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Clip from The Hills Run Red!

Slasher movies are some of the great paradoxes of the movie world.  We all know there's nothing faster, easier, and cheaper to make than a slasher flick, aside of course from those weird arthouse movies that are like time-lapse photography of an apple rotting or something.  A lot of them are just plain old terrible.  But some of them stand the test of time and become magnificent pieces in their own right.

And that's what we're going to take a look at today--the top ten slasher / gore movies.


10. Hellraiser

The movie that really got Clive Barker's career started features a whole lot of gooshy effects and people getting skinned alive and bent in unnatural positions and whatnot.  One thing is clear, this entire series really packs in the splatter, and thus ranks a place on the list.


9. The Texas Chainsaw Massacre

Perhaps one of the most iconic slasher films of all time, and also one of the most frequently ripped off, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre has spawned legions of imitators, precious few of which even come close to the original in terms of force and quality.


8. A Nightmare on Elm Street

One of the iconic "big three" of the late seventies / early eighties, this franchise gave horror a whole new life and fueled the horror boom of the 1980s.  It also made relatively minor horror maven Wes Craven into a major name in the industry.


7. Psycho

One of the original slasher films, this chilling look into the mind of a madman whose favorite targets were motel guests, the Bates Motel became a standard all its own for horror moviemaking.  Not only that, it gave the Hitchcockian thriller a whole lot of extra field credibility and gave actor Anthony Perkins an incredible leg up.


6. Halloween

The second of the iconic "big three" horror franchises of the late seventies / early eighties, this low-budget slasher almost didn't get made.  But it was a good idea to do so as it rocked director John Carpenter to prominence and gave him a whole lot of room to make other titles.  Plus, the Halloween series itself was wildly popular by every standard of measurement.


5. Friday the 13th

The third of the iconic "big three" horror franchises, Friday the 13th made the most sequels of any of its kind and is to this day the largest horror franchise ever with fully eleven titles (including Freddy Vs. Jason) and a remake under its belt.


4. Behind the Mask: The Rise of Leslie Vernon

This one's something of a dark horse, but if you ever get a chance to catch this relatively small direct to video (it had only a limited theatrical run) horror title, do so.  It provides an incredible merging of horror film and documentary to make the kind of movie the Blair Witch crew could only WISH they made.  It effectively skewers a lot of horror cliches, and explains several others, making it a one of a kind title.


3. Hatchet

Hatchet, or the revival of "old school American horror" became an iconic slasher movie in its own right by going back to the well of superhuman monstrosities chasing liquored-up college kids in the dark.  


2. Scream

I know we already had a Wes Craven title in here, but this one is something special.  Back in the late nineties, you see, the horror genre had started to run out.  There were only a very few titles released, and many of them did poorly at the box office.  But then Scream, a return to the slasher roots as personified by, among others, the big three, swung in and gave a whole new life to the horror genre.  Scream may well have singlehandedly saved the horror genre as we know it today.


1. Dead Alive

Without question, the absolute king of gore movies comes to us from no less than Peter Jackson--a name you'll no doubt recognize thanks to the Lord of the Rings series--and gave us not only side-splitting hilarity, but also romance, violence like no tomorrow, and a positively unprecedented amount of gore.  The lawnmower battle stands firmly in my mind as the goriest scene I've ever seen in a horror flick, and I've seen LOTS of fake blood thrown around the movies since.

- Steve Anderson

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