As we approach top 10 territory, I realize that these are the films that I have watched an almost unhealthy number of times. These are examples of horror film history. They come from all over the world and exemplify the best of multiple sub-genres of extreme horror.
Coming in tenth place was essentially a tie between Marcus Koch’s insane clown film 100 Tears. It is a cult classic, and possibly the best movie I’ve ever seen about a killer clown. Visceral: Between the Ropes of Madness was very difficult for me to place, essentially because numbers ten and eleven on my list were already dangerously close to one another. It actually surprised me to make it this far before coming to such a difficult decision.
Moving up the top ten also brought me to my favorite films from a few different series of films. As of now, Bloodshock is my favorite from the AGP series. It is artistic, claustrophobic, and full of amazing gore effects. Without a final release of the next two films in the series (they’re both really freakin’ good though), there’s no telling what may happen to this list in the near future. As for the original Guinea Pig series, my newly crowned favorite is Mermaid in a Manhole, followed up closely by the most infamous title in the series…and maybe of all time.
The placement of Lucifer Valentine’s film ReGOREgitated Sacrifice may be surprising to those who saw the other two in the trilogy ranked so low. There is just something different about this film that I absolutely love. The amazing gore effects in the white room create my favorite visual aesthetic of any film on this list. The production value is also strangely high for this type of film. It is amazing that some of the most vile things ever put in a movie can look so nice. I also love the narrative structure of this film, giving it a more art-house feel than an exploitative one.
My top five includes two classics. Rubber’s Lover is my favorite film in the Cyber-punk/Splatter-punk visual arsenal of Shozin Fukui. I love the black and white photography. The lighting in this film is also amazing; however, it is the soundtrack that may blow the minds of many of the first-time viewers out there. This is an older release that can still be found at a very reasonable price. Frankenhooker, on the other hand, is a classic release that has been bait for price gougers in recent times. It has a Blu-ray release from Arrow; but, I needed this version. I have watched it so many times, it’s not even funny. Well, the movie is still funny…which means there may be something wrong with me. Anyway, if you haven’t seen this horror/comedy classic, you need to get in gear. Although you can find it in other places, the Unearthed version may be the holy grail if you collect like I do.
Atroz is a top five release from Mexico. Like Visceral, it was one of the most surprisingly brutal films in the catalog when I bought it. I’m telling you, when they say it’s the most violent film shot in Mexico they aren’t kidding. It may be one of the most violent films ever shot anywhere in the world. The three disc collector’s edition also has enough perks to make it a must-own for collectors of special editions and not just genres.
Two of my top five films from Unearthed Films come from writer/director Phil Stevens. I have raved about the releases of Lung and Flowers forever. While Lung II is pictured (from Stevens’ own release), the special collector’s edition from Unearthed is called Lung. It has two discs, giving you the film and enough special footage to create an entirely new film. In fact, that is what they did. This is why the titles are different…but the same…? Either way, you need to buy it. It is another black and white surreal journey into a world of violence and bleakness. It is one of my favorite horror films of the last few years.
As for Flowers, it has had a few small releases. The one to get, however, is the three-disc version from Unearthed. I don’t know how one director got so much amazing treatment from this label, but it was well deserved. This release dwarfs the already impressive Lung release, including a CD soundtrack and some shorts. So when it comes down to it, this isn’t only the most watched film in my Unearthed collection. It is also my favorite in regard to features and the film as a whole. This movie does great things for splatter, surreal, art-house, horror, and extreme cinema. It is a wild and crazy film full of disturbing content, cramped settings, and intriguing metaphor. So while choosing a number one film in this amazing set of eleven was hard, I’m pretty confident that most people would find this to be an extremely gratifying purchase for their film collections.
In the end, this was a pretty fun little project. It was difficult at times, especially in the bottom half. It is like I said before, there are pretty solid movies throughout this list of seventy-six. I have hopefully done enough in my quick run-downs to break up genres and mention enough about the films to give them the credit they deserve. I have also reviewed many of them, in a more in-depth fashion, for the site over the years. You can always check out those old reviews, and keep an eye on the site as I strive to cover the entire catalog with full reviews.