Ratings Key



★★★★
= Excellent. The best the genre has to offer.
★★★
1/2 = Very Good. Perhaps not "perfect," but undoubtedly a must-see.
★★★ = Good. Accomplishes what it sets out to do and does it well.
★★1/2 = Fair. Clearly flawed and nothing spectacular, but competently made. OK entertainment.
★★ = Mediocre. Either highly uneven or by-the-numbers and uninspired.
1/2 = Bad. Very little to recommend.
= Very Bad. An absolute chore to sit through.
NO STARS! = Abysmal. Unwatchable dreck that isn't even bad-movie amusing.
SBIG = So Bad It's Good. Technically awful movies with massive entertainment value.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

About the Top Ten lists...

I decided to start a series of Top Ten lists for each year covered on this blog, along with a discard pile for the films that didn't quite make the cut; some of which are still very good, but maybe not (in my humble opinion) good enough for the Top 10. Anything in that section I have starred will be a film that I have rated at least "good" (2 1/2 stars); meaning it's still worth watching. Naturally, these lists are just one man's opinion and will be subject to change as I watch (or rewatch) more films and do more reviews here. I'm only providing links for films I've done reviews for, though others should still be listed and rated here, and reviews for those will come eventually. Any comments are very much appreciated, as well as any recommendations for great films I haven't yet seen from any of the years listed. I'll make it a priority to watch anything that anyone recommends to me.

Some Notes and rules...

- I will be using IMDb release years for these lists, which may differ from the years I have some films listed under on this blog. I usually (but not always) pinch the production year from the end credits, which isn't always the actual year the film was released.
.
- Even though I may love certain films I've listed and reviewed here doesn't mean I'll necessarily have it on my list. Why? Because I may not feel it's actually horror. I used both reference books (Creature Features, Terror on Tape, etc.) as well as IMDb classifications to come up with the complete horror list you see here. Some (but not many) of the films I've included simply aren't horror by my own personal standards. We all have those, and I don't feel it's my place to tell others what is and is not a horror film, so I've decided to use a variety of different opinions on what should be classed in this genre. That doesn't necessarily mean I think it's appropriate for my personal Top 10 horror lists.
.
- Documentaries are not eligible for the Top 10 lists.
.
- Short films are eligible for the Top 10.
.
- Certain years, 1950 for example, are dry when it comes to horror. Sometimes I won't be able to actually do a Top 10 because there aren't ten horror films from that year. There are also a few times where I simply haven't seen ten yet or barely ten, so some less-than-great films may be on there for the time being until they get bumped off by something better.

Top Ten for 1986



Overview coming soon.
_______________________________________________________________________

1986
Top 5
* * * * * * * * * *
1. Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer
USA / John McNaughton / 
* * * * * * * * * *
2. Aliens
UKUSA / James Cameron / 1/2
* * * * * * * * * *
3. Little Shop of Horrors
USA / Frank Oz / 1/2
* * * * * * * * * *
4. The Fly
Canada, UK, USA / David Cronenberg / 
* * * * * * * * * *
5. From Beyond
USA / Stuart Gordon / 

_______________________________________________________________________

Rounding Out the Top 10:

6. Witchboard / USA / Kevin S. Tenney / 
7. Hitcher, The / USA / Robert Harmon / 
8. Night of the Creeps / USA / Fred Dekker / 
9. Dark of the Night (Mr. Wrong) / New Zealand / Gaylene Preston / 
10. Spooky Spooky (Gui meng jiao) / Hong Kong / Sammo Hung and Wei Don Lo / 

_______________________________________________________________________

Also seen:

- Abomination, The / USA / Bret McCormick / 
April Fool's Day / USA / Fred Walton / 
- Bad Girls Dormitory / USA / Tim Kincaid / SBIG
- Blood Hook / USA / Jim Mallon / 
- Blue Velvet / USA / David Lynch / 
- Body Count (Camping del terrore) / Italy, USA / Ruggero Deodato / 1/2
- Body Count (Bodycount) / Canada [TV] / Lionel Shenken / 1/2
- Breeders / USA / Tim Kincaid / 1/2
- Cassandra / Australia / Colin Eggleston / 
- Chopping Mall (Killbots) / USA / Jim Wynorski / 1/2
- Class of Nuke 'em High / USA / Richard W. Haines, Michael Herz and Lloyd Kaufman / 1/2
- Crawlspace / Italy, USA / David Schmoeller / 
- Critters / USA / Stephen Herek / 1/2
- Deadly Friend / USA / Wes Craven / 
- Deadtime Stories (Freaky Fairy Tales) / USA / Jeffrey Delman / 1/2
- Deliberate Stranger, The / USA [TV] / Marvin J. Chomsky / 
- Demented Death Farm Massacre... The Movie / USA / Donn Davison and Fred Olen Ray / 
- Demon Queen / USA / Donald Farmer / 
- Demons 2 (Dèmoni 2... l'incubo ritorna) / Italy / Lamberto Bava / 1/2
- Double Heat / USA [X] / David Michel / 
- Dreamaniac / USA / David DeCoteau / 1/2
- Entrails of a Beautiful Woman (Bijo no harawata) / Japan / Kazuo 'Gaira' Komizu / 
- Entrails of a Virgin (Shojo no harawata) / Japan / Kazuo 'Gaira' Komizu / 1/2
- Escape from Coral Cove (Tiu chut san woo hoi) / Hong Kong / Terrance Cheung Ga-Jan / 
- Escape from the Insane Asylum (Night of Terror) / USA / Felix Girard / NO STARS!
- Escapes / USA / David Steensland / 1/2
- Evil in the Woods / USA / William J. Oates / 1/2
- Evil Laugh / USA / Dominick Brascia / 1/2
- Friday the 13th, Part VI: Jason Lives / USA / Tom McLoughlin / 
- Goremet: Zombie Chef from Hell / USA / Don Swan / 
- Gothic / UK / Ken Russell / 
- Guinea Pig: He Never Dies (Ginî piggu 3: Senritsu! Shinanai otoko) / Japan / Masayuki Kusumi /  
- Guzoo (Guzoo: Kami ni misuterareshi mono - Part I) / Japan / Kazuo 'Gaira' Komizu / 
- Haunted Honeymoon / USA / Gene Wilder / 
- Horrible Horror / USA [doc] / David Bergman / 1/2
- House / USA / Steve Miner / 1/2
- Hunter's Blood / USA / Robert C. Hughes / 
- In the Shadow of Kilimanjaro / Kenya, UK / Raju Patel / 1/2
- Invaders from Mars / USA / Tobe Hooper / 
- Killer Party (The April Fool) / USA / William Fruet / 
- King Kong Lives / USA / John Guillerman / 
- Magic of the Universe (Salamamgkero) / Philippines / Tata Esteban / 
- Mania / Canada / Paul Lynch, David M. Robertson and John Sheppard / 1/2
- Mark of Cain (Identity Crisis) / CanadaBruce Pittman / 1/2
- Maximum Overdrive / USA / Stephen King / 
- Midnight Horror (Midnight Killer; Morirai a mezzanotte) / Italy / Lamberto Bava / 
- Mr. Vampire II (Jiang shi jia zu: Jiang shi xian sheng xu ji) / Hong Kong / Ricky Lau / 
- Mountaintop Motel Massacre (Mountain Top Motel) / USA / Jim McCullough Sr. / 
- Neon Maniacs / USA / Joseph Mangine / 1/2
- Nightmare Weekend / France, UK, USA / Henry Sala / SBIG
- Night Ripper! / USA / Jeff Hathcock / 1/2
- Nomads / USA / John McTiernan / 
- Ozone! Attack of the Red Redneck Mutants / USA / Matt Devlen / 1/2
- Poltergeist II: The Other Side / USA / Brian Gibson / 1/2
- Psycho III / USA / Anthony Perkins / 1/2
- Rawhead Rex / Ireland, UK, USA / George Pavlou / 1/2
- Roller Blade / USA / Donald G. Jackson / SBIG
- Scream Greats, Vol. 1 / USA [doc] / Damon Santostefano / 1/2
- Scream Greats, Vol. 2 / USA [doc] / Damon Santostefano / 
- Screamtime / UK, USA / Michael Armstrong and Stanley A. Long / 1/2
- Seven Vampires, The (As Sete Vampiras) / Brazil / Ivan Cardoso / 
- Sex with a Stranger / USA [X] / Chris Monte / 
- Shadows Run Black / USA / Howard Heard / 
- Slaughter High / UK / George Dugdale, Mark Ezra and Peter Litten / 1/2
- Sorority House Massacre / USA / Carol Frank / 1/2
- Spookies / USA / Thomas Doran, Brendan Faulkner and Eugenie Joseph / 1/2
- Supernaturals, The / USA / Armand Mastroianni / 1/2
- Terror on Alcatraz / USA / Philip Marcus / 
- TerrorVision / USA / Ted Nicolaou / 
- Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Part 2, The / USA / Tobe Hooper / 1/2
- Tomb, The / USA / Fred Olen Ray / 1/2
- Troll / Italy, USA / John Carl Buechler / 1/2
- Truth or Dare?... A Critical Madness / USA / Tim Ritter / 1/2
- Vamp / USA / Richard Wenk / 
- Vicious Lips (Lunar Madness; Pleasure Planet) / USA / Albert Pyun / 
- Wraith, The (Interceptor; Phantom) / Canada, USA / Mike Marvin / 
- Zero Boys, The / USA / Nico Mastorakis / 
- Zombiethon / USA [partial compilation] / Ken Dixon / 1/2

_______________________________________________________________________

< Back to 1985                    Continue to 1987 >

Top Ten for 1984


Overview coming soon.

_______________________________________________________________________

1984
Top 5
* * * * * * * * * *
1. The Company of Wolves
UK / Neil Jordan / ★★1/2
* * * * * * * * * *
USA / Joe Dante / ★★1/2
* * * * * * * * * *
3. A Nightmare on Elm Street
USA / Wes Craven / ★★
* * * * * * * * * *
4. Purana Mandir (The Old Temple)
India / Shyam Ramsay, Tulsi Ramsay / ★★
* * * * * * * * * *
USA / Michael Herz, Lloyd Kaufman / ★★

_______________________________________________________________________

Rounding Out the Top 10:

6. Ghostbusters / USA / Ivan Reitman / ★★
7. Deadline / Canada / Mario Azzopardi / ★★
8. Death Wish Club, The (Carnival of Fools; Gretta) / USA / John Carr / ★★
9. Enchanted, The / USA / Carter Lord / ★★
10. Possessed II (Yan gui fa kuang) / Hong Kong / David Lai / ★★1/2

_______________________________________________________________________

Also seen:

- Bloodbath at the House of Death / UK / Ray Cameron / ★★
- Body Double / USA / Brian De Palma / ★★1/2
- Carnage / USA / Andy Milligan / 
- Children of the Corn / USA / Fritz Kiersch / 1/2
- C.H.U.D. / USA / Douglas Cheek / 1/2
- Combat Shock (American Nightmare) / USA / Buddy Giovinazzo / ★★1/2
- Crazy Monk, The (El monje loco; The Mad Monk) / Mexico / Julio Aldama / ★★
- Day of the Reaper / USA / Tim Ritter / NO STARS!
- Death of the Jackal, The (La muerte del chacal) / Mexico / Pedro Galindo III / ★★
- Death Warmed Up (Death Warmed Over) / Australia, New Zealand / David Blyth / ★★
- Devilfish (Monster Shark; Shark: Rosso nell'oceano) / France, Italy / Lamberto Bava / ★★
- Devil's Gift, The / USA / Kenneth J. Berton / 
- Don't Open Till Christmas / UK / Derek Ford, Edmund Purdom and Ray Selfe / 1/2
- Driller / USA [X] / Joyce James / 
- Fatal Games (The Killing Touch, Olympic Nightmare) / USA / Michael Elliot / 1/2
- Firestarter / USA / Mark L. Lester / ★★
- Fleshburn (Fear in a Handful of Dust) / USA / George Gage / ★★
- Frankenstein's Great Aunt Tillie / Mexico, UK, USA / Myron J. Gold / NO STARS!
- Frankenweenie / USA [short] / Tim Burton / ★★
- Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter / USA / Joseph Zito / ★★1/2
- Game, The (The Cold) / USA / Bill Rebane / ★★
- Ghoulies / USA / Luca Bercovici / 1/2
- Hills Have Eyes, Part II, The / USA / Wes Craven / 
- Hocus Pocus (Hogus Pogus; Ren xia gui) / Hong Kong / Yuet Sang Chin / ★★
- Horror Heaven / West Germany / Jörg Buttgereit / 1/2
- Initiation, The / USA / Larry Stewart / ★★
- Invitation to Hell / USA [TV] / Wes Craven / ★★1/2
- Making of a Horror Film, The / UK / Director Unknown / ★★
- Movie House Massacre (Blood Theater) / USA / Rick Sloane / 
- Murderock (Murderock - Uccide a passo di danza) / Italy / Lucio Fulci / ★★
Night of the Comet / USA / Thom Eberhardt / ★★1/2
Ninja III: The Domination / USA / Sam Firstenberg / ★★
Pit, the Pendulum and Hope, The (Kyvadlo, jáma a nadeje) / Czechoslovakia [animated short] / Jan Svankmajer / ★★1/2
- Prey, The / USA / Edwin Scott Brown / 1/2
- Scream for Help / USA / Michael Winner / SBIG
- Sea Serpent, The (Serpiente de mar) / Spain / Amando de Ossorio / SBIG
- Shock: Evil Entertainment (Shock: Diversão Diabólica) / Brazil / Jair Correia / 1/2
- Silent Madness (Beautiful Screamers; The Nightkillers) / USA / Simon Nuchtern / 1/2
- Silent Night, Deadly Night / USA / Charles E. Sellier Jr. / ★★1/2
- Splatter University / USA / Richard W. Haines / 1/2
- Surrogate, The (Blind Rage; Schizophrenia) / Canada / Don Carmody / ★★1/2
- Terminator, The / UK, USA / James Cameron / 1/2
- Terror in the Aisles (Time for Terror) / USA [documentary] / Andrew J. Kuehn / ★★
Terror, Sex and Witchcraft (Terror, sexo y brujería) / Mexico / Rafael Portillo / SBIG
- They're Playing with Fire / USA / Howard Avedis / 1/2
- Wild Beasts (Wild beasts - Belve feroci) / Italy / Franco Prosperi / ★★
- Zombie Island Massacre / USA / John N. Carter / ★★

_______________________________________________________________________

< Back to 1983                       Continue to 1985 >


Top Ten for 1987


Overview coming soon.
_______________________________________________________________________

1987
Top 5
* * * * * * * * * *
1. Tras el cristal (In a Glass Cage)
Spain / Agustí Villaronga / 1/2
* * * * * * * * * *
UK / Clive Barker / 1/2
* * * * * * * * * *
3. Opera (Terror at the Opera)
Italy / Dario Argento / 1/2
* * * * * * * * * *
4. Evil Dead II
USA / Sam Raimi / 1/2
* * * * * * * * * *

5. Vec vidjeno (Deja vu; Reflections)
UK, Yugoslavia / Goran Markovic / 1/2

_______________________________________________________________________

Rounding Out the Top 10:

6. Wolf's Hole (Vlci bouda; Wolf's Lair) / Czechoslovakia / Vera Chytilová / 1/2
7. Heartbeat 100 (Xin tiao yi bai) / Hong Kong / Kent Cheng, Kin Lo / 1/2
8. Stepfather, The / CanadaUKUSA / Joseph Ruben / 
9. Anguish (Angustia) / Spain / Bigas Luna / 
10. Deranged / USA / Chuck Vincent / 

_______________________________________________________________________

Also seen:

Adoration / Belgium, France [short] / Olivier Smolders / 1/2
- Aenigma / Italy, Yugoslavia / Lucio Fulci / 1/2
- American Gothic / Canada, UK / John Hough / 
- Backwoods (Geek) / USA / Dean Crow / 
- Bad Taste / New Zealand / Peter Jackson / 1/2
- Bates Motel / USA [TV] / Richard Rothstein / 
- Beaks: The Movie (El ataque de los pájaros) / Mexico, Spain / René Cardona Jr. / 1/2
- Berserker (The Nordic Curse) / USA / Jef Richard / 1/2
- Black Widow / USA / Bob Rafelson / 1/2
- Blood Diner / USA / Jackie Kong / 1/2
- Blood Harvest / USA / Bill Rebane / 
- Blood Lake / USA / Tim Boggs / NO STARS!
- Blood Rage (Nightmare at Shadow Woods) / USA / John Grissmer / 
- Blood Sisters / USA / Roberta Findlay / 1/2
- Bloody Movie (Terror Night) / USA / Nick Marino / 1/2
- Bloody New Year (Time Warp Terror) / UK / Norman J. Warren / 1/2
- Cannibal Hookers (I Will Dance on Your Grave: Cannibal Hookers) / USA / Donald Farmer /
- Corpse Master (Jiang shi shao ye) / Hong Kong, Taiwan / Bing-chi Liu /
- Crazy Fat Ethel II (Criminally Insane 2) / USA / Nick Millard / 
- Creepozoids / USA / David DeCoteau / 
- Creepshow 2 / USA / Michael Gornick / 
- Creepy Classics / USA [documentary] / Pamela Page / 
- Cross of the Seven Jewels (La croce dalle sette pietre) / Italy / Marco Antonio Andolfi / 
- Crowley / Uruguay / Ricardo Islas / 1/2
- Curse, The (The Farm) / Italy, USA / David Keith / 
- Deadly Love / USA / Michael O'Rourke /
- Deadly Possession (Coda; Symphony of Evil) / Australia [TV] / Craig Lahiff / 
- Dead of Winter / USA / Arthur Penn / 
- Death Nurse / USA / Nick Millard / 
- Demon of Paradise / Philippines, USA / Cirio H. Santiago /
- Devil Dynamite (Devil's Dynamite) / Hong Kong / "Joe Livingstone" /
- Doctor Bloodbath (Butcher Knife) / USA / Nick Millard / 
- Dolls / USA / Stuart Gordon / 1/2
- Drive-In Madness (Screen Scaries) / USA [documentary] / Tim Ferrante / 
- Evil Spawn (Deadly Sting) / USA / Kenneth J. Hall, Fred Olen Ray / 
- Evil Town / USA / Curtis Hanson, Mardi Rustam, Larry Spiegel, Larry S. Traynor / 
- Faceless (Les prédateurs de la nuit) / France, Spain / Jesus Franco / 
- Fatal Attraction / USA / Adrian Lyne / 
- Flowers in the Attic / USA / Jeffrey Bloom / 1/2
- Forever Evil / USA / Roger Evans /
- Friday the 13th: A Nude Beginning / USA [X] / Fred J. Lincoln / 
- Gate, The / Canada, USA / Tibor Takács / 
- Ghost's Lover (Ge shi gui jian qing) / Hong Kong / Richard Yeung Kuen / 
- Graveyard Disturbance (Brivido giallo: Una notte al cimitero) / Italy [TV] / Lamberto Bava / 
- Graveyard Shift (Central Park Drifter) / Canada / Gerard Ciccoritti /
- Harpies (Arpie) / Italy [short] / Fabio Salerno /
Haunted Cop Shop, The (Meng gui cha guan) / Hong Kong / Jeffrey Lau /  1/2
- Hello Mary Lou: Prom Night II / Canada / Bruce Pittman / 
Hidden, The / USA / Jack Sholder / 
- House II: The Second Story / USA / Ethan Wiley / 
- Howling III: The Marsupials (The Marsupials) / Australia / Philippe Mora / 
- Howl of the Devil (El aullido del diablo) / Spain / Paul Naschy / 
- Hunter's Blood / USA / Robert C. Hughes /
- It's Alive III: Island of the Alive / USA / Larry Cohen / 1/2
- Jaws: The Revenge / USA / Joseph Sargent /
- Jokers Playing Games / Hong Kong / Kong Yeung, Yeung Tong-Mei / 
- Killer Workout (Aerobi-cide; Aerobic Killer) / USA / David A. Prior / SBIG
- Kindred, The / USA / Stephen Carpenter and Jeffrey Obrow / 
- Lost Boys, The / USA / Joel Schumacher / 1/2
- Lunch Meat (Lunchmeat) / USA / Kirk Alex / 
- Mad Ron's Prevues from Hell / USA [compilation] / Jim Monaco /
Majorettes, The (American Killer; One by One) / USA / S. William Hinzman /
- Masterblaster / USA / Glenn R. Wilder /
- Mind Killer (The Brain Creatures; Mindkiller) / USA / Michael Krueger / 
- Mr. Vampire III (Ling huan xian sheng) / Hong Kong / Ricky Lau / 
- Monster Squad, The / USA / Fred Dekker /
- Moon in Scorpio / USA / Gary Graver / 
- Munchies / USA / Bettina Hirsch /
- Mutilations / USA / Lawrence Thomas / 1/2
My Best Friend is a Vampire (I Was a Teenage Vampire) / USA / Jimmy Huston / 
- My Demon Lover / USA / Charles Loventhal /
- Near Dark / USA / Kathryn Bigelow / 
- Nekromantik / West Germany / Jörg Buttgereit / 
- Nightflyers / USA / Robert Collector / 
- Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors, A / USA / Chuck Russell / 
- Night of the Living Babes / USA / Jon Valentine / 
- Night Screams / USA / Allen Plone / 
- Night Visitors / USA / David Fulk / 
- Offspring, The (From a Whisper to a Scream) / USA / Jeff Burr / 1/2
- Open House / USA / Jag Mundhra / 1/2
- Possession: Until Death Do You Part / Canada / Michael Mazo and Lloyd A. Simandl / 
Predator / USA / John McTiernan / 
- Primal Scream / USA / William Murray / 
- Prince of Darkness / USA / John Carpenter /
- Prison / USA / Renny Harlin / 
- Psychos in Love / USA / Gorman Bechard /
- Rest in Pieces (Descanse en piezas) / Spain, USA / José Ramón Larraz /
- Resurrection of Michael Myers, The (Beckman, Holm, Wadling)
- Retribution / USA / Guy Magar / 1/2
- Return of the Demon (Mo gao yi zhang) / Hong Kong / Wong Ying / 1/2
- Return to Horror High / USA / Bill Froehlich /
- Revenge of the Living Dead Girls (La revanche des mortes vivantes) / France / Pierre B. Reinhard / 1/2
- Rock 'n' Roll Nightmare (Arch Angel; The Edge of Hell) / Canada / John Fasano / SBIG
- Scared Stiff / USA / Richard Friedman / 
- Sexandroide / France / Michel Ricaud / 
- Shallow Grave / USA / Richard Styles / 
- Silent Night, Deadly Night Part 2 / USA / Lee Harry / SBIG
- Slaughterhouse (Pig Farm Massacre) / USA / Rick Roessler / 1/2
- Slave Girls from Beyond Infinity / USA / Ken Dixon /
- Slumber Party Massacre II / USA / Deborah Brock / 
- Splatter Farm / USA / John Polonia, Mark Polonia and Todd Smith / 
- Stage Fright (Aquarius; Bloody Bird; Deliria) / Italy / Michele Soavi / 1/2
- Stay Awake, The / South Africa / John Bernard / NO STARS!
- Stepford Children, The / USA [TV] / Alan J. Levi / 
- Street Trash / USA / Jim Muro / 1/2
- Stripped to Kill / USA / Katt Shea / 
- Surf Nazis Must Die / USA / Peter George / 
- Teen Wolf Too / USA / Christopher Leitch / NO STARS!
To Kill a Stranger (Secuestrada; Trampa nocturna) / MexicoJuan López Moctezuma / 1/2
- Twisted Nightmare / USA / Paul Hunt /
Until Death ("Brividio giallo" series; Per sempre) / Italy [TV] / Lamberto Bava / 1/2
- Venus Flytrap / USA / T. Michael /
- Vampire's Breakfast (Ling chen wan can) / Hong Kong / Chung Wang / 
- Video Dead, The / USA / Robert Scott / 
- Video Violence / USA / Gary Cohen / 1/2
- Video Violence Part 2 / USA / Gary Cohen / 
- Vincent Price: The Sinister Image / USA [documentary] / Stanley Sheff / 
- Wicked, The (Outback Vampires) / Australia / Colin Eggleston / 
- Zombie Death House (Death House) / USA / John Saxon / 
- Zombie Nightmare / Canada / John Fasano /

_______________________________________________________________________

< Back to 1986                    Continue to 1988 >


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