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The 411 Movies Top 5: The Top 5 Gory Horror Movies

September 26, 2015 | Posted by Shawn S. Lealos
The Thing

The 411 Movies Top 5: Hello everyone and welcome to 411 Movies Top 5 List. We take a topic each week and all the writers here on 411 wrestling will have the ability to participate and give us their Top 5 on said topic. So, onto this week’s topic…

The Top 5 Gory Horror Movies

5. GEORGE A. ROMERO’S DAY OF THE DEAD – This is the third movie in Romero’s original zombie trilogy and is both Romero’s and FX guru Tom Savini’s masterpiece. It’s a smaller, darker story than Dawn of the Dead and can be talky and kind of depressing if you’re not in the mood for that kind of thing. But when you actually watch Day you see that it’s brilliant. It’s also the best made of the original trilogy (the movie still looks outstanding thirty years later). When it comes to Savini’s zombie effects they are some of the best ever put on film. From the nasty, sinewy zombie bites to the zombie appliance make-up to the big gross out moments, it’s stuff that zombie movies today still pay homage to (I’d also argue that the effects on display in Day are the main inspiration for Greg Nicotero’s work on The Walking Dead, which makes sense because Nicotero worked on the movie and played a minor role as a soldier). The autopsy room, the “guts falling onto the ground” double shot, the machete arm removal, and the wild “choke on’em” finale; we’re all still in awe of them. I know I am.

4. SLIME CITY – This low budget gem from the late 1980’s is easily one of the most disgusting movies ever made, and I say that with high praise. Basically, it’s about a guy who, after ingesting some weird food from some neighbors in his apartment building, ends up becoming a weird beard psycho that has to kill people or melt away. And when I say “melt away” I mean melt the freak away. The gore effects are not slick or top notch but they are chunky and gooey and work better than most more expensive movies. Everything looks like scrambled eggs, chewed up pizza, and hamburger. I’d advise you not to bother eating any of those things during or after watching Slime City. If you haven’t seen Slime City, track it down and check it out. Very worth it.

3. THE FLY – This remake/reimagining/whatever the hell you want to call it by David Cronenberg doesn’t really become revolting until the end, when Jeff Goldblum’s Brundle goes full on fly monster and starts looking like walking roadkill. That isn’t to say that the early parts of Brundle’s transformation into the fly monster aren’t disgusting, but it’s more of an escalation thing than anything else. It starts out okay, then gets progressively nastier as the movie goes on. When you combine the spectacular effects work with Cronenberg’s dark love story and the science run amok thing with Brundle working really hard to create real world teleportation, The Fly is a beautiful gross out masterpiece The effects are still nasty to look at and cringe inducing. Probably Cronenberg’s best movie.

2. JOHN CARPENTER’S THE THING – John Carpenter’s remake of The Thing is one of the best, maybe even the best, practical effects movies ever made. The work of creature effects genius Rob Bottin is still mind blowing to this day and is proof that, with a sick imagination and badass skills, nasty art can be created. Carpenter assembles a terrific cast, which includes Kurt Russell Keith David, Wilford Brimley, and Richard Masur, and the music, by Ennio Morricone, are about as top notch as you can get. But the monster effects are still some of the best looking ever. The way the monster constantly transforms itself still gives me the willies. The chest mouth monster thing is still gross as hell, and the blood test scene, when the guy starts melting and becomes a giant worm thing… oh, man. If only they still made movies like this today. If only.

1. DEAD ALIVE -I remember reading about this movie in Fangoria and hoping that the movie would show up at my local video store (I knew it wouldn’t be in any of my local movie theatres). So when I saw it at my local video store I rented it immediately and watched it as soon as I got home. Was this really going to be the goriest zombie movie of all time? Yes, yes it was. Even after reading about the movie in Fangoria I don’t think I was really prepared for what it was Dead Alive really was. The comedy part of it caught me off guard. I thought it was going to be a little more serious. It was a romp, though. The funny tone of the movie changed the tone of the gore and nastiness, it all became shocking in a different way. It was still great, though. I’m surprised no one has tried to really out-gore this movie yet. I guess it may happen one day, as practical effects are still looked at as better movie making as opposed to CGI. How much longer will we have to wait, though? Will Peter Jackson try to outdo himself one day?

Joseph Lee
5. Cannibal Holocaust – Eli Roth wouldn’t have his little Green Inferno if not for this particular movie and he would be the first to admit it. It has a lot of graphic violence towards humans but we all know that’s fake. What’s upsetting to a lot of people (even the director, who regrets doing it) is the wanton animal cruelty. No animal should have to die just for the sake of a movie. If you’re eating it, sure. But I don’t they’re eating the pig that they shotgunned in the face. This also features a nasty impalement that still sends shivers today. It’s a lot of disturbing and disgusting imagery set to the most soothing music imaginable.

4. Evil Dead 2: Dead By Dawn – Probably should pick the original but this seems to go more for the gross out with its mix of horror and comedy. Eyeballs flying into people’s mouths, bodily dismemberment, geysers of blood spraying one man, just the idea of a gross fat bloated Deadite (even with the costume malfunction). It’s the perfect blend of the movies that preceded and followed it.

3. Day of the Dead – As I mentioned in A Bloody Good Time, this is my favorite work from Tom Savini. He worked hard on this movie and it shows for all of the tremendous special effects you see throughout. Several people are ripped apart by zombies. Another has his arm cut off and cauterized. Then there’s Dr. Frankenstein’s lab with all of his grotesque experiments. Day is a very underrated movie in George Romero’s series and it’s mostly due to the work of Savini.

2. The Fly – Hey kids, remember that movie where a man and a fly switch heads and arms? Well we gave that to David Cronenberg and he’s going to make you watch a man slowly fall apart and be reborn as a terrifying man/mutant hybrid. The Fly is a lot of things. It’s a tragic love story, it’s a tale of science gone wrong, it’s a movie that should have nailed Jeff Goldblum an Academy Award. But on top of all of this, it’s really, really gross. At least Chris Walas was rightly given the award and top credit for his work in this movie. Turning Brundle into the Brundlefly involves some grotesque imagery. Remember the Brundle Museum of Natural History? How about when Geena Davis dreams she’s giving birth to a maggot? Body Horror is some of the worst horror out there.

1. Braindead – Another horror comedy but this one definitely deserves the top spot as one of the goriest films ever made. Some movies may be nastier, others may be more mean-spirited, but this movie ends with a literal bloodbath for our hero, who then goes on to be eaten by his zombiefied mother and cuts his way out of her to mimic a second birth. That’s not even including the pus that people eat, the gratuitous (tm Bryan) removed limbs, the zombie sex and so much more. Sure, a lot of it is played for laughs but it’s still gross. Peter Jackson really knew what he was doing with this one.

5. A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET 5: THE DREAM CHILD – OK, I know that everyone immediately seeing this is going to say “Nightmare 5? With Super Freddy? Dude, you’re a Super Puss”. However, I include this film for one scene, and one scene alone. When Freddy is forcing a girl to eat her own guts until she dies. I’m not entirely sure that’s even what happens, and here’s why: When I was a kid I was allowed to watch the Friday The 13th movies so long as they were on TV, but I was never allowed to see Freddy. Low and behold, a friend of mine rented part 5 one day, so I became a big brave dog and decided to watch. Big mistake. The scene where he forced the girl to eat herself until death literally sent me running out of the house. I had nightmares, and never disobeyed my mom again. Seriously. Because of that, I’ve never watched the movie again. It’s been almost 25 years, I own the box-set and I’ve seen the others ad-nausem, but I just can’t bring myself to watch the 5th one again. So, because of that, I’m not even sure if it’s her guts he’s making her eat, or just the same food over and over. Regardless, it’s gross.

4. DAY OF THE DEAD Ah, the 80s. A glorious time for many things, and arguably none more glorious than that of special effects in the horror genre. With too many classics to name, Day of the Dead is firmly planted among that list. What was to be Romero’s magnum opus ended up being insanely scaled down, almost becoming a Night of the Living Dead done underground. However, while the story itself isn’t massive, the special effects and kills here are the grand spectacle. When I think zombie, this is exactly what I think of. To this day I don’t think the creatures have ever looked better. Their design alone could earn this film a place among the grossest, especially when you consider a zombie icon like Dr. Tongue. Beyond that, we have fantastic kills that see people torn apart, with their heads being ripped off, faces & limbs being chewed apart, and best of all, Col Rhodes being turn in half. To top it all off, the guts used for Rhodes’ demise were obtained from a butcher, and kept in a cooled room. However, the equipment shorted out, and the contents rotted. So Joe Pilato had to spend a day being covered in rotted guts & blood. Good work, if you can get it.

3. SAW 3 – While 2 remains my favorite of the franchise, the gross-out factor cannot be touched when it comes to 3. This one goes all over the place. First we have brain surgery, graphic, brain surgery, that is spared no detail to the audience. We see a man almost drown in liquefied rotted pig carcasses, a woman’s face being eradicated by a shotgun collar, and what I feel to be the worst of all, the crucifixion death. For those unaware, a man is set in a device that’s like a cross, except your head and limbs are attached to a swivel. Slowly these things would turn, and slowly this man’s bones would break and poke out of the skin, creating one of the hardest to watch kills in any horror film.

2. WRONG TURN 2 – Goodness gracious, where the HELL did they go wrong with this series? I know I’m supposed to talk about why this film deserves to be here, and I will, but I just have to vent for a second. The first two entries of this franchise are fantastic, with part 2 being my favorite. I thought for sure we’d finally have ourselves a good ol’ American slasher franchise to latch on to. However, when the 3rd one hit, I couldn’t believe how terrible it was, and hoped it was just a misstep. How wrong I was. They just kept getting worse, and worse, with no end in sight. Oh well, at least there’s part 2, which features super-bad-ass Henry Rollins, and a plethora of fantastic kills. My favorite of which features a girl getting her lips bitten off whilst trying to perform CPR, then we get a great shot of her being stood up, with the camera on the ground, and the only site of her being her legs below the knees. At this point the lead inbred killer brings his axe down, slicing her in half. We see the guts hit the ground in the middle, as each side of the body falls to the left & right. It needs to be seen to do it justice, because it’s brilliant. Beyond that you have inbred hillbillies having sex while wearing the face of a victim, another giving birth, cannibalism, and some great inbred mutant effects topped off with a lot of fun, gory kills. An underrated, and insanely fun film.

1. THE FLY – Oh man, hell yeah. Arm wrestling that would make Bull Hurly proud, acid puke, gnarly black hairs, a woman birthing a larva, and a mutant fly taking buckshot to the face. You hear all that and think that for sure this is a gross horror film, but beyond that, it’s a perfectly told story about a guy who almost has it all. He’s on the verge of the biggest scientific breakthrough of our time, as well as nabbing him a pretty ace babe. Naturally, his ambition cost him everything as he crosses DNA with a fly. Now, instead of walking around the entire film with a towel over his head [the original is fantastic], we get to see him slowly mutate during the pinnacle of practical effects. A great, great movie.

Wednesday Lee Friday
5. Tusk – Body horror is especially uncomfortable, but this one is so off-putting that I’m calling it gross-out-horror even though Tusk may be more accurately described as a black comedy. I don’t even like Justin Long, but was a little sad to see that his experience was irreversible.

4. Farmhouse – Extreme violence rules in this hellbound horrorfest. Inventive acts of torture make us wonder who could possibly deserve such ghastly punishment. Then, we find out. Cringeworthy scenes hurl viewers forward into a brilliant and satisfying ending.

3. Frontiers – Crazy kids flee a bad scene and run straight into the arms of…Nazis. Nazis are disturbing enough, but this blood-drenched nightmare is way tense and brutal AF. I’m not sure you can even refer to a movie as French Horror until a character is completely drenched in blood.

2. Piranha 3D – This is not high cinema by any means, but its reliance on intense gore and carnage is almost admirable. The beach massacre is a truly harrowing scene, though when you watch this film you may actually laugh more than you cringe. Also, best severed penis EVER.

1. Cannibal Holocaust – The obvious choice for #1 gross-out movie of all time. They murdered real animals in the making of this film, but that’s just the beginning of the white man’s crimes. Notorious for its gruesome scenes, found footage style, and shocking final scene—this one is def not for the faint of heart, or for people who like tortoises.


List your Top Five for this week’s topic in the comment section using the following format:

5. CHOICE: Explanation
4. CHOICE: Explanation
3. CHOICE: Explanation
2. CHOICE: Explanation
1. CHOICE: Explanation