Hello and welcome to the first installment of Movies to Die For! Over the next six days, I'll be sharing some of my favorite titles along with some unsolicited commentary. Before we begin, a word of warning....few of the titles I've chosen are family friendly. Keep that in mind. I will, however, let you know which ones could be appropriate everyone. Now, a caveat: This list is comprised of films I love. Nothing more, nothing less. They weren't all smashes at the box office, nor are they without their flaws. BUT. I love them, ya dig, and I'm the evil queen of this castle.
First up, the 60's!
As a lifelong fan of the horror genre, the films of the 60’s have always been of particular interest to me. I am irrevocably drawn to the idea that what we fear can’t be found in monsters, natural disasters, or visitors from other worlds, but is living with us. In our homes and hearts. I enjoy films that remove the barriers to fear and place it instead in our blood. As a product of the sweeping cultural upheaval of the 60’s, horror filmmakers began to explore the boundaries of brutality and human depravity in more realistic terms than ever before. I find tracking the evolution of horror during this short, ten year period endlessly fascinating…honestly, I could go on about this all day, but let’s face it, that’s not why you’re here...so here we go!
Peeping Tom – 1960
Psycho – 1960
Eyes Without a Face – 1960
Village of the Damned – 1960
The Virgin Spring – 1960 (one of Ingmar Bergman’s major works, adapted from a 13th century Swedish ballad, this film served as the basis for 1972’s Last House on the Left)
The Innocents – 1961
What Ever Happened to Baby Jane – 1962 (the success of the movie is largely attributed to the now storied animosity between Joan Crawford and Bette Davis, it’s also considered to be the first of the psycho-biddy subgenre)
Cape Fear – 1962
The Cabinet of Dr. Calgari – 1962
The Birds – 1963
Blood Feast – 1963
The Haunting – 1963
Hush, Hush Sweet Charlotte – 1964 (such a fun picture..great cast, including Bette Davis)
The Last Man on Earth – 1964
Strait-Jacket – 1964 (Joan Crawford…what could be finer?)
Kwaidan – 1964 (These are a great introduction to Japanese horror)
Onibaba – 1964
Repulsion – 1965 (This is Polanski’s first English language film and the first of the Apartment Trilogy)
Dance of the Vampires – 1967
Rosemary’s Baby – 1968 (No. 2 in the Apartment Trilogy)
Night of the Living Dead – 1968 (Romero, Romero, how do I love thee, let me count the brains)
The Boston Strangler – 1968
Hour of the Wolf – 1968 (another Bergman picture and another home run)
The Devil Rides Out – 1968
Witchfinder General - 1968
The House that Screamed – 1969
Tune in tomorrow, when I share 25 of my favorite films from the 1970's. to tide you over here's the original trailer for one of my favorites on this list, What Ever Happened to Baby Jane..."Sister, sister oh so fair, why is there blood all over your hair"? Why, indeed...
Anyone have any better ideas? Leave 'em in the comments!
Yours in fright,