The 10 Greatest Classic Horror Movies Ever
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The Evil Dead (1981)
Perhaps one of the best B movies of all time, The Evil Dead had a budget of only $375,000 but a genius director at the helm—Sam Raimi, who would go on to direct “Spider-Man” and produce “The Grudge.” Though it initially got slapped with an NC-17 rating for its brutal violence, the plot of the film is somewhat laughable—five Michigan State students are on vacation for the weekend and stumble across a demonic tape recording that releases evil spirits who plan to possess the students. If you can get past the gore, the movie and its sequels are definitely worth seeing—particularly “Army of Darkness,” though with its $11 million budget, it can’t quite fairly be called a B movie.
Blood Shack (1971)
Does it really get any better than an absurdly comical horror movie with a rumored $500 budget? The best of the best might be “Blood Shack”, otherwise known as “The Chooper,” In the Ray Dennis Steckler gem, Carol inherits a ranch in the middle of nowhere and staunchly refuses to sell it to anyone who may want it, despite the fact that a legendary Native American creature known as “The Chooper,” who appears to be part ninja and part grumpy old man, is living on the grounds and killing whoever happens to step wrong on the property. Comic gold is littered everywhere in the movie, especially in a seemingly random, stretched-out scene at the town rodeo. Why are they there? When will the plot return? No one seems to know.
Almost no one has ever heard of it, but Freez’er is truly a hidden treasure. If you’re a fan of puns, you’ll enjoy the title—J.M., the film’s main character, is devastated by his wife’s death, can barely cope without her, and—well—let’s just say a freezer is involved. The acting is absolutely atrocious, which is part of the movie’s charm; each line is delivered as if the character were reading it as part of a phonics program. “Freez’er” was also written and directed by the same person, a near-guarantee of a fantastically horrible movie.
Orgy of the Dead (1965)
This film was the brainchild of Ed Wood—need I say more? Fine, fine. Orgy of the Dead is exactly what it sounds like—a man and his girlfriend go to a cemetery for inspiration (he’s a writer; pull your mind out of the gutter, please), but instead of finding great ideas, they find a bunch of expired exotic dancers, who put on one of the most gruesomely terrible performances in cinematic history for the couple. The movie doesn’t quite have the makings of a classic, but if you can manage to get through it, you’ll probably feel pretty good about yourself.
Killer Tongue (1996)
It’s tempting to just let the plot summary from IMDB tell all for this one—the movie “involves a woman hiding out with four pastel-colored poodles in a desert gas station,” which is good enough, but then “a meteorite crashes near the station, transforming the woman into an alien being with a gigantic, voracious tongue, and her poodles are transformed into four drag queens.” Sign me up! The woman’s name, of course, is Candy.
Warning—if you’ve harbored a secret fear of clowns since childhood, you should probably pass this one by. In a nutshell, murderous extraterrestrial clowns invade a small town and go on a total rampage, confined only by their clownish tendencies to kill with common circus foodstuffs such as popcorn and cotton candy. The townspeople are too dumb to figure out what’s going on, so it’s up to a few sly teenagers to shut the freaks down. It’s too bad the robots of MST3K never got to this movie, but it’s easy enough to fill in the snide comments by yourself.
C.H.U.D., short for “Cannibalistic Humanoid Underground Dweller,” deals with the terrors of the New York City sewer system—surely the best fodder for a genuine horror movie in a long time. In a nod to the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, the C.H.U.D.s are similarly mutated toxic creatures that were once people and are now so ravenous and crazed that they prey on small dogs and the homeless, pulling them down into manholes and crunching into them on the spot. Awesome.
A list of top B horror movies would never be complete without at least one film that features competing monsters. Everyone knows that when one horrible monster doesn’t make a movie awful enough, the solution is to throw in at least one more and see what happens. In Frankenstein vs. the Creature from Blood Cove, that strategy works out beautifully. In classic Frankenstein style, the monsters in the film are manufactured by an insane human (oh, those humans… will they ever learn?) and make it their goals to spread as much havoc as possible. Did I mention that a werewolf is also involved?
The Blob (1988)
With a title like The Blob you know you’re in for a treat before the movie even starts. A plot summary isn’t even necessary for this glorious piece of work—suffice it to say that a giant and malevolent gob of jelly is on the loose, and if you’re nearby, you’re in trouble. When you think about it, there’s really no better idea for a horror movie villain—faceless and shapeless is the scariest, after all.
Straight out of the vintage era, Them! is a movie about mutant ants that did the impossible by landing an Oscar nomination for best effects and actually winning an Oscar for best sound editing. It’s well known that no part of any B movie is supposed to actually be good enough to catch the attention of the Academy, but as this movie was made in 1954, it’s slightly excusable. “Them!” is the gold standard for dozens of other B movies and nails every criterion you could ever ask for in such a film—great plot? Check. “WTF” moments? Check. Acting that doesn’t make you want to die? Check. Party and popcorn potential? Double check. If you’re looking for one of the very best of the originals, dig up this sucker and start spinning
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