Top 5: Gloriously Gory Films

HARRY SHUKMAN presents his list of the top five classic violent movies you should watch just before bedtime.

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Cambridge isn’t a dangerous city. The worst dreams you can have are about work, the only zombies are decaying librarians, and the most you’ve got to fear is some pathetic cretin wanking into your window because he lost Internet connection.

Since Halloween is coming up, The Tab has hand-picked a classic gloriously gory top five list to remind you that worse things can happen to you than rogue flying ejaculate. Much worse.

5. WIZARD OF GORE (1970)

If a director exists who makes films like Gore Gore Girls, Blood Feast, and Blood Feast 2: All U Can Eat, you know you’re in for a treat with Wizard of Gore. A TV talk show host makes a schoolboy error in inviting dubious character and know murderer Montag the Magnificent to appear on the program. His trick is brutally and complicatedly killing women on stage, which he does with the style and panache only a magician has. This film is unforgivably slow, has a shockingly low budget, and an ending equivalent to “and then I woke up,” but has some inspired acts of violence. Just watch the clip.



More serious than Wizard of Gore (and depending on your tastes) more entertaining than A Serbian Film, Wes Craven’s A Nightmare on Elm Street is where Freddy Krueger made his lauded debut. The no-skinned dream-invader chases after a group of naive sexy teenagers to avenge his own death. Although he appears in a further nine films, stick with the original for some amazing dream chases to rival Inception.


3. HALLOWEEN (1978)

Another franchise starter movie here, as a different group of naive sexy teenagers are stalked by a recent escapee of one of the many poorly-guarded American asylums for the criminally insane. Jamie Lee Curtis is Laurie, the unlucky babysitter being chased by mental patient Michael Myers (no relation). Aptly named for this article, Halloween will have you pinned to your seat, not least to figure out if Jamie Lee Curtis was a hermaphrodite or not.


2. SUSPIRIA (1977)

Suzy foolishly accepts an invitation to join a German ballet school secretly housing a coven of witches. More Roald Dahl’s creation than Winnie the Witch, after ballet classes these bitches’ version of kicking back in the evening includes killing off their students by barbed wire, dog, and a deadly double-kill combo move of stabbing and hanging. The haunting score has one of those Renaissance pianos that’s not quite a piano, and a man heavily breathing, so you know it’s going to be good. At the end of it all, Suspiria has the message that if you’re invited to the Danzakademie of Freiburg, its best to politely decline.


1. THE EXORCIST (1973)

Its unclear whether we’ll ever know what “cunting daughter” Regan MacNeil did (see clip), but The Exorcist is a film so shocking that audiences apparently fainted and vomited during original screenings. Unfortunate young victim Regan lends her mind and body to the devil Pazuzu with mixed results. Just when you thought it couldn’t get any crazier, director William Friedkin steps it up a notch and brings in professional exorcists to stop those gnarly 360 degree head spins. This intense horror-of-all-horrors will not let you sleep for a very long time. Happy Halloween.