Goregirl’s TOP 10 Favourite Horror Films From 1996

There was the regular volume of 90s mud to wade through and a few of the worst of the worst were mainstream efforts which included The Island of Dr. Moreau, Mary Reilly and Diabolique but I still managed to pull together what I think is a solid top ten. There have not been a whole lot of repeat directors showing up on these 90s list but 1996 is an exception with Dario Argento, Peter Jackson, Shozin Fukui and Wes Craven all having their second entries! Film number one earned a 5/5 rating, films two through nine are films I rated 4/5 and film ten I rated 3.5/5. I gave one other film from 1996 a 3.5/5 which was Ebola Syndrome.

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#10 KILLER CONDOM
Directed By: Martin Walz

Killer Condom is based on the comic book of the same name by Ralf König. Apparently H. R. Giger was a creative consultant on the project. Killer Condom is a German film spoken in German that is set in New York?! Men in New York are losing their penises to the titular Killer Condom’s and Luigi Mackaroni is on the case. Luigi Mackaroni is a man who knows the streets of New York; a well-seasoned, chain smoking openly gay detective who is well known at the particular hotel where it all started. While Killer Condom definitely has a sleazy vibe and an outrageous premise neither the violence nor nudity is graphic; it is more campy than exploitative. It features a super Luigi sized killer condom, a mad scientist, a self-righteous pious villain and a lot of adorable little rubbers that make giggly cartoony noises. If that isn’t enough it has a love story and a heart warming happy ending! Killer Condom kept my attention and made me laugh often. To read the full review click here.

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#9 GAMERA 2: ATTACK OF THE LEGION
Directed By: Shûsuke Kaneko

Gamera! I mean really?! Who amoung us does not love a giant flying turtle?! Gamera 2: Attack of the Legion is one of the many entertaining post 80s Kaiju flicks I am discovering is well worth visiting. In Gamera 2: Attack of the Legion; the Legion refers to a species of alien insects that landed via meteor and have created a home in the city’s subway. The Legion is causing the oxygen levels to rise which explode their flower thingies with an end game of colonization. Gamera to the rescue! Tons of destruction, huge spectacular Kaiju battles, cool monster effects (some of the best I have seen in a Kaiju film!) and action galore make Gamera 2: Attack of the Legion an absolute must see bit of entertainment!

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#8 SPLATTER: NAKED BLOOD
Directed By: Hisayasu Sato

Splatter: Naked Blood is about a trio of women who volunteer to test a chemical contraceptive. The doctor’s son however is looking to conduct his own experiment and injects his own potion into his mother’s with horrific results. Splatter: Naked Blood has some nasty gore, weirdness, nudity, sex, laughs, nifty sound effects and a neato soundtrack. Be warned, the gore is nasty, but if that is your thing, have at it! To read my full review click here. I couldn’t find a trailer for the film, but I think this clip says it all.

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#7 THE STENDHAL SYNDROME
Directed By: Dario Argento

The Stendhal Syndrome is based on psychologist’s Graziella Magherini book about the affliction. Argento himself apparently once suffered from Stendhal Syndrome when he was a child. Detective Anna Manni is struck by the titular torment while at a museum. The detective is on the trail of a serial killer who uses the infirmity against her. Asia Argento plays Detective Manni and goes through the full gamut of emotions and is at times vulnerable, sad, and fierce; I think it is one of her best performances and despite looking terribly young and fresh faced she is quite effective in the role. The Stendhal Syndrome did not come up on the IMDB horror movie list much to my surprise! After this re-watch I understand why; The Stendhal Syndrome really is a dramatic thriller not a horror film. The Stendhal Syndrome is not without some plot issues, but is well paced, beautifully filmed with gorgeous sets and is a fascinating, unsettling and at times brutal bit of goodness.

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#6 THE FRIGHTENERS
Directed By: Peter Jackson

The Frighteners is a wacky horror-comedy about an architect named Frank Bannister who after surviving a car wreck that kills his wife has the ability to communicate with ghosts. The architect becomes a ghostbusting con man who uses the spirits to haunt residents that he than exorcises for cash. It is all fun and games until a malevolent spirit shows up. Frank tries to help the victims as he is able to see a number on their foreheads prior to their deaths and becomes suspect himself. Eccentric and obsessive FBI agent Milton Dammers is brought in to work on the case. The Frighteners is well-written, humorous, creepy, and has outrageous characters and great effects. Nicely cast too especially Jeffrey Combs who is absolutely brilliant as the insane FBI agent Dammers. Boo-haha!

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#5 RUBBER’S LOVER
Directed By: Shozin Fukui

Shozin Fukui’s 964 Pinocchio earned the number four slot for my favourites of 1991. Fukui’s Rubber’s Lover is a prequel of sorts to 964 Pinocchio and is an equally hallucinatory trip! Like its predecessor; Rubber’s Lover is a highly visual, incredibly weird, graphic and violent cyberpunk entry. Rubber’s Lover focuses on a group of psychotic scientists conducting twisted experiments using sensory depravation and mind-altering drugs to torture their unfortunate and involuntary patients. Their experiments are dangerous and brutal and inevitably result in calamity. Filmed in black and white with a heavy emphasis on metal, gears and fetishism. Do not stand; Keep your arms inside the vehicle at all times and your seatbelt securely fastened.

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#4 DON’T LOOK UP
Directed By: Hideo Nakata

It is like Don’t Look Up never existed. I could not find a trailer or a single clip for this film on YouTube; only its god-awful disaster of a remake from 2007 showed up in searches. This original directed by Hideo Nakata is virtually impossible to find and doesn’t seem to have ever had a release on DVD. What a shame because I think it is one of Nakata’s best. A crew filming in an old studio reviews the rushes from a day of shooting and it appears some old film stock has become intermingled with their new shots. The director recognizes the old footage from something he had watched on television as a child. He becomes obsessed with the images and learns the film was never finished. I seeked out this well-made, thoughtful and eerie supernatural tale on the strong recommendation of Wednesday’s Child over at 90s Horror (and Deep Red Rum) and it was no easy task to find! I am certainly not in the habit of doing such things, but this was such a great little film I have decided to post the link to where I was able to watch it online (click here). For fans of Japanese ghost stories I think it is well worth a watch.

don't look up

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#3 TESIS
Directed By: Alejandro Amenábar

Tesis did not come up on the IMDB horror film search and definitely leans towards a mystery-thriller but I think the film’s theme qualifies it enough to be here. Angela is a film student working on a thesis of violence in media at the University Complutense (the same University its director Alejandro Amenábar attended in real life). Through her research she discovers a video where a former student of the university is brutally killed. Her investigation of the material draws her into a heinous snuff ring. The film’s tagline is “My name is Angela. They’re going to kill me.” Which should give you some idea of where the story inevitable goes. The excellent performances from Ana Torrent, Fele Martínez and the handsome Eduardo Noriega (who would go on to star in Amenábar’s excellent Open Your Eyes) are all top notch. Tesis is smart, thrilling, suspenseful and an exceptionally well acted film from Spain that is well worth checking out.

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#2 SCREAM
Directed By: Wes Craven

Scream satirizes the horror genre and its many clichés. Based ever so loosely on The Gainesville Ripper and taking place in the fictional town of Woodsboro; it focuses on central character Sidney Prescott whose mother was killed one year previously. When teenagers from the town begin turning up dead Sidney begins to think that the crimes may be related to her mother’s death. An estranged father, her mother’s ex-lover and even her friends are all suspects. Scream was a huge commercial success and brought renewed interest to the genre; sadly it also seems to have birthed a series of irritating, stupid nonsense like I Know What You Did Last Summer, Valentine and Urban Legend but nonetheless Scream is a funny, clever and nasty film that is damn entertaining.

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#1 FROM DUSK TIL DAWN
Directed By: Robert Rodriguez

Bad-ass Brothers Richie and Seth Gecko are wanted men looking for a way to cross the border. As luck would have it a pastor questioning his faith and his two children show up in a motorhome. The Gecko’s take the family hostage and successfully cross the border to meet up with their contact at a remote strip club called the Titty Twister. Unfortunately for the group the Titty Twister happens to be a nest for a whole lotta vicious and nasty vampires. I love how From Dusk til Dawn starts out as a crime thriller and evolves into a full frontal horror flick. From Dusk til Dawn is action-packed, violent, nasty, well-paced, full of dark humour, has great effects and is perfectly cast. Harvey Keitel, Juliette Lewis, George Clooney, Ernest Liu, Quentin Tarantino and cameos from the likes of Cheech Marin, Michael Parks, Salma Hayek, John Saxon, Danny Trejo, Fred Williamson and Tom Savini. And it has pussy; hot pussy, cold pussy, wet pussy, smelly pussy, snapping pussy…come on in pussy lovers…From Dusk til Dawn is a shitload of bloody fun!

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26 Responses to “Goregirl’s TOP 10 Favourite Horror Films From 1996”

  1. I’m very glad you liked Don’t Look Up!

    • I really did! Why in the hell would this film not have a proper DVD release?!

      • I don’t know, but it bugs me. Especially since we got flooded with total crap from Japan when the J-Horror craze hit around the time The Ring came out, but there’s good stuff that’s hard to find. Maybe with us both blogging about it, our blogs will come up high on searches for the movie, and some DVD company will take notice.

  2. Crazy Goblin Says:

    Didn’t know H. R. Giger was involved in Killer Condom. I couldn’t find his touch anywhere in the movie.

  3. From Dusk Til Dawn DESERVES to be at the top of this list!!!!

    “It’s bats.”

  4. I have few of these in my collection and mostly definitely your number one pick…watch out for that snapping pussy! Ouch!

  5. Victor De Leon Says:

    I love these posts! Gamera, FDTD, The Frighteners! Great picks. I never realized that so many cool horror flicks came out that year! I must see “Tesis” too. Thanks!

  6. Okay, now this is a top ten I really, really dig. I have seen nearly all of them for once, as well! Stendhal Syndrome, Frighteners are great and those Japanese films looks awesome… While I try and buy everything I watch, thanks for the link to Don’t Look Up.

    • Maybe it is available in the UK…but Don’t Look Up doesn’t seem to be available on DVD in North America. What a shame…especially considering that the crummy remake is so readily available!

  7. Fun list! Must admit,I’ve only seen four of the films in your top ten for 1996,but will try to catch up with the movies I haven’t seen(so many movies,so little time). I too love that Gamera film. As a kid I enjoyed all the Gamera films from the 1960’s. The Frighteners is a terrific film,with one of my favorite Michael J. Fox performances. Ditto for The Stendhal Syndrome,which is possibly the last Aregento film I have enjoyed to date. The three worst of the worst films you mentioned,and so many other mainstream USA clunkers(the remake of The Vanishing is another film I do not like) did a great deal to tarnish my memories of the 1990’s,but you have enlightened me to the films that were good,Goregirl!

    • I am definitely going to make a point of catching up with the 90s Kaiju…what I have seen has been a real treat! I love the original The Vanishing…but didn’t care for that remake myself. There have been more horror gems than I counted on through the 90s…but yes, the terribly mundane and just plain awful big budget crap and the countless sequels really did drown out the good stuff from my memory!

  8. FROM DUSK TIL DAWN is amazing, very glad its on the list 😀

  9. Always good to see some love for THE FRIGHTENERS, one of those everything-but-the-kitchen-sink flicks that tickle my fancy bone. Still baffled by how Sluizer was convinced to do such an inferior reworking of his own (great) movie THE VANISHING, but every time Hollywood decides to spawn a hideous shambling clone of a perfectly good foreign film, I wish millions of American moviegoers would just grow up and learn to love subtitles.

  10. I need to see Splatter.

  11. According to the Wikipedia list of horror films released this year, it looked like a pretty bad year. On the plus side, I got 2 films from my beloved Neve Campbell. I’ve seen 5 from your choices, Tesis (good), The Frighteners (didn’t like it, I think I came to it expecting another Braindead, must watch it again), From Dusk Till Dawn (love it), Scream (one of my all time favourites), and Stendahl Syndrome (liked it). I must follow that link to Don’t Look Up, as Ringu is probably my second favourite horror film ever. I liked Nakata’s Ring 2 and Dark Water also, but other films I’ve seen from him since haven’t been anywhere near as good – Chaos was decent, Chatroom was awful. Looking forward to Ring 3D I guess…

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