15. The Thing (1982)
It was quite an amazing accomplishment for a Hollywood mainstream movie: John Carpenter took the ’50s classic monster in the Arctic backdrop and added in a splattery, shapeshifting element. Then the resplendent Rob Bottin brought it all to life. It remains a hideous high watermark in both of their careers.
14. The Evil Dead (1981)
Though he didn’t have much money to realize his aims, first-time filmmaker Sam Raimi had a bounty of artistic vision to draw on. The results are this gore-drenched trip into Kandahrian demonology and the Book of the Dead. One of the few films thaT’S just as noxious now as it was 40 years ago.
13. Tenebrae (1982)
Dario Argento revisited his Giallo beginnings by taking on this surreal story of a novelist whose violent books are seemingly coming to life. Features a famous slasher tracking shot, an axe to the head, and a last act example of arterial spray that remains one of the artform’s most visceral.
12. Cannibal Holocaust (1980)
For anyone who thinks that all Goona Goona movies are alike, a trip through this particular jungle hell should quiet those concerns once and for all. Ruggerio Deodato made a geek show as a Greek chorus, a strident social commentary on the state of the news media glossed over with offal and gratuitous animal slaughter.
11. Versus (2000)
Like a far more serious version of Riki-Oh, this 157 minutes of mind-boggling body busting from director Ryuhei Kitamura is about as blatantly balls to the wall as zombie crime action films get. In fact, it’s one of the clearest cases of cinematic blood-lusting ever to make a major international splash.