Eli Roth’s Top 5 Horror Movies

Director/actor Eli Roth, maybe best known for his Hostel movies, lent us his horror movie expertise and picked out his top 5 horror movies for this Halloween, and honestly his descriptions are so creepy we’re scared before even watching them. ALSO Roth is doing a horror contest on Vine called 666: the #6SecondScare. Deadline is Friday to enter, but people can still see the entries by looking up #6SecondScare on Vine and Twitter or follow @fearthecrypt. It will not only be judged by Roth, but Rob Lowe, Vanessa Hudgens, Elijah Wood, Kid Cudi, and Tarantino too. Anyone in the world can enter, all you have to do is put up a vine / twitter video tagged #6SecondScare and follow @FearTheCrypt. Winner gets to develop a movie with Roth and Davis Entertainment.

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Here are 5 great scary movies to watch at a sleepover with a group of friends on Halloween weekend:

Sleepaway Camp: 1983, Robert Hiltzik
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I remember watching this film at a sleepover with a bunch of friends in the mid 80s, and when the movie ended we literally stood up out of our chairs and screamed at the top of our lungs until we ran out of air. I will not say why. Treat yourself to the beautiful last two minutes of Sleepaway Camp. This is anything but a by-the-numbers early 80’s low budget slasher flick set at a summer camp. The kills are fun, but the ending simply cannot be topped. Don’t read anything about it, just go rent it, pop it in, and watch your friends freak out after.

Who Can Kill a Child?: 1975, Narciso Ibanez Serrador
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One of the creepiest, scariest, most intense killer-kid movies ever made is also one of the least seen. Most all modern Spanish / Latin horror was influenced by the director Narciso Ibanez Serrador, (certainly Amenabar and Del Toro) who is a known personality from his television series he presented, but directed very few films. Who Can Kill a Child? is a classic slow burn suspense movie – all mood and atmosphere that slowly tightens like a tightrope until it finally snaps and all hell breaks loose. I had the pleasure of introducing this film to Edgar Wright, who said he couldn’t believe he went that long in his life without ever having heard of it. It’s a must-see for suspense and horror fans, one of my all time favorites.

Zombi 2: 1980, Lucio Fulci
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Zombi 2 is one of those rare sequels that isn’t actually a sequel, it was just called Zombi 2 because in Italy “Dawn of the Dead” was released under the title Zombi, and the producers wanted to trick people into thinking this was the second one, even though the two films have nothing to do with each other. Other than zombies, that is. Zombi 2, or Zombie as it’s commonly known in the U.S., has grown over time to be one of the most beloved zombie movies, with scenes of gore so spectacular and horrifying they still stand head and shoulders above any zombie movie made since. Lucio Fulci is one of my all time favorite directors, and whenever I film a particularly gory scene, we all close our eyes and try to channel him for inspiration. Zombi 2 has the greatest scene ever committed to celluloid, and is actually responsible for the modern movement of zombie films. This is the movie where a zombie falls off a boat, and because he’s dead, just keeps walking underwater. A shark comes along and decides to bite the zombie. The zombie, being a zombie, turns and bites the shark. Now, this was a very low budget Italian horror movie, they couldn’t afford a mechanical shark. They put a guy in zombie makeup underwater with a real shark. It’s insane. You cannot believe what you are watching, and the scene cannot be over-hyped enough. It’s that spectacular. I have become friends with Fulci’s daughter Antonella, and she told me all about filming it – that shark almost killed the guy. The movie is worth watching for this scene alone, but you will scream and squeal and probably puke during the infamous “eyeball” scene. Nothing comes close to it, which is why the die hard horror nerds like me wear t-shirts that say Viva Fulci! A must-see for any zombie apocalypse fan.

Ichi the Killer: 2001, Takashi Miike
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Takashi Miike’s adaptation of this manga is absolutely nuts. I was so into this movie I dressed up as the villain Kakihara at the premiere of Cabin Fever, calling myself KakiharEli. One person in the audience got the reference: me. One of the wettest goriest most amazing splatter films ever made. Not for the weak of stomach. If you prefer a slow burn horror film from Miike, watch AUDITION. It’s a masterpiece – both films were hugely influential on Hostel. But Ichi the Killer is just so over the top nuts it may take you a week to recover after seeing it.

Pieces: 1982, Juan Piquer Simon
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I had to save the best for last. You’re going to be upset I put Pieces on the list, because once you see it you’ll be depressed you’ll never have that much fun at a movie again. I’m showing it on Halloween at my all night horror thon at the New Beverly cinema. I’ve screened this film with audiences multiple times and it never fails to get an insane reaction. This was the movie where on the poster you saw a chainsaw, a stitched-up dead girl, and the tagline “It’s exactly what you think it is.” The other line on the poster was “You don’t have to go to Texas for a chainsaw massacre.” Some movies don’t exactly live up to their poster. Well, rest assured, this one does. But Pieces is also one of the craziest, most random and insane slasher films ever made. You think you have it figured out and then the film blindsides you. There are many, many classic scenes, like the infamous tennis match, which really has some of the best extras casting in the history of cinema, and the random Kung-Fu, which found its way into Cabin Fever, though not consciously. Pieces truly is my favorite slasher film of all time, and it’s the one movie that never fails to have the audience totally entertained from start to finish. It’s also got an ending to rival “Sleepaway Camp.” It’s ridiculous, over the top, incredibly gory, and I love it so much I gave a quote for the exquisit Grindhouse Releasing DVD and even appear on the bonus features singing its praises. Nothing comes close to this masterpiece. Not “Gone with the Wind.” Not “Citizen Kane.” Not “Lawrence of Arabia.” Sorry. They just aren’t as fun as “Pieces.” Nothing is.


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