FINAL GIRL explores the slasher flicks of the '70s and '80s...and all the other horror movies I feel like talking about, too. This is life on the EDGE, so beware yon spoilers!

Oct 18, 2010

SHOCKtober: Zane & Brea Grant's Top 20

Hey, it's time for another list by a special guest! This one is way specialer, however, as it's by TWO special guests- the impossibly awesome Grant siblings, Zane and Brea. You've heard them on The Scare-ening! You've read We Will Bury You, the comic book mini-series they co-authored- perhaps in four individual issues or the recently released trade paperback! You saw Brea get killed by Michael Myers! You've checked out Zane's website! You've checked out Brea's website!'s time to THRILL to this list of their Top 27 favorite horror movies as you wonder how they came up with a number as random as 27! As for me, I will wonder why "specialer" doesn't have that YOU SPELLED THIS WRONG red line under it.

The Signal (2007, David Bruckner, Dan Bush, Jacob Gentry)

BREA: When I first saw The Signal, recommended by the incredible director Lis Fies, I immediately went online and started stalking the directors. I made Jacob Gentry have a lunch with me so I could gush about how amazing the movie was. Now I have to say that I have successfully infiltrated his life as a friend, made friends with all of his friends, and plan to single white female his life.

Night of the Comet (1984, Thom Eberhardt)

BREA: I love most things post-apocalypse, but Night of the Comet is far more than that. It combines the 80s, malls, zombies, conspiracies, and the dead streets of Los Angeles. Oh and video games. You can’t ask for more.

Dead Alive (1992, Peter Jackson)

28 Days Later (2002, Danny Boyle)

Basket Case (1982, Frank Henenlotter)

ZANE: Former conjoined twins seek revenge on the doctors that separated them and left the freaky looking one to die. The stop-motion animation in this film when Belial has his freakout because Duane is making out with a girl deserves a post-dated Oscar, as does Beverly Bonner's stylist.

A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors (1987, Chuck Russell)

BREA: This was on both mine and Zane’s list I think because it’s a great example of people fighting back. So often the power is taken away from characters who run just run around and whine about bleeding to death and blah blah blah. Dream Warriors does that thing that people always told me you could do as a kid. Control your dreams and therefore, control your nightmares. Hell yeah.

May (2002, Lucky McKee)

Drag Me To Hell (2009, Sam Raimi)

The Descent (2005, Neil Marshall)

Suspiria (1977, Dario Argento)

BREA: The other day at a party, this boy told me his favorite horror movie was Suspiria. Wait. You’re telling me your favorite movie, sir, is about an all-girl ballet school that is secretly a coven of witches and has one of scariest soundtracks of all time? Mine freaking too! And now I won’t quit calling him and asking him to marry me.

Dawn of the Dead (1978, George Romero)

Shaun of the Dead (2004, Edgar Wright)

Driller Killer (1979, Abel Ferrara)

Frontier(s) (2007, Xavier Gens)

The New York Ripper (1982, Lucio Fulci)

ZANE: People always talk about Fulci for Zombi 2, but the New York Ripper is such the better film and so often overlooked. It's a giallo set in NY in the early 1980's that plays on the sex economy that made up so much of the city landscape at the time. There is a great nosy neighbor in the police station, a weird scene with a live sex show that looks like a movie in the movie, and a really scary part where a lady of the night realizes she is in bed with 'the killer' but she's handcuffed and has to get the keys without waking him. Oh, did I mention the killer talks like Donald Duck? Awesome!

Deep Red (1975, Dario Argento)

I love Argento's early giallos. Four Flies on Grey Velvet, The Bird with the Crystal Plumage, and Tenebre... “It's always a maniac and the police never catch him.” Sure, Four Flies has the cool gay detective who has never solved a case and Tenebre has my favorite shoplifting scene, but Deep Red has... Daria Nicolodi! She plays the liberal feminist reporter so well. It's an amateur detective story that is set off by the murder of a psychic, and there is a creepy mechanical doll for no reason. 'Nuff said.

Phenomena (1985, Dario Argento)

Jennifer Connelly is a troubled teen with telekenetic power over insects, they give a helper chimp a knife, and Iron Maiden is on the soundtrack. We all love those Goblin soundtracks, but the metal in this brings a level of refinement. Someone wash that child's face!

The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (1974, Tobe Hooper)

Wild Zero (2000, Tetsuro Takeuchi)

Japanese garage punk masterpiece! The band Guitar Wolf fights zombies and helps their biggest fan Ace through the apocalypse as he comes to terms with falling in love with a transexual.

Return of the Living Dead (1985, Dan O'Bannon)

Evil Dead 2 (1987, Sam Raimi)

Fright Night (1985, Tom Holland)

Phantasm (1979, Don Coscarelli)

The Shining (1980, Stanley Kubrick)

The Exorcist (1973, William Friedkin)

ZANE: When I was a kid, my mom told me there was a movie so scary that it made people barf and pass out. It was The Exorcist. A few years ago, I worked a remodel job on the house in D.C. that was used as the facade, and, I think, for some of the scenes in the film. It's right next to the stairs from the poster, and sometimes we would sit on them at lunch. People would walk up to me on my lunch break, and say ask me if I'd seen anything weird. I wish. Someone told me the house where the 'real' exorcist story took place is in Maryland and is used as a practice space for firefighters. I am skeptical.

The House of the Devil (2009, Ti West)


Verdant Earl said...

I love Frontier(s) so much, I wanna do things naughty things to it. Wait, what?

ClevelandPoet said...

awesome list. I wasn't that big a fan of the descent but maybe I should give it a 2nd chance. I mean With the exception of Phenomena and Frontier(s) which I've not seen (but have placed on a list to see now) I loved all the choices.

Perhaps a 2nd viewing would change my mind. hmmm...

Pokemon Postmon said...

Nice list that includes a few of my favourite zombie numbers. I just watched 'Dawn of the Dead' again today (for the umpteenth time!) and, although I previously stated that Terry Alexandra's character in 'Day...' was cooler than Ken Foree...well, now I'm doubting that opinion!

CashBailey said...

Generally, a very nice list by the Grant duo. And any love for HOUSE OF THE DEVIL makes me happy. That movie is amazing and anyone who says otherwise is wrong.

But FRONTIER(S) was trash.

StuartOhQueue said...

Wow, that is an amazing list. It certainly isn't exhaustive but it's one of the best attempts I've seen of bringing the horror genre (1970-) down to twenty titles. I know it's a bit obvious, and a bit early considering the rest of the included films, but I feel like "Psycho" should be on there somewhere.

TheKungFuProfessor said...

Nice list, I finally watched May last week and loved it, it would probably make my top 20 right now.

Lazarus Lupin said...

It's a good decent list. Certainly a good place to start discussions. For me, like cowbells, I got a fever for more Croenberg. But I know he's not everyone's cup of hemlock.

Happy halloween!!
Lazarus Lupin
art and review

dementia13 said...

I personally don't care whether Psycho winds up near the top of the votegetters. Stacie did a very good thing by emphasizing that these were to be lists of personal favorites, which frees us from feeling like we have to "pay tribute to the classics", and makes the results much more honest and interesting. I'm not sure that Psycho is in my top 100, because that coda at the end where a guy shows up to explain everything is a cardinal sin. Either Hitchcock had to explain it because he failed to tell his story in the rest of the movie (he didn't), or he's insulting my intelligence as a moviegoer (yup). Screw that. Yeah, proto-slasher blah blah blah, made everybody (else) afraid to take a shower, but The Birds and Frenzy are more effective Hitchcock horror, IMO.

Carrie said...

Great list, guys. And thanks, Grants, for turning me on to Night of the Comet. That fine film has inspired so many other great movie nights at my place.