John Charet’s Favorite Horror Films of All-Time

Hey there dear readers ūüôā Before I say anything else, let me say that I am aware that some television episodes of horror items are missing and I intend to periodically update this list to include them when I am not so busy. I put this list together fast that is why. Also, I have been enjoying myself this month by watching nothing but horror films ūüôā So I hope all of you enjoy this list that I composed by each decade in chronological order. Enjoy the list and last, but not least, I would love to wish all of my dear readers a Happy Halloween ūüôā

1896-1920

1. The House of the Devil (1896) (Dir: Georges Melies)
(a.k.a. The Haunted Castle)
(a.k.a. The Devil’s Castle)
(Short Cinema)
2. A Nightmare (1896) (Dir: Georges Melies)
(Short Cinema)
3. The Bewitched Inn (1897) (Dir: Georges Melies)
(Short Cinema)
4. The Astronomer’s Dream (1898) (Dir: Georges Melies)
(Short Cinema)
5. The Four Troublesome Heads (1898) (Dir: Georges Melies)
(Short Cinema)
6. Bluebeard (1901) (Dir: Georges Melies)
(Short Cinema)
7. The House of Ghosts (1908) (Dir: Segundo de Chomon)
(Short Cinema)

1920’s

1. The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (1920) (Dir: Robert Wiene)
2. The Haunted Castle (1921) (Dir: F.W. Murnau)
3. The Phantom Carriage (1921) (Dir: Victor Sjostrom)
4. Haxan (1922) (Dir: Benjamin Christensen)
5. Nosferatu (1922) (Dir: F.W. Murnau)
6. Faust (1926) (Dir: F.W. Murnau)
7. The Unknown (1927) (Dir: Tod Browning)
8. Un Chien Andalou (1929) (Dir: Luis Bunuel)
(Short Cinema)

1930’s

1. Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1931) (Dir: Rouben Mamoulian)
2. Frankenstein (1931) (Dir: James Whale)
3. Freaks (1932) (Dir: Tod Browning)
4. Island of Lost Souls (1932) (Dir: Eric C. Kenton)
5. The Old Dark House (1932) (Dir: James Whale)
6. Vampyr (1932) (Dir: Carl Theodor Dreyer)
7. The Invisible Man (1933) (Dir: James Whale)
8. King Kong (1933) (Dir: Merian C. Cooper and Ernest B. Schoedsack)
9. The Black Cat (1934) (Dir: Edgar G. Ulmer)
10. Bride of Frankenstein (1935) (Dir: James Whale)

1940’s

1. Cat People (1942) (Dir: Jacques Tourneur)
2. The Ghost Ship (1943) (Dir: Mark Robson)
3. I Walked with a Zombie (1943) (Dir: Jacques Tourneur)
4. The Leopard Man (1943) (Dir: Jacques Tourneur)
5. The Seventh Victim (1943) (Dir: Mark Robson)
6. Bluebeard (1944) (Dir: Edgar G. Ulmer)
7. The Curse of the Cat People (1944) (Dir: Robert Wise)
8. The Uninvited (1944) (Dir: Lewis Allen)
9. The Body Snatcher (1945) (Dir: Robert Wise)
10. Dead of Night (1945) (Dir: Alberto Cavalcanti, Charles Crichton, Basil Dearden and Robert Hamer)
(Anthology Film)
11. Isle of the Dead (1945) (Dir: Mark Robson)
12. The Picture of Dorian Gray (1945) (Dir: Albert Lewin)
13. Bedlam (1946) (Dir: Mark Robson)
14. The Spiral Staircase (1946) (Dir: Robert Siodmak)
15. Fireworks (1947) (Dir: Kenneth Anger)
(Short Cinema)
16. The Queen of Spades (1949) (Dir: Thoroid Dickinson)

1950’s

1. The Man from Planet X (1951) (Dir: Edgar G. Ulmer)
2. The Thing from Another World (1951) (Dir: Christian Nyby)
3. House of Wax (1953) (Dir: Andre De Toth)
4. Godzilla (1954) (Dir: Ishiro Honda)
5. Inauguration of the Pleasure Dome (1954) (Dir: Kenneth Anger)
(Short Cinema)
6. Them! (1954) (Dir: Gordon Douglas)
7. Diabolique (1955) (Dir: Henri-Georges Clouzot)
8. Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956) (Dir: Don Siegel)
9. The Incredible Shrinking Man (1957) (Dir: Jack Arnold)
10. Night of the Demon (1957) (Dir: Jacques Tourneur)
11. Dracula (1958) (Dir: Terence Fisher)
(a.k.a. Horror of Dracula)
12. The Testament of Doctor Cordelier (1959) (Dir: Jean Renoir)
(Television)

1960’s

1. Black Sunday (1960) (Dir: Mario Bava)
2. Eyes Without a Face (1960) (Dir: Georges Franju)
3. The Housemaid (1960) (Dir: Kim Ki-young)
4. Jigoku (1960) (Dir: Nobuo Nakagawa)
5. Peeping Tom (1960) (Dir: Michael Powell)
6. Psycho (1960) (Dir: Alfred Hitchcock)
7. Village of the Damned (1960) (Dir: Wolf Rilla)
8. Hercules in the Haunted World (1961) (Dir: Mario Bava)
9. The Innocents (1961) (Dir: Jack Clayton)
10. Carnival of Souls (1962) (Dir: Herk Harvey)
11. What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? (1962) (Dir: Robert Aldrich)
12. The Birds (1963) (Dir: Alfred Hitchcock)
13. Black Sabbath (1963) (Dir: Mario Bava)
(Anthology Film)
14. The Haunting (1963) (Dir: Robert Wise)
15. Matango (1963) (Dir: Ishiro Honda)
16. These Are the Damned (1963) (Dir: Joseph Losey)
(a.k.a. The Damned)
17. The Whip and the Body (1963) (Dir: Mario Bava)
18. Blood and Black Lace (1964) (Dir: Mario Bava)
19. Hush… Hush, Sweet Charlotte (1964) (Dir: Robert Aldrich)
20. Kwaidan (1964) (Dir: Masaki Kobayashi)
21. The Masque of the Red Death (1964) (Dir: Roger Corman)
22. Onibaba (1964) (Dir: Kaneto Shindo)
23. Planet of the Vampires (1965) (Dir: Mario Bava)
24. Repulsion (1965) (Dir: Roman Polanski)
25. Kill, Baby… Kill! (1966) (Dir: Mario Bava)
26. Punch and Judy (1966) (Dir: Jan Svankmajer)
(Animation)
(Short Cinema)
27. The War of the Gargantuas (1966) (Dir: Ishiro Honda)

28. Django Kill… If You Live, Shoot! (1967) (Dir: Giulio Questi)
(Horror/Western)
29. Viy (1967) (Dir: Konstantin Yershov and Georgi Kropachyov)
30. The Flat (1968) (Dir: Jan Svankmajer)
(Animation)
(Short Cinema)
31. Hour of the Wolf (1968) (Dir: Ingmar Bergman)
32. Kuroneko (1968) (Dir: Kaneto Shindo)
33. The Living Skeleton (1968) (Dir: Hiroshi Matsuno)
34. Night of the Living Dead (1968) (Dir: George A. Romero)
35. Rosemary’s Baby (1968) (Dir: Roman Polanski)
36. Shogun’s Joys of Torture (1968) (Dir: Teruo Ishii)
(Anthology Film)
37. Spider Baby (1968) (Dir: Jack Hill)
38. Spirits of the Dead (1968) (Dir: Federico Fellini)
(Segment: “Toby Dammit”)
(Anthology Film)
39. Witchfinder General (1968) (Dir: Michael Reeves)
40. Blind Beast (1969) (Dir: Yasuzo Masumura)
41. Horrors of Malformed Men (1969) (Dir: Teruo Ishii)
42. Invocation of My Demon Brother (1969) (Dir: Kenneth Anger)
(Short Cinema)

1970’s

1. The Bird with the Crystal Plumage (1970) (Dir: Dario Argento)
2. Hatchet for the Honeymoon (1970) (Dir: Mario Bava)
3. The Ossuary (1970) (Dir: Jan Svankmajer)
(Documentary)
(Short Cinema)
4. Valerie and Her Week of Wonders (1970) (Dir: Jaromil Jires)
5. A Bay of Blood (1971) (Dir: Mario Bava)
(a.k.a. Twitch of the Death Nerve)
6. The Blood on Satan’s Claw (1971) (Dir: Piers Haggard)
7. Daughters of Darkness (1971) (Dir: Harry Kumel)
8. The Devils (1971) (Dir: Ken Russell)
(I watched it online)
9. What’s the Matter with Helen? (1971) (Dir: Curtis Harrington)
10. Whoever Slew Auntie Roo? (1971) (Dir: Curtis Harrington)
11. The Devil (1972) (Dir: Andrzej Zulawski)
12. Images (1972) (Dir: Robert Altman)
13. The Last House on the Left (1972) (Dir: Wes Craven)
14. Sisters (1972) (Dir: Brian De Palma)
15. The Baby (1973) (Dir: Ted Post)
16. Blood for Dracula (1973) (Dir: Paul Morrissey)
17. The Crazies (1973) (Dir: George A. Romero)
18. Don’t Look Now (1973) (Dir: Nicolas Roeg)
19. The Exorcist (1973) (Dir: William Friedkin)
20. Flesh for Frankenstein (1973) (Dir: Paul Morrissey)
21. Ganja & Hess (1973) (Dir: Bill Gunn)
22. Lisa and the Devil (1973) (Dir: Mario Bava)
23. Messiah of Evil (1973) (Dir: Gloria Katz and Willard Huyck)
24. Theatre of Blood (1973) (Dir: Douglas Hickox)
25. The Wicker Man (1973) (Dir: Robin Hardy)
26. Black Christmas (1974) (Dir: Bob Clark)
27. It’s Alive (1974) (Dir: Larry Cohen)
28. Phantom of the Paradise (1974) (Dir: Brian De Palma)
29. The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974) (Dir: Tobe Hooper)
30. Young Frankenstein (1974) (Dir: Mel Brooks)
31. Deep Red (1975) (Dir: Dario Argento)
32. Salo, or the 120 Days of Sodom (1975) (Dir: Pier Paolo Pasolini)
33. Shivers (1975) (Dir: David Cronenberg)
(a.k.a. They Came from Within)
34. Trilogy of Terror (1975) (Dir: Dan Curtis)
(Segment: “Amelia”)
(Anthology Film)
(Television)
35. Alice, Sweet Alice (1976) (Dir: Alfred Sole)
36. Carrie (1976) (Dir: Brian De Palma)
37. God Told Me To (1976) (Dir: Larry Cohen)
38. The Tenant (1976) (Dir: Roman Polanski)
39. Castle of Otranto (1977) (Dir: Jan Svankmajer)
(Animation)
(Short Cinema)
40. Demon Seed (1977) (Dir: Donald Cammell)
41. Eraserhead (1977) (Dir: David Lynch)
42. Martin (1977) (Dir: George A. Romero)
43. Rabid (1977) (Dir: David Cronenberg)
44. Suspiria (1977) (Dir: Dario Argento)
45. Dawn of the Dead (1978) (Dir: George A. Romero)
46. Empire of Passion (1978) (Dir: Nagisa Oshima)
47. The Fury (1978) (Dir: Brian De Palma)
48. Halloween (1978) (Dir: John Carpenter)
49. Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1978) (Dir: Philip Kaufman)
50. Someone’s Watching Me! (1978) (Dir: John Carpenter)
(Television)
51. Alien (1979) (Dir: Ridley Scott)
52. The Brood (1979) (Dir: David Cronenberg)
53. Legend of the Mountain (1979) (Dir: King Hu)
54. Nosferatu the Vampyre (1979) (Dir: Werner Herzog)
55. Phantasm (1979) (Dir: Don Coscarelli)
56. Salem’s Lot (1979) (Dir: Tobe Hooper)
(Miniseries)
(Television)

1980’s

1. Altered States (1980) (Dir: Ken Russell)
2. The Changeling (1980) (Dir: Peter Medak)
3. The Fall of the House of Usher (1980) (Dir: Jan Svankmajer)
(Animation)
(Short Cinema)
4. The Fog (1980) (Dir: John Carpenter)
5. Inferno (1980) (Dir: Dario Argento)
6. The Ninth Configuration (1980) (Dir: William Peter Blatty)
7. The Shining (1980) (Dir: Stanley Kubrick)
8. Zigeunerweisen (1980) (Dir: Seijun Suzuki)
9. An American Werewolf in London (1981) (Dir: John Landis)
10. The Beyond (1981) (Dir: Lucio Fulci)
11. The Evil Dead (1981) (Dir: Sam Raimi)
12. Possession (1981) (Dir: Andrzej Zulawski)
13. Scanners (1981) (Dir: David Cronenberg)
14. Basket Case (1982) (Dir: Frank Henenlotter)
15. Creepshow (1982) (Dir: George A. Romero)
(Anthology Film)
16. The Entity (1982) (Dir: Sidney J. Furie)
17. Next of Kin (1982) (Dir: Tony Williams)
18. Poltergeist (1982) (Dir: Tobe Hooper)
19. Q (1982) (Dir: Larry Cohen)
20. Tenebrae (1982) (Dir: Dario Argento)
21. The Thing (1982) (Dir: John Carpenter)
22. Vincent (1982) (Dir: Tim Burton)
(Animation)
(Short Cinema)
23. The Dead Zone (1983) (Dir: David Cronenberg)
24. Down to the Cellar (1983) (Dir: Jan Svanmajer)
(Animation)

25. The Fourth Man (1983) (Dir: Paul Verhoeven)
(Short Cinema)
26. Michael Jackson: Thriller (1983) (Dir: John Landis)
(Music Video)
(Short Cinema)
27. The Pendulum, the Pit and Hope (1983) (Dir: Jan Svankmajer)
(Animation)
(Short Cinema)
28. Twilight Zone: The Movie (1983) (Dir: George Miller)
(Segment: “Nightmare at 20,000 Feet”)
(Anthology Film)
29. Videodrome (1983) (Dir: David Cronenberg)
30. Frankenweenie (1984) (Dir: Tim Burton)
(Short Cinema)
31. A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984) (Dir: Wes Craven)
32. Day of the Dead (1985) (Dir: George A. Romero)
33. Phenomena (1985) (Dir: Dario Argento)
34. Re-Animator (1985) (Dir: Stuart Gordon)
35. The Return of the Living Dead (1985) (Dir: Dan O’Bannon)
36. The Stuff (1985) (Dir: Larry Cohen)
37. The Fly (1986) (Dir: David Cronenberg)
38. From Beyond (1986) (Dir: Stuart Gordon)
39. Gothic (1986) (Dir: Ken Russell)
40. Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer (1986) (Dir: John McNaughton)
41. Manhunter (1986) (Dir: Michael Mann)
42. Angel Heart (1987) (Dir: Alan Parker)
43. Bad Taste (1987) (Dir: Peter Jackson)
44. A Chinese Ghost Story (1987) (Dir: Ching Siu-tung)
45. Epidemic (1987) (Dir: Lars Von Trier)
46. Evil Dead II (1987) (Dir: Sam Raimi)
47. Hellraiser (1987) (Dir: Clive Barker)
48. Near Dark (1987) (Dir: Kathryn Bigelow)
49. Opera (1987) (Dir: Dario Argento)
50. Prince of Darkness (1987) (Dir: John Carpenter)
51. The Stepfather (1987) (Dir: Joseph Ruben)
52. White of the Eye (1987) (Dir: Donald Cammell)
53. Dead Ringers (1988) (Dir: David Cronenberg)
54. Lair of the White Worm (1988) (Dir: Ken Russell)
55. Manly Games (1988) (Dir: Jan Svankmajer)
(Animation)
(Short Cinema)
56. Monkey Shines (1988) (Dir: George A. Romero)
57. They Live (1988) (Dir: John Carpenter)
58. Flora (1989) (Dir: Jan Svankmajer)
(Animation)
(Short Cinema)
59. Society (1989) (Dir: Brian Yuzna)

1990’s

1. Jacob’s Ladder (1990) (Dir: Adrian Lyne)
2. The Reflecting Skin (1990) (Dir: Philip Ridley)
3. Two Evil Eyes (1990) (Dir: Dario Argento and George A. Romero)
(Anthology Film)
4. Army of Darkness (1992) (Dir: Sam Raimi)
5. Candyman (1992) (Dir: Bernard Rose)
6. Dead Alive (1992) (Dir: Peter Jackson)
(a.k.a. Braindead)
7. Raising Cain (1992) (Dir: Brian De Palma)
8. Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me (1992) (Dir: David Lynch)
9. Body Bags (1993) (Dir: John Carpenter and Tobe Hooper)
(Anthology Film)
(Cable/Television)
10. Cronos (1993) (Dir: Guillermo del Toro)
11. The Dark Half (1993) (Dir: George A. Romero)
12. In the Mouth of Madness (1994) (Dir: John Carpenter)
13. Cemetery Man (1994) (Dir: Michele Soavi)
14. The Kingdom (1994-1997) (Dir: Lars Von Trier)
(Miniseries)
(Television)
15. Cure (1997) (Dir: Kiyoshi Kurosawa)
16. Mimic (1997) (Dir: Guillermo del Toro)
17. Perfect Blue (1997) (Dir: Satoshi Kon)
(Anime)
18. Ringu (1998) (Dir: Hideo Nakata)
19. Vampires (1998) (Dir: John Carpenter)
20. Audition (1999) (Dir: Takashi Miike)
21. eXistenZ (1999) (Dir: David Cronenberg)
22. Ravenous (1999) (Dir: Antonia Bird)

2000’s

1. Bruiser (2000) (Dir: George A. Romero)
2. Ginger Snaps (2000) (Dir: John Fawcett)
3. Little Otik (2000) (Dir: Jan Svankmajer)
(a.k.a. Greedy Guts)
(Live-Action/Animation)
4. The Devil’s Backbone (2001) (Dir: Guillermo del Toro)
5. Ichi the Killer (2001) (Dir: Takashi Miike)
6. Pulse (2001) (Dir: Kiyoshi Kurosawa)
7. Trouble Every Day (2001) (Dir: Claire Denis)
8. Blade II (2002) (Dir: Guillermo del Toro)
9. Bubba Ho-Tep (2002) (Dir: Don Coscarelli)
10. Dracula: Pages from a Virgin’s Diary (2002) (Dir: Guy Maddin)
11. May (2002) (Dir: Lucky McKee)
12. Shaun of the Dead (2004) (Dir: Edgar Wright)
13. Three… Extremes (2004) (Dir: Fruit Chan, Park Chan-wook and Takashi Miike)
(Anthology Film)
14. The Descent (2005) (Dir: Neil Marshall)
15. Land of the Dead (2005) (Dir: George A. Romero)
16. Lunacy (2005) (Dir: Jan Svankmajer)
(Live-Action/Animation)
17. Masters of Horror (2005) (Dir: John Carpenter)
(Episode: “Cigarette Burns”)
(Cable/Television)
18. Masters of Horror (2005) (Dir: Joe Dante)
(Episode: “Homecoming”)
(Cable/Television)
19. Masters of Horror (2005) (Dir: Don Coscarelli)
(Episode: “Incident On and Off a Mountain Road”)
(Cable/Television)
20. Bug (2006) (Dir: William Friedkin)
21. The Host (2006) (Dir: Bong Joon-ho)
22. Masters of Horror (2006) (Dir: Takashi Miike)
(Episode: “Imprint”)
(Cable/Television)
23. Masters of Horror (2006) (Dir: Larry Cohen)
(Episode: “Pick Me Up”)
(Cable/Television)
24. Masters of Horror (2006) (Dir: Lucky McKee)
(Episode: “Sick Girl”)
(Cable/Television)
25. The Woods (2006) (Dir: Lucky McKee)
26. American Zombie (2007) (Dir: Grace Lee)
(Mockumentary)
27. Diary of the Dead (2007) (Dir: George A. Romero)
28. Inside (2007) (Dir: Julien Maury and Alexandre Bustillo)
29. Rec (2007) (Dir: Jaume Balaguero and Paco Plaza)
30. Trick ‘r Treat (2007) (Dir: Michael Dougherty)
(Anthology Film)
31. Let the Right One In (2008) (Dir: Tomas Alfredson)
32. Antichrist (2009) (Dir: Lars Von Trier)
33. Coraline (2009) (Dir: Henry Selick)
(Animation)
34. Drag Me to Hell (2009) (Dir: Sam Raimi)
35. Heartless (2009) (Dir: Philip Ridley)
36. Jennifer’s Body (2009) (Dir: Karyn Kusama)
37. The Loved Ones (2009) (Dir: Sean Byrne)
38. Splice (2009) (Dir: Vincenzo Natali)
39. Survival of the Dead (2009) (Dir: George A. Romero)

2010’s

1. Let Me In (2010) (Dir: Matt Reeves)
2. Tucker & Dale vs. Evil (2010) (Dir: Eli Craig)
3. The Cabin in the Woods (2011) (Dir: Drew Goddard)
4. The Woman (2011) (Dir: Lucky McKee)
4. The Babadook (2014) (Dir: Jennifer Kent)
5. A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night (2014) (Dir: Ana Lily Amirpour)
6. It Follows (2014) (Dir: David Robert Mitchell)
7. What We Do in the Shadows (2014) (Dir: Jemaine Clement and Taika Waititi)
(Mockumentary)
8. Ash vs. Evil Dead (2015) (Dir: Sam Raimi)
(Episode: “El Jefe”)
(Cable/Television)
9. Crimson Peak (2015) (Dir: Guillermo del Toro)
10. The Devil’s Candy (2015) (Dir: Sean Byrne)
11. The Invitation (2015) (Dir: Karyn Kusama)
12. Southbound (2015) (Dir: Chad, Matt & Rob, Roxanne Benjamin, David Bruckner and Patrick Horvath)
(Anthology Film)
13. We Are Still Here (2015) (Dir: Ted Goghegan)
14. The Witch (2015) (Dir: Robert Eggers)
15. The Love Witch (2016) (Dir: Anna Biller)
16. Raw (2016) (Dir: Julia Ducournau)
17. Under the Shadow (2016) (Dir: Babak Anvari)
18. Gerald’s Game (2017) (Dir: Mike Flanagan)
19. Get Out (2017) (Dir: Jordan Peele)
20. Little Evil (2017) (Dir: Eli Craig)
21. Mother! (2017) (Dir: Darren Aronofsky)
22. XX (2017) (Dir: Jovanka Vuckovic, Annie Clark, Roxanne Benjamin and Karyn Kusama)
(Anthology Film)
23. Annihilation (2018) (Dir: Alex Garland)
24. The Haunting of Hill House (2018-Present) (Dir: Mike Flanagan) (Anthology Series)
(Netflix Streaming Series)
25. Hereditary (2018) (Dir: Ari Aster)
26. Mandy (2018) (Dir: Panos Cosmatos)
27. A Quiet Place (2018) (Dir: John Krasinski)
28. The Dead Don’t Die (2019) (Dir: Jim Jarmusch)
29. Midsommar (2019) (Dir: Ari Aster)
30. The Lighthouse (2019) (Dir: Robert Eggers)
31. Ready or Not (2019) (Dir: Matt Bettinelli-Olpin and Tyler Gillett)
32. Us (2019) (Dir: Jordan Peele)

My Favorite Alan Rudolph Films

* * * * (Out of * * * *)

1.   Choose Me (1984)

2.   Remember My Name (1978)

3.   Afterglow (1997)

4.   The Moderns (1988)

5.   Trouble in Mind (1985)

6.   Mrs. Parker and the Vicious Circle (1994)

* * * 1/2 (Out of * * * *)

1.   Songwriter (1984)

2.   The Secret Lives of Dentists (2002)

3.   Welcome to L.A. (1976)

My Favorite Lucio Fulci Films

* * * * (Out of * * * *)

1.   The Beyond (1981)

2.   Four of the Apocalypse (1975)

3.   Massacre Time (1966)

* * * 1/2 (Out of * * * *)

1. ¬† Don’t Torture a Duckling (1972)

2. ¬† A Lizard in a Woman’s Skin (1971)

3.   One on Top of the Other (1969)
(a.k.a. Perversion Story)

My Favorite Milos Forman Films

* * * * (Out of * * * *)

1.   Loves of a Blonde (1965)

2.   Taking Off (1971)

3. ¬† The Firemen’s Ball (1967)

4.   Black Peter (1963)

* * * 1/2 (Out of * * * *)

1.   Man on the Moon (1999)

My Favorite Richard Fleischer Films

* * * * (Out of * * * *)

1.   Mandingo (1975)

2.   The Narrow Margin (1952)

3.   The Boston Strangler (1968)

4.   10 Rillington Place (1971)

5.   The Vikings (1958)

6.   20,000 Leagues Under the Sea (1954)

* * * 1/2 (Out of * * * *)

1.   Compulsion (1959)

2.   The Girl in the Red Velvet Swing (1955)

3.   Violent Saturday (1955)

4.   So This Is New York (1948)

My Favorite Stuart Cooper Films

* * * * (Out of * * * *)

1.   Overlord (1975)

2.   Little Malcolm (1974)

3.   The Disappearance (1977)

* * * * (Out of * * * *) (Short Cinema)

1.   A Test of Violence (1970)
(Documentary Short)

My Favorite Donald Cammell Films

* * * * (Out of * * * *)

1.   Performance (1970)
(co-directed with Nicolas Roeg)

2.   White of the Eye (1987)

3.   Wild Side (1995)
(Director’s Cut)
(I watched it online)

4.   Demon Seed (1977)

My Favorite John Huston Films

* * * * (Out of * * * *)

1.   Wise Blood (1979)

2.   The Maltese Falcon (1941)

3.   Fat City (1972)

* * * 1/2 (Out of * * * *)

1.   The Man Who Would Be King (1975)

2.   The Asphalt Jungle (1950)

3.   The Treasure of the Sierra Madre (1948)

John Charet’s Take On: Ken Russell at the BBC (1959-1970) – An Introduction

Originally, I was going to post a review on another film, but I am currently suffering from a case of writer’s block¬†on that right now. In the meantime and in an attempt to get my mojo back (so I can finish that review), I am going to post reviews on something a little more simpler, but no less complex. In this case, a series of TV bios on famous composers (among other types of giants). ¬†

 

When anybody hears the name Ken Russell (1927-2011), the first words that come to mind are either flamboyant or controversial. A majority of the time, one could say that both terms can apply to him all at once. According to wikipedia’s entry on legendary British filmmaker Ken Russell (read here), these are at least two proper descriptions that can be applied to him.¬†Nevertheless, let us rewind the clocks back to 1959 – 10 years prior to his 1969 breakthrough film Women in Love – a critically acclaimed adaptation of D.H. Lawrence’s equally controversial 1920 novel of the same name. From 1959 to 1970, Russell made documentaries/docudramas on celebrated composers (among other figures) for the British Broadcasting Corporation (a.k.a. the BBC – read here). He directed at least 22 of them for Monitor (1959-1965) and 3 of them for it’s official/unofficial successor Omnibus (1967-1970). In between his last for Monitor (Always on Sunday) and his first for Omnibus (Dante’s Inferno), Russell contributed one for BBC’s Sunday Night (Don’t Shoot the Composer) and another as a stand-alone TV film (Isadora Duncan, the Biggest Dancer in the World) in 1966. The following year, he would helm his second feature film (his first was the 1964 comedy French Dressing) entitled Billion Dollar Brain – a British Spy thriller for the American-based studio¬†United Artists. Two days after Billion Dollar Brain’s American premiere (December 20, 1967 – read here), Dante’s Inferno (Russell’s first for Omnibus) premiered for UK television viewers on December 22 of that same year. Based on my calculations alone (read here), Russell directed at least 27 television bios for the BBC. Out of the 27, only 6 of them (at least to my knowledge) are available for home viewing in North America. They are in a 2008 DVD collection entitled Ken Russell at the BBC (read here). The available titles are: Elgar (1962), The Debussy Film (1965), Always on Sunday (1965), Isadora Duncan, the Biggest Dancer in the World (1966), Dante’s Inferno (1967) and Song of Summer (1968). The first three were for Monitor and the last two were for Omnibus. As I mentioned earlier, Isadora Duncan was a stand-alone TV film for the BBC. Russell’s last work for¬†Omnibus¬†during this period entitled Dance of the Seven Veils is not included in the box set. That last title incited a huge ton of controversy due to it’s portrayal of famed German composer Richard Strauss (1864-1949) as either a Nazi or Nazi sympathizer (read here). This angered the Strauss family so much that they withdrew the music rights for it. Apparently, the ban expires sometime this year in 2019 (read here). ¬†Currently, the only way one can watch it is on a faded print posted on youtube.

Famed U.S. film critic Pauline Kael (1919-2001) once said of late master filmmaker Robert Altman, that he could make film fireworks out of next to nothing (read here). This sentiment can also be applied to that of director Ken Russell. Compared to Russell’s more outrageous later work (The Music Lovers, The Devils and Lisztomania to name just a few), the style of his early television films may initially come off as subdued on the surface. Deep down though, each of the available six films prove to be every bit as radical (albeit different) to those previously mentioned titles. Even with their low-budgets, Russell amazingly managed to break the rules on what was widely accepted within the documentary format. Instead of traditionally relying on still photographs and old film footage alone to tell his story, Russell would not only dramatize it through a re-enactment, but he would also (in the case of Elgar) use different actors to portray the lead character as he/she ages (read here and here). And this only marks just one of Russell’s many talents at successfully making the most out of very little.

My full review of Elgar – the first of director Ken Russell’s six films in the aforementioned 2008 DVD collection ¬†– should be up sometime by tomorrow.