Celebrate Halloween with this hair-raising collection of 10 horror classics at SBS On Demand.
SBS Movies

26 Oct 2016 - 11:49 AM  UPDATED 28 Oct 2016 - 10:52 AM


USA, 1978
Director: John Carpenter
Starring: Jamie Lee Curtis, Donald Pleasence, Charles Cyphers
What's it about?
If you haven't watched John Carpenter's cult horror classic yet, now is the time to see for yourself what the fuss is about. The iconic villain Michael Myers is the convicted killer who escapes from the psychiatric hospital that's been home since he murdered his sister (on - guess what? - Halloween night). Fifteen years on, he's back, and he's not happy. It will take our heroine Laurie Strode, played by scream queen Jamie Lee Curtis, all the perseverance and strength she can muster if she wants to survive Myers' murderous urges.

Listen to 'The Playlist' podcast talk Halloween movies
Read: Maika Monroe on 'It Follows' and her 5 favourite Scream Queens


The Texas Chain Saw Massacre

USA, 1974
Director: Tobe Hooper
Starring: Marilyn Burns, Edwin Neal, Allen Danziger
What's it about?
Tobe Hooper's low-fi slasher is now a cult classic, considered a game changer in the genre. When five young students decide to visit their grandfather's house in the country, they're hunted and terrorised by a chainsaw-wielding killer – the mask-wearing maniac Leatherface – and his family of grave-robbing cannibals.

Listen to 'The Playlist' podcast talk Halloween movies
Read article: Why 'The Texas Chain Saw Massacre' Is the Best Horror Movie Ever Made 



Canada, 1981
Director: David Cronenberg
Starring: Jennifer O'Neill, Stephen Lack, Patrick McGoohan, Lawrence Dane
What's it about?
Cronenberg's mindblowing classic, about a conspiracy of “scanners” aiming to take over the world, launched the 'body horror' genre. Scanners can interfere with other people’s minds and bodies using extra-sensory mental powers. Darryl Revok, a rebellious scanner, leads an underground movement against a weapons manufacturer with scanners in its sights.


Dark Age

Australia, 1987
Genre: Adventure, Horror
Language: English
Director: Arch Nicholson
Starring: John Jarratt, Max Phipps, David Gulpilil
What's it about?
A favourite of Quentin Tarantino's, Dark Age stars David Gulpilil alongside Burnam Burnam as a pair of rangers helping Steve (John Jarratt) search for a giant killer crocodile. Their mission? To try and safely relocate the sacred croc to a wildlife sanctuary before a bunch of bloodthirsty redneck poachers find it first. 


An American Werewolf in London

USA, 1981
Director: John Landis
Starring: David Naughton, Griffin Dunne, Jenny Agutter
What's it about?
Lauded at the time of its release for its outstanding make-up effects, this cult creature feature by John Landis (who went on to shoot Michael Jackson's 'Thriller' video) follows two American college students on a backpacking holiday in England. When they are attacked by a werewolf, only one of them, David, survives. But his dead friend soon appears to him in his dreams (in various stages of decomposition), and warns David that he will turn into a werewolf. Wouldn't you know it - his dead buddy's right. 



Australia, 1978
Director: Richard Franklin
Starring: Robert Thompson, Rod Mullinar, Susan Penhaligon
What's it about?
Richard Franklin’s Patrick became cult with the retro crowd (largely thanks to some typically loud love from one Quentin Tarantino). After murdering his mother and her lover three years ago, Patrick lies in a deep coma in hospital, with little hope of ever waking up... But a nurse senses that Patrick is communicating with her, and is using psychic powers to manipulate events in her life, with chilling effect.

Read: Schlocky Horror Picture Show


Dead Ringers

Canada, USA, 1988
Genre: Drama, Horror, Thriller
Language: English
Director: David Cronenberg
Starring: Jeremy Irons, Heidi von Palleske, Genevieve Bujold
What's it about?
Body horror master David Cronenberg continues his exploration of transformation and mutation in his disturbing classic. Inspired by true events, Dead Ringers is the story of identical twin gynaecologists - both played by Jeremy Irons, in an extraordinary performance - whose relationship deteriorates when Beverly, the most sensitive of the twins, starts falling for a patient with whom they'd both been sleeping.

Dead Ringers review: Cool, clinical and confrontational
Read more: David Cronenberg: Matters of the Head and Horror


Vampyros Lesbos

Germany, Spain, 1971
Genre: Horror
Language: German
Director: Jesus Franco
Starring: Soledad Miranda, Ewa Strömberg, Paul Muller
What's it about?
This erotic horror tale by exploitation genius Jesus Franco is considered one of his best works. It was also famous for its fantastic psychedelic score, which saw a resurgence of popularity in the '90s and was even featured on Tarantino's Jackie Brown soundtrack. Franco's muse Soledad Miranda stars as Countess Nadine Korody, a descendant of Count Dracula who entices young women to her isolated island, then seduces and sacrifices them in order to remain young.

You might also like by the same director: 'She Killed in Ecstasy'


Body Melt

Australia, 1993
Genre: Horror, Comedy
Language: English
Director: Philip Brophy
Starring: Gerard Kennedy, Andrew Daddo, Ian Smith, Regina Caigalas
What's it about?
This gory tongue-in-cheek horror follows the residents of a peaceful Melbourne suburb, as they experience ghastly symptoms: hallucinations, splitting throats, exploding stomachs, body meltdown. The cause: a new 'Body Drug' developed by a mad scientist with horrendous side effects.

Blog: In appreciation of Oz gross-out social satire 'Body Melt'
Body Melt review

The Aussie gross-out horror-comedy classic Body Melt (1993)

A Sad Trumpet Ballad

Spain, 2010
Genre: Drama, War
Language: Spanish
Director: Álex de la Iglesia
Starring: Carlos Areces, Antonio de la Torre, Carolina Bang
What's it about?
While not strictly a horror movie, A Sad Trumpet Ballad should do the trick for our fellow coulrophobes, thanks to plenty of bloody scenes and deeply disturbed, murderous clowns. Winner of Best Director and Best Screenplay awards at the 2010 Venice Film Festival, this ghastly movie follows Natalia, a young trapeze artist, and her torn feelings towards the troupe's clowns: Sergio the brute and Javier the sensitive sad Clown. 

Read: The 20 creepiest clowns in movies and TV
The Last Circus Review


Explore the entire Horror selection at SBS On Demand

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