5. Riki-Oh: The Story of Ricky (1991)
This epic Hong Kong sluice fest stands as a cartoonish companion piece to all the serious slice and dice out there, but that doesn’t make the blood any less bountiful. Telling the tale of a young man with superhuman strength, this is nothing more than mindless mayhem accented with human punchlines. And it’s genius.
4. Planet Terror (2007)
Robert Rodriguez’s homage to the grindhouse films that he and pal Quentin Tarantino obsess over is so blatantly overdone and “yes” to excessive that you actually believe the filmmaker can’t find another terror taboo to bust. And then he goes and paints the screen with gallons of logic-defying and tolerance testing funk.
3. Poultrygeist: Night of the Chicken Dead (2006)
Proving that no one does Troma better than the company itself, this greatest hits package from the studio that started the joyful celebration of splatter is a remarkable achievement. In such a CGI-heavy day and age, it’s all foul (or is that fowl) physical effects. The results are truly a disgusting step beyond.
2. Dead Alive (1992)
Peter Jackson’s zany zombie stomp is really a comedy. The only difference between this Kiwi’s sense of humor and that of your typical Hollywood rib-tickler is the use of the living dead as macabre Marx Brothers. For the notorious lawnmower scene alone, or the classic baby in a blender bit, this film remains a mangled masterpiece.
1. Day of the Dead (1985)
Tom Savini’s autopsy-level work here remains so completely disconcerting and ultra-realistic that fans still flinch when the Frankenstein’s lab scene is disgusted. Topping everything he’s done before, the make-up wizard has never been better. While Night and Dawn remain George Romero’s best, Day delivers on what the genre really craves – literal vats of bodily fluids.
This article was originally published on 31 October 2012. It’s been reformatted with new trailers added.