50 MAD AS HELL HORROR CLASSICS

The Horror….The Horror.

The Horror genre is one of the most furious, blood chilling, spine tingling types of cinema. Why? Well I think the obvious reason we love horror movies is because it lets us experience frightening things without actually having to live it ourselves. We can watch all those creepy monsters and sick maniacs terrorizing their victims in the most nasty ways but then walk out of the theater with all our limbs still intact. Let’s face it, that’s quite a rush! It’s a lot like when we go see violent action movies, there’s something cathartic happening. We get out all those daily frustrations and fears as we sit in the dark of the theater watching the terrifying sights and sounds of the disturbing stories being told up on the big screen.

The world of horror has changed and transformed since its earliest days. Films of the 20s, 30s and 40s like Phantom of The Opera, Nosferatu, Frankenstein and The Wolf Man gave way to the 50s sci-fi horror era in which aliens (War of The Worlds, The Thing From Another World) and giant creatures (Godzilla, Them!) caused chaos. In the late 50s/early 60s colorized films like the ones by England’s Hammer Studios appeared. Their rogues gallery of monsters included new interpretations of Dracula, Frankenstein, The Mummy and others. Then in the mid 60s low budget American gore movies like Herschell Gordon Lewis’ 2000 Maniacs were grossing out drive-in audiences. The zombie films of George A. Romero were born later that decade with the benchmark indie classic Night of the Living Dead. In the early 70s more grounded realistic horror like Last House on the Left and The Texas Chainsaw Massacre reinvigorated the genre with their semi-documentary style. In the late 70s/early 80s the slasher film craze was in full axe-swing and we met deranged serial killers such as Michael Myers, Jason Voorhees and Freddy Krueger who seemed almost supernaturally powerful and couldn’t be stopped as the endless sequels showed us. Since then Horror has continued to grow into new and scarier, deformed hybrids of their predecessors.

If you’re a movie geek the one thing that hasn’t changed since the beginning is the fact that there’s nothing quite like sitting down and watching a really great Horror film in a dark theater or in your own home with the lights out.

Over the past few years we’ve made several subgenre lists and written some articles about horror but we never did one single compilation with a batch of our all time favorites. So now you furious fiends, the time has come to unleash the mad, macabre movies that we consider the furious treasures of the genre and its many subgenres. This is 50 MAD AS HELL HORROR CLASSICS!

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1. Frankenstein (1931, Dir: James Whale)

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2. Cat People (1942, Dir: Jacques Tourneur)

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3. House of Wax (1953, Dir: Andre DeToth)

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4. Creature From The Black Lagoon (1954, Dir: Jack Arnold)

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5. Invasion of The Body Snatchers (1959, Dir: Don Siegel)

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6. The Tingler (1959, Dir: William Castle)

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7. Black Sunday (1960, Dir: Mario Bava)

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8. The Haunting (1963, Dir: Robert Wise)

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10. Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer (1986, Dir: John McNaughton)

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11. I Drink Your Blood (1970, Dir: David E. Durston)

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12. The Blood Spattered Bride (1972, Dir: Vincente Aranda)

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13. Horror Express (1972, Dir: Eugenio Martin)

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14. The Last House on the Left (1972, Dir: Wes Craven)

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15. Devil Times Five (1974, Dir: Sean MacGregor)

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16. Audition (1999, Dir: Takashi Miike)

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17. Black Christmas (1974, Dir: Bob Clark)

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18. Jaws (1975, Dir: Steven Spielberg)

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19. Carrie (1976, Dir: Brian DePalma)

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20. The Omen (1976, Dir: Richard Donner)

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21. The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (1974, Dir: Tobe Hooper)

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22. Don’t Go In The House (1980, Dir: Joseph Ellison)

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23. Maniac (1980, Dir: William Lustig)

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24. The Shining (1980, Dir: Stanley Kubrick)

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25. The Evil Dead 2 (1987, Dir: Sam Raimi)

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26. Suspiria (1975, Dir: Dario Argento)

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27. The Car (1977, Dir: Elliot Silverstein)

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28. Blue Sunshine (1976, Dir: Jeff Leiberman)

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29. I Spit on Your Grave (1978, Dir: Meir Zarchi)

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30. Alien (1979, Dir: Ridley Scott)

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31. Blacula (1974, Dir: William Crain)

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32. Carnival of Souls (1962, Dir: Herk Harvey)

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33. Dracula (1958, Dir: Terence Fisher)

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34. The Wolf Man (1941, Dir: George Waggner)

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35. The Thing (1982, Dir: John Carpenter)

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36. Friday The 13th (1980, Dir: Sean Cunningham)

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37. The Beyond (1981, Dir: Lucio Fulci)

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38. Phantasm (1979, Dir: Don Coscarelli)

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39. Misery (1990, Dir: Rob Reiner)

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40. Cannibal Holocaust (1980, Dir: Ruggero Deodato)

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41. Jeepers Creepers (2001, Dir: Victor Salva)

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42. The Stepfather (1987, Dir: Joseph Ruben)

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43. An American Werewolf in London (1981, Dir: John Landis)

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44. Halloween (1978, Dir: John Carpenter)

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45. Psycho (1960, Dir: Alfred Hitchcock)

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46. Night of the Living Dead (1968, Dir: George A. Romero)

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47. The Exorcist (1973, Dir: William Friedkin)

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48. The Fly (1986, Dir: David Cronenberg)

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49. Spider Baby (1966, Dir: Jack Hill)

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50. Hellraiser (1987, Dir: Clive Barker)

Beyond the surge of “torture porn” over the recent years, a lot of people forget that there used to be a true art to scaring people in the cinema. The horror film has often transcended the boundaries of the genre, mixed in different stylistic trends and constantly kept reinventing itself to keep viewers at the edge of their seats. Once the reactionary 80s were overcome, the horror film went back to becoming an almost quasi-retro genre, as the directors of the splatter flicks of old got successful. Raimi, Jackson and Co, today they are huge Hollywood directors, they all started out in the horror and splatter genre. If you’ve scrolled through this list, you’ll notice certain popular favorites, but also a pattern for the artsy, atmospheric horror movie. The list could even be much longer, but we hope we’ve inspired you to check out some truly entertaining horror classics.

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Peter

Editor-In-Chief of The Grindhouse Cinema Database/Furious Cinema contributor. Pete is a rabid movie geek who enjoys everything from wild n' crazy exploitation/cult flix to big budget mainstream classics. His other interests include: graphic design, cartooning and music.

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1 Response

  1. Jay says:

    Awesome list

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