Tuesday, May 19, 2009

My 26 favorite slasher movie shows

Slasher films are just pure fun. And especially so when they are done well. This list represents some of my favorites from the sub-genre. Most of them are from the slasher boom that was born out of the success of 1978's horror landmark HALLOWEEN (which in itself drew much inspiration from the godfather of all slasher films, Hitchcock's masterpiece, PSYCHO) If you have a list of your own favorites, please share them! 

   My top 10:
Psycho (1960) - The Film that started it all. Doesn't get any better than this!

Halloween (1978) is my personal Favorite. And perhaps my most Favorite Film of all time!

Just Before Dawn (1981) - One of the most underrated Horror Films there is.

Tourist Trap (1979) - This Horror Film had such an impact on me growing up. It scared the hell out of me. And still does. And it's rated PG!

Prom Night (1980) - Will forever be close to my heart. My sister and I would spend countless hours watching it back in the day. The perfect Brother/Sister bonding Movie with a slasher twist.

Black Christmas (1974) - Bob Clark's first seminal Christmas Film, and my Favorite film to ever tackle the Holiday. So good. I would say more about it, but I hear the phone ringing...

The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (1974) - Always frightens the hell out of me. Gritty and stylized in a way that makes it a work of art.

Friday The 13th (1980) - The first Friday set the tone and atmosphere. It's pure slasher goodness.

Hell Night (1981) - Classy and atmosphere. When I watch Hell Night, I fall in love. This is how it should be done.

The House On Sorority Row (1983) - Another class act. Low budget, but you'd never guess. Well done on every level. One of my Favorite Horror Movie scores of all time.

14 more favorites in alphabetical order:

April Fool's Day (1986) - A Slasher-Comedy will great characters. It's a lot of fun.

Curtains (1983) - Freaked me out as a kid. It's both classy and creepy.

Dressed To Kill (1980) - Brian De Palma's Slasher-Thriller that is both beautiful and suspenseful. 

Happy Birthday To Me (1981) - God, I love this crazy Movie. And so should you.

Humongous (1982) - Love, love the atmosphere. 

Mortuary (1983) - Bizarre and strangely captivating. Mortuary is a low-budget standout.

My Bloody Valentine (1981) - It wins my heart every time. Harry Warden, I'm yours.

A Nightmare On Elm Street (1984) - A true original. 

The Redeemer (AKA: The Class Reunion Massacre) (1978) - Bizarre, 70's goodness.

Sleepaway Camp (1983) - Gotta love Sleepaway Camp. A Movie they wouldn't dare recreate these days!

The Toolbox Murders (1978) - An underrated gem. 

Twitch Of The Death Nerve (AKA: Bay Of Blood) (1971) - Mario Bava's Proto-Slasher is a lot of fun.

Visiting Hours (1982) - A lot of suspense. I've always loved this one. Especially Michael Ironside as one of the creepiest villains on Film.

When A Stranger Calls (1979) - Scary. Has had a long lasting effect on me that has lasted to this day.

A Part 2/1981 double feature of fun:

Friday The 13th Part 2 (1981) - More technically savvy than the original Film, and with one of the best Final Girls in all of Slasher-Filmdom.

Halloween II (1981) - May not be quite the masterpiece the original Film is, but it's the movie equivalent of a hot tub filled with fun!

And the trailer for the extra super groovy Prom Night (1980) God, I love this movie!


Racicot said...

I love lists!

'Specially Slasher ones.

Never heard of The Redeemer, will check that one out. And I of course recommend Student Bodies as a great piss-take on the genre. A good film as well if they didn't have such silly kills... paper clips, anyone?

And for argument's sake, I'll tip my hat to the British for giving us Peeping Tom - the granddaddy of the genre. Here's a link:


Now how 'bout a list for Revenge films? Or did you do that already?

Cinema Du Meep said...


You should check out The Redeemer. It's also known as: CLASS REUNION MASSACRE. The Video came out under both titles. CLASS seems to have the more superior print. It's the kind of movie that sticks with you. But often it's more appreciated after the first viewing. It's done on a tiny budget and some of the acting is questionable, but there's an undeniable eerie vibe about it.

I love Peeping Tom! I'm a big fan of it & Michael Powell in general.

I did do a list of female revenge films a couple months back. You can find it here:


Tower Farm said...

Yay! So glad you included "Just Before Dawn" -- which is SO great and way underappreciated. Your list definitely includes all the greats.

I've been wanting to see "The Redeemer" for a long time -- I need to keep my eyes out for it.


The Warfreak said...

An excellent list! I've got a soft spot in my heart for The Burning and The Prowler as far as slashers goes. I'm also in that need to see The Redeemer boat! Weak, I know.

As far as newere stuff, I also like Behind the Mask: The Rise of Leslie Vernon.

Cinema Du Meep said...


I consider JUST a mini-masterpiece. It's the kind of movie who's mood and atmosphere can never be replicated. Viva Jeff Lieberman!

Cinema Du Meep said...

The Warfreak-

I really enjoy both The Burning and The Prowler. They both are considered run-of-the-mill slashers yet both have very distinct qualities about them. PROWLER is pretty moody and eerie and BURNING was pretty fun all around. Both had VERY memorable kill & shock scenes.

LitaMalibu said...

What, no Chopping Mall? C'mon, just the mere fact that Russell Todd is in it should warrant a spot on the list!

Cinema Du Meep said...


Chopping Mall is mighty tempting...

It would definitely make my 2nd tier slasher round!

Russell Todd in Friday part 4 or Chopping Mall? You decide!

-METALHEAD- said...

Nice list man!

FilmFather said...

Great list; I agree with many of them. I haven't seen Redeemer, Toolbox, or Twitch Nerve...or Just Before Dawn, which I hear is just this side of awesome.

Radiation Cinema! said...

CDM: I must see Toolbox Murders. Who can resist the tagline: "bit by bit . . by bit he carved a nightmare." Not me, that's for danged sure. -- Mykal

MICHAEL said...


You'll find TOOLBOX as something that at first seems like standard slasher fare, but becomes something else. I found it to be even, gasp, thought provoking. Enjoy!

Yum-Yum said...

Some of my faves from your list:

Hell Night: Linda Blair's shell cameo.
Curtains: The Doll. The Mask. The Ice.
April Fool's Day: The Debs.
Sleepaway Camp: Aunt Martha.
Black Christmas: The Attic. Fellatio.

Kevin J. Olson said...

So glad you mentioned Just Before Dawn, which is still surprisingly flying under the radar. If I recall it has a kind of Black Christmas thing going for it in that it was a huge influence on the much more popular film to be released later; in the case of Just Before Dawn it was The Texas Chainsaw Massacre that borrowed heavily from the lesser known film (as it is known that Halloween was supposedly the sequel to Black Christmas, until Clark who shared that information with Carpenter, found that his film was being made by someone else.).

Also, I've seen Class Reunion Massacre, and I remember my brother and I renting it because it looked really cheesy (plus it had a big box, which is rule #1 when looking for a good horror flick at the video store: the bigger the box, the "better" the movie.), but what we got instead was, as you put it, a pretty eerie and off-putting film. There wasn't a whole to make fun with that movie (except for maybe the acting, but that's forgivable with a film with such a low budget), it was just a weird experience. I've heard others tell me that the movie gets better upon subsequent viewings, so I'll have to check it out again. I just remember thinking that deaths were bizarre, and there's that creepy image of the kid coming out of the lake.

Also, you can never go wrong with the poster art for Happy Birthday to Me. One of the great coverboxes of all time.

Great post. I really enjoy your blog.

MICHAEL said...


Great post yourself!
Thanks for the great reply!


laura linger said...

1980's THE SHINING. In my most humble opinion, the damned scariest film ever made.

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