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Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Horror Movie Listology: A

Rupert Pupkin Speaks has an ongoing series of posts of people's favorite under-rated horror films (mine's here). It got me thinking of how many horror films I've seen and what a low per centage I think are worth seeing, even though I've been careful to limit my viewing to films recommended by others. Here's my list of what's worth seeing of horror films with titles starting with the letter "A." Ratings are given on a 4 star scale; "+" means I think it's more enjoyable than the objective star rating.

Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein (1943) ***. The only good film by the comedy duo, this is a surprisingly good romp. Definitely more comedy than horror, though.

Aberration (1997) 1/2*. People get attacked by obviously rubber lizards. Watch, if you're desperate.

The Abominable Dr. Phibes (1971) **1/2+. The ultimate Vincent Price mad doctor film, this is one of my favorite films.

The Abominable Snowman of the Himalayas (1957) **. More action film than horror and surprisingly good.

The Abomination (1988) 0*. Woman coughs up tumor, which her son swallows and then has to feed, as it starts to fill up the house. Really.

The Addams Family (1991) **1/2. Has its moments.

Addams Family Values (1993) **1/2. Perhaps better than its predecessor.

Adult Version of Jekyll and Hyde (1972). *1/2 If you're going to watch one 1970's porno version of a horror classic, this should be it.

Alice, Sweet Alice (1976) *1/2. Has a big cult following. Definitely watchable and weird.

Alien (1979) ***1/2. Science fiction, but monster makes it fit horror. See it.

Alien Intruder (1993) **. Enjoyable trash.

Alien Resurrection (1997) ***. Completely unnecessary 2nd sequel to Alien, but passable.

Alien Terminator (1995) *. Rips off TWO franchises, but not a waste of time.

Aliens (1986) ***1/2. Equally good sequel to Alien.

All the Colors of the Dark (1972) **1/2. Good obscure "chased by a coven" film.

Alligator (1980) **1/2. Filled with in-jokes for film buffs; for example, if you don't know who Harry Lime is, you need to see more movies.

Alone in the Dark (1982) *1/2. Great cast in perverse tale. Has a devoted following, but I'm not one of them.

Alucarda (1975) **1/2. Lost for 20 years, good gory vampire film holds up well.

The Amazing Colossal Man (1957) *. Sort-of sequel to Attack of the 50 Ft. Woman has some laughably terrible moments.

An American Werewolf in London (1981) ***. Hit-and-miss darkly comic film. Worth seeing, unlike the sequel set in Paris.

Amityville 4: The Evil Escapes (1989) **. The whole Amityville franchise is bad, but this is so silly it's worth catching, if you're in the mood.

Amok Train (1989) *1/2. aka Beyond the Door III. Satanists and virgins. Has its devotees.

Anaconda (1996) **+. Ridiculous mess somehow is quite watchable.

Anacondas: The Hunt for the Blood Orchid (2004) **. Fun (unlike Anaconda 3).

Andy Warhol's Dracula (1974) **1/2. I found it dull; many don't.

Andy Warhol's Frankenstein (1974) *+. I laughed at the campy goriness; many didn't.

Angel Heart (1987) **1/2. More thriller than horror. I liked it at the time.

Anguish (1988) **. Movie obsessed with eyeballs. Worth a look (pun intended).

Anthropophagus: Grim Reaper (1980)**. Insane killer. Good of its type.

Antichrist (2008) *. Over-the-top Lars von Trier film with nasty mutilation scene.

A*P*E (1976) 0*. Terrible remake of King Kong. Watch the first 5 minutes, though; that much is good!

The Ape Man (1943)  *. One of the trashier Bela Lugosi films, before they were all trash.

The Applegates (1990) **. Giant preying mantis takes over a family in suburbia (are you hooked yet?)

Arcane Sorceror (1996) **. Spooky Italian religious mania film.

Army of Darkness (1993) **1/2. Third film in the Evil Dead series -which I loved - this seems forced.

Arnold (1973) **. Stagy, but quite bizarre. Stella Stevens marries a corpse, then...

The Asphyx (1975) ***. Thinking-man's horror. I say check it out.

The Astounding She-Monster (1957) *1/2. I can't defend this, but I liked it.

The Astro-Zombies (1967) 0*+. Terrible film, but it has everything bad movie watchers want. Watch it late at night, and preferably a little drunk.

Asylum (1972) **1/2. Pretty good horror anthology of the Hammer Horror type.

At Midnight, I'll Take Your Soul (1963) *1/2. First in Brazilian "Coffin Joe" series. Very sadistic.

Atom Age Vampire (1960) 1/2*. Has its advocates in the so-bad-it's-good category, but not my favorite.

Attack of the 50 Ft. Woman (1958) *++. One of the best of the so-bad-it's-good films. See it! Skip the Daryl Hannah remake, as well as similarly-titled films (60 ft. centerfold, etc.)

Attack of the B Movie Monster (2005) **1/2. Retitled "The Naked Monster" after "The Naked Gun," this is a pretty entertaining horror spoof.

Attack of the Beast Creatures (1985) 1/2*+. The monsters are painted puppets that don't even move! Watch it, but don't expect greatness.

Attack of the Crab Monsters (1957) **. Roger Corman film that's better than its budget or reputation suggests.

Attack of the Giant Leeches (1959)*.  Another Roger Corman quickie, worth a look.

Attack of the Killer Refrigerator (1990) *1/2. Short film with a title that makes you wonder how they could make it work. It's less funny and more violent than expected.

Attack of the Killer Tomatoes (1980) *1/2. Neither as good nor as bad as you've heard. Intentionally bad film has two good laughs. Amazingly, the later sequels, especially Killer Tomatoes Eat France, are quite good!

Attack of the Mushroom People (1963) **+. Despite the title, this is a pretty good Japanese horror film.

Attack of the Puppet People (1958) **. Poor man's Incredible Shrinking Man.

The Attic (1979) **. Psychological horror.

Audition (2001)***. Very scary Japanese film of a submissive-seeming woman who is a torturing psychopath.

Audrey Rose (1977) **. Very slow film about reincarnation.

Auntie Lee's Meat Pies (1992) *1/2. Has a small cult following due to its unusual cast.

The Awful Dr. Orloff (1961) *. So bad, there's some question about the spelling of Orloff/Orlof. Maybe the essential Jess Franco film, it had sequels.

The Aztec Mummy (1957)*1/2. Early Mexican horror (before masked wrestlers ruled them) is a great place to start exploring south of the border horror films.

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