100. Flesh and the Fiends (1960)
Great version of the Burke and Hare legend. Peter Cushing is Dr. Knox,
attempting to get ahead in the medical profession by experimenting on the
He hires the two grave-robbers (played by Donald
Pleasence and George Rose) to provide him with the bodies, but when
supplies run low, he turns a blind eye as they make there own freshly
This shocking (for it's time) 'exploitation' film is,
of course, based on a true story. It's a gripping, convincing portrayal of
19th Century Edinburgh, the poverty of the working-classes who would (and
do) kill for a few gold coins are in complete contrast to the wealthy,
Made in the wake of the rise of Hammer
studios, this black-and-white feature has Cushing virtually repeating his
Dr. Frankenstein role, a ruthless, almost sadistic doctor who will let
nobody stand in the way of his work. 'The Greed of William Hart', starring
English melodrama king Tod Slaughter was an earlier version of the same
99. Targets (1968)
Made the Year he died, this wasn't Boris Karloff's last film... but it
should have been. He plays horror actor Byron Orlok, who feels the
real-life violence of today has replaced the horror movies of his
It's a metaphor for the transition the horror movie experienced in
the late sixties. The Hays Code was abolished, and movies like 'Night of
the Living Dead' and 'Rosemary's Baby' carried images and messages taboo
back in the golden age of horror.
Director Peter Bogdanovich's message
of disorganised youth is still relevant today; the villian of the piece is
a mere teenager ("Is this what I've been so afraid of ?" remarks Orlok at
the end of the film) who takes up a gun one day and blows away several
people at random.
'Targets' is an incredibly powerful movie which
98. The Night Stalker (1972)
Arguably the greatest TV Movie
of all time, this inspired twist on the vampire horror is all about
quality scriptwriting. As fast-talking Las Vegas reporter Karl Kolchak,
Darren McGavin gives a superb, witty performance.
Curtis usually produces forgettable flops, but thanks to director John
Moxey ('City of the Dead') and scriptwriter Richard Matheson (who also
wrote 'Duel', another superior TV movie), this has become a mini
Kolchak is investigating several vampire-like murders, and
although his disbelieving editor (Simon Oakland), the police, and city
officals constantly stand in his way, Kolchak's ingenuity always wins
It's the blend of humour and horror which ultimately makes 'The
Night Stalker' so unforgettable. It all lead to an equally good sequel
'The Night Strangler', and a short lived, but enjoyable series.
97. Hound of the Baskervilles (1939)
The first, and arguably best outing for the ultimate Holmes/Watson
outfit; Basil Rathbone and Nigel Bruce. Holmes stories are always better
when they feature supernatural elements (all though they're always exposed
as fake), and this is one of the few Rathbone stories set in Victorian
times (when the series moved for Fox to Universal, the settings were
brought foward to modern day, and often spoilt by war-time
The famous story concerns the Baskerville curse, which
sees heirs to Baskerville Hall being killed off by a vicious beast. Can
Holmes save the last of the Baskerville's, Sir Henry (Nigel Green), or
will the Curse be completed?
It always baffles me why this is the most
filmed of Holmes' adventures, afterall the storyline dictates that he
isn't even in it for a good portion of the film, which is a shame, as
Rathbone is perfect as the eccentric sleuth, as is Bruce as the
scatter-brained but endearing Watson.
There's a good supporting cast of
horror veterans too; John Carradine as the butler and Lionel Atwill as an
occult doctor, as well as Mary Gordon who played Holmes' maid Mrs. Hudson
for the entire series. Followed by 13 sequels (starting with 'The
Adventures of Sherlock Holmes') and countless remakes (including one from
96. White Zombie (33)
Low budget Bela Lugosi movie that has the distinction of being the
first zombie movie.
Bela is great in this creaky but creepy tale of
Murder Legende, who uses voodoo to ressurects the dead as his
Dozens of wide-eyed, pasty-faced members of the living dead
mill around, and there's lots of shots of Bela's hands and eyes in this
uniquely bizarre feature.
Lost for over thirty years, many were
disappointed when 'White Zombie' re-emerged in the 60's, but we love it.
See it and make up your own mind.
95. Carnival of Souls (1962)
George A. Romero himself admits that this freaky fright fest inspired
his 'Night of the Living Dead', but it possibly also inspired the popular
fantasy film 'The Sixth Sense'.
Made on a VERY low budget, 'Souls' has
gained a huge cult following. It's the story of a young woman who, after
narrowly surviving a car crash, begins to see the walking dead.
weird; so weird in fact that you'll probably overlook the bad acting and
make-up and just enjoy the eerie atmopshere.
94. The Ghost Breakers (1940)
Great comedy starring the unbeatable pairing of Bob Hope and Paulette
After making 'The Cat and Canary' (39), the two rejoined to
make this tale of a haunted house in Cuba.
Trying to avoid the mob, the
couple head to the house inherited by Goddard, but wish they stayed with
the gangsters when they're hunted (and haunted) by ghosts and
Chills and laughs combine to make for superb entertainment.
Remade as 'Scared Stiff' in 1953 with Jerry Lewis ('The Nutty Professor')
and Dean Martin (who?).
93. Dracula (1931)
OK, so it's incredibly dated and slow nowadays, but this was
the first talky horror classic.
Bela Lugosi is perfect as the Count,
his Hungarian accent adds to his authenticity, as his hypnotic charms make
him irrestistable to the Victorian women. Dwight Frye as Renfield, and
Edward Van Sloan as Van Helsing are also excellent.
But, overall, the
film is so suprisingly static; it totally lacks the rank, gothic
atmosphere that makes Frankenstein so memorable; and even though it's
based on the play rather than the book, does it really need to confine so
much of the action to one room?
That said, its hard not to put this
landmark movie into the top 100, afterall, it established the formula for
vampire movies for the next 25 years, and made a star of Bela, so we
shouldn't moan too much.
92. Plague of the Zombies (1966)
One of Hammer's unheralded classics, a creepy, atmospheric tale of
zombies working in a tin mine in a little village near Cornwell.
crusty-faced corpses are the servants of a cruel squire who uses Voodoo to
All performances including those of hero Andre Morell and
Jacqueline Pierce ('The Reptile') as a future zombie are fine. Even Hammer
regular Michael Ripper gets more screen time than usual.
sequence, featuring Pierce rising from the grave only to be decapitated,
is fantastic. Great use of photography, lighting and limited sets (also
borrowed from 'The Reptile') add to this superb film, often shown as a
B-feature for 'Dracula, Prince of Darkness' (an inferior film).
91. The Walking Dead (1936)
The best of the low budget Karloff shockers, this one has a strange,
Karloff is an ex-con who gets the chair after being
framed for murder. After being brought back to life, he goes after those
responsible for his death.
Karloff's performance is reminicent of the
one he gave for 'Frankenstein', he doesn't talk much, but loves to play
the same eerie tune on his piano. He doesn't actually kill those that
framed him, they just seem to die when he approaches them, his hands
The smell of death seems to hang over ever scene;
Karloff's tragic zombie seems to yearn the death that was snatched away
from him. A spooky and memorable movie directed by Michael Curtiz
90. Interview with a Vampire (1995)
Finally, an effective variation of the vampire legend, and a box office
smash to boot.
No woman could resist a cast that includes Tom Cruise,
Brad Pitt, Christian Slater and Antonio Banderas, but they all take second
place to a superb exercise in story-telling.
Set over 200 years, it
gives fascinating insight into vampire society, and offers a multitude of
Kirsten Dunst as a female child vampire is
unsettling as she blends a disturbing amount of sexual awareness with an
unstoppable desire for blood.
The first in Anne Rice's 'Vampire
Cronicles', it has recently been followed-up by 'Queen of the Damned'.
89. Werewolf of London (1935)
Years before Universal made the timeless classic 'The Wolfman', the
same studio made this, almost completely different take of the werewolf
Henry Hull is not the sympathetic vicitm that Chaney made, but
he is frightening as the monster under Jack Pierce's make-up.
is very different here; a werewolf can be cured by a tibetan flower that
only grows in the full moon. This takes the tragic sense of mortality away
from those cursed by lycanthropia.
The rules are changed for the '41
one film, but this is a interesting first attempt at creating a legend;
well worth checking out.
88. The Old Dark House (1932)
James Whale strikes again, inserting his twisted brand of
dark humour into this star studded comedy.
Karloff is on hand again,
this time he appears as Morgan the deformed mute butler, but check out the
rest of the cast! Charles ('Hunchback of Notre Dame') Laughton, Melvyn
('Ghost Story') Douglas, Gloria Stuart, Raymond Massey, Lillian Bond, and
in the role that would have lead to him playing Dr. Pretorious in 'The
Bride of Frankenstein', Ernest Thesiger.
The plot concerns a group of
travels breaking down in a thunderstorm and seeking refuge at the mansion
of the crazy Femm family.
Based on a story by J.B. Priestley, it's a
funny, freaky feature, it has many great bizarre characters and probably
influenced the 'Addams Family'. Remade by the unique combination of Hammer
and William Castle in 1963.
87. Dr. X (1932)
Another great early talkie, this mystery horror concerns cannibalism,
mad doctors and one of the strangest monsters ever seen.
killer on the loose, and among the potential suspects are Lionel Atwill,
Preston Foster, and Fay Wray, who screams a lot.
As unusual as any film
made at the time, it has many similarities to the later 'Mystery of the
Wax Museum': Wray and Atwill, director Michael Curtiz, the new Technicolor
process, a lot of comic relief etc.
An unrelated sequel 'Retun of Dr.
X' was made in 1939, which has the distinction of being Humphrey Bogart's
only horror movie (he hated it).
86. A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984)
Perhaps the most popular horror film of the 1980's, this trend setting
hit made a star of child-murdering character Freddy Krueger.
intelligent than you're average slasher, but it's still full of plot
holes. That hardly matters, however, as the excitement and tention built
by director Wes Craven makes this a must-see feature.
Freddy, you see,
was 'executed' by the parents of his young victims, but now in
supernatural form, haunts the teens of Elm Street in their dreams to the
point that they no longer know reality from their nightmares. Then he
strikes, in various graphic ways (often with the aid of his razor-mounted
Robert Englund as Freddy became one of the few regular horror
stars of his generation, and donned the hat and bladed glove in no fewer
than six sequels. Along with Michael Myers, Pinhead, and Jason Vorhees,
Freddy became one of the icons of modern horror.
85. Circus of Horrors (1960)
As in 'Peeping Tom' the villian of this piece, Dr. Goethe (Anton
Diffring) has a perverse fascination of deformities.
He's a dodgy
surgeon who remains on the run from the police by traveling with a circus.
However, when his fellow travellers discover his real identity, or
generally get in his way, they die a violent death.
A lion tamer ends
up as big cat food, a knife-throwers assistant get's it in the neck, and
an acrobat comes down to earth with a big bang.
Grisy and engrossing,
this feature, along with other efforts like 'Peeping Tom', 'Horrors of the
Black Museum' and 'Flesh and the Fiends', showed there was more to British
horror in the sixties than just Hammer.
84. The Hills Have Eyes (1977)
Wes ('Last House on the Left') Craven produces another shocking, gory
A model American family, complete with gun-totting, god-fearing
father and two pretty daughters, manage to get themselves stranded in the
middle of nowhere. There, they are picked off one by one by a less
wholesome family of mutated cannibals.
The exciting climax leads to a
battle to the death as the hunted become the hunters.
action-packed, this unusal movie features James ('Don't Answer the Phone')
Whitworth, Michael Berryman (a big, bald ugly brute who has appeared in
dozens of bit part roles), Dee ('The Howling') Wallace, and Robert
Houston. 'Hills Have Eyes Part II' followed in 1984, but Wes Craven really
became a household name with 'A Nightmare on Elm Street' the same
83. The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974)
Although not as disturbing or original as it was back in
'74, this violent exploitation shocker is still a great treat for any
horror movie fan.
Partially based on the psychotic exploits of
real-life killer Ed Gein (as was 'Psycho', 'Deranged', 'Three on a
Meathook' and 'Silence of the Lambs'), 'Massacre' tells the story of a
family of maniacs who take a great deal of pleasure in killing and
torturing a group of stranded teenagers.
Director Tobe Hooper
continually builds the tention with nail-bitting results. Once the
killings start it's none-stop action and violence. The great effects
include furniture made of severed body parts and withered corpses. But
best of all, there's Leatherface (Gunnar Hansen), a humonous chap with a
mask made of human skins, a slaughterhouse apron, a head of wild hair,
and, of course, his ever-present chainsaw.
Hooper (along with
Carpenter, Craven and Cunningham) joins the elite of cult directors that
replaced the old horror stars through the last quarter of the twentieth
century. Followed (much later) by three sequels, the last of which 'Texas
Chainsaw Massacre: A New Generation' was released in 1994.
82. The House of Dracula (1945)
The ultimate multi-monster horror. It the final serious gothic horror
from the great Universal cycle, starring John Carradine as Dracula (who
isn't in it for too long), Lon Chaney Jnr. as the Wolfman, Glenn Strange
as the Franknetsein Monster, Onslow Stevens as a Jekyll and Hyde-like
doctor, Jane Adams as a hunchback nurse, and Lionel Atwill (as a police
inspector of course).
As Dr. Edelmann, Onslow Stevens attempts to cure
the wolfman, Dracula, and the hunchback, but ends up turning into a
monster when he mixes his blood with Dracula's (smart move!). If that
wasn't enough, he also revives the Frankenstein Monster just for the hell
As a follow-up to the previous multi-monster movie, 'The House
of Frankenstein', it's a superior movie (although Karloff was in that
one), but the plot gets so ridiculous that it's simply better to sit back
and enjoy this tribute to the Universal horror years.
is that the established monsters take a back seat to Edelmann's murderous
alter-ego. Dracula gets killed off in the first half, the wolfman gets
cured, and the Frankenstein Monster doesn't awaken until the last reel.
That's not a bad thing though; Stevens is great, Chaney gets to play the
hero, and Carradine and Strange weren't that great anyway.
81. Misery (1990)
Another corking film based on the works of Stephen
King, this is a chilling portrait of fan obsessed.
James Caan plays
famous novelist Paul Sheldon, who's car just happens to break down near
the residence of his 'number one fan' and complete psychopath Ms. Wilks
She's happy to nurse him back to health...until he
wishes to leave.
Both Caan and Bates excel, and the ways in which Ms.
Wilkes prevents Sheldon from leaving the house will make you cring. Look
out for Lauren Bacall as Sheldon's publisher.
80. Black Sunday (1960)
Originally called 'The Mask of Satan', this landmark of Italian cinema
made horror icons of British-born Barbara Steele and director Mario
Steele plays a witch that, after being burnt at the stake, is
revived 100 years later and tries to take control of her modern-day
counterpart (also Steele).
Shot in crisp black and white, this
atmosphere-drenched gothic masterpiece (along with the French 'Yeux Sans
Visage') influenced a mass production of European horrors, from which
emerged other such greats as Dario Argento, Lucio Fulci, and Jesse Franco
After this, Steele went to America to make 'Pit and the
Pendulum' for Roger Corman, whilst Bava hit the big time again with 'Black
Sabbath'. The only down-side here is the dubbing. Two men discover a body
on a river bank: 'It's poor old Boris, that's who it is. How did he get
here?' 'The River. Can't you see he's dead?'
79. The Beast With Five Fingers (1946)
Peter Lorre again doing what he does best, going off his nut in
He keeps seeing a severed hand, apparently moving of
it's own according, but nobody else ever catches sight of the damn thing.
The hand also enjoys playing the piano and strangling the hapless
Lorre's last notable horror role until he signed for AIP in the
sixties, it's right up there with 'Mad Love' and 'M' on his unmissable
list. W.F. Harvey's short story was adopted for screen by Curt Siodmak,
one of the true great HSF writers.
78. The House That Dripped Blood (1972)
Another great anthology horror from British studio Amicus.
Milton and Subotsky really were onto a winner these fascinating features
(see 'Dr. Terror's House of Horrors' and 'Asylum'). They even hired Robert
Bloch (author of 'Psycho') for this one.
There's a typically good
Amicus cast on display here too: Peter Cushing, Christopher Lee, Ingrid
Pitt, Jon Pertwee (the third Dr. Who), Delhom Elliott, Nyree Dawn Porter,
and John Bennett.
The stories involve a novelist battling his own
fictional creation, 'ghosts' in a wax museum, a little girl who practices
witchcraft to get her own way, and actors who become vampires because of
There's excitment, chills, comedy and, above all, it's
77. Phantasm (1979)
A totally weird and wacky film seemingly inspired by children's
nightmares. The Tall Man (constantly yelling "Boy!"), the spear spheres,
and the dwarves from another dimension (similar to the Javas in 'Star
Wars') have become icons of horror.
It has little plot, the 15 year-old
hero meets the monsters at his local cemetery and spends the rest of the
film running from them, but it'd non-stop thrills.
It spawned three
sequels (the most recent in '98); all very similar, all worth watching;
and all directed by Don Coscarelli, who made his directory debut at
One thing is for sure about 'Phantasm', it's a movie you'll never
A gory, amusing feature which is a rare breed - a good film based on
story a story by H.P. Lovecraft.
As Herbert West, Jeffrey Combs invents
a serum that can bring back life to dead tissue. When a rival doctor
(David Gale) discovers his secret, he decapitates him, only to bring his
head back to life with the serum.
If your a gore movie fan, then you
probably know all about this feature. If your not, but your have a strong
stomach, you really should check it out. It'll repulse you one second and
have you in stitches the next.
Director Gordon Stuart is more likely
than not a H.G. Lewis fan (who isn't?). The sequel 'Re-animator II' (aka
'Bride of Re-animator) is also worth checking out. Re-animator 3 will be
released in 2003.
75. Se7en (1995)
One of the few out-standing macabre movies of the 1990's,
'Se7en' takes up the trail blazed by 'The Silence of the Lambs',
and in some ways, it's a better movie.
It's a dark (very dark), somewhat depressing look at modern
society, as serial killer Kevin Spacey takes out undesirables in
the style of the seven deadly sins they constantly commit. An
obese man is forced to eat until his sides split (literally!), a
lazy man is tied to a bed for a year, etc.
There's a good cast: Morgan Freeman is the experienced, retiring
cop that teams with fiery rookie Brad Pitt, and Gwyneth Paltrow
plays Pitt's wife. but it's Spacey, and the grotesque special
effects of Rob Bottin that steal the show.
74. The Shining (1980)
Another superb Stephen King adoption - but credit an amazing
performance from Jack Nicholson for this one.
Nicholson is at his craziest as Jack Torrance, who moves his
wife and young son into the haunted hotel he is assigned to look
after. Jack becomes increasingly loopy as the ghosts take
control; until the great, and chilling, finale.
Maverick director Stanley Kubrick dosen't always get it right
here; he frequently strays from King's original novel, the
actual sequences featuring little Danny Lloyd (as Jack's son)
and Scatman Crothers from which the film takes it's name seem
somewhat pointless, and isn't it just a little over-long?
That said, there are some unforgettable images and lines ('Here's
Johnny!'), and the climax is heart-stopping. Another impressive
addition to the portfolio of Kubrick, one of the great directors
of the 20th Century.
73. Poltergeist (1982)
Spielberg strikes again! If you weren't content with 'Jaws',
'Close Encounters', 'Raiders of the Lost Ark', and 'ET', then
you might enjoy this chilling account of the supernatural.
Producer/screenwriter Spielberg handed the directors job to the
man responsible for 'The Texas Chainsaw Massacre', Tobe Hooper,
who did a sterling job with the horror sequences, but that
familiar sugar-coating is all Speilberg.
A middle-class suburbian family (ala ET) are
subjected to uncanny events in their home. Soon the young
daughter (Heather O'Rourke) is sucked into another dimension by
a supernatural entity that occupies the TV set.
The special effects are great (check out the face ripping scene),
but this film has build up a reputation for more sinister
reasons. Both O'Rourke and Dominque Dunne were murder by people
close to them, creating rumours of a curse (the same was sais of
the 'Exorcist'). The film spawn two sequels and a TV series in
the late nineties.
72. The Mummy's Hand (1940)
Not really a sequel to 'The Mummy' (32), but an exciting
adventure that influenced the recent mummy movies. Karloff as Im-Ho-Tep
the mummy is replaced by Tom Tyler as Klaris the mummy who is
revived by a brew of tana leaves by evil Priest George Zucco.
Dick Foran and Wallace Ford are both good as the adventurers
that ravage the secret tomb, and Peggy Moran is the love
interest for both Foran and the mummy.
Although this is certainly a B-movie (apparently there is over
ten minutes of footage taken from 'The Mummy'), it provides the
combination of fun and scares that were missing from the first
mummy film, indeed, it's one of the first Universal horrors to
move at a decent pace. A solid and enjoyable experience.
71. Evil Dead 2 (1986)
Flesh-eating zombies have never been so fun. This actioned-packed,
blood-soaked gore-fest is a landmark in eighties movies.
Despite the name, this is more of a remake of the original,
director Sam Riami obviously had more money that he did the
first time round, resulting in better effects, better acting,
and a wittier, more exciting script.
Bruce Campbell is once again the hero/sole-survivor Ash, who,
after cutting off his own arm, attaches a chain-saw to battle
the force of the dead.
The ending is a real suprise, which lead to another sequel 'Armies
of Darkness', which recieved a main-stream cinema release.
70. Tales of Terror (1962)
A trilogy of Poe tales from Roger Corman. Vincent Price stars
in all three, but the great cast also includes Peter Lorre, AND
The three stories are 'Morella', a typical Poe-style tale in the
tradition of 'Fall of the House of Usher', 'The Cask of
Amontillado', a great, comical story about the rivalry between
two wine tasters (Price and Lorre), and 'The Case of M. Valdemar',
about a mad doctor (Rathbone) using hypnotism to manipulate a
Although there isn't the time to build tension like in the other,
superior entries in the series, all three segments have their
own characters, the first is a moody, depressing piece, the
second successfully blends laughs and chills, with a shocking
finish, whilst the last peice is a dramatic, satisfying account
of revenge from the grave.
Price is entertaining as usual; but it's great to see Lorre and
Rathbone, back in the genre their suited to best. Lorre's real-life
wife, Joyce Jameson also appears. Price, Lorre, Rathbone, and
Jameson all joined Boris Karloff in '64 for 'Comedy of Terrors',
but strangely, Corman didn't direct. Price, Lorre and Corman re-teamed
for the next in this fabulous series, the comical 'The Raven',
which also featured Karloff and Jack Nicholson.
69. Yeux Sans Visage (1959)
This French horror is one of the best continental horror
movies, which set the president for the 'mad doctor needs to
kill young girls to graft there face/organs/limbs into/onto his
dying/damaged wife/daughter' sub-genre.
The title, which translates into English as 'Eyes Without a Face',
gives you a clue to the plot, as Doctor Pierre Brasseur attempts
to graft a new face on his scarred daughter. Each time he tries
results in failure, and the poor doc as to hunt more victims.
The daughter wears a porslin, doll-like mask (ala Phantom of the
Opera), her sad, tired eyes starring through evokes pity. It's
surprisingly graphic for it's time; the numerous scenes of
surgery featuring faces being peeled off are shocking still
It's a poetic, crisply photographed film, that blends beauty and
horror to create a disturbing, haunting experience. Known in
America as 'The Horror Chamber of Dr. Faustus'.
68. The Mummy (1959)
Until the recent version, this was the most
action-packed and thrilling mummy film.
Hammer hit three huge hits in a row (following after 'Dracula'
and 'Curse of Frankenstein'). Director Terence Fisher and stars
Peter Cushing and Christopher Lee return too. Cushing is an
archaeologist who brings Kharis the mummy (Lee) to London. There
he awakes, and goes after his wife (Yvonne Furneaux). Unlike in
the forties version, Kharis here is fast and deadly, frightening
and unstoppable, with manic, leering eyes.
There's many great scenes and visuals here, the prologue is also
particularly memorable, as Kharis has his tongue removed before
be buried alive; and the scene in which the Mummy meets his
death in a muddy bog is both atmospheric and chilling.
There were three more entries into the Hammer mummy series, but
they are all unrelated. After this, Hammer made 'Hound of the
Baskervilles' also with Cushing and Lee.
67. Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein (1948)
What, Abbott and Costello get in the top 100 of something?
But here's the truth; we like 'em. and if you love/like/can bare
them, then this becomes an instant horror/comedy classic.
It features Bela Lugosi as Dracula (a rarity in itself), and Lon
Chaney Jnr. and Glenn Strange are back as the Wolfman and
Frankenstein Monster respectively (it even features a brief
voice only performance from Vincent Price as the Invisible Man).
The plot (of what little there is) concerns a mad doctor (Lenore
Aubert) attempting to but the brain of Lou Costello (?) in the
body of the Frankenstein Monster, whilst Chaney, when he's not
howling at the moon, tries to but a stop to the evil plots of
The combination of scares and laughs is always a winner, and
this provides both, but the prominent element is one of fun. It
helped the flagging careers of Lou and Bud (who starred in five
more 'Meet the Monster' movies), but it was the endof the road
for the gothic threesome. At least, until Hammer came along.
66. The Rocky Horror Picture Show (1975)
If there was ever a party on film, this is it. Completely
manic, perverse and hilarious muscial-comedy-horror that has a
HUGE cult following.
Richard O'Brien, (known in England for presenting 'The Crystal
Maze'), wrote the script based on his popular play. To use the
word campy is a massive understatement, as transexuals and
transvestites meet 'Frankenstein' and 'Plan 9 From Outer Outer'
with a truely wonderful end product.
The plot (of what their is to make sense of) concerns alien
transvestites in an old mansion led by the incredible Dr. Frank
N' Furter. Two innocent, niave newlyweds, Janet and Brad arrive
at the mansion, and begin to discover their own sexuality,
whilst the crazy Frank N' Furter decides to create the ideal man
in his pursuit of unadulterated pleasure.
The excellent songs are now lodged in the brain of every rock/horror
fan, from 'The Time Warp' to 'Creatures of the Night'. The now
legendary cast includes Tim Curry, Susan Saradon, Barry Bostwick,
Richard O'Brien, Meatloaf and Charles Gray (as the narrator).
Unlike any other film ever made.
65. M (1931)
A classic of German cinema from legendary director Fritz Lang.
Peter Lorre is unforgettable as 'Der Kinder Mórder' who
whistles 'The Hall of the Mountain King' whilst tracking his
As the killer begins to spread panic amongst the public, the
police start to clamp down on the criminal class, who decide to
take matters into their own hands.
While the film starts off as a typical serial killer thriller,
it soon develops into a unique, and fairly amusing look at
schizophrenia and the German underworld. There's tons of great
characters, and the trial scene is unmissable.
Lang's experimentation with sound is great, but probably killed
off the international success enjoyed by European silents that
bridged the language barrier. Soon after this, Lang and Lorre
fled Nazi German and headed for the US, where both would endure
mixed fortunes. A very similar remake was produced by the same
man, Seymour Nebenzal, in the US in 1951.
64. The Mummy (1932)
Like 'Dracula', this is pretty slow by todays standards, but
it's still an important and chilling landmark.
Boris Karloff plays Im-ho-tep, who is revived in modern day
3,700 years after being buried alive for stealing a sacred
scroll. He believes Zita Johann is the reincarnation of his
former love, and tries to steal her away from hero David Manners.
There are a few disappointing elements, the mummy isn't seen
wrapped for very long, indeed, this is the most 'human' member
of the living dead on film; and on the whole, it's more of a
love story than a horror movie. However, these let-downs are out
weighed by the good points: Karloff is great as usual, and the
opening scene, in which Bramwell Fletcher is driven mad by the
Mummy going "for a little walk", is the stuff of
Along with 'Dracula' amd 'Frankenstein', this film set the
foundations for the Universal series that turned making horror
movies into creating art. 'The Mummy's Hand' was a loose, but
63. Hellraiser (1987)
A haunting vision of hell-on-Earth from writer turned director
When a strange puzzle box is opened, it unleashes three demons
know as the Cenobites. Led by Pinhead (Doug Bradley), the
Cenebites create havok and suffering when they knock down the
barriers of pain and pleasure.
'Hellraiser' takes the horror genre to depths it's never
previously dared reach for, with horrifying, and fascinating
Pinhead is now a genre icon, and Clive Barker a guiding light in
producing original, mind-blowing gore-fests. Followed by three
62. Der Vampyr (1932)
Incredibly strange, nightmarish German expressionistic film.
This film more than any other comes close to encapsulating the
horrors of bad dreams.
A man (Julian West) arrives in a peculiar village where he's
presented with a book on vampirism, which begins to haunt his
Common nightmare fears, such as being buried alive, are depicted
with unsettling realism. Filmed silent, with a sound track added
later, 'Der Vampyr' has a unique quality; You're feel the
horrific images such be accompanied by horrific sounds, it's
almost as if the characters are desperate to scream out but
Supposedly base on 'Carmilla' by Sheridan Le Fanu, it was
directed by Dane Carl Dreyer. Recognised as a artistic classic,
'Der Vampyr' is nowadays used as a first class example of early
61. Carrie (1976)
Director Brian DePalma constructs a horror movie to exploit
the paranoid fears of every teenager.
Sissy Spacek plays the title character, a bullied schoolgirl
with a nutty mother (Piper Laurie). She discovers she has
telekentic powers, which disgusts her at first, but they prove
to be pretty useful as a instrument of revenge when she is
pushed to far.
Excellent performances (including those of John Travolta, Amy
Irving and Nancy Allen), and a tight script by Lawerence T.
Cohen make this an engrossing movie. The prom scene is
unforgettable, as are the final scenes between Carrie and her
Based on Stephen King's first novel, it inspired a series of
movies based his work, and helped establish him as one of the
biggest names in horror. Regrettably 'Rage: Carrie 2' was
produced in 1999.
60. Dr. Terror's House of Horrors (1964)
The first of many Horror Anthologies from Hammer rivals
Amicus. Its a great idea: instead of padding out a film with
boring romantic subplots and arguements, why not just cram five
horror stories into one movie?
As Dr. Terror, Peter Cushing enlivens a dull train journey by
using his tarot cards (his "House of Horrors") to
predict the various sticky ends for passengers Christopher Lee,
Donald Sutherland, Roy Castle, DJ Alan Freeman, and Neil
McCallum. The stories involve vampires, werewolves, voodoo,
killer plants, and a murderous severed hand.
All the segments include suprise endings good enough for full
length features, and the entire experience is tremendous fun.
Amicus supassed even this great movie in '73 with 'Asylum'.
Other members of the impressive cast include Michael Gough ('Dracula'),
Bernard Lee (M in the Bond movies), Max Adrian, Ursula Howells
and Peter Madden.
59. Young Frankenstein (1975)
This hilarious spoof of the Universal Frankenstein series
isn't an unjustied piss-take but a fan's tribute. Mel Brooks has
always been hit-and-miss in his approach to comedy, but here,
thankfully, he mostly strikes the bullseye.
Gene Wilder is fantastic as the son of Dr. Frankenstein ("That's
Freudstein!") who discovers his father's book on re-animating
the dead (called 'How I Did It'). Marty Feldman is less funny as
Igor, whilst Peter Boyle's great performance as the monster
includes singing (well sort of) and dancing.
Most effective are the reworked scenes with the blind hermit (from
'The Bride of Frankenstein') played here by Gene Hackman, and
the darts match, which was funny the first time round in 'The
Son of Frankenstein'.
Filmed in black and white, with authentic looking sets, this is
a must for anyone who loved the original series. In 1995, Brooks
unsuccessfully tried to repeat this success with the awful 'Dracula:
Dead and Loving It'.
58. Hounds of Zarloff (1932)
A.k.a. 'The Most Dangerous Game', this is a suprisingly
tasteless and exciting vintage classic.
Made by the creative team that when on to make 'King Kong', it
also features two of it's future stars, Fay Wray and Robert
Armstrong, but it's Leslie Banks, as Count Zarloff, who really
He's a crazy millionaire who enjoys a spot of hunting...with
humans as prey. He waits on his fog shrouded island for ship-wreck
victims, then picks them off with his bow and arrow.
Zarloff tracks his quarries with vicious blood-thirsty hounds,
and keeps there severed heads as trophies. Another classic of
the early 30's, a truely golden period of horror history.
57. The Howling (1981)
Alternatively scary and funny, this is a the
other classic werewolf movie of 1981.
As in Joe Dante's 'Pirahna', 'The Howling' is full of horror
movie references; characters are named after the directors of
earlier werewolf movies, it has a great cast full of former HSF
stars (Dick Miller, John Carradine, Kevin McCarthy, Kenneth
Tobey etc), and above all, the monsters are great.
Dee Wallace (later in ET) is a TV reporter that discovers the
consciousness-raising group (led by Patrick Macnee) that she is
staying is actually a community of werewolves. When the group
attempt to intiate her and her husband, they attempt to leave,
then the real horrors start.
There's some great visuals here, the famous love-making/transformation
scene has to be seen, and look out for Roger Corman and Forrest
J. Ackerman ('Famous Monsters of Filmland' editor) in cameos. It
spawned six sequels, none of which equalled this classic.
Curse of Frankenstein (1957)
The movie that single-handedly re-lit the world's passion for
the gothic horror. Whilst America's fears of the atomic age and
Communism was being embodied in an endless onslaught of giant
monsters and alien identity stealers, a tiny English production
company, going by the name of Hammer Studios, re-made the horror
classic 'Frankenstein', and never looked back.
Made for around £150,000, and starring some relatively unknown
actors, this was Hammer's first horror movie in 22 years. It
made millions, made international stars of Peter Cushing (The
Baron) and Christopher Lee (The Monster), and turned Hammer into
the undisputed kings of horror for 15 years.
So what made 'Curse' so special? It had three landmark factors:
Blood (including severed limbs), colour, in Hammer's trademark
technicolor, and sex, the Baron can't keep his hands off the
housekeeper (Hazel Court) or the maid (Valeree Grant). These
elements gave this horror a uniquely perverse feel that inspired
European horrors for years.
But there's more to it than that. Cushing is awesome as
Frankenstein, his stern face adds to the evil persona of the
Baron (up until now, the Baron had always been the good guy).
It's hard to assess Lee's performance under all that make-up,
but this Frankenstein's monster must go down as one the ugliest
The success of this classic lead to a whole run of gothic re-makes
(Dracula, the Mummy, Two Faces of Dr. Jekyll etc), and six
sequels, five starring the always superb Cushing as the Baron.
55. The Body Snatcher (1945)
One of the most powerful of Val Lewton's unique features,
with the added bonus of Director Robert Wise ('Day the Earth
Stood Still') and stars Boris Karloff and Bela Lugosi (alough
only in a small role).
Karloff plays Gray, a cabdriver turned body snatcher. He
supplies the bodies for Dr. Macfarlane (Henry Daniels), who
tries, unsuccessfully, to disassociate himself from Gray when he
discovers the body snatcher is creating his own fresh kill.
Lugosi plays a dumb servant who tries to blackmail Gray and ends
up dead. Excellent performances by Karloff and Daniels (who had
previously played Moriarty opposite Basil Rathbone's Holmes),
and atmospheric visuals from director Lewton make this a mini-classic.
Very similar to the true life story of Burke and Hare, a version
of which ('Flesh and the Fiends') is in this very Top 100, it's
actually based on a story by Robert Louis Stevenson. It's one of
54. Nightmare Alley (1947)
A ground-breaking cult favourite. Tyrone Power is a carnival
operator who attempt to recreate himself as the Great Stanton.
As this phony spiritualist, he works his way to power and
fortune by conning and black-mailing all everyone he meets.
shocking and disturbing, the ending is not to be believed. Great
performances from Collen ('The Leech Woman') Gray, Joan Blondell,
and Helen Walker. The author of the book (Lindsay Gresham) this
pyschological nightmare was based on later commited suicide.
53. Fall of the House of Usher (1960)
The first of the Corman/Poe/Price films is a
moody, atmospheric classic.
Roger Corman, who had previously produced no-budget stinkers
like 'Moster On the Ocean Floor', really hit the big time with
this fairly modest (it cost around $200 000 dollars) adaption of
a Edgar Allan Poe short.
Vincent Price is Roderick Usher, a strange, over-sensitive
eccentric aristrocrat. As with many Poe characters, he as a fear
of being buried alive, but that dosen't stop him from accident
entombing his still living sister (Myrna Fahey). As the hero,
Mark Damon discovers the horrific truth.
There's decayed corpses, and creeking floorboards aplenty in
this trend-setting gothic. There isn't a humourous moment to
mention (unlike in later additions to the series), but whoever
expects laughs for the works of Poe? It's a poetic (are should I
say Poe-tic), colourful film with a great score (by Les Baxter)
that set the tone for the rest of the series.
52. Asylum (1972)
Spectacular English anthology horror with a great cast and
stories to match. Amicus manage to top their previous great
multi-story efforts (like 'Dr. Terrors House of Horrors' and 'The
House that Dripped Blood) with this, their overall best movie.
Patrick Magee invites new asylum doctor Robert Powell to guess
which of their inmates was his predecessor. Each patient
(Richard Todd, Barry Morse, Charlotte Rampling, and Herbert Lom)
recites an horrifying story.
Tales of crawling body parts, living mannikins, a murderous
imaginary friend (Britt Ekland) and tiny killer robots are all
chilling and tremendous fun. Peter Cushing, Barbara Parkins,
Sylvia Simms and George Coulouris round off one of the best
casts in horror history.
Each story is an absolute treat, and all feature suprise endings.
You'll never guess who the mad doctor is.
51. The Picture of Dorian Gray (1945)
The philosopher's horror movie, 'Dorian Gray' is based on the
classic novel by Oscar Wilde.
Hurd Hatfield starts as Dorian, a wealthy, intelligent and
attractive 19th century Englishman who ponders what it would be
like if he were to remain eternally young, like his huge life-size
When his wish comes true, he exploits his new gift, and
decadency and debauchery turns the young man in the picture into
a monsterous deformatity.
George Sanders is brillant as the man who helps corrupt the
inpressionable youngster. The good cast is rounded off by Angela
Lansbury (nominated for an Oscar), Donna Reed, and Peter Lawford.
Two remakes (one for TV) were made in the 1970's.
50. Mystery of the Wax Museum (1933)
Lionel Atwill, who appears in tens of Universal
movies (usually in menacing roles) has one of his best
ever parts as Henry Jarrod, a wax sculpter who becomes
psychically and mentally scarred in the same fire that
destroys his museum.
As revenge, he induces enemies into his new wax museum
as exhibits. When he meets Fay ('King Kong') Wray, he
decides she would make the perfect Marie Antoinette...
There is more humour in this Warner Bros. production
than in most horrors movies of the time, but that only
helps to increase tension in the build-up to the
Directed by Michael ('Casablanca') Curtiz, this
inspiration for 'House of Wax' was an early effort in
Technicolor. After this, Wray and Atwill also co-starred
in 'The Vampire Bat', and 'Dr. X' (also for Curtiz).
49. The Lodger (1944)
Imagine if the the chap renting out your spare room
was in fact a lunatic serial killer.
That's the senario here, but the chap in question (Laird
Cregar) is non other than Jack the Ripper himself.
Great acting from Cregar, George Sanders, Merle Oberon,
Sir Cedric Hardwicke and Skeleton Knaggs make this
spine-tingling storyline so believable.
Tense and taunt script and clever direction from John
Brahm make this an atmospheric slice of Hollywood
Three other versions (including a silent one by
Hitchcock himself) have been made.
48. The Devil Rides Out (1968)
Another superior Hammer film, based on
the book by Dennis Wheatley.
Christopher Lee, as the Duc De Richlaeu, sets out to
stop Mocata (Charles Gray - Blofeld in 'Diamonds are
Forever') and his cult from summoning up the Devil.
As with 'Night of the Demon', the build-up to the
sensational climax is almost unbearable. The finale
includes giant spiders, dopplegangers - and Death
Terence Fisher directs with his usual inspired style,
while Richard ('The Night Stalker') Matheson converts
Wheatley's book into a superb script. Truely one of
47. The Raven (1935)
Follow-up to 'The Black Cat' once again features
the winning combination of Karloff and Lugosi.
This time, Bela plays the evil character, a plastic
surgeon named Dr. Vollin, whoses obssession with Poe
inspires him to recreate many of the torture devices
described in his work (including a pit and pendulum).
Karloff is back to his sympathetic brute role (nobody
does it better), playing a criminal who shows up
hoping the doc will give him new face, but ends up a
deformed slave. When Vollin's advances for pretty
young thing Irene Ware are reject, the mad doctor puts
her, her father and fiancé in his torture chamber.
This is great fun, and it's one of Lugosi best ever
roles. Brilliant sets and a Whalesque (It was actually
directed by Louis Friedlander) dark humour make this
an all-time favourite.
46. Les Diaboliques (1955)
One of the first foreign language movies to become
a big success in America, this is one of the all-time
great continental films. An extremely clever
psychological horror, with so many twists and turns
that it's almost impossible to predict the ending.
Vera Clouzot plays a school teacher who plans to
murder her husband (Paul Meurisse). Helped by friend
Simone Signoret, she suceeds...or does she?
Based on a novel by Pierre Boileau, and directed by
Henri-Georges Clouzot, 'Les Diaboliques' inspired many
similar, but inferior movies, and at least three
remakes, including the pointless 1996 version with
45. I Walked With a Zombie (1943)
The Val Lewton/Jacques Tourneur combination hits
the jackpot again with another masterpiece produced
under ridiculous financial restraits.
Nurse Frances Dee goes to the West Indies to care for
the wife of a plantation owner who appear to be in a
Hoping to find a cure, she delves into voodoo, and
discovers some terrifying truths.
As with all Lewton's projects, this one works best on
a psychological level, all thought this time, there is
a scary on-screen monster in giant Darby Jones, as a
black-skinned, white-eyed zombie. A subtle, poetic
44. Whatever Happened to Baby Jane? (1962)
Bette Davis and Joan Crawford star in this inspired
psychological horror. They play over-the-hill sisters
and former child actresses who, after a lifetime of
rivalry, are now both full of bitterness.
Davis, as Baby Jane Hudson, is unable to let go of her
childhood success, and continues to perform her
rendition of 'I've written a letter to Daddy' wearing
child make-up,and looking frankly ghastly.
Crawford is Blanche who, confined to a wheelchair, is
easy prey to Jane's mocking and mental cruelty.
A superior thriller directed by Robert Aldrich, which,
along with 'Psycho', inspired a myriad of psycho-thrillers.
Crawford ('Trog', 'Berserk') and Davis ('Hush, Hush,
Sweet Charlotte', 'The Nanny') both embarked on horror
movie careers after this. A TV movie remake came out
43. The House of Wax (1953)
The movie that established Vincent Price as a
leading HSF actor. It's a superior remake of 'Mystery
of the Wax Museum', which in cinemas incorparated
excellent 3D effects, the first horror movie to do so.
Price plays a turn-of-the-century (19th to 20th that
is) wax museum curator/sculpturer who miraculously
escapes death when his wax museum burns down. He
begins to rebuild his career and rebutation with his
most 'realistic' creations yet, but not everything in
the museum is has it seems.
Price is at his campiest and craziest in this cult
classic; one of only a handful of American horror
movie made in the 1950's. The rest of the cast,
including an early performance by Charles Bronson (billed
by his real name Buchinsky) as a murderous brute, are
good, but Price steals the show.
Director Andre de Toth, responsible for the ground-breaking
3D effects, was famous for not being able to
appreciate his work (he was blind in one eye). Price
next made 'The Mad Magican', a similar but lesser
effort. If you're ever fortunate enough to see this in
3D, then look out for the scene with the paddle-ball.
42. Curse of the Werewolf (1960)
Hammer's only werewolf movie, which is strange,
because this is one of the best the studio ever
produced. Beastial Oliver Reed is perfect as Leon,
who's mother is raped by a animal-like beggar, and
dies giving birth to him on Christmas Day.
This movie changed the werewolf-lore created by
Hollywood; no mention of silver bullets or wolf bane,
the only similarity being the catalystic effects of
the full moon. The werewolf is the most tragic of
monsters; the man who becomes one is as much a victim
as those he kills.
This as never been more the case than here; we see
Leon grow up, loved by his adopted parents, but
afflicted from birth; the scenes of a savage young
Leon trying to escape through his barred windows are
unforgettable. Reed is every bit as good as Chaney,
evoking our sympathy as Leon, and scary as the
It was one of Hammer's rare major successes that
didn't feature Cushing and Lee. It was, of course
directed by Terence Fisher, who did almost all the
best Hammer horrors, and there's some incredible use
of make-up by Roy Ashton. Set in Spain, 'Curse' was
banned there for 16 years.
41. Nosferatu (1922)
One of the best silent movies, this is the first known
filmed version of Dracula.
Max Schreck is the ugliest Count in cinema history,
with his bald head, pointed two front teeth, and long,
Director F.W Murnau tried to disguise this as an
original story (Dracula name is changed to Count
Orlock, the setting is changed to Bremen etc), but
that didn't stop him being sued by the Brom Stoker
estate. It was thought that all copies had been
destroyed, but, luckily a few survived.
And thankfully so, because this perfect example of
German Expressionism features some great, early camera
trickery. A creepy gothic masterpiece.
40. The Abominable Dr. Phibes (1970)
Before 'Se7en' there was...this campy classic as
Vincent Price sets out to get revenge on the doctors
who failed to save his wife after a car accident. He
ingeniously employs the ten curses of the Pharoahs, so
expect death by locusts, bats and frogs.
Phibes was also injuried in the accident that killed
his wife, he wears a laytex mask to cover his skeletal
features, and plugs a Victrola into his neck to
communicate. He hides out in a secret art deco style
underground lair where he likes to play the organ with
his machanical band.
It's black humour and grotesque deaths all the way in
one of the strangest films of all time. There's a
great supporting cast, Joesph Cotten, Terry-Thomas,
Hugh Griffth, and in photos as Mrs. Phibes; Caroline
It led to a worthy sequel, 'Dr. Phibes Rises Again',
featuring former Count Yorga Robert Quarry, but even
more importantly, it inspired the ultimate Price movie
'The Theatre of Blood'.
39. Mad Love (1935)
Shortly after making 'M', Peter Lorre fled Nazi
Germany and arrived on American soil. This, one of his
first English speaking roles, is his best.
It's an incredible version of Maurice Renard's 'The
Hands of Orlac', starring Lorre as Dr. Gogol, a
surgeon who falls for beautiful actress Frances Drake.
Unfortunately, she is both married, to brillant
pianist Orlac (Colin Clive), and repelled by Gogol.
Driven to the edge of insanity by his obession for the
married woman, Gogol sees a chance to win her
affection when he is asked to operate on the injured
Gogol's decent into madness provides some truely
chilling moments thanks to a super performance from
Lorre and visionary director Karl Freud ('The Mummy').
'The Hands of Orlac' had previously been made in 1925,
and was produced again (with Christopher Lee) in 1960.
38. The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (1919)
A Nightmarish, almost undiscribable
silent German Expressionism film. Dr. Caligari (Werner
Krauss), a carnival hypnotist, uses his somnambulistic
zombie (Conrad Veidt) to commit murders.
A basic plot, but more unforgettable images than in
most modern features. Wild make-up, incredible acting,
and Dali-esque sets will have you doubting your own
Inevitably dated, but still suprisingly original when
you consider it's probably the earliest important
Fritz Lang and Carl Meyer scripted, Robert Wiene
directed. Remade (Why?) in 1962.
The Uninvited (1944)
Why is this film so rare (in the UK anyway)? It's
one of the best haunted house movies ever made, and,
dispite the multitude of ghost comedies made in the
30's and 40's, this is one of the first serious films
about the supernatural.
Two siblings (Ray Milland and Ruth Hussey) hire a
house on the coast of Cornwell. Naturally, it's
haunted, with moaning voices, strange smells and
Gail Russell features as an medium hired to clear the
house of it's uninvited visitors.
Not quite as good as 'The Haunting' or 'The Innocence',
it's still well worth checking out. Followed by the
unrelated 'The Unseen' (45).
36. The Pit and the Pendulum (1961)
The second Poe/Corman/Price film is one of the best
in the series. Vincent Price stars as Nicholas Medina,
a 16th Century Spanish nobleman who lives in a big,
decayed castle. The former resident, Medina's father,
was a murderous member of the Spanish Inquistion who
filled the basement with numberous torture devices.
When Price apparently kills his wife (Barbara Steele),
he starts to lose it, questioning whether he as
inherited his father's thirst for blood.
Expanding on Poe's short story, screen-writer Richard
Matheson ('Incredible Shrinking Man') manages to
embody Poe's dark and despressing imagery whilst
producing a great original story of his own. Director
Roger Corman ('The Day the World Ended') really must
have shock a few critics with the quality of these
The two horror stars, Steele (in her first American
film) and Price are both excellent (as usual). Price
and Matheson were both dropped (and tellingly so) for
the next entry, 'The Premature Buriel', but returned
for 'Tales of Terror'.
35. The Black Cat (1934)
A piece of horror history, as Boris Karloff and
Bela Lugosi finally come face to face. It has little
to do with Poe (except for the title of course), but
it's certainly pure Universal horror.
Karloff plays Hjalmar Poelzig, an ingenious engineer
by profession, and part-time devil cult leader. Dr.
Vitus Werdegast (Lugosi) turns up (looking for his
wife and daughter) with two stranded passers-by.
Werdegast attempts to expose the evil Poelzig, but it
appears Poelzig might hold all the cards.
Great sets and make-up compliment the performance of
the two legendary leads, in what is a fairly shocking
movie for it's time. Director Elgar Ulmer was only 30
at the time, and went on to make 'The Man from Planet
The success of this mini-classic lead to 'The Raven'
(35), in which Lugosi got to play the villian. Look
out for the chess scene and an early performance from
John Carradine (as John Peter Richmond). Great Stuff.
34. Phantom of the Opera (1925)
Lon Chaney Snr.'s best film is also the best screen
verison of Gaston Leroux's novel.
As the scarred composer hiding in the bowels of Paris
Opera House, Chaney is unforgettable. He tutors
beautiful singer Mary Philbin, whilst seeking revenge
on those that ended his career and ruined his features.
Some amazing make-up (by Chaney of course) and great
over-zealous acting make this a real treat. Chaney's
character is also both pitiful and irreversibly insane.
One of the first in the Universal gothic cycle, it was
remade by the same studio in 1943 with Claude Rains.
There are at least four other versions (one by Hammer),
but this is the best, an American classic of the
33. The Omen (1976)
Influenced by 'The Exorcist', this
crowd-pleasing satanical tale helped re-define the
direction of 70's horror movies.
Gregory Peck stars as America's ambassador to England,
whose newly born son turns out to be Satan's spawn.
Those that get in his way die terrible, gory deaths.
Shocking and scary, 'The Omen' is based around a
prophecy in the Book of Revalations. The death scenes
are ghasty and imaginative, and performances from
David Warner, Lee Remick, Harvey Stevens (as Damien, a
name now synominous with the devil) and Billie
Whitelaw make the fantasic premise so believable.
Written as a trilogy by David Seltzer, the sequels ('Damien;
Omen II' and 'The Final Conflict') were big let-downs.
A third (unneccesary) sequel, 'Omen VI: The Awakening'
followed in 1991. They all could have done with
Richard Donner sure hand, he directed this benchmark
32. Witchfinder General (1967)
Another great Vincent Price film, this is more
shocking and serious than most, probably because it's
based on real-life events.
Price plays Matthew Hopkins, who, as the Witchfinder
General, abuses the public's fear of the supernatural
to meet his own ends, those being sex, money and power.
Ian Ogilvy plays a young solder whose wife (Hillary
Dwyer) is next on Hopkins hit list.
The cast includes Rupert Davies ('Dracula Has Risen
From the Grave'), Patrick Wymark ('The Psychopath')
and Wilfred Brambell ('Arold!).
A dark and disturbing historical horror that inspired
a subgenre of similar features ('Mark of the Devil', 'The
Bloody Judge' etc). Director Michael Reeves was 24 at
the time. By '69 he was dead, apparently a suicide.
This, along with his two previous horrors ('She Beast'
and 'The Sorcerers'), made him a cult hero. Ogilvy
starred in all three of Reeves' features.
31. Peeping Tom (1960)
One of the important movies of the late fifties-early
sixties which changed the direction of HSF (see 'Psycho',
'Dracula', and 'Circus of Horrors').
Karl Boehm plays Mark, a photographer driven mad in
his childhood by the cruel father's photographical
experiments. Now Mark himself enjoys filming 'the face
of death', closing in on his victims whilst impaling
them on his spiked tripod.
Although devoid of blood and gore, this was truely a
shocking film for it's time, and it's still disturbing
today. Director Michael ('Thief of Baghdad') Powell
committed commercial suicide with this unflinching
feature, which includes references to pornography,
sadism, prostitution, and voyeurism.
30. Night of the Demon (1958)
A superior supernatural thriller. Director Jacques
Tournier (a former protege of Val Lewton) really knows
how to build up the tension, as the impending visit of
the demon slowly creates an air of fear among the
three main characters (sort of like 'High Noon' with
Dana Andrews stars as a psychic investigator, a
sceptic who very slowly begins to accept that
supernatural forces do exist. As his rival, cult
leader Niall MacGinnis predicts the immpending death
of Andrews. Peggy Cummins is the love interest whose
father was killed by the demon. All three are
Tournier didn't want to show the demon (as in his 'Cat
People'), but the producers insisted. The monster is
fairly effective, but it's also shown at the
beginnning of the film, which spoils the anticipation
for the climax. If it hadn't been, then the already
chilling build-up would have been virtually unbareable.
This British classic is known in America as 'Curse of
29. The Cat People (1942)
Val Lewton produces the first of his incredible,
Directed by Jacques Tournier (see below), this stylish
and subtle creature feature deals in subliminal
horrors; you don't see any monsters (lets face it,
with the budget Lewton uses to work under, that's a
good thing) but you create the monsters yourself
thanks to clever wiritng (by Dewitt Bodeen) and
Simone Simon stars as a young woman who believes she
curse to become a panther whenever she's sexually
aroused. The Cat People' follows similar paths to 'Repulsion',
this film is really a metapor of the fear of sex,
Simon is seen as a vunerable sexual object by her
The 'sequel' is 'Curse of the Cat People', a very
different but classy supernatural fantasy. Lewton went
on to make 'I Walked With a Zombie', 'The Leopard Man',
'The Ghost Ship', 'The Body Snatcher', 'The Isle of
the Dead' etc.
28. Night of the Living Dead (1968)
The first 'modern' horror movie.
Taking his leave of H. G. Lewis, George A. Romero
pumps blood (and gore) into the horror industry.
The dead mysterious begin to rise from the grave,
seeking human flesh for food. The handful of survivors
battle the hoards of zombies in a desperate bid for
It's the ultimate claustrophobic nightmare; no where
to turn, no where to run, even your closest friends
could become infected. The flesh-eaters never give up,
you can never let your guard down.
Shot in Pittsburgh in black and white with a cast of
unknowns, this trend setting gut-muncher was reported
made for around £150,000. It inspired an never-ending
run of imitations (especially from Italy), right up to
this very today. Followed by two sequels ('Dawn' is
even better) and a 1990 remake.
27. The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1939)
The best version of Victor Hugo's famous novel is
an unquestionable classic. It stars Charles Laughton -
who seems designed to play the deformed bell-ringer
This is a spectacular production; lavish sets and
costumes, a great cast, effective make-up and solid
direction by William Dieterle make this a classic.
This version really captures the filth and corruption
of 15th Century France, whilst Laughton's hunchback is
more pitiful and gorgoylesque than ever.
The superb cast includes Maureen O'Hara as the pretty
Esmerald, Sir Cedric Hardwicke asthe cruel Frollo,
Walter Hampden is the Arch-bishop, and there's
appearances by horror legends George Zucco and Rondo
26. Silence of the Lambs (1991)
The best horror movie of the Ninties stars Anthony
Hopkins as Dr. Hannibal "The Cannibal"
Lecter...a role he will be forever associated with.
It's a fast-paced, intelligent, dark and above all,
scary adaptation of Thomas Harris' novel.
Jodie Foster is FBI agent Clarice Starling who uses
imprisoned Lecter to track down serial killer Buffalo
Bill. Starling and Lecter form a strange relationship,
in which the young agent learns as much about herself
as she does about Hannibal (or Buffalo).
Hopkins' portrayal has turned Hannibal Lecter into one
of the most unforgettable villians in cinema history,
the embodiment of intellectual evil. The scenes
involving Lecter and Starling are legendary cinema,
whilst psychopath Buffalo Bill provides most of the
Harris' book is actually a sequel to 'Red Dragon',
which had been made in 1986 as 'Manhunter' and was
remade in 2002. In 2000, Hopkins returned for 'Hannibal'.
All these films are excellent, but can't equal the
classic status of this one.
25. Son of Frankenstein (1939)
If you've never got round to seeing this,
the second sequel to 'Frankenstein', then
make the effect, because it's got it all.
For starters, Karloff makes his last ever
appearance as the monster, the role he is
still more associated with. Then there's
Bela Lugosi, in his first Frankenstein movie,
as the hunchback Igor, Basil Rathbone (in
the year he played Sherlock Holmes for the
first time) as the title character, and
Lionel Atwill as the one-armed inspector (remember
'Young Frankenstein'?). All four are great.
Wolf Frankenstein (Rathbone) returns to the
village where, years ago, his father had
bought the monster to life. Turns out, the
monster is very much still alive (although
he's forgotten how to talk), and wrecking
revenge for Igor (Lugosi - the real villian
of the piece), who had been hanged by the
villages, but survived. The Cheif of Police
(Atwill) searches for the monster, who had
pulled off his arm when he was a child.
This movie stands on it's own as a classic,
rather than riding the coat-tails of it's
predecessors. James Whale handed
directorship of this one over to Rowland V.
Lee, who evokes memories of German
Expressionism (the sets and shadows are a
throw back to 'Caligari').
The next in the series was 'The Ghost of
Frankenstein', perhaps the most
disappointing of the entire series; a far
cry from this classic.
24. The Innocents (1961)
Chilling version of Henry James'
supernatural novel, 'The Turn of the Screw'.
Deborah Kerr plays Miss Giddens, a strict
but likeable governess hired to mind the
nephew and niece of insensitive baron
The two children seem infatuated by two
former servants, Quint and Miss Jessel, both
now dead. But Miss Giddens soon realises
that the children may not be entirely
responsible for there strange behaviour.
Beside 'The Haunting' (63) this is the best
ghost movie ever made. Atmopsheric (thanks
to great photography by Freddie Francis),
convincingly acted (especially by young
Martin Stevens and Pamela Franklin) and
imaginatively directed (by Jack Clayton).
Two other version of the tale were made (in
1974 and 1992) but they are merely good,
this is a classic. In 1973, Michael Winner
directed 'Nightcomers' a poor 'prequel'.
23. The Birds (1963)
Alfred Hitchcock's other
great horror, an unexplained ecological
nightmare of the first order.
Rod Taylor ('The Time Machine') and Tippi
Hedren become trapped in a small town where
birds of all types suddenly go on the attack.
Hitchcock purposely goes all out to shock
here - and suceeds. The scenes of children
being attacked, the absence of music
(especial at the end), and the lack of
explanation are all unsettling.
It's a suprise departure from Hitchcock -
it's an unusual film in anybody's book.
Based on a short story by Daphne du Maurier,
it was followed 30 years later by an
infuriatingly unnecessary sequel.
22. Repulsion (1965)
Roman ('The Pianist') Polanski produces
his first horror masterpiece with this
As with the later 'Rosemary's Baby', it
features a vulnerable female lead, Catherine
Deneuve, who finds herself in a
Deneuve plays a Belgian manicurist living in
London. She is repelled by sex, so when her
flatmate goes away, she begins to feel alone
in a foreign country surrounded by sex-hungry
Naturally, all this pushes her over the edge
and she locks herself in her apartment, but
nobody will leave her alone. A gripping
insight into psychotic paranoia.
21. Jaws (1975)
Imagine a film so powerful that it made
millions of people around the world fearful
to do something they wouldn't previously
have thought twice about. That's what 'Jaws'
did to bathers around the world.
Steven Spielberg made his name with this
hugely enjoyable variation on the slasher
theme. "Bruce", the 25-foot long
Great White Shark, picks off a few swimmers
and cause a lot of hysteria.
The local sheriff (Roy Scheider), acting
like he's out in the wild west, decides to
take on the task of hunting the vicious
killer himself (well, perhaps with a little
help from Robert Shaw and Richard Dreyfuss).
Like many of the movies in this Top 100, it
inspired many imitiations; animals of all
types began to go on the rampage. Followed
by three progressively disappointing sequels
('Jaws - The Revenge' should be avoided like
Made 10 Years after 'Frankenstein', this
was a relatively late entry into the
Universal cycle; but also one of the best.
Lon Chaney Jnr., son of the famous silent
horror actor, established himself as a star
of the genre in his own right with a great
double performance; pitiful as the doomed
Larry Talbot, and scary as the deadly,
Legend is created by screenwriter Curt
Siodmak, who dreamt-up the association
between werewolves, wolfbane, pentagrams,
and silver. Make-up man Jack Pierce creates
another iconic monster which would influence
the look of cinema werewolves for the next
Claude Rains, Bela Lugosi, Ralph Bellamy,
Everlyn Ankers, Patric Knowles and Maria
Ouspenskaya (as the gypsy woman who recites
the legendary werewolf curse lore) round off
the incredible cast. Lon would play Talbot
five times in total, returning two years
later in 'Frankenstein Meets the Wolfman'.
of the Red Death (1965)
This great addition to Poe-Price-Corman
series is probably Roger Corman's best
overall picture. It successfully captures
the devastation of plague-struck 12th
Century Italy, and the decadence of the rich
who enjoy the protection of Satan.
The Devil-worshippers shelter in the castle
of the evil Price Prospero (Vincent Price),
who enjoys torturing the poor in sadistic
games. He choose to adopt pretty peasant
girl Jane Asher as his ward, much to the
distaste of his current lover (Hazel Court)
who sells her soul to Satan to impress him.
It's a real down-cast affair; you'll wonder
whether you'd rather suffer the torments of
the plague than enjure the horrors inside
the supposedly comfortable castle. The
peasants are the only likable characters,
whilst Price puts on one his most memorable
performance as on of the most corrupt
individuals in cinema history.
The colourful imagery should be accredited
to director of photography Nicholas Roeg (who
later directed 'The Man Who Fell to Earth').
The plot (like most in the series) is made
up of several Poe stories; the segment with
Patrick Magee and Skip Martin is based on 'Hop
Toad'. It took longer to make than the
average Corman feature, this one was knocked
out in five weeks. Corman produced the
inferior 1989 version. This version was
filmed in England.
movie that completely ruined the reputation
of the formerly well-loved director Tod
Browning. It's the tale of honest, friendly
circus freaks who live by their own code.
One of the "midgets" (Harry Earles,
who starred with Chaney in both versions of
'Unholy Three') falls in love with a
beautiful but spiteful trapeze artist (Olga
Baclanova). At first she is disgusted, then
leads him on for fun, and eventually, after
discovering he is entitled to a grant
inheritance, plans to marry, and eventually
His former girl-friend (his real-life sister
Daisy Earles) warns him of his inevitable
fate, but blinded by love, he persists until
it's almost to late, and it's up to the
friends to wreck their revenge.
This "Revenge" is a terrifying
sequence at the end of the film, which
stands out as a truely horrific moment in
cinema history. This unmissable feature also
includes "The Living Torso",
"Pinheads", "The Living
Skeleton", "The Bearded
Lady", and "The Half-Boy",
all of which are real-life accidents of
nature. 'Freaks' was banned in the US and
Britain until the 1960s.
17. Dead of Night (1945)
The best Horror anthology ever made.
Amicus eat your heart out.
People gathered at an old mansion recite
their dreams. The stories involve a spooky
hearse, a child ghost, a haunted mirror, a
comical golfing ghost, and, best of all, a
talking, stalking ventriloquist doll. The
linking segment, about a prophetic dream,
brings all the previous element together for
a chilling finale.
Stories range from effective to
unforgettable. The ventriloquist segment,
which was remade as 'Magic' with Anthony
Hopkins in 1978, is incredible and
disturbing, Hugo the dummy will send shivers
up the spine.
A very British film, it stars Mervyn Johns,
Michael Redgrave (in an amazing performance),
Googie Whithers and Miles Malleson.
One of the biggest cult classics of all-time,
this incredible tale of satanism will haunt
and disturb you for a long time after
Edward Woodward goes to a small Scottish
island where a child has mysteriously
disappeared. The strange inhabitants (including
Christopher Lee, Ingrid Pitt, and Britt
Ekland) seem unwilling to help.
Their is something inexplicably chilling
about this film, the freaky, unwelcoming
villagers (spoofed so well in 'League of
Gentleman') are almost alien, indeed,
Woodward's policeman is the only empathetic
Relased in 1972, this British independent
feature is better than almost everything
Hammer ever produced. A classic of British
15. The Invisible Man (1933)
Great Special effects and a bizarre form
of jet-black humour make this an early sci-fi/horror
What a debut for Claude Rains
('Casablanca'). Seen only briefly in the
conclusion, his distinctive voice carries
the tones of a man losing his sanity to
It starts pretty slowly; curious locals
discuss the behaviour of a strange man who
turns up at the village inn, wearing
bandages from head to foot; but when the
bandages come off, the action (and black
comedy) never stops.
Jack Griffin (Rains) has a particularly
warped sense of humour, which is not
suprising when you consider that James Whale
('Bride of Frankenstein'') directed. Look
out for John Carradine and Dwight Frye.
It's hard to really know how influencial
this film actually was. Gothic horrors based
on the classics of literature wasn't a new
idea; Frankenstein (1910), Nosferatu (which
was based on Dracula), and the numberous
silent version of 'Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde'
prove that. So what made it so original?
Firstly, it's probably the first classic
talkie; unlike 'Dracula', it uses sound to
full effect, every line is solid gold,
mostly thanks to Colin Clive's superb
delievery ('It's Alive! Alive!'). Then
there's the unbelievably influencial make-up
job on Boris Karloff by Jack Pierce; most
people today still believe that the creature
Mary Shelley wrote of had a squared-top head,
and bolts in it's neck.
Then there's the amazing sets, the huge lab
with it's open roof which allows in the
sounds of the thunderstorm is breathtaking.
James Whale's direction is, as usual, full
of dark humour and shocking scenes; who can
forget the little girl drowning scene.
The cast is wonderful, Clive rants and raves
his head off, Dwight Frye is the ultimate
hunchback assistance, Mae Clarke and Edward
Van Sloan are both memorable, but it's
Karloff as the monster, a contradiction of
evil and pity, who is forever associated
with this classic.
Along with 'Dracula', it helped set the
bench-mark for HSF films for the next 20
years. It led to six sequels, the first of
which, 'The Bride of Frankenstein', is even
13. The Theatre of Blood (1973)
This is the ultimate Vincent
Price movie, the summary of his entire film
career. Elements of the 'House of Wax' and
the Poe and Phibes films are blended into a
glorious comical tribute to the master of
Price plays Edward Lionheart, a hammy
Shakesperian actor who apparently takes his
own life after constant humiliation at the
hands of the critics. Needless to say, he
survives, and with the help of his sexy
daughter (Diana Rigg), seeks revenge.
Like Dr. Phibes before him, Lionheart themes
his killings, basing them on various deaths
in Shakespeare's plays. Numberous gory,
sickly but humourous murders follow.
There's a great cast on show here; Ian
Hendry, Jack Hawkins, Diana Dors, Robert
Morley, Arthur Lowe, Dennis Price, Michael
Horden and comedian Eric Sykes all have
tremendous fun with the witty script by
Anthony Greville-Bell. A campy classic that
should please any horror fan.
12. The Island of Lost Souls (1933)
Many of you might not have seen this, as,
like 'The Uninvited', it's inexplicably hard
to get hold of here in England.
Make the effort to track down this chilling
version of H.G. Wells' 'Island of Dr. Moreau',
as it's an early vintage classic.
Banned in England until the sixties, it's a
suprisingly brutal, atmospheric masterpiece.
Charles Laughton is the sadistic Dr. Moreau,
who turns visitors and shipwreck victims on
his island into animal-like slaves. Bela
Lugosi is the Sayer of the Law, terrified of
induction into the House of Pain.
The next victim-to-be is Richard Arlen, who
Moreau tries to breed with Lota the Panther
Woman (Kathleen Burke).
An unforgettable Seventy-Two minutes of
chills. Remade twice.
of the Dead (1979)
The best walking-dead-movie ever! This
sequel to 'Night of the Living Dead' studies
how the surviving pockets of mankind
struggle to exist in a world occupied by
It centres on the exploits of two National
Guardsmen, a television technican and her
boyfriend who become trapped in a shopping
mall. There they find plenty of essentials (including
the required weaponary) and actually begin
to find life bareable; that is, until a gag
of vicious bikers show up to spoil the
Often shocking, occasionally humourous, this
is a sprawling essay of mankinds
indominatability, once again directed by
George A. Romero. Co-producer Dario Argento
made it a big hit in Europe, which led to a
neverending onslaughter of imitations (starting
with 'Zombie Flesh Eaters').
As in the first film, Romero once again went
against Hollywood tradition by casting a
black lead (Ken Foree). Watch till the
freaky closing credits.
of the Hunter (1955)
Charles 'Hunchback of Notre Dame'
Laughton's only time in the director's chair
is this instant classic starring Robert
Mitchum as a religous pyschopath with 'love'
and 'hate' tattooed on his knuckles.
In search of some stolen money, Mitchum
marries the ex-wife of a former cellmate.
When she cannot produce the money, he kills
hear, and goes after her young children, who
unwittingly have the money hidden in a doll.
A frightening, artistic movie, with Mitchum
terrifying as the bible-quote nutcase who
abuses people's faith for his own ends.
Shelley Winters ('Daughter of Satan') is
vunerable as the exploited wife, and Peter
('It Conquered the World') Graves is in
there somewhere too.
Mitchum played a similar character in '62 in
'Cape Fear', but this is him at his very
An undisbuted classic from maverick
director Roman ('Fearless Vampire Killers')
Polanski which inspired 'The Exorcist', 'The
Omen', and all those other dark satanic
Producer William ('13 Ghosts') Castle bought
the rights to Ira Levin's disturbing
masterpiece and had the good sense to hire
Polanski to head the project rather than
heading it himself. The result is a scary,
claustrophobic psychological chiller
concerning the birth of the anti-christ.
Mia Farrow is the mum-to-be who suspects
something strange is going on, but has no
idea of the real extend of the devilish
conspiracy. Even her husband and neighbours
are in on it!
Farrow is excellent as the vulnerable woman
hand-picked as the Devil's bride. Also
effective are John Cassavetes as the husband,
Ralph Bellamy as a doctor friend, and Sidney
Blackmer and Ruth Gordon as the seemingly
helpful couple next door. 'Look What
Happened to Rosemary's Baby' (76) was a
cheat, TV-made rip-off sequel.
American Werewolf in London (1982)
The Wolfman was never this
scary. This great combination of gore,
special effects and humour is an unmissable
treat for any horror movie fan. No modern CG
effects have ever topped the mind-blowing
transformation sequence that is just one of
many unforgettable scenes.
Two American youths are attacked by a
werewolf on the Yorkshire moors. Jack (Griffin
Dunne) Dies, David (David Naughton) survives
only to become a wolf under the full moon.
It's a basic premise, but it's carried out
with such a fresh approach that it becomes
Little touches, like 'The Slaughter Lamb'
pub and the visits of the increasingly
decaying Jack from beyond the grave, make
this compelling viewing; whilst the action-packed
ending will have you covering your eyes one
second and jumping out of your seat the next.
John Landis directs with a tongue-in-cheek
attitude, but an eye for incredible detail.
Rick Baker won an Academy Award for his make-up,
which changed the look of horror movies
Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1932)
The best version of Robert Louis
Stevenson's immortal novel. Released in 1932
by Paramount to compete against the
Universal gothics, this production is
superior to 'Frankenstein', 'Dracula' and 'The
Frederic March is great as the sober,
intelligent doctor, and the wild, ugly (possibly
the ugliest Mr. Hyde in cinema history) and
evil Mr. Hyde. His portrayal won him an
academy award...a rare thing for the horror
It's incredibly powerful, especially for
it's time, and themes like prostitution were
shocking back in the thirties. Unlike many
early talkies, this remains potent and
facinating at all times.
One of the most filmed novels ever, there
were a numberous amount of silent versions (the
most famous starred John Barrymore), and
around a dozen versions followed this (including
a 1941 adoption starring Spenser Tracy and a
couple of versions by Hammer). All are
inferior to this classic.
Hammer followed the successful 'Curse of
Frankenstein' with this, their masterpiece.
AKA 'Horror of Dracula', this is the best
version of Dracula to date. Christopher Lee
makes the perfect Count, what he lacks in
Lugosi genuine East European accent, he
makes up for in sex appeal; this is one
Dracula that the would never run out of
Cushing is, as usual splendid as Professor
Van Helsing, who tracks Dracula across
Europe to put an end to his evil. Michael
Gough, as Arthur Holmwood, is great too;
this portrayal set him up for a career in
HSF films which he's still appearing today
('Sleepy Hollow' and as Alfred the Butler in
the 'Batman' series).
Aside from the character names, it has
little to do with the book. Dracula doesn't
speak much at all (there's no "Children
of the Night" speech), the book's hero,
Jonathan Harker is killed off early on,
Dracula doesn't turn into a bat or wolf, and
the final staking scene is replaced by death
Followed by eight sequels (the last of which
was 'The Legend of the Seven Golden Vampires',
a Kung Fu film), this was the first version
of Dracula to actually feature blood (in
colour no-less). This is Britain's highest
entry in the Top 100.
'The Night He Came Home' ...and you know
horror films will never be the same again.
The stalk-and-slasher subgenre is founded
with this, the best and actually one of the
least graphic entries.
Donald Pleasence plays Dr. Loomis, searching
for escaped lunatic Michael Myers. Michael
shows up in the small town of Haddenfield on
Halloween, where he stalks young, virginal
baby-sitter Laurie (Jamie Lee Curtis).
It's non-stop thrills as soon as the sun
goes now and the killings begin, each more
shocking than the last.
Although possibly influenced by Mario Bava's
'Bay of Blood', it's better and more
original in every way; director John ('Assault
on Precinct 13') Carpenter really knows how
to unnerve an audience. Followed by six
inferior sequels. 'Halloween' is worth
watching every October 31st.
The ultimate in psychological terror.
There's not a monster nor a drop of blood in
sight, yet this is as scary as any recent
offering, and puts the recent remake to
Paranormal investigator Richard Johnson,
invites a strange group with psychic
tentancies to spend the night in a haunted
mansion. There, they're subjected to endless
nasty experiences, most of which, we never
see, but your own mind will create the
Directed by Robert Wise ('The Day the Eath
Stood Still'), this is one of the most loved
supernatural shockers ever made. Great
performaces from Julie Harris, Claire Bloom,
and Russ Tamblyn make it all so believable.
A terrifying movie that
works on so many levels. If the gruesome
effects of Rick Baker and Dick Smith don't
get you, and you managed to get past 13-year-old
Linda Blair spouting obscenities and
mastabating with a crucifix, then how about
the fact it's all based on a true story?
There'a also more of a plot than people give
it credit for. As a young priest, Jason
Miller has to deal with the recent death of
his mother, which the demon fully exploits.
As Father Merrin, Max Von Sydow ('The Night
Visitor') had only just survived an ordeal
with a demon in Iraq. But are these events
The special effects include a 360-degrees
head turn, projectile vomiting and
levitation, whilst a 'spider scene' was
infamously cut before release. The sound
track, 'Tubular Bells' by Mike Odfield, is
A suprise success from William Friedkin, a
director of questionable talent. Based on
the (inferior) book of the same name by
William Peter Blatty.
The film that inspired more imitations
than any other in the history of cinema,
this is one of the most-loved and praised
masterpeices of all time. Alfred Hitchcock
surpasses all his previous classics with
this unpredictable tale of robbery, lust and
Anthony Perkins is unforgettable as Norman
Bates, a shy young motel owner seemingly
dominated by his mother. Janet Leigh is sexy
as Marion Crane, the protagonist for the
first quarter of the film, and shockingly
killed off in the most famous of murder
You can never guess which dark alley
Hitchcock is going to take us down next; he
really does use every trick in the book to
unnerve and horrify. Everything about this
film as become iconic, from the Bates Motel
itself, to the infamous shower scene.
Based on a novel by Robert Bloch, Bates was
reportedly based on Ed Gein, whose evil
deeds also inspired 'The Texas Chainsaw
Massacre', and 'Silence of the Lambs'. 23
years later, Perkins returned as Bates for
an unexpected sequel, which was followed by
three more cliqued entries, and an extremely
Bride of Frankenstein (1935)
Here it is! The best horror
movie of all-time! If you've seen it, you'd
probably guessed already.
What can you say, it's got everything. James
Whale directs. Karloff stars (as the monster).
Colin Clive returns as the Baron. Elsa
Lanchester is the bride (and Mary Shelley),
and, best of all; Ernest Thesiger as the
campy Dr. Pretorious.
Set immediately after the original, we
discover that the monster didn't die in
the burning mill afterall, but managed to
escape. He goes on a walk-about, kills a
couple of locals, before being captured by
Meanwhile, the crooked Dr. Pretorious
black-mails Frankenstein into creating a
female monster, but not before unveiling
his collection of minature people.
Back to the monster, who escapes the
villagers, and meets a blind hermit, who,
in the best section of the film, teaches
old Squarehead to talk, smoke and the
concept of friendship. Overcome with
emotion, the monster cries.
After more troublesome villagers show up,
the monster goes on the run again, where
he meets up with Pretorius (in a crypt of
course), who introduces him to his new
bride. However, the new female monster is
repelled by her groom-to-be, who decides
enough is enough, blows up the entire lab,
but not before allowing Frankenstein to
Gothic atmopshere, wonderful characters, a
witty and emotional script, superb acting,
incredible sets and make-up, ground-breaking
direction...need we go on? It's simply the