Congrats to Tim Burton and the juggernaut that his version of ALICE IN WONDERLAND became this past weekend. Mediocre reviews aside, the thing kicked ass and took names.
Thinking about Burton got me musing on the lack of much straight ahead horror on his resume, but there are always strong genre elements in anything he does. And along with that comes his usual bag of perspective benders and visual craziness.
In other words, if there's a filmmaker more suited to fans of tripping, then I don't know who it is. So keeping in mind movies that may expand when viewed in an altered state, let's get down with the trippiest damn horror out there.
And spit bullets dammit! I definitely want to hear your stories on this one.
WARNING - LOTS OF WTF BELOW!
WTF is wrong with Lars von Trier? It's like he wants to punish everyone involved in his movies. The actors for sure, no doubt his crew, and the audience perhaps most of all. While many of the picks on this list are fun mind-benders, this one is pure I'm gonna vomit in my mouth. Thanks Lars.
4. IN THE MOUTH OF MADNESS
Easily my favorite horror movie, ITMOM makes its horror work largely through leaving you off balanced during most of the runtime. Whether it's satanic children, upside down spider ladies, an author ripping himself apart or simply the presence of Charlton Heston, this is Carpenter reaching right into your brain and pressing scramble.
3. JACOB'S LADDER
This sucker just baked my noggin when I was watching it the first time. Tim Robbins performance at the center draws the viewer into the confusion and terror of not knowing what the hell is going on in such an effective manner that it hides the relatively simple narrative and "surprise" rather well. And surprising though it may be, Elizabeth Pena looks hot in it.
Cronenburg is a master of combining horror and pure visual oh sh!ttery. Trying to pick just one of his films for a list like this is similar to picking which film of Diora Baird's features her boobs best. Tough to get it right, but impossible to get it totally wrong either. One of the joys of eXistenZ is that it takes all the fetishism and ick factor that DC loves to play with, and anchors it in a world that within its own rules, really does play fair.
1. DAVID LYNCH'S WHOLE DAMN CAREER
Lynch and horror go together kind of like Burton and horror do. Finding a specific film of his that is considered strict genre is tricky, but a strong gothic horror ethic infuses all of his work. And when you want to talk about tripped out films, well as The Arrow himself said to me while chatting about this list, "[Lynch] is the KING of mindf*ck!" Couldn't have said it better myself.
Got a Top 10 idea? Hit me up at firstname.lastname@example.org