Riding the listomania wave and the holiday season, here are thirteen horror films (or film series) that I think everyone should see. I’m not really all that big on horror any more, especially the ‘torture porn’ genre that has been so big lately; I’m more of a zombies and demons kind of horror fan. But there are at least two hundred and fifty bajillion lists of zombie movies already online so I’ll stick to non-zombie films. Links go to IMdB. Anyway, in no particular order:
Martin (George Romero) — A film about a boy who just may be a vampire.
The evil dead (and sequels) — Army of darkness is probably my favorite horror/fantasy/comedy.
The keep — Nazis vs. a demon. Who wins? Who cares?
Phantasm (series) — campy and stupid a lot of the time but well done in their way
BubbaHo-Tep — another Coscarelli film, and with amazing performances, especially given the plot.
Motel hell — very silly, but it left a big impression on me as kid sneaking a viewing late, late at night on cable. “Get ready for the ultimate hypno-high!”
The last man on earth — Vincent Price as the Omega Man.
Re-animator (series) — the first two are the best. Not actually very Lovecraftian, but a lot of fun!
Hellraiser (series) — I can only vouch for the first two though; very disturbing.
From beyond — another Brian Yunza riff on HPL, this one is in some ways more “true” to Lovecraft than the Re-animator movies. Listing either of these will probably destroy any credibility I had with HPL fans.
The prince of darkness — somehow the whole is much better than the sum of the parts. Bonus: an Alice Cooper cameo. Very slow for a John Carpenter film but still very good.
Blood on Satan’s claw — Very atmospheric and creepy.
Andy Warhol’s Dracula — an overlooked gem. The Frankenstein movie has its moments too.
Looking over my list — which I more or less assembled as they occurred to me — there seems to be an equal mix of serious and comic horror. Also, most of these would make great RPG scenarios or at least give a devious DM some ideas. Roman Polanski’s Fearless Vampire Slayers, Captain Kronos, and everything John Carpenter ever directed deserve a look too.