Rob Zombie knows horror. He knows it in music. He knows it in movies. When it comes to the latter, when he isn't crafting his own hair-raising cinematic offerings, he's watching someone else's and doing so with the critical eye of a filmmaker looking to learn and apply those lessons in his own work. Below, Zombie shares five movies that have taught him a lot about scaring the shit out of an audience. (Don't miss his picks for the 5 Worst Horror Movies, too.)
"This just set the standard for everything. The movie is 70-minutes long, and it's never dull. And it still holds up, 80 years later. The art direction is incredible, James Whale's direction was way ahead of its time, and the acting was great. Boris Karloff created a character that became an icon. Show anyone a picture of him as the monster, and everyone knows what it is, even if they've never seen the film. What Elvis is to rock and roll, Frankenstein is to horror movies. It's the first, best, and the greatest."
"It set the standard for this kind of movie. It's such a simple movie, it's so well-directed, the characters are completely memorable — it's just amazing. The first time I saw it, I was like, Holy fuck!"
"This was so over the top. It's completely riveting, and it creates an amazing feeling of claustrophobia with those people barricaded in the shopping mall. I've probably seen Dawn of the Dead more than any other movie."
"This is another movie that pushed the boundaries so hardcore. At the time, people were just disgusted that they can cast actual freaks in a film, and it was actually banned for many years."
"Probably the most extreme film I can think of. They kill animals in the movie for real, and there's scenes where the natives are raping these women — it's so insane. You just watch it and wonder, Who would make this movie?"