Sunday, September 23, 2007

31 GREATEST HORROR FILMS: Survey Announcement

With Shocktober! approaching, thoughts turn to our beloved scary movies. Shoot the Projectionist will be hosting several special features throughout the scariest month of the year. Every day will see a profile on a different Ghoul, Ghost, Killer or Fiend of the Day, and, more importantly:

I hereby announce the 31 Greatest Horror Films , a survey to be compiled throughout Shocktober! and published on Halloween. I am inviting, inducing—hell, just plain cajoling—you to submit a list of the 31 Greatest Horror Films according to you. Whether that means your 31 favorite scary movies or the 31 films you feel are the most influential or original, well… that’s sort of up to you. I suppose when I do my list I’ll include the 31 horror films that I feel are the most worthy for discussion, because that’s usually the defining factor of whether I care about a film or not. And, of course, the entire reason I’m picking the number 31 instead of some other arbitrary number like 25, 50 or 100 is that there are 31 days in Shocktober!, so if you would like to think of your list as the perfect month-long horror movie marathon, I encourage you to do so. Think of it however you must, as long as you submit a list!

I was inspired to do this by Edward Copeland’s recent The Satyajit Ray Memorial Anything-But-Definitive List of Non-English Language Films, and in keeping with his methods there, I will compile a list of nominees from the original submissions which I’ll then ask everyone to vote on for the conclusive list.

Along with your list, if you would like to include a sentence or two about why you are including a film, please do so. Also, please don’t vote for a series: only votes for individual films will be counted. As for the definition of what makes a horror film, it’s entirely open to your own interpretation. Perhaps you think it’s a sense of creeping dread established by the tone. As far as I’m concerned, slashers, giallo, horror comedies/parodies, and any movie with a ghost, ghoul, zombie, vampire, or werewolf fit the bill. Even saying all that, I’m sure my own list will include a few left-field choices.

Let us come together and decide on the 31 Greatest Horror Films! To submit, just send me an e-mail at The list will be published on Halloween. The voting is now open. Other important dates to be announced.


Justine said...

Count me in! I'm not a huge horror fan, but I'm definetely interested in participating. I'll try and fit a few films into my viewings before submitting a list. Luckily for me, I've been seeing a lot of Val Lewton in the past couple of weeks and I caught the Descent last night. This ought to be interesting, and a great place to look for recommendations.

Ed Hardy, Jr. said...

Thanks for your interest Justine! Your last comment, "a great place to look for recommendations," is exactly why I'm doing this thing.

Adam Ross said...

Great idea Ed, I'm in for sure.

Thanks for linking me above, I'm hoping to give that treatment to "Life Aquatic" sometime this week. Here's a direct link to the Tenenbaums post if it's easier for you:

It's In the Details

Ed Hardy, Jr. said...

Thanks for the participation--and for the link, Adam.

Robert said...

I will definitely be participating in this

Neil Sarver said...

Wow! Great idea. I'll post an announcement. I frankly have no idea how I'll create such a list, but I'll endeavor to.

Joseph B. said...

Count me in as well, Ed. I hosted a Horror Blogathon last October and asked everyone to create their top 15 lists, and the results were (expectedly) surprising and fun and irreverent.

Robert said...

I hope you'll post a due date soon. This list gives me a great opportunity to get my a$$ in gear and binge in a genre that I'm far too inexperienced in. But I'd like to know how long I have to do that. I'm sure you're getting around to posting a due date soon, I just wanted to throw in my two cents.

Ed Hardy, Jr. said...

Joseph: Thanks for your participation. Can you send me a link to the results of your poll last year? I'd love to see it.

Neil: Thanks for posting an announcement, I'm hoping to get as many people to participate as possible.

Robert: I'll post a due date soon. In the meantime, don't worry, I'll give you at least two weeks to decide. (Although one entry has already been sent in!)

Shannon the Movie Moxie said...

This is a brilliant idea! I'm going to start working on my list!

Bob Turnbull said...

Thanks for the invite Ed...This looks like fun. A warning though - be prepared for many complaints once the final list is out. I'm sure you've seen previous reactions to lists (even Edward Copeland's excellent non-English language list got criticism) and Horror fans tend to be quite rabid in their love for the genre and certain "classics". But that'll be part of the fun...B-)

The last few years I've devoted October to watching horror films. I've tried to cover the full range, but still have plenty to go (I'm lacking many of the classic Universal pictures and Hammer Horror, but hope to slowly get to some of them). The main thing is it's been a great deal of fun and I think your list will just add to it this year.

Austintation said...

Do they have to be ranked?

Ed Hardy, Jr. said...

Austintation: Your original list of 31 nominees does not have to be ranked in any way. I'm following Eddie on Film's format for his recent list, so any film that appears on three different nominating lists will be eligible for the final vote. When time comes for that final vote in about a month, I will ask for a ranked list in order to tally weighted votes.

Shannon: Thanks for your interest!

Bob: Thanks for the warning, I know the horror crowd is especially opinionated, that's one of the reasons I thought this poll would be so much fun.

Dennis Cozzalio said...

Bob's right, Ed-- be prepared for a lot of "What about Film X or Film Y?" as well as a lot of posts from "Anonymous" discussing how the list "sucks"!

That said, I enjoy participating in these kinds of things, even if the end result doesn't resemble a list I would have put together myself. I tried to do something last year that would highlight underrated and ignored horror films, just to avoid the usual suspects, and some of these might end up on my final list. A couple of years ago I also posted my favorite horror films, but I won't link to that here, just in case I've changed my mind!

Thanks for the invite! I'm looking forward to sending my votes in soon!

Ed Hardy, Jr. said...

Dennis: Thanks for the link, and for your participation. For me, the whole idea is to come up with a list very different from what I would put together on my own--otherwise I would just publish that.

Cinebeats said...

Good luck with your project Ed! I don't know if you saw my comment to you over at Cinebeats, but I hope there are no hard feelings about me not participating. Between the Eurotrash List and Foreign Film List this year, I'm just drained an burnt out on list making.

I also mentioned on my blog a few weeks ago in the comments section of my recent Vincent Price post that I will be writing about horror films a lot in October so between that and my various other commitments, I'm going to have to pass on this project, but good luck with it!

Ed Hardy, Jr. said...

Kimberly: Thanks for the well wishes! I certainly was disappointed that you declined--I'm hoping to get as many folks with (as you said of yourself in the comment over at Cinebeats) "eclectic tastes" as I can to vote. I'm hoping the list we come up with will look a lot different than one you could read in Entertainment Weekly! Thanks also for the link to your Eurotrash Pinnacle list. In the coming days I'm going to link to it and any "underrated" or "overlooked" type lists to jog people's memories and get them thinking about more than THE EXORCIST.

Jesse said...

I will be contributing for sure, even though I have somehow never actually seen 'The Exorcist'!

Ed Hardy, Jr. said...

Jesse: Thanks for participating. And that's one less vote for EXORCIST I have to worry about!

Goose said...

I would love to join the survey. I have been a fan of horror films since I was a kid.

Ed Hardy, Jr. said...

Welcome to the party, Goose.

Bemis said...

I'm in! Many thanks for the invite.

Joseph B. said...


Here's the horror film link you requested from my blogathon last year.

Neil Sarver said...

I'll be interested to keep up-to-date on the deadline.

Like Kimberly, I could list 100 favorites and not get past the ones I absolutely love, so I'm working on set of rules for myself - not what I'd expect for others or anything like your wonderfully inclusive rule - just to help myself limit it down.

For reasons detailed here, I will not be including The Exorcist.

Ed Hardy, Jr. said...

Bemis: Thanks for participating!

Joseph: Thanks for the link.

Neil: That's one more vote for THE EXORCIST I won't have to count. I'm really hoping the list we end up with here isn't loaded with safe choices like that one or HALLOWEEN.
As far as the deadline goes, what does everybody think? If I have you turn in your original lists by Oct. 13, post the nominees as quick as possible, then make the final deadline for the ranked lists maybe Oct.27, would that give everybody enough time to make their lists, and me enough time to tally the votes?

Piper said...

Fantastic idea. I'm in.

Edward Copeland said...

Great idea. I'm glad for any list gathering as long as I don't have to count the ballots. :-)

Ed Hardy, Jr. said...

Piper: Glad to have you!

Edward: Thanks for your participation. I'm sure it will be fun to be back on the voting side of things instead of the tallying side.

Ray said...


Should we write a post a day for 31 days, each one devoted to one of the films on our list? Or should we just turn in a list one day during October?

This sounds like fun!

Ed Hardy, Jr. said...

Ray: That sounds like a really cool idea. I definitely need you to send my your list of nominations as soon as you get it finished--I'm thinking the due date for the nominees is going to be around Oct. 13, but I'm still taking suggestions on all the deadlines and stuff.

But, if you want to post a little something about each movie on your list each day of October, that sounds awesome. Here at Shoot the Projectionist we'll be doing the Ghoul, Ghost, Killer or Fiend of the Day, featuring characters from many of the pics that will make it on my list.

DL said...

Yeah, I'm totally in too - this is a great idea! I'll try and get my list done sometime within the next couple days and then I'll send it over to you.

Ed Hardy, Jr. said...

Thanks for trying to be prompt, DL! Welcome!

Kelsey said...

I saw a blog about this over at fatally yours. com's here's my rough list of fav horror films...obviously there are so many other great ones.
1. Nightmare On Elm Street
2. Se7en
3. Serpent & The Rainbow
4. People Under The Stairs
5. I Spit On Your Grave
6. Last House On The Left
7. Halloween
8. Psycho
9. Blue Velvet ( I think that qualifies as suspensful horror)
10. The Gift
11. The Skeleton Key
12. Night of the Living Dead
13. Evil Dead
14. Silence of The Lambs
15. High Tension
16. Motel Hell
17. Sleepaway Camp
18. New Nightmare
19. The Shining
20. Friday The 13th Part IV
21. Texas Chainsaw Massacre
22. The Devil's Rejects
23. 28 Days Later
24. Poltergeist
25. Fright Night
26. Halloween 4
27. Ginger Snaps
28. Dawn of the Dead
29. Leprechaun
30. Final Destination
31. Scream

Ed Hardy, Jr. said...


Thanks for your vote. I would've preferred you to e-mail it to me, but that's okay. If anybody is interested in what other people are voting on, here's one example.

If anyone else wants to submit their lists, you can e-mail me at

dreamrot said...

I might be game. 31 seems like a daunting task (though much easier if I weren't trying to limit myself to GOOD movies. We'll see how that goes). I'm sure I'll come up with something.

Ed Hardy, Jr. said...


Thanks for your interest. If you don't want to include 31 films on your list of nominees, you certainly don't have to. You wouldn't be the first to limit yourself to a smaller number. Of course, most of the responses I've gotten have had the opposite problem--with 110 years of film history and huge caches of work being unearthed in a different part of the world everyday, how to list only 31?

Stacie Ponder said...

Man oh man oh MAN. This is a toughie. I'm trying to figure out parameters and guidelines whilst tying it all into my OWN SHOCKtober celebration. Oi. I don't want to include the same old titles that always get included in lists like this, but those movies are so damn good it's difficult NOT including them.

I'm probably thinking about this way too much. :)