100 Essential Horror Movies

September 8, 2020

I hope the slow moving apocalypse that has been 2020 is treating you all well. This year has been a lot of stress and live changes for myself. To give myself an occasionally respite from it all I turn to, as always, horror movies. At some point it popped into my head to attempt a fun little intellectual exercise of creating a list of what I would deem the one hundred essential horror films.

The goal was to create a list of one hundred titles that summed up the entire horror genre – all the major titles that broke ground, the gems that created or summed up subgenres, and titles that may not necessarily be “horror” but still made a major influence on the genre.

This is not the list of my one hundred favorite horror movies nor is this a list of what I believe to be the one hundred best horror movies. There are films here that I actively dislike but my personal opinions of them means nothing to how influential they were on the genre.

I thought about these choices for probably way too long. But, after lots of deliberation, I’m pretty pleased with this list of titles I have compiled. You can see the genre morph and develop over the past century as new artistic movements in the genre come up and what scares us as a society changes. I attempted to include at least film from every subgenre and movement within the genre that I could think of.

This is not the best of the best that horror has to offer but, if you watch every single one of these movies, you will have a broad understanding of the genre as a whole and how it has changed.

Agree or disagree with my choices? Did I overlook some super important titles that you feel should be included? Did I include something you feel has no place being on a list like this? Let me know in the comments.

1920 – The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari

1922 – Nosferatu

1929 – Un Chien Andalou

1932 – Freaks

1932 – White Zombie

1933 – King Kong

1935 – The Bride of Frankenstein

1941 – The Wolfman

1942 – Cat People

1944 – The Uninvited

1948 – Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein

1954 – The Creature from the Black Lagoon

1954 – Godzilla

1954 – Them!

1956 – The Bad Seed

1958 – Horror of Dracula

1958 – The Blob

1959 – The House on Haunted Hill

1959 – Plan 9 from Outer Space

1960 – Psycho

1960 – Eyes Without a Face

1960 – Village of the Damned

1962 – Carnival of Souls

1963 – Blood Feast

1963 – The Haunting

1963 – The Birds

1964 – Kwaidan

1964 – The Masque of Red Death

1968 – Rosemary’s Baby

1968 – Night of the Living Dead

1973 – The Exorcist

1973 – The Wicker Man

1974 – The Texas Chainsaw Massacre

1974 – Black Christmas

1975 – Jaws

1975 – Deep Red

1975 – The Rocky Horror Picture Show

1976 – Carrie

1977 – Suspiria

1977 – Eraserhead

1978 – Halloween

1978 – Invasion of the Body Snatchers

1978 – Dawn of the Dead

1978 – I Spit on Your Grave

1979 – Alien

1979 – Phantasm

1979 – The Amityville Horror

1980 – The Shining

1980 – Cannibal Holocaust

1981 – The Evil Dead

1981 – The Beyond

1981 – An American Werewolf in London

1982 – The Thing

1982 – Poltergeist

1982 – Creepshow

1983 – Videodrome

1984 – Nightmare on Elm Street

1984 – The Toxic Avenger

1984 – Ghostbusters

1984 – Friday the 13th Part 4

1984 – Gremlins

1984 – The Company of Wolves

1985 – Re-Animator

1985 – Return of the Living Dead

1987 – Hellraiser

1987 – Predator

1988 – The Vanishing

1989 – Tetsuo: the Iron Man

1990 – Jacob’s Ladder

1990 – Tremors

1991 – The Silence of the Lambs

1992 – Man Bites Dog

1992 – Candyman

1994 – Cemetery Man

1995 – Tales from the Hood

1996 – Scream

1997 – Event Horizon

1997 – Cube

1998 – Ringu

1999 – The Blair Witch Project

1999 – Audition

1999 – The Sixth Sense

2000 – Final Destination

2000 – Battle Royale

2002 – 28 Days Later

2004 – Saw

2005 – Hostel

2005 – The Devil’s Rejects

2007 – Paranormal Activity

2007 – [REC]

2008 – Martyrs

2009 – The Human Centipede

2011 – The Cabin in the Woods

2013 – The Conjuring

2013 – The Purge

2014 – Unfriended

2015 – The Witch

2016 – Train to Busan

2017 – Get Out

2018 – Hereditary

New Releases from Deadite Press

May 24, 2019

In the past few months, the final batch of books I selected for publication at Deadite Press have been starting to come out. Right now you can read:


This is a serial cannibalistic killer’s wet dream come true. The author Wrath James White had written something beyond dark, beyond morbid.
– John Rizo, HorrorNews.Net

“The Resurrectionist by Wrath James White the kind of novel that can unsettle even the most hardened gore fanatic. White writes the kind of horror that gets under your skin, and reading his brand of hardcore fiction may have the unintended side effect of making you feel…wrong. Seriously wrong.
– I.E. Lester, Dark Scribe Magazine

Fifteen years ago Joseph Miles was abducted, tortured and almost killed by a serial killer with the taste for blood, but Joseph got away. He is the only survivor. Now Joseph has a problem – he is convinced that his torturer passed a virus on to him. A sickness that will turn him into a serial killer. Joseph must find a cure before the woman he loves – the woman who is currently chained to his bed – becomes his next victim.

Click here to get the paperback


“Lakehouse Infernal is the coolest, ball-bustingest, most outrageous, and most ENTERTAINING horror novel you’re likely to find in a long time.
– Edward Lee author of CITY INFERNAL

Lake Misquamicus was an unremarkable lake in Florida, unremarkable that is until suddenly it was filled with six billion gallons of blood, bile, pus, piss, shit and …things… directly from the pits of Hell. First, the public was in shock, then the government built a wall, and as time passed it became another urban legend. But for some, it has become a travel destination. Spring-breakers, drug-runners, and religious nuts. But a weekend getaway on the shores of Hell, may not be the safest idea…

With an introduction by an officially endorsed by splatterpunk legend Edward Lee, LAKEHOUSE INFERNAL is an official entree in Lee’s infamous INFERNAL series. Christine Morgan (SPERMJACKERS FROM HELL) expands on this universe with her own twist of hardcore horror tourism.

Think Spring Break, only instead of a beach house, it’s a lakehouse, but the lakehouse IS IN FUCKIN’ HELL, that’s right, a chunk of Hell that’s been upheaved and pushed up into our pretty little world–sunny Florida, no less!
– Edward Lee

Click here to get the paperback

Click here to read on your kindle

You can see the rest of the releases to come here.

And stay tuned very soon for some announcements about my new project, Section 31 Productions.

I was nominated for a Splatterpunk Award!

February 5, 2019

I was shocked to discover that my newest collection, THE VERY INEFFECTIVE HAUNTED HOUSE, was nominated for best collection for the 2018 Splatterpunk Awards to be given at the 2019 KillerCon in Austin, TX. Click here to see all the nominees for all the categories.

The collection has evil toasters, giant monsters, a haunted house that just wants to be an artist, and an essay about how dinosaurs worship Satan, If you haven’t checked it out yet, click here or on the cover below to cop yourself a copy.

very ineffective haunted house


I’ve Parted Ways with Eraserhead Press and Deadite Press

February 5, 2019

In case you missed the news last week.

Here’s my official statement on the situation:

Ten years ago, I started working with Eraserhead Press. In that time, I wrote four books, oversaw the production of over a hundred titles, and worked behind the scenes on dozens of more projects. Today, with a heavy heart, I am announcing that due to artistic and creative differences I am parting ways with Eraserhead Press and stepping down as the head editor of Deadite Press. Thanks to everyone I worked with over the years, everyone I partied with at conventions, and extra special thanks to Rose O’Keefe and Carlton Mellick III for giving me so many chances and opportunities in this highly volatile and difficult industry.

More info on my next publishing project to come soon…

Time Again for My Top Ten Movies of the Year

January 6, 2019

I once again did my annual write-up of my ten favorite movies of the year.

Head over to BizarroCentral to check it out! 

Cleaning the shelves book sale!

November 6, 2018

I need to free up some space in my room so I’m having a book sale! If you are interested in any of the titles or have questions – contact me at riotmelody at gmail dot com

US only (sorry!) and all prices include shipping.


J.F. Gonzalez and Wrath James White – The Killings – Signed by both authors – Sinister Grin hardback edition number 140 of 150 – dust jacket shows some wear – $60.00

Brian Keene – Apocrypha – Signed Maelstrom hardback edition limited to 260 copies – numbered “BK” from the author’s personal stock – in near mint condition – $70.00

Brian Keene and Steven Shrewsbury – King of the Bastards – Maelstrom hardback edition limited to 260 copies – not numbered or signed – in near mint condition – $50.00

Edward Lee – Header 2 – Camelot hardback edition limited to 400 copies – signed and numbered “PC” – in near mint condition – $30.00

Edward Lee – The Minotauress – Necro hardback edition limited to 400 copies – signed and numbered “PC” – in near mint condition – $40.00

Edward Lee – The Pig and the House – Necro hardback edition signed and numbered 239 of 300 – dust jacket shows minor wear – $40.00

Monica O’Rourke – What Happens in the Darkness – Sinister Grin hardback – dust jacket shows minor wear – $30.00

Cameron Pierce and Jim Agpalza – Fantastic Earth Destroyer – Signed Sinister Grin hardback – in near mint condition – $40.00

Shane McKenzie – Drawn and Quartered – Signed “hard rain” hardback edition limited to 99 copies from Thunderstorm Books – in near mint condition – $50.00

Wrath James White – Prey Drive – Sinister Grin hardback – in near mint condition – $30.00


Jeff Burk – Shatnerquake German edition (OOP) – Voodoo Press – in near mint condition – $20.00

Jase Daniels – The Grubby End (OOP) – Crossing Chaos – book shows shelf wear and is in very good condition – $30.00


Ash Lomen – Swallowed by the Horizon – Bucket ‘O’ Guts Press – $10.00

Cody Goodfellow and Mike Dubish – The Electric Eye – Perilous Press – $10.00

David Kopaska-Merkel – Results of a Preliminary Investigation of Electrochemical Properties of Some Organic Matrices – Eraserhead Press – $10.00

David W. Barbee – The Wrestlorcist – Self-released – $10.00

Forrest Armstrong – Gasoline Monk: Basement Music – BizarroCon 2009 exclusive – self-released and comes with soundtrack CD – $20.00

G. Arthur Brown – Chapbook 2014 (short stories) – Self-released – Spin has some stains – $5.00

G. Arthur Brown – We Tape the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air and other tales of media terror – the Straight Edge – $5.00

Garrett Cook – Coming Down in Three Part Harmony – Dunhams Manor Press – Cover has minor crease in the top corner – $10.00

Garrett Cook – handmade, college poetry construction paper collection – signed by Garrett Cook – $15.00

John Wayne Comunale – John Wayne is Dead issues 1 and 3 – Self-released – $5.00 for both

Patrick Wensink & MacKenzie Haley – Sex Dungeon for Sale: the Coloring Book – Self-released – $5.00

Scott Cole – Two More Short Stories – self-released mini-chapbook – $5.00

Sydney Leigh – Baby’s Breath – Villipede Publications signed and numbered #34 – $10.00

Ramsey Campbell, Bentley Little, and Ray Garton – Cut Corners Vol. 1 – Sinister Grin – $10.00

Really want something but don’t like the price I’m asking? Send me a message, maybe we can work something out.

31 Days of My Favorite Horror Books – The Complete List

October 31, 2018

For the month of October, I wrote brief pieces about my 31 favorite horror books.

Here’s every book that I talked about:

1: THE BEST OF H.P. LOVECRAFT by H.P. Lovecraft

2: THE HOUSE NEXT DOOR by Anne Rivers Siddons

3: GENITAL GRINDER by Ryan Harding

4: BOOK OF THE DEAD edited by John Skipp and Craig Spector

5: HELL HOUSE by Richard Matheson

6: SURVIVOR by J.F. Gonzalez

7: THE DRIVE-IN by Joe Lansdale

8: WORLD WAR Z by Max Brooks



11: THE STORE by Bentely Little


13: IT by Stephen King

14: THE GIRL NEXT DOOR by Jack Ketchum

15: A GOD OF HUNGRY WALLS by Garrett Cook

16: THE BOOKS OF BLOOD VOLS 1-6 by Clive Barker

17: ISLAND by Richard Laymon

18: THE RUINS by Scott Smith

19: A HEAD FULL OF GHOSTS by Paul Tremblay

20: THE DAY OF THE TRIFFIDS by John Wyndham

21: SUFFER THE FLESH by Monica J. O’Rourke

22: THE RAW SHARK TEXTS by Steven Hall

23: WZMB by Andre Duza

24: SPLATTERPUNKS 1 and 2 edited by Paul M. Sammon

25: FRANKENSTEIN by Mary Shelley

26: MUERTE CON CARNE by Shane McKenzie

27: HOUSE OF LEAVES by Mark Z. Danielewski


29: THE TROOP by Nick Cutter

30: SIXTY-FIVE STIRRUP IRON ROAD by Brian Keene, Jack Ketchum, Edward Lee, J.F. Gonzalez, Bryan Smith, Wrath James White, Nate Southard, Ryan Harding, and Shane McKenzie

31: EARTHWORM GODS by Brian Keene

31 Days of My Favorite Horror Books – Day 31 – EARTHWORM GODS by Brian Keene

October 31, 2018

For the month of October, I will be writing brief essays about my 31 favorite horror books.


Brian Keene is one of the greatest modern pulp horror writers. All of his books are super exciting stories packed with monsters and crazy action. The one that really gets me going is EARTHWORM GODS. The basic premise is that one day it starts raining all over the world and it doesn’t stop, leading to worldwide flooding and also giant man-eating worms coming out of the ground. And if that’s not crazy enough, there’s also mermaids and Cthulhu himself has a cameo.

I first discovered this book when it was published by Leisure Books and it had this ridiculous cover of a bad photoshop of a gummy world bursting out of a city street. I thought the cover was so nuts and stupid that I had to immediately buy it. I ended up adoring the story and little did I know that years later I would be working with Keene and rereleasing the book with a new cover painted by Alan M. Clark (which, just to brag, I own the original painting that Clark made for the Deadite reissue).

You can buy this book here.

And if you’ve already read EARTHWORM GODS or are just looking for more Keene books to read, today is the release of the newest Brian Keene Deadite Press book – WHITE FIRE. This time Keene sets his pulp horror sights on the pandemic story and tells a story about a small town that is overrun with a biological weapon.

WHITE FIRE by Brian Keene

White Fire

Looking for more Halloween reading? Check out the newest titles from Deadite Press:



CRISIS BOY by Garrett Cook


31 Days of My Favorite Horror Books – Day 30 – SIXTY-FIVE STIRRUP IRON ROAD by Brian Keene, Jack Ketchum, Edward Lee, J. F. Gonzalez, Bryan Smith, Wrath James White, Nate Southard, Ryan Harding, and Shane McKenzie

October 30, 2018

For the month of October, I will be writing brief essays about my 31 favorite horror books.

Sixty-Five Stirrup Iron Road Cover

I know I said each author was only getting one book and this is a co-authored book featuring nine authors and several of them have already appeared but fuck it. This project came about as a charity effort to benefit Tom Piccirilli who was facing health issues at the time (he has since passed away). In the beginning, it was each author attempting to one-up each other on gore and gross-out scenes (that’s what happens when you let Edward Lee write the first chapter). But as it goes on, the book turns into something very different. The authors themselves enter the story and the book becomes a meta-commentary about why people like extreme horror and why these authors write in the sub-genre.

It started as an effort to raise money for medical bills for a friend and the project turned into a dissection and discussion of one of the most misunderstood parts of horror. As a huge fan of the more extreme end of horror (which should be obvious if you look over my list for this project), I loved reading the biggest and best names in hardcore horror giving their thoughts and insights into why we love such vile and disgusting entertainment.

It also ends on a really hilarious joke to any extreme horror or Deadite Press fan.

You can buy this book here.

Looking for more Halloween reading? Check out the newest titles from Deadite Press:



CRISIS BOY by Garrett Cook


WHITE FIRE by Brian Keene

White Fire

31 Days of My Favorite Horror Books – Day 29 – THE TROOP by Nick Cutter

October 29, 2018

For the month of October, I will be writing brief essays about my 31 favorite horror books.


Nick Cutter is the pen name of Craig Davidson (at least it’s one of them – he writes under multiple names). He’s been writing genre fiction but I didn’t stumble upon him until the 2014 release of THE TROOP. I got a copy of it for free at a convention and it sat on my shelf for a while. Randomly, one evening I picked it up and ended up staying up all night reading the entire novel in one sitting. To say I loved it may be a bit of an understatement.

The story follows the doomed camping trip of a Boy Scout troop on an island in the Canadian wilderness. A deadly parasite infection begins to spread among the scouts and scoutmasters that twists the mind and deforms the body. The story is a combination of body horror, monster freak-outs, torture porn, and it’s all written in the fashion of a classic thriller. In terms of a pure adrenaline horror adventure, it doesn’t get much better than this.

You can buy this book here.

Looking for more Halloween reading? Check out the newest titles from Deadite Press:



CRISIS BOY by Garrett Cook


WHITE FIRE by Brian Keene

White Fire