I do love a list. Especially one that reflects many of my own tastes. That’s just what I got when I picked up this gorgeously laid out book/magazine from Fantastic Press way back in 2010.
Penned by Pumpkinhead screenwriter Gary Gerani with an introduction by the legendary Roger Corman, it makes for an enjoyable look thru horror film history covering the classics and reminding one and all of some hidden gems.
Each selected film gets a full page of coverage and sometimes three or four. The essays on each are broken down into three sections. Who Made It. What’s It About. And Why It’s Important.
Of course, lists always spark debates and in this case that’s a healthy exercise. I’m not one for making them myself because I can never firmly decide who should get #38 over #39. Not to mention that when I start to list movies of any genre, I usually end up with about 30 titles in my TOP 10.
With October just a week away let’s set the stage for penciling in some of your favorites for the Halloween season. We can also check out where your favorite flicks/stars/directors rank
We’ll start Mr. Gerani’s countdown at #100 and work our way to #1 which thankfully is a film I’m more than happy to see sitting atop the chart.
100. House of Dark Shadows (1970), 99. Witchfinder General (1968), 98. Two Thousand Maniacs (1964), 97. The Devil Rides Out (1968), 96. It’s Alive (1974), 95. The Abominable Dr. Phibes (1971), 94. Horror Hotel (1960), 93. Saw (2004), 92. I Bury the Living (1958), 91. Interview With the Vampire (1994)
90. The Blood on Satan’s Claw (1971), 89. Scream (1996), 88. Mark of the Vampire (1935), 87. Dark Intruder (1965), 86. 28 Days Later (2002), 85. Fright Night (1985), 84. From Dusk Till Dawn (1996), 83. The Howling (1981), 82. House on Haunted Hill (1959), 81. Let the Right One In (2008).
80. The Last House on the Left (1972), 79. Picnic at Hanging Rock (1975), 78. The Wicker Man (1973), 77. The Devil and Daniel Webster (1941), 76. Suspiria (1976), 75. The Evil Dead (1983), 74. The Curse of Frankenstein (1957), 73. Carnival of Souls (1962), 72. The Shining (1980), 71. The Devil’s Backbone (2001).
70. Hellraiser (1987), 69. Re-Animator (1985), 68. Dr. Terror’s House of Horrors (1964), 67. The Omen (1976), 66. An American Werewolf In London (1981), 65. The Innocents (1961), 64. The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974), 63. The Lost Boys (1987), 62. Burn, Witch, Burn (1962), 61. The Body Snatcher (1945).
60. The Black Cat (1934), 59. Halloween (1978), 58. Island of Lost Souls (1932), 57. House of Wax (1953), 56. The Brood (1979), 55. Carrie (1976), 54. The Man Who Laughs (1928), 53. The Vampire Lovers (1970), 52. A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984), 51. The Picture of Dorian Gray (1945).
50. Freaks (1932), 49. The Birds (1963), 48. Pit and the Pendulum (1961), 47. Poltergeist (1982), 46. Vampyr (1932), 45. The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1939), 44. The Blair Witch Project (1999), 43. Mystery at the Wax Museum (1933), 42. The Lodger (1944), 41. Kiss of the Vampire (1963).
40. Black Sabbath (1964), 39. Sweeney Todd (2007), 38. Mad Love (1935), 37. White Zombie (1932), 36. The Wolf Man (1941), 35. Doctor X (1933), 34. The Brides of Dracula (1960) 33. Curse of the Demon (1958), 32. Eyes Without a Face (1960), 31. A Chinese Ghost Story (1987).
30. The Uninvited (1944), 29. I Walked With a Zombie (1943), 28. Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1932), 27. The Haunting (1963), 26. The Mummy (1932), 25. Black Sunday (1960), 24. Masque of the Red Death (1964), 23. Kwaidan (1964), 22. Golem (1920), 21. The Invisible Man (1933).
20. Dead of Night (1946), 19. The Silence of the Lambs (1991), 18. Cat People (1942), 17. House of Usher (1960), 16. Jaws (1975), 15. Dracula (1931), 14. The Sixth Sense (1999), 13. The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (1919), 12. Frankenstein (1931), 11. The Curse of the Werewolf (1961).
10. Nosferatu (1922)
9. Repulsion (1965)
8. Phantom of the Opera (1925)
7. King Kong (1933)
6. Night of the Living Dead (1968)
5. The Bride of Frankenstein (1935)
4. Psycho (1960)
3. Rosemary’s Baby (1968)
2. The Exorcist (1973)
and topping the list is the greatest of all screen Dracula’s and the best film ever produced by Hammer Studios.
1. The Horror of Dracula (1958)
As I went through the exercise of sharing this list, I had my own opinions coming to the forefront. For example, I believe the greatest horror film of the 1940’s is The Body Snatcher starring Boris Karloff, Henry Daniell and Bela Lugosi. Glad to see it made the list but 6 other titles from the decade are listed ahead of it. Not in my book and since we’re talking Boris and Bela I’d move 1934’s The Black Cat higher up the list if given a chance.
Hammer fan that I am I’m glad to see the studio well represented with a total of 7 terrors. Still, I’ve never thought much of The Curse of the Werewolf aside from Oliver Reed’s make-up job in the title role so I’m rather stumped as to its placing at #11 or even making the list for that matter. And ahead of Karloff’s Frankenstein? Surely the biggest misstep on the list. I’d easily swap Curse out for the Hammer’s 1959 classic, The Mummy which didn’t make the list at all.
And where’s the love for The Legend of Hell House (1973) that scared the hell out of me as a kid watching late night TV as did Let’s Scare Jessica to Death (1971)? The Bride of Frankenstein is rightly in the top 10 but where’s the love for the third film in the series, The Son of Frankenstein. Surely it deserves to be in the top 100.
As for Psycho, it may be influential, but I’d easily drop it down to 16th and move Jaws up to number 4 which is where Mr. Gerani ranked Hitchcock’s horror classic. Heck, if Jaws was at #1, I’d be in total agreement. This also begs the question, where is Psycho II (1982)? I wouldn’t object if it had turned up here in the top 100 as I’ve always felt it was somewhat underrated.
And where is George A. Romero’s follow up to his 1968 groundbreaking thriller Night of the Living Dead, 1978’s gorefest Dawn of the Dead? Or how about his 1977 thriller, Martin?
I’ll stop now as I could go on and on and on ….. and on.
How many on the list have I actually seen? 83.
For the record it’s actor Vincent Price who is represented the most with a total of 7 titles and that shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone. He’s in good company with Karloff, Lugosi and Lee at 6 followed by the Gentleman of Horror, Peter Cushing at 5.
As for directors I see Roman Polanski has two in the top 10, Terence Fisher 2 in the top 11 and James Whale scored 3 in the top 21.
Feel free to chime in and if you have any real strong opinions against this top 100, remember not to shoot the messenger.
Let the debate begin.
Well, its all about personal preference! But I do have to say ‘ ‘The Sixth Sense’ a horror film? Similarly, ‘Sweeney Todd’ (and it was awful!) One interesting thing for me… I’ve seen 99 of the films on the list. The one I hadn’t I’ve never even heard of & that’s ‘Dark Intruder’ with Leslie Nielsen. Totally flown under my radar that one.
As you say always a personal preference. Great score at 99. I’ve been wanting to see that Leslie Neilsen movie. Kino Lorber has it out on blu ray so maybe it’s time for us to check it out. I liked Sweeney Todd but only watched it once when it came out. I am glad the list is a cross reference of different eras as many lists are always about what’s recent and don’t shine the light on past decades.
Just reviewed night of the Living Dead. Surprised to see Picnic at Hanging Rock on the list.
Picnic is actually one of the few I’ve yet to see.
Not quite horror in the way you’d think. But certainly very gripping. Netflix would loved it – unsolved crime.
My ‘seen’ list clocks in at 64…many of the titles I’ve never even heard of before! And I too wonder about the inclusion of ‘Sweeney Todd’ on the list, as well as a handful of others…watching it, I never felt like I was watching a horror film, at all. As for movies that didn’t make the list, I would’ve included (if it’s considered horror and not sci-fi) the original ‘Invasion of the Body Snatchers’.
And Mike, I agree: ‘Jaws’ should definitely be higher!
YES! I knew I could count on you to back me up on that Jaws issue. 64 more than respectable count. Good call on Body Snatchers. Absolute classic.