ByEnchantinglyStabby, writer at
Revenge Honey at (@horrorhoneys), @linnieloowho on twitter, horror addict, comic book fanatic, writer, suspicious of peo

There is little more satisfying in a horror film than a good, healthy dose of gummy, bloody entrails. Whether those intestines happen to be in black and white or gorgeous technicolor has never really mattered much. What matters is the sheer joy with which the director is heaving the gore at the audience and the "splatter" film is the be all end all of horror-based gore for any true aficionado. From the earliest splatter films in the 1950s to a scant few who have managed to get in right recently, splatter films have truly been a mixed bag of blood and guts of glee for horror fans for decades.

Posters for 'Jigoku' & 'Eyes Without a Face'
Posters for 'Jigoku' & 'Eyes Without a Face'

While the earliest traces of cinematic gore can be seen as far back as 1916, the splatter film really became popular around 1960. Alfred Hitchcock's Psycho is considered by many to be the first gore film, but for my money, Georges Franju's Eyes Without a Face and Nobuo Nakgawa's Jigoku are the really the original and by far most inventive films to terrify audiences with their no-holds-barred attitude toward human anatomy. Since then, directors such as Herschell Gordon Lewis, George Romero, Mario Bava, and a host of others have added their bloody stamp to the splatter genre. Recently, there has been a resurgence of directors paying homage to the original masters, but as far as I'm concerned, you can't beat the big boys!

What follows is a list of my favorite splatter films, past and present. Have I left off any of your ooey gooey favorites? Let me know!

  • Eyes Without a Face (1960): The French medical horror made amazing use of black and white by making the bloody moments extra obvious... and gore-geous!

  • Psycho (1960): There is no question... Alfred Hitchcock stunned audiences with the sheer amount of blood in his masterpiece thriller. But the best part is, it totally holds up.

  • Jigoku (1960): Good godzilla, 1960 was an amazing year for gore. This surrealist Japanese vision of hell is believed by many to be the first true gore film, and while it's not as shocking in retrospect, it's still amazing and terrifying. Seriously. Terrifying.

  • Black Sunday (1960): Revenge. Witches. Black and white Italian gore. This classic giallo from Mario Bava may not make a ton of narrative sense, but it's beautiful to look at and a fantastic early example of gore.

  • Blood Feast (1963): This is where things started to get really gooey. Herschell Gordon Lewis's film about an Egyptian caterer building a goddess from scratch was about as disgusting as it got until...

  • The Wizard of Gore (1970): You certainly can't say HGL took it easy with his gore, and never was that more evident than in this splatter masterpiece. (The splatter was the masterpiece... the story was meh.) This story of a magician with effects that are just a little too realistic is still disgusting, even if some moments look a little silly today.

  • Suspiria (1977): I am not the world's biggest Dario Argento fan. I think the other Italian giallo directors are significantly more talented and Argento has just been deified. However, the deaths in Suspiria are dazzling, and even if you watch this movie on mute, the gore is effective.

  • Dawn of the Dead (1978): What was subtle and frightening in Night of the Living Dead was gory and awesome in Romero's sequel, Dawn of the Dead. The zombie makeup was gross, the splatter was awesome, and zombie films have been shuffling behind ever since to catch up.

  • Bad Taste (1987): From the director of The Lord of the Rings trilogy, comes this Oscar-nominated tale of a race of aliens who turn human flesh into meat for their intergalactic fast food chain... Riiiiight. Oh, how I miss this Peter Jackson.

  • Dead Alive (1992): I miss this Peter Jackson too. Disease-ridden sumatran rat monkeys, dog-eating old ladies, zombie-slaying priests, lawnmower massacres... Excuse me. I think I need to go watch Dead Alive.

  • 2001 Maniacs (2005): Do you have to like a movie to appreciate the gore? This remake starring Robert Englund and Lin Shaye is proof that you don't. I kind of hated this story about a bunch of pissed off Confederates looking to snack on Yankees (Northerners, not the baseball team), but I couldn't argue that this was one splatter flick that knew what was up.

  • Feast (2005): Normally I wouldn't expect much from a film that was the result of a reality show, but Feast (less so its sequels) was an unexpected surprise. This movie about randomly fornicating monsters that attack a bar and its patrons is a great example of modern splatter and disgusting gore.

  • Tokyo Gore Police (2008): It's hard to narrow it down to just ONE awesome Japanese splatter film, but in the end I had to go with this personal favorite, who's tagline is, "Strap yourselves in because things are about to get very, very bloody and very, very strange." If you haven't see in, just do it. It is, in fact, too strange to even describe.

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