Archive for films

The Spectacular Special Features of Something Weird Video

Posted in movies, Something Weird Video with tags , , , , , , , , , on December 25, 2013 by goregirl

steppingintosomethingweirddoublefeature

Something Weird Video was the brainchild of Mike Vraney who started the company in the early 90s with the intention of bringing to the public previously lost and practically forgotten exploitation films. His first acquisition was a collection of 16mm girlie arcade loops but it was a relationship forged with David F. Friedman that would immensely expand Something Weird Video’s library. David F. Friedman was one of the sixties and seventies exploitation kings! Over the course of his career in exploitative filmmaking Friedman directed five, acted in twenty-six and produced an amazing fifty-six films! Through Friedman, Vraney was introduced to a parade of others in the industry like Harry Novak and Herschell Gordon Lewis, among others. The films in Something Weird Video’s library are special for just being rare birds that would have forever been lost! These films could have easily been packaged and sold with no fanfare whatsoever but Something Weird Video goes the extra mile. Due to the fact that these sleazy, sexy and strange exploitative wonders had been all but forgotten finding supplemental material was undoubtedly difficult and in some cases I am sure, impossible. Trying to load up a DVD package for a film like Confessions of a Psycho Cat whose origins are unknown to the extent that it is debatable who the director is would not be an easy task. But loaded up with special features it is! Confessions of a Psycho Cat comes with an impressive list of “Bad Girl Sexploitation Trailers”, the short film Preface to a Life, a gallery of sexploitation art with radio-spot rarities and a second full length film called Hot Blooded Woman!

coapcdvdmenu

coapcdvdspecialfeatures

The Kiss Me Quick and House on Bare Mountain double feature menu was one of the most appealing and creative in Something Weird’s library! While a surfing/Go-Go tune plays each window that contains the female silhouette art transforms into an actress from the film who says all sexy-like “Kiss Me Quick”. The special features on this disc were especially fun! So fun in fact I was inspired to post several images for them on tumblr. This one even came with commentary from producer Harry Novak.

kiss-me-quick-dvd-menu1

kiss-me-quick-dvd-menu2

kiss-me-quick-dvd-menu3

kiss-me-quick-dvd-menu4

kiss-me-quick-dvd-menu special features

the strip tease queen

The Strip Tease Queen from the supplements on Something Weird Video’s double feature Kiss Me Quick and House on Bare Mountain. For more images for this short click here.

the vixen and the vampire

The Vampire and the Vixen short from the supplements on Something Weird Video’s double feature Kiss Me Quick and House on Bare Mountain. For more images for this short click here.

werewolf bongo party

Werewolf Bongo Party short from the supplements on Something Weird Video’s double feature Kiss Me Quick and House on Bare Mountain. For more images for this set click here.

I was thrilled to pieces by the amazing selection of exploitation and underground magazine covers they included with The Psycho Lover and Heat of Madness double feature. I would love to get my hands on some of these!

psycho lover and heat of madness

psycho lover special features

cinema keyhole

Circa 1960s magazine Cinema Keyhole from the supplements found on the Something Weird DVD Double feature of The Psycho Lover and Heat of Madness. for more images for this set click here.

Daring Film and Books Magazine

Daring Films & Books Magazine circa 1960s from the supplements found on the Something Weird DVD Double feature of The Psycho Lover and Heat of Madness. For more pictures from this set click here.

The Blood Feast DVD includes very entertaining commentary from David F. Friedman and Herschell Gordon Lewis as well as the original theatrical trailer, some neat rare outtakes, a gallery of Lewis related promotional material and a one of a kind instructional film called Carving Magic featuring one of Blood Feast’s stars William Kerwin.

Blood Feast

blood feast lobby card

Lobby Card for Herschell Gordon Lewis’ BLOOD FEAST (1963). From the supplemental features on Something Weird Video’s Special Edition of Blood Feast. For more images for this set click here.

carving magic

A young Harvey Korman (The Carol Burnett Show) and William Kerwin (Blood Feast, Two Thousand Maniacs, A Taste of Blood) appear in this Swift and Company instructional film Carving Magic; a “how to” on carving various meats with home economist Martha Logan! This came as a special feature with the Something Weird Video Special Edition of Blood Feast! For more images for this set click here.

the ghastly ones

Publicity Still for Andy Milligan’s THE GHASTLY ONES (1968) from the supplements included with Seeds of Sin and The Ghastly Ones double feature. For more images for this set click here.

Margie La Mont The Cat Girl

By far the most popular post I have done for tumblr; Margie La Mont The Cat Girl from the supplements on The Fat Black Pussycat and The Black Cat. For more images for this set click here.

Having these unique exploitation gems in my library is enough of a treat but the special features included on Something Weird Video’s DVDs make them a genuine treasure that are worth owning. This is just a tiny sampling of the special features; a world of wondrous discovery unto themselves! I plan on adding many more Something Weird Video films to my collection in the new year!

Goregirl’s TOP 10 Favourite Horror Films From 1993

Posted in horror, movies with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 27, 2013 by goregirl

It was my intention to post a top ten list each week during this 90s feature and I have already gone and dropped the ball! I had to dig pretty deep to come up with ten films for 1993. I would have liked to have gotten my hands on a copy of The Wicked City; a Hong Kong made Sci-Fi/horror, but no dice. I did not give any film from 1993 a perfect score. The top two are films I rated 4.5/5, films three and four were rated 4/5, five through seven were rated 3.5/5 and eight through ten are films I rated 3/5. I also gave the following four films a 3/5; Skinner, Jack Be Nimble, The Good Son and Bloodstone: Subspecies II.

*Only feature-length films will be included on the top ten lists for the decade; I do not include shorts, documentaries or made for television movies.

**********

#10 ED AND HIS DEAD MOTHER
Directed By: Jonathan Wacks

Ed and his Dead Mother is a horror-comedy of the PG variety. Ed is a serious mama’s boy who is awkward, likable and completely dedicated to the family hardware store. Ed would do anything to get his mother back, including making a deal with the Happy People Corporation to resurrect her. Ed lives with his Uncle Benny who is always telling Ed he needs to move on with his life. Imagine Uncle Benny’s surprise one morning when he finds his sister in the refrigerator peeling potatoes! Ned Beatty is great and gets the film’s better lines. I also enjoyed Gary Farmer who plays Big Lar, one of Ed’s hardware store employees. Eric Christmas is also memorable as a sales man for the Happy People Corporation. And of course there is the affable and talented Steve Buscemi who plays Ed, who is really this comedy’s straight man. Sadly the ladies are the weak link here. I don’t really think Miriam Margolyes who plays mother is to blame as she was animated and enthusiastic enough. The bigger problem was they just did not give her enough funny lines and/or scenarios. The dead mother really should have been the highlight shouldn’t she? She is not. Ed’s romantic interest, Storm (more of a strong breeze than a storm if you ask me) played by Sam Jenkins also does not get any particularly funny bits. She is awful pretty, but is rather a non-entity. There is very little horror outside of the resurrection of Ed’s dead mother and one death scene which we don’t get to see. Even the laughs are a clean affair. I guess I was hoping for something a little darker. The love story was unnecessary and the ending is terribly corny. Ed and his Dead Mother gave me enough laughs to warrant a bit more than a pass but consider it a light recommendation at best.

ed and his dead mother

**********

#9 NECRONOMICON
Directed By: Christophe Gans, Shûsuke Kaneko, Brian Yuzna

Necronomicon is an anthology of three stories based loosely on the writing of H.P. Lovecraft. The wraparound story even features Lovecraft as a character played by Jeffrey Combs. The Drowned is directed by Christophe Gans (Brotherhood of the Wolf, Silent Hill) and is visually appealing but has the weakest story of the trio. The story focuses on Edward de Lapoer who inherits an old mansion. Edward finds the diary of the relative who left him the home that tells the story of how he resurrected his dead wife and son. The flashback portion is well done and was full of promise. Unfortunately the latter half is mainly Edward and it is a stone cold drag. It does have a rather nice looking creature however. The second story is The Cold directed by Shûsuke Kaneko (Gamera: Guardian of the Universe, Godzilla, Mothra and King Ghidorah: Giant Monsters All-Out Attack) and had a pretty good story but lacked a little in the visual department. This story focuses on Dr. Madden who discovered the secret to eternal life and the young woman who inadvertently becomes involved with him. The performance from the excellent David Warner is what makes this segment stand out. I wasn’t crazy about the choice of Emily for the woman in his life. Emily seemed far too young and was not terribly charismatic. There is no chemistry between the two whatsoever. The Cold is a flawed but fairly entertaining tale. Whispers is the best of the trilogy and has a decent story and pretty nifty visuals. Whispers was directed by Brian Yuzna (Society, Bride of Re-Animator, The Dentist, Progeny, Return of the Living Dead III) who also directed the wraparound story. A pregnant cop’s lover/partner is pulled from their car after an accident. She pursues the perpetrator unaware that she is entering into an unimaginable world of nightmarish horror! This segment has some blood, gore and nice looking effects; a creepy atmosphere too. The story is paper thin but it serves its purpose. Necronomicon is flawed right, left and center. Each segment has its strengths and weaknesses but none of them knocked my socks off. Necronomicon did not take up much of my time and it definitely had its moments but the anthology as a whole package is just a touch better than mediocre. To read the full review click here.

necronomicon

**********

#8 THE WASHING MACHINE
Directed By: Ruggero Deodato

There were still a few of the old school Italian directors churning out films in the 90s. The output from Italy was considerably slimmer than its heydays of the 60s, 70s and 80s and the quality was not what it once was. Nonetheless this is the first of three Italian entries on my top ten list for 1993. In a stronger year, a film I rated 3/5 would not make a top ten, but in 1993 The Washing Machine was one of the year’s stronger titles. The Washing Machine is the story of Maria, Vida and Ludmilla; three sisters who find a dead man in their washing machine. When the handsome Inspector Alexander Stacev shows up to investigate however there is no dead body to be found. An inspector who doesn’t have a case is nonetheless intrigued by the three sisters and their claims. Each sister attempts to frame the other for a crime that may not have even been committed. Inspector Stacev doesn’t seem too put off by each woman’s attempt to seduce him either. The Washing Machine is sex and nudity served with a side of murder. There is lots and lots of nudity. Frankly, it is far too light on the killing. It is also pretty light on story and some of the scenes drag badly. I do not know that I really understood the women’s motivation when it was all over. The final scene did give me a serious chuckle though. These are three sexy and saucy women, and I won’t deny despite its problems the film has its intriguing moments. The trio of bodacious babes and their handsome inspector were quite watchable.

the washing machine

**********

#7 THE UNTOLD STORY
Directed By: Danny Lee & Herman Yau

The Untold Story is about Wong Chi Hang who has recently acquired The Eight Immortals Restaurant thanks to a gambling debt. The gambling debt is merely Hang’s motivation to kill which we witness in the films opening scene when he beats the crap out of a man and sets him on fire watching him burn alive. Hang is in fact a psychotic killer. I should mention also, he is using corpses for meat in his popular pork buns! Apparently this is a horror comedy. I get the horror part but I can not say I found The Untold Story particularly funny. There really is nothing funny about the Wong Chi Hang character. He is an unfriendly, self-righteous, crooked, violent prick. The laughs I guess are supposed to come from the inept police. The chief of police has a weakness for the ladies, or more specifically for prostitutes, but he is the only one who seems to have any brains. The three male cops are always insulting the lone female cop about needing to get laid and having small tits. As the viewer we are ten steps ahead of the cops. When the cops finally do catch up and figure out Hang is the guilty party they can not get him to confess. The cops end up torturing the hell out of Hang. Hang’s confession of how he eliminated the former owner of The Eight Immortals Restaurant and his family is truly chilling and horrific. I wasn’t terribly amused by the comedy; the mix of comedy and violence was awkward and a bit discomforting. I have to admit that I found the hideous Wong Chi Hang story (apparently based on real events?!) brutal, grotesque but thoroughly intriguing. It superseded the cop shit. The violence is very nasty and heartless and hugely memorable. I knew of Anthony Wong and had seen him in the odd thing, but it would seem he was a bigger name than I realized. This is at least the fifth film I’ve seen him in from the decade and Wong has played a creepilious creep in every last one. He is frightfully good at playing creeps. I almost feel a little guilty about enjoying The Untold Story as it really is a nasty and ugly little film. But what can I say? Anthony Wong rocks!

the untold story

**********

#6 THE DARK HALF
Directed By: George A. Romero

The Dark Half is based on the book by Stephen King and is directed by George A. Romero. The story is about Thad Beaumont who as a child had a tumor removed from his brain that contained pieces of his unborn twin. Thad grows up and gets married and has twins of his own and life is honky dory; until he is blackmailed. Thad has been writing a series of popular violent crime novels under the name George Stark. Instead of giving in to the blackmailing bastard Thad discusses it with his publisher and they go to the press themselves. Thad has buried George Stark for good but Stark apparently does not much care for being dead. Thad, by sheer will materializes George Stark in to an actual walking, talking, murdering entity. The Dark Half introduces some ideas that are not followed through and some of the action felt a touch redundant but the story is intriguing, the acting is good, the effects are decent and there are some effective moments of horror. The Dark Half is flawed by entertaining. To read the full review click here.

the dark half

**********

#5 TRAUMA
Directed By: Dario Argento

Dario Argento’s Trauma is the second Italian made entry to find a place on my top ten list for 1993. As far as I am aware, Trauma is the only title Argento filmed in the USA; Minnesota to be specific. It is also the first film he directed to star his daughter Asia (there would be several more). The story is about Aura Petrescu, a young woman who along with David Parsons, her newly acquired love interest set out to investigate the murder of her parents. The acting is pretty decent with memorable turns from Piper Laurie, Frederic Forrest, James Russo and Brad Dourif. The two characters really in focus here are Aura and David. As Aura, Argento manages to garner some empathy and is quite likable and Christopher Rydell is also amiable enough; but a lack of chemistry does work against both characters. Don’t let the whole filmed in the USA thing turn you off, this is distinctly European and has Argento’s stamp all over it. Argento’s always impressive eye for detail and creative shots are fully intact. I always enjoy a good death scene that takes place in the snow or rain and Argento includes some really lovely oppressive and bleak rain scenes that are very effective. While there is not as much gore as other Argento films it does have a few very nice set pieces to rave about. With a killer known as the Headhunter you can rest assured people do lose their heads and that is always fun! With Tom Savini on board to take care of the makeup effects you know you are in good hands. Trauma is not without flaws, but I really don’t understand the hate out there for this film. Trauma is a compelling horror thriller; visually alluring, atmospheric and a rather underappreciated Giallo.

trauma

**********

#4 BODY MELT
Directed By: Philip Brophy

Body Melt is a satirical look at the big business of fitness in the late 80s and early 90s. It is a hilariously gross horror-comedy oozing with bodily fluids. Vimuville is a health spa that is marketing a new line of vitamins. They have chosen the good people of Pebbles Court in Homesville to be part of their experiment. Their experiments spare no one; kids, pregnant women, business men. Bodies melt, explode, implode and sometimes tentacles come crawling out and placentas attack and kill husbands. Side effects will include severe hallucinations and death! There is even a mutant family subplot. Body Melt has it all! It is completely bananas. Body Melt is a cheap, cheesy, cheeky, funny flick full of free flowing body fluids and a delightfully vile horror-comedy that should appeal to fans of low-budget and low-brow schlock. To read the full review click here.

body melt

**********

#3 RETURN OF THE LIVING DEAD III
Directed By: Brian Yuzna

I am a huge fan of Dan O’Bannon’s 1985 film The Return of the Living Dead. I think it is one of the best horror comedies ever and it has long held a position on my top 100 favourite horror movies of all time. Unlike the original, Return of the Living Dead III is not a horror-comedy but rather straight up horror served with a side of love story. Love stories in horror films are generally a big turnoff in my book; but in Return of the Living Dead III it actually works. Return of the Living Dead III has very little in common with the first two films, but don’t let that turn you off. Return of the Living Dead III is a sequel that can be enjoyed on its own merit. To impress Julie the girl he loves, Curt steels his father’s security key card. Curt’s pop is a high ranking Colonel working on a top secret project at a nearby military base. Julie and Curt sneak in one night and witness what appears to be a dead man being brought back to life. The couple leaves the facility undetected. Later that same evening Colonel dad informs Curt that he has been transferred and they will be leaving at the end of the week. Curt decides to runaway with Julie and start a new life. Unfortunately they are in a motorcycle accident and Julie is killed. Faster than you can say “I didn’t see that coming” Curt has Julie inside the military facility and abracadabra Julie is back from the dead. I really can’t say enough about the awesome effects and makeup in Return of the Living Dead III! The zombies are all nasty, creative and grotesque and the gore effects are beautiful. Watch out for giraffe neck zombie…he was fan-freaking-tastic!! Practical effects this good should be applauded. Return of the Living Dead III has excellent action sequences, intensity, great effects, beauty gore and a stand out performance from Melinda Clarke who plays Julie. Return of the Living Dead III is a very entertaining zombie flick. To read the full review click here.

return of the living dead III

**********

#2 DARK WATERS
Directed By: Mariano Baino

The final Italian entry on my top ten is Mariano Baino’s excellent Dark Waters; sadly the only full-length feature film from the director thus far. Dark Waters is the story of Elizabeth whom embarks on a journey to investigate a remote convent. After the recent death of her father Elizabeth learns he had been sending significant amounts of money to this convent. The haunting stone fortress cut off from the world is an intimidating place and the convent’s nuns are cold and unfriendly but nonetheless allow Elizabeth to stay. Elizabeth begins to experience relenting and horrifying nightmares and soon uncovers the convents secrets which relate to her own past. Elizabeth finds out that some secrets are best left undiscovered. Dark Waters is a visceral experience that leaves a lasting impression. The island is the most beautifully unappealing, bleak, desolate and godforsaken place you can possibly imagine. The nuns are a grim and acidic bunch led by a blind and particularly salty Mother Superior. They make no attempt to help Elizabeth find her answers with the exception of one young nun named Sarah. Mariano Baino makes the most of the sublimely perfect setting. Dark Waters pitch perfect atmosphere is beautifully complimented by Elizabeth’s terrifying nightmares. It is clear that director Mariano Baino was inspired by H.P. Lovecraft. Wait until you get a glimpse of the creature. Unfortunately, you do get only a glance, and I must admit I desired to see more. The use of candles and the various other religiously-oriented props are superb and enhance every last shot in the film. There are some genuinely creepy scenes of nuns featuring burning crosses and the like, and anyone who digs badass nuns will be thrilled. Louise Salter is very good as Elizabeth; I hoped for her survival; although things never look very promising for her character. My only complaint really is the ending felt a bit rushed, but by no means was it unsatisfying. Dark Waters is a gorgeously filmed, well-acted atmospheric horror film with some truly terrifying moments. Mariano Baino needs to make another film!

dark waters

**********

#1 CRONOS
Directed By: Guillermo del Toro

Cronos was the first full-length feature film from Mexican director Guillermo del Toro and it is a hell of a debut! Cronos remains to this day one of the most unique cinematic entries in the vampire mythos. Jesus Gris is a kind elderly man who owns an antique shop. He finds a gold scarab hidden inside a hollowed out archangel which affixes itself to his skin and injects him with a needle. Soon after he realizes the scarab stab has given him new vigor and begins to knock years from his age. Meanwhile, an eccentric dying man named De la Guardia has been collecting information about the very same golden scarab and has purchased several archangels to find it. De la Guardia with the help of his thug nephew Angel will stop at nothing to acquire it. The Scarab device is 450 years old when Jesus finds it; the creation of an alchemist searching for eternal life. The inner workings of the device which are detailed in a particularly excellent scene features a living insect fitted with internal clockwork. Pretty intricate, and amazing. Of course there is always a price to pay for eternal life and in the case of Cronos it comes in the form of an overwhelming desire for blood. Jesus Gris is a good man, but even he can not fight the lure of eternal life! The visuals in the film are really quite impressive and del Toro makes the most of the limited budget with flare and style. There are some really great effects in Cronos. There is a bit of blood and gore too. What really elevates Cronos are the characterizations and the performances. I can’t say enough good things about the charming Federico Luppi who plays Jesus. He is the most sympathetic and likable blood sucker ever. He has a genuinely sweet relationship with his granddaughter Aurora, who is an adorable and absolutely delightful little thing. Claudio Brook who plays De la Guardia is also outstanding and his eccentric brute of a nephew played by Ron Perlman steals every scene he is in. There were a few questionable plot points but they have little effect on the overall picture. Cronos is a well made, original, atmospheric, funny, dark, beautifully acted and effective horror film well worth a viewing (and multiple viewings at that!).

cronos

**********

Goregirl-Friendly Vampire Films w/music from Dracula Prince of Darkness

Posted in horror, movies with tags , , , , , , , , on February 10, 2012 by goregirl

Goregirl-Friendly Vampire Films featuring music from Dracula: Prince of Darkness (1966). These are all vampire films I rated 3/5 or better.

On Monday I will have a Dungeon Photo review for the visually impressive Blind Beast! Have a great weekend everyone!

Cannibal Films with music by Tom Waits – The Black Rider

Posted in movies with tags , , , on September 21, 2011 by goregirl

Review coming….honest!! One more slideshow for you featuring Cannibal Films with music from the great Tom Waits!
“May I use your skull as a bowl? Come on along with the black rider! We’ll have a gay old time!”

Goregirl’s 25 Favourite Horror Films of the Decade

Posted in horror, movies with tags , , , , , , , on December 31, 2009 by goregirl

The films on this list were in theatres or went straight to DVD during 2000-2009. The shortlist was 37 films, so I had to eliminate a few great selections in the process. There were some amazing foreign entries from the last ten years. I was particularly impressed with the films coming out of France and the UK. Japanese horror was rocking my world in the 90’s and continued to pump new blood into the genre. Lot’s and lot’s of blood! If I was giving out a Director of the decade award, it would definitely go to Japanese director Takashi Miike. He directed more quality films in the last ten years than most directors manage their entire career. His twisted, violent and unique vision provided me hours of entertainment! Needless to say, the U.S. has there share of entries on the list. The sheer volume of horror films released each year would make it almost impossible not to have a few good ones. A few of the excellent films that didn’t make the list are ‘Behind the Mask: The Rise of Leslie Vernon’ (2006), ‘Midnight Meat Train’ (2008), ‘Pontypool’ (2008/9), ‘Murder Party’ (2007), ‘Eden Lake’ (2008) and ‘The Signal’ (2007).

#25. George A. Romero’s Land of The Dead (2005)
I was so excited to see Romero’s new entry I actually got tickets ahead of time for opening night! The cheeky girl at the theatre told me I wouldn’t need to get tickets ahead of time for this one. If I had a glove I would have slapped her in the face and challenged her to a dual! ‘Land of The Dead’ is an intelligent, action-packed, funny and gory masterpiece. Epic zombie makeup, ripping and gourging of entrails, all the good stuff you hope for in a zombie flick. Dennis Hopper as Kaufman was an inspired choice. It’s like Romero called me up and asked me personally what I would like to see in his new zombie film. (Just like he does in my dreams). He is still the undisputed zombie king! We forgive him for ‘Diary of the Dead’. Can’t wait for ‘Survival of The Dead’!

#24. Slither (2006)
I had to rewatch this one to make sure it belonged on this list. I only watched ‘Slither’ once and that was during its theatrical release. ‘Slither’ is freaking great! Amazing energy, an excellent cast, superb effects, and hilarious. It’s all about the funny, but there are definitely a few moments of intensity. And what a slime-tacular ending!! A slimy nod to b-movies of the 50’s and the horror films of the 80’s that filled me with mucho horror glee!

#23. Bubba Ho-Tep (2002)
The horror here is never actually horrifying and the film has no intention of attempting to frighten you. The mummy is pretty nifty looking though, and amusingly dons an over-sized cowboy hat and boots. Normally I would shout out for more horror but I don’t think it was appropriate here. Coscarelli keeps things pretty simple. His senior heroes are not super; they fall down, use walkers and wheelchairs and wear pajamas when they go to bed. There isn’t a thing I would change about this film. Bruce Campbell’s performance of an aging Elvis Presley is excellent and Ossie Davis is perfectly cast as his friend Jack. A bizarre, endearing, funny and completely original film that entertained the hell out of me! To read the full review click here.

#22. The Host (2006)
I am a sucker for a monster movie. I’m sure I seen every one that existed when I was a kid. Godzilla is practically family to me. I’m sad I didn’t get a chance to check out ‘The Host’ in theatres. This would have been a kick ass big screen film! The film is beautiful to look at and the effects are top notch. Loved the monster…absolutely loved it! I thought the story was great and the casting was perfect, and particularly enjoyed Kang-ho Song. If you are a fan of Asian films you might recognize him from Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance or The Good, the Bad, the Weird, or this year’s ‘Thirst’. A fantastic, South Korean monster flick that will appeal to more than just horror fans.

#21. Trick R Treat (2008/9)
One of two films that found their way from my favorites of 2009 to the best of the decade. I don’t know why there aren’t more horror anthology type films. There’s not many out there really and there are a few bad ones, but I really like ‘Creepshow’, and ‘Trilogy of Terror’ and I think ‘Trick R Treat’ is an outstanding addition to this group. The props and sets are absolutely outstanding. I am a Halloween junkie and strictly based on visuals…I almost needed a moment alone I was so excited! The stories are great fun and I love how they are all sewn together. Great performances all around particularly by Dylan Baker and Brian Cox. L-O-V-E-D it! To read the full review click here.

#20. Dead and Breakfast (2004)
I almost didn’t rent this film when I spied the word ‘musical’ on the back cover. Not a fan of musicals. I would not exactly call this a musical though. There is some music in it, and there are two musical numbers…sort of, but otherwise it is a horror-comedy. Much to my surprise I actually liked the music. It adds something unique to the film. The “Comin to kill ya” song was rattling around in my head for days after! It’s low-budget, campy fun with some decent gore and most importantly zombies! This film really tickles me. My husband and I have watched ‘Dead and Breakfast’ at least a half a dozen times since our first viewing and it still completely and thoroughly entertains us.

#19. Save the Green Planet! (2003)
This South Korean entry is a genre stew. As much a comedy as it is a horror, sci-fi or drama. A wonderfully unique, and strangely powerful film. It was beautifully filmed, with a very dark and surreal vibe. Performances by the entire cast were perfect. A completely imaginative, brilliant piece of celluloid that left me feeling saddened, entertained and extremely sated. Amazing! To read the full review click here.

#18. High Tension (2003)
This intense French horror film is beautifully filmed and is jammed-packed with suspenseful moments. Some of the most impressive intensity I have come upon. It is an unrelenting attack on the senses carried by an outstanding and very believable performance from its lead actress. The French have been kicking my ass all over town with their awesome horror entries during this decade. Viva La France!

#17. 3 Extremes (2004)
Hey! Hey! Another anthology! I didn’t want to mention it above and spoil all the fun! 3 films by 3 Asian directors. Fruit Chan (Dumpling), Takashi Miike (Box) and Chan-wook Park (Cut). Quite the trio of directors there! You would have to tie me down and bleed me to keep me away from this one! It was as magnificent as I hoped it would be. In trilogies there is usually a weak link but I didn’t think that was the case here. I loved all 3 films, but if I had to rank, it would fall somewhere in between ‘Cut’ and ‘Dumplings’. The ‘Dumplings’ segment will be beyond disturbing for some and you may not want to go out for Dim Sum anytime soon after seeing it. All three are excellent original stories complimented by great performances and amazing visuals.

#16. Antichrist (2009)
‘Antichrist’ is one of the two films that made it from my TOP 10 list for 2009. I’m a fan of director Lars Von Trier. If I were to make a non-horror top 25 films of the decade, without a doubt his film ‘Dogville’ would make that list. ‘Antichrist’ is a beautifully filmed masterpiece that is bleak and violent and full of pain and misery. Willem Dafoe and Charlotte Gainsbourg are perfectly cast here but it is Gainsbourg’s performance that will stay with you long after the credits roll by. Well, that and some rather unfriendly genital violence! To read the full review click here.

#15. Audition (2000)
Takashi Miike had three outstanding films during the decade with ‘Visitor Q’, ‘Ichi The Killer’ and ‘Audition’. Ichi is all about the action, and Visitor Q is nasty and disturbing but leans towards the drama more than the horror. Audition is pure horror gold. An outstanding build up of tension and a positively epic ending. Eihi Shiina is stunning as Asami and you will not soon forget her delightfully nasty secret.

#14. The Devil’s Rejects (2005)
‘Devil’s Rejects’ takes the best from ‘House of 1000 Corpses’ and uses it far more effectively. The “best” being a delightful trio of sociopaths; Baby, Otis and Captain Spaulding. This time they are taking their show on the road and they’ve got the law trying to bring them down. A grittier, more interesting film than the original with better characterizations and more violence. I actually quite enjoyed ‘House of 1000 Corpses’ but ‘Devil’s Reject’s’, in my opinion, was the far superior film.

#13. Final Destination (2000)
This one is my guilty pleasure. It’s asks nothing of me but to sit back and enjoy the ride. Another series plagued by bad sequels, although there has been at least one death sequence in each that I have enjoyed. When the film first came out in 2000 it felt considerably fresher. They really need to check the expiry date and dump this shit down the sink already! The original idea was neat but it has officially been stretch thin. But that said, the original was packed full of creative death scenes, impressive effects and a lot of high-energy fun.

#12. Planet Terror (2007)

I’m a big Quentin Tarantino fan, so I went to see ‘Grindhouse’ on opening night. The mock trailers were fantastic! I was particularly fond of Edgar Wright’s ‘Don’t’. I went for the Tarantino, and indeed enjoyed ‘Death Proof’ but it was Robert Rodriguez’s entry ‘Planet Terror’ that really knocked my socks off. Cherry was a great character. I really really love that gun for a leg thing! The entire cast of characters was spectacular. There is a ton of action, great effects and freaking zombies! It’s the film that has it all! A thoroughly entertaining film I will watch again and again.

#11. Severance (2006)

“Another Bloody Office outing” indeed! I hate team-building crap at work, but that’s not the only reason I love this movie. I love everything about it. It is funny, crafty, gory, suspenseful and well directed. The ending was perfect and most rewarding. It’s no coincidence that I have back-to-back UK horror-comedies on this list. I am a sucker for British humour and the Brits know their horror! It’s the home of Hammer Films after all! To read the full review click here.

#10. Shaun of the Dead (2004)

I loved ‘Shaun of The Dead’ so much I went to see it at the theatre twice! It is a horror-comedy but it serves up more intensity and suspense than most. This one got a lot of hype but I thought this one actually deserved it. Shaun has a dead end job and likes to hang out at his favourite pub…just like me! I thought Simon Pegg was great and I must admit to developing just a wee crush on the lad. Nick Frost is great as his goofy friend. The entire cast is great actually. Dialog felt easy and casual and it didn’t seem like anyone was “acting”. There are even a few sentimental moments. I actually felt choked up during the scene with Shaun and his mum. (If you’ve seen the film, you’ll know which scene I mean.) They stick to traditional zombie lore and the makeup and effects look great. A perfect horror-comedy and an ass-kicking zombie film from the UK!

#9. Inside (2007)
Full of brooding and intensely suspenseful moments and the gore factor is through the roof. A perfect mix of tension, suspense and graphic gory death. Watching a very pregnant woman being terrorized is nasty enough but there are actually moments in the film where they have the audacity to show the action from the fetus point of view. I think that is wonderfully evil! Another Hooray for the French horror! To read the full review click here.

#8. Let The Right One In (2008)
One of the best vampire films to come out in years. It’s a beautiful snowy evening when Oskar meets Eli and the two become friends. The relationship between the two is sweet and endearing but is also complicated and tragic. It is an amazing, well-written story with great performances from the two child actors and is absolutely stunning to look at! Violence is minimal but what is there was effective. This one really isn’t about the gore though. This Swedish entry is an original refreshing twist on the vampire tale that is hauntingly beautiful.

#7. American Psycho (2000)
Patrick Bateman is a brooding, arrogant, self-obsessed, perfectly chiseled psychopath with the worst taste in music EVER! I have seen this film WAY too many times. I can actually quote lines! Bale is freaking amazing as Bateman and he ain’t hard on the eyes either! I loved his deep analysis that accompanied every horrific piece of 80’s music he puts on throughout the film. Whitney Houston? Huey Lewis and The News? Phil Collins? Yike! A cornucopia of crap, but it made me laugh so hard I had a stomachache! Although this one is a star-studded affair it doesn’t wimp out. There’s nudity, sex, language and of course violence! A black humour runs through the film even in its violent scenes that made me cringe and laugh. Mary Harron’s direction is spot on. It is a shame there aren’t more female directors making horror films. The excess of the 80’s has never been so damn entertaining!

#6. Saw (2004)
It’s hard to look back at this first film objectively after five miserable sequels. On the other hand, I keep watching the sequels, which is a testament to how much I adored this first film. The original ‘Saw’ had an impressive intensity an inventive premise and some gloriously original death sequences. Not only was ‘Saw’ a standout the year it was released, but has become an enduring horror classic despite its less than stellar sequels.

#5. Martyrs (2008)
The performance by both women in ‘Martyrs’ is outstanding. The film twists and turns, but the hard right it takes mid-way completely blindsided me. It starts out as a revenge picture and transforms into something very different. There were more than a few shocks and surprises. The ending is complete and utter insanity! The violence is extreme and graphic. The gore and effects are outstanding. I could not recommend more highly this unflinching, bloody brilliant and completely original horror film. Yet another French entry…and not the last one either! To read the full review click here.

#4. In My Skin (2002)
Are you obsessed with the bodies healing process? Are you fascinated by watching a cut become a scab? Can you barely control yourself from picking at said scab? Well, maybe I’m alone on this one. It’s a lot more than a scab that gets picked at in ‘In My Skin’. Self-mutilation is the name of the game here and it is a fascination to watch. Disturbing, gross and mesmerizing. Marina de Van wrote, directed and starred in this brilliant and completely original French film. Proving once again that the French know their horror.

#3. Ginger Snaps (2000)
The most original take on a werewolf film…EVER. Drawing a parallel between the curse of turning into a werewolf with the curse of becoming a woman is pretty freaking brilliant. The film centers around two close sisters that are misfits and outcasts. One of the few films featuring teenagers that I didn’t find the least bit obnoxious. Performances by both girls are great. An excellent story, strong performances, great werewolf effects and it’s Canadian…just like me!

#2. May (2002)
Man of man do I love this film! May was picked on as a child and spent a lot of time playing alone with the ugly little doll her mom gave her as a gift. She has now become a socially awkward adult. She is sweet and quite adorable but there is definitely a wee bit o’crazy bubbling under the surface. When things go badly for May things go badly for others. Angela Bettis is mesmerizing as May. She brings a quirkiness and sweetness to the character that makes you have empathy for her even when she does terrible things. I don’t get to see near enough Bettis! I think she is fantastic and she was so freaking outstanding in this wonderfully original little film. I loved the look and feel of the film and it’s nice steady pace that builds to a finale that I think is nothing short of spectacular.


#1. The Descent (2005)

I expect to see ‘The Descent’ on many “best of” lists. Once in a while there is a film that is so undeniably outstanding that horror fans across the board actually agree. It has Intensity you can cut with a knife. It is a claustrophobic nightmare you can’t escape. It features a group of women who actually seem like they might know each other. This is something Neil Marshall gets, dialog that feels natural not forced. Performances by all the women are excellent. This film hits all the right horror notes and absolutely oozes atmosphere and creates a mood so perfect it almost brings me to tears. A flawless horror film that
I have seen at least a half a dozen times since its release and will revisit often in the years to come.