Chillers with chuckles. Be afraid. Be very afraid. Be giggly. Be very giggly. Keep telling yourself, it's only a movie list. It's only a movie list. It's only a movie list.... (On the flip side, full-tilt spooky spoofs are recommended on the "Top 10 Scary Movie Comedies" list.)
The Amity village's horror: Off their idyllic coast, something with a fierce appetite is overbiting the tourists. "You're gonna need a bigger boat," Police Chief Brody (Roy Scheider) tells bounty hunter Quint (Robert Shaw), upon spotting a Great White shark, but it might be too late. Guess who's coming to dinner. Mischievous script, cast and direction (Steven Spielberg) chomp at the bits.
Promotional tagline: "It's just one of those days when you're feeling a little ... dead." I had problems adding "Shaun" to this list because the zombie feast could easily be included on my opposing "Top 10 Scary Movie Comedies"
review. In my mind, this hilarious horror flick swings both ways equally, landing here due to the hard, dark edges and gore. I considered "Shaun of the Dead" for the #1 position, too, but "Jaws" remains supreme, having wider appeal and that irrefutable classic status.
Hellzapoppin' and Bruce Campbell is chainsaw-a-choppin' in this seriously grizzly tale of supernatural spirits on a rampage. Unrelenting action, unspeakable menace and unexpected Three Stooges-style antics make for a slap-happy gore feast. Director Sam Raimi's mesmerizing invention spawns a cold-cocked cinematic knock-out. Not for children or anyone planning to sleep -- ever.
UFOs, in ghastly cahoots with doddering zombies and insane stock footage, invade Earth. This unintentionally hilarious disaster film is a catastrophe due to its dumbstruck plot, inept actors and alleged production values. Edward D. Wood, Jr.'s underachievement is generally hailed as the worst flick ever. Oddly, it's available on fine definition DVD, making a rotten film look even lousier.
"Jaws" with slithers. The '50s monster genre is back with a fresh coat of paint and a VERY LARGE can of worms. An isolated western locale is besieged by burrowing subterranean crawlers with a taste for munching B-list actors. Ron Underwood ("City Slickers") helms a bright script, amazingly believable special effects, and a cornered, quipping ensemble headed by Kevin Bacon and Fred Ward. BIG fun.
While strolling through the moors one night, two buddies are savaged by a blood-guzzling beast. One dies, the other heals, falls in love and chit-chats with the Undead about the next bad moon rising. Superb shape-shifting effects set a new benchmark in movies. Contemporary Britain permeates this calamitous John Landis production, suitably steeped in macabre humor, some of which nicely clots.
A medical student's serum brings corpses back to life, along with thrills, violence, and hold-onto-your-head comedy. Director Stuart Gordon's debut is dark and lowbrow in tone and execution, but jolts a creepy, smiley experience. Beware: Several edits of this film exist, including the current home video release which, reportedly, is softened. Your mother would still not want you to see it.
Five simplistic, over-the-top Stephen King stories styled after the impishly grotesque "E.C. Comics." In one segment, King "acts" as such an outlandish country buffoon, he makes Max "Jethro Bodine" Baer, Jr. look like Sir John Gielgud. The best nightmare bugs E.G. Marshall, a man with an infinite dislike for cockroaches. You might wish to caress your pesticide spritzer for emotional support here.
"Jaws" with feet. Writer David Kelley's ("Ally McBeal") crocodile crock is a whirlpool of mindless amusement. A carnivorous behemoth must satisfy his hunger for park rangers and tent dwellers whenever there's soundtrack silence. Kindly Betty White provides a gum-swallowing comeback line. In publicity for this movie, the actress apologized -- with winks -- for her behavior.
Though sinisterness lurks, this biopic beaut isn't a scary movie. Instead, it's a homage to a defamed man, whom was passionate and spunky enough to make scary movies; unfortunately, Edward G. Wood, Jr. had no talent. Johnny Depp, Bill Murray, Sarah Jessica Parker, and Martin Landau (in an Oscar-winning performance) as Bela Lugosi recreate a strange, nutty world -- more fascinating than Ed's films -- in director Tim Burton's valentine to accomplishment and Hollywood's underbelly.