Guitarist Jared Drace of New York hardcore thrash metal band Activator is a huge horror fan. Like, the guy really, really loves them. ANd he wanted to share his list of his favorites with all of you because he’s just so damn excited about them! Below is Drace’s list and, as a lifelong fan of horror, I can tell you that it’s a really great, really diverse list that features classics, lesser known flicks, and cult favorites. Head on below to check out this list!
Activator released their self-titled debut album earlier this week. You can purchase it here.
10. CABIN FEVER
Sometimes directors need a few movies before they hit their stride and sometimes they pull an Appetite For Destruction (lead off with their best work and go downhill from there). This is clearly the case for Eli Roth with Cabin Fever (ooh faced!). The potent mix of 1970’s horror homage, serious gore and a healthy dose of humor combined with the truly bizarre, make this one of the most highly re-watchable horror films in recent memory. This scene will make you think twice the next time you’re getting into some heavy petting.
9. THE PROWLER
Full disclosure: my uncle on my mom’s side wrote the screenplay for this 1981 slasher flick, so I’m a little bias. The Prowler has gotten a bad rap as a Friday The 13th knock-off over the years and it’s just not right. For starters, our friendly-neighborhood Prowler uses a pitchfork, not a machete to skewer his victims, and there’s no hockey mask here, just combat gear. More importantly, legendary effects-guru Tom Savini produces a level of gore that makes the carnage at Camp Crystal Lake look like something from Daddy Day Camp. Check out this merciless knife-kill if you’re still not convinced.
8. EVIL DEAD 2: DEAD BY DAWN
No horror-movie list worth its salt would be complete without an entry from Sam Raimi’s Evil Dead trilogy. Take your pick, they’re all winners, but I give Dead By Dawn the slight edge for inspiring the Deicide sing-along classic of the same name, that in turn inspired this awesome YouTube video!
7. THE RING
Yes, I saw the Japanese original and yes, the U.S. version blows it out of the (well) water. “Original” does not always mean “superior.” Not only does the VHS tape that’s causing the whole hullabaloo contain the creepiest shit imaginable, but the rest of the movie has some of the most disturbing images ever caught on film. The horse-suicide remains one of the most fucked-up scenes in horror history.
5. JACOB’S LADDER
Not sure if this is technically a “horror” movie, but it scared the living crap out of me when I first saw it on cable in the mid-90s and with the amount of pee-stain-inducing insanity going on during this hospital scene, I don’t think anyone would debate this film’s horror cred. Also, this guy needs his own sequel already.
SEVERED-HEAD CUNNILINGUS :::drops mic:::
3. NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET 4: THE DREAM MASTER
I know, I know, how can I not pick the genre-defining original or at the very least, the Darabont-scripted, Dokken-saturated, Dream Warriors? But when I was introduced to Mr. Krueger via The Dream Master in 1988, my sleeping habits took a major hit and haven’t been the same since. The kills (and patented Freddy one–liners) in this one are top notch. Look no further than poor Debbie Stevens getting transformed into a cockroach while simultaneously being on the business end of some of Freddy’s most hilarious quips! Also any movie that features music by Dramarama AND Vinnie Vincent Invasion (featuring a pubescent Mark Slaughter) wins out in my book. As for the eternal Freddy vs Jason argument, IMHO there isn’t one.
2. THE BEYOND
I love Zombie and Gates Of Hell (AKA City Of The Living Dead), but this is where Lucio Fulci really earned his reputation as a horror icon. There’s a giant hole in the basement of a Louisiana hotel which turns out to be one of the 7 gateways to Hell, natch. There’s about twice as many holes in the plot, but that doesn’t matter as the action is fast and furious; there’s persecution, zombie-handymen, blind pianists, zombie-dogs (poor Dickie), tarantulas, a headshot for the ages and an ending that is the polar opposite of “happy.” Lastly, the Fabio Frizzi score is one of the best ever and gets as much rotation in my iTunes as the likes of Slayer and Deceased.
1. DAWN OF THE DEAD
It may be a cliche choice for #1, but George A. Romero’s 1978 masterpiece has it all: zombies, timeless social commentary, more zombies (from all walks of life), super-stud Ken Foree and did I mention ZOMBIES? I did a paper during my lone semester at college about the critical reviews of DOTD over the years, and guess what? Upon it’s theatrical release, critics were walking (dead) right out of the theaters in disgust! No matter, DOTD was and still is heralded by myself and horror-fans worldwide as THE all-time classic, I guess you did alright this time Flyboy!