Picking Favorites: Top 5 Male Performances in Horror

The horror genre in my opinion is so underrated in terms of recognition for performances and in some cases the films in general. The Oscars always seem to turn the other cheek towards them, with the exception of a few iconic ones (Misery, Silences of the Lambs, etc.). Besides dramas, I honestly think horror offers the more stronger performances of other genres. The actors and actresses have to convey so much emotion and sometimes really get into the psyche of the characters they play and channel the hell out of them. This isn’t the case for every horror movie of course, but a person can’t deny that there’s a lot of effort to be put into these performances. This is my personal list of my five favorite male and female performances in horror. Some of them are the obvious and iconic performances, and some are performances that definitely deserve to become iconic and ranked with them.

Anthony Hopkins as Hannibal Lecter in Silence of the Lambs
Right from the moment we see Anthony Hopkins appear on-screen, you immediately feel a sense of terror and his villainy. The way he stands there anticipating Clarice’s arrival and his greeting. It’s something that shouldn’t be threatening, but the physical way Hopkins portrays Lecter is chilling, and when we get to his dialogue and emotionless expression and the ease of how he speaks, that adds even more to the performance. What really sells Hopkins performance for me every time are his eyes. They burn holes into the viewer and you can see the evil in them. That is a trait that most actors who play villains can’t accomplish. Especially one in which he doesn’t completely act psychotic. He can be sitting there looking at Clarice and the viewer, calm as can be, and you do see the evil in those eyes looking back at you.


2) Kevin Spacey as John Doe in Seven

For such a small amount of screentime, Kevin Spacey leaves one hell of a mark on the film and viewer. Towards the end of the movie when the killer known as John Doe appears and we see Spacey covered in blood, calm as can be, that alone instantly sends you the chills. The rest of the film as Spacey acting as calm as can be, speaking his lines with no emotion and the lines themselves are creep enough. When the field scene comes and Spacey gives his monologue to Brad Pitt leading to the reveal of the box, Spacey is horrifying. This is a role I feel most actors couldn’t accomplish the way Spacey does it. The emotionless, empty, uncomfortably calm performance as this serial killer, along with the reveal in the climax leaves you feeling shaken and disturbed. Without Kevin Spacey’s performance as John Doe, I really don’t think the film’s ending would have had the same impact.


3) John Goodman as Howard in 10 Cloverfield Lane

One of the more recent performances I feel deserves to go down in horror history is John Goodman in 10 Cloverfield Lane. What’s so brilliant about Goodman’s performance here is just how uncomfortable he can make the viewer as well as the characters in the film. There are so many instances where his character Howard can come off as reasonably normal and collected, but in an instant he can change into this monster. Even in scenes where you aren’t even sure of what Howard is going to do next. You think he’s going to completely go crazy, or if he may just shrug it off. But even in silence and without moving, Goodman has a way of bringing in how deranged his character is. In one scene where he lunges at Mary Elizabeth Winstead’s character and has her trapped against the wall, you can feel just as intimidated and freaked as she is. This performance is one that I really feel Goodman deserved a chance at the Oscar for because of how into character Goodman gets and leaves you guessing of where his character is going to go as well as scaring you and making you so uncomfortable.

4) Daniel Kaluuya as Chris in Get Out
The most recent performance (and a non-villain one) I think should be recognized in horror history as one where we have the most relatable leading male in a long time. Kaluuya plays Chris as this very down-to-earth and super likable guy. He’s meeting his girlfriend’s parents for the first time and you can tell how nervous he is. This is displayed really relatable as well. But when shit hits the fan during this visit, Kaluuya perfectly shows how uncomfortable Chris is with everything and shows his paranoia. But at the same time, he’s capturing Chris at how he’s trying to keep his cool and not completely lose his head, but also knows he needs to get the hell out of there. Apart from this we see the tortured side of his character when aspects of his past is brought up and Kaluuya just lets out all the emotions his character has been building up. This is such an authentic performance in so many ways, and one that you don’t see too often in horror. We see so many characters that we laugh at and say “oh that’s so me!” but with Kaluuya’s portrayal of Chris, you think, this is a real person acting and thinking like a real person. That is just how much his performance is one worth remembering.

5) Christian Bale as Patrick Bateman in American Psycho
What sets this actor and character apart from the others is that, while the others have more subtle performances that make them incredible, this one is off-the-wall, in your face excellent. Sure, Bale has a few subtly moments in his performance, but when he shows Bateman in full psycho mode, you are immediately freaked out by this guy. And it’s not angry psycho, as most know, but a guy who thinks killing people is just your average routine. And you can see how much he gets a kick out of and has fun with is murders. Bale does all of this so perfectly and disappears into character so well that, like the others, you’re not seeing them as actors, you’re seeing him as Patrick Bateman.

–Cody Landman

Picking Favorites: Top 5 Female Performances in Horror

The horror genre in my opinion is so underrated in terms of recognition for performances and in some cases the films in general. The Oscars always seem to turn the other cheek towards them, with the exception of a few iconic ones (Misery, Silences of the Lambs, etc.). Besides dramas, I honestly think horror offers the more stronger performances of other genres. The actors and actresses have to convey so much emotion and sometimes really get into the psyche of the characters they play and channel the hell out of them. This isn’t the case for every horror movie of course, but a person can’t deny that there’s a lot of effort to be put into these performances. This is my personal list of my five favorite male and female performances in horror. Some of them are the obvious and iconic performances, and some are performances that definitely deserve to become iconic and ranked with them.

1) Isabelle Fuhrman as Esther in Orphan
With child performances, they can be hit or miss. The performances can be way too “cute” or they can be downright annoying. But with Fuhrman’s performance, it’s mind-blowing how a child turn in such an adult and deranged performance. This another actress who can make you feel unease with subtlety in her performance, and most of it is subtle. With just a look, or how close and in your face she gets in this movie, it’s enough to bring the chills. And when she finally goes full on psycho, you are just in shock of how this little girl is bringing out this psychotic little bitch. Like where the hell does it come from? Fuhrman’s performance is honestly, for me, what makes Orphan such a great movie.

2) Rebecca De Mornay as Mother in Mother’s Day (2010)
Here is yet another performance that, like Goodman’s character in 10CL, is one in which you have no idea what to feel around this character initially. De Mornay first appears as this woman who seems friendly enough, but just has some fucked up kids. And she makes you feel a bit more comfortable despite the chaos that just happened. But her performances takes a gradual turn as you see just how deranged she actually is. She goes full on psycho at the end, and she’s fantastic there, but she’s at her best when she’s punishing or killing these characters for breaking her roles. And the way De Mornay acts like these punishments are justified and reasonable with so much calm and ease is excellent. She makes you fear her calm side more than her full on crazy side.

3) Leah Pipes as Jessica in Sorority Row
This performance is much more different than most because it’s not the villain, nor is it a hero. Leah Pipes plays the queen bee bitch character Jessica so profoundly that she deserves to be in this list. Pipes perfectly balances this line between where you know you’re supposed to hate her character, but yet you fricken love her. Much of Jessica’s character involves many wise-cracks or using her bitch-face. And my god, Pipes nails this. Her comedic timing is so on-point and she perfectly uses bitch face to her advantage. She tackles this character so well, makes you laugh, and often time cheer because of how bad ass she can be that (if you’re like me) you are rooting for her the whole time as opposed to the main lead. And what Pipes brings here is that you know you’re supposed to hate her, and she does make you do that, but she also brings to the table elements where you just can’t help but love the hell out of her. Most actress with this performance would either go one way or the other. But Pipes was a special actress to capture both sides.

4) Neve Campbell as Sidney in the Scream series
It would be unfair to critique Campbell based on just the first film alone. To get a full grasp on Sidney and how Campbell portrays her, you have to look at the series as a whole. In the first film we see Campbell portray Sidney as this pretty tortured girl who had seen her mother murdered. Not only this but also the pressure she feels from Billy. Campbell captures this really well, but there’s more to Sidney than just a tortured character. She has some realism to her character, she’s not Mary Sue nice like Laurie Strode, but she’s a good person who is not afraid to be a bitch when she has to (insert Sidney punching Gale). Even in the moments where we do see Campbell kicking the killer’s ass, you still her conveying the emotional turmoil that Sidney is feeling. This is just the first film. For the rest of the film, we still see the emotional damage that Sidney has, and once again Campbell shows this well, but doesn’t overdo it to where we get annoyed. Campbell shows Sidney’s struggle to try find normalcy in her life but also how she’s haunted and not sure who to trust. When you look at the whole series, you see Neve Campbell showing Sidney’s rise to strength and overcoming all of this emotional barriers she faces and by the forth film she comes character who is willing to chase down her demons instead of running.

5) Rachel McAdams as Lisa in Red Eye
This is one performance I feel is as under-looked as the film itself. McAdams shows Lisa as this workaholic who tries to keep her cool under dire circumstances, but you can also see in her performance how much stress she feels. When Lisa finds herself in the biggest dire circumstance where not only her life, but the life of several others are on the line, this is when McAdams shows her chops big time. The fear and helplessness McAdams shows is pretty heartbreaking and you are waiting for her to reach that moment for her to rise. There are moments sprinkled out where you see Lisa’s cunning and bravery rising in McAdams’ performance, but also her fears are keeping her back. It’s in the final act when McAdams shows Lisa’s courage and anger kick in and we are rooting for her the whole time during the cat and mouse game she plays with Cillian Murphy’s character, and finally when they are in a face to face battle. By the end you are pumped for her character after her ordeal. But then in the very last scene, you know that Lisa has had enough after her ordeal and throwing her calm and collected self out the window by delivering the most epic final line in a movie ever to a couple of characters who totally had it coming. Like Campbell’s portrayal of Sidney, McAdams shows Lisa’s journey into finding strength in herself and overcoming her fears.

–Cody Landman

Picking Favorites: Top 5 Favorite Twist Endings

SPOILER ALERT!!! DO NOT READ IF YOU DON’T WANT TO BE SPOILED FOR THE FOLLOWING FILMS: SAW, CRY_WOLF, THE SKELETON KEY, THE UNINVITED, HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ME

More often than not, most twist endings these days are pretty predictable or they are carbon copies of other twists. Hell some twists aren’t even twists a lot of the time, but that can also be subjective. However, there are still plenty of twist endings in horror films that can leave you jaw-dropped or immediately want to go pack and pick up on clues you may have missed. And then there are some twists that may be predictable but they’re still enjoyable twists nonetheless. Here are a few of my personal favorites.

1) Saw
Never before have I been so shocked at a film’s ending. And never before have I seen a movie with an audiences who went crazy when it happened, not to mention literally at the very end. The whole time we are thinking the character Zepp is the villain known as Jigsaw. And we have reason to believe this. But what we don’t have reason to believe is that the dead man in the middle of the floor between our two leads is the real Jigsaw and has been listening to and often controlling them the whole time. I can still recall how I felt when the iconic music begins to play as Adam starts the tape and you see John Kramer/Jigsaw rising up and we see Adam’s shocked and horrified expression as he then gets locked in his dark prison to rot. The scene itself is so well done is so many aspect that amplifies the shock of it.

2) Cry_Wolf
This is a film that I find extremely underrated (but that’s another story). Throughout the film we see these young friends playing a prank on the school that a killer is on campus. But coincidentally, the killer they’ve created is brought to life and preying on the group. This is another film that I found myself completely caught off-guard (to an extent). We are given a first twist revealing that the killer wasn’t real, it was all a prank played on the main character Owen, but also a few pranks made on each other within the group. However, this prank results in the death of one of the characters and the main guy is held responsible. We think this is the end of the movie, but we get another twist, and we find out this whole thing was a plot set up by one of the other characters to ensure the death of the deceased character. The main guy figures this out, but the true villain of the story says they’ll get away with it because no one will believe him (he has a track record of lying and troublemaking), leaving the lead screwed. The initial twist is a little predictable, and while it’s still interesting, it wouldn’t have been much of a satisfying conclusion. However, the final twist, I did not have a clue about, it blew my mind. As a result, this make the first twist more enjoyable than it would have been on its own.

3) The Skeleton Key
When this film’s climax approached, I had a vivid idea of what going to happen. I knew the house wasn’t haunted and that the elderly woman Violet (played by Gena Rowlands) was the true villain and was trying to take over Caroline (Kate Hudson), whom has been staying with her to care for her husband. And that the realtor Luke (Peter Sarsgaard) was in on the plot. But the two final shockers I didn’t expect at all. It’s revealed that Violet and Luke aren’t who they seem to be. It turns out their bodies are possessed by the slaves in the story Violet told earlier to Caroline. The couple have been using Hoodoo to transfer their souls into younger bodies in order to have everlasting life (starting with the two children of the family they worked for). Caroline believes she has the ability to defeat this evil and for a moment we think she has. But when she awakes the next morning after being knocked out, it’s revealed the transfer was complete. Caroline is now in the body of Violet, and the slave woman now inhabits Caroline. It’s also revealed that Violet’s husband Ben’s body has been the vessel for Luke’s soul the whole time and Ben was never actual ill from a stroke. It ends with the slave couple (now in Caroline and Luke’s bodies) basking in their glory as the real Caroline and Luke are hauled away in their elderly bodies (obviously to meet death much sooner than they may have anticipated, cause you know, they’re old now). This is a very bleak and dark ending, but the twists involved are so damn good and it leaves you thinking back on all the clues that were right there, and one that you pay closer attention to when you re-watch it.

4) The Uninvited
This film’s twist ending I admit can be really predicted. I didn’t particularly expect it, but despite its predictability I think it’s a great twist to an already pretty dark and engaging story. The lead character Anna comes to realize that her sister Alex has been dead the whole time since she arrived home after being in a mental hospital (and has been in her head the whole time). To add to the twist, Alex (and the girls’ mom) died due to Anna’s actions (accidentally) after trying to kill her father and his mistress. All of this was blocked out of her mind. And the mistress the two sisters are suspecting of killing their mother is actually a decent woman and this whole thing was made up in Anna’s mind due to her hatred of the woman, mixed of course with the fact that Anna is crazy as hell. By the time Anna realizes this, she has already killed the mistress (believing Alex killed her). This is quite a bit too and seems pretty complex, but I still found it a mind-blowing, and also pretty heartbreaking twist. Especially seeing the close bond she has with her sister (the chemistry between Emily Browning and Arielle Kebbel was fantastic) only to find out she died. To make this reveal sequence even better, the performances by Browning, Kebbel, and their father (played by David Strathairn) make it even more affecting.

5) Happy Birthday to Me
This cult classic has hands down the best twist ending of its time. I saw this about 5 years ago or so for the first time after hearing a friend of mine talking a lot about it. Our lead character spends much of the movie believing she has been committing the murders of her classmates. By the end of the movie she’s accepted this. When her father arrives home he sees the dining table surrounded by the dead bodies of the classmates. He then sees in horror as his daughter comes out, now completely crazy. After she kills her father, the REAL lead girl awake from the table. She sees her doppelganger/twin in front of her. She realizes she’s not crazy but still not sure what is happening. Add another twist by revealing this psycho killer is not her twin as the killer pulls off their (rather quite perfect) mask of the main girl and it’s revealed that it’s one of her friends who has faked their death and is seeking revenge (they’re not twins but half-sisters and blaming the main girl for her problems). The films itself isn’t exactly one of my favorite horror movies (it is quite good though), but here again, a twist(s) I sure as hell didn’t see coming, and they are one right after another, just never leaving you time to let your mind catch up. So by the end of the movie you’re thinking “what the f**k?!”

–Cody Landman

The Best of the Worst: Bad Horror Movie Taglines

Nothing makes us giggle with delight quite like a bad horror movie tagline. More puny, more funny as we always say. Today we’d like to bring to you a collection of taglines that might make you laugh, might make you groan, and might just make you wish it was the 1980’s all over again. What horror movies have your favorite taglines and has a horror movie tagline ever sold you on a movie that you weren’t quite sure about? Let us know in the comments below!

Picking Favorites: Alex Aspin’s (Hossst) Top 10 Favorite Lucio Fulci Films

This top 10 favorite Lucio Fulci list comes from our horror friend Alex Aspin. Make sure to follow him on instagram for more horror reviews and pics.

Lucio Fulci is my favorite horror director of all time, and is honestly tied with the likes of Vittorio De Sica, Charlie Chaplin, Akira Kurosawa, and Fritz Lang. So I thought I would honor my
personal favorite horror director with a top ten. So without further ado, lets begin.

10) “Four of the Apocalypse” (1975)

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A group of petty criminals consisting of 3 men, and a pregnant woman make their way through the countryside of Wild West Utah while being followed and constantly attacked by Mexican bandits.

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Honestly one of my favorite spaghetti westerns. It has everything you would expect from a Fulci film, from mean-spirited sadistic men, wonderful shots, and great locations. This film is a little bit of a slow burner, but it’s never really boring. All of the characters are likable, while at the same time dislikable enough to keep you watching. In my opinion, the film reaches its peak in the second half which takes place in a small town during a snowstorm. There’s just something about snowstorms and westerns that I love. This one might not be for every Fulci fan, especially if you’re one whose only really ever seen his later-career splatter films, but it has enough gore and violence to keep anyone watching. Plus it has Fabio Testi. I mean, c’mon.

9) “The Black Cat” (1981)

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A psychic man who has the ability to communicate with the dead, also is able to control a black cat that he uses to take vengeance on his enemies.

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I know that in all of my reviews I harp on about camerawork a lot. And I know I say this a lot, but this is honestly one of the most beautifully shot films (at least horror films) I’ve ever seen. Especially the opening scene. This film has lots of beautiful shots of the black cat walking on various rooftops, and walls, and it even has some great POV shots of the cat, which works great for establishing our cats size in comparison to everything else.

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Obviously this film is based on the Edgar Allen Poe story. As someone who has always been a Poe fan, I think that probably helps me enjoy the film even more so. I’d highly recommend it to Poe fans and Fulci fans alike, but like the last film, this one is different from the usual Fulci splatter film, and I don’t think it’s for every Fulci fan. Nonetheless, I can still recommend it.

8) “Conquest” (1983)

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A warrior (played by Andrea Occipinti) embarks on a journey armed with a magic bow and arrow (given to him by the ghostly god Cronos, to mark his passage into manhood) to rid the land of evil, and defeat the evil witch who wants the bow for evil.

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I don’t even know where to begin. There are no words I can use to fully explain how awesome this film is. Extremely gory, and violent, and has some amazing set pieces. Some of the creatures in this film will blow your mind, from the Wookie looking things in league with the evil witch, to the weird mummy zombie things that I can’t put into words. If you haven’t seen this film before, buy it. Just buy it. Don’t even think about it or try to find it online or anything. Just buy it.

7) “A Lizard in a Woman’s Skin” (1971)

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A woman has a dream of herself killing her neighbor, only to wake up and find that not only is her neighbor actually dead, but that she is a suspect.

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Probably one of the most original giallo films to come out of the giallo golden age. Full of twists and turns, it requires multiple viewings, but still stands alone as an amazing film after is first. Full of incredible dream sequences, and amazing camera work. One I’m sure most Fulci fans, and giallo fans alike have seen.

6) “Don’t Torture a Duckling” (1972)

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The townspeople of a rural Italian village work together to solve a series of child murders. This leads to everyone being a suspect, distrust of outsiders, and superstition.

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Actually one of the first Fulci films I ever saw. Before I was completely and utterly desensitized, and left an empty husk of a person, this film was actually incredibly shocking to me. This film was actually banned in Italy, and was given an extremely limited theatrical run in Europe, due to its blatant dislike, and criticism towards the Catholic Church. Funny, because this film is full
of dead children’s bodies found face down in the water, or beaten to death, and also contains a buried skeleton of an infant, but what upset the Italian censors was its criticisms on the highly Catholic Italian society.

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Lucio Fulci considered this film to be his favorite of his career, and I can definitely see why. If you haven’t seen this one yet, and want to see a genuinely shocking or disturbing giallo, definitely check it out.

5) “Cat in the Brain” (1990)

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A horror director (played by Fulci himself) is haunted by nightmares of the many violent scenes in his films. So he decides to start seeing a therapist, who ends up being s psycho serial killer
determined to frame Dr. Fulci for the many crimes modeled after the murders in his films.

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This film is nearly impossible to group into any genre, so I have dubbed it as a “Post Proto Slasher”, since it’s similar enough to the proto -slashers of the 70’s, but being made in the 90’s, it obviously can’t be a true proto slasher. Anyway, this film is absurdly gory, and violent, and it’s amazing. I don’t want to say too much about it, mostly because it’s hard to even put it into words. The film leaves you in sort of a meta-overload state of satisfaction from the obscene amounts of gore.

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Also, not just because this is the obvious joke to make, but the psycho therapist honestly does look alarmingly like my grandpa.

4) “The New York Ripper” (1982)

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A police detective and a psychoanalyst go on the hunt for the person responsible for a brutal series of murders in New York City, where young women are being killed in extremely grisly fashions.

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The 80’s was sort of the start of a new (short lived) life for the giallo genre, due to the popularity of the American and Canadian slasher films. And The New York Ripper is in my opinion the best of the gialli to come out of that era. Showing a considerable amount of influence from past gialli, and at the time recent slashers, The New York Ripper is sort of a hybrid between a Giallo, and a slasher; a “spaghetti slasher” if you will. Some of the most noticeable influences for this film are Argento’s “The Bird With The Crystal Plumage”, Brian De Palma’s “Dressed to Kill” (which is a giallo rip off itself) and William Lustig’s “Maniac”. This film contains so much sleaze, and brutal murders throughout its entire duration, it’s sure to make
you feel at least a little uncomfortable. From live sex shows, and women being toe raped, to a woman getting a broken bottle to the crotch and a woman getting her eye slashed with a razor (all on camera for those who haven’t seen it).

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I was fairly young the first time I saw this film, so maybe that had something to do with it, but after seeing this film for the first time I genuinely felt anxious every night that my girlfriend got out of work, as she worked nights alone and often had to wait outside after work for her aunt to pick her up, as we were teenagers. If you are a fan of gialli, slashers, gore, sleaze, and just general extreme violence, definitely check this one out.

3) “City of the Living Dead” aka “The Gates of Hell” (1980)

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A priest commits suicide by hanging himself in the church cemetery, causing the gates of hell to open, and allowing to dead to walk the earth, and plenty of other supernatural events to take place. In order to close the gates of hell before the dead can take over the earth, a reporter (played by Christopher George) and a psychic must rush to the city of Dunwich, and find a way to close the gates before All Saints Day.

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There’s a little bit of a story about this one for me. This was actually the very first Fulci film I ever saw, and probably the first 2 or 3 times I watched it, I hated it. I tried watching it alone, and shut it off. Went to see it with a friend, and he just got up and walked out. And to tell the truth, I don’t know why I ever disliked it. It’s such an incredibly fun, nightmarish film, with some of the best gore I’ve ever seen. Yeah, a lot of the film doesn’t make much sense, and that’s probably what I didn’t like about it being new to Italian horror, as a young teen, but being older now, I realize it’s not supposed to make much sense. It’s a nightmare-logical film, and if you look at it that way, it’s pretty much perfect.

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City of the Living Dead also has some of the coolest looking zombies I’ve ever seen too, although they don’t come in until the end of the film. I absolutely love this film, and even though I only watch it every once in a while, every time it ends, I immediately want to re watch it, because it’s really that good.

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2) “Zombie Flesh Eaters” aka “Zombie” aka “Zombi 2” (1979)

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A group of 4 goes on a search for a woman’s father on a tropical island, but unbeknownst to them, the island is plagued by the dead coming back to life, and they become mixed up in the business of the islands doctor who is trying to figure out what is happening.

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This is, in my opinion the greatest zombie film ever made. Although on a greater scale of zombie films overall, this is actually tied with Day of the Dead as my favorite, I do think this is the better film. Everything about this film is just amazing. Set both in New York City, and the tropical island of Matul, every shot of this film is incredible, and every location used is beautiful. Along with all of the beauty of the film, there’s loads of beautiful, mind-blowing gore, and probably the best looking zombies ever put on film. I don’t want to spoil much about it for those who haven’t seen it, so I’m just going to meander on about how beautiful every aspect of this film is.

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Look at that. If you’ve never seen this one, and are a fan of zombies, extreme gore, or sharks and zombies fighting under water, this film has it all. I’m going to include a few more screenshots of this one below.

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1) “The Beyond” aka “Seven Doors of Death” (1981)

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A woman inherits an old hotel in Louisiana, that was build on one of the seven gates of hell, and where a man named Schweik was executed after being accused of being a warlock 50 years earlier. Soon after moving in, and beginning restoring the old motel, a series of supernatural events begin, including a painter being startled by something, causing him to fall off his latter, a plumber getting his eye gouged out by a zombie in the basement, and hallucinations of a zombie Schweik.

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This is not only my favorite Fulci film, but my favorite horror film of all time, and my second favorite film overall. This is also my “go to” horror film when showing friends horror films. It’s just so great. I really love the Louisiana setting, even though Louisiana is one of the last places I’d ever want to go. Not that you could expect any less from Fulci, but of course this film is full of amazing gore, from eyes being gouged out, and facing being burned with acid, to a child getting her head blown off. The zombies aren’t as cool looking in this one as they are in Zombie Flesh Eaters, and resemble the zombies from Let Sleeping Corpses Lie more than anything, they’re still great and way more convincing than anything you’ll see today.

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If you somehow haven’t seen any of the films on this list, and are only ever going to check out one of them, make it this one. Just go buy it immediately. Just buy the Grindhouse blu ray immediately. Or if you live in the UK, and it’s cheaper, immediately buy the Arrow blu.

And there you have it. My top 10 favorite films by the Italian master of horror, and worlds most beautiful man, Dr. Lucio Fulci.

Before I go, I would like to give an honorable mention to a film that just barely missed the cut.

“Contraband” (1980)

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Great Italian crime film, starring Fabio Testi about rival groups of smugglers in Naples fighting for their turf. This results in our main characters brother being kidnapped by the rival gang, and they have to team up with the Mafia, and the police in order to find his brother.

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I hope everyone enjoyed my list. This was definitely the most fun list I’ve made so far. Let me know some of your favorite Fulci films in the comments.

Picking Favorites: Alex Aspin’s (Hossst) Top 10 Favorite “Lesser Known” Giallo Films

This top 10 favorite lesser know Giallo film list comes from our horror friend Alex Aspin. Make sure to follow him on instagram for more horror reviews and pics.

Disclaimer: I just want to clarify this right off the bat. This is a list of my personal favorite “lesser known” Giallo films. Meaning, you won’t find any Argento, Fulci, or Bava on this list. If this was an overall top 10 giallo film list, I would’ve included Argento, Bava, and Fulci.

1) “What Have You Done to Solange?” (1971) directed by Massimo Dellemano.
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A teacher (played by Fabio Testi) is having an affair with one of his students. While they’re on a “date” on a boat, she witnesses a brutal murder on shore. He then ends up becoming the main suspect because he refuses to tell the police why he was actually there. What follows are more brutal kills (teen girls being stabbed in the vagina), botched abortions, annoying teens, and plenty of murder scenes made all the more alarming by the incredibly haunting score.

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“Solange” is, and has been for a while my favorite Giallo film over all. Everything about this film flows so well, from start to finish. This movie is often called misogynistic, due to the nature of the murders, but It all ends up making sense, in a heartwarming, yet disturbing way.

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Highly recommended to anybody. Also check out Dallamano’s other giallo “What Have They Done to Your Daughters”.

2) “Death Walks on High Heels” (1971) directed by Luciano Ercoli.

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After her famous jewel thief father is stabbed to death on a train, a nightclub performer named Nicole (played by Nieves Navarro) starts being harassed by the police, and a masked man with “piercing blue eyes” about the location of her fathers diamonds. Next, people around her start being murdered.

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This film is a perfect example of why I love gialli. This has to be one of the most beautifully shot films I’ve ever seen, honestly up there on par with the work of Akira Kurosawa, Ingmar Bergman, and Federico Fellini. The plot itself is entertaining enough to keep you watching, and I’ve found with people who didn’t care for the story, have at least been kept watching by the beautiful camerawork.

Another one I highly recommend, but this one might not be one for the unseasoned giallo fan. But then again, if you don’t know anything about gialli as it is, you probably aren’t looking at a list of more obscure examples of the genre.

I’d also recommend checking out Ercoli’s other gialli “Forbidden Photos of a Lady Above Suspicion” and “Death Walks at Midnight”

3) “The Bloodstained Butterfly” (1971) directed by Duccio Tessari.

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After the body of a girl is found in a park, a man is arrested and is on trial for the murder, while everyone is convinced he is guilty. However, shortly after, the murders continue. Half courtroom drama, half giallo.

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This is a new one for me. The first time I ever saw it was actually just last night, (August 19th 2016) when I received this blu ray in the mail (6 days before the release date!!!) and I immediately fell in love with it. While most Giallo films substitute extreme levels of style, to make up for the logical inconsistencies, and plot holes, this film doesn’t have to. While it is just as wonderfully shot as you’d expect from a giallo film, it doesn’t have any of the plot holes, and is a much more “logic based” crime investigation type giallo. Also recommend checking out Tessari’s earlier giallo film “Death Occurred Last Night”.

4) “The Red Queen Kills Seven Times” (1972) directed by Emilio Miraglia.

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After two sisters inherit a castle front believe their grandfather, a murder spree committed by a dark haired women in a red cloak, and mask begins.

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This is a very entertaining gothic themed giallo film, shot very beautifully, and accompanied by a beautiful score.

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I think this is one the unseasoned giallo fan will still enjoy, so I highly recommend it. I also recommend Emilio Miraglia’s other giallo “The Night Evelyn Came Out of The Grave”.

5) “Short Night of Glass Dolls” (1971) directed by Aldo Lado.

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This is a hard one to explain without spoiling, so I won’t say much. But a mans body is found in a park, and is taken to the morgue. We then realize he is actually conscious, just unable to move, talk, or anything. So a lot of the film is from his point of view, while we listen to him trying to remember what happened.

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It’s a little bit of a strange watch, especially for a giallo, but it’s definitely well worth checking out. Also check out Aldo Lado’s other giallo “Who Saw Her Die”.

6) “Your Vice is a Locked Room and Only I Have the Key (1972) directed by Sergio Martino.

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Based on Edgar Allen Poe’s story “The Black Cat” this gothic style giallo is about an alcoholic author (played by Luigi Pistilli) who lives in his mansion with his wife, and maids who he sleeps with. Eventually he is visited by his niece (played by Edwige Fenech), and a series of murders begins.

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I absolutely love everything about this film. I honestly had to immediately watch it a second time after my first viewing. And even though I’m aware of how Poe’s “The Black Cat” ends, I was still surprised by the end of this film, and was honestly kind of anxious up until the credits started to roll. Also highly recommend Sergio Martino’s other gialli “Torso”, ” Strange Vice of Mrs. Wardh”, and “The Case of The Scorpions Tail”.

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7) “The Black Belly of The Tarantula” (1971) directed by Paolo Cavara.
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An inspector investigates a series of crimes where the victims are paralyzed, and then gutted. Much in the same way as a tarantula kills its prey.

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I don’t really have much to say about this one. I don’t want to accidentally spoil anything. Just check it out, because it’s awesome. Also check out Cavara’s other giallo “Plot of Fear”.

8) “Strip Nude For Your Killer” (1975) directed by Andre Bianchi.
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After a fashion model dies during an abortion, a series of murders begins, involving the rest of the models at the modeling agency she worked for.

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Another one I don’t really want to say much about. Generally considered an incredibly sleazy, and trashy film. Maybe I’m just super desensitized or something, but I don’t think it’s as sleazy as everyone seems to thing. While there is an absurd amount of nudity, none of it is really in an outright sleazy fashion. I can think of plenty of giallo films with just as much nudity, done way more trashy, like “The Sister of Ursula”, or “The Beast Kills in Cold Blood”. I really appreciate this film, and feel like it’s honestly one of the more classy examples of the sleazier gialli.

9) “Blue Eyes of The Broken Dolls” (1974) directed by Carlos Aured.
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After an ex-convict (played by Paul Naschy) who is haunted by nightmares of himself strangling women is hired as the caretaker of an estate owned by 3 women, a series of murders begins.

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One of the few non-Italian films I’ll acknowledge as being a “true giallo”, and probably being the best of the far more rare Spanish gialli, this film has everything you need out of a giallo. It’s a little slower than some people may like, but the characters are interesting enough to keep you watching. The first time I watch it, I was running on probably 3 hours of sleep after being awake for 36+ hours, and I was able to stay awake through the entire film. If you consider yourself to be a more seasoned giallo fan, whose seen all of the more common ones, this is definitely one worth seeking out.

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If you want another example of a Spanish giallo film, Mondo Macabro is releasing “The Fox with a Velvet Tail” on blu ray sometime in the near future.

10) “Eyeball” (1975) directed by Umberto Lenzi.
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A killer dressed in a red raincoat is killing American tourists by cutting out their eyes.

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Definitely one of the harder to find Giallo films out there. If you want to own this, you’ll have to import either the Italian, or German DVDs, or buy a bootleg, because no official blu ray (or even DVD) seem to be in the near future. If you are willing to track it down, (it is on YouTube, but looks really bad) it’s definitely one of the essential Giallo films.

Umberto Lenzi has lots of other giallo films worth checking out, including “Seven Blood-Stained Orchids” (which just barely missed the cut), “Knife of Ice”, “Spasmo”, and “Oasis of Fear”.

Now, I’d like to list some honorable mentions:
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“The House with Laughing Windows” (1976) directed by Pupi Avati.
Truly haunting film. Honestly the only giallo, and one of the only films in general to unnerve me in my adult life. If you’ve seen this film, and remember the recordings on the tape player, you know exactly what I mean.

“Eye In the Labyrinth” (1972) directed by Mario Caiano.
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“The Beast Kills in Cold Blood” aka “Slaughter Hotel” (1971) directed by Fernando de Leo.
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“Watch Me When I Kill” (1977) directed by Antonio Bido
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Picking Favorites: Alex Aspin’s (Hossst) Top 10 Slasher Films

This top 10 slasher list comes from our horror friend Alex Aspin. Make sure to follow him on instagram for more horror reviews and pics.

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1) “My Bloody Valentine” (1981)
A small town is haunted by the memories of a massacre on Valentine’s Day, after an accident in a mine. 20 years later, they decide to organize their first Valentine’s Day dance since the massacre, and the killings start again.

This was one of the first movies I just had to re-watch immediately after my first time viewing, and to this day is one of the first horror films I show to people.

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2) “The Burning” (1981)
A summer camp groundskeeper is burned beyond recognition due to a prank gone wrong. 10 or so years later he is released from the hospital, he returns to the summer camp to stalk and kill the campers.

Another film I feel is necessary to show to everyone I know. This film, and My Bloody Valentine usually bounce back and forth as my #1, but for the sake of this list, i decided to make this one #2, but I love it just as much. I can’t say enough good things about it.

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3) “Blood Rage” (1987)
Filmed in 1983, but shelved until 1987 under the title “Nightmare at Shadow Woods”, Blood Rage brings everything necessary for being considered a top tier slasher.

In the beginning, we see twin brothers Terry, and Todd as children at the drive-in with their mother. 10 year Terry kills a man in his car, and blames it on Todd. Todd is then institutionalized. 10 years later on Thanksgiving, Todd escapes from the hospital, while at the same time a killing spree has started in the neighborhood. But has the real killer been among them the entire time? (Spoiler: Yes, he has)

I had never seen Blood Rage until Arrow Video released it on Blu ray, and it immediately became one of my favorites. I think I watched it 3 times the day I got it in the mail, once alone, once with my girlfriend, and once with the commentary on. If you want to check this one out, I recommend just buying the Arrow Video blu ray. It comes completely packed with extras, and 3 cuts of the film.

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4) “Intruder” (1988)
The night crew of a supermarket that’s going out of business find themselves being stalked and killed one
by one. Great atmosphere, score, and insane over the top kills. Out of all the films I love to show people, this is honestly probably my favorite, just because I love seeing how people react to the twist ending, and some of the incredible kills.

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5) “The Dorm that Dripped Blood” (1982)
A group of college students decide to stay on campus during Christmas break to help clean out their dorms, only to find themselves being stalked and killed.

I honestly didn’t care for this film the first few times I saw it, but after time with each viewing it continued to grow on me, and I’ve heard similar stories from others. I love literally everything about this film. From the score, to the kills, to the atmosphere and location. Not one I find my non-horror fan friends enjoying all that much, but I love it, and would recommend it to any slasher fan.

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6) “Nightmares in a Damaged Brain” (1981)
A man is haunted by, and literally driven to the point of insanity by constant nightmares of a traumatic (and extremely gory) experience as a child, and eventually embarks on a gore soaked killing spree. Among this, in what was one of the most notorious banned films on the UK’s Video Nasty list, we find; extreme gore, frothing mouths, annoying children, explicit nudity in 42nd Street sex shops, and all the screams from a grown man going insane you can handle. Highly recommend to anybody, slasher fan or not.

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7) “Stagefright” (1987)
A group of actors lock themselves in the theater they’re rehearsing their new play in, after one of the actresses is murdered, while the police keep watch outside, however the killer has already found himself into the theater and is locked in there with him.

Anyone who knows me knows that Euro horror, and especially Italian horror is my favorite type of horror. And Stagefright has to be one of the best Italian slasher films. There’s nothing about this film I don’t enjoy. If you want to see a great Italian slasher film, with a killer Owl, and some great kills, check it out.

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8) “Madman” (1982)
A small town with an urban legend about a farmer who murdered his family, and was hanged for his crimes, only to escape into the woods. The legend says if you say his name “Madman Marz” above a whisper, he’ll come and kill you. And of course the obnoxious teenagers in the woods ignore what they’re told, and yell his name in the woods, only to find themselves being killed off one by one

I first saw this film on a British imported Anchor Bay DVD. The PQ wasn’t the greatest, but I couldn’t get enough of the film. It’s not too overly gory, but all of the kills are memorable and fun. I highly recommend anyone pick up either the Arrow Video, or Vinegar Syndrome blu rays. Both use the same transfer, and the film looks amazing.

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9) “Slaughter High” (1986)
A prank gone wrong leaves a student horribly burned and disfigured. 10 years later, they’re all invited to a “high school reunion” where they find themselves alone in their abandoned high school, getting killed off one, by one. This is actually my girlfriends favorite slasher film. It’s a really fun, extremely 80’s slasher with some brutal kills. If you like 80’s punk rock, killers in Jester masks, exploding stomachs, and annoying teenage bullies, I highly recommend this film.

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10) “Curtains” (1983)
A group of actresses are brought to an isolated mansion in the middle of winter to audition for a new film, only to find themselves being killed off, naturally.
Curtains has an atmosphere like no other film. The location is amazing, and the winter setting makes it all the more haunting. The killers mask definitely adds to the creepiness as well. If you’ve never seen this one, check it out just for the ice skating murder scene alone.

And there you have it. My personal top 10 slasher films, as of right now.

Make sure to follow Alex on Instagram for more horror pics and reviews: https://www.instagram.com/hossst/

From Worst to Best, Slasher Studios Revisits SCREAM

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It’s been five years since the release of Scream 4 so I figured I’d take a look at my ranking of the series and see if anything has changed. Truth be told, it has. This ranking isn’t going to be a popular opinion for sure and I want to get it right out in the open that I at least “like” each installment of the slasher series. It’s just that I happen to love two of the installments while merely “liking” the other two” Here it is…feel free to let me know what you think! Happy slashing everyone.

4. Scream 4 (2011)
Scream 4…what a five years it has been. When this sequel was originally released, I went back again and again and again to support what might end up being the last film in the horror franchise. I loved it and I wanted more. Watching it now, a half decade later, I find it to be a bit of a missed opportunity. The old characters, our “Woodsboro trio”, aren’t given nearly enough to do. The new cast, well, they are okay but they also aren’t given much to do. This is the kind of sequel that seems to hedge its bets right when it should be breaking all the rules. Side note: Allison Brie is fantastic as Sidney’s publicist Rebecca BUT….think of how great this could have been if she’s been Gale’s publicist trying to rebrand her for the social media public of 2011? Once again, it’s fine, but still a missed opportunity.

3. Scream 3 (2000)
Scream 3 is the kind of movie that has a lot of great ideas mixed in with a few mediocre ideas. The film spends far too much time with Sidney away from the group, alone in the cabin. The supernatural “visions” of her dead mother are also silly and out-of-place in the world of this slasher series. That being said, Courteney Cox as Gale Weathers has never been better. Given a bitter rival to play against, played by a deliciously witty Parker Posey, she shines in every single scene that she is given. Overall, I think Scream 3 is a fun film that’s actually a bit underrated. It isn’t perfect but the stuff that works, pretty much any scene with Posey, makes it a lot better than it has any right to be.

2. Scream (1996)
Scream made horror movies scary again with a brilliantly constructed plot. One year after the death of Sidney Prescott’s (Campbell) mother, two students turn up gutted. When a serial killer appears, Sidney begins to suspect whether her mother’s death and the two new deaths are related. No one is safe, as the killer begins to pick everyone off one by one. Finally, something the horror genre was missing: a good old fashioned murder mystery. The performances all around are first rate from Neve Campbell as the vulnerable to Courteney Cox as the bitchy journalist willing to do whatever it takes to get a story Gale Weathers to David Arquette as the sweet, slightly dimwitted Deputy Dewey to Drew Barrymore’s doomed Casey Becker.

1. Scream 2 (1997)
Although at times I feel as though I am in the minority, I truly believe that “Scream 2” is the best film in the Scream franchise. This is that rare sequel that takes everything that works about its predecessor and manages to take it to another level. The deaths are suspenseful, the characters are charming and likable, and the twist ending works better than it has any right to. I also truly believe that this is some of Craven’s finest directing and the “cop car” scene is a hide-your-eyes-behind-your-fingers chiller of a scene. More than that, this film is just a hell of a lot of fun from beginning to end.

Slasher Studios Presents: Top 5 Horror Impacting Life Choices

Horror films have been know to inflict nightmares upon people and make them afraid of things at night. I admit when I was a kid and I first saw I Know What You Did Last Summer, I became super paranoid that Ben Willis was hiding in the closet or in the dark corner of my room. But has a film ever impacted you in a way that prevented you from doing certain things in life? There’s the infamous Jaws and fearing of going into the ocean, Psycho with showers, and recently one could say The Visit could prevent people from wanting to visit long lost grandparents. I wish I could say that I haven’t fallen under the influence of horror, but sadly I have. Here are my personal five horror films that have impacted the way I live.

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5) Bug
A man and women holed-up in a crummy hotel begin to suspect that their room is being inhabited by bugs. While this was more of a psychological thriller with governmental conspiracy theories, the representation of the bugs is chill-worthy. Everyone prefers to stay at a nicer hotel than a crummy run-down one. However, my reasons are more intense due to this film. Although Michael Shannon’s characters emphasizes that these aren’t just bed bugs, the idea of bugs in the bedding and giving bites like this makes me cringe like crazy. Even during the film I found myself itching. Because of this film I am very picky at just how cheap and how the appearance is of hotels, as well as how the beds appear.

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4) Backcountry
The film follows a young couple who go camping/hiking in the woods. They eventually become hunted by a territorial black bear. People can say what they want about the bear attack scene in The Revenant, but the attack scene on the couple in their tent was downright horrifying and brutal. It is because of this that I have grown extremely paranoid about ever wanting to go in the woods. Living in the Northern Midwest, there are always sightings of bears wandering around. This doesn’t exactly help matters much.

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3) Frozen
Three friends find themselves stranded on a ski lift after the ski lodge closes. The cold winds/weather, the heights, isolation, and deadly wolves threaten the group. Okay, so this one is kind of a long-shot, but to be stuck on a ski lift in the freezing whether and seeing what it did to these characters, but putting your trust on a rickety chair at a large height in this freezing whether is enough to make me not want to go skiing after seeing this film.

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2) The Bay
A documentary/found-footage style horror film that follows a reporter doing a story on the fatal events that befell a small town after their water had become infected by deadly parasites in their local water. There are instances where the parasites have made their way into the humans’ bodies and began feeding on them from the inside and causing horrible skin lacerations. And some were even killed by the parasites themselves by swimming in the water. I am someone who absolutely loves swimming and would rather do it in a body of water than a pool. This movie however has made me paranoid about going into these bodies of water more than ever to where I’d wanna know more about its conditions before going in. With reports of people becoming sick or even dying from diseases in the water, The Bay only makes the thought more horrifying.

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1) Final Destination 2

There are many things in the Final Destination films that cause people to second guess certain things (airplanes, roller coasters, tanning, etc.), I can’t say very many of them have affected me that much (I love roller coasters way too much to be afraid of one crashing). That said, it is due to the pile-up scene in Final Destination 2 that I will never, ever want to drive near a logging truck. I have come across these too often on highways and interstates to where I’ve done whatever I could to put a great distance between me and the truck. It takes something as small as weak chain or strap to make those logs cause a wreck or death.

What horror films have impacted YOUR lives?

–Cody Landman

Playing Favorites: The Best of the Best Horror Movie Documentaries

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Here’s my new and improved “official” list of my all time favorite horror documentaries. These are all documentaries that makes me want to go to the horror VHS section of my mom & pop video store all over again. If there is a horror doc that you feel I am missing, feel free to comment below. Otherwise, keep slashing everyone!

Runners Up:

“American Nightmare”
Horror films have often been more than simple scares. At their best, they reflect society’s anxieties and concerns. In this film, major horror film makers such as George Romero and Tobe Hooper discuss the creation of their films in the 1960s and ’70s and how they related to contemporary events while interviewed intellectuals give their own opinions. Very specific genre piece that works in fits and starts. I enjoyed listening to the social commentary of the groundbreaking 60’s and 70’s films (“Texas Chainsaw Massacre” and “Last House on the Left” are especially informative) but the film itself is a bit dry.

To order: The American Nightmare – A Celebration of Films from Hollywood’s Golden Age of Fright

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“Boogeymen: The Killer Complication”
“Boogeymen: The Killer Compilation” is a horror compilation video released in 2001 by FlixMix. Marketed as “The Killer Compilation,” the film consists of seventeen scenes from notable, revolutionary horror titles, along with short screens describing the movie’s villain of choice. Ho-hum to say the least. The deaths chosen for each film are actually fairly lame (out of all of the cool “Friday the 13th” deaths, they chose “Jason Goes to Hell”) and some of the “best” killers are pretty mediocre (I would never put “The Guardian” on my top list for ANYTHING). Also, many of the deaths are in full screen. It’s a nice effort with a good commentary by Robert Englund but overall it’s not as good as it could have been.

To order: Boogeymen – The Killer Compilation

“Nightmares in Red, White and Blue: The Evolution of the American Horror Film”
An exploration of the appeal of horror films, with interviews of many legendary directors in the genre. This doc covers the horror genre from the very beginning (20’s and silent films) to today’s horror marketplace (remakes and torture films). This doc is interesting at times but like “American Nightmare” is can be a little dry and there is a bit too much talking head commentary. It’s a well made documentary but doesn’t really get interesting until the subjects talk about the slasher flicks.

To order: Nightmares in Red, White and Blue: The Evolution of the American Horror Film

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“His Name Was Jason: 30 Years of Friday the 13th”
“His Name Was Jason” details the series, cat, crew, concept and cinematic villain up until its re-imagining and trigger of success. It features also fan reflections from other directors inspired by the franchise or actors heavily influenced by the stereotypical transfusion. It features interviews with image gallery backgrounds from Sean S. Cunningham, Adam Markus, John Carl Buechler, Jason Isaac, Joseph Zito, Seth Green, Todd Farmer, Tom Savini as host guiding you through a tribute montage before directing you to its features with all the actors who portrayed the homicidal hockey masked Jason Voorhees.

This doc piece has a LOT of problems. The first one being that 90 minutes simply isn’t enough time to cover 11 movies. Everytime the doc seems to be getting interesting, it cuts to the next movie. Also, I could care less what other horrormakers have to say about this series. I want to hear from the cast and the crew of THESE films. A missed opportunity.

To order: His Name Was Jason: 30 Years of Friday the 13th (2-Disc Splatter Edition)

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“Scream: The Inside Story”
In 1996, the horror master Wes Craven (“A Nightmare on Elm Street”) unleashed “Scream”, a slasher movie aimed at a whole new generation of teenage movie-goers. Though premiering at a time when horror movies were in decline and plagued with an array of start up problems, Scream went on to shatter box-office records for horror films, earning well over $100 million in domestic box office receipts, revived Craven’s career and turned first-time screenwriter Kevin Williamson and a group of hot young television actors (among them Neve Campbell, Skeet Ulrich and Rose McGowan) into overnight stars. The film became a huge success, spawned three sequels and single-handedly revived the horror genre. “Scream: The Inside Story” features all-new interviews with Wes Craven, Neve Campbell, David Arquette, Jamie Kennedy, Rose McGowan and Matthew Lillard along with the many other cast and crew. A pure fun doc piece that really sets the tone for how an entertaining doc can be done on one specific movie. Only downside is that if you aren’t a fan of “Scream”, there is nothing here for you whatsoever. Also where’s Courteney Cox and Drew Barrymore?

THE TOP FIVE:

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5. “Halloween: 25 Years of Terror”
Narrated by P. J. Soles and featuring interviews from many of the cast members as well as filmmakers of the Halloween films and a lot of footage from the series as well. It has panel discussions with members from the casts and crews of most of the “Halloween” films, plus other celebrities and filmmakers such as Rob Zombie and Clive Barker as well as film critics. All of the panel discussions took place at a 25-year Anniversary convention in Pasadena, California (one of the filming locations of the original Halloween) in October 2003. It also has extended versions of interviews featured in the documentary.
A very fun documentary that tells many stories that fans of the series may not have known about. I had no idea the production problems on “Curse of Michael Myers” or the fact that Danielle Harris had a stalker come to her house after filming “Revenge of Michael Myers.” This works thanks in part to the fact that it ignores the mistakes of “His Name Was Jason” to concentrate fully on the series itself. I also love it when the filmmakers themselves admit they may have been wrong at times (killing off Rachel at the beginning of “Revenge”).

To order: Halloween: 25 Years of Terror

4. “Going to Pieces: The Rise and Fall of the Slasher Film”
The film is a historical and critical look at slasher films, which includes dozens of clips, beginning with “Halloween”, “Friday the 13th”, and “Prom Night”. The films’ directors, writers, producers, and special effects creators comment on the films’ making and success. During the Reagen years, the films get gorier, budgets get smaller, and their appeal diminishes. Then, “A Nightmare on Elm Street “revives the genre. Jumping to the late 90s, when Scream brings humor and TV stars into the mix. Although some criticize the genre as misogynistic, most of the talking heads celebrate the films: as long as there are teenagers, there will be slasher films.

“Going to Pieces” might just be the best documentary I’ve ever seen about the history of the slasher film. From beginning to end, this documentary is full of facts with comments from filmmakers such as Wes Craven and John Carpenter. I wish they would have included more in the film on the 70’s slasher films. It really pisses me off when people say that “Halloween” is the granddaddy of slasher films without giving “Black Christmas” ANY credit. Still this is a well made doc with some interesting tidbits sprinkled throughout.

To order: Going to Pieces: The Rise and Fall of the Slasher Film

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3. “Best Worst Movie”
In 1989, unwitting Utah actors starred in the undisputed Worst Movie in History: “TROLL 2”. Two decades later, the legendarily inept film’s child star unravels the improbable, heartfelt story of an Alabama dentist-turned-cult movie icon and an Italian filmmaker who come to terms with this genuine, internationally revered cinematic failure.

Probably the most heartfelt doc on this list, this movie examines the perspective of a “bad” movie from all angles. From the fans to the filmmakers to the cast, everyone talks about their experience. It’s a really sweet doc that I wasn’t expecting to find much weight behind but it’s one of the best experiences watching a movie that I’ve ever had in my life. Just because something is “bad” doesn’t mean it can’t be loved.

To order: Best Worst Movie

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2. “Crystal Lake Memories”

We actually reviewed this documentary in depth on our podcast. Click on the link below to check it out. **Spoiler alert: We loved it.**
Slasher Studios Visits Crystal Lake Memories

neversleep


1. “Never Sleep Again”

“Never Sleep Again: The Elm Street Legacy” is a 2010 American four-hour direct-to-DVD documentary film that chronicles the entire Nightmare on Elm Street franchise and the rise of New Line Cinema. Written by Thommy Hutson, produced by Daniel Farrands and Thommy Hutson, and co-directed by Daniel Farrands and Andrew Kasch. Heather Langenkamp, who portrayed Nancy Thompson in three of the Nightmare films, served as the project’s executive producer and narrator.

The best when it comes to horror documentaries. This movie gets every single detail right. The first thing that you will notice is that the doc is four hours long. Well, let me tell you it doesn’t drag…not for one second. All eight movies are examined in great detail (each given at LEAST thirty minutes of screen time) and just about every single person imagined is interviewed for the piece. They talk about the production problems, script problems, distribution problems….you name it, and it’s here. Not a puff piece by any measure, just good filmmaking from a group that always wanted to make the best movie possible. Something sorely missing today.

To order: Never Sleep Again: The Elm Street Legacy (2-Disc Collector’s Edition)