The Best Movie Critic + unholy rhythms

5 Favorite Horror Movies: A Taste of Blood


Happy Halloween everybody! I'm hard at work prepping some major coverage for the 34th annual Starz Denver Film Festival, which starts in 2 days and has a mindblowing lineup of movies you should probably get tickets for right now. In the meantime, I received some last minute submissions for The Movie Advocate's month long "Favorite Horror Movie" series from the other 2/3rds of the Taste of Blood horror blog crew.

First up, Ian aka Cactus-Mouth :

I’m not one of those people who refuse to venture outside the confines of the classics, but I will admit that they just don’t make them like they used to. And while this statement holds true most of the time Ti West proved that there was room for debate with his retro-vibing Satanic masterpiece The House of the Devil. Emulating that visual style of horror films of the late 1970’s and early 1980’s he pretty much hit all the right notes. So much so that the film could almost pass as a lost relic that’s been recently uncovered for the first time. Yeah, it feels that authentic. I suppose it doesn’t hurt either that the main actress is a almost dead ringer for a young Margot Kidder.

There are many praises that are heaped on John Carpenter’s Halloween that really should belong to Bob Clark’s holiday slasher Black Christmas. While there had been previous films that put us in the footsteps of the killer it was really Black Christmas where many of the slasher movie standards find their origin. It tells the story of a deranged madman who hides in the attic of a sorority house and picks the girls off one by one as they prepare to leave for Christmas break. It’s actually an intensely scary flick that still manages to creep me out to this day.

While the horror genre is most noted for its ability to horrify and disgust, we cannot forget the reason that all of us demented souls keep crawling back to it: it is just plain fun. No one understood that more than Fred Dekker. With Night of the Creeps he managed to pack in so many loving odes to previous films while still keeping the film feeling fresh and funny. Pretty much nothing is off limits here. We have aliens, parasites, serial killers, zombies… and Tom Atkins! This often overlooked gem is a B-movie lover’s wet dream that is just pure enjoyment from beginning to end. “Thrill me!”

2. FRIDAY THE 13TH (1980)
What would the horror genre be without franchises? Corny as they might be, I shudder to think of a world without them. And for some reason the Friday the 13th franchise holds a special blood-soaked place in my heart. I’m not sure what it is exactly about them that I love so much especially since some of them are just downright awful (Jason X anyone?) but for me they are just a source of endless enjoyment. I couldn’t really choose just one of them so why not go back to where it all began?!

1. DAWN OF THE DEAD (1978)
It’s true that in 1968 George A. Romero gave birth to the zombie as we know it today with Night of the Living Dead, but in 1978 he forever immortalized it with Dawn of the Dead. You basically cannot consider yourself a genre fan if you’ve never seen the film; it’s that seminal. But just because it is so standard that doesn’t mean it has lost any of its staying power or its ability to shock. Arguably considered a horror epic, Dawn of the Dead is just as much about human stories as it is about zombie carnage. Sure the gallons of blood and buckets of gore (courtesy of effects guru Tom Savini) will grab you, but it’s the human story of survival that will keep you hooked. Now take that and mix in a biting social commentary on the growth of consumerism in America and you have a recipe for a timeless masterpiece.

And finally, the third A Taste Of Blood contributor... she also runs Unholy Rhythms, a music blog that predominantly features dark and brooding tunes! This also happens to be the only list that doesn't feature a single American made movie, which is kind of awesome!

5. BEDEVILLED (Korea, 2010)
"Bedevilled" may be more of a "revenge" film than a horror film but it is completely fantastic once it gets going. Taking cues from exploitation films about a woman scorned and later dishies out some cold, well deserved revenge - it leaves you breathless and on the edge of your seat.

4. LET THE RIGHT ONE IN (Sweden, 2008)
While I may be a huge fan of gore - I am an even bigger sucker (ha, sucker) for atmosphere. Enveloped in a deeply mysterious aura, Sweden's "Let The Right One In", is less about what you see and more about what isn't there.

3. AUDITION (Japan, 1999)
This was my first ever Miike film. I went into this one completely blind - renting just the DVD and not even bothering to read the back blurb. Like a personal drama gone completely wrong, "Audition" still earns tops points in my book.

2. BRAIN DEAD (Australia, 1992)
Before he was directing Kate Winslet and later the Hobbits of Middle Earth, Peter Jackson served up some gratious gore in "Brain Dead". Featuring a karate loving priest and one unforgettable lawnmower scene, "Brain Dead" still has high marks two decades after its initial release.

1. ICHI THE KILLER (Japan, 2001)
Rich in gallons of blood and an underlying social message (it is there beneath all the guts and gore, trust me), "Ichi The Killer" tops this list. Actually, I never really considered this "horror" until Cactus-Mouth told me it was - it's just *that* good. The violence may be a bit hard to take for some but the message of social bullying really drives the point home.

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5 Favorite Horror Movies: A Taste of Blood + unholy rhythms