Friday, May 1, 2009

Man Versus. Maniac

Here’s another list of movies to watch if you like a certain special genre in horror. This one is “man versus maniac.” Whenever you’re in the mood for a stalker/predator type of movie, these are some good horror ones in that specialty category. I’ve tried not to include predators of a supernatural or monster origin (they’ll be in another category later). “Halloween” might be up in the air, but I put it under human killer because Michael was born into a family, even though he seems indestructible. There should be a wide variety of decades to choose from. This is such a huge part of the horror genre, I’m going to have a bit of fun and make this easier for you to pick a movie depending on what sounds applicable to your fears:

Fear of a human boogeyman in overalls: “Halloween” (1978) (warning: mildly gruesome)

Fear of Texans (I have this one, thank you Mr. Bush): “Texas Chainsaw Massacre” (original 1974) (warning: mildly gruesome by today’s standards)

Fear of urban legends and prank calls to lonely babysitters: “When A Stranger Calls” (1979).

Fear of being chased by sacrificing witches in your RV: “Race with the Devil” (1975).

Fear of teens who kill amongst themselves and using cell phones to seal the deal: “Scream|” (1996): (warning: gruesome)

Fear of the horror trinity of cabin fever, writer’s block, and ax-wielding husbands in an abandoned resort: “The Shining” (1980)

Fear of subways and being locked in with an insomniac vivisectionist: “Creep” (2004) (warning: gruesome)

Fear of deformed hillbillies cooking city-slicker stew in West Virginia: “Wrong Turn.” (2003) (warning: gruesome)

Fear of Bill Paxton as a necrophiliac after one of the Walton family girls: “Mortuary” (1983)

Fear of lung-cancer riddled game-playing killers with tricycles, gadgets, and creepy masks: “Saw.” (2004) (warning: gruesome)

Fear of going crazy, or having the appearance of it, or no, maybe you are crazy?: “Let’s Scare Jessica to Death” (1971)

Fear of an over amorous Elvis-impersonating admirer on Xmas night in a parking structure: “P2” (2007) (warning: gruesome)

Fear of high-rise voyeurs on supermodels who don’t know how to use curtains: “Someone’s Watching Me.” (1978)

Fear of summer camps with unsupervised somewhat dead drowning victims on the loose: “Friday the 13th” (1980) (warning: mildly gruesome by today’s standards)

Fear of the desert, desert dwellers, and inbred clans who like babies for supper: “The Hills Have Eyes.” (1977) (warning: gruesome)

Fear of abduction, rape, torture, murder, and revenge as a cautionary tale about smoking “the marijuana” in the 70s: “The Last House on the Left” (1972)

I'd love to hear if ya'all have any more to add to the list.


  1. Great list!

    How about Sleepaway Camp, and Motel Hell? :)

  2. Sleepaway camp--what a hoot! I remember that one--doesn't it have a real twist ending that involves male anatomy? Motel Hell, don't think I've seen that one. You should have seen the list before I whittled it down; Hell Night, Black Christmas, Silent Night Bloody Night, The Initiation....on and on. I have to admit to a special place in my heart for those 70s teen slasher movies before the 80s when they became more or less anatomy lessons for med students looking films.

  3. I like The Shining. To me it's scary beacuse of the ghosties and the isolation, but they are not the main factor. It's the psychological fear of an abusive man/alcoholic losing his temper and humanity. Stephen King meant his story to be more focused on that than anything supernatural. He thought that the negative, ghostly soul of the Overlook Hotel should be fueled by the rot in Jack Torrence's living soul; Jack was part of extreme poltergeist phenomenon.

    That said, the music in the 1982 movie is terrifying in of itself. All of those moaning electronic bass sounds and tribal vocals trailing off into shrieks give me goosebumps every time.

  4. I second Pamela here Autumnforest-great list!! The Shining gave me the shivers all right-My mom and brother and I saw the movie when it came out while my dad was out of town on business-hehe I couldn't sleep that night-great movie-you listed many other greats also and of course many I will have to check out when I can-thanks again for all of your hard work-best to you as always!!

  5. Had to come back and tell you I chose "suicide" as most likely to haunt-I do not know if there would be any hard data on this-it just seems to me that when a soul takes its own life the pain must be unimaginable and bound to leave a "psychic imprint" or something of that nature-all the best!!

  6. You might have to start doing lists of great spooky books, next!

    I loved the original 1980s movie The Shining (who does crazy better than Jack?)...although I think I heard Stephen King was less than impressed with it.

    The new, tv movie adaption was closer to the book, but the kid they had playing Danny was an unwatchable mouth-breather.

    Old Shining movie was definitely scarier. "Wendy, honey, light of my life...I'm not going to hurt you. I'm just going to BASH YOUR BRAINS IN!"

  7. Pamela;
    I swear Jack could say anything to you in a low voice and it'd give a person shivers! That was a good one. The ultimate being stalked story. I just love the scene when she looks at what he's been writing on the typewriter.

    Devin; Yeah, suicide's a good one. I always figure that there's so much relief after the fact that it's not an issue of wondering what just happened cause you know. Murder would be tougher because it's so unexpected. Something to me about the're walking down the street, thinking about where to eat, considering what to do about your bratty kids, daydreaming about being the president, when BOOM! You get shot and die. There's an energy part of a person that lives in his past, present, and future simultaneously, so I choose murder. I think it confuses the forward motion of the person. Hmm... Guess I'm not too scientific. I suppose it would also depend on the situation. Look at how haunted Aspen Grove was and that's where people died in agony from wounds so pain can leave an imprint too. Suicide should technically leave a very strong anguished residue. Wow, the logistics of death are screwed any way you look at how a person goes, I suppose...

  8. The crazy killer movies are up there on my scariest movies of all time list.....just creepy!