It goes without saying that the Bastards at Daily Grindhouse get a huge boner when it comes to Top Ten lists. A lot of folks would say that’s pretty nerdy, but a lot of folks can go fuck themselves.
We kindly requested Mr. Stanze to provide a list of his Top Ten Grindhouse Flicks. Not only did he graciously oblige, but his list fucking rocks (despite an unhealthy penchant for cannibal movies).
So, without further ado…
(Movies are listed in order of release, and are subject to change without notice.)
1. VANISHING POINT, Richard C. Sarafian, 1971. Excellent, entrancing, gritty road trip flick. This one burns rubber with other wonderful carsploitation movies like DIRTY MARY CRAZY LARRY (1974), RACE WITH THE DEVIL (1975), Walter Hill’s THE DRIVER (1978), David Cronenberg’s awesome FAST COMPANY (1979), and Monte Hellman’s brilliant TWO-LANE BLACKTOP (1971).
2. DON’T LOOK IN THE BASEMENT (aka THE FORGOTTEN), S.F. Brownrigg, 1973. One of the all time great American grindhouse flicks, shot in 12 days on a microscopic budget, yet delivering great characters, a cool story, and a grimy, unsettling atmosphere of dread that permeates the entire film, first to last frame. I saw this for the first time when I was 13 or 14 – it played on TV (edited for television) at one o’clock in the morning or something like that. It had a huge impact on me. A remarkable film.
3. THE TEXAS CHAIN SAW MASSACRE, Tobe Hooper, 1974. Celebrated for good reason. Unequaled.
4. ILSA, SHE WOLF OF THE SS, Don Edmonds, 1975. Sadism, violence, and sleaze in one of the best and most notorious of the Nazisploitation subgenre. Grindhouse gold. Another favorite swastika sick flick is Bruno Mattei’s SS GIRLS (aka PRIVATE HOUSE OF THE SS, 1977), one of the most twisted of the Nazisploitation subgenre. Goofy and entertaining, with some over-the-top stuff that puts Herculean effort into being offensive.
5. LAST HOUSE ON DEAD END STREET, Roger Watkins, 1977. A legendary grindhouse gem, one that delivers demented sequences of violence and gore and achieves a captivating fever-dream tone.
6. EMANUELLE IN AMERICA, Joe D’Amato, 1977. Audacious exploitation movie with unsettling “snuff film” sequence, not to mention the wince-inducing horse scene. Another D’Amato movie that pours on the shock value is BEYOND THE DARKNESS (aka BUIO OMEGA, aka BURIED ALIVE, 1979). Creepy and sick flick. Notable for it’s slimy, stomach-churning tone and straight-faced, no-fucking-around violence and gore. Another top D’Amato fave is EMANUELLE AND THE LAST CANNIBALS (aka TRAP THEM AND KILL THEM, 1977). Great blend of sleaze, fun gore, and jungle adventure.
7. CANNIBAL HOLOCAUST, Ruggero Deodato, 1980. Shocking sucker-punch of a movie that goes for the throat. Big time.
8. CITY OF THE LIVING DEAD (aka THE GATES OF HELL), Lucio Fulci, 1980. Atmospheric and loaded with gore. Very difficult to choose one, but this may be my favorite Fulci film. The movies of his I dig the most all come from this “golden age” of his career: ZOMBIE (1979), THE BEYOND (1981), THE HOUSE BY THE CEMETERY(1981), and THE NEW YORK RIPPER (1982).
9. PIECES, Juan Piquer Simón, 1982. Ridiculous and fun whodunit slasher, ripe with nonsensical plot turns, terrible acting, and astoundingly bad dialog – not to mention an ending that makes zero fucking sense. Classic.
10. MASSACRE IN DINOSAUR VALLEY, Michele Massimo Tarantini, 1985. Crazy jungle adventure flick, full of action, violence, gore, nudity, quicksand, and piranhas.
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