My Favourite 75 Horror Films .... From the Silents Until Today ................... Back to Start Page ...... Back to Horror Films Page 1

Yeah, the list everyone craved for, yippeee .... my favourite horror movies in chronological order.
Here are the one's hailed by the Cinephiles and the "Good taste" but also the one's that only the lovers of Psychotronic
films cherish, We, the horrorphiles who won't answer "The Shining" or "Scream" ... Zzzzzz when asked about our faves.
No distinction between high and low here, just the films i like. Max. two films by the same director. The Gialli movies
are more crime-mysteries than horror. There are a lot of horror movies i haven't seen yet, so please don't be upset if your
favourite film is missing. These conclusions can maybe be drawn from this list :

The Horror Film reached it's peak in the 1970's and 1980's. The Western horror movies had some meagre years in the
1990's with a lot of horror-comedy crap as the 1976 "Scream". Instead the Asian horror film had a golden era 1995-2005.
Today the horror genre have had a Re-Animation BUT there have also been a lot, a LOT, of re-makes of the 70-80's films
with endless Neo-Slashers, retro-Grindhouse, retro gialli, and sadly with an overuse of CGI effects. Everywhere crappy
CGI instead of creating "real" looking effects, as i.a. a Tom Savini and Giannetto De Rossi once did.
I do NOT like torture porn horror, vampire and demon crap made for computer gamers, CGI crap, Saw, Scream etc.

01. Der Golem: Wie Er in die Welt Kam (1920)
direction and co-script: Paul Wegener

German expressionism at it's best after the Jewish legend about The Golem, the clay
statue made by the Rabbi Loew in the 1580's Prague to save the Jews from a pogrom.
Silent movie with a great atmosphere and a very fine make-up effect with the Statue.
Paul Wegener played the statue three times and directed two of the films and this
1920 version of the legend is the masterpiece. Cinematography by the great Karl Freund

02. Nosferatu, eine symphonie des Grauens (1922)
direction: Friedrich Wilhelm Murnau

Still today 100 years later this could be the very best made to screen adaption of the
Dracula saga, and with the scariest Dracula ever played by the formidable Max Schreck
as Count Orlok. They couldn't use the name Dracula for some legal reasons. I remember
watching it in a cool performance here in Stockholm when the film was projected on a
giant screen on big building (Kulturhuset) and a rockband played sitting on the roof
.
Silent movie and made by the Genius F. W. Murnau who also made i.a. the 1927
masterpiece "Sunrise"

03. Freaks (1932)
direction: Tod Browning

One of the most unique films ever made in Film-History, very unusual and a true cult
classic. A drama horror playing out in a Circus, and with Freaks played by real deformed
humans. In a famous scene of revelation we get to see the "freaks" becoming the good
people and the "normal" and "beautiful" people becoming the Ogres and the true Freaks.
One of the most banned movies in Film History. See the evil trapeze artist and murderer
Cleopatra being mutilated and turned into a human Duck or Chicken.

04. I Walked With a Zombie (1943)
direction: Jaques Tourneur

Visually haunting lowbudget drama-horror that in a rare serious manner depicts the
Voodoo religion and Zombies, and Tourneur with cinematographer J. Roy Hunt present
us some unforgettable scenes as the one (seen in the pic above) when a woman in a
trance (Christine Gordon) is led by her nurse (Frances Dee) to the Voodoo ritual.
Mysterious, dreamlike and beautiful.

This is a zombiemovie B.R. - that is, Before Romero. George Romero changed and
re-set the rules for a zombie movie with his 1968 classic "The Night of the Living Dead".
But for sure not that many zombie films had been made before, i know of the 1932
"White Zombie", 1937 "Revolt of the Zombies", 1943 "I Walked with a Zombie" and
the 1964 Vincent Price film "The Last Man on Earth".
There has been one or another serious attempt making a film about "real" zombies as
Wes Craven's underrated "The Serpent and the Rainbow" made in 1988.

05. The Spiral Staircase (1946)
direction: Robert Siodmak

A visually groundbreaking Gothic Horror and Murder Mystery Masterpiece and in some
scenes a precursor to the Gialli genre with images of a killer dressed in all black including
the black gloves and the hat, and with the POV subjective camera used. Famous are the
shots of the zooming in into the eyes of the killer hiding in the closet and the reflection of
the mute girl on the stairway on the eye of the killer. Amazing work from cinematographer
Nicholas Musuraca and with a delightfully macabre plot about a serial killer targeting
disabled women in a New England town. The heroine of the movie is the mute servant
Helen and Dorothy McGuire plays her perfectly.
There has been re-makes of this early proto-giallo but no-one is even close to this classic.
Read more about this film on my Horror Film Page 2

06. Les Yeux sans visage (1959)
direction and co-script: Georges Franju

Poetically dreamlike and visually atmospherical this is one most important movies of the
genre ever made. The model for all the Mad Surgeon films that would come.
Pierre Brasseurs surgeon is desperately attempting to restore his beloved daughters
destroyed face with skin grafts from unwilling donors, women kidnapped by his assistant,
played by Alida Valli. Read more about the film on my Horror Film Page 2

07. Peeping Tom (1960)
direction: Michael Powell

Brilliant and initially unjustly hated by asshole film critics psychological horror about
a young disturbed man and his camera. A Meta-Horror movie made much ahead of it's
time and later re-discovered and hailed as an absolute masterpiece of cinema.
A film about film and about it's Voyeurism. The stupid British assholes at the time however
wanted to see it flushed down the toilet, and one of Englands greatest film directors ever
had to give up his film career

08. Psycho (1960)
direction: Alfred Hitchcock

What to say about this masterpiece ? An absolute horror classic with an outstanding
soundtrack. Totally groundbreaking and possibly the most influental horror movie ever made.
The lovely Janet Leigh had a knack of being in some of the greatest films ever made, and
besides Psycho, also acted in Orson Welles 1958 "Touch of Evil" and in John Frankenheimer's
1962 paranoia horror thriller "The Manchurian Candidate"

09. Il Mulino delle Donna di Pietra (1960)
direction and co-script: Giorgio Ferroni

Mill of the Stone Women is based on a Flemish tale where a professor runs a macabre
attraction, a windmill with a Carillion moving around with frightening statues of dead
women in scary poses, some sort of an amusement Horror cabinet open to the public.
A little bit of Vincent Price's 1953 "House of Wax" but taking place in a Flemish windmill.
A very atmospherical horror and with Scilla Gabel as the dying daughter

10. Burn, Witch, Burn (1962)
direction: Sid Hayers; co-screenplay: Richard Matheson

A totally obscure and very unjustly forgotten horror movie but this little British Black
Magic horror is Brilliant and one of the best i've seen in the genre. A professor discovers
that his wife uses black magic to protect them against their "friends", his University
colleagues. If someone wonder from where Dario Argento got the inspiration for his "
Dog and Blind Piano Player being attacked by a Statue on the Square" scene in his 1977
"Suspiria" - here it is.
I had never heard about this great film and bought it on a whim, and i feel privileged to
have seen it. Such a little horror gem

11. Carnival of Souls (1962)
direction: Herk Harvey

A pensive and moody oddity of a Cult Movie Classic and the one and only directed
film by the mysterious Herk Harvey, and it's almost a masterpiece .... No, it IS a
lowbudget Masterpiece.
A sad story about a desperately lonesome church organ playing woman (played by
Candace Hilligoss) who after a car accident is in the Twilight zone and between life
and death. Her fate is gripping

12. Onibaba (1964)
direction and script: Kaneto Shindo

A Mystical and Sensual art horror masterpiece about evil times in the late medieval
Nippon where two predator women roam around in a big field of grass and murder
lost soldiers. Dark and poetic tale of evil from
the 1st golden era of Japanese horror and ghost stories, the 1960's

13. Two Thousand Maniacs (1964)
direction and script: Herschell Gordon Lewis

HGL - The Godfather of Gore surprises us with being quite ambitious with his second
film in his infamous Blood Trilogy (Blood Feast 1963, 2000 Maniacs 1964 and Color Me
Blood Red 1965). Sure, there are his famous crude shock scenes but there is also a fine
script about a southern town returning to life and celebrating it's Centennial after being
wiped out by Yankee soldiers during the Civil War in the 1860's.
They celebrate it in a southern way by murdering by car lost tourists from the north.

Yes, it's a lowbudget B movie but it's inspired, with primitive crude shock effects (nasty
even today) and it has a ton of atmosphere and shot in crisp colors and in bright daylight.
HGL cleverly use the cheering citizens for a contrast to the hideous deaths their guests
suffers (they probably had no idea of what film they would appear in). HGL at his peak
and a film that must have started a genre of it's own - The Inbred Country Maniacs vs.
City Tourists. The ending to this film was GREAT - 100 years to the next massacre

14. The Viy (1967)
direction: Konstantin Ershov/Georgii Kropachev

A very entertaining horror fairy tale based on a Gogol story and with some wildly
inspired Aleksandr Ptushko supervised effects at the end. A young seminarist has
to spend 3 nights reading prayers for a witch. One of the very few horror movies
made in the Soviet Union. Read more about the film on my Russian Film Page

15. The Night of the Living Dead (1968)
direction: George Romero

Lowbudget masterpiece that set the rules of the Zombie filmgenre. A genre more
popular than ever today. The youngsters seem to love it and there are computer
games and TV series about the living dead shuffling around. Almost every country
in the world makes Zombie movies, South Korea, Japan, Argentine, Taiwan, Australia
etc. etc.
No Voodoo rites with possible drugs administered and with zombie slaves put to work,
but instead some sort of an Apocalypse causing it and with zombies roaming around
hunting for human meat

16. Vargtimmen (Hour of the Wolf) 1968
direction and script: Ingmar Bergman

A dreamlike surreal drama horror artmovie. Hallucinatory and impressive about a
painter (Max von Sydow) who live in fear of monstruos birdmen and insect demons.
The film supposedly takes place on one of the Frisian islands but seems to be shot in
Sweden. Sven Nykvist was the cinematographer as usual for Bergman.
It's a pity that our Swedish auteur didn't make more films in the horror genre, even
though his 1977 "The Serpent's Egg" is a drama with some horror elements to it.
Bergman believed in Demons (Dämoner)

17. La Residencia (1969)
direction: Narciso Ibáñez Serrador

A very atmospheric and very well made gothic horror classic about a Boarding
school for girls situated in the French countryside somewhere around the last turn
of the century. Maybe a Gothic Giallo and the film is famous for the thick atmosphere
that cinematographer Manuel Berenguer created with the house and it's corridors
and for the fine performance from Lili Palmer as the head-mistress of the school.
The girls and the ballet lesson makes you think of Dario Argento's 1977 "Suspiria"
and he surely was inspired by this film.
Read more about La Residencia on my Horror Films Page 1

And .... Rub a Dum Dum .... time for the best decennium of Horror film - the 1970's

18. The Bird with the Crystal Plumage (1970)
direction and script: Dario Argento

Argento wrote the script based on the the novel by Fredric Brown and it wasn't
the first Giallo as Mario Bava probably made this some 6-7 years earlier, but The
Bird may have been the most influental as the film was a huge Hit and a stream of
Copycats made gialli with an array of animals in the titles.
Fredric Brown's excellent 1949 Pulp Fiction "The Screaming Mimi" - read more
about this novel and the screen adaption thereof (with Anita Ekberg) on my Film
Noir Page. In the novel a small macabre figurine plays a central part of the mystery,
and in the film it's a naivistic painting and the sound of the Crystal Bird (a Crane)
that gives the solution of the case

19. Mais ne nous délivrez pas du mal (1971)
Direction and script: Joel Séria

Great sensual art-horror-drama with fine acting and a furious Anti- Catholic
diatribe that made it banned in France. Two teenage girls reads dark poetry,
provoke men sexually, kill animals and become disciples to Satan. It's sad,
beautiful and disturbing and it caused a storm of anger when shown on Swedish
TV in 1975 ... but I, a young kid then was fascinated.
Read more about the film on my Horror Films Page 1

20. La Corta notte delle bambole di vetro (1971)
direction and co-script: Aldo Lado

A complex and suggestive Art Giallo masterpiece with an almost overwhelming
Feel Bad atmosphere about young women going missing in Prague.
Masterly made and bordering to the political thriller

21. Lisa e il Diavolo (1972)
direction and co-script: Mario Bava

This could be my favourite film of Mario Bava but it's extremely hard to
pick a favourite film of his as he has made so many visually fascinating films
and with so great colors. Lisa and the Devil is a Poetic and beautiful
dreamlike Drama Horror , like an old fairytale or medieval song of The Devil
coming to get you. Lisa is a tourist to Toledo, Spain who suddenly finds her
separated from the rest of the group and she seems to somehow have lost
the grip of time and space, and turning up finally outside of a big villa and in
a myth about the Devil catching his dead.

The film is a visual piece of art and with actors and actresses as Telly Savalas,
Sylva Koscina, Alida Valli and Elke Sommer and it's criminally underrated and
was at first butchered and -re-shot by the producers and even re-made as a
rip-off of The Exorcist by asshole Alfredo Leone.
According to Phil Hardy the Spanish film critics who saw the original thought
it to be a hauntingly beautiful poem about decay and death from the master
of Funereal Lyricism

22. The Last House on the Left (1972)
direction and script: Wes Craven

R.I.P. Wes Craven 2015. A pitch-black indie grindhouse horror with some
odd comedy relief scenes. A young ambitious director (who had made a
pseudo documentary "Together" in 1970) now made this shocker classic and
based it on Ingmar Bergman's 1960's "Virgin Spring", the medieval rape and
revenge drama (and thriller or horror?) with the scenes of violence being far
from exploitative, but horrifying and something that gave the film a strong
anti-violence effect (at least for me that is).
This must surely be the best film of Wes Craven, he made no film with this
emotional power again and David Hess disturbing performance as the escaped
sex killer typecasted him as bad guy through his career

23. Raw Meat (Death Line) 1972
direction: Gary Sherman

An impressive debut film by a director mostly known perhaps for his 1981
"Dead and Buried" and that's a great horror film, but .... this his first film is
even better. Also this gem seems to be forgotten and obscure but it's a brilliant
film with a ton of London Underground atmosphere. Could there be descendants
to the subway system workers who was caught under earth in the London 1892
Metro accident .... and who have turned into Cannibals to survive deep down
below? A great film with some small vibes of Neil Marshall's 2005 "Descent"

24. Non sisevizia un paperino (Don't Torture a Duckling) 1972
direction and co-script: Lucio Fulci

One of two films by the master Fulci (max. of two films from a director here on my
list of favourite horror films) this one a giallo, and the other a horror. I have many
favourites of the versatile director Lucio Fulci as his historical drama horror "Beatrice
Cenci" or his giallo "A Lizard in a Woman's Skin" or the bizarre and B-ish but very
intense and atmospheric "House by the Cemetary" but the other one is The Beyond.

This film "Don't Torture a Duckling" also has a ton of atmosphere and is a rural giallo
horror and it's one of the best gialli ever made, easily on my Top Ten list. As the poor
woman Maciara we get to see the fantastic Brazilian, and one of my favourite genre
actresses, Florinda Bolkan. She's accused of Black Magic and Giannetto Di Rossi looks
to that she's meeting a horrifying death.
Just as his "Beatrice Cenci" this film "Duckling" vibrates with the evil of Humans,
the superstitions and the violence.
The film a mix of Drama, horror and giallo and also with Tomas Milian in it

25. La Campana del Infierno (The Bell From Hell) 1973
direction: Claudio Guerin Hill

A brilliant, arty and ambitious Spanish psycho horror tale of revenge, insanity
and dread. Atmospheric and depressing from a young talented director who fell
from a bell tower and died during the last day of the shooting. Maybe the best
Spanish horror movie i have ever seen, on the Top List for sure

26. the Exorcist (1973)
direction: William Friedkin

An absolute classic and one of the best known horror films ever made. When i
was a young teenager watching this film (in the cinema that is) was something
of an initiation rite, you had to dare it. The exorcist was one of the first "Not
suitable for Children" film i saw (in Sweden you had to be 15 years old). The film
has some great actors in it as Ellen Burstyn and Max von Sydow and Linda Blair
as the possessed 12 year old girl vomiting, cursing, doing the head swirl and the
Spider Walk is genuinely scary (but the spider walk scene wasn't known back then,
no director's cut in the 70's).

27. The Wicker Man (1973)
direction: Robyn Hardy

A great atmospheric and original British cult classic about a mainland police
officer visiting a remote Scottish island for the purpose of doing a missing child
investigation. He meets the adorable Britt Ekland as the Pub owners daughter, but
he also meets the hostility of the locals and he soon realizes that they are still
Heathens and perform human sacrifices in ancient May Day rites.
Great cinematography from Harry Waxman and Ekland used a body double for the
singing nude scene

28. Don't Look Now (Rösten från andra sidan, 1973)
direction: Nicolas Roeg

Psychological horror thriller and maybe perhaps even a giallo with amazing images
from a wintry Venice with a great soundtrack by Pino Donaggio. Donald Sutherland
and Julie Christie have fled England after the death of their young daughter, but in
Venice they start to suspect that their daughter somehow is with them .... from the
other side. At the same time a serial killer is on the loose and a small figure in a red
raincoat is running around in the narrow and damp alleyways around the canals.
Great cinematography by Tony Richmond

29. Una Vela para del Diablo (A Candle for the Devil) 1973
direction and co-script: Eugenio Martin

Spanish minor masterpiece of horror bursting with atmosphere and sexual
repression in a village where two middle-aged bigotted sisters runs a tavern
and murder their female tourist guests
.
Batista and Roy are sensational, disgusting .... and beautiful, just amazing.
From the Spanish Golden Film Era, the 1970's. Read more about the film on
Horror Films Page 2

30. Ilsa Shewolf of the SS (1974)
direction: Don Edmonds

Sure, sure, this may be The Queen of all Nazi Exploitation Trash movies and
without any redeeming qualities whatsoever to be included in a list like this,
of my favourite horror films of all time. Luckily this shameful softcore sex - horror
genre dried up and vanished (in the 1980's ?)
BUT the film has ONE redeeming quality, the amazing Dyanne Thorne as the
Dominatrix Camp Commendant Ilsa. She attacks the role with such Gusto and
succeeds so well that she forever was to be associated with the role as a beautiful,
busty and ill-tempered Commendant.

The film is actually made tongue-in-cheek and works as a Sexploitation Sex-
Horror Comedy but Dyanne Thorne was to be treated as a leper by the Film
industry anyway for the rest of her career, and worse acc. to an interview i've
read with her even her friends shunned her.
This for as an actress playing a role too well. If she had sucked no-one would've
cared about it, but now Dyanne made a performance of almost Tura "Faster
Pussycat, Kill Kill" Satana level.

Ilsa Shewolf of the SS is a Cult Classic and Dyanne Thorne, who made two
sequels - "Harem Keeper of the Oil Scheiks" and "Tigress of Siberia", or three
if Jesús Franco's "Greta, Haus ohne männer" is to be counted, will forever be
the best and sexiest film Nazi warden or Commandant

31. Black Christmas (1974)
direction: Bob Clarke

With a long slow build-up but a very well made and very suspenseful Canadian
horror that became groundbreaking and who started and set the rules for the
beloved by every horror film fan - the Slasher Film genre.
Sure, some say that this honor belongs to Mario Bava with his "Ecologia del
Delitto" (Bay of Blood or Twitch of the Death Nerve" from 1971 as this film was
the precursor to "Friday the 13th" regarding a violent death that Sean Cunningham
ripped-off. But "Black Christmas" played out on a Campus ground, and that or a
Summer Camp with teenagers must be archetypal for the American Slasher film


32. Vampyres (1974)
direction: José Ramón Larraz

Gothic and genuinely sensual Horror Sex classic about two mysterious female
vampires played by gorgeous Playboy model Anulka Dziubinska and the ditto
Marianne Morris.
They lure men to their bloodsucking nest, a decaying old mansion, somewhere
out in the lush English countryside. Damp and atmospheric and beautifully shot
by the great Harry Waxman (who shot also "The Wickerman" the previous year).

The images of the two undead women rushing through an old churchyard at
dusk on their way to their resting places in some crypt, were mystical and
beautiful. Also, the men in this film were totally believable in returning to the
mansion and the bloodthirsty women for another night of sex, wine and blood-
letting that could be their death - as who could resist Morris or Anulka .... or
their rich wine cellar. Unusual is also that the vampires don't have any fangs
but bites and slobbers up the blood


33. Rabid Dogs - Cani arrabbiato (1975)
direction: Mario Bava

It wasn't easy to choose only two films from one of my favourite directors
of all time because i love most of his films i.a. his 1963 "La Frusta e il Corpo"
or the 1964 "Blood and Black Lace" et al. So i chose Lisa e il Diavoli and this,
one of his most obscure movies, a film that was unreleased for a long time.
It's a brilliant, unusual and almost minimalistic Crime Drama about hostages in
a car and it plays out in Real Time. Is it a Horror then, well eeh, maybe not.

This film was lost for decades and it's totally different from his famous style.
It's rougher and more realistic. The film was found on some warehouse shelf
where the film company had put it before going bankrupt in 1975.
It's so sad that the Master Bava didn't get the praise he deserved when he was
still alive. For this great crime drama where he at an advanced age had the
guts to change his style of directing and still show his genius and with the
ease he directed, he got no accolades at all. No-one saw the film

34. Le Orme (Footprints on the Moon) 1975
direction: Luigi Bazzoni

Beautiful, dreamlike and an inspiredly original psychological drama thriller
and maybe a giallo and horror too. It's a fascinating and very much atypical
Giallo (if it even is one) and it's expertly photographed by the great Vittorio
Storari. My favourite gialli actress the Brazilian Florinda Bolkan is nothing
but magnificent as a woman searching for her three missing days, where did
she go and what did she do ?
Bolkan was always magnificent, as in the Lucio Fulci duo "Don't Torture a
Duckling" and "A Lizard in a Woman's Skin" and others, but i do think she's
maybe even better here

35. Quien puede matar a un niño (Who Can Kill a Child ?)
1976 direction and script: Narciso Ibáñez Serrador

Uruguyan born Spaniard Serrador (1935-2019) only made 2 horror feature
films, this and La Residencia, both classics, and both are featured here on
my Favourite horror list. Maybe this is the best film ever in the Evil Children
genre. Apocalyptic and powerful, shot in brilliant sunlight.
A tourist British couple travels to a Spanish island without any adults on it.
Only children, lots of them and that's because the hatefully staring little angels
have murdered all the adults on the island.
It's like a take on Hitchcock's The Birds but with kids instead of birds,
something apocalyptic has happened. Yeah, and it's better than "The Birds"

36. Suspiria (1977)
direction and co-script: Dario Argento

Making any commentary of this Classic is futile as everything has been said
by others. What i do know is that brave american Suzy Bannion leads us alive
and well out of Hell and that this film today is regarded as an absolute
masterpiece of horror, maybe the best ever made. But that is today .... I am
one of the very few that saw "Suspiria" when it was shown in the cinema here
in Sweden in the summer of 1978 (a year too late) and i do remember how an
asshole jerk of a film critic reviewed it - gave a crossed over Wasp out of 5
Wasps possible (our biggest evening newspaper then, Expressen).
What a piece of shit.

A Film Critic, should not be a Cretin. Shouldn't they inform their readers of
when a new exciting film breaks the boundaries of a genre and when the visual
power is evident ? But no, no, Swedish film critics they had no idea of who
Dario Argento was in 1978 and the bastard who wrote the review probably
didn't even like horror films

37. Buio Omega (1979)
direction: Joe D'Amato (Aristide Massaccesi)

Nasty, ultra violent and hypnotically fascinating about a taxidermist and
his dead girlfriend in a film that i consider to be the very Best of Aristide.
Plus a fine soundtrack from Goblin. This is "As Good As it Gets" horror
lovers out there and a good test of who are the real horror film lovers and
not just the "I like The Shining and Scream" poseurs.
These the latter would probably run to the exits when watching this beauty.
Read more about the film on my Horror Films Page 1

38. The Brood (1979)
direction and script:
David Cronenberg

One of Cronebergs's best and my favourite. From the time when he could
do nothing wrong. A Psycho horror taking place in a cold and grey
Canadian setting and with Samantha Eggar attending Psychoplasma
therapy led by Oliver Reed, plus yucky child monster killers on the loose.
The final shock scene was censored in many countries

39. Alien (1979)
direction: Ridley Scott

This film has to be the best Sci-Fi Action Horror ever made, if you put
it in a subdivision to the Sci-Fi Action genre (where we have super great
one's as "Robocop", "Starship Troopers", Terminator and "Dredd" et al).
Without doubt Alien is inspired by Mario Bava's lowbudget 1965 "Terrore
nello spazio" and "Alien" forever was to change our perception of the
Space Monster due to the H. R. Gigers genius making of the creature



Ta-Ran-Ta-Ra ..... the 1980's wasn't that bad of a decennium for horror film

 

40. Maniac (1980)
direction: William Lustig

A film initially maligned by and hated on by the shocked Shining-loving prim and
proper horror film audience due to it's unapologetic roughness and nastiness.
But this film is an impressive, claustrophobic and mean Psycho-Horror with a brilliant
Joe Spinell as the maniac and with shockingly well made special effects by Tom
Savini. This indie slasher classic feels like an art-horror and a cousin to Abel Ferrara's
1979 "The Driller Killer" and amazingly enough "Maniac" has been re-made in a
very good 2012 version with (horror lover) Elijah Wood as the Spinell Maniac.

41. ... E Tu Vivrai nel Terrore! L'Aldila (The Beyond) 1981
direction and co-script: Lucio Fulci

I could only chose two films from any director on this list, and the other were 1972
"Don't Torture a Duckling". This Fulci masterpiece is surreal and dreamlike and
very atmospherically shot in Louisiana, USA. The gate to hell can be found in
Louisiana and the last scene may be the greatest Fulci ever made, like Art.
read more about this film on my Horror Films Page 2

42. Possession (1981)
direction and script: Andrzej Zulawski

Regardless of genre this film is one of the best ever made. Either you're hypnotized
by it - or bored. I normally don't like Zulawski, his french films very arty and pretentious
but with this one he surprised the world, well, the cult film part of it anyway.
Possession is a hallucinatory surreal and apocalyptic relation drama horror with a
beyond great Isabelle Adjani and a fine Sam Neill in hysterics at the Berlin Wall

43. Ms. 45 (Angel of Vengeance) 1981
Direction: Abel Ferrara

A very strong female revenge indie horror with a memorable ending Slow-Mo shoot-
out scene. Zoeë Tamerlis is magnetic as a traumatized and lost in NY rape victim.
Abel Ferrara started out impressively with 1979 "The Driller Killer", 1981 "Ms. 45" and
then his 1984 "Fear City" is trashy but fun also, and i guess "Bad Lieutenant" with
Harvey Keitel is his most talked about film. BUT, Ms.45 is his best one for sure.
Read more about Ms. 45 or Angel of Vengeance on my Horror Film Page 1

44. The Thing (1982)
direction: John Carpenter

Brilliant Sci-Fi horror re-make of an old 1950's movie, and with sensational pre-computer
special effects by Rob Bottin, the Spider head effect maybe the coolest of them all.
If this classic have had CGI to use this film would've been so much suckier. CGI sucks.
Like David Cronenberg and Brian De Palma of this time, John Carpenter just couldn't
make anything that wasn't spectacular (with the exception of The Fog that sucked bad).
Other Sci-Fi films by Carpenter that i like are 1974 "Dark Star" and 1987 "They Live"

45. Videodrome (1983)
direction and script: David Cronenberg

Long Live the New Flesh - Death to Videodrome. My Cronenberg favourite along with
1979 "The Brood" is an inspired and mindbending Sci-Fi Horror something with an,
as usual, beyond brilliant James Woods

46. Lifeforce (1985)
direction: Tobe Hooper

Sci Fi Horror Cult Classic with a sensational film debut by french actress Mathilda May
as the otherworldly beautiful Space Vampire Chick. No-one that has ever seen her in
this film will forget the images of her, Never. Lots of great FX, at the beginning of the
film at least (as long as the budget allowed), and a delightfully full throttle hysterical
performance by Steve Railsback along with the presence of May gives this film a
fascinating PULSE to it and makes it my Tobe Hooper favourite film.
Yes, better than TCM. I'm not sure of how many times i've watched this film, but many,
many, many for sure, first on an old VHS, then on a DVD and finally on a Bluray.

47. Mr. Vampire (1985)
direction: Ricky Lau Chang Wei

Probably the best horror-comedy ever made in Hong Kong and a Super Hit with a
whole bunch of sequels. The one and only Lam Ching Yin plays a quirky Taoist priest
who tries to handle the Hopping Vampires creating chaos. He was the martial arts
choreographer for most of Bruce Lee's movies and were known as the "One eye-brow
priest". The unique Chinese vampires jumps around like Kangaroos and you can
only stop these undead by putting a yellow note with Taoistic spells on them

48. Re-Animator (1985)
direction and co-script: Stuart Gordon

Insanely entertaining splatter horror comedy based on a story by H. P. Lovecraft and
with a great performance by Jeffrey Combs as the mad genius medical student Herbert
West and with a gorgeous Barbara Crampton as Megan.
The Best Horror Comedy ever together with ....

49. Killer Klowns From Outer Space (1987)
direction: Stephen Chiodo and co-script with brother Charles Chiodo

A great mix of horror and comedy and also a homage to the american 1950's Space
Attacks B-movies. A new Circus has arrived to a small town coming from far, far
away, further away than anyone would've expected. But why do the Clowns look
a bit odd ? The make-up effect with the Clowns are nothing but sensational, wow!
The always pleasantly laid-back John Vernon is good, as always, as the towns
sheriff and wonders what the f--k is happening to his town. It's Chaos.
Funniest scene? Perhaps the one with the tough biker gang and the little clown

50 . Opera (1987)
direction and co-script: Dario Argento

Yes, i know i was only allowed to pick two films from a director on this my favourite
horror film list, but i make an exception here for Dario Argento's violent Giallo Horror
Opera (it's some sort of an opera-horror of Verdi's MacBeth) which make 3 Argento.
Sure, there are a some bad acting here and there but it's a Visually Stunning horror
almost operatic film about the bad luck hitting the performance of the Verdi opera.
This film were also sadly the last great Dario Argento movie. After this his films
turned not so good, then Bad, and then even worse than bad.

I remember when i watched this film the first time in 1989 in an uncut Greek VHS
copy titled "Terror at the Opera". An ex-rental copy i found and payed too much for
in Larissa, Greece. For young people reading this it must be hard to understand how
tricky it was back then to obtain and watch an uncut horror movie.
Sweden had one of the harshest film censors in the world and they energetically cut
to pieces any film with violent scenes in it (they even cut non-violent scenes too if
they were considered fascistic, socialistic Sweden didn't like Charles Bronson or
Dirty Harry movies) and horror films were not considered suitable viewing.

As a horror film fan you had to search after uncut VHS copies in i.a. countries as
Greece, Netherlands, USA, Italy or even in France, (but they used SECAM as their
color system and you had to have a special multi-player TV and Video recorder to
be able to see the film). Also, these uncut VHS copies were wildly sought after and
you had to pay 500 - 600 swedish crowns for any mediocre Jesse Franco trash film
with cannibals, jungle queens, vampires or Lina Romay roaming around in the nude.
If you were lucky you could find old Swedish VHS editions from the time before
the censoring of VHS rules, Video Invest editions or Rental Video Shops copies.
But, suddenly one day the censor system was gone and no-one misses it

51. Santa Sangre (1989)
direction and co-script: Alejandro Jodorowsky

Magical and Poetic Art Horror from the great Jodorowsky about a destructive
mother and son relationship. I've always been in love with Méxican actress Blanca
Guerra since watching her performance here, and she really gives the part her all.
She has also been in artmovies by Arturo Ripsten, the Buñuel of México, and in
popular Telenovelas. Read more about the film on my Méxican Film Page


But ..... in the 1990's the Western horror film suffered and Asia emerged

 

52. Story of Ricky (Rikki O) 1991
direction: Lan Nei Tsai/Nam Nai Choi

A delightfully unhinged Splatter Comedy based on a Japanese manga about a
young man, Rikki, going to a high security sadistic prison after revenging the
murder of his girlfriend. Trashy but hyperkinetic wild fun and splatter and gore

och 53. The Untold Story
direction: Danny Lee & Herman Yau, and Run and Kill
direction: Billy Tang Hin Shing, - both 1993

Both of these films were made in 1993 and are maybe the best examples of the
then wild and unhinged Hong Kong Category III films (maybe something of a X
rating in the US) and this censor category still exists today but the films today
are a different breed compared to back then, at the end of the Golden Era of HK
filmmaking, much tamer and more cautious after the 1997 handover.

Two of the most infamous HK films ever made were "The Untold Story" and
"Run and Kill" and in the leads you could see two of HK's greatest actors -
Anthony Wong and Simon Yam. These deranged Crime Thriller Horrors were
made to SHOCK but also to entertain the audiences, and often unappropriate
scenes of burlesque comedy pops up when you least expect it.

Luckily this new breed of wild unhinged horror from Hong Kong appeared at
the exact moment when the Western Horror film lay dying. This after shitty
seemingly forever ongoing junk as Terror on Elm Street 8, Halloween 14 or
Friday the 13th: Jason vs. the Soya People, and with "Scream" just around the
corner to really take a crap on the horror film genre.

In "The Untold Story" (the original Chinese title is too long to write here)
Anthony Wong plays a choleric fast-food chef and the film is based on a real
crime case in Hong Kong where the guy murdered people and grinded them
down to minced meat and made dumplings of it. Yummy .... Not!
He played the role so convincingly and scary that he won a major film prize.

In "Run and Kill" Simon Yam plays the psychopathic mainland killer Fung who
makes the life miserable for unlucky Kent Cheng's role figure Fatty Cheung
when he murders his little daughter for fun. No-one in HK could play a
psycopath like Simon Yam, with the exception of Anthony Wong then maybe

54. El Dia de la Bestia (The Day of the Beast) 1995
direction and co-script: Alex de la Iglesia

A very entertaining and funny Spanish horror-comedy with great pace about
a priest, a satanist and a clairvoyant TV star trying to kill the Antichrist on the
day of the end of the world. A Super Hit in Spain and showered with Spanish
Film Academy awards and festival praise.
Read more about this film on my Horror Films Page 1

55. Cure (1997)
direction and script: Kiyoshi Kurosawa

Psychological Art Horror Masterpiece and by many considered to be Kurosawa's
best movie where a crime cop is investigating a series of seemingly unexplainable
murders. A young man, an ex-student of psychology, is treated for amnesia and
is suspected to be the killer. A brilliant film with fascinating desolate settings and
with a fine industrial soundtrack, and which atmosphere-like resembles his other
art-horror masterpiece, the 2001 "Pulse" (Kairo).

Kiyoshi Kurosawa was one of my favourite Japanese directors, together with
Shunji Iwai and Takashi Miike, and his films made in the late 1990's and early
2000's were all exciting and uniquely his, and he had a cult film crowd praising
him, BUT, after his Tokyo Sonata artmovie in 2008 (a film i liked very much) i
think his style has changed more into the one western film-critics and Festival
crowds may like and many of his films are not that good anymore.
But he's extremely productive so i have alot of films to see and maybe some of
them are as good as his older one's.

I haven't seen his early films but from 1997 to 2003 he just couldn't miss, every
film was Gold. 1997 "Cure", the enigmatic and fascinating 1999 "Charisma",
2000 "Séance", 2001 "Pulse", 2003 "Bright Future" and "Doppelganger", then
followed a couple of OK J-Horrors before 2008 "Tokyo Sonata"

56. Ringu (1998)
direction: Hideo Nakata

This Japanese late 1990's horror classic was groundbreaking for the modern
horror film world wide and a wave of long black hair female ghosts movies
erupted, at first in Japan and it's neighbouring countries and then in shock
waves over the world. Spastic moving, glaring with an eye and creeping on
floors or in the ceiling.
The film takes place during one week in September 1997 when some teenagers
are dying from a nasty VHS tape recorded by means of ESP from a deceased
demon girl.

Sure, Japanese female ghosts with long black hair wasn't anything new as
asian women tend to have .... long black hair, and long-haired ghosts could
often be seen i.a. in the 1960's ghost stories.
For once, i found the american re-make with Naomi Watts to be pretty good

57. Scrapbook (1999)
direction: Eric Stanze

US indie horror drama that bites you, and it's no pleasure watching it, but
it's undeniably good about the relation between a killer and his victim, or
between a jailer and his prisoner. Not at all resembling the other films i've
seen by Stanze, but Tommy Biondo as the scriptwriter and in the role of the
killer gave the film some extra power

58. Audition (1999)
direction: Takashi Miike

Killi .... killi .... Miike's internationally most famous film is a horror Masterpiece
and with Shiina as the not so sweet young woman dating a middle-aged man.
When shown in cinema theaters it's said that parts of the audience, not familiar
then with Miike and of what films to expect from him, run towards the exits.
That's a sign of a great film, and with this film Takashi Miike presented himself
to the world of Cinéaste with a huge Bang.

The film was made during the Japanese Golden era of new and exciting film,
approx. 1995-2003 (my estim.) when this film industry ruled with young directors
trying out wild ideas on film like never before. Miike had some five years when
everything he made come out Gold before he too succumbed to the mainstream
and started to make more Teeny Bop orientated films. Starting to hang out with
an american hipster crap director is always a bad sign for an asian director.

Also South Korea during this time at the beginning of the new millennia had a
couple of new directors creating some amazing films with really innovative
ideas, as "Save the Green Planet" and the "Revenge Trilogy".
If i have one complaint against "Audition" it's the cover of the discs, DVD or
BR, they always have a Sado-Horror pic spoiling the twist about who Shiina is



.... then, finally, at the start of the new Millennia you could see glimpses of an
awakening of the genre also in the West with directors as Rob Zombie and
Alexandre Aja, the latter who initiated the New Wave of nasty French horror



59. Uzumaki (Spiral) 2000
direction: Akihiro Higuchi

Unhinged and fascinating horror comedy about a city getting hit by a strange
Spiral phenomena and where the citizens start getting obsessed with spirals of
all sizes and shapes. Unique and strange based on a manga by Junji Ito. From
the time of the Japanese golden era when filmmakers exploded with creativity

60. Session 9 (2001)
direction & co-script: Brad Anderson

Great horror and psychological thriller from the talented Anderson about a
genuinely unpleasant place of work. Tensions are rising among the workers
from the Hazmat Elimination Co. that are removing asbestos from the huge
abandoned old Danvers State Mental Hospital. An Evil place where a lot of
patients once were abused and there are rumours of demonic possession

61. Pulse (Kairo) 2001
direction and script: Kiyoshi Kurosawa

Kiyoshi Kurosawa's apocalyptic horror masterpiece belonged to the Top of
the Crop movies emanating from the Japanese New Wave Cinema that swept
the world approx. 1995-2003 and the scene with the female ghost swaying
towards you hiding behind the sofa isn't easy to forget.
One of great japanese horrors together with films as "Dark Water" 2002 and
"Ju-On The Grudge" 2002 that were re-made in crappy US versions

62. Deathwatch (2002)
direction: Michael J. Bassett

A very original and suggestively dark drama-horror from the muddy Hell of
the WW1 trenches and where something worse than the horrors of war is
waiting for some British soldiers that has conquered a German trench.
This film was a fine example of the then pretty new WW Horror genre,
even if these films most often takes place in WW2 and with the Nazis as
the ultimate Bad Guys.

This is Not a "horror of war" movie but a "war horror" movie that uses
the dark evil background of war with i.a. occultism and nazis, demons
and zombies. I hate war movies as the subject of war bores me, BUT i do
like war horrors and i've seen many entertaining one's involving crazed
nazis, occultism, German zombie soldiers hiding in old underground
bunkers somewhere on the old Eastern Front, and Cyborg experiments

63. Double Vision (2002)
direction: Chen Kuo Fu

A underrated and forgotten Taiwanese Crime Occultism Horror Mystery
where the haunting dark atmosphere is partly because the unique use of
Taoistic mysticism as an important element to the crime mystery (and
probably never used in film before, or )?

Tony Leung Ka-Fai (the Tall Tony Leung) and american actor David
Morse as the Buddy Cop team also manages something very rare in
asian film - they are very good together, an asian and a white actor that
works well. I love both of these actors, the finest.
OK, the early CGI used could have been a bit better admittedly

64. Haute Tension (2003)
direction and co-script:
Alexandre Aja

A Brilliant and unapologetically nasty French Neo-Slasher where a killer
psycho ruins the weekend plans for two young women. Aja kickstarted
the new era of western horror, a genre that (in the west) had been con-
strained for many years due to the tyranny of comedic crap as "Scream"
but now was let loose again.
With excellent old style effects and not crap CGI by the legendary Lucio
Fulci special effects maker Gianetto De Rossi.

The film caused all horror lovers world-wide to scream of joy - "Finally
out of the Valley of Death". A Horror film the way it should be ....
BUT .... sadly Alexandre Aja was carried away by the sharp claws of the
Harpye of Evil, Hollywood, the feared Shit Factory and poor Aja
disappeared and never to be seen again (as a maker of a good horror)

65. A Tale of Two Sisters (2003)
direction and script: Kim Je-woon

Visually beautiful and atmospherical South Korean drama-horror about a
House, two sisters and a stepmother. A Fairy tale from Kim Je-woon

66. Gorgonas (2004)
direction and script: Salvador Sanz

Argentinian 14 minutes animated short made by comic writer Sanz in a
highly stylized way, like an art horror almost.
VERY suggestive about the cute triplet pop group The Elektra Sisters who
turn into the monsters of the ancient greek myth, the Gorgons, and turn
their fans worldwide to stone. An intense, powerful, dark, scary and
Apocalyptic work of genius. Very obscure unfortunately

67. Black Kiss (Synchronicity/Burakku kisu) 2004-2006
Direction, script, story: Macoto Tezuka

A Bizarre, quirky, scary and gorgeous crime horror-thriller about Murder,
Models and Black Kiss. Very unusual if not Unique and with a Giallo feeling,
but sadly it flew unnoticed below the radar and almost no-one have seen it.
Read more about this strange film (only in swedish though) on my Japanese
Film Page 1

68. Epitaph (Gidam) 2007
direction and script: The Jung or Jeong Brothers

Amazing dreamlike, poetic and visually stunning horror-drama about
spirit manifestations in a korean hospital during the japanese occu-
pation in 1942. From brothers Jeong Beom and Jeong Sik. Stunning !

69. Someone's Knocking at the Door (2008)
direction and script: Chad Ferrin

WOW! I'm Speechless ! An absolutely Unhinged indie crime horror with
bizarre trips, demented sex and Gore. Delightfully weird Paranoia and an
impressive Mind-Fuck. American indie filmmaking at it's very best.

70. Orphan (2009)
direction: Jaume Collet-Serra

Surprisingly great mainstream horror-thriller in the Evil Child genre, and
from a director that made the insanely bad "House of Wax". You really
redeemed yourself with this one Jaume. Isabelle Fuhrman is especially
good and frightening in a film that could be described as a mix of the
novel "The Bad Seed" and the HK film "Murderer" also from 2009.
Read more about this film on my Horror Films Page 1

.... The 2010's continued with the re-animation of the Horror genre
and with an explosion of popularity. But also with a flood of crappy
Re-makes of old 70's-80's horror films



71. The Devil's Rock (2011)
direction and co-script: Paul Campion

A sadly very obscure and underrated WW2 horror made in New Zealand
about the latter parts of the war and a small sabotage unit of 2 Kiwi's out
to destroy a big cannon on one of the Channel Islands. When entering
the fortress they hear Nazi soldiers scream and when they probe deeper
down into the structure they are soon to encounter Nazi Occultism and a
Demon. This amazing but unknown film is very well made, claustrophobic
and intense with seriously fine acting from for me unknown Kiwi actors.

This great film plays out like a chamber piece art-horror, an intelligent low
budgeted horror that uses it's meagre budget in the best and smartest way
possible. This is Indie filmmaking at it's best.
But probably too talky and intelligent and with too little of crappy CGI for
the effects to please the mainstream crowd. The hideous US sleeve with
a pic not from the film probably didn't help much either

72. Frankenstein's Army (2013)
direction: Richard Raaphorst

Another WW2 horror that rocks and this one a "Cyberpunk meets Outpost"
movie with the Nazi version of The Frankenstein Monster. Unique, grotesque
and delirious with creatures that have to be seen to be believed. Raaphorst
presents frightening and fascinating visions of Human-Scrapmetal-War
Machines, and like out of a contemporary Hieronymus Bosch painting or
as a cousin to Shinya Tsukamoto's Cyberpunk nightmare classic "Tetsuo".
This great film should be enjoyed by art-horror enthusiasts as a WW2
Cyberpunk Horror Comedy.
More artists like Richard Raaphorst should make horror movies

73. Mamula (2014)
direction: Milan Todorovic (Killer Mermaid/Nymph)

Atmospherical .... Yes, i'm using this word again to describe a film that i like
due to the cinematography or to the special location where it was shot.
This film made by Serbian film director Milan Todorovic may not have the
best actors or even being that well directed, but what it has a ton of is that,
for a film shoot, elusive "Atmosphere".

This film with many titles seems to be unjustly underrated, a made in Serbia
and Montenegro Creature horror about a mythical creature of the Sea,
The Mermaid. The location used for the shooting of this film is ....
Pure Magic, the Montenegro southern fiord of "Boka Kotorska" so
beautiful it hurts, and with a small island situated in the inlet, the island of
Mamula with a fortress used in WW2 by the Nazis as a prison camp.
A mysterious and scary man is guarding it and something is moving at
the bottom of a well. Franco Nero plays a man looking for his daughter

74. Ich see, Ich see (2014)
direction and script: Veronika Franz/Severin Fiala
(Goodnight Mommy)

Great, beautiful and disturbing psychological horror/thriller-drama about
2 twin children living isolated in a house on the Austrian countryside with
an unhappy and heavily bandaged woman, almost like a mummy, who may
or may not be their mother.
The Desolate images of the forest, the lake, the empty provincial town and
of the 2 kids roaming around unguarded creates a claustrophobic unsettling
atmosphere and an intense foreboding of a catastrophe coming

75. Housebound (2014)
Direction and script: Gerard Johnstone

Great and entertaining Kiwi horror-comedy about a young woman who has
to live in her mother's house in Home Detention for 8 months, and where
strange and scary noices are heard from the walls in a house where a
murder occurred 20 years earlier. Scary, funny, gory.
Read more about the film in my Horror Film Page 1