karloff’s as far as performances go, but Pedro de Cordoba manages to get, off a pretty good imitation of a piano maestro.” – Bosley Crowther, The New York Times

J'accuse!

39. (+41) J’accuse!

Abel Gance

1938 / France / 104m / BW / War | IMDb
Victor Francen, Line Noro, Marie Lou, Jean-Max, Paul Amiot, Jean-Louis Barrault, Marcel Delaître, Renée Devillers, Romuald Joubé, André Nox

“This is a powerful film that leaves quite an impression. Gance told the French government that the film could be used as a recruiting tool, so they allowed him to film at the front (he captured part of the Battle of St. Mihiel) and the footage was used in the movie. He was also able to use soldiers on leave as extras in the climactic scene where the dead come back to life. Most of the men used in this scene were in the army and were tragically killed weeks later. Still, they had seen battle in the trenches of France and you can tell by the looks on their faces that they weren’t acting so much as reacting to what they had experienced.” – John Sinnott, DVD Talk

La main du diable

40. (+8) La main du diable

Maurice Tourneur

1943 / France / 78m / BW / Drama | IMDb
Pierre Fresnay, Josseline Gaël, Noël Roquevert, Guillaume de Sax, Palau, Pierre Larquey, André Gabriello, Antoine Balpêtré, Marcelle Rexiane, André Varennes

“What makes La Main du diable such a particularly dark and disturbing film is the genuine sensation of terror that comes through the performances, especially that of its lead actor, Pierre Fresnay. In the opening and closing segments of the film, Fresnay appears like a man possessed, a man who genuinely believes he has the Devil on his back and knows that he is about to lose the one thing dearest to him, his soul. […] The expressionistic set design and lighting work to create a mood of unrelenting oppression and lurking demonic menace, which is at its most intense in the chilling opening sequence and dramatic denouement.” – James Travers, Films de France

I Was a Teenage Frankenstein

41. (+17) I Was a Teenage Frankenstein

Herbert L. Strock

1957 / USA / 74m / BW / Exploitation | IMDb
Whit Bissell, Phyllis Coates, Robert Burton, Gary Conway, George Lynn, John Cliff, Marshall Bradford, Claudia Bryar, Angela Blake, Russ Whiteman

“Like I Was a Teenage Werewolf, I Was a Teenage Frankenstein taps into a metaphor about teenage dissatisfaction. As in Teenage Werewolf, the monster comes to represent alienated adolescence and Whit Bissell is again cast as a calculating and manipulative scientist/authority figure. It is amusing to see that in this film Frankenstein is no longer traditionally a scientist with misguided intentions, he is utterly ruthless from the outset. I Was a Teenage Frankenstein is played considerably more tongue-in-cheek than Teenage Werewolf and emerges as the better of the two films as a result.” – Richard Scheib, Moria – The Science Fiction, Horror and Fantasy Film Review

Un tranquillo posto di campagna

42. (+8) Un tranquillo posto di campagna

Elio Petri

1968 / Italy / 106m / Col / Psychological | IMDb
Franco Nero, Vanessa Redgrave, Georges Géret, Gabriella Boccardo, Madeleine Damien, Valerio Ruggeri, Rita Calderoni, Renato Menegotto, Arnaldo Momo

“As a portrait of a fractured psyche it€™s a highly effective piece. Staying close to the artist€™s perspective, it€™s steeped in dread and uncertainty, with perspective shifts and fantasy sequences bolstered by Ennio Morricone€™s unsettling score. As a ghost story, recalling Poe, and a mystery, it€™s less coherent, though one can excuse Petri for this, as so much of the tale is informed by the artist€™s febrile mental state. Arguably it€™s now ripe for rediscovery; its themes of commerce and politics intruding on the artist€™s craft and their struggle to survive in the marketplace of ideas being pertinent in an environment where arts funding is being slashed and where exhibition is being co-opted by ever more powerful institutions in thrall to trustees, under pressure to make money. Petri knew that something had to give under such pressures. A Quiet Place in the Country suggests that €˜thing€™ is the individual.” – Ed Whitfield, What Culture

La horripilante bestia humana

43. (+18) La horripilante bestia humana

René Cardona

1969 / Mexico / 81m / Col / Splatter | IMDb
José Elías Moreno, Carlos López Moctezuma, Armando Silvestre, Norma Lazareno, Agustín Martínez Solares, Javier Rizo, Gerardo Zepeda, Noelia Noel, Gina Morett

“In the traditional sense of the word, “Apes” isn’t a very good movie… However, as a slice of cinematic trash, the thing succeeds. The gore and nudity, whilst crudely done, has a certain low rent charm, as does the poor dubbing. It also thankfully moves at a pretty reasonable pace, rarely if ever slowing down and more often then not adding in something to keep your interest. The influence it takes from low rent horror from the 40’s and 50’s is also noticeable, as apart from the aforementioned exploitable elements, has a naive sense of unpretentious fun. Really, that’s the best way to describe this movie” – Joseph Howell, Talk of Horrors

Grip of the Strangler

44. (+7) Grip of the Strangler

Robert Day

1958 / UK / 78m / BW / Crime | IMDb
Boris Karloff, Jean Kent, Elizabeth Allan, Anthony Dawson, Vera Day, Tim Turner, Diane Aubrey, Max Brimmell, Leslie Perrins, Jessica Cairns

“It’s not a big budget film, but you largely wouldn’t know it. Director Robert Day started his career as a cinematographer and clearly learned how to use shadows, fog and lighting to keep the audience from noticing any economies in set design and art direction. The professionalism of the cast helps a good deal too… Kent is clearly at home in her showy part, even though it is unfortunately smaller than it could have been. Karloff is nothing less than brilliant, conveying the admixture of desire and repression, rage and sadness present in his character. This is not a widely-known film outside of the horror film buff community. But it has captured some important supporters, most notably The Criterion Collection, who have made a pristine print available” – Keith Humphreys, Washington Monthly

Thirst

45. (+22) Thirst

Rod Hardy

1979 / Australia / 93m / Col / Vampire | IMDb
Chantal Contouri, Shirley Cameron, Max Phipps, Henry Silva, Rod Mullinar, David Hemmings, Rosie Sturgess, Robert Thompson, Walter Pym, Amanda Muggleton

“All of this is a hoot, even though I’m not convinced it’s totally meant to be since the film is fairly straight-laced and features that satiric bent that never quite bares its fangs, perhaps because Kate herself isn’t exactly part of the helpless working class, what with her posh apartment and cozy job. It’s not like she’s a farm girl out there with the dingoes and kangaroos. As a result, Thirst is divided against itself as a film that seems to have muddled political ambitions but also just wants to indulge in feverish, giallo-like hysteria (David Hemmings is even around as one of the cultists). Aesthetically, the film is similarly schizoid in its attempt to have its blood cow and eat it too, as it attempts to merge a clinical, modern day approach with more traditionally gothic imagery, so you’ve got blood farms smashing up against unholy rituals where the newly initiated tear into a human victim to the delight of their fellow vampires in the audience.” – Brett Gallman, Oh, the Horror

The Silent Scream

46. (+6) The Silent Scream

Denny Harris

1979 / USA / 87m / Col / Slasher | IMDb
Rebecca Balding, Cameron Mitchell, Avery Schreiber, Barbara Steele, Steve Doubet, Brad Rearden, John Widelock, Jack Stryker, Thelma Pelish, Tina Tyler

“While not the bloodiest ’80’s slasher piece, The Silent Scream offers genuine tension with a distinctive and offbeat feel. There’s plenty of atmosphere for a small budget (but well-produced) ’80’s horror flick and a few stylishly shot, memorable scenes that will stick with you… Not so much a horror story as a thriller about a seriously dysfunctional family, The Silent Scream’s plot falls a bit short in that it misses out on some chances to include more twists and turns, but it’s still a good ride for nostalgic ’80’s horror fans.” – Pamela De Graff, 366 Weird Movies

Der Golem

47. (+29) Der Golem

Henrik Galeen & Paul Wegener

1915 / Germany / 60m / BW / Supernatural | IMDb
Paul Wegener, Henrik Galeen, Lyda Salmonova, Rudolf Blümner, Robert A. Dietrich, Carl Ebert, Jakob Tiedtke

“Wegener’s first version of The Golem was released in January 1915… The story was updated to the present day, when an antique dealer (Rudolf Bluemner) resurrects the Golem and it falls in love with his daughter Jessica (Salmonova). Spurned by Jessica, the monster goes on a rampage but is destroyed when the life-giving amulet is torn from its chest and it falls from a high tower. How it compares to the 1920 version we can only guess, as there are barely four minutes of the earlier film in existence today. The Golem was a great success in Germany, and was released America under the title The Monster of Fate. We can assume that Fate wasn’t on the Monster’s side as the USA declared war on Germany the same week and the film sank into oblivion.” – Bob the Caretaker, The Devil’s Manor

Elves

48. (+29) Elves

Jeffrey Mandel

1989 / USA / 89m / Col / Monster | IMDb
Dan Haggerty, Julie Austin, Deanna Lund, Borah Silver, Mansell Rivers-Bland, Christopher Graham, Laura Lichstein, Stacey Dye, Winter Monk, Jeff Austin

“Elves is an incredibly tasteless movie, finding all sorts of ways to offend as many viewers as possible. It’s so perversely twisted, one can’t help but find affection for it on that level. Those looking for anti-Christmas films and are willing to tolerate some really cheap filmmaking will find it amusing, and they certainly could do a lot worse. It’s not surprising that there’s an undercurrent of black humor in this movie. After all, how could anyone take seriously a movie that includes (and not limited to) Nazis, ex-Nazis, nudity, rape, incest, children spouting four lettered words, urination, and drowning a cat in a toilet? No, having all of this material in a story hardly leaves any room for taking things seriously. The movie is so absurd, it becomes fascinating. ” – Keith Bailey, The Unknown Movies

The Werewolf

49. (+4) 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

Lèvres de sang

50. (+28) Lèvres de sang

Jean Rollin

1975 / France / 88m / Col / Vampire | IMDb
Jean-Loup Philippe, Annie Belle, Natalie Perrey, Martine Grimaud, Catherine Castel, Marie-Pierre Castel, Hélène Maguin, Anita Berglund, Claudine Beccarie

“More linear than many of his other films in the ‘lesbian vampire’ sub-genre for which he’s so well known, Jean Rollin plays this one fairly straight at least in terms of how he tells the story. Everything happens in a fairly straight forward fashion, save for the flashback (which doesn’t upset the flow of the movie at all) and even those not well versed in the man’s work should have no problems whatsoever following this one… as much a romance as it is a horror movie (as many of his movies are), it’s an engrossing and absolutely gorgeous looking film that provides enough gratuitous nudity, lesbian vampire action and mild bloodshed to appeal to the genre enthusiast but also manages to tell a rather sad and completely interesting story at the same time.” – Ian Jane, DVD Talk

The Boneyard

51. (+6) The Boneyard

James Cummins

1991 / USA / 98m / Col / Zombie | IMDb
Ed Nelson, Deborah Rose, Norman Fell, James Eustermann, Denise Young, Willie Stratford Jr., Phyllis Diller, Robert Yun Ju Ahn, Rick Brophy, Sallie Middleton Kaltreider

“The Boneyard has its share of guilty pleasures, though never quite equals the sum of its better, more inventive parts… James Cummins’ helming is capable enough, the orchestral score atmospheric, and although the special effects are pretty poor, the characters are genuinely quirky and the plotting has some eclectic turns that put one in mind of Peter Jackson’s Braindead — not too many movies can boast zombies, splatter, Phyllis Diller, a fat psychic, and a gigantic zombie poodle – for which this is worth the price alone. Don’t take The Boneyard seriously, don’t think about it too closely, just sit back, crack open a beer, dig in and enjoy.” – Doc Obrero, Sex Gore Mutants

Morgiana

52. (+7) Morgiana

Juraj Herz

1972 / Czechoslovakia / 100m / Col / Gothic | IMDb
Iva Janzurová, Josef Abrhám, Nina Divísková, Petr Cepek, Josef Somr, Jirí Kodet, Jirí Lír, Ivan Palúch, Zuzana Fisárková, Marie Drahokoupilová

“The tale unfolds like a melodrama on acid, exaggerated and restrained in the very same breath, with theatrical expressions of emotion tempered by a wealth of sometimes unsettling suggestive detail, much of which can only be properly appreciated on subsequent viewings. Even seemingly straightforward scenes are on second glance revealed to be anything but (just take a look at the framing and editing in the open-air sequence in which Viktorie eavesdrops on Klára and Marek) and can suddenly give way to unexpected angles, dizzying wide shots or intimate and sometimes semi-hallucinatory close-ups. Lubos Fiser’s score, meanwhile, flits between the romantic, the creepily atmospheric, and the sort of bombastic brass fanfares that Hammer reserved for their most sensationalist shock moments.” – CineOutsider

Yôkai hantâ: Hiruko

53. (+12) Yôkai hantâ: Hiruko

Shin’ya Tsukamoto

1991 / Japan / 89m / Col / Comedy | IMDb
Kenji Sawada, Masaki Kudou, Hideo Murota, Naoto Takenaka, Megumi Ueno, Bang-ho Cho, Ken Mitsuishi, Imari Tsuji, Kimiko Yo

“Hiruko is not a perfect film but it is an awful lot of fun, a surprisingly effective popcorn film from a man known best for his grim visions of humanity. Hieda sports the director’s trademark fishing hat throughout the film and is clearly a stand in for Tsukamoto to live out all of his childhood fantasies. It’s got pretty much everything you could want: likeable lead characters, bizarre secondary roles, a wealth of splat-stick humor, one of the more bizarre movie monsters you’ll ever come across, fountains of blood, surprisingly effective special effects and a legitimate dose of fear and suspense.” – Todd Brown, Screen Anarchy

S&man

54. (+10) S&man

J.T. Petty

2006 / USA / 84m / Col / Found Footage | IMDb
Elizabeth Cartier, Carol J. Clover, Debbie D, Freddie Dingo, Michelle Glick, Julie Katz, Erik Marcisak, Carlina Salemi, Fred Vogel, Bill Zebub

“Many horror films, especially the slasher, are staged as implicit wars of the sexes, with have-nots viciously murdering the haves, giving release to those who might resent their place in the social pecking order of things. S&Man stresses that the creation of these movies logically serves an even more intimate catharsis for the director… Taking off from Carol Clover’s influential Men, Women and Chainsaws: Gender in the Modern Horror Film, S&Man acknowledges that both genders are getting something out of these films—that the victim/killer relationship (or director/actress) is more complicated and mutually rewarding… The film is onto something here—a working-class view of the symbiotic relationship between director and actress in the film business and its parallel with the fantasies of the viewers.” – Chuck Bowen, Slant Magazine

The Man They Could Not Hang

55. (+37) The Man They Could Not Hang

Nick Grinde

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

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

The Maze

56. (+38) The Maze

William Cameron Menzies

1953 / USA / 80m / BW / Gothic | IMDb
Richard Carlson, Veronica Hurst, Katherine Emery, Michael Pate, John Dodsworth, Hillary Brooke, Stanley Fraser, Lilian Bond, Owen McGiveney, Robin Hughes

“Like many of the films from the golden age of 3-D, The Maze doesn’t rely on its 3-D effects to tell its story. In fact, it’s just as effective of a story when watched in two dimensions as it is in three. The Maze was directed by William Cameron Menzies (whose claim to fame was his stunning use of color as the production designer for Gone with the Wind, but he also directed the legendary Invaders from Mars), and his use of the technology is more textural and layering than gimmicky… The castle is a perfect setting for a horror film, with its long hallways, arching doorways and sweeping staircases, and the environment only adds to the excitement.” – James Jay Edwards, FilmFracture

Gospodin oformitel

57. (+11) Gospodin oformitel

Oleg Teptsov

1989 / Soviet Union / 109m / Col / Mystery | IMDb
Viktor Avilov, Anna Demyanenko, Mikhail Kozakov, Ivan Krasko, Vadim Lobanov, Valentina Malakhiyeva, Konstantin Lukashov

“Very loosely based on the novella “Grey Automobile” by Alexander Grin, it’s an eerie, tragic tale of an artist whose desire to capture something divine and immortal through his art ends up being his undoing. Having watched the film several times now, I’m still quite haunted by the saturated colors and imagery, gorgeous pre-revolutionary St. Petersburg sets… Mister Designer is the kind of movie that gets under your skin. Every moment in the film is screen-shot worthy and the soundtrack [by Sergey Kuryokhin] is repeatedly enjoyable, but it’s all those elements combined that create the tense, tragic and beautiful atmosphere” – Tanya, Cinema Midnight

The Flesh Eaters

58. (+11) The Flesh Eaters

Jack Curtis

1964 / USA / 87m / Col / Exploitation | IMDb
Martin Kosleck, Byron Sanders, Barbara Wilkin, Rita Morley, Ray Tudor, Christopher Drake, Darby Nelson, Rita Floyd, Warren Houston, Barbara Wilson

“The Flesh Eaters is exactly why people subject themselves to bad sci-fi films… This is a camp film of the highest order. A pilot, an alcoholic actress, and her personal assistant become stranded on an island with a mysterious Udo Kier-like scientist. All hope of escape seems lost however, when they discover that the waters around them are home to some ‘strange glowing things’ that like to feed on human flesh. Featuring some of the sharpest Z-grade dialogue this side of Ed Wood Jr. and an utterly absurd “suspense sequence” about traversing a two-foot span of rocks that simply has to be seen to be believed, this is the epitome of a bad drive-in picture. Simply put, I laughed from beginning to end, and loved every damn second of it.” – Adam Lemke, DVDBeaver.com

Escalofrío

59. (+12) Escalofrío

Carlos Puerto

1978 / Spain / 82m / Col / Supernatural | IMDb
Ángel Aranda, Sandra Alberti, Mariana Karr, José María Guillén, Manuel Pereiro, Luis Barboo, José Pagán, Isidro Luengo, Ascensión Moreno, Carlos Castellano

“Asking us to enjoy the very elements that it uses to set us at unease, its cannibal witches may be disguised as scantly clad seductresses and shadows from a murky past but they’re out to eat you just the same – your spirit, your sanity, your sense of identity. At the same time, its subversive story, careful direction, and commendable performances make it an unflinching expose of corruption – breakdowns of mind, and spirit reflected by ravishments of the flesh. While gothic in atmosphere, even approaching the surreal in terms of its lush, decrepit setting, a lurking sense of brutality throbs beneath the surface of even the quieter moments in this movie, the suggestion of suspense throbbing beneath even the most innocent dialogue and character development. Undeniably surreal, intensely sexual, and unsettlingly beautiful in its depiction of practices and behaviors that should make us queasy, Puerto exhibits an impressive ability to make the terrible desirable and the repulsive seductive.” – William P. Simmons, DVD Drive-In

The Child

60. (+76) The Child

Robert Voskanian

1977 / USA / 82m / Col / Zombie | IMDb
Laurel Barnett, Rosalie Cole, Frank Janson, Richard Hanners, Ruth Ballan, Slosson Bing Jong, Rod Medigovich, Wendell Hudiburg, Chris Tieken, Ralph Lucas

“The movie is a peculiar combination of horror themes, a mash-up of many styles and ideas. What starts looking like a standard supernaturally possessed child film evolves into a non-traditional zombie film… Director Robert Voskanian’s and writer Ralph Lucas’ portfolios are much thinner than that of executive producer Novak and this could be the reason for the strange direction the story takes and some of the apparent filmmaking anomalies seemingly intentionally present in this movie. These quirks are what make the film stand out and enrich it with an element of quaint rather than having detrimental repercussions.” – Pazuzu Iscariot, Horror Extreme

The Witch Who Came from the Sea

61. (+82) The Witch Who Came from the Sea

Matt Cimber

1976 / USA / 83m / Col / Psychological | IMDb
Millie Perkins, Lonny Chapman, Vanessa Brown, Peggy Feury, Jean Pierre Camps, Mark Livingston, Rick Jason, Stafford Morgan, Richard Kennedy, George ‘Buck’ Flower

“On one level, The Witch Who Came from the Sea may be seen as pure camp, an unseemly mix of weird sex scenes and over the top pop psychobabble. But it’s obvious that screenwriter Robert Thom (Perkins’ ex-husband, who evidently wrote the film for her, which may explain their divorce) has something considerably more literate and indeed literary on his mind. The film’s constant allusions and outright references to sea mythology and the recurrent use of castration, not to mention the film’s title, may lead lovers of Bulfinch’s Mythology to review information on Venus. There’s a somewhat desultory ambience to the film which only feeds into its often hallucinatory feeling.” – Jeffrey Kauffman, Blu-ray.com

Murders in the Zoo

62. (new) Murders in the Zoo

A. Edward Sutherland

1933 / USA / 62m / BW / Crime | IMDb
Charles Ruggles, Lionel Atwill, Gail Patrick, Randolph Scott, John Lodge, Kathleen Burke, Harry Beresford

“Murders in the Zoo is by no means a flawless horror-comedy film, bumping around between two tones with impunity and with nowhere near the grace or atmosphere as the amiable Doctor X from a few reviews back. However, Atwill and Burke make the movie’s moments of horror truly memorable set pieces and demonstrate how true human predators can operate outside cages. The rest, thankfully, will fade.” – Danny Reid, Pre-Code

Private Parts

63. (+10) Private Parts

Paul Bartel

1972 / USA / 87m / Col / Comedy | IMDb
Ayn Ruymen, Lucille Benson, John Ventantonio, Laurie Main, Stanley Livingston, Charles Woolf, Ann Gibbs, Len Travis, Dorothy Neumann, Gene Simms

“A psycho-thriller featuring every possible sexual perversion… instead of becoming a standard whodunnit, the film is more interested in exploring the morally curdled characters and capturing the creepiness of lowlife hotels… most prominent is George, a photographer (with a Brady Bunch perm) who fills his lonely nights by taking lurid photos of lovers in the park. Although he has an intense interest in Cheryl’s budding sexuality, George can’t seem to relate directly to flesh and blood. Instead, he peeps at her from an adjoinlng room and then digs out his Betty Blow-Up doll, fills her from the faucet, attaches a photo of Cheryl to the doll’s face, and then injects a hypo of his own blood into the clear plastic plaything. I can’t come close to doing this severely sicko concept justice. Bartel pulls it off brilliantly, and the viewer takes it in with a disturbing fascination.” – Steven Puchalski, Shock Cinema

La ville des pirates

64. (+10) La ville des pirates

Raoul Ruiz

1983 / France / 111m / Col / Surrealism | IMDb
Hugues Quester, Anne Alvaro, Melvil Poupaud, André Engel, Joío Bénard da Costa, Clarisse Dole, André Gomes

“For all that is apparently illogical or esoteric — or both — in Rúiz’s film, there is, lurking somewhere between the images and Jorge Arriagada’s orchestral score, a coherent and completely overwhelming emotional feeling. Searching for a key to the film’s ultimate meaning one can pick out symbols of a lost childhood, of adventure stories, of the crimes of fascism in Europe and Latin America, and the homicidal in sexuality. But, as in any film by Rúiz, these symbols are more like musical notes in a composition than they are a puzzle of implications.” – Jon Auman, Screen Slate

Hasta el viento tiene miedo

65. (+10) Hasta el viento tiene miedo

Carlos Enrique Taboada

1968 / Mexico / 88m / Col / Mystery | IMDb
Marga López, Maricruz Olivier, Alicia Bonet, Norma Lazareno, Renata Seydel, Elizabeth Dupeyrón, Rita Sabre Marroquín, Irma Castillón, Rafael Llamas

“Shown on Mexican television every Halloween and Dia de Los Muertos… it is also widely considered the best Mexican film of the horror genre. Mexican movie studios did produce a number of horror movies during the 1950’s-1960’s (Mexican Cinema’s Golden Age), but they were largely mediocre movies featuring masked wrestlers. What sets Hasta el Viento Tiene Miedo apart from the latter is Taboada’s introduction of 19th century literary gothic motifs in a contemporary setting… Hasta el Viento Tiene Miedo is the first in a horror trilogy by Taboada and while Veneno Para las Hadas (Poison for the Fairies) received awards and was more critically acclaimed it’s the former that remains his most popular film.” – Cinema Nostalgia

Strangler of the Swamp

66. (+39) 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 Devil Commands

67. (+40) The Devil Commands

Edward Dmytryk

1941 / USA / 65m / BW / Supernatural | IMDb
Boris Karloff, Richard Fiske, Amanda Duff, Anne Revere, Cy Schindell, Dorothy Adams, Walter Baldwin, Kenneth MacDonald, Shirley Warde

“With its mix of sci-fi and horror elements, THE DEVIL COMMANDS is a unique little film. Karloff is great as usual, showing us a kind man who gradually becomes a physical wreck, driven to madness by the time it’s all over. Although the film lacks great character support, Revere is still quite intense, and at least we get to see the deadpan acting of Kenneth MacDonald (yup,from all those “Three Stooges” shorts) as a sheriff very suspicious of Blair. With a sitting circle of dead people in large metal helmets, and electrical special effects overhead, the sci-fi aspects are visually impressive, and Dmytryk uses shadowy lighting to hide the limited sets and build gloomy atmosphere.” – George R. Reis, DVD Drive-In

Night Monster

68. (new) Night Monster

Ford Beebe

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

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

La marca del Hombre-lobo

69. (+63) La marca del Hombre-lobo

Enrique López Eguiluz

1968 / Spain / 88m / Col / Werewolf | IMDb
Paul Naschy, Dyanik Zurakowska, Manuel Manzaneque, Aurora de Alba, Julián Ugarte, José Nieto, Carlos Casaravilla, Ángel Menéndez, Antonio Jiménez Escribano

“The look of this movie is striking, and even lacking the nudity and gore of the later films in the Daninsky cycle, this still generates a marvelous ambiance of menace. The filmmakers make good use of the locations, which are richly decorated by the prop department, and they cover for any deficiencies with a striking use of colored lighting. The whole thing plays as if Terence Fisher and Mario Bava had had their genes spliced and their mutant progeny had turned its attention on the Universal-style monster rally… Even given the movie’s reliance on werewolf action–a given in any Naschy werewolf picture–there’s an otherness to this movie that eludes most of Naschy’s other films and turns the “blender” quality of its construction into a kind of dream logic.” – Christianne Benedict, Krell Laboratories

Schloß Vogeloed

70. (+58) Schloß Vogeloed

F.W. Murnau

1921 / Germany / 75m / BW / Mystery | IMDb
Arnold Korff, Lulu Kyser-Korff, Lothar Mehnert, Paul Hartmann, Paul Bildt, Olga Tschechowa, Victor Bluetner, Hermann Vallentin, Julius Falkenstein, Robert Leffler

“Murnau only worked in cinema for a short time, but he was immensely prolific and had already directed nine films before “Nosferatu” premiered, most of which are now considered lost. “Schloss Vogelöd”… is the earliest surviving of the director’s works from that period, and seems to promise an interesting proto-expressionistic sketch of the ground-breaking shadow land of nightmares and dreams conjured up only a year later in “Nosferatu” and “Phantom” (1922). At a sprightly 82 minutes and broken up into five short acts, this mystery story, based on a German novel of the period by Rudolf Stratz, shows a skilled filmmaker still working very much within the set parameters of the day, but occasionally coming up with amazing shots or essaying hesitant, early versions of striking ideas that would later find their full flowering and be transformed in other, more innovative films from later in his career.” – Black Gloves, Horrorview.com

Macabre

71. (+11) Macabre

William Castle

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

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

Man Made Monster

72. (new) Man Made Monster

George Waggner

1941 / USA / 59m / BW / Science Fiction | IMDb
Lionel Atwill, Lon Chaney Jr., Anne Nagel, Frank Albertson, Samuel S. Hinds, William B. Davidson, Ben Taggart, Constance Bergen, Ivan Miller, Chester Gan

“Man Made Monster was one of two collaborations between Lon Chaney, Jr. and director/writer (and sometime producer) George Waggner to reach theaters during 1941 — the other was The Wolf Man, and together the two movies revealed a winning combination. Where most directors would be hampered by Chaney’s limited acting range, Waggner manages to play to the star’s greatest strength — his earnestness — and effectively glossed over his limitations, and evoked audience sympathy for the actor and the character that he plays. That’s essential in a film as fast-paced as this one, and it’s one of the major reasons why Man Made Monster has endured in popularity across the decades” – Bruce Eder, AllMovie

The Magician

73. (+12) The Magician

Rex Ingram

1926 / USA / 83m / BW / Fantasy | IMDb
Alice Terry, Paul Wegener, Iván Petrovich, Firmin Gémier, Gladys Hamer, Henry Wilson, Hubert I. Stowitts

“Mr. Ingram again shows his genius in bolstering up the interest in scenes by his imagination and his keen attention to detail. The accuracy of the little ideas in this film is enough to make one marvel. One appreciates that a story might be dull and ordinary, but in Mr. Ingram’s hands it appears on the screen with subtlety, polish and spark. Except the setting of the Sorcerer’s Castle, everything in this picture is exactly as it should be… There are sequences that are so diverting that they make a short story in themselves… Paul Wegener, with good make-up, gives a restrained but thoroughly effective performance as the blood-hunting Dr. Haddo.” – Mordaunt Hall, New York Times

Ranpo jigoku

74. (+10) Ranpo jigoku

Akio Jissoji & Atsushi Kaneko & Hisayasu Sato & Suguru Takeuchi

2005 / USA / 134m / Col / Anthology | IMDb
Tadanobu Asano, Yûko Daike, Chisako Hara, Masami Horiuchi, Mikako Ichikawa, Hanae Kan, Ryûhei Matsuda, Kaiji Moriyama, Tomoya Nakamura, Hiroki Narimiya

“Rampo’s short stories, like those of Edgar Allan Poe, the American mystery writer from whom he took his non-de-plume, lend themselves incredibly well to cinematic treatment in that they are driven by imagery rather than plot… All the best then that the omnibus movie Rampo Noir sees two of Japanese cinema’s most extreme and visually expressive cinematic reprobates [Akio Jissôji and Hisayasu Satô] reintegrated into the fold, as well as welcoming in two newcomers to the movie world who have cut their teeth in their own respective fields within the image industry… Rampo Noir is a reminder of many of the things that attracted many of us to Japanese exploitation cinema in the first place: its unabashed eroticism, its remarkable visual inventiveness, and its willingness to plunge into the dark realms that so many other movies fail to explore.” – Jasper Sharp, Midnight Eye

Gou yeung yi sang

75. (+12) Gou yeung yi sang

Danny Lee & Hin Sing ‘Billy’ Tang

1992 / Hong Kong / 89m / Col / Thriller | IMDb
Danny Lee, Simon Yam, Kent Cheng, Pik Yu Chung, Si Man Hui, Eric Kei, Emily Kwan, Hoi-Shan Lai, King-Kong Lam, Siu-Ming Lau

“The direction is assured, the photography quite stylish, and the performances, for the most part, are pretty solid (Simon Yam Tat-wah’s edgy portrayal of Lam is delirious – equally terrifying and hilarious), so why am I so hesitant to recommend Dr. Lamb? For starters, its taboo combination of graphic sex and violence is sure to upset all but the most jaded of viewers, and its inclusion of campy humor into the grisly proceedings will most likely alienate the arthouse crowd who embraced the not entirely dissimilar Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer. Ultimately, it’s the exploitation crowd who will flock to Dr. Lamb, and they won’t be disappointed, for it does deliver a number of jolting, effective, and totally outrageous set pieces” – Joey O’Bryan, Austin Chronicle

House of Mortal Sin

76. (+12) House of Mortal Sin

Pete Walker

1976 / UK / 104m / Col / Thriller | IMDb
Anthony Sharp, Susan Penhaligon, Stephanie Beacham, Norman Eshley, Sheila Keith, Hilda Barry, Stewart Bevan, Julia McCarthy, John Yule, Bill Kerr

“Directed by horror auteur Pete Walker, you can almost smell the 1970′s emanating from the screen, a musty smell of cigarette smoke, cheap perfume and Silvikrin hairspray. Walker was known for his more subversive take on British horror which was a few steps ahead of the gothic Hammer ouvre in the way he commented on religion, politics and censorship of the arts. Susan Penhaligon makes a stunningly sexy heroine with her blend of seventies naivety and easy sexuality and plays well opposite an excellent Anthony Sharp as the sexually frustrated priest… On the whole, this is not one of Pete Walker’s best but has enough interesting qualities to make it a worthwhile option for a late-night movie screening.” – Richard Gladman, Classic Horror Campaign

Demons of the Mind

77. (+12) Demons of the Mind

Peter Sykes

1972 / USA / 89m / Col / Gothic | IMDb
Robert Hardy, Shane Briant, Gillian Hills, Yvonne Mitchell, Paul Jones, Patrick Magee, Kenneth J. Warren, Michael Hordern, Robert Brown, Virginia Wetherell

“Originally conceived as a psychological lycanthrope project, DEMONS OF THE MIND is an unusual, progressive later-day Hammer film that still manages to keep a foot in the gothic realm… Often undeservedly overlooked in the annals of Hammer fandom, DEMONS OF THE MIND prospers from an excellent cast, despite an awkward performance by Hardy as the Baron… Sykes has a great sense of gothic flare, and for a film dealing with insanity, incest, rape and murder, it has an almost fairy-tale, poetic ambiance to it (the scattering of rose pedals over the various female victims is an ingenious touch).” – George R. Reis, DVD Drive-In

La notte dei diavoli

78. (new) La notte dei diavoli

Giorgio Ferroni

1972 / Italy / 91m / Col / Vampire | IMDb
Gianni Garko, Agostina Belli, Roberto Maldera, Cinzia De Carolis, Teresa Gimpera, Bill Vanders, Umberto Raho, Luis Suárez, Sabrina Tamborra, Rosita Torosh

“Based on the same story that formed the basis of the last segment of Mario Bava’s Black Sabbath: Tolstoy’s “The Wurdulak”… The Night of the Devils may not be quite as visually captivating as Bava’s take on the material, but it’s still a powerfully creepy tale, and director Ferroni gives the story a very unique style. The pacing is a bit on the slow side, but that’s not necessarily a complaint; this is a textbook slow burn punctuated by moments of shocking violence and unsettling imagery.” – Jason Coffman, Film Monthly

La nuit des traquées

79. (+11) La nuit des traquées

Jean Rollin

1980 / France / 87m / Col / Mystery | IMDb
Brigitte Lahaie, Vincent Gardère, Dominique Journet, Bernard Papineau, Rachel Mhas, Cathy Stewart, Natalie Perrey, Christiane Farina, élodie Delage, Jean Hérel

“Having watched La Nuit des traquées (Night of the Hunted, 1980) on several occasions, it is increasingly difficult for me to place it within the larger whole of director Jean Rollin’s work. There are no vampires, no decaying cemeteries and no castles in ruins. Sexuality is once again a key aspect of the film, but it is presented in a manner far removed from his other films. And though La Nuit des traquées is overall different than his better-known productions, it possesses a wonderful and wonderfully disconcerting charm of its own. In tandem with its bizarre storyline, the film offers a largely unique meditation on the importance and yet fictional nature of human memory.” – Gary D. Rhodes, Kinoeye

La vampire nue

80. (+16) La vampire nue

Jean Rollin

1970 / France / 90m / Col / Vampire | IMDb
Maurice Lemaître, Caroline Cartier, Ly Lestrong, Bernard Musson, Jean Aron, Ursule Pauly, Catherine Castel, Marie-Pierre Castel, Michel Delahaye, Pascal Fardoulis

“Though the pacing of The Nude Vampire is still recognizably Rollin-esque, this film may prove easier for newcomers to swallow as its story veers from one oddball element to the next. Leopardskin fabrics, party masks, and lots of teasing partial skin shots set this one firmly in 1970, and as a mod French art film gone berserk, it’s plenty of fun. Rollin mixes the sci-fi and gothic elements together without really trying to scare anyone, but his poetic touch keeps the entire enterprise from becoming a nasty collision of contrasting styles. The actors aren’t required to do much beyond wandering around and acting as clotheshorses, but the limited Martin makes a reasonable enough protagonist whose past causes him to slowly unravel as the film unspools.” – Nathaniel Thompson, Mondo Digital

The Velvet Vampire

81. (+67) The Velvet Vampire

Stephanie Rothman

1971 / UK / 80m / Col / Vampire | IMDb
Michael Blodgett, Sherry Miles, Celeste Yarnall, Gene Shane, Jerry Daniels, Sandy Ward, Paul Prokop, Chris Woodley, Robert Tessier

“Given the genre (horror) and the budget (extremely low), it may seem perverse to say that Stephanie Rothman’s 1971 film is among the best women’s films ever made, but so it is—a highly intelligent, deftly poetic reimagining of the vampire myth, with the theme of fatal sexuality transferred to a female character. The vampire is neither an aggressor nor a seductress, but an abstract figure of polymorphous sensuality: her “victims” choose her, and they range from a would-be rapist to a liberated (and wittily parodied) southern California couple.” – Dave Kehr, Chicago Reader

Lisa, Lisa

82. (+17) Lisa, Lisa

Frederick R. Friedel

1974 / USA / 65m / Col / Exploitation | IMDb
Leslie Lee, Jack Canon, Ray Green, Frederick R. Friedel, Douglas Powers, Frank Jones, Carol Miller, George J. Monaghan, Smith Hart, Scott Smith

“The simply titled “Axe” (also released as “Lisa, Lisa” and “The Virgin Slaughter”) is one of the lesser seen films to make it on the now famous Video Nasties list in Great Britain… It’s easy to see that the film has an extremely low budget due to the simplistic directing style of Frederick R. Friedel (who also played one of the thugs) and non-existent production values. The limited style and second rate acting gives the film a great grindhouse feel that will appeal to fans of obscure exploitation trash and this lack of style actual benefits the gritty nature of the film.” – Eric Reifschneider, Blood Brothers

Cult of the Cobra

83. (new) Cult of the Cobra

Francis D. Lyon

1955 / USA / 82m / BW / Supernatural | IMDb
Faith Domergue, Richard Long, Marshall Thompson, Kathleen Hughes, William Reynolds, Jack Kelly, Myrna Hansen, David Janssen, Leonard Strong, James Dobson

“There’s something extremely haunting about this story of a group of young American soldiers who have survived the horrors of war and yet, when the clouds of strife are lifted, find themselves stalked and cut-down on home turf by a mysterious, evil and (naturally) foreign killer… The cast and the vaguely derivative (but compelling) screenplay work overtime. Russell Metty, the cinematographer, especially delivers the goods. Metty, who shot most of Douglas Sirk’s great melodramas and, lest we forget, Orson Welles’s “Touch Of Evil”, contributes marvelous lighting and some really effective cobra point of view shots.” – Greg Klymkiw, Daily Film Dose

El espanto surge de la tumba

84. (+14) El espanto surge de la tumba

Carlos Aured

1973 / Spain / 95m / Col / Supernatural | IMDb
Paul Naschy, Emma Cohen, Víctor Alcázar, Helga Liné, Cristina Suriani, Betsabé Ruiz, Luis Ciges, Julio Peña, María José Cantudo, Juan Cazalilla

“HORROR RISES FROM THE TOMB is an entertaining late-night mishmash made up of the kind of thrills that make Paul Naschy’s films what they are. In its strongest version, it’s packed pretty well with gore, sexuality and nudity… Nothing groundbreaking genre-wise (a sacred religious emblem is used to fight off the evil doers, a visit from the walking dead is strictly inspired by George Romero, etc.), but this has Naschy (in multiple roles, no less!) at his best, bloody gut-extracting effects that pre-date Tom Savini’s by years, and more beautiful woman on display (in various states of undress) than you could possibly ask for.” – George R. Reis, DVD Drive-In

The Black Cat

85. (new) The Black Cat

Albert S. Rogell

1941 / USA / 70m / BW / Comedy | IMDb
Basil Rathbone, Hugh Herbert, Broderick Crawford, Bela Lugosi, Anne Gwynne, Gladys Cooper, Gale Sondergaard, Cecilia Loftus, Claire Dodd, John Eldredge

“With a few exceptions, by 1941, [Universal Studios] was more content to coast on its reputation, recycling characters for sequel after sequel and releasing films that had the appearance of horror films, but were actually mysteries in disguise. While the latter is true of 1941’s The Black Cat, it’s still entertaining… Fast-paced, well-cast, and atmospheric, The Black Cat is fairly minor, but it’s still enjoyable, even if the only real mystery is how the titular black cat is capable of producing the exact same ominous “meow” repeatedly over the course of the film.” – Keith Phipps, The Onion A.V. Club

Raat

86. (new) Raat

Ram Gopal Varma

1992 / India / 128m / Col / Supernatural | IMDb
Revathy, Rohini Hattangadi, Om Puri, Anant Nag, Sushant, Jaya Mathur, Master Atit, Tej Sapru, C.V.L., Nirmalamma

“Chances are you haven’t heard of Raat or seen it in your video stores. Whatever the case may be, this indianized version of “The Exorcist” is a slick, well-acted horror flick, a genre you don´t get to see very much in India… The film is reminiscent of many films like Kaun, Aks and even English films like Stir of Echoes and The Sixth Sense… Raat may not be flawless but has enough style, performance power and tight directed sequences for one not to forget. The deadly camerawork and background music make it a must own for fans of the genre and those that have followed up on Ram Gopal Varma’s works.” – Akshay Shah, Planet Bollywood

Voodoo Man

87. (new) Voodoo Man

William Beaudine

1944 / USA / 61m / BW / Supernatural | IMDb
Bela Lugosi, John Carradine, George Zucco, Wanda McKay, Louise Currie, Tod Andrews, Ellen Hall, Terry Walker, Mary Currier, Claire James

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

La vie nouvelle

88. (+12) La vie nouvelle

Philippe Grandrieux

2002 / France / 102m / Col / Psychological | IMDb
Zachary Knighton, Anna Mouglalis, Marc Barbé, Zsolt Nagy, Raoul Dantec, Vladimir Zintov, Georgi Kadurin, Simona Huelsemann, Salvador Gueorguiev, Ivan Velichkov

“Philippe Grandrieux’s La vie nouvelle, with its schizophrenic camera and piercing audio frequency, provokes a dangerous sensation. Like his previous Sombre, La vie nouvelle pulsates like a tremor, as if we’re entering a universe after some unnamed, unmentioned nuclear disaster… Watching the film is an absolutely unnerving undertaking, nearly impossible to endure without a lump in one’s throat. It’s a frightening vision of a slightly recognizable hell, where tainted innocence attempts to latch onto its infected cognate in hopes to reclaim what they know cannot be salvaged in themselves.” – Joe Bowman, Fin de cinema

Uncle Silas

89. (+12) Uncle Silas

Charles Frank

1947 / UK / 103m / BW / Mystery | IMDb
Jean Simmons, Katina Paxinou, Derrick De Marney, Derek Bond, Sophie Stewart, Esmond Knight, Reginald Tate, Manning Whiley, Marjorie Rhodes, John Laurie

“It’s not a horror movie, but by tapping in to its strong Gothic roots, and by shooting several of the scenes with a gloomy and forbidding atmosphere, it has the feel of a horror movie on occasion; there are spooky cobweb-filled passages and a frightening face in the window just for starters. It also has fine performances from all, with special mention going to Katina Paxinou, whose hard-drinking French governess character is unsettlingly creepy. It takes a while to get rolling, and some of the pacing is awkward, but it builds up to a truly satisfying climax.” – Dave Sindelar, Fantastic Movie Musings and Ramblings

Psychos in Love

90. (+13) Psychos in Love

Gorman Bechard

1987 / USA / 88m / Col / Comedy | IMDb
Carmine Capobianco, Patti Chambers, Carla Bragoli, Carrie Gordon, Angela Nicholas, Debi Thibeault, Cecelia Wilde, Robert Suttile, Lum Chang Pang, Danny Noyes

“While the title might lead you to expect some sort of ’80s update of The Honeymoon Killers, this is a much odder beast as it chronicles the warped romantic relationship that blossoms between two closeted serial killers… As much a comedy as a horror film, this labor of love for director Gorman Bechard packs in knowing references to its illustrious horror predecessors without becoming obnoxious or overdone, and in this case the simplistic, go-for-the-throat ’80s aesthetic definitely Psychos in Loveworks in its favor. Chintzy synth music, a topless new waver, non sequitur monologues to the camera, even a theme song… If you’re Psychos in Lovein the right frame of mind, it doesn’t get any better than this.” – Nathaniel Thompson, Mondo Digital

El jorobado de la Morgue

91. (+13) El jorobado de la Morgue

Javier Aguirre

1973 / Spain / 87m / Col / Gothic | IMDb
Paul Naschy, Rosanna Yanni, Víctor Alcázar, María Elena Arpón, Manuel de Blas, Antonio Pica, Kino Pueyo, Adolfo Thous, Ángel Menéndez, Fernando Sotuela

“Far gorier than you might expect, The Hunchback Of The Morgue isn’t really breaking any new ground and it borrows heavily from the Hammer and Universal films that came before it, but it’s still a lot of fun and plenty atmospheric. Aguirre’s direction is strong as he keeps the movie going at a very brisk pace but manages to do so without sacrificing important character development bits which make Gotho [the hunchback] a very sympathetic lead. Naschy does quite well in the part, keeping in character and not often straying from the ‘hunchback stance’ that he manages to maintain quite convincingly throughout the film. The script, co-written by Naschy as Jacinto Molina, is lean and to the point but it manages to give us a few characters to care about aside from Gotho” – Ian Jane, Rock! Shock! Pop!

House of Horrors

92. (new) House of Horrors

Jean Yarbrough

1946 / USA / 65m / BW / Thriller | IMDb
Rondo Hatton, Robert Lowery, Virginia Grey, Bill Goodwin, Martin Kosleck, Alan Napier, Howard Freeman, Virginia Christine, Joan Shawlee

“A distinctly minor film, but in a bargain-basement way it toys with some interesting themes: the root causes of victimhood, the nature of power, and the price of outsourcing your dirty work to somebody else… Kosleck doesn’t disappoint in this film; as always his soft, accented voice works as a perfect counterpoint to his razor-sharp gaze, which can convey anger or madness — or both. Rondo Hatton doesn’t get top billing either, but this movie was designed as a vehicle for him and his peculiar physiognomy. Hatton suffered from a glandular condition called acromegaly, the symptoms of which weren’t apparent until he was well into adulthood. The condition gradually altered the shape of his head and distorted his body and facial features, giving him a coarse, brutal appearance.” – Michael Popham, The Horror Incorporated Project

La femme qui se poudre

93. (+13) La femme qui se poudre

Patrick Bokanowski

1972 / France / 18m / Col / Surrealism | IMDb
Jean-Jacques Choul, Jacques Delbosc d’Auzon, Claus-Dieter Reents, Nadine Roussial

“The film’s narrative is cryptic enough to have elicited all sorts of exegetical discoveries: from discourses on beauty, masks and the objectification of desire to comments on the French Revolution, critics seem to have found different keys to the mystery of La Femme. In fact, the film’s baffling combination of expressive action and onirical sequence should perhaps make us weary of the attempt to locate linear narration units in it… Michèle Bokanowski, the director’s wife and lifetime collaborator, offers a beautiful, if somewhat cold and deranging, electroacoustic soundtrack that punctuates, through its contrasting modes, La Femme in oblique ways” – Anonymous, The Sound of Eye

Vec vidjeno

94. (+14) Vec vidjeno

Goran Markovic

1987 / Yugoslavia / 102m / Col / Psychological | IMDb
Mustafa Nadarevic, Anica Dobra, Milorad Mandic, Bogdan Diklic, Dusan Kostovski, Gordana Gadzic, Vladimir Jevtovic, Petar Bozovic, Mihajlo-Bata Paskaljevic

“Along with ANGST (1983) and HENRY: PORTRAIT OF A SERIAL KILLER (1986), this is one of the 80’s most effective attempts at looking at a psychopathic killer through more insightful eyes. You won’t find loads of on-screen gore here, nor will you find reactionary scares or visual shocks in the expected slasher-killer frequency. This is a deliberately-paced portrait of a deranged mind that builds slowly as a character-driven drama before suddenly erupting into violence when it nears its disturbing conclusion. Another point of interest, aside from revelatory performances from several actors I’d never even heard of before, is a plot that manages to give viewers glimpses inside the political and social climate of Belgrade in both the pre and post WWII-era and the impoverished, though more liberated, early ’70s era.” – Justin McKinney, The Bloody Pit of Horror

Weird Woman

95. (new) Weird Woman

Reginald Le Borg

1944 / USA / 63m / BW / Mystery | IMDb
Lon Chaney Jr., Anne Gwynne, Evelyn Ankers, Ralph Morgan, Elisabeth Risdon, Lois Collier, Harry Hayden, Elizabeth Russell, Phil Brown, Kay Harding

“a borderline horror-esque hour of Lon Chaney Jr being harrassed and looking troubled, as all the Inner Sanctum films were. This one was scripted by Brenda Weisberg from the novel Conjure Wife by Fritz Leiber, and if that sounds familiar, well, perhaps you’ve read it, or perhaps you’ve seen the more famous British adaptation called Night of the Eagle from the 1960s. Which is best? Well, the British film probably, but that’s not to say the American version is without interest. It does tend to eschew the supernatural explanation after spending almost all of the running time relying on it for thrills, but is fairly enjoyable nonetheless.” – Graeme Clark, The Spinning Image

Krysar

96. (+14) Krysar

Jirí Barta

1986 / Czechoslovakia / 53m / Col / Fantasy | IMDb
Oldrich Kaiser, Jirí Lábus, Michal Pavlícek, Vilém Cok

“One of cinema’s most memorable achievements. The strange world Barta manifests to the viewer in Krysar is both dark and astonishing. Other than the rats which invade the town, the film is performed exclusively by puppets moved by means of stop motion animation. While these puppets are sometimes roughly carved, they are all well conceived and remarkably affecting. Many exude a peculiar cruelty, and most are, at least, vaguely sinister… Even the world beyond the town is different from our own. Barta has set Hamelin before grim painted backdrops which constantly remind the viewer that he is an observer of events which are occurring on a stage, not in some distant land. The effect the director achieves with these various devices is at once visually remarkable and surprisingly affecting.” – Keith Allen, Movierapture

El barón del terror

97. (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

Count Dracula

98. (new) Count Dracula

Philip Saville

1977 / UK / 150m / Col / Vampire | IMDb
Louis Jourdan, Frank Finlay, Susan Penhaligon, Judi Bowker, Jack Shepherd, Mark Burns, Bosco Hogan, Richard Barnes, Ann Queensberry, George Raistrick

“Count Dracula is very much a 1970s British television version of Bram Stoker. This is a period where almost all British tv shows were shot on video in in-house studios (as opposed to most US television shows of the period that were shot on film). Thus we get a no-nonsense period rendering with an emphasis on everyday realism as opposed to a cinematic flourish and its tendency to overdramatise or produce a work for visual appeal… With filmed versions of Dracula, it seems as though adapters are either stuck with remaining faithful to the story or else opening it up… Count Dracula is the only version that manages a judicious balance of both.” – Richard Scheib, Moria – The Science Fiction, Horror and Fantasy Film Review

Zibahkhana

99. (+10) Zibahkhana

Omar Khan

2007 / Pakistan / 77m / Col / Slasher | IMDb
Kunwar Ali Roshan, Rooshanie Ejaz, Rubya Chaudhry, Haider Raza, Osman Khalid Butt, Rehan, Najma Malik, Sultan Billa, Salim Meraj, Razia Malik

““Hell’s Ground” is being touted as ‘Pakistan’s first gore’ movie, and while it certainly offers more blood and guts than the original “Saw,” it is still relatively tame by Herschel Gordon Lewis standards or the recent American remake. It is surprisingly effective, with the cultural perspective adding spice to the mix (the well to do teens speak English, for example, until adrenaline reduces them to their native tongue; Baby’s mother is ostensibly seeking a wife for her son). In addition to the “Saw” like shot compositions, Khan uses plenty of visual and aural Lollywood references and even a few animated asides. The acting is above average for the genre, with Baby a unique treat.” – Laura Clifford, Reeling Reviews

Play for Today: Penda's Fen

100. (+11) Play for Today: Penda’s Fen

Alan Clarke

1974 / UK / 90m / Col / Drama | IMDb
Spencer Banks, John Atkinson, Georgine Anderson, Ron Smerczak, Ian Hogg, Jennie Heslewood, Graham Leaman, Christopher Douglas, John Richmond, Ivor Roberts

“Rudkin’s drama, appearing a year after Nicolas Roeg’s Don’t Look Now and Robin Hardy’s The Wicker Man, is often hailed as a watermark of British horror. But its real peers are eldritch TV thrillers such as Jonathan Miller’s adaptation of an MR James story Whistle and I’ll Come to You (1968), Alan Garner’s The Owl Service (1969-1970) and Nigel Kneale’s The Stone Tape (1972)… deeply layered, rich in sexual and mythological motifs, trusting the audience to have the patience and intelligence to engage with its handling of complex theological, historical and political ideas, it also migrates beyond the social-realist templates of the majority of screen and stage productions in the early 1970s – the West Country has never looked so Aztec” – Sukhdev Sandhu, The Guardian

La llorona

101. (+11) La llorona

Ramón Peón

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

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

Veneno para las hadas

102. (new) Veneno para las hadas

Carlos Enrique Taboada

1984 / Mexico / 90m / Col / Drama | IMDb
Ana Patricia Rojo, Elsa María Gutiérrez, Leonor Llausás, Carmen Stein, María Santander, Ernesto Schwartz, Rocío Lazcano, Blanca Lidia Muñoz, Sergio Bustamante

“The most notorious feature in “Veneno para las hadas” is certainly the fact that director Carlos Enrique Taboada shots his film entirely from the children’s point of view… This style, while certainly a bit gimmicky, allows a greater emphasis on the two main characters, and actually reflects the reality of their lives in relation with the adult world… The cinematography, by Lupe García, is kind of average but Taboada manages to put it to a very good use in creating haunting Gothic images that once again show a strong influence from Italian filmmakers. In this twisted ode to childhood, Taboada succeeds in crafting a fairy tale for adults that’s all the more disturbing in its bleak realism.” – J. Luis Rivera, W-Cinema

Def by Temptation

103. (+10) Def by Temptation

James Bond III

1990 / USA / 95m / Col / Supernatural | IMDb
James Bond III, Kadeem Hardison, Bill Nunn, Samuel L. Jackson, Minnie Gentry, Rony Clanton, Steven Van Cleef, John Canada Terrell, Guy Davis, Cynthia Bond

“Def by Temptation combines the vampire and demon succubus mythologies, an all-black cast, and some solid performances… The seams of the film’s tiny budget and bargain-basement special effects show, but Def by Temptation is effective and fun and benefits greatly from Spike Lee cinematographer Ernest Dickerson’s direction of photography… The film’s original title, Temptation, was nonsensically punched up by Troma with some misused 1990 hip-hop slang… but what can you do? Bond III, a former child actor, appears to have been scarred by his sole directorial effort. Though the movie made a small profit, Bond has neither acted in nor directed any film since.” – Dr. Mystery, Decapitated Zombie Vampire Bloodbath

Cathy's Curse

104. (+10) Cathy’s Curse

Eddy Matalon

1977 / France / 88m / Col / Supernatural | IMDb
Alan Scarfe, Beverly Murray, Randi Allen, Dorothy Davis, Mary Morter, Roy Witham, Bryce Allen, Sonny Forbes, Robert V. Girolami, Renée Girard

“Seemingly operating [on] a plane of existence and basic logic far removed from our own, Cathy’s Curse remains one of the craziest entries in the decade’s run of sinister kid movies… and one that actually rewards repeated viewings once you’ve fallen under its crackpot spell… Filled with charmingly low-rent special effects and some of the most unintentionally amusing profanity of the ’70s, Cathy’s Curse is a truly special film if you’re in the right mood. Almost a work of pure surrealism in its refusal to adhere to any kind of rational character development or plotting, it’s a dizzy cash-in on seemingly every supernatural hit from the past five years thrown into a blender with no discernible rhyme or reason. As a result, it’s kind of brilliant.” – Nathaniel Thompson, Mondo Digital

The Dark Eyes of London

105. (new) The Dark Eyes of London

Walter Summers

1939 / UK / 76m / BW / Thriller | IMDb
Bela Lugosi, Hugh Williams, Greta Gynt, Edmon Ryan, Wilfred Walter, Alexander Field

“Up to now, the most popular screen grotesqueries have had a certain lightness of touch; when Quasimodo, for instance, was beaten by knouts in the cathedral square, the camera mercifully averted its lens, or gave the streaming blood the merest glance, purely for verificative purposes. Not so “The Human Monster,” in which not only is Wilfred Walter more unglamorous than even Charles Laughton as the hunchback, but is totally blind in the bargain. Consequently, his homicidal technique is the more deliberative and, so to speak, stately, giving the camera plenty of time to dwell with sadistic relish on the more recherché details of his method of doing his victims in.” – B. R. Crisler, The New York Times

Crooked House

106. (+9) Crooked House

Damon Thomas

2008 / UK / 90m / Col / Haunted House | IMDb
Lee Ingleby, Mark Gatiss, Derren Brown, Beth Goddard, Vanessa Havell, Philip Jackson, Andy Nyman, Ian Hallard, Julian Rhind-Tutt, John Arthur

“Inspired by Lawrence Gordon Clarke’s BBC adaptations of M.R James-penned ghost stories in the ’70s, Mark Gatiss has created the modern equivalent: a relentlessly entertaining, surprisingly scary trio of love-letters to those old spook-fests. Well-directed by Damon Thomas (on a tight budget, particularly for a period drama), and featuring a handful of excellent performances (particularly from Jackson, Ingleby, Gatiss and Julian Rhind-Tutt), this was wonderful entertainment that only suffered from the comparatively dawdling “Something Old” episode. For the most part though, this retained a gentle and creepy tone, which made the occasional shocks all the more bracing. In particular, there’s a naked ghoul in “The Knocker” that’s genuinely blood-chilling and an injection of J-Horror malevolence in an otherwise cosy, English tradition.” – Dan Owen, Dan’s Media Digest

Le chaudron infernal

107. (+9) Le chaudron infernal

Georges Méliès

1903 / France / 2m / BW / Fantasy | IMDb
Georges Méliès

“This is one of Melies’s more impressive trick films, not so much because of the complexity of the special effects, but because the hand-tinted color is particularly vivid, and there’s an authentically eerie air to the proceedings, especially when the three spirits manifest themselves. There’s not really much of a story, and what there is is a bit muddled in the final moments; I suspect that the spirits may be taking revenge on the devils, but it looks like some action is lost in the splices. This may be one of Melies’s most pronounced forays into horror.” – Dave Sindelar, Fantastic Movie Musings and Ramblings

Lost Hearts

108. (+9) Lost Hearts

Lawrence Gordon Clark

1973 / UK / 35m / Col / Supernatural | IMDb
Simon Gipps-Kent, Joseph O’Conor, James Mellor, Susan Richards, Christopher Davis, Michelle Foster, Roger Milner

“It all feels quaintly old-fashioned and, by modern standards at least, not particularly threatening, with the ghosts standing on the periphery, their intentions teasingly uncertain… It’s later, when the spectral Giovanni enters Stephen’s room at night, that their presence takes an altogether more sinister turn, with a seemingly hypnotised Stephen pulled from his slumber by the eerie drone and jangle of the hurdy-gurdy that the mortal Giovanni once treasured. It’s genuinely unnerving sequence that builds to a splendidly handled (and quite graphic) shock revelation, the full implications of which only become clear in the scenes that follow.” – Slarek, Cine Outsider

Necronomicon - Geträumte Sünden

109. (+10) Necronomicon – Geträumte Sünden

Jesús Franco

1967 / West Germany / 84m / Col / Surrealism | IMDb
Janine Reynaud, Jack Taylor, Adrian Hoven, Howard Vernon, Nathalie Nort, Michel Lemoine, Pier A. Caminnecci, Américo Coimbra, Lina De Wolf, Eva Brauner

“Elegantly photographed, intelligently edited, and filled with mesmerising performances, “Succubus” gives us a taste of just what Franco is capable of when blessed with a professional crew and cast — the direction is superlative; the script (co-written by Franco with the film’s producer [who also acts in the film], Pier A. Caminnecci), is a complex amalgamation of surreal scenarios suffused with allusions to classic literature and Franco’s favourite film-makers (everyone from Kafka to Frankenstein). The musical score ranges from cocktail lounge jazz to classical — often blended seamlessly. It’s ahead of its time, predating Mario Bava’s equally classy “Lisa and The Devil” (1973), and even looking ahead to contemporary works such as David Lynch’s “Mulholland Drive” (2002).” – Blackgloves, Horrorview

Cheuuat gaawn chim

110. (new) Cheuuat gaawn chim

Tiwa Moeithaisong

2009 / Thailand / 90m / Col / Splatter | IMDb
Mai Charoenpura, Rattanaballang Tohssawat, Wiradit Srimalai, Atitaya Shindejanichakul, Pimchanok Leuwisetpaiboon, Somlek Sakdikul

“Meat Grinder manages to set itself apart from the gore glut by exhibiting more bite than most, evoking memories of the likes of Delicatessen, Dumplings and The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, before ultimately treading down its own unique, bloodied path. Incorporating elements of socio-political commentary and psychological investigation, the film unravels as an, albeit very violent and gory, exploration of a woman’s tragic freefall into madness after a stilted life of abuse and heartache. Buss is portrayed by Thai pop-singer Mai Charoenpura, whose touching, brave performance elevates the character and ensures she has the audiences’ sympathy despite the brutal acts of carnage she carries out.” – James Gracey, Behind the Couch

The Mask

111. (+19) 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

Muñecos infernales

112. (new) Muñecos infernales

Benito Alazraki

1961 / Mexico / 81m / BW / Mystery | IMDb
Elvira Quintana, Ramón Gay, Roberto G. Rivera, Quintín Bulnes, Nora Veryán, Luis Aragón, Alfonso Arnold, Jorge Mondragón, Salvador Lozano, Margarita Villegas

“The diminutive death-dealers carve an astonishingly creepy presence here; and are among the most unforgettable of the Mexi-horror canon. Played by either midgets or small children, the performers all wear what look like wax masks. These facial appliances never move when they breathe, so there’s a realism that adds to the eeriness of these calculating doll monsters creeping towards their victims with poisonous needles ready to pierce your flesh… Aside from some goofy moments here and there, Alazraki’s picture does a surprisingly good job of building suspense; and delivering frighteningly spooky creatures in the form of the macabre countenance of the killer dolls. If you haven’t seen it, fans of the genre are in for a treat” – Brian Bankston, Cool Ass Cinema

Docteur Jekyll et les femmes

113. (+8) Docteur Jekyll et les femmes

Walerian Borowczyk

1981 / France / 92m / Col / Gothic | IMDb
Udo Kier, Marina Pierro, Patrick Magee, Gérard Zalcberg, Howard Vernon, Clément Harari, Jean Mylonas, Eugene Braun Munk, Louis Colla, Catherine Coste

“The Strange Case Of Dr. Jekyll And Miss Osbourne comes at a time in Borowczyk’s career that marks a very definite turning point from prolific working artist to his later works as a hired hand scratching to bring his own influence to his products. As such, the film is familiar as his work, and at the same time feels a bit strained to fit the expectations put upon him to fit the new paradigm in which he was working. The result is a horror film, of sorts, that places male sexuality and virility on the chopping block in favor of the overarching carnal drives of the human animal. To some it will be a revelatory, intense viewing; while to others it will some across as overindulgent twaddle. Frankly, both are reasonable interpretations, which is what makes the film so remarkable.” – Charlie Hobbs, ScreenAnarchy

Zirneklis

114. (+10) Zirneklis

Vasili Mass

1991 / Latvia / 98m / Col / Psychological | IMDb
Romualds Ancans, Aurelija Anuzhite, Saulius Balandis, Liubomiras Lauciavicius, Mirdza Martinsone, Algirdas Paulavicius

“One way to make sense of the film is to think of the relationship between Vita and the artist as a prism that allows the audience to see the strange contrasts of Soviet realism and specifically how it corrupted the minds and hearts of ordinary people… The simpler but also less effective read is to look at the entire thing as the intense sexual awakening of a girl who eventually becomes prisoner of her own mind’s bizarre fantasies. It is easy to tell that Mass worked with a modest budget, but the film’s visual style is brilliant. The lush colors, thick shadows and unusual light reflections frequently make it look like a neo-surrealist portrait that has come alive.” – Dr. Svet Atanasov, Blu-ray.com

The Mad Magician

115. (new) The Mad Magician

John Brahm

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

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

The Monster

116. (+7) The Monster

Roland West

1925 / USA / 86m / BW / Mystery | IMDb
Lon Chaney, Gertrude Olmstead, Hallam Cooley, Johnny Arthur, Charles Sellon, Walter James, Knute Erickson, George Austin, Edward McWade, Ethel Wales

“The Monster is the precursor for the tongue-in-cheek old-dark-house-with-malevolent-horror-star-as-host movie… The Monster is an oddity in the way it uses star Chaney. Chaney’s body of work goes a considerable distance in debunking his reputation as a “horror” actor. The few horror films Chaney appeared in are more aptly described as bizarre, densely psychological melodramas. The Monster, however, could serve as a prototype for a genre celebrity in a B-movie parody… The Monster is not great cinema, its not the best West, best Chaney, or best Old Dark House movie (James Whale would deliver that seven years later), but it is silent pulp and, in the right mindset, it can take you back to the days of milk duds and acne.” – Alfred Eaker, 366 Weird Movies

Dead Men Walk

117. (new) Dead Men Walk

Sam Newfield

1943 / USA / 64m / BW / Vampire | IMDb
George Zucco, Mary Carlisle, Nedrick Young, Dwight Frye, Fern Emmett, Robert Strange, Hal Price, Sam Flint

“There aren’t any jump and shock scares in Dead Men Walk, just an understated creepiness that permeates and punctuates the entire picture. The film itself is dark and moody, and the eerie cemetery and old house sets combined with the shadows and darkness give it an overall feeling of uneasiness… George Zucco has a field day, and his dual role is simultaneously impressive and disappointing – impressive because he’s a good actor and does a good job, but disappointing because the characters of Elwyn and Lloyd come off as too much alike… The real star of Dead Men Walk is Dwight Frye. A perennial assistant, he has always been the go-to guy for horror servants.” – James Jay Edwards, FilmFracture

Return to Glennascaul

118. (+4) Return to Glennascaul

Hilton Edwards

1953 / Ireland / 23m / BW / Mystery | IMDb
Michael Laurence, Shelah Richards, Helena Hughes, John Dunne, Isobel Couser, Ann Clery, Orson Welles

“Welles only appears in the opening and closing minutes of the film but he also narrates the tale and it’s easy to assume that he had a hand in directing it as well. Hilton Edwards had never made a film before and RETURN TO GLENNASCAUL would be his last. Once you watch this 23 minute movie it’s easy to spot Welles’ influence on the production. From the shadowy figures framed by imposing doorways to the melancholy mood of decay and rot that permeates the film, RETURN TO GLENNASCAUL seems like a natural and harmonious continuation of Welles’ previous work.” – Kimberly Lindbergs, Streamline

Three Cases of Murder

119. (+6) Three Cases of Murder

David Eady & George More O’Ferrall & Wendy Toye & Orson Welles

1955 / UK / 99m / BW / Anthology | IMDb
Orson Welles, John Gregson, Elizabeth Sellars, Emrys Jones, Alan Badel, André Morell, Hugh Pryse, Leueen MacGrath, Eddie Byrne, Helen Cherry

“This unusual British film seems to have gone relatively unnoticed by numerous horror film historians and if it does warrant a mention it’s usually dismissed without much afterthought. But with a cast that includes Orson Welles and a segment directed by one of Britain’s first female directors (Wendy Toye), THREE CASES OF MURDER stands out as a wonderful example of early British horror cinema that rivals the highly acclaimed anthology DEAD OF NIGHT (1945)… George More O’Ferrall supposedly directed [the third] segment but in Peter Bogdanovich‘s acclaimed book This Is Orson Welles he credits Welles with co-directing the dream sequences and I have no reason to doubt him.” – Kimberly Lindbergs, TCM’s Movie Morlocks

There's Nothing Out There

120. (+6) There’s Nothing Out There

Rolfe Kanefsky

1991 / USA / 91m / Col / Slasher | IMDb
Craig Peck, Wendy Bednarz, Mark Collver, Bonnie Bowers, John Carhart III, Claudia Flores, Jeff Dachis, Lisa Grant, Sissy Frye, Cyrus Voris

“Many people credit Kevin Williamson, who wrote the screenplay for Wes Craven’s 1996 smash Scream, with the creation of the sub-genre of horror film savvy teens being murdered by some unknown, mysterious evil. Well, I hate to shatter any preconceived notions that you may have had about Williamson’s creative-writing abilities, but Kanefsky beat him to the punch by almost 7 years… There’s Nothing Out There, shot on an extremely tight budget, on 16mm stock, was the directorial debut of then 20-year-old Kanefsky. His script is exceedingly clever and funny, and while much of the production values are on the minimal end, it is really the writing that makes this all come together as well as it does.” – Rich Rosell, Digitally Obsessed!

The Ape Man

121. (new) The Ape Man

William Beaudine

1943 / USA / 64m / BW / Science Fiction | IMDb
Bela Lugosi, Louise Currie, Wallace Ford, Henry Hall, Minerva Urecal, Emil Van Horn, J. Farrell MacDonald, Wheeler Oakman, Ralph Littlefield, Jack Mulhall

“The tagline of “It’s Shockerific!” is perhaps indicative of what to expect in THE APE MAN. Although the tendency is to deride all the grade-Z programmers, low budget studios such as Monogram actually afforded our old friend Bela Lugosi star billing and an income during his leaner years while keeping his name in circulation… If an audience can look past the obvious plot devices and the embarrassment of seeing this once distinguished actor speaking monkey gibberish, THE APE MAN has a few appreciative values. While the production can be described as uninspired, the gloomy atmosphere lends itself nicely to the story ably accompanied by a pleasing music score. However, the film’s saving grace is its cast including Minerva Urecal as Agatha who provides a suitably odd-ball character for such a slice of hokum as this.” – Anonymous, The Missing Link

La vergine di Norimberga

122. (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

Zhong gui

123. (+4) Zhong gui

Chuan Yang

1983 / Hong Kong / 85m / Col / Supernatural | IMDb
Norman Chu, Phillip Ko, Maria Jo, Yung Wang, Mi Tien, Kar-Man Wai, Hsin Nan Hung, Man-Biu Bak, Ling-Chi Fu, Erik Chan Ka Kei

“The crowning ghoulish jewel in the recent wave of Shaw Brothers horror releases is undoubtedly the notorious, long sought after Seeding of a Ghost… Without wishing to spoil too many of the gruesome surprises in store, it’s fair to say that Seeding of a Ghost pretty much has it all, from grave robbing, corpse kissing, worm vomiting, and brain eating through to the decidedly inappropriate use of an oversized matchstick. However, such delights pale in comparison to the frankly insane final bloodbath, which is worth the price of admission on its own, and which is a guaranteed eye opener even for the most jaded fan of the black magic subgenre.” – Andrew Heskins, easternKicks.com

Die Zärtlichkeit der Wölfe

124. (+5) Die Zärtlichkeit der Wölfe

Ulli Lommel

1973 / West Germany / 82m / Col / Crime | IMDb
Kurt Raab, Jeff Roden, Margit Carstensen, Ingrid Caven, Wolfgang Schenck, Brigitte Mira, Rainer Hauer, Barbara Bertram, Rainer Werner Fassbinder, Heinrich Giskes

““Tenderness of the Wolves” may be about the least erotic vampire movie ever made, which is, I suspect, the intention of Mr. Lommel and his associates. The movie deals in sleaziness—physical and emotional—of such intensity that second-rateness becomes virtually the subject of the film as well as its style. This is not to say the film is sloppy. It is beautifully and enthusiastically performed and it doesn’t contain a single superfluous or redundant camera movement. Like Mr. Fassbinder’s own early films, “Tenderness of the Wolves” is cryptic, tough-talking and swaggering in the manner of someone who means to shock his elders.” – Vincent Canby, New York Times

Witchcraft

125. (+6) Witchcraft

Don Sharp

1964 / UK / 79m / Col / Witchcraft | IMDb
Lon Chaney Jr., Jack Hedley, Jill Dixon, Viola Keats, Marie Ney, David Weston, Diane Clare, Yvette Rees, Barry Linehan, Victor Brooks

“Another choice film from the late Don Sharp, Witchcraft was made the year after the gaudily effective Kiss of the Vampire, and despite working in black and white and with a less exciting cast, Sharp pulls off another minor genre miracle with this cool little film… Lon Chaney Jr has a small role as Amy’s father Morgan, but Witchcraft isn’t driven by star-power; Harry Spalding’s script rigorously develops the idea of the past catching up with the present, and Sharp brings ingenious touches to the material… Older horror fans complain about the lack of story in recent films; Witch Craft would be a good place for a younger fan to start.” – Eddie B, Film Authority

O Ritual dos Sádicos

126. (+7) O Ritual dos Sádicos

José Mojica Marins

1970 / Brazil / 93m / Col / Psychological | IMDb
José Mojica Marins, Ângelo Assunçío, Ronaldo Beibe, Andreia Bryan, Joío Callegaro, Ozualdo Ribeiro Candeias, Maurice Capovila, José Carlos, Maria Cristina

“Awakening of the Beast suggests that Jose Mojica Marins was an extremely media-savvy operator. The show is distinctly post-modern in the way that it draws upon a number of filmic textual devices and styles, along with a variety of music and print-based texts, and jumbles them all into a sub-psychedelic and surreal but highly effective exercise in self-promotion… The lengthy and surreal hallucinogenic sequence… features a whole range of disorientating, freak out inducing camera angles and whacked out and trippy editing techniques. The soundtrack here features an avant-garde cacophony that is very unsettling and disturbing.” – Glenn Erickson, DVD Savant

Al final del espectro

127. (new) Al final del espectro

Juan Felipe Orozco

2006 / Colombia / 92m / Col / Psychological | IMDb
Noëlle Schonwald, Julieth Restrepo, Silvia De Dios, Manuel José Chávez, Carlos Serrato, Kepa Amuchastegui, Juan Pablo Aristizabal, Esteban Duperly

“One can’t help but think of Roger Corman and his productions of the fifties and sixties when hearing the story of the [sibling writer-directors]… not only have they succeeded in moving the project forward until it is finished, but the result is neat, solid, fearful, atmospheric… it gets to be, at its peaks, as ambiguous and fascinating as Polanski’s best (think of films like Rosemary’s Baby or The Tenant); and the technical and narrative challenge… of making a film in a single space is carried forward with enough skill to make us believe that this is not Orozco’s first film.” – Andres Borda Gonzalez, ochoymedio.info [Translated from the Spanish]

Cementerio del terror

128. (new) Cementerio del terror

Rubén Galindo Jr.

1985 / Mexico / 88m / Col / Zombie | IMDb
Hugo Stiglitz, José Gómez Parcero, Bety Robles, Leo Villanueva, Raúl Meraz, René Cardona III, Servando Manzetti, Andrés García Jr., María Rebeca

“A strange sort of cross between John Carpenter’s Halloween (what with the unstoppable killing machine and the obsessed doctor on his trail) and Bob Clarke’s Children Shouldn’t Play With Dead Things (with the dopey teens, the black mass, and the zombies), Ruben Galindo Jr.’s Cemetery Of Terror is a reasonably well paced horror film with some nice atmosphere, some cool locations, and towards the end of the movie, some nice zombie action. It’s also very much a product of the eighties and as such, it’s pretty dated… Stiglitz is fun in the lead role and while he’ll never be considered a great actor by any stretch he does a good job playing the obsessed doctor and seems to have no problem hamming it up when the script requires it. The rest of the cast is pretty awful, but it adds to the fun of the film” – Ian Jane, DVD Talk

Gatti rossi in un labirinto di vetro

129. (+6) Gatti rossi in un labirinto di vetro

Umberto Lenzi

1975 / Italy / 100m / Col / Giallo | IMDb
Martine Brochard, John Richardson, Ines Pellegrini, Andrés Mejuto, Mirta Miller, Daniele Vargas, George Rigaud, Silvia Solar, Raf Baldassarre, José María Blanco

“I’d put this Giallo right next to Sergio Martino’s awesome Torso. Both films are not the most masterfully told mysteries, but they do present all the wonderfully exploitive elements I discussed earlier with a great deal of flair. If someone had never seen a Giallo before, I would recommend this one as a great starter course. It’s got an impressive collection of gorgeous women to be victimized, bloody and stylized murders that make excellent use of red, green and blue lighting gels (especially a kill that takes place in a haunted house ride), a suspenseful score from Bruno Nicolai and lots of beautiful Spanish scenery. I wouldn’t compare it to the classics of Bava or Argento, but it’s one fun, trashy little Giallo.” – Michael Monterastelli, CHUD.com

Screamplay

130. (new) Screamplay

Rufus Butler Seder

1985 / USA / 90m / BW / Comedy | IMDb
Rufus Butler Seder, Eugene Seder, Cheryl Hirshman, James McCann, Clif Sears, Johanna Wagner, Lonny McDougall, George Kuchar, Basil J. Bova, George Cordeiro

“Director Rufus Butler Seder’s movie is similar to taking a film like The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari orNosferatu and filtering it through the 80s (much like Grindhouse did with the 70s and 80s). The final product is a black-and-white horror film with light dark comedy that uses camera tricks, skillful shadow and light manipulation, various visual techniques, and a perfect score to create a world that is fully convincing as being from the early days of moviemaking. The film stock looks the part, full of grain and a bit over-white at times, yet simultaneously clear enough that it’s almost like being in a movie theater in the first half of the 20th century.” – Mike, Horrorfreak News

Horror Hospital

131. (+6) Horror Hospital

Antony Balch

1973 / UK / 85m / Col / Black Comedy | IMDb
Michael Gough, Robin Askwith, Vanessa Shaw, Ellen Pollock, Dennis Price, Skip Martin, Kurt Christian, Barbara Wendy, Kenneth Benda, Martin Grace

“Directed by Antony Balch, who co-wrote the script with Alan Watson, the emphasis here is on fun. To hell with logic, subtlety, or any sense of realism… The dialogue is appropriately silly, as are quite a few of the character moments (the sex scene, in particular), but the technical side of things is all competent enough, with good humour and inventiveness compensating for the relatively low budget… An easy film to dismiss, and an easy film to point and laugh at, it’s also one that deserves to be loved. It’s like a Roger Corman movie that’s been soaked in a British stew before having a standard Hammer horror movie ending tacked on.” – Kevin Matthews, Flickfeast

The Return of Count Yorga

132. (+6) The Return of Count Yorga

Bob Kelljan

1971 / USA / 97m / Col / Vampire | IMDb
Robert Quarry, Mariette Hartley, Roger Perry, George Macready, Walter Brooke, Philip Frame, Yvonne Wilder, Tom Toner, Rudy De Luca, Edward Walsh

“The Return of Count Yorga isn’t really a sequel but a re-working of the original film on a higher budget and with better production values. It thus has a more polished look and a touch more wit… Whether The Return of Count Yorga is a better film than Count Yorga, Vampire really is a matter of personal taste. In my youth I do remember enjoying it more, for its slicker production values, for its small but memorable moments of humour, and for that Manson-like attack on the house, which stayed with me for some years and still plays every bit as well as I remember.” – Slarek, Cine Outsider

Nelle pieghe della carne

133. (+6) Nelle pieghe della carne

Sergio Bergonzelli

1970 / Italy / 88m / Col / Giallo | IMDb
Eleonora Rossi Drago, Pier Angeli, Fernando Sancho, Alfredo Mayo, Emilio Gutiérrez Caba, María Rosa Sclauzero, Víctor Alcázar, Giancarlo Sisti, Gaetano Imbró

“In the Folds of the Flesh has to be one of the most (if not, the most) whacked-out, bizarre gialli to ever hit the screen. Released in 1970, this cinematic entry directed by Sergio Bergonzelli has so many plot twists and turns, that it is difficult to give a plot synopsis without divulging the entire script… Being the peculiar surrealistic film that it is, In the Folds of the Flesh also contains some interesting goings-on, including incestuous escapades, caged pet vultures, golden beetles, a cyanide bath demise and Nazi war camp sequences with naked women marching to their death for good measure. During the latter, Lucille relives (while naked) watching her mother march to the gas chamber with other unfortunate women and is then forced to watch her mother gassed to death.” – Chris Mayo, Severed Cinema

Straight on Till Morning

134. (+6) Straight on Till Morning

Peter Collinson

1972 / UK / 96m / Col / Psychological | IMDb
Rita Tushingham, Shane Briant, James Bolam, Katya Wyeth, Annie Ross, Tom Bell, Claire Kelly, Harold Berens, John Clive, Tommy Godfrey

“Opening with grim urban vistas that immediately conjure up the kitchen sink dramas for which Britain was famous at the time, Straight On Till Morning is a very different film from Hammer that shocked their fans partly because what it goes on to portray is more horrible than any of the monsters with which they had built their reputation. It’s a story of obsession, dangerous romance, desperate people and still more desperate acts, a story full of real cruelty and pain. But it’s also incredibly funny, full of sly observational humour and a biting critique of modern love.” – Jennie Kermode, Eye For Film

Deadtime Stories

135. (+9) Deadtime Stories

Jeffrey Delman

1986 / USA / 93m / Col / Anthology | IMDb
Scott Valentine, Nicole Picard, Matt Mitler, Cathryn de Prume, Melissa Leo, Kathy Fleig, Phyllis Craig, Michael Mesmer, Brian DePersia, Kevin Hannon

““Deadtime Stories,” which is lurking in far fewer theaters [than the simultaneously released Creepshow 2], is pretty bad itself, but there’s a perverse originality at work by director Jeffrey Delman, who cowrote the stories with Charles F. Shelton and J. Edward Kiernan. Some things may have been lost in cuts made to bring the film’s rating from an X to an R, but a wacky sense of humor is at work in these offbeat recastings of children’s tales told by a distracted uncle to put his demanding nephew to sleep… Admittedly, the acting in “Deadtime Stories” is mostly bad, but some of the lines are hilarious.” – Richard Harrington, Washington Post

The Burning Moon

136. (+5) The Burning Moon

Olaf Ittenbach

1992 / Germany / 86m / Col / Splatter | IMDb
Beate Neumeyer, Bernd Muggenthaler, Ellen Fischer, Alfons Sigllechner, Barbara Woderschek, Helmut Neumeyer, Andrea Arbter, Herbert Holzapfel, Thomas Deby, Karl-Heinz Nebbe

“There are moments in The Burning Moon (such as when you watch a man get ruthlessly bludgeoned to death) that convince you that you’re watching pure misanthropy committed to VHS tape. Moments like this (and there are hordes of others) are responsible for giving Olaf Ittenbach’s shot-on-video opus its infamous, blood-caked reputation; that it comes from Germany–home to other such nefarious, snuffy fare such as Nekromantik–only shades its reputation even more. However, other moments (such as a lunatic’s fantasy about frolicking through fields with a dog) feel like such calculated, absurd brilliance that you can’t help but somehow be entertained by a movie that often makes you question how much of the production budget was dedicated to fuelling its director’s coke habit.” – Brett Gallman, Oh, the Horror!

La orgía de los muertos

137. (+10) La orgía de los muertos

José Luis Merino

1973 / Spain / 91m / Col / Zombie | IMDb
Stelvio Rosi, Maria Pia Conte, Dyanik Zurakowska, Pasquale Basile, Gérard Tichy, Aurora de Alba, Eleonora Vargas, José Cárdenas, Giuliana Garavaglia, Carla Mancini

“Anyone wanting an introduction to seventies Euro-horror could do a lot worse than Orgy Of The Dead, which manages to encapsulate almost all of the themes that dominated that very strange sub-genre of film. Set in an unidentified 19th century European village, the action features some highly suspect aristocrats, much running around in secret passages, sex, violence, and lots and lots of highly exploitable elements that ultimately prove to have little if anything to do with the plot. First and foremost amongst these is Mr Euro-Horror himself, Paul Naschy, aka Jacinto Molina, stepping away from his endless portrayals of werewolves to play Igor the necrophiliac.” – Liz Kingsley, And You Call Yourself a Scientist!

Shojo no harawata

138. (+8) Shojo no harawata

Kazuo ‘Gaira’ Komizu

1986 / Japan / 72m / Col / Splatter | IMDb
Saeko Kizuki, Naomi Hagio, Megumi Kawashima, Osamu Tsuruoka, Daiki Katô, Hideki Takahashi, Kazuhiko Goda

“Like most Japanese films of this genre, Entrails of a Virgin is chocked full of female degradation and uncomfortable rape scenes. However, what’s unique this time around is that in addition to slaughtering people, it’s the mud monster doing the majority of the perverse acts. That’s right. The monster is sexually-frustrated and endowed like, well, a monster. In fact, one of the more charming scenes involves an impaling with said monstrous member. You can’t go wrong there. With all the strange scenes of gore that are sprinkled throughout the film’s erotic themes, it sort of resembles an episode of HBO’s “Real Sex,” if it were filmed on the set of Evil Dead.” – Dustin Wilmes, Passport Cinema

Psychic Killer

139. (+11) Psychic Killer

Ray Danton

1975 / USA / 89m / Col / Thriller | IMDb
Paul Burke, Jim Hutton, Julie Adams, Nehemiah Persoff, Neville Brand, Aldo Ray, Whit Bissell, Rod Cameron, Della Reese, Mary Charlotte Wilcox

“In the Folds of the Flesh has to be one of the most (if not, the most) whacked-out, bizarre gialli to ever hit the screen. Released in 1970, this cinematic entry directed by Sergio Bergonzelli has so many plot twists and turns, that it is difficult to give a plot synopsis without divulging the entire script… Being the peculiar surrealistic film that it is, In the Folds of the Flesh also contains some interesting goings-on, including incestuous escapades, caged pet vultures, golden beetles, a cyanide bath demise and Nazi war camp sequences with naked women marching to their death for good measure… Even with a roughly 90-minute runtime In the Fold of the Flesh does overstay its welcome. That’s not to say the film is necessarily bad, it just staggers around before getting to the point.” – Chris Mayo, Severed Cinema

To All a Goodnight

140. (new) To All a Goodnight

David Hess

1980 / USA / 90m / Col / Slasher | IMDb
Jennifer Runyon, Forrest Swanson, Linda Gentile, William Lauer, Judith Bridges, Kiva Lawrence, West Buchanan, Sam Shamshak, Angela Bath, Denise Stearns

“Famously incompetent on many technical levels, To All a Goodnight will never be cited as anyone’s idea of good cinema; however, it’s loaded to the gills with that naive charm found in so many slasher films before the ground rules had really been set. Eccentric dialogue, bizarre hairstyles, a surplus of varied kill scenes, a baffling cameo by porn legend Harry Reems as an airplane pilot (a role you’d see Robert Kerman doing had this been an Italian film), and wildly random lighting and day-for-night shifts make it a great party film if you’re with the right crowd, and any killer Santa film by definition has to be tons of fun around Christmas time.” – Nathaniel Thompson, Mondo Digital

The Clairvoyant

141. (new) The Clairvoyant

Maurice Elvey

1934 / UK / 81m / BW / Psychological | IMDb
Claude Rains, Fay Wray, Mary Clare, Ben Field, Jane Baxter, Athole Stewart, C. Denier Warren

“In his posthumous memoir, screenwriter Charles Bennett claimed that the script was actually based on a series of strange experiences he had following World War 1. According to Bennett, he grew increasingly superstitious when the war ended and his imagination started working overtime. He began believing he could cause terrible things to happen just by being in the same room with someone after bearing witnesses to multiple tragedies that he felt personally responsible for… The personal nature of the script bolsters the film’s interesting pedigree making it a unique curio that fans of classic horror and suspense should appreciate.” – Kimberly Lindbergs, TCM’s Movie Morlocks

Death Weekend

142. (new) Death Weekend

William Fruet

1976 / Canada / 87m / Col / Rape and Revenge | IMDb
Brenda Vaccaro, Don Stroud, Chuck Shamata, Richard Ayres, Kyle Edwards, Don Granberry, Ed McNamara, Michael Kirby, Richard Donat, Denver Mattson

“Death Weekend is a solid home invasion movie that utilizes all the classic tropes and falls into all the same traps that you’ve come to know and love. Home invasion movies always seem to have opportunities where the hostages can just, I don’t know, make a phone call, perhaps to the local authorities. But then I guess there’d be no movie… Still, director William Fruet (and producer Ivan Reitman!) created something entertaining and fun, albeit with just a minimal amount of sleaze. It doesn’t have any big surprises or twists, but a guy does get lit on fire. That’s always a good time.” – Annie Choi, Bleeding Skull

Play for Today: Robin Redbreast

143. (new) Play for Today: Robin Redbreast

James MacTaggart

1970 / UK / 76m / Col / Thriller | IMDb
Anna Cropper, Amanda Walker, Julian Holloway, Freda Bamford, Bernard Hepton, Andy Bradford, Cyril Cross, Robin Wentworth

“Robin Redbreast is a damnably chilling affair. Norah is an intriguing character, one who plays against type and smashes taboos with almost every action. From pre-marital sex, to smoking when pregnant, she portrays the anguished femininity of a post hippie fallout. Cropper is remarkable; strong and confident, yet vulnerable and helpless at the same time. Much in the same way as The Wicker Man is an elaborate game, littered with clues; Robin Redbreast is equally filled with oblique moments of partial exposition. Norah is provided with several sly nods as to what the residents have in store for her, but she misses almost every one.” – Colin McCracken, Diabolique Magazine

Buppha Rahtree

144. (new) Buppha Rahtree

Yuthlert Sippapak

2003 / Thailand / 109m / Col / Comedy | IMDb
Laila Boonyasak, Krit Sripoomseth, Chompunoot Piyapane, Sirisin Siripornsmathikul, Ampon Rattanawong, Somjai Sukjai, Sayan Meungjarern, Mr. Nicolas

“It’s almost as if director Yuthlert Sippapak (Killer Tattoo) filmed three separate movies; a romantic drama, a comedy and a supernatural horror, and edited them together in post production. And guess what? It works!… This movie has real scares, I kid you not. Buppah’s make-up bears more of a resemblance to a deadite then to the typical J-horror vengeful spook, and forget the whole crawling slowly towards her victim business… Buppah skips merrily, and quickly towards her terrified targets. The movie also appeases the gore junkies with a gooey little hacksaw scene, and finishes off with a particularly macabre ending.” – Jon Condit, Dread Central

Aswang

145. (new) Aswang

Wrye Martin & Barry Poltermann

1994 / USA / 82m / Col / Vampire | IMDb
Norman Moses, Tina Ona Paukstelis, John Kishline, Flora Coker, Victor Delorenzo, Mildred Nierras, Jamie Jacobs Anderson, Daniel Demarco, John Garekis, Lee Worrell

“It’s a fun movie, but it’s nothing really original or innovative. Borrowing liberally from “The Shining”, “The Evil Dead”, “Texas Chainsaw Massacre” and “Psycho”, and adding a pinch of Filipino horror to the mix, it’s still pretty odd, mostly due to the subject matter, but also due to the strain of very black humor on display, with a few moments (mamma hanging from a window by her very long tongue) garnering chuckles, proving that the people behind this at least know how to have fun. There’s also some nice gore, a few genuinely suspenseful moments, a good enough score by Ken Brahmstedt (dig the weird electronic effects), an interesting subplot, and a fitting, bleak conclusion.” – Joseph Howell, Talk of Horrors

Luther the Geek

146. (new) Luther the Geek

Carlton J. Albright

1990 / USA / 80m / Col / Splatter | IMDb
Edward Terry, Joan Roth, Stacy Haiduk, Thomas Mills, Jerry Clarke, Tom Brittingham, Carlton Williams, ‘Chicken’ Klabunde, Gil Rogers, Karen Maurise

“A geek, as defined in “Luther the Geek,” is a disturbed carnival sideshow performer who bites the heads off snakes and chickens, usually for a reward that helps to calm urges of alcoholism and drug addiction… [the film] plays around with the nightmarish vocation, transporting a Depression-era celebration of the macabre to a slightly more modern setting, with writer/director Carlton J. Albright creating a slasher-type event with a truly disturbing murderer. It’s a weird movie, but one that owns its strangeness through a commitment to character and unusual encounters between the (clucking) hunter and his understandably confused prey.” – Brian Orndorf, Blu-ray.com

The Monster and the Girl

147. (new) The Monster and the Girl

Stuart Heisler

1941 / USA / 65m / BW / Science Fiction | IMDb
Ellen Drew, Robert Paige, Paul Lukas, Joseph Calleia, Onslow Stevens, George Zucco, Rod Cameron, Phillip Terry, Marc Lawrence, Gerald Mohr

“The Monster and the Girl is definitely one of the strangest pictures ever made. And when one hears what the plot is, one expects it to be one of the worst films ever made. Surprisingly, Monster turns out to be a fairly effective and entertaining little “B” flick – and not one that gets by just on camp value… Stuart Heisler’s direction is lively and totally committed; his work gives no sign that he is not approaching this story with total seriousness, and he’s aided by good atmospheric contributions from Victor Milner.” – Craig Butler, AllMovie

The Bat Whispers

148. (new) The Bat Whispers

Roland West

1930 / USA / 83m / BW / Mystery | IMDb
Chance Ward, Richard Tucker, Wilson Benge, DeWitt Jennings, Sidney D’Albrook, S.E. Jennings, Grayce Hampton, Maude Eburne, Spencer Charters, Una Merkel

“Roland West’s talkie remake of his own 1926 silent film The Bat is by far the best movie adaptation of the stock spoof horror play set in a creepy mansion where masked menace lurks. It’s also a superior mystery chiller in its own right. Sure, it’s a dusty antique by today’s standards, but the impressively surreal imagery is highly unusual for the period and well worth a look. Using remarkable special effects and miniature sets, the fluid camera darts about as much as the titular caped criminal for a fun combination of screams and laughs.” – Alan Jones, Radio Times

Spasmo

149. (new) Spasmo

Umberto Lenzi

1974 / Italy / 94m / Col / Giallo | IMDb
Robert Hoffmann, Suzy Kendall, Ivan Rassimov, Adolfo Lastretti, Monica Monet, Guido Alberti, Mario Erpichini, Franco Silva, Maria Pia Conte, Luigi Antonio Guerra

“Visuals in the film are rather toned down and outside of the aforementioned lack of nudity and gore, even set pieces and locations are mostly unmemorable. At times ‘Spasmo’ is like a car accident you can’t look away from. But it also has moments of brilliance. The last quarter of the film is fantastic! A great reveal an exciting finale and there are a couple of awesome surprise twists. If you don’t take the film too seriously it is actually a lot of fun. You have to kick back and enjoy the ride on this one, accept the bad dialog and move on. It really does come together in the end!” – Goregirl’s Dungeon

Mo tai

150. (new) Mo tai

Hung-Chuen Lau

1983 / Hong Kong / 84m / Col / Exploitation | IMDb
Eddie Chan, Yung-chang Chin, Pak-Kwong Ho, Dan Lau, Sai-gang Lau, San Leung, Pui-pui Liu, Hsiu-ling Lu, Sha-fei Ouyang, Mung-Kwong Tsui

“For the remainder, I’ll just give the highlights. The demon is now inside Boby, which eventually gets transferred to Kwo Wei, who immediately takes on the generic automaton gaze and deliberate walk. There’s dog attacks, there’s dog eating, there’s maid raping, there’s near drowning, there transsexual masturbation, there’s worm eating, there’s a dude being crushed by a room (yes, I mean exactly that) and yes, there’s more slimy demon-sex. A lot of this is done with the accompaniment of some wicked 1980s video game-esque sound effects that make you nostalgic for that Atari system. There are also a couple of signature Hong-Kong-ish battle scenes that don’t make any logical sense, but are really great to watch.” – Zombie-A-GoGo