Today I am back with a new segment on the blog. Each week, I will be sharing the 5 best horror movies of that decade. However, I am going to go with some less than typical choices to keep it interesting. We are starting with the swinging 60’s. If you want me to cover the 20’s, 30’s, 40’s and 50’s, let me know. Please don’t sleep on spooky films from this era. They are extremely effective with their scares. Try to imagine what it would’ve been like for patrons to witness some of these classics for the first time. Iconic! Without further ado, let’s get into it!
1.) The Little Shop Of Horrors
This 1960 American dark comedy/horror film is a farce about an inadequate florist’s assistant, who cultivates a plant that feeds on human blood. The success of the movie paved the way for a musical adaptation in the 80’s and an animated spin-off series in the 90’s. The cannibalistic plant (named: Audrey II) continues to grow larger, as its owner Seymour, provides it with fresh corpses to feast upon. To watch it in 2022, one can’t help but laugh at how fake everything looked. However, I have no doubt it would have disturbed viewers at the time. I am such a fan of this quirky cinema classic. It’s extremely funny and unnerving.
2.) Rosemary’s Baby
I’m mad at myself for how long it took me to watch Rosemary’s Baby. It’s 100% my kind of film. Released in 1968, Rosemary Woodhouse (Mia Farrow) and her struggling actor husband Guy, move to a New York City apartment building with an ominous reputation and odd neighbours. When Rosemary falls pregnant, she becomes increasingly isolated. It’s only after she gives birth, does she begin to suspect sinister forces are at work. If this movie reminds you of Mother! you’re not alone. It has been named its demented twin in cinema. Mia’s acting is phenomenal. I had tears in my eyes when she screamed: “you’re lying, you’re lying” after being told her baby was stillborn. The amount of gas-lighting was insane. I love the final scene where she confronts the coven. It holds up to this day.
I am fairly confident Psycho would be on most people’s lists. It’s an iconic film with a memorable twist, ending, score and shower scene. Phoenix secretary, Marion Crane, is on the lam after stealing $40,000 from her employer, in order to run away with her boyfriend, Sam Loomis. Overcome by exhaustion during a heavy rainstorm, Marion stops for a night at the ramshackle Bates Motel. There, she meets the polite but highly strung proprietor, Norman Bates – a young man with an interest in taxidermy and a difficult relationship with his mother. Little does she know, she should have kept on driving. This classic movie was released in 1960 and directed by the infamous Alfred Hitchcock. To this day, it’s considered his best work. I love it. The scares were so effective for the decade and the acting, sublime. I am also a huge fan of the modern television series adaptation: Bates Motel. Please check it out if you haven’t already!
4.) Whatever Happened To Baby Jane?
This 1962 psychological horror film follows Jane Hudson (Bette Davis), an aging child star left to care for her wheelchair-bound sister Blanche (Joan Crawford), also a former child actress. Stuck living together in a mansion in old Hollywood, Blanche plots to get even with Jane for the car crash that left her crippled years earlier. Desperate to keep Blanche imprisoned, Jane plans a new rise to fame by hiding her existence from doctors, visitors and neighbours, whilst devising a deadly plan to get rid of her. Ugh, Bette Davis’s acting was everything in this movie. She played the part perfectly. I loved the tension, suspense and rivalry between the two sisters. Not to mention the twist ending! You need to add this to your watch list!
5.) Night Of The Living Dead
In 1968, George Romero released Night of the Living Dead. I’m not usually a fan of zombie films, but this was a true exception. A disparate group of individuals take refuge in an abandoned house when corpses begin to leave the graveyard in search of fresh human bodies to devour. Our hero, Ben (Duane Jones), does his best to control the situation, but when the flesh eaters surround the property, the other survivors begin to panic. As the group begin to dissipate, the zombies start to find ways inside and one by one, the living become the prey of the deceased. I absolutely loved the opening scene of this movie. It was so sudden and alarming. Furthermore, the protoganist was a man of colour, which was rare for that decade. We love representation. Oof! That ending though!
What do you think of my picks? What are your favourite horror films of the 60’s? Thanks for reading!
Peace & Love xoxo