View Full Version : Glenn McQuaid's Halloween Top Ten 2010

10-29-2010, 08:26 AM
I SELL THE DEAD writer and director Glenn McQuaid is our special guest for the last October Madness Halloween Top Ten for 2010. With a varied list with some popular classics, some older classics and a few fresh picks from both sides of the Atlantic, it's a list that should please any horror fan, whatever you are.

Irish writer director Glenn McQuaid was born and raised on the North side of Dublin. From 1999 on, he has worked in the post production field as a visual effects artist and title designer in both New York and Dublin and first collaborated with Larry Fessenden when he coordinated the visual effects on the Ti West directed indie THE ROOST. Since then he has worked on several Glass Eye Pix productions, including THE LAST WINTER, THE HOUSE OF THE DEVIL, and STAKE LAND. McQuaid's feature film debut I SELL THE DEAD (http://www.isellthedead.com/) was a festival favorite that sold to Anchor Bay Entertainment Canada and IFC and is currently available to rent or buy at all decent retailers. He is currently curating a horror radio play series (http://www.talesfrombeyondthepale.com/) in collaboration with Larry Fessenden, and developing various feature projects. It's an honor to have him as a special guest for our final Halloween Top Ten this year.


10. Hellraiser (1987)

As much as I love the limelight-stealing Cenobites, it's really the black-hearted relationship of Julia and Frank that, for me, elevates HELLRAISER to horror classic. Coming off like a diabolic Dennis Potter tale, from Julia's subconscious resurrection of Frank to skinless Frank's first delicious pull on a cigarette, this is gothic British filmmaking at its bloody best. Directed with glee and edited with absolute restraint, Clive Barker has made a pitch perfect, original and timeless horror classic.


9. Crash (1996)

If Deborah Kara Unger's vampy performance doesn't give the game away, Elias Koteas' demented and cut-up catalyst Vaugh should spell it out: CRASH is Cronenberg at his most playful and gothic. Witness the Ballards in their ultra-modern castle on the hill, join them in their reckless pursuit of collision and feeling, watch with enthusiasm as the mangled, shining Vaughn reenacts the automobile death of James Dean! Hats off to Cronenberg for taking CRASH down so many different rabbit holes and making them feel like home.


8. The Brides of Dracula (1960)

Though Dracula is nowhere in sight in Hammer's follow up to THE HORROR OF DRACULA – it's a return from Peter Cushing's Van Helsing that binds the two – BRIDES is, for my money, one of the company's finest moments. Jack Asher's lavish photography, with its gorgeous use of purple and copper throughout, surely influenced the psychedelic color work associated with Italian masters Mario Bava and Dario Argento. David Peel's turn as Baron Meinster is both sexy and creepy, Martita Hunt is on fire as the stone cold and proper Baroness Meinster, and, as usual, Peter Cushing owns Van Helsing like no one else before or after him. More influential than it's given credit for, BRIDES is a smart, grotesque horror film that turned me into a Fisher man on first sight.


7. The Manitou (1978)

Yeah, that's right, THE MANITOU! Here's why: Tony Curtis, Burgess Meredith and Stella Stephens, armed with only the salted ham of their performances, battle their way through Girdler's complete and utter disregard for realism and cohesive story telling. A foetus grows from poor old Karen Tandy's neck, Harry Erskine has levitating old ladies to deal with, an Indian man rises out of the table during a seance, and, well, goes back down again. Coming on like the forgotten Lucio Fulci flick that you know you long for, THE MANITOU is an embarrassment of riches with, thankfully, no common sense. Girdler was to follow up THE MANITOU with THE OVERLORDS, but due to his untimely (and self-predicted) death, Girdler's public development as a film maker was cut short. A true hero.


6. Burnt Offerings (1976)

Though there is some kitsch fun to be had in this house of horror, director Dan Curtis is tapping into dark psychological territory here. The already fragile Rolf family score big-time with the summer rental of their dreams (The Dunsmuir House, also home to the Tall Man in PHANTASM), but it doesn't take long for Curtis to put them through the wringer. Karen Black and Beth Davis are worth the price of admission alone, but watching Oliver Reed's sanity unravel is bleak, horrific stuff. Scarier still is his murderous pool attack on his own Son. Reconciliations and family ties are no match for the house that looms over them like a black monolith, poking and pushing all the right buttons to achieve its goal.


5. Phantasm (1978)

The deliriously original PHANTASM was an elusive film in my youth. With nothing to go on except its psychedelic poster, and said poster's grim announcement that "If this one doesn't scare you… You're Already Dead!" I made up my own story line for PHANTASM, and told my school mates that I had seen it many times, and survived. Whatever preconceived ideas my fevered imagination came up with, nothing prepared me for this unrestrained, surreal Boy's Own horror film. Explaining the real story line to people was like trying to recollect a dream. When the shit hits the fan with The Tall Man and his mad arsenal, nothing really makes sense, but everything is in its right place.


4. Tower of Evil (1972)

Let me just cut to the chase: THE TOWER OF EVIL contains some of the most erotic male posterior shots of any horror film. To be clear, this fog drenched fable has it's fair share of nudity from both sexes, but director Jim O'Connolly seems to be paying particular attention to the strapping lads of Snape Island. By no means a master work, but filled with enough goofy one liners, great sets, and with more fog than it knows what to do with, the TOWER OF EVIL is waiting for you.


3. The Body Snatcher (1945)

Boris Karloff's turn as Cabman Gray is, in my opinion, one of the great cinematic performances. I saw this gothic tale of Grave Robbing and murder when I was much too young, and have probably never been the same since. My favorite of the Val Lewton RKO films. An absolute stone cold classic.


2. Piranha (1978)

With more character, wit and class then you'll find on any spring break, Joe Dante's creature feature is an absolute joy. Watching men women and children served up to killer fish has never been so much fun. With Paul Bartel, Barbara Steele, Keenan Wynn, Pino Donaggio, Rob Bottin and an inexplicable Phil Tippet creature, the talent Roger Corman and Co. assembled for the film is phenomenal. As with all of Dante's work, repeated viewing is rewarded.


1. Raw Meat (1972)

Sleaze and charm are amply mixed in this underrated British horror flick. American director Gary Sherman captures the underbelly of London in the early seventies with style and humor. With great camera work and pacing RAW MEAT packs in a lot of emotion; funny, scary and at times sad, it's a film best watched alone and very late. Donald Pleasence's chipper Inspector Calhoun adds levity to the grim tone, as does a nice little cameo from Christopher Lee. Great soundtrack too.

10-29-2010, 08:49 AM
Great list and nice to see some appreciation for The Manitou. The insane cheese makes for a fun Halloween viewing.

10-29-2010, 04:57 PM
Great list!

10-29-2010, 05:22 PM
I gotta see Manitou. Angry Video Game Nerd reviewed it and it's been on my radar ever since:

10-29-2010, 05:41 PM
Sweet list! I actually put Hellraiser on the first Halloween list we did at OTH; good to know I'm not the only one who enjoys that one this time of the year. I also saw Body Snatcher for the first time last October and really enjoyed it. One of Karloff's best performances.

10-29-2010, 09:01 PM
I've never seen Raw Meat! Adding to the list.

Love The Brides of Dracula.

Fun Top 10.

10-30-2010, 03:35 AM
The Manitou!

Erick H.
10-30-2010, 06:50 AM
Great list,all winners.Glad I'm not alone in my fondness for THE MANITOU,William Girdler was a sad loss.TOWER OF EVIL is a creepy little number too.How about someone releasing a 16/9 version sometime....anyone ?

Harry Warden
10-30-2010, 01:51 PM
Very interesting list. Nice to see some love for Brides of Dracula. I always thought this film was underrated, but I think it's one of Hammer's finest. Burnt Offerings is another underrated film. Great atmosphere and genuinely creepy, with terrific performances by Oliver Reed and Karen Black. William Girdler's The Manitou is another fine film. I very much miss his talent. Just think of what else he may have done had his life not ended way too soon. Girdler's Grizzly is my second favorite animal amok film behind Jaws.

10-30-2010, 11:19 PM
Great list. Burnt offerings creepe gange Manitou I would love to see again. But the one on the list that deserves a new following is Raw Meat, great film and great perfs. Happy Halloween !!

10-31-2010, 12:35 AM
Great list. Lots of favorites there. Manitou is a personal favorite. Raw meat rules and Donald Pleasence's Inspector Calhoun is one of his best roles.