Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Guest Blog: Top 5 American Horror Films of the 1990s

I like lists and I know for a fact that Brad of Hello! This is the Doomed Show and Yellow Razor likes- no, loves them too. We make lists together and here is a list now. Listy list. LIST LIST LIST. Since the 90s were so great and the horror movies from that era were better than any other era in the history of mankind, I thought we should talk about some American horror films from that era. And hey, why not put that discussion in list form. Here is Brad's top 5 and you can read mine over at his blog. Word up.

5. Dr. Giggles (1992)

Some of you may be confused as to the inclusion of Dr. Giggles on my list, even at #5. But this is exactly what a 12 year old undiscerning horror film fan loved in 1992. A good back-story, a weird, giggling antagonist, and a creepy hospital set piece delivered the goods. Yes, re-watching it doesn't elicit quite the same response but it's a good memory and it kept new horror alive for me in my early VHS rental days. I'm not even going to say guilty pleasure because I do return to it from time to time. And there's that scene. You know.

4. Event Horizon (1997)

This freaked us out at the theater and it freaked me out (not as much admittedly, but still) on bluray. What I thought was a sci-fi/horror film that would tip the scales more on the sci-fi side was actually far more horror than I anticipated. This is the closest we'll get to Hellraiser in Space (I know there's a Hellraiser in Space) even though most of us probably aren't looking for a Hellraiser in Space. Sam Neill + Black Hole + Hellraiser In Space. Number 4 on this list has been brought to you by Hellraiser in Space.

3. The Resurrected (1991)

This is a little gem from Dan O'Bannon who didn't direct nearly enough horror films in my opinion. Probably the best straight up Lovecraft adaptation out there for my money with a great performance from Chris Sarandon. Even though I think it's well directed it does have the look of a nicely made cable film of the time. This was one I half remembered for a long time before I stumbled across it on Netflix. Based on The Strange Case of Charles Dexter Ward it plays like a neo-noir that wandered into a horror film. Highly recommended.

2. In The Mouth Of Madness

John Carpenter's last great film and the only one of his that I've seen in the theater. My friends and I saw this and Event Horizon both and we decided that there was something very wrong with Sam Neill. And we hadn't even seen Possession yet. This is Carpenter's take on Lovecraft and it works on several levels, one of them being 'meta' right before that was trendy. Bravura editing and Carpenter's trademark widescreen picture plus Neill's slowly descending into madness acting and some genuinely squirm inducing effects makes this a winner for me. Do you read Sutter Cane?

1. Wolf

I think it's safe to say that from the moment the trailer hit television, we were all excited for what promised to be the definitive werewolf/wolfman picture. The chemistry between Jack Nicholson and Michelle Pfeiffer burned through the screen like no other coupling in film history. Years after his groundbreaking horror films The Graduate and Working Girl, director Mike Nichols delivered...Nah, I can't do it. I mean The Blair Witch Project is my number one film from the 90's, right? A masterclass in suspense and not looking the horror directly in the eye, opinion on the film is still split today. Released not too long really before everyone had a cell phone and internet and Facebook, the film delivers one of the last looks at true myth making unencumbered by post modern skepticism. You don't have to actually see the witch herself to be scared. Your brain can fill in the blanks. And that is terrifying.

-Brad Hogue


  1. The '90s were kind of a desert for horror movies for me. There just wasn't that much that I liked. That said, I seriously love me some ITMOM. One of my favourite Carpenter flicks and one of the scariest movies I've ever seen. There is some seriously creepy shit in that movie and Jurgen Prochnow is so good as Sutter Cane. The title track gets blasted in my house constantly. JC just really nailed Lovecraft in that movie. I have to get around to seeing The Resurrected. I love O'Bannon and HPL so it's kind of weird that I haven't seen it yet. Lists are good.

  2. I love lists. You can learn a lot about someone from a list. I really like The Resurrected. It's also known as Shatterbrain, if you find yourself on the hunt. Worth tracking down in my opinion. It would make a good Halloween season film for sure.

  3. My name is Martin Luther Presley and I love lists.

    These all sound fantastic, sometimes I'm glad that I still have so much watching to do. Perfect timing as well, I'm currently reading Lovecraft stories again, and only last week I have watched In The Mouth of Madness for the first time since it was first shown on TV (and I could hardly remember anything about it). I wasn't quite sure what to make of it, but I liked it and am looking forward to watching it some more. I feel like this one has to sink in a bit. I'm also really looking forward to watching Event Horizon. I've never even heard of The Resurrected, so thanks for the heads up there as well! Any opinion on From Beyond (which I haven't seen yet)?

  4. My name is Brad Hogue and I love Martin Luther Presley.

    I've seen From Beyond once, and that was 3/4 years ago. I thought it was quite good and perhaps a bit overshadowed by the awesome but much better known The Re-Animator. I've been thinking of seeing it again soon. Richard, your thoughts?

  5. FROM BEYOND is one of my favourite flicks ever. Great HPL adaptation, nicely fleshed out from such a short story (only 3 or 4 pages long if memory serves?). The creature FX and atmosphere are terrific, as are Combs, Crampton and Foree. Stuart Gordon rules. I wish he'd leave live theatre alone for a while and make some more movies. I miss him.