In no particular order. All of the following titles are currently available on DVD. You bring the overcooked weenies and flat beer.
The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974; Dark Sky Films) Still one of the scariest, craziest movies ever made. Renting the remake or any of its sequels is akin to letting the terrorists win.
Race with the Devil (1975; Anchor Bay Entertainment). Warren Oates, Peter Fonda, motorcycles and Satanists? You should be so lucky every day.
Brotherhood of Satan (1971; Sony) Atmospheric, little-seen shocker with the great Strother Martin as a warlock preying on children in a small California town. Much better than it sounds.
Re-Animator (1985; Anchor Bay Entertainment) A near-perfect mix of gallows humor and gutbucket gore, and probably the final word on mad scientist movies.
Pieces (1983; Grindhouse Releasing) "You don't have to go to Texas for a chainsaw massacre!" bellowed the trailer. No, you don't – you can go to Spain for this deliriously woozy splatterfest about a killer loose on a college campus in "Boston."
Monsters Crash the Pajama Party (1965; Something Weird Video) A true exploitation artifact – a survivor from the spookshow days, when guys in ape and Frankenstein costumes ran amuck in theaters during blackouts.
Night of the Bloody Apes (1969; Something Weird Video) Brain-shredding Mexican genre-bender featuring lady wrestlers, marauding monkey monsters, and real heart transplant footage in the same film!
The Toolbox Murders (1978; Anchor Bay Entertainment) Cameron Mitchell at his most unhinged as a psycho who likes to perform impromptu home repairs on nubile apartment rents. So unsavory, it made Dave Yount want to take a shower after viewing.
Zombie (1980; Shriek Show) The best of the Italian zombie gut-crunchers (to borrow Chas Balun's phrase), with stomach-churning effects that still drop jaws and inspire shut-ins and gorehounds to spontaneous applause.
Night of the Living Dead (1968; Dimension/Elite) Forty years later, George Romero's undead apocalypse still possesses all the raw power that made it a genre classic. Don't let Halloween slip by without seeing.
1. Hollywood Boulevard: the ultimate movie from Roger Corman's New World Pictures, 1970s breeding ground for such all-but-forgotten talents as Joe Dante (The Howling), Allan Arkush (Rock 'n' Roll High School) and Jonathan Kaplan (Truck Turner). Where was Paul Bartel's Oscar for his nuanced performance as the pretentious director who, in his Oscar-clip moment, feeds a guy in a Godzilla suit his motivation for his upcoming scene!?
2. Return of the Living Dead: the other sequel to the classic Night of the Living Dead, this one squeezes laughs from the notion that the government covered up the great zombie creep of '68. "Uh-oh, Trash is taking her clothes off again...."
3. Evil Dead 2: There have been so many different versions re-released of the third Evil Dead movie (Army of Darkness) that you might have forgotten how flat out entertaining Sam Raimi's second installment is. You'll never look at a copy of A Farewell to Arms the same way again after watching Bruce Campbell's hour and a half of glory.
4. Bucket of Blood: From Corman the producer (#1) to Corman the director. Along with the original Little Shop of Horrors, this is Roger's and writer Charles B. Griffith's black comedy masterpiece. Funnier than Howl.
5. Demon Seed: Can any movie of high-tech paranoia compare to this one, in which a supercomputer knocks up Julie Christie's heroine?
"Five great machines... They rise like a line of new towers on the city's west side... Now they're lifting their metal hands. This is the end now. Smoke comes out... black smoke, drifting over the city. People in the streets see it now. They're running towards the East River... thousands of them, dropping in like rats. Now the smoke's spreading faster. It's reached Times Square. People are trying to run away from it, but it's no use. They're falling like flies. Now the smoke's crossing Sixth Avenue... Fifth Avenue... a... a hundred yards away... it's fifty feet..."
SEVENTY YEARS AGO TODAY the Mercury Theater Players gathered at CBS studios in New York to broadcast the one-hour radio production of H.G. Wells' "War of the Worlds."
• Mercury Theater Players' Grand Poobah, Orson Welles, was 21 years old at the time.
• Howard Koch, who wrote the radio play, also co-scripted Casablanca. He was blacklisted in 1950s.
• The radio show famously freaked out a lot of people, despite station breaks and three mid-story reminders that what they were hearing was fictional, a testament to the structure of the play devised by Welles and Koch.
• The effect of the broadcast was huge, legitimizing radio as a medium for artistic content.