Goregirl’s TOP 10 Favourite Horror Films From 1999

This is the final top ten horror list of the decade!! Other than my announcement of the winner of the Criterion contest on Friday, this will also be the last post I will be doing for this feature!! I am completely 90s horror’d out! And speaking of the Criterion contest I want to remind you that the contest ends this Thursday, February 28th at noon (Pacific Time – West Coast of Canada yo). If you entered, poke your head in on Friday, March 1 to find out if you were the lucky winner! The last year of the decade was an entertaining one and heavy with Japanese titles with four picks from the country. Film number one I rated 5/5, Films two through nine I rated 4/5 and film number ten was rated 3.5/5. I also rated the following three films 3.5/5; Los Sin Nombre, Top of the Food Chain and Hellblock 13.

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#10 IDLE HANDS
Directed By: Rodman Flender

No one is more surprised I like this film than me. As I have mentioned in previous posts I have felt really spurned by the volume of North American made horror films with a high school theme. I did rather like the idea of a possessed hand-ala-Evil Dead 2 and throwing in two mates coming back from the dead was a nifty twist. There is a little mockery of the genre and some good laughs in this silly horror-comedy with a significant body count, creative deaths and decent effects. It is not without some problems but Idle Hands was pretty fun!

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#9 TERROR FIRMER
Directed By: Lloyd Kaufman

Terror Firmer is one of Troma’s funniest and most outrageous films since the 80s! Cheap, sleazy and gory fun with lots of Troma regulars and appearances from Ron Jeremy, Lemmy, Matt Stone, Trey Parker and Eli Roth and of course the face of Troma, Lloyd Kaufman playing himself! It is a Troma film about making a Troma film and as you would expect it is ridiculously schlocky, tasteless, full of boobs, bodily fluids and tons of over-the-top violence. Troma’s trailer really says it all…

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#8 SLEEPY HOLLOW
Directed By: Tim Burton

Ichabod crane is sent to the tiny town of Sleepy Hollow to investigate a trio of murders by decapitation that may be the work of a malevolent spirit known as the Headless Horseman. Johnny Depp was all over the place in the 90s and here he plays the eccentric and eager Ichabod Crane; one of the first of many Tim Burton films he would star in. The film screams Burton with its lovely gothic sensibility and a touch of playful menace. While I certainly would not call the film scary, it does have its suspenseful and mysterious moments. It also has Christopher Walken as the horseman and you can’t go wrong with that! Walken is quite creepy in the role and I really dug the makeup on his character! I still have the special orange popcorn bucket from when I went to see this in the theatre! Sleepy Hollow is classic Burton entertainment!

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#7 THE 13TH WARRIOR
Directed By: John McTiernan

This is one of many films from the 90s I seen in the theatre and haven’t revisited until now. When this showed up on the IMDB horror list I thought what the hell? This is a horror film? This is a big flashy Norse legend kind of thingy and it does in fact have ancient mythical creatures that come from within the mist and eat human flesh! How could I forget such a detail? The film looks like a million bucks and so does Antonio Banderas; the man is not hard on the eyes. The 13th Warrior is jammed-packed with giant battling big sweaty men on horseback with literal names (Hyglak the Quarrelsome, Ragnar the Dour etc), elaborate costuming, impressive set pieces and cinematography and a surprising amount of blood.

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#6 HYPNOSIS
Directed By: Masayuki Ochiai

Three suicides that occur on a single night may actually be murder and could be related to a popular television hypnotist and his muse Yuka. The strange suicide-murders continue to leave the police department mystified. A well-seasoned cop and a young psychoanalyst team up to attempt to solve the puzzle. I picked this film up in Chinatown for $2! As much as I love these finds, I have been burned by Chinatown cheapies. The subtitles in this film are unbelievably bad! Spelling mistakes and some seriously questionable phrasing. I am going to blame this on my cheap copy because otherwise I quite dug this film. The characters were a bit of an odd lot! There are a whole lot of cranky middle-aged cops that are awfully shouty! The young psychoanalyst and lovely Yuka the hypnotist’s muse are definitely the highlights here. Poor Yuka is one messed up little gal! Hypnosis has kooky psychedelic hypno-visuals, creative deaths and an interesting premise with a few twists I did not see coming. Hypnosis was a first time watch and was a great surprise.

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#5 THE BLAIR WITCH PROJECT
Directed By: Daniel Myrick & Eduardo Sánchez

The Blair Witch Project is the made on the cheap film that started the shaky hand held camera and found footage craze. When this was out in the theatre I went to see this with a huge group of friends and we all loved it but these days I can nigh find a comrade who even likes this movie. Oh well, I still think this film is great!! It is so simple, subtle, scary, well-paced and if I had not known better I could easily have mistaken it for a documentary. The three central characters never seemed like they were acting to me and they don’t look beautiful or glamorous at any point in the film. The scene where Heather Donahue is staring into the camera crying and shaking, she literally has snot coming out of her nose, like you would if you were lost and weeping in the cold night! I am not exactly an outdoorsy camping sort of girl; I prefer the comfort of the cottage and the idea of being lost in the woods is actually quite frightening to me. Never mind finding freaking creepy trinkets that look like they were made by bent cult members. Despite it being seemingly unpopular to do so, I really dig The Blair Witch Project.

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#4 GEMINI
Directed By: Shin’ya Tsukamoto

Yukio, a well to do doctor has his life turned upside down when his identical twin brother, abandoned for a disfiguring birthmark, returns for revenge. This film is all about contrast. Yukio and his family are very reserved and the scenes featured in their home are done so with muted tones. The scenes shot in the slum are the polar opposite. The actions are exaggerated and the colors are loud. The costumes were fantastic! The traditional garb is amazing and the Cirque du Soliel-esque slum wear was an extreme contrast that worked beautifully. The music was bizarre but perfect and the performances are absolutely top notch across the board! Gemini is an extremely effective story about revenge, love, betrayal and class war.

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#3 WILD ZERO
Directed By: Tetsuro Takeuchi

The action revolves around the Japanese garage punk band Guitar Wolf. A trio of coiffed, leather-bound super cool rockers. Ace, our main character is a wannabe rocker and number one fan of Guitar Wolf. One fateful night he finds himself in the middle of a gunfight between Guitar Wolf and an evil hot pant wearing wigged club owner. Guitar Wolf recognizes the lad as having a heart dedicated to the true spirit of rock and roll and makes him a blood brother and furnishes him with a “wolf whistle” to blow if he is ever in trouble. Trouble comes quickly in the form of UFO’s and the living dead. Along the way we meet an adorable transsexual desperate for love and a bad ass female weapons dealer. Wild Zero Features guitar picks used like ninja throwing stars, a naked woman blasting zombies in the shower, a UFO sliced in half with a samurai sword, more exploding zombie heads then you can shake a stick at, and of course, plenty of rock and roll, guitar punk sensibility. Wild Zero is way too much fun…I love it!

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#2 THE NINTH GATE
Directed By: Roman Polanski

Roman Polanski is one of my favourite directors; I ranked him #14! A rare books expert is hired by a well-known collector to retrieve the two remaining copies of The Nine Gates of the Kingdom of Shadows allegedly written by the Devil himself, needless to say shit happens. First and foremost The Ninth Gate has one of the best scores from the 90s; one I must add to my collection soon! It also has an outstanding cast that includes Johnny Depp, Frank Langella, Lena Olin and Emmanuelle Seigner. The Ninth Gate despite all the Satan shtick is very much a suspense thriller with an exciting build-up, beautiful sets and an intriguing story. One of Polanski’s best in years.

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#1 AUDITION
Directed By: Takashi Miike

Takashi Miike rocks! Sure, a few of his films are a miss but how can you not appreciate the man’s literally unclassifiable array of films? I am a big fan of Visitor Q, Ichi the Killer, Gozu and The Happiness of the Katakuris. I also loved his more recent entry; a real departure from the aforementioned bit of craziness; 13 Assassins. Audition was my introduction to this incredible film maker and it still remains as one of his only straight-up horror features. A widower arranges a fake audition for a film role with a friend in hopes of meeting his future bride. He finds the perfect woman in Asami Yamazaki, but the seemingly sweet young woman is not what she seems. Hahaha!! That is the understatement of the decade! The movie definitely has a slow start but personally I think it adds a lot to the impact of the seriously insane twist in the film’s final section. Audition has a truly gruesome and surprising ending that was such a spectacular shocker the first time around! I love the subtlety of the first half of the film and the way Miike uses sound and off-camera events to pique the viewer. Audition is not only one of my favourite films of the decade but of all time!

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16 Responses to “Goregirl’s TOP 10 Favourite Horror Films From 1999”

  1. Great list! I have to admit that, even though I have been making lists of 90s horror movies, I had completely forgotten about some of these.

    • Merci Madame Mercredi! I look forward to overdosing on Klaus Kinski on the weekend…Mr. Kinski made no films in the 90s :0

  2. “Audition” is a solid good horror film, BUT “The Ninth Gate” and “Terror Firmer” are easily my favorites on here. Can’t tell you which one I love more. One’s got Boris Balkan while the other one’s got “TODD-STER!”

    It’s been a LONG TIME since I last saw Wild Zero, but I liked it a lot. Never heard of Hypnosis or Gemini though.

    • Thanks for tweeting the Ninth Gate soundtrack…you reminded me how great it is! I think Emmanuelle Seigner is lovely even if she is the devil. Well I enjoyed all these films alot (idle hands less though)…but no one can top my gal Asami…she is so not right…and yet so very creative. It makes me so very happy though to know you like the delightful Terror firmer!

  3. Wild Zero is awesomely fun, and Guitar Wolf rules!

    • Guitar Wolf does freaking rule!! Planet of the Wolves is a freaking brilliant album…I listen to it at least once a week.

  4. A good list. Admittedly I’ve only seen half the movies in this list, including the top three. And to set your mind at ease, I too still like the Blair Witch Project. 🙂

  5. Some great choices here. Really glad to have found your blog xx

  6. As always,a great read,Gore Girl! I’ve seen a paltry three films on the list(Terror Firmer,Sleepy Hollow,and The Ninth Gate),but enjoyed each in the trio. The ending of Sleepy Hollow reminded me a bit of Brides of Dracula with the windmill. I’m glad to see The Ninth Gate so high on your list as it doesn’t get a lot of love. I too think it’s a solid thriller,and Jack Taylor is in it!

    • Thanks Conrad! I don’t really understand the hate for The Ninth Gate…c’est la vie…I don’t understand a lot of things about what people decide to love and hate. I’ve got Kinski on my mind and there is only one cure for that…Kinski!! 🙂

  7. I approved of everything on this list, but have to say seeing Audition pop up at the end brought great joy. I freaking love that film. Recently found it at a pawn shop on, wait for it… BLuuuuray (god best them pawn shoppers) and got to share it with a few friends in its HD gory… sorry… glory… and that last 5-10 minutes still some of the best ever in a horror film.

  8. I never finished Idle Hands, only seen bits and pieces, so I should give it my full attention. I liked Terror Firmer, I must watch a few more Troma films as I’ve only seen a handful. I was disappointed by Sleepy Hollow, may have been down to expectations again, but I never got into it as much as others. The 13th Warrior is a good action film from one of the masters, McTiernan, and I like the horror twist. I’ll defend Blair Witch Project to the end, even though I’ve seen it many times, it has a potent power to suck you in so that the last 5 -10 minutes are genuinely chilling every single time, love it. It’s great to see Guitar Wolf getting so much appreciation these days, I’ve been a fan for years, WIld Zero is good fun. The Ninth Gate I watched in bed late one night and I think I kept drifting off out of either boredom or sleepyness, I should give it another go. Audition, of course, was one of my first iloves n my Asian horror obsession.
    Not much else to mention according to Wikipedia’s 1999 list, maybe Ring 2 which had the scares, but got bogged down in reasoning and attempts at explanation.

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