Ten-ish Goregirl-Friendly “Body Horror” Films Not Directed By David Cronenberg

What exactly is “body horror”? “Body horror” as I see it is simply the unnatural and generally grotesque altering of the human body through means of science, disease or parasite. It can be unleased by aliens, psychotic scientists, supernatual forces or mother nature. The term “body horror” has become synonymous with the work of director David Cronenberg. David Cronenberg has long been a favourite director and could handily overpower a top ten “body horror” list. As a personal challenge I decided to come up with ten Goregirl-friendly “body horror” flicks that were not directed by Mr. Cronenberg.


Directed By: Stuart Gordon

What the hell is going on with the dude in the picture? There is a whole helluva lot going on in Stuart Gordon’s unsung 80s classic From Beyond! When science figures out how to stimulate a human’s sixth sense they open a portal to an unfriendly universe. From Beyond is definitely campy but it also has some great moments of intensity loaded with awesome creatures, amazing effects and gore galore! The body is grotesquely warped in Mr. Gordon’s From Beyond. He is most unkind to the human form.


Directed By: Frank Henenlotter

The titular Basket Case is Duane’s grotesque Siamese brother Belial who was separated from Duane when they were 12 years old. Now he resides in a basket and he is hungry for revenge! A great sleazy New York backdrop and one of the most unique and crazy films to come out of the 80’s! Basket Case is a fun and bizarre flick with wacky effects and a touch of gore. Awesome!

TETSUO (1989) & TETSUO 2: BODY HAMMER (1992)

Directed By: Shin’ya Tsukamoto

Tetsuo has a positively demented story full of sex, violence and metal fetish! Metal and the human body become intertwined making for some serious twisted images that are an absolute fascination to behold. Visually this film is exceptional. Stop motion animation is used to great effect making wires, cables and metal come to life. Fast forwarding, quick cuts, severe camera angles and black and white photography add to the films hysterical nightmarish feel. Tetsuo is crazy! If you dig it, you must also check out its sequel Tetsuo II: Body Hammer which I enjoyed just as much (if not more) than the original!

SOCIETY (1989)

Directed By: Brian Yuzna

Billy is a privileged teenager of rich parents but has always felt like an outsider. He discovers a really disturbing secret about his family and their association with “the society” that is unnatural, unhygienic, unnerving and incestual. I think the picture I included gives you some indication of the “body horror” in Society. Holy crap! I wish I had watched this for my 80s feature because this definitely would have made the top ten for 1989. Wild effects and a wonderfully warped twist. Society is deliciously demented fun!


Directed By: György Pálfi

Taxidermia is three short stories connected by a common thread, in this case bloodline. Taxidermia isn’t really a horror film; in fact only its third segment offers up “body horror”; but it was too memorable not to include on this list! An unpleasant, grotesquely obese retired competitive eater is tended to by his son; an unsocial, sickly-looking taxidermist. Let the body horror begin! Taxidermia is a weird and wonderful film whose visuals are as striking and inventive as they are disturbing. A wonderfully unique, funny, and clever film with some insane visuals that will stay with you!

THE THING (1982)

Directed By: John Carpenter

Just look at that gorgeous bastard in the picture I included! One of the most beautifully grotesque human and creature mergings ever created for film! Perfect performances, amazing intensity and some of the most impressive effects ever created put The Thing in a class all its own. A complete lack of romance an overwhelming sense of isolation and enough paranoia and terror for two movies. The Thing is one of the best horror films ever made and the ultimate in body altering extravaganzas!

TATTOO (2002)

Directed By: Robert Schwentke

Two detectives chase a killer through the seedy underworld of body modification where one can literally sell the tattoo off their back. This is more of a thriller than a horror but the body modification theme really adds a twisted dimension to Tattoo that qualifies it for this list. One scene in particular jumps boldly to mind which is how it landed here. Tattoo is dark, intriguing, nasty and stylish.


Directed By: Pedro Almodóvar

Pedro Almodovar and body horror? Sure! Why not? This is the fucking ultimate body horror for the films central character! The Skin I Live In has a great story, it is well acted, has striking visuals and a fabulous score. I really dug this film! Antonio Banderas is unsettling and alluring all at once as Robert Ledgard and Elena Anayas is expressive and stunning as Vera Cruz. The Skin I Live In is oh so beautiful and oh so cruel.


Directed By: Don Siegel (56) & Philip Kaufman (78)

I am giving this spot to both versions of Invasion of the Body Snatchers because I think they are equally brilliant! Director Philip Kaufman brings the story into the 70’s never losing the qualities that make it so damn effective. Both versions bring humour, commentary and interesting likable characters perfectly weaved into a story of dread and paranoia. The characters work their way through exhaustion trying to evade the unstoppable menace that threatens to clone and destroy them. Invasion of the Body Snatchers are two well-made, chilling sci-fi horror films with great performances, impressive suspense and brilliant finales.


Directed By: Yoshihiro Nishimura

There are so many spectacular mutations in Tokyo Gore Police! I can’t say enough about the awesome effects in this film. The spurting blood is copious and there are many creative deaths thanks to the strange mutated appendages; including, biting, shooting, and chainsawing. Tokyo Gore Police does suffer from some pacing issues but what I enjoyed about this film easily outweighs it. Awesome mutants, gore, arterial spraying blood showers, and one super intense and determined Japanese woman make for an ass kicking good time!

26 Responses to “Ten-ish Goregirl-Friendly “Body Horror” Films Not Directed By David Cronenberg”


    When The Skin I Live In reached the point where I figured out what was going on, I threw my hand over my mouth and said “No goddamned way…”. I like the Dr. Seuss adaptation, “Oh, the Skin You’ll Live In!”

    • Have you seen much of the Japanese splatter stuff? Some of it is a shitload of fun! The effects in Tokyo Gore Police are AWESOME!! That is some bitey coozy right there!

  2. I’ve seen a few of these of course, but you have found a few that are soooo intriguing I’m going to have to sit for a weekend and devour them! Thanks for putting this list together…I’ve always wanted to see Tetsuo, Is it really a masterpiece in your opinion?
    Joey PS I think Belial is so darn adorable…don’t you!

    • As long as you are not prone to seizures I totally recommend Tetsuo – it is so unique and wildly creative!

      Belial always reminds me of something Art Clokey might have come up with during a bender. I actually kinda like the sequels too (although 3 is a little sketchy)…and Belial is sorta adorable in his way.

      • I have tried to persuade Frank Hennenlotter to have them make a Belial plushy….now that would be awesome!

        • I would SO BUY that plushy!!

          • Me too! Hey GoreG, I’ve been wanting to see Your Vice is A Locked Door for a while now, but I’m afraid that Satan the black cat dies, since it’s an adaptation of Poe’s story. I don’t want you to give anything away, so could you email me if you feel like it at Ephemera.jo@gmail.com and let me know. Thanks for putting up with my stubborn and wimpy ability to handle cats dying in great horror flicks. It really ruins it for me, but I just can’t handle it. It cut’s too deep for me…thanks in advance! You rock…

  3. Three cheers for Frank Henenlotter and Brian Yuzna for gloriously grossing me out! I have not seen From Beyond, but I also didn’t know it involved a sixth sense and a portal to another dimension, so that’s now going high on my list.

  4. I saw Society when I was about 13 and it ruined me 🙂
    Good list, and I’m glad to see Tokyo Gore Police in there. I love that film

    • Bloody hell Ryan! I have no idea how I missed Society until now! If you’ve seen it you don’t forget it! I’ve really enjoyed some of the Japanese splatter stuff from the last several years; TGP is one of my faves from the lot.

  5. Gore Girl – I think you are wonderful : ) I do have to say that you are the only person in the world that I have ever say Taxidermia is “good”…..

  6. Great list. I would say that Tetsuo and The Thing out body-horror Cronenberg and are classics of any genre.

    • I absolutely agree The Thing is seriously one of the best horror films ever made of any genre! And Tetsuo is just fucking special! But let me just firmly establish here…Cronenberg is god.

  7. Glad to see From Beyond on this list, just got that and Re-animator on DVD. Gordon is one of my fave directors! Gotta check out TGP and Tetsuo.

    • Nice score! Gordon is the cat’s ass! I suppose it is redundant to say at this point…but I do love my Japanese horror!

  8. Great post! Thanks for Society, I didn’t know that one until now. I really like it that you included on of the best postmodern Japanese punk movies ever done.

  9. What a neat idea and terrific list. The Thing and Invasion of the Body Snatchers are excellent remakes. I love Basket Case. One other favorite that comes to mind,although I’m not sure if it falls in the category of your list,is The Brain That Wouldn’t Die,a low budget shocker from the early 1960’s that is well acted,with some pretty intense black and white gore. A doctor keeps his fiancee’s head alive while searching for a new body. She can communicate with “the thing in the closet”. Another awesome post Goregirl!

    • I was surprised at how many I was able to come up with actually…I could definitely do a “10 more body horror films not directed by David Cronenberg”.

  10. From Beyond looks awesome, and I keep meaning to watch Tokyo Gore Police but haven’t gotten around to it yet.

    • From Beyond is absolutely fecking awesome! TGP is tons of fun – worth the trip just for the effects in my opinion.

  11. My gosh! That looks freaking scary! Nice post!

  12. […] Goregirl’s Dungeon doesn’t even need an introduction at this point, if you’re into horror, you should be reading her blog. She recently wrote a post about Body Horror films that a great companion to the spotlight on horror I wrote. Check out both for some basics from me and some extreme picks from Goregirl. Read Goregirl’s list of Ten-ish Goregirl-Friendly “Body Horror” Films Not Directed By Davi… […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: