Top 30 Classic Horror/Monster (1920's-80's)

by tjfrye-970-903996 | created - 06 Feb 2011 | updated - 07 Feb 2011 | Public

My own personal list. For the top ten films in the list I will give a brief summary of the movies and why I picked to help make my point. Please enjoy, and give feedback whether you liked or not. Also feel free to put any movies of this category that you enjoyed that you thought should have been on the list.

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1. Frankenstein (1931)

Not Rated | 70 min | Drama, Horror, Sci-Fi

7.9
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

An obsessed scientist assembles a living being from parts of exhumed corpses.

Director: James Whale | Stars: Colin Clive, Mae Clarke, Boris Karloff, John Boles

Votes: 54,082 | Gross: $12.00M

I chose this for number 1 out of pure nostalgia. For being the very first horror movie I ever saw (at the age of five), and even one of the very first movies I've seen in my life. Today it might seem a little dated, but there is no doubt that it has acceptional acting and amazing dark atmosphere that draws you into the movie itself.

2. Nosferatu (1922)

Not Rated | 81 min | Fantasy, Horror

8.0
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

Vampire Count Orlok expresses interest in a new residence and real estate agent Hutter's wife.

Director: F.W. Murnau | Stars: Max Schreck, Alexander Granach, Gustav von Wangenheim, Greta Schröder

Votes: 75,040

My favorite silent film of all time, I first saw this after getting into a conversation with my history teacher about historical movies. He told me to give this a watch and I'm glad I did. Even if you took the text cards out of the movie you could still understand what was happening from the fluent portrayal of body language by each character.

3. Rodan (1956)

Unrated | 74 min | Adventure, Drama, Horror

6.4
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

Mutant pterosaurs and prehistoric insects terrorize humanity.

Director: Ishirô Honda | Stars: Kenji Sahara, Yumi Shirakawa, Akihiko Hirata, Akio Kobori

Votes: 3,391 | Gross: $0.50M

Ironically this movie didn't captivate me. "Then why is this #3 on the list?" You might ask. Well I saw this with a group of friends when we were bored one evening and decided to pop in a cheesy movie. As I watched, I noticedthe american dubbed voice acting was terrible, but as a creator of short films I admired it for how it was made. I loved the special effects, and use of extrememly accurate miniatures. Not necessarily a "great" movie but a movie can always be great as an experience without being a great movie.

4. Gojira (1954)

Not Rated | 96 min | Drama, Horror, Sci-Fi

7.5
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78 Metascore

American nuclear weapons testing results in the creation of a seemingly unstoppable, dinosaur-like beast.

Director: Ishirô Honda | Stars: Takashi Shimura, Akihiko Hirata, Akira Takarada, Momoko Kôchi

Votes: 21,763 | Gross: $2.42M

How couldn't I include this movie in this list? It's a landmark film in both scifi and horror. The use of low angles shot upwards really creates a feeling of how small and and measley the view is compared to the king of the monsters

5. Alien (1979)

R | 117 min | Horror, Sci-Fi

8.5
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.5/10 X  
83 Metascore

After a space merchant vessel perceives an unknown transmission as a distress call, its landing on the source moon finds one of the crew attacked by a mysterious lifeform, and they soon realize that its life cycle has merely begun.

Director: Ridley Scott | Stars: Sigourney Weaver, Tom Skerritt, John Hurt, Veronica Cartwright

Votes: 648,108 | Gross: $78.90M

One of the first movies to actually scare me in a sense, Alien is a wonderful scifi and horror experience. The scenario of being trapped in a confined area with a killer on the loose is played out very well. The movie feeds off of and ounce of claustrophobia the audience may have.

6. The Evil Dead (1981)

NC-17 | 85 min | Horror

7.5
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70 Metascore

Five friends travel to a cabin in the woods, where they unknowingly release flesh-possessing demons.

Director: Sam Raimi | Stars: Bruce Campbell, Ellen Sandweiss, Richard DeManincor, Betsy Baker

Votes: 157,182 | Gross: $2.40M

I think this movie explains for itself why it's a great movie. It shows how a budget of 375,000, a small cabbin in the woods, and a lot of creativity can be combined and turned into a masterpiece.

7. Creature from the Black Lagoon (1954)

G | 79 min | Horror

7.0
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A strange prehistoric beast lurks in the depths of the Amazonian jungle. A group of scientists try to capture the animal and bring it back to civilization for study.

Director: Jack Arnold | Stars: Richard Carlson, Julie Adams, Richard Denning, Antonio Moreno

Votes: 20,211 | Gross: $1.30M

I can sum up this movie in just four words. Greatest creature design EVER!

8. Dracula (1931)

Not Rated | 75 min | Fantasy, Horror

7.6
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The ancient vampire Count Dracula arrives in England and begins to prey upon the virtuous young Mina.

Director: Tod Browning | Stars: Bela Lugosi, Helen Chandler, David Manners, Dwight Frye

Votes: 37,566

What can be said that has not already been said about this movie? It's a landmark film and perfects almost everything that it has to show. The gothic architecture, the incredible acting, and of course Bela Lugosi himself all contribute to why I love this movie.

9. A Clockwork Orange (1971)

R | 136 min | Crime, Drama, Sci-Fi

8.3
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78 Metascore

In the future, a sadistic gang leader is imprisoned and volunteers for a conduct-aversion experiment, but it doesn't go as planned.

Director: Stanley Kubrick | Stars: Malcolm McDowell, Patrick Magee, Michael Bates, Warren Clarke

Votes: 627,966

Some people may argue that 2001: a Space Odyssey is Stanley Kubrik's masterpiece. I disagree, A Clockwork Orange is a fantastic creation of it's original novel. It's a movie that takes a treat wack at psychological terror.

10. King Kong vs. Godzilla (1962)

Approved | 91 min | Action, Adventure, Fantasy

5.9
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A pharmaceutical company captures King Kong and brings him to Japan, where he escapes from captivity and battles a recently released Godzilla.

Director: Ishirô Honda | Stars: Tadao Takashima, Kenji Sahara, Yû Fujiki, Ichirô Arishima

Votes: 6,215 | Gross: $2.73M

It's a movie that could only be created from the mind of a complete genious of film advertising. Combining two of history's greatest monsters in one epic film of total cheesiness. Great movie to watch with friends.

11. The Mummy (1932)

Not Rated | 73 min | Fantasy, Horror

7.2
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A living mummy stalks the beautiful woman he believes is the reincarnation of his lover.

Director: Karl Freund | Stars: Boris Karloff, Zita Johann, David Manners, Arthur Byron

Votes: 18,697

12. The Wolf Man (1941)

Not Rated | 70 min | Horror

7.4
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A practical man returns to his homeland, is attacked by a creature of folklore, and infected with a horrific disease his disciplined mind tells him can not possibly exist.

Director: George Waggner | Stars: Claude Rains, Warren William, Lon Chaney Jr., Ralph Bellamy

Votes: 18,922

13. Frankenstein Meets the Wolf Man (1943)

Approved | 74 min | Fantasy, Horror, Sci-Fi

6.6
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After being awakened, Larry Talbot chips Frankenstein's Monster out of a block of ice. When Talbot changes to the Wolf Man, the two creatures battle each other.

Director: Roy William Neill | Stars: Lon Chaney Jr., Ilona Massey, Patric Knowles, Lionel Atwill

Votes: 6,213

14. Earth vs. the Flying Saucers (1956)

Unrated | 83 min | Action, Sci-Fi

6.4
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Extraterrestrials traveling in high-tech flying saucers contact scientist Dr. Russell Marvin as part of a plan to enslave the inhabitants of Earth.

Director: Fred F. Sears | Stars: Hugh Marlowe, Joan Taylor, Donald Curtis, Morris Ankrum

Votes: 5,782

15. The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms (1953)

Approved | 80 min | Adventure, Horror, Sci-Fi

6.7
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A ferocious dinosaur awakened by an Arctic atomic test terrorizes the North Atlantic and, ultimately, New York City.

Director: Eugène Lourié | Stars: Paul Hubschmid, Paula Raymond, Cecil Kellaway, Kenneth Tobey

Votes: 5,469 | Gross: $5.00M

16. Psycho (1960)

R | 109 min | Horror, Mystery, Thriller

8.5
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97 Metascore

A Phoenix secretary embezzles $40,000 from her employer's client, goes on the run, and checks into a remote motel run by a young man under the domination of his mother.

Director: Alfred Hitchcock | Stars: Anthony Perkins, Janet Leigh, Vera Miles, John Gavin

Votes: 480,200 | Gross: $32.00M

17. Mothra (1961)

Passed | 101 min | Fantasy, Sci-Fi, Thriller

6.6
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Shipwreck survivors are found on Beiru Island (Infanto tô), which was previously used for atomic tests. The interior is amazingly free of radiation effects, and they believe that they were ... See full summary »

Director: Ishirô Honda | Stars: Furankî Sakai, Hiroshi Koizumi, Kyôko Kagawa, Yumi Itô

Votes: 2,582

18. Friday the 13th (1980)

R | 95 min | Horror, Mystery, Thriller

6.5
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  
19 Metascore

A group of camp counselors are stalked and murdered by an unknown assailant while trying to reopen a summer camp which, years before, was the site of a child's drowning.

Director: Sean S. Cunningham | Stars: Betsy Palmer, Adrienne King, Jeannine Taylor, Robbi Morgan

Votes: 95,035 | Gross: $39.75M

19. A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984)

R | 91 min | Horror

7.5
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78 Metascore

Several people are hunted by a cruel serial killer who kills his victims in their dreams. While the survivors are trying to find the reason for being chosen, the murderer won't lose any chance to kill them as soon as they fall asleep.

Director: Wes Craven | Stars: Heather Langenkamp, Johnny Depp, Robert Englund, John Saxon

Votes: 168,941 | Gross: $25.50M

20. Dawn of the Dead (1978)

Unrated | 127 min | Horror, Thriller

8.0
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71 Metascore

Following an ever-growing epidemic of zombies that have risen from the dead, two Philadelphia S.W.A.T. team members, a traffic reporter, and his television executive girlfriend seek refuge in a secluded shopping mall.

Director: George A. Romero | Stars: David Emge, Ken Foree, Scott H. Reiniger, Gaylen Ross

Votes: 97,584 | Gross: $5.10M

21. Night of the Living Dead (1968)

Not Rated | 96 min | Horror

7.9
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87 Metascore

There is panic throughout the nation as the dead suddenly come back to life. The film follows a group of characters who barricade themselves in an old farmhouse in an attempt to remain safe from these bloodthirsty, flesh-eating monsters.

Director: George A. Romero | Stars: Duane Jones, Judith O'Dea, Karl Hardman, Marilyn Eastman

Votes: 97,309 | Gross: $0.09M

22. The Bat (1926)

86 min | Mystery, Thriller

6.7
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

A masked criminal who dresses like a giant bat terrorizes the guests at an old house rented by a mystery writer.

Director: Roland West | Stars: George Beranger, Charles Herzinger, Emily Fitzroy, Louise Fazenda

Votes: 599

23. The Golem (1920)

Unrated | 91 min | Fantasy, Horror

7.2
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

In 16th-century Prague, a rabbi creates the Golem - a giant creature made of clay. Using sorcery, he brings the creature to life in order to protect the Jews of Prague from persecution.

Directors: Carl Boese, Paul Wegener | Stars: Paul Wegener, Albert Steinrück, Ernst Deutsch, Lyda Salmonova

Votes: 5,282

24. The Abominable Dr. Phibes (1971)

PG-13 | 94 min | Comedy, Horror

7.2
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A doctor, scientist, organist, and biblical scholar, Anton Phibes, seeks revenge on the nine doctors he considers responsible for his wife's death.

Director: Robert Fuest | Stars: Vincent Price, Joseph Cotten, Hugh Griffith, Terry-Thomas

Votes: 11,242

25. O Estranho Mundo de Zé do Caixão (1968)

80 min | Horror

6.5
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

Three episodes: A dollmaker whose dolls are eerily human, a tale of necrophilia, and a doctor proves love is dead.

Director: José Mojica Marins | Stars: Luís Sérgio Person, Vany Miller, Mário Lima, Verônica Krimann

Votes: 450

26. The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (1974)

R | 83 min | Horror

7.5
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  
75 Metascore

Two siblings and three of their friends en route to visit their grandfather's grave in Texas end up falling victim to a family of cannibalistic psychopaths.

Director: Tobe Hooper | Stars: Marilyn Burns, Edwin Neal, Allen Danziger, Paul A. Partain

Votes: 110,210 | Gross: $30.86M

27. Daikaijû Gamera (1965)

81 min | Horror, Sci-Fi

4.6
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.6/10 X  

From out of the arctic comes a gigantic flying, fire-breathing turtle that sets its sights on destroying Tokyo.

Director: Noriaki Yuasa | Stars: Eiji Funakoshi, Harumi Kiritachi, Junichirô Yamashiko, Yoshiro Uchida

Votes: 2,177

28. Crucible of Horror (1971)

GP | 91 min | Drama, Horror, Thriller

4.9
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A mother and daughter hatch a scheme to murder their family's domineering and sadistic patriarch.

Director: Viktors Ritelis | Stars: Michael Gough, Yvonne Mitchell, Sharon Gurney, Simon Gough

Votes: 535

29. House of Dracula (1945)

Approved | 67 min | Fantasy, Horror, Sci-Fi

5.8
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Count Dracula and the Wolf Man seek cures for their afflictions; a hunchbacked woman, a mad scientist and Frankenstein's Monster have their own troubles.

Director: Erle C. Kenton | Stars: Onslow Stevens, John Carradine, Lon Chaney Jr., Martha O'Driscoll

Votes: 3,796

30. The Mummy (1959)

Unrated | 88 min | Adventure, Horror

6.8
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In 1895, British archaeologists find and open the tomb of Egyptian Princess Ananka with nefarious consequences.

Director: Terence Fisher | Stars: Peter Cushing, Christopher Lee, Yvonne Furneaux, Eddie Byrne

Votes: 6,278