Onward with our Monster Movie Week.
10/20/08 - Top 5 Werewolf Films - Do this tail make my ass look big?
10/21/08 - Top 5 Vampire Films - They want to suck your blood.
10/22/08 - Top 5 Maniac Films - Serial killers and madmen.
10/23/08 - Top 5 "Other Side" Films - Ghosts, demons and satanism. Oh my!
10/24/08 - Top 5 Monster/Other Films - A potpourri of mixed goodies.
Earl's Top Five Maniac Films
Now I'm gonna piss off certain people here (Slyde) by leaving off one of the most iconic slasher films in history. Psycho. I know...I know. But I've seen Psycho about a half a dozen times and I never thought it was very scary. I'm also leaving out films like The Silence of the Lambs, as I consider those more thriller/drama vehicles even though they often feature horrific madmen. So you can take my list with a grain of salt, I guess.
5. A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984) - The acting was pretty wooden, even with the big-screen debut of Johnny Depp. But the premise, the bogeyman and the dream sequences that killed were just done so well by Wes Craven. It inspired a slew of sequels and some crossovers, but the original is still a damned scary ride.
4. Silent Night, Bloody Night (1974) - Here's an obscure one for you. A man inherits a mansion in a small town. He later finds out that the mansion was formerly an insane asylum while investigating some crimes from the town's past. There is one really long sepia-tinged flashback that shows the inmates killing the staff and escaping the hospital. I won't tell you the big twist, but it was pretty freaking creepy!
3. Malevolence (2004) - Another obscure (for some) one for ya. Slyde and I saw this one in the theaters a few years back with some local interest as the film was shot on location here on Long Island. It was classic throwback to the slasher films of yore, but without the bad acting, gratuitous nudity or cheesy dialogue. Just a straight-up scary flick about a killing spree. Check it out.
2. Friday the 13th (1980) - I almost left this one of the list with Psycho. I think I was influenced by the many sequels and the build-up of Jason as the indestructible killing machine. But this first flick was different. Jason was just a side note and there were tons of scary, bloody and innovative on-screen deaths. The "cha cha cha cha" soundtrack got under your skin as well. Plus I always enjoy it when Kevin Bacon gets murdered on-screen.
1. Halloween (1978) - Along with Freddy Krueger and Jason Vorhees, Michael Myers has become the iconic symbol of movie madmen thanks to this delicious offering from John Carpenter. I even liked most of the sequels. The score was just ridiculously easy and scary (it's the ring tone on my cell phone). As easy and scary as the plot. Madman kills sister, goes to insane asylum, escapes years later and returns home to kill again. They mucked it up a bit later on by adding unnecessary back story (druids?), but the original film didn't need it. It was perfect as it was. Still is.
UPDATE: Adam gave me one that I probably should have included here. The Devil's Rejects by Rob Zombie. The sequel to House of 1000 Corpses was toned down and smartened up. Instead of trying to create a new sub-genre he went back to the basics and made a film that turned into a scary, scary ride. I'd put this ahead of both Nightmare on Elm Street and Silent Night, Bloody Night on my list.
Is your favorite up there?