120 Essential Horror Films (part 2)

Hopefully you've gazed upon the first section of this list and also know the reasoning for the posts. If you haven't, then go take a look as repeating the short paragraph seems redundant.

Here is the second section (of four total). These selections fall between the years 1960-1975, which was a great time in American cinema. Many of the first film school grads were out making extremely independent and personal movies. The Hollywood system was spreading money out to different places for these new and creative piece. That is until one summer, it all changed and the blockbuster era was upon us. Then Hollywood changed their thinking and began dumping huge amounts of money into a select few films a year. Around the globe during this time, many other countries were spratically making films. The exception was in Europe, which seemed to the other place making movies consistently. England's Hammer Studios were cranking out fright fest by the boatloads while Italy introduced giallo to the world.

26. Black Sunday (1960)-
What's a horror list without Mario Bava. He is commonly known for creating giallo. However, this film about a witch and possession is more towards horror.
RELATED FILM: {also Bava} Black Sabbath

27. Little Shop of Horrors (1960)-
If you want to talk about an influential person in cinema history, then Roger Corman could be that man. As a producer he gave opportunities to many people within the film industry that would shape the next several decades. There are many great Corman produced horror movies during this era, this one is my favorite (and not just for Jack Nicholson's performance).

28. Peeping Tom (1960)-
This fantastic movie was probably ahead of its time. It freaked many people out when first released. The main character (who resembles Peter Lorre to me) is downright creepy as he films himself murdering women.

29. Psycho (1960)-

Hitchcock isn't called the master of suspense for no reason, most of his films have you on the edge of your seat. He often dabbled with the horror in ordinary people. This film is one of his best known and scared the shit of many people when released. The foundation for so many future movies.

30. Carnival of Souls (1962)-

This movie is like a long, weird dream. You soak it all in and try to make sense out of it...if you can.

31. The Haunting(1963)-

For my money, the best haunted house movie ever. It's all about what you don't see on the other side of the door, which can be far movie frightening then what you can see.

32. Kwaiden (1964)-
Japan was very into period pieces at this time, this contains four separate tales based on Japanese folklore. A wonderful movie.
RELATED FILM: Onibaba (1964)

33. Two Thousand Maniacs (1964)-
What can you say about Herschell Gordon Lewis? He made some whacked out movies during this time, all fairly gory and morbid. This one is about a town of crazy hillbillies. HEEYAWW...great fun!


I find most of Roman Polanski films outstanding, especially his early stuff. This movie about a woman slowly falling into madness contains little dialog, amazing visuals, and is highly claustrophobic.

35. Wait Until Dark(1967)-
Thugs terrorize a blind woman. The movie is pure emotion and the beautiful Audrey Hepburn was never better.

36. Hour of the Wolf (1968)-
Ingmar Bergman was a special director who had a gift for putting images on the screen. This is labeled his only true horror film, it's surreal nature has one thinking...just like all of his movies.
RELATED FILM: {Bergman} Persona

37. Night of the Living Dead (1968)-

The George Romero classic that started the zombie rage. Highly gory for its time and very moody. This is one is a classic.

38. Rosemary's Baby (1968)-
Roman Polanski gets another entry here in this incredibly suspenseful movie about a couple who's unborn baby just may be the offspring of Satan. This is one of the rare cases where the movie follows the book almost to the page. The movie is jam packed with stars creating one perfectly intense scene after another as we watch the mother slowly unravel.

39. Targets (1968)-
The last movie of Boris Karloff's career where he plays an aging horror star who feels the horror business has passed him. His tale in woven with that of an abused man who goes on a mass murdering spree at a drive in theater. This movie is a little known masterpiece.

40. A Clockwork Orange (1971)-

A story about a sociopath who after committing murder and rape undergoes a special new therapy to cure him. A crazy ass, off the wall movie...and I enjoy every second of it.

41. The Omega Man (1971)-
The second version of a Richard Matheson tale of I Am Legend, is about the last known man on Earth battling the remainder of the population who have turned into vampiric creatures. This funky 70's version has Charleston Heston and is a blast to watch.
RELATED FILM: The Last Man on Earth

42. Straw Dogs (1971)-
Director Sam Peckinpah was known for violence in his films (though he usually stuck to westerns), this one is be his most violent. An American and his wife decide to get away from the US and take residence in the England countryside. They get harassed, raped, and beaten by some locals. When they decide to fight back, the battle gets very interesting.

43. Twitch of Death Nerve (1971)-
Another Mario Bava flick, this one heavily influenced many future slasher movies.

44. Blood for Dracula (1973)-

Andy Warhol's Factory made this whacked out version of Dracula, in which the count hunts for virgin blood. You have to watch the movie to believe it.

45. The Creeping Flesh (1973)-
I couldn't have a list without a strong representation from Hammer Studios/ As most, this one starred Peter Cushing and Christopher Lee. It's about a scientist who discovers the skeleton of a prehistoric man which is pure evil.

46. Don't Look Now (1973)-
A couple keep encountering the spirit of their recently drowned daughter. An eerie movie where nothing is as it seems.

47. The Exorcist (1973)-

It's the grand daddy of all possession movies! Personally I think it still holds up well today and I still get chills up my spine watching this one.

48. Wicker Man (1973)-

A policeman is sent to a Scottish island to find a missing girl, only discover the people living their are pagans. There is a great twist at the end of this surreal adventure.

49. It's Alive (1974)-
Larry Cohen has made some strange ass horror flicks over the years. This one is about a couple's newborn baby who goes on a murderous rampage (it turns out the baby was transformed from fertility drugs taken by the parents). Does it sound fucked up? Well it is but the movie is campy goodness at its best.

50. The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974)-

Another of my all time favorites. This movie so damn intense and still provides good shock value.

That completes round 2, next week the third section.
Until next time...

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