The Book of Lists - Horror: Joe Lynch's Ten Movies My Mother Should Have Never Let Me Watch (But Thankfully Did!)

by MinaGrentham | created - 05 Sep 2014 | updated - 05 Sep 2014 | Public

Joe Lynch was born in Long Island, raised on a steady diet of horror films, novels, comics, and dirty-water hot dogs. Upon graduating from Syracuse University, Lynch was named "Filmmaker of the Year" in The Village Voice's Best of Long Island issue for his short films and his first real first film job was as a grip/actor/third unit director/writer on the Troma cult classic Terror Firmer, which led to an in-house writing position at "The House that Toxie Built."

My mother, Marina, will not be so keen on me exposing this list, but no matter. See, my mom, herself a horror nut as a teenager, is the red-handed culprit who passed on the virus of horror to me (as well as my two younger brothers) at a very susceptible age. It was that early exposure to the ghoulish that made me fall in love with horror, be it good, bad, or ugly. Yet, it was watching these movies that first clamped my eyes open like a reformed droog to the power of manipulative cinema and visual storytelling, and to how profoundly the medium had its grip on an audience.

So, this is the epitome of a "subjective list"--it's not for you to agree or disagree with...frankly, it's a chance for me to possibly embarrass my mom, but also thank her for giving me the gift of appreciating great genre filmmaking, both by watching and appreciating it, and now by making it.

Thanks for scaring the *beep* out of me, Mom...I wouldn't have had it any other way.

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1. 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: 101,141 | Gross: $5.10M

2. The Exorcist (1973)

R | 122 min | Horror

82 Metascore

When a teenage girl is possessed by a mysterious entity, her mother seeks the help of two priests to save her daughter.

Director: William Friedkin | Stars: Ellen Burstyn, Max von Sydow, Linda Blair, Lee J. Cobb

Votes: 322,092 | Gross: $232.91M

3. The Toxic Avenger (1984)

R | 82 min | Action, Comedy, Horror

42 Metascore

Tromaville has a monstrous new hero. The Toxic Avenger is born when meek mop boy Melvin falls into a vat of toxic waste. Now evildoers will have a lot to lose.

Directors: Michael Herz, Lloyd Kaufman | Stars: Andree Maranda, Mitch Cohen, Jennifer Babtist, Cindy Manion

Votes: 21,971

4. Silver Bullet (1985)

R | 95 min | Horror

26 Metascore

A werewolf terrorizes a small city where lives the paralytic Marty Coslaw, his uncle, and his sister, the story's narrator.

Director: Daniel Attias | Stars: Gary Busey, Everett McGill, Corey Haim, Megan Follows

Votes: 20,174 | Gross: $5.40M

5. Scream Greats, Volume I: Tom Savini (1986 Video)

60 min | Documentary, Biography, Horror

A documentary detailing the career of makeup artist Tom Savini, including clips from the various movies he's worked on.

Director: Damon Santostefano | Stars: Tom Savini, George A. Romero, Doug Clayton, Taso N. Stavrakis

Votes: 185

6. Maximum Overdrive (1986)

R | 98 min | Action, Comedy, Horror

24 Metascore

A group of people try to survive when machines start to come alive and become homicidal.

Director: Stephen King | Stars: Emilio Estevez, Pat Hingle, Laura Harrington, Yeardley Smith

Votes: 26,755 | Gross: $7.43M

7. Videodrome (1983)

R | 87 min | Horror, Sci-Fi, Thriller

60 Metascore

When he acquires a different kind of show for his station, a sleazy cable-TV programmer begins to see his life and the future of media spin out of control in a terrifying new reality.

Director: David Cronenberg | Stars: James Woods, Debbie Harry, Sonja Smits, Peter Dvorsky

Votes: 72,201 | Gross: $2.12M

8. The Evil Dead (1981)

NC-17 | 85 min | Horror

71 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: 164,888 | Gross: $2.40M

9. The Last of the Mohicans (1992)

R | 112 min | Action, Adventure, Drama

76 Metascore

Three trappers protect the daughters of a British Colonel in the midst of the French and Indian War.

Director: Michael Mann | Stars: Daniel Day-Lewis, Madeleine Stowe, Russell Means, Eric Schweig

Votes: 132,107 | Gross: $75.51M

10. Psycho (1960)

R | 109 min | Horror, Mystery, Thriller

97 Metascore

A Phoenix secretary embezzles forty thousand dollars 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: 514,618 | Gross: $32.00M



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