120 Essential Horror Films (part 3)

Hopefully you've gazed upon the first two sections 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 third section (of four total) from 1975-1990, or what I call the blockbuster years. After studios realized they could put more money into producing
fewer movies in hopes of a big hit, they did just exactly that very thing. They tried to score big with a movie and build a franchise, by offering up sequels. In the US horror world, after the success of Halloween the early 80's became slasher mania. All was not lost though as some very unique horror flicks came from this era.

51. Jaws (1975)-
A classic suspense tale of man vs shark. Be afraid to go into the water.
RELATED FILM: {Spielberg movies} Duel (1971)

52. Carrie (1976)-
A high school girl coping with her psychokinesis makes for a messy prom. One of the best Stephen King tales to be translated to film.
RELATED FILMS: {based on King's work} Salem's Lot (1979), It (1990), The Stand (1994)

53. The Omen (1976)-
What happens when your adopted son is the spawn of Satan? You get Gregory Peck trying to kill little, evil Damien.

54. Eraserhead (1977)-

David Lynch is the king of surreal movies that mix in horror elements. This is his first full length feature and probably one of his weirdest.
RELATED FILMS: {Lynch movies} Blue Velvet (1986), Lost Highway (1997)

55. Suspiria (1977)-

One of the Italian masters, Dario Argento, makes his way on to the list with a supernatural giallo movie. If it sounds strange, then just wait until you watch it.
RELATED FILM: Inferno (1980)

56. Dawn of the Dead (1977)-

Another strong zombie outing from George Romero that has style, wit, and a message all its own.
REALTED FILM: Return of the the Living Dead (1985)

57. Halloween(1978)-

58. Alien (1979)-
"In space, no one can you scream." I still remember the tag line for this horror/sci fi hybrid. For me, this movie is perfect. Still has one of the most shocking scenes in horror history.
RELATED FILM: Aliens (1986)

59. Phantasm (1979)-

What a whacked out trip. A tall man from another dimension posing as a funeral director to take the dead and make them jawa-like demons. And dont forget about those spears. There's nothing not to love about this classic.

60. Zombi (1979)
Lucio Fulci makes a entry here, because his work is hard to overlook. Some say his films are a muddled mess, while others love them. You be the judge. There are wild to say the least.
RELATED FILM: {Fulci movies} Seven Doors of Death (1981), House by the Cemetery (1981)

61. Cannibal Holocaust (1980)-
Around this era, several "cannibal" movies came out. Most were from Italy. All were shocking and disturbing. This is my pick for the best of the bunch.

62. Dress to Kill (1980)-
Another entry on the list from Brian DePalma, who has made a great career out of repacking movies he grew up on for a modern era. This is his take on Psycho and its quite disturbing.
RELATED FILM: {DePalma movies} Sisters (1973)

63. Friday the 13th (1980)-

The film that started it all, doesn't even include Jason. This one is all about his deranged mother getting even.
RELATED FILM: {Bob Clark movies} Black Christmas (1974)

64. The Shining (1980)-

Stephen King may not care for this version of his novel, but I think its fantastic. Nicholson has never been better. This film has a creepy atmosphere...and an annoying Shelley Duvall.

65. American Werewolf in London (1981)-

Jon Landis makes a darkly funny horror film. If for no other reason, watch this for the transformation scene which remains outstanding.

66. Evil Dead (1981)-

This movie scared the shit out of me the first time I watched it, but I was only a teenager. Over time, still holds up well. And come on, Bruce Campbell kicks ass.
RELATED FILMS: Evil Dead II (1987), Army of Darkness (1992)

67. The Howling (1981)-
Another darkly comedic horror flick about werewolves. Though there are some parts of this one, which are just plain creepy.

68. Poltergeist (1982)-
A classic ghost story which teaches us not to ever build a house on an Indian burial ground. Spirits get pissed.
RELATED FILMS: The Changeling (1980), Ghost Story (1981)

69. The Thing (1982)-

One of my all time favorites. Why? Great special effects, which stand the test of time, and the best ending of any horror movies ever. Period!

70. Videdrome(1983)-
Crazy ass David Cronenberg mixes horror and sex like no other. He's made many great movies in his career, this one may be his best.

71. A Nightmare on Elm Street (1983)-

The first time Freddy entered our lives and scared the hell out of us. I didn't want to sleep after watching this one. Of course it was Kruger became a smart ass.
RELATED FILM: Wes Craven's New Nightmare (1994)

72. Fright Night (1985)-
An incredible and often overlooked vampire movie. Creepy, ugly ass vampires.

73. Re-Animator (1985)-
Stuart Gordon has made a career from translating H.P. Lovecraft tales to the big screen. This is his best and made Jeffrey Combs a horror star.
RELATED FILM: {Gordon films} From Beyond (1986)

74. The Fly (1986)-
RELATED FILM: {Cronenberg films} Dead Ringers (1988), The Dead Zone (1983), Scanners (1981)

74. Toxic Avenger (1986)-
Good ole Troma Entertainment. The kings of the B-movie. They have produced some of the most off beat horror flicks you can think of in the last 20+ years. Toxie is just one of them.
RELATED FILMS: Terror Firmer (1999), Cannibal the Musical (1996)

75. Angel Heart (1987)-
Voodoo, murder, Robert DeNiro playing the devil...sign me up. A twisted tale.

76. Hellraiser (1987)-

Pinhead makes his debut in this flick based on a Clive Barker novel, though his sceen time is very limited. This one deals more with the lust for the magical puzzle box.

77. Near Dark(1988)-
A vampire/western/action flick hybrid that delivers the goods.

78. Beetlejuice (1988)-
Tim Burton often makes off the wall movies with a horror overtone. This one just happens to be my favorite of his movies and Michael Keaton has never been better.
RELATED FILM: {Burton films} Sleepy Hollow

79. The Vanishing (1988)-
Watch this Danish version, not the US remake. It's gripping and has you on the edge of your seats.

80. Meet the Feebles (1989)-
Before Peter Jackson made the LOTR trilogy, he was down under making kick ass, strange horror movies. But this takes the cake. The characters are muppet like creatures from a variety show who deal with human problems like murder, drug addiction, know, the usual wholesome family entertainment.
RELATED FILMS: {Jackson movies} Dead Alive (1992), Bad Taste (1987)

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