Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Reader Top Ten Horror Movies 1960 - 2000: SGB

Regular reader and friend SGB starts off the reader top ten this time around, with his list of the ten greatest horror films, circa 1960 - 2000.

He writes:

"Here is my list of the ten best horror films 1960-2000 that I chose based upon first viewing experience in my life during the decades they were released:

#10 Killdozer (1974) [Long before Stephen King's Maximum Overdrive.]

#9 Race With The Devil (1975)

#8 Devil's Rain (1975)

#7 Clownhouse (1989) [Early acting of Sam Rockwell. Captured the scary element of kids left home alone in the dark.]

#6 John Carpenter's The Fog (1980)[Still better than the CG laden remake.]

#5 Alien (1979)

#4 John Carpenter's The Thing (1982)[A perfect companion part two to the 2011 prequel.]

#3 In The Mouth Of Madness (1994)

#2 Night Flier (1997) 


#1 John Carpenter's Prince Of Darkness (1987)."

SGB: I love that your list is heavy on John Carpenter titles.

My taste in horror very much runs in the same direction.  Prince of Darkness is an underrated masterpiece, and you could say the same for The Fog and In The Mouth of Madness.

Also, I love that you directed some love at Race with the Devil (1975), which is a much finer film than often given credit for. I was also very pleasantly surprised when I saw Night Flier, a really great Stephen King adaptation.

Outstanding list to start us off, my friend....

Remember, readers: e-mail me your lists at Muirbusiness@yahoo.com by Friday night, and I'll post them here, to be included in Reader Results on Sunday.


  1. John thank you for your thoughts on my list. Your comments on my choices are very insightful because some horror films seem to be forgotten. John Carpenter's Prince Of Darkness is a very haunting film with the video message discovered within the film. Your new book looks awesome.

    Have fun on Halloween with your family. I am sure your son will have fun with you.


  2. Hi SMB,

    Fun list, but I'm curious why Night Flier ranked so high? While I love Miguel Ferrer's work in nearly anything he's done, I wasn't taken by the film the first time I saw it. In fact, this is the first time I think I've seen it mentioned in quite a while. I'm interested in getting your and John's take on this.

    1. Hi Russ,

      I thought Night Flier was a very good film in part because it so beautifully reflected the age of the 1990s -- the tabloidization of America and American television/journalism. That concept comes through loud and clear in the film, for one thing, and there's a nice social critique there, as I recall.

      Miguel Ferrer was outstanding, but the film also played well with form and featured a great live-by-the-sword/die-by-the-sword conclusion in the dog-eat-dog world of tabloid journalism.

      As I recall (and it's been awhile), the story also captured the vibe of the King story very nicely...

    2. John, well said. Night Flier is a well made Stephen King film.


  3. Prince of Darkness? Word to your mother! That movie is all kinds of Lovecraftian rad. Didn't make my list but it's certainly a runner-up. I always laugh when Dennis Dun says to Ann Yen, "Anyone ever tell you you could pass for Asian?"

    Clownhouse is creepy, too, but for, uh, other reasons.

  4. Thanks for the response(s) - I'll have to check Night Flyer out again!

  5. Glad to see 'Night Flier', a wonderful adaptation of Stephen King's short story, and Carpenter's creepy, discerning 'Prince of Darkness' on SGB's list. And I've been in that old building (the Japanese Union Church of Los Angeles) used as the prime location.


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