Tony and Ted over at the Horror Etc. Podcast had a lengthy discussion about a Horror Hall of Fame in their recent episode #282. It got me to thinking who I would put in the first year of my own Horror Hall of Fame. Now, there will never be a truly complete first year that will make everyone happy. Therefore, I’ve decided to stick with only three entries per category. I went with movies and names that were both influential and had a long-lasting appeal, not just flash-in-the-pan. Some may argue whether a movie or person was truly in the horror genre. I believe a movie can belong to more than one category so I went in with that approach. So, let me reiterate, these are just my personal choices to kick things off.
Horror Film Pre-1973 (The year The Exorcist was released)
- Bride of Frankenstein (1935)
- King Kong (1933)
- Dracula (1931)
Horror Film Post-1973
- The Exorcist (1973)
- Halloween (1978)
- The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974)
- Boris Karloff
- Christopher Lee
- Vincent Price
Note: Before anyone has a heart attack, both Peter Cushing and Bela Lugosi would be second year entries without a doubt. Lugosi made some unwise career choices, which puts him a notch below the three men above.
- Elsa Lanchester (She may have only had one true horror role but it was incredibly iconic.)
- Barbara Steele (So many great films of the 60s made this one a no-brainer.)
- Jamie Lee Curtis (Her role in Halloween stands above all the rest from the modern slasher films.)
- Alfred Hitchcock (Maybe more suspense than true horror but a master and worthy of entry based on his overall work.)
- John Carpenter (His work was influential at one time and changed the face of horror.)
- Mario Bava (Bringing Italian horror film to the forefront earns him this spot.)
Special Honory Recognition
- Lon Chaney Sr. (There are legitimate arguments that Lon Chaney Sr. was a master makeup artist but that his true horror film contributions only number two or three. For example, Hunchback of Notre Dame, while an amazing piece of work, is not a horror film. Therefore, Lon Chaney Sr. is recognized for being the father of makeup artistry that inspired generations of horror film makeup.)
Okay, many of you are probably hyperventilating because your favorite isn’t mentioned above. Just remember that lists are subjective to the whim of the person writing them and influenced by their frame of mind when they sat down to the keyboard. If I was to write this list tomorrow, it may very well be different. Just enjoy it for what it was…a way to get your creative thoughts flowing and opening up some thoughtful cinematic discussion.