Goregirl’s TOP 10 Favourite Horror Films From 1998

Just one more list after this one and this 90s horror feature is done like dinner!! I’ll be announcing the winner of the Criterion contest this Friday, March 1! Nothing new with 1998, lots of crap and a handful of gems. The top two films earned a 5/5, films three, four and five I rated 4/5, films six, seven, eight and nine are films I rated 3.5/5 and film number ten I rated 3/5. I also rated the following films 3/5; The Untold Story 2, Progeny, Night Time and The Wolves of Kromer.

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#10 SOMBRE
Directed By: Philippe Grandrieux

Sombre is definitely a somber affair. This slow-moving artful film has lovely looking and gritty visuals and at times is thoughtful and provocative. Marc Barbé and Elina Löwensohn both give great performances but I did long for more character introspection. On reading my May 2010 review I suspect I allowed myself to be affected by another’s influences. It seems like something I would normally be all over. Even what I can recall, it was still the strongest of the films I rated 3/5 from 1998. I need to revisit this one again soon. To read my 2010 review click here.

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#9 THE FACULTY
Directed By: Robert Rodriguez

Films with covers like The Faculty scare the hell out of me. So many films I hate from the 90s and early 2000s featured covers with the faces of their 20-something cast strategically lined up. Quite a few of these god-awful abominations were on this 1998 list; Disturbing Behavior, Urban Legends, Phantoms, I Still Know What You Did Last Summer. I hate those films so very very much! I was literally afraid to rent The Faculty when it showed up on the new release wall at my video store! The Faculty was an exception to the rule. While the film is not without its flaws it is actually a pretty fun movie. The students suspect their teachers might be aliens, and inevitably are correct. The teachers are as integral to the plot as the students and the cast largely speaking is pretty good. Action, laughs, a few surprises and it’s a high school flick where the adults get to have all the fun!

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#8 RAZOR BLADE SMILE
Directed By: Jake West

This trailer is a little on the “self-aware” side! Nonetheless this low budget effort is a lot of fun. Lilith Silver is a sexy black-clad assassin who also happens to be a vampire. She draws a lot of unwanted attention when she starts knocking off rich powerful business men. They do all sorts of neat original things in this vampire flick. Eating a woman out when she has her period?! Is that a little too graphic for ya’ll? Well, you have to admit that is something you don’t see too often; and frankly it makes sense that a vampire should enjoy that! In Razor Blade Smile gunfights, swordplay, sex and the obligatory stakes are all part of the fun in this violent, gory and humorous low budget effort from the UK.

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#7 GOODBYE 20th CENTURY
Directed By: Darko Mitrevski & Aleksandar Popovski

No trailer for this one I am afraid, and in fact this little bit of bizarreness does not appear to be available on DVD. Goodbye 20th Century is a Macedonian film. I don’t think I have ever seen a film from Macedonia other than this one. I watched this at a friend’s place who warned me it was not a horror film. Well, it came up on the IMDB list so here it is. My friend was right, it isn’t exactly a horror film, but it does have a ton of violence and even some gore! It is sort of a Christmas film too! Yeah, Santa is a character in Goodbye 20th Century! And he may or may not be god?! There is also an immortal dude who gets shot a whole bunch of times that is the catalyst for the whole tale. There is all manner of religious mumbo-jumbo in this crazy trippy apocalyptic film which is a real mixed bag of craziness! If Goodbye 20th Century was a stew some of its ingredients might be The Holy Mountain, Road Warrior and Bladerunner with a pinch of Batman. I don’t think I understood it all, but it sure was a visual extravaganza!

goodbye 20th century

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#6 BIO ZOMBIE
Directed By: Wilson Yip

There is a goodly amount of horror-comedy on this list, but I am surprised by how few zombie films were around in the 90s. A soft drink called Lucozade has been spiked with a bio weapon that turns its consumer into a zombie. Enter Woody and Bee, a pair of lazy, irritating losers that work in the mall selling bootleg films. These two got on my nerves early in the film, but by mid-film I found myself rooting for them and their group of pals. There is a significant body count but not much in the way of gore. It is more of a comedic character-driven affair, but there is plenty of action in its second half and a freaking great finale! Bio Zombie is undead fun from Hong Kong! To read the full review click here.

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#5 VAMPIRES
Directed By: John Carpenter

Another vampire film?! Bloody hell! Why Vampires isn’t listed as a horror-comedy on IMDB is a mystery to me. The film has more one-liners than you can shake a stick at! Vampires is an entirely campy affair that is action packed with loads o’violence! James Woods is super terrific as cheeky slayer Jack Crow and has a hell of a lot of fun with the role. Thomas Ian Griffith is also a hoot as bad-ass vampire Valek. The effects are quite decent, the kills are energetic and there are plenty of laughs. Expect more fun than frights.

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#4 RINGU
Directed By: Hideo Nakata

It is so easy to forget how good Ringu was after countless bland and outright terrible long black-haired Japanese girl ghost flicks that followed it. North America isn’t the only movie making continent that can bastardize a cool concept! A video tape that kills its viewer seven days after watching it is the premise behind this scary, well-filmed and intense little Japanese horror flick. The real fun however comes in the discovery of the story behind the tape. The first time I seen this was a midnight showing with a friend who wasn’t much of a horror fan, and it scared them so bad they insisted on spending the night at my house!

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#3 BLADE
Directed By: Stephen Norrington

This splashy big budget affair is one of a handful of mainstream flicks I love from the 90s. It is insanely action packed and I rather like the idea of a vampire slayer that is a vampire himself. Wesley Snipes is also smoking hot, even with that stupid ass looking hairdo! Martial arts, swordplay, great special effects and a nifty cast without a second of downtime. Kris Kristofferson as Blade’s mortal assistant Whistler is top notch and Udo Kier as Dragonetti is a no-brainer. Goddamn I have included a lot of vampire titles on these 90s top ten lists! Apparently I like vampire films!

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#2 BRIDE OF CHUCKY
Directed By: Ronny Yu

Yeah, that’s right Bride-of-motherfucking-Chucky! Oh how I do love this ridiculously silly film!! The Child’s Play franchise was meant to be horror-comedy in my opinion! I love that smart-ass doll and his voluptuous bride! Curvy Jennifer Tilly was the perfect choice for Tiffany and what can I say about Brad Dourif? I love that guy! I’ve probably seen this movie at least a dozen times and it makes me laugh without fail. Bride of Chucky is violent, hilarious and incredibly daft fun I personally can’t get enough of. “Chucky gets lucky” – that shit practically writes itself!!

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#1 THE QUIET FAMILY
Directed By: Jee-woon Kim

Director Jee-woon Kim is without a doubt one of my favourite directors and is one of South Korea’s most talented. His spectacular A Bittersweet Life, the gritty I Saw the Devil, the beautiful and haunting A Tale of Two Sisters, the quirky The Good, The Bad and The Weird and The Foul King; the man can do no wrong in my book. As much as I love all of these films one of my favourites is still his first feature film; The Quiet Family. Dark, hilarious and superbly cast The Quiet Family is one of the smartest and most original horror comedies ever. Damn shame I could not find an English subtitled trailer for The Quiet Family as the laughs just don’t translate here. I really can’t recommend this film more highly and I could go on and on but I will instead direct you to my friend Jason’s review over at Genkinahito’s Blog (click here).

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19 Responses to “Goregirl’s TOP 10 Favourite Horror Films From 1998”

  1. Vampires and Blade, good year for vampires :D

  2. Thanks for the link! (o^-‘)b

    Ha, I’e seen nearly all of the films here – 7/10.

    I think I would put Ringu/The Quiet Family at joint first because they are technically brilliant and so damn entertaining. The first time I saw Ringu I was genuinely freaked out! Such a great concept combining something as ubiquitous as VHS tapes and curses and the moments when Sadako make her entrance are gut wrenching!

    The traditional horror image of the Japanese girl with long, lank hair was given a really great modern twist with that film! It’s also a better horror tale than the novel! Hideo Nakata’s latest film is supposed to be a return to form as well.

    I totally agree with you about The Quiet Family. It is brilliantly and so bloody original that it is one of the most entertaining horror comedies around.

    • My pleasure…your review is great and certainly does the film more justice than this crummy little blurb! I kinda thought you would feel Ringu should be closer to the number one spot, but as much as I enjoy the film and it is indeed technically sound, it isn’t one I find has a ton of re-watch value for me personally. I had no idea there was a novel for Ringu!

      • Thanks for the praise :) I agree with you about Ringu losing its power after the first viewing but technically it is pretty perfect. The novel was written by Koji Suzuki who also wrote Dark Water. He’s a great horror novelist but Ringu is more of a mystery novel than straight horror and its two sequels, Spiral and Loop, go off into totally different territory!

  3. Very much enjoyed reading your thoughts on your top ten for 1998! The fact that very few are from the USA arguably says volumes about the state of American horror movies at the time. A gem here and there,but so much crap. Once again,I’ve seen only three on the list,but enjoyed them. I love Piper Laurie,but recall having doubts about The Faculty myself(I saw it in the theater),but it’s a fun movie with a great cast. Bride of Chucky made me laugh,too,and I was pleasantly surprised in how entertaining I found the film. I say again you deserve mucho kudos for watching so much 1990′s unwatchable dreck to find the golden celluloid from that decade!

    • Not surprisingly I have had more than a few foreign film titles on these lists and 1999 will be no exception (FOUR Japanese films found there way on that list). I know Bride of Chucky is entirely stupid, but it REALLY tickles me! I appreciate the kudos and I certainly look forward to getting back to the older stuff again!!

  4. I always thought Vampires was pretty underrated. Despite Daniel Baldwin.

  5. Ha ha, I thought Bride of Chucky was the best of the series – Tilly was awesome in that flick! :)

  6. I found two of the supporting characters in “Vampires” the most interesting: I thought Sheryl Lee gave a great physical performance, and Daniel Baldwin was never better as the vampire hunter who only discovers his humanity after he’s turned.

  7. Glad to see that Bio-Zombie made this list!

  8. Really great to see Sombre make the list. Grandrieux is a fascinating director whose works are always a jarring experience.

    • I feel like I really need to give this film another viewing…I watched it with someone who complained incessantly and I think it effected me.

  9. So, according to my wikipedia reading, 98 also had Urban Legend – pretty generic Scream Clone, but it did have dog murder and the awesome Danielle harris, so win win. There was also Halloween H20 which was ok, better than that Resurrection guff. People rave about The Last Broadcast, but I hated it, and Whispering Corridors which I enjoyed.
    I’ve seen seven of these – The Faculty (must watch again, was disappointed at first viewing after looking forward to it so much), Razor Blade Smile (avoided it for years as the cover looked so cheesy, was ok), Vampires (I like it, but then Carpenter is my favourite director so I find it hard to criticise any of his films. Except Escape from LA), Ringu (my second fave of all time, I find it gets more powerful with subsequent viewings, pretty much a perfect film in my mind), Blade (love it), Bride Of Chucky (great fun), The Quiet Family (love it, can the guy do no wrong? Yet to see The Last Stand which got hammered my critics, but I’m a huge Arnie fan so it may well turn out to be a new fave for me).
    I’d echo the sentiments on Koji Suzuki’s Ring novels – they are excellent, and are much more like sci-fi detective books than horror. Ringu is ironically probably the weakest of the books.

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