Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Guest Post: L. Andrew Cooper’s TOP 10 HORROR FILMS OF ALL TIME

Let's welcome L. Andrew Cooper to the blog today with this top ten Horror Flicks of all time.

Ranking is subject to change without notice!
10. House by the Cemetery (1981): I’ll be on the Lucio Fulci panel at DragonCon in Atlanta this year! With a monster named Dr. Freudstein in a self-conscious blend of Henry James and slasher movies, what’s not to love about this corny Italian gore movie?

9. The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (1919/1920): The classic German Expressionist silent that many wrongly consider the first horror film, it’s arguably the first great horror film. The set design is still mind-blowing, the performances and storyline still scary. See it with live music (there is no “authentic” score).

8. Hausu (1977): Did you ever notice that mushroom clouds from nuclear bombs look like cotton candy? Have a dance with a skeleton, but be careful, or the piano might eat you. “Genius” does not begin to describe the weirdness of this film.

7. Antichrist (2009): To be honest, I like Lars von Trier’s Melancholia, the follow-up to this one, a bit more, but it’s not as clearly horror. Antichrist is sad and beautiful when it isn’t almost unwatchably violent. Chaos reigns!

6. A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984): I could be bounded in a nutshell, and count myself a king of infinite space, were it not that I have bad dreams. Actually, I saw Wes Craven’s teen-slashing classic long before I got to Hamlet. I tell the story of how Freddy cured my nightmares in my first book, Gothic Realities.

5. The Thing (1982): You can love the amazing creature that shifts into the shape of any living being it samples—thanks to awesome makeup and animatronics—and the heart-thumping score by Ennio Morricone. Or maybe love the nihilistic, Lovecraftian storyline and performances by Kurt Russell and Keith David. Or just bow down to John Carpenter genius, and be afraid. 

4. Audition (1999): A genre mind-bender, this one lulls you into liking a middle-aged widower who’s just looking for love the wrong way as he raises his son. Maybe he exploits patriarchal advantage a little. More than a little. And someone notices. In the tradition of Texas Chain Saw Massacre, you’ll think it’s a lot gorier than it is, because this movie will hurt you. Takashi Miike, the director, is a super-genius.

3. Candyman (1992): The score by Philip Glass, the story by Clive Barker, the why-haven’t-you-done-more direction from Bernard Rose… but most important, why does it take British material to craft the most important (and overlooked, considering its brilliance) horror film about race and sexuality in America?

2. Martyrs (2008): So difficult to watch, but so rewarding. Like Audition, you spend half the film thinking you’re getting one thing, and then you get another. Both halves rock the soul. Why don’t more stories aspire to transcendence?

1. Suspiria (1977): This is director Dario Argento’s masterpiece, and he has so many good films that I spent a great deal of trouble writing a book about him. It’s over-the-top gruesome, but it’s over-the-top gorgeous. His inspiration was Disney’s Snow White. As you watch people being ripped apart, you might feel confused by the relationship, but when you think back on the colors, you’ll understand.

About the author:    L. Andrew Cooper scribbles horror: novels Burning the Middle Ground and Descending Lines as well as anthologies of experimental shorts Leaping at Thorns (2014 /2016) and Peritoneum (2016). He also co-edited the anthology Imagination Reimagined (2014). His book Dario Argento (2012) examines the maestro’s movies from the 70s to the present. Cooper’s other works on horror include his non-fiction study Gothic Realities (2010), a co-edited textbook, Monsters (2012), and recent essays that discuss 2012’s Cabin in the Woods (2014) and 2010’s A Serbian Film (2015). His B.A. is from Harvard, Ph.D. from Princeton. Louisville locals might recognize him from his year-long stint as WDRB-TV’s “movie guy.” Find him at,, and

Book Synopsis for Peritoneum:  Snaking through history–from the early-1900s cannibal axe-murderer of “Blood and Feathers,” to the monster hunting on the 1943 Pacific front in “Year of the Wolf,” through the files of J. Edgar Hoover for an “Interview with ‘Oscar,'” and into “The Broom Closet Where Everything Dies” for a finale in the year 2050–Peritoneum winds up your guts to assault your brain. Hallucinatory experiences redefine nightmare in “Patrick’s Luck” and “The Eternal Recurrence of Suburban Abortion.” Strange visions of colors and insects spill through the basements of hospitals and houses, especially the basement that provides the title for “TR4B,” which causes visitors to suffer from “Door Poison.” Settings, characters, and details recur not only in these tales but throughout Peritoneum, connecting all its stories in oblique but organic ways. Freud, borrowing from Virgil, promised to unlock dreams not by bending higher powers but by moving infernal regions. Welcome to a vivisection. Come dream with the insides.
Book Synopsis for Leaping at Thorns: Leaping at Thorns arranges eighteen of L. Andrew Cooper’s experimental short horror stories into a triptych of themes–complicity, entrapment, and conspiracy–elements that run throughout the collection. The stories span from the emotionally-centered to the unthinkably horrific; from psychosexual grossness to absurd violence; from dark extremes to brain-and-tongue twister. These standalone stories add important details to the fictional world and grand scheme of Dr. Allen Fincher, who also lurks in the background of Cooper’s novels Burning the Middle Ground and Descending Lines.

Author Links:


Twitter: @Landrew42


Amazon Author Page:

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Amazon Links for Peritoneum

Print Version

Kindle Version

Barnes and Noble Link for Peritoneum

Amazon Links for Leaping at Thorns

Print Version

Kindle Version

Barnes and Noble Link for Leaping at Thorns

1 comment:

Tara Fox Hall said...

I finally got to see Suspiria this Fall, it was very well done.