Dan West’s top five horror films

Pub date October 24, 2006
SectionFilm FeaturesSectionFilm Review

1. Shriek of the Mutilated (1974) Not only the greatest title in cinema history but also its single greatest achievement. Never before (or since) have bad acting, cannibalism, alcoholism, and the Abominable Snowman scaled such heights. The greatest film ever made.
2. The Wizard of Gore (1970) Director Herschell Gordon Lewis (Blood Feast) does it again, becoming the first filmmaker in history to slaughter someone on camera with a live chain saw. A mad magician runs amok with ghastly results. If the crude and relentless gore effects don’t turn your stomach, the “acting” certainly will.
3. Straight Jacket (1963) High camp is the order of the day as convicted ax murderer Joan Crawford returns home after a lengthy stay in the loony bin, only to seemingly resume her old habits. Hilarity ensues in this William Castle–directed classic. Crawford really sells it. This is the stuff of which drag queens are made!
4. King Kong Lives (1986) Quite possibly one of the most misguided, unintentionally hilarious, idiotically optimistic sequels ever made, this follow-up to the Dino de Laurentiis–produced remake of King Kong boasts a plethora of delights for the bad movie enthusiast. Kong, after falling to his supposed death from the heights of the World Trade Center, is retrofitted with a giant artificial heart during a Monty Python–like opening sequence. It is a film that has to be seen to be believed. Several bong hits might help.
5. The Car (1977) Never has vehicular manslaughter been so much fun! The screenplay boasts “technical advice” from Church of Satan founder Anton LaVey. SFBG
San Francisco filmmaker Dan West codirected Monsturd and the forthcoming RetarDEAD.