Darrell Moore's The Best, Worst, And Most Unusual Horror Films (1983)

by skobic | created - 03 Sep 2014 | updated - 03 Sep 2014 | Public

1-14: Once Upon a Time: Origins of the Horror Film 15-33: The Walking Dead 34-56: Animals, Sort of 57-68: Watch the Skies! Monsters from Outer Space! 69-75: To the Devil 76-86: It Can Happen Here: Psychics and Ghosts 87-101: Science Slips Up 102-112: The Psycho With a Knife (Sometimes With a Chainsaw) 113-129: The Most Unusual Horror Films

I didn't add "The Worst Horror Films".

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1. The Student of Prague (1913)

Approved | 85 min | Drama, Fantasy, Horror

Balduin, a student of Prague, leaves his roystering companions in the beer garden, when he finds he has reached the end of his resources. He is scarcely seated in a quiet corner when a ... See full summary »

Directors: Paul Wegener, Stellan Rye | Stars: Paul Wegener, Grete Berger, Lyda Salmonova, John Gottowt

Votes: 1,445

2. The Golem (1920)

Unrated | 91 min | Fantasy, Horror

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: 5,436

3. The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (1920)

Not Rated | 67 min | Fantasy, Horror, Mystery

Hypnotist Dr. Caligari uses a somnambulist, Cesare, to commit murders.

Director: Robert Wiene | Stars: Werner Krauss, Conrad Veidt, Friedrich Feher, Lil Dagover

Votes: 46,771

4. Nosferatu (1922)

Not Rated | 81 min | Fantasy, Horror

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: 77,036

5. The Hunchback of Notre Dame (I) (1923)

Unrated | 133 min | Drama, Horror, Romance

In fifteenth century Paris, the brother of the archdeacon plots with the gypsy king to foment a peasant revolt. Meanwhile, a freakish hunchback falls in love with the gypsy queen.

Director: Wallace Worsley | Stars: Lon Chaney, Patsy Ruth Miller, Norman Kerry, Kate Lester

Votes: 4,044 | Gross: $1.02M

6. The Phantom of the Opera (1925)

Not Rated | 93 min | Horror

A mad, disfigured composer seeks love with a lovely young opera singer.

Directors: Rupert Julian, Lon Chaney, Ernst Laemmle, Edward Sedgwick | Stars: Lon Chaney, Mary Philbin, Norman Kerry, Arthur Edmund Carewe

Votes: 14,110 | Gross: $0.72M

7. The Old Dark House (1932)

TV-G | 72 min | Comedy, Horror, Thriller

Seeking shelter from a storm, five travelers are in for a bizarre and terrifying night when they stumble upon the Femm family estate.

Director: James Whale | Stars: Boris Karloff, Melvyn Douglas, Charles Laughton, Gloria Stuart

Votes: 6,724 | Gross: $0.03M

8. The Black Cat (1934)

65 min | Adventure, Crime, Horror

American honeymooners in Hungary become trapped in the home of a Satan-worshiping priest when the bride is taken there for medical help following a road accident.

Director: Edgar G. Ulmer | Stars: Boris Karloff, Bela Lugosi, David Manners, Julie Bishop

Votes: 7,592 | Gross: $0.24M

9. Murders in the Rue Morgue (1932)

Passed | 61 min | Crime, Horror, Mystery

A mad scientist seeks to mingle human blood with that of an ape, and resorts to kidnapping women for his experiments.

Director: Robert Florey | Stars: Bela Lugosi, Sidney Fox, Leon Ames, Bert Roach

Votes: 3,040

10. Murders in the Zoo (1933)

Passed | 62 min | Crime, Horror

A monomaniacal zoologist is pathologically jealous of his beautiful but unfaithful wife Evelyn and will not stop short of murder to keep her.

Director: A. Edward Sutherland | Stars: Charles Ruggles, Lionel Atwill, Gail Patrick, Randolph Scott

Votes: 743

11. Island of Lost Souls (1932)

Not Rated | 70 min | Horror, Sci-Fi

An obsessed scientist conducts profane experiments in evolution, eventually establishing himself as the self-styled demigod to a race of mutated, half-human abominations.

Director: Erle C. Kenton | Stars: Charles Laughton, Bela Lugosi, Richard Arlen, Leila Hyams

Votes: 6,740

12. The Invisible Man (1933)

Not Rated | 71 min | Horror, Sci-Fi

A scientist finds a way of becoming invisible, but in doing so, he becomes murderously insane.

Director: James Whale | Stars: Claude Rains, Gloria Stuart, William Harrigan, Henry Travers

Votes: 24,476

13. The Mummy (1932)

Approved | 73 min | Fantasy, Horror

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: 19,362

14. Mad Love (1935)

Passed | 68 min | Horror, Romance, Sci-Fi

In France, an insane surgeon's obsession with an actress from England leads him to replace her pianist husband's hands that got mangled in an accident with the hands of a late knife murderer which still have the urge to throw knives.

Director: Karl Freund | Stars: Peter Lorre, Frances Drake, Colin Clive, Ted Healy

Votes: 3,665

15. Frankenstein (1931)

Passed | 70 min | Drama, Horror, Sci-Fi

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: 55,549 | Gross: $12.00M

16. Bride of Frankenstein (1935)

Not Rated | 75 min | Drama, Horror, Sci-Fi

Mary Shelley reveals the main characters of her novel survived: Dr. Frankenstein, goaded by an even madder scientist, builds his monster a mate.

Director: James Whale | Stars: Boris Karloff, Elsa Lanchester, Colin Clive, Valerie Hobson

Votes: 37,081

17. Son of Frankenstein (1939)

Approved | 99 min | Drama, Horror, Sci-Fi

One of the sons of Frankenstein finds his father's monster in a coma and revives him, only to find out he is controlled by Ygor who is bent on revenge.

Director: Rowland V. Lee | Stars: Boris Karloff, Basil Rathbone, Bela Lugosi, Lionel Atwill

Votes: 7,464

18. The Ghost of Frankenstein (1942)

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

When Ygor brings the Monster to Dr. Ludwig Frankenstein for care, Ludwig gets the idea of replacing the Monster's current criminal brain with a normal one.

Director: Erle C. Kenton | Stars: Cedric Hardwicke, Lon Chaney Jr., Ralph Bellamy, Lionel Atwill

Votes: 4,558

19. The Curse of Frankenstein (1957)

Approved | 82 min | Horror, Sci-Fi, Thriller

Victor Frankenstein builds a creature and brings it to life, but it behaves not as he intended.

Director: Terence Fisher | Stars: Peter Cushing, Hazel Court, Robert Urquhart, Christopher Lee

Votes: 7,578 | Gross: $7.00M

20. The Revenge of Frankenstein (1958)

Unrated | 90 min | Horror, Sci-Fi

Baron Frankenstein escapes from the guillotine and goes to Germany. There, he names himself Dr. Stein and plans to restart his experiments by using parts of dead bodies.

Director: Terence Fisher | Stars: Peter Cushing, Francis Matthews, Eunice Gayson, Michael Gwynn

Votes: 3,763

21. Dracula (1931)

Not Rated | 75 min | Fantasy, Horror

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: 38,730

22. Vampyr (1932)

Not Rated | 75 min | Fantasy, Horror

A drifter obsessed with the supernatural stumbles upon an inn where a severely ill adolescent girl is slowly becoming a vampire.

Director: Carl Theodor Dreyer | Stars: Julian West, Maurice Schutz, Rena Mandel, Sybille Schmitz

Votes: 12,906

23. Mark of the Vampire (1935)

Passed | 60 min | Horror, Mystery

When a nobleman is murdered, a professor of the occult blames vampires; but not all is what it seems.

Director: Tod Browning | Stars: Lionel Barrymore, Elizabeth Allan, Bela Lugosi, Lionel Atwill

Votes: 3,660

24. Son of Dracula (1943)

Approved | 80 min | Fantasy, Horror

Count Alucard finds his way from Budapest to the swamps of the Deep South; his four nemeses are a medical doctor, a university professor, a jilted fiancé and the woman he loves.

Director: Robert Siodmak | Stars: Lon Chaney Jr., Robert Paige, Louise Allbritton, Evelyn Ankers

Votes: 3,707

25. Horror of Dracula (1958)

Not Rated | 82 min | Horror

Jonathan Harker begets the ire of Count Dracula after he accepts a job at the vampire's castle under false pretenses.

Director: Terence Fisher | Stars: Peter Cushing, Christopher Lee, Michael Gough, Melissa Stribling

Votes: 17,584

26. Count Yorga, Vampire (1970)

PG-13 | 93 min | Drama, Fantasy, Horror

A couple invites a Count from Hungary, who recently immigrated to America, to conduct a seance for the woman's recently deceased mother, oblivious to the fact that he is actually a vampire.

Director: Bob Kelljan | Stars: Robert Quarry, Roger Perry, Michael Murphy, Michael Macready

Votes: 1,896

27. The Return of Count Yorga (1971)

R | 97 min | Horror

Count Yorga continues to prey on the local community while living by a nearby orphanage. He also intends to take a new wife, while feeding his bevy of female vampires.

Director: Bob Kelljan | Stars: Robert Quarry, Mariette Hartley, Roger Perry, Yvonne Wilder

Votes: 848

28. Nosferatu the Vampyre (1979)

PG | 107 min | Horror

Count Dracula moves from Transylvania to Wismar, spreading the Black Plague across the land. Only a woman pure of heart can bring an end to his reign of horror.

Director: Werner Herzog | Stars: Klaus Kinski, Isabelle Adjani, Bruno Ganz, Roland Topor

Votes: 27,118

29. Dracula (1979)

R | 109 min | Horror, Romance

In 1913, the charming, seductive and sinister vampire Count Dracula travels to England in search of an immortal bride.

Director: John Badham | Stars: Frank Langella, Laurence Olivier, Donald Pleasence, Kate Nelligan

Votes: 7,749 | Gross: $20.16M

30. White Zombie (1932)

Passed | 69 min | Horror

A young man turns to a witch doctor to lure the woman he loves away from her fiancé, but instead turns her into a zombie slave.

Director: Victor Halperin | Stars: Bela Lugosi, Madge Bellamy, Joseph Cawthorn, Robert Frazer

Votes: 7,774

31. I Walked with a Zombie (1943)

Approved | 69 min | Drama, Fantasy, Horror

A Canadian nurse is hired to care for the wife of a sugar plantation owner, who has been acting strangely, on a Caribbean island.

Director: Jacques Tourneur | Stars: Frances Dee, Tom Conway, James Ellison, Edith Barrett

Votes: 9,145

32. Night of the Living Dead (1968)

Not Rated | 96 min | Horror

88 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: 99,711 | Gross: $0.09M

33. Dawn of the Dead (1978)

Unrated | 127 min | Horror, Thriller

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: 99,518 | Gross: $5.10M

34. An American Werewolf in London (1981)

R | 97 min | Comedy, Horror

60 Metascore

Two American college students on a walking tour of Britain are attacked by a werewolf that none of the locals will admit exists.

Director: John Landis | Stars: David Naughton, Jenny Agutter, Joe Belcher, Griffin Dunne

Votes: 77,245 | Gross: $30.57M

35. Werewolf of London (1935)

Not Rated | 75 min | Drama, Fantasy, Horror

The juice of a rare Tibetan flower is the only thing that keeps Dr. Glendon from turning into a werewolf during a full moon.

Director: Stuart Walker | Stars: Henry Hull, Warner Oland, Valerie Hobson, Lester Matthews

Votes: 4,029

36. The Wolf Man (1941)

Not Rated | 70 min | Horror

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: 19,523

37. I Was a Teenage Werewolf (1957)

Approved | 76 min | Drama, Fantasy, Horror

A hypnotherapist uses a temperamental teenager as guinea pig for a serum which transforms him into a vicious werewolf.

Director: Gene Fowler Jr. | Stars: Michael Landon, Yvonne Lime, Whit Bissell, Charles Willcox

Votes: 2,039 | Gross: $2.00M

38. The Curse of the Werewolf (1961)

Approved | 93 min | Horror

In 18th Century Spain, an adopted boy becomes a werewolf and terrorizes the inhabitants of his town.

Director: Terence Fisher | Stars: Clifford Evans, Oliver Reed, Yvonne Romain, Catherine Feller

Votes: 4,343

39. Wolfen (1981)

R | 115 min | Horror, Thriller

64 Metascore

A New York cop investigates a series of brutal deaths that resemble animal attacks.

Director: Michael Wadleigh | Stars: Albert Finney, Diane Venora, Edward James Olmos, Gregory Hines

Votes: 7,642 | Gross: $10.63M

40. The Howling (1981)

R | 91 min | Horror

68 Metascore

After a bizarre and near fatal encounter with a serial killer, a television newswoman is sent to a remote mountain resort whose residents may not be what they seem.

Director: Joe Dante | Stars: Dee Wallace, Patrick Macnee, Dennis Dugan, Christopher Stone

Votes: 26,059 | Gross: $17.99M

41. Beauty and the Beast (1946)

Not Rated | 93 min | Drama, Fantasy, Romance

92 Metascore

A beautiful young woman takes her father's place as the prisoner of a mysterious beast, who wishes to marry her.

Directors: Jean Cocteau, René Clément | Stars: Jean Marais, Josette Day, Mila Parély, Nane Germon

Votes: 21,311 | Gross: $0.30M

42. King Kong (1933)

Not Rated | 100 min | Adventure, Horror, Sci-Fi

90 Metascore

A film crew goes to a tropical island for an exotic location shoot and discovers a colossal ape who takes a shine to their female blonde star. He is then captured and brought back to New York City for public exhibition.

Directors: Merian C. Cooper, Ernest B. Schoedsack | Stars: Fay Wray, Robert Armstrong, Bruce Cabot, Frank Reicher

Votes: 71,132 | Gross: $10.00M

43. King Kong (1976)

PG | 134 min | Adventure, Horror

A petroleum exploration expedition comes to an isolated island and encounters a colossal giant gorilla.

Director: John Guillermin | Stars: Jeff Bridges, Charles Grodin, Jessica Lange, John Randolph

Votes: 26,199 | Gross: $52.61M

44. Cat People (1942)

Not Rated | 73 min | Fantasy, Horror, Thriller

An American man marries a Serbian immigrant who fears that she will turn into the cat person of her homeland's fables if they are intimate together.

Director: Jacques Tourneur | Stars: Simone Simon, Tom Conway, Kent Smith, Jane Randolph

Votes: 15,997 | Gross: $4.00M

45. Cat People (1982)

R | 118 min | Fantasy, Horror, Thriller

62 Metascore

A young woman's sexual awakening brings horror when she discovers her urges transform her into a monstrous black leopard.

Director: Paul Schrader | Stars: Nastassja Kinski, Malcolm McDowell, John Heard, Annette O'Toole

Votes: 16,427 | Gross: $7.00M

46. Alligator (1980)

R | 91 min | Horror, Sci-Fi, Thriller

A baby alligator is flushed down a Chicago toilet and survives by eating discarded laboratory rats injected with growth hormones. The small reptile grows gigantic, escapes the city sewers, and goes on a rampage.

Director: Lewis Teague | Stars: Robert Forster, Robin Riker, Michael V. Gazzo, Dean Jagger

Votes: 8,950

47. Willard (1971)

GP | 95 min | Horror, Sci-Fi

A social misfit uses his only friends, his pet rats, to exact revenge on his tormentors.

Director: Daniel Mann | Stars: Bruce Davison, Elsa Lanchester, Sondra Locke, Michael Dante

Votes: 2,881 | Gross: $19.22M

48. Ben (1972)

PG | 94 min | Horror, Thriller

A lonely boy befriends Ben, the leader of a violent pack of killer rats.

Director: Phil Karlson | Stars: Lee Montgomery, Joseph Campanella, Arthur O'Connell, Rosemary Murphy

Votes: 1,975

49. The Birds (1963)

PG-13 | 119 min | Drama, Horror, Mystery

87 Metascore

A wealthy San Francisco socialite pursues a potential boyfriend to a small Northern California town that slowly takes a turn for the bizarre when birds of all kinds suddenly begin to attack people.

Director: Alfred Hitchcock | Stars: Rod Taylor, Tippi Hedren, Jessica Tandy, Suzanne Pleshette

Votes: 147,452 | Gross: $11.40M