Of course, not everyone is going to agree with our choices, least of all hard-core horror geeks. And so we'll admit, we were a little nervous when cult horror experts Zack Carlson and Lars Nilsen, of the famed Alamo Drafthouse in Austin, Texas, offered to weigh in on our list. Would they love it? Hate it? Praise its genius? Rip it to shreds?
It is with great pride that we turn our picks over to Zack and Lars, who will be commenting on our list (five picks at a time) and then, after the big reveal on October 31, offering their own ranked lists of Most Iconic Horror Scenes. Whom will you agree with more -- them or us? Stay tuned and find out.
This week: Zack takes on #20 - #15.
Zack Carlson is a programmer for the Alamo Drafthouse and Fantastic Fest in Austin Texas. He also programs Terror Tuesdays, a weekly series of cult horror films from the '70s and '80s with glorious 35mm prints. He wrote a book called 'Destroy All Movies!!! The Complete Guide To Punks On Film' that you can buy really soon. It features reviews of every film that punks appear in, even when they just walk by in the background chewing on a rat. He doesn't eat vegetables. He's never had a beer or a cup of coffee in his life and it's too late to start now, so don't worry about it.
See our full list of 20 Most Iconic Horror Scenes, which we'll keep revealing -- at noon daily on the Moviefone Blog -- until October 31.
20. 'Hellraiser': Pinhead's Arrival
Zack: Sure, it's a guy with needles in his face. I suppose that's pretty wild. BUT! The crucial moment in this film is clearly the flesh-ripping "Jesus wept" crescendo. Personally, I find all things Clive Barker to be a little more black lace and Angela Lansbury than my tastes ... the "Get 'em off me!" scene in 'Hellraiser 2' being a glowing exception.
19. 'The Fly': Help Meeee!
Zack: This movie -- though a classic -- is 100% build-up with a truly rewarding closing act. The Man-Fly squeaking "Help meeee" scarred many post-war kids, but 'Return of the Fly' offers a heapin' helping more of the 7-foot-tall Fly-Man. Hopefully they don't remake the remake of this anytime soon.
18. 'The Ring': Samara Crawls Out of the TV
Zack: I have to say that I avoided the white remake of this one, but I'll give the Japanese original credit for this very effective moment. I'm surprised more people with long black hair don't hollow out a TV and wear it as a Halloween costume. If anyone reading this chooses that option for this year's dress-up party, please mail me a check for five cents.
17. 'Amityville Horror': Get Out!
Zack: I can't speak for anyone else, but the flies clustering on the windows were what really made this film work for me. It doesn't have the standard shock horror impact, but rather gives you the slow creep, as if the house itself is a rotting corpse. I think many of the greatest terror moments aren't necessarily rooted in jolts n' jumps.
16. 'Night of the Living Dead': Opening Graveyard Scene
Zack: It's a good'n. The fella who played the iconic zombie here -- Bill Hinzman -- was so proud of his role and performance that he's relentlessly revisited it via conventions, low-budget shot-on-video work, and even a patchwork DVD version of the original NOTLD that incorporated new footage of him stumbling around and drooling. The world's longest-running full-time zombie. Mr. Hinzman, I salute you, kind of.
The Alamo Drafthouse, called the #1 theater in America by Entertainment Weekly and one-upped by The Guardian which called it "the best cinemas in the world," is known for its one-of-a-kind film programming. Zack Carlson, programmer for the Alamo Drafthouse and Fantastic Fest, and Lars Nilsen, creative director for the theater, have helped build the theater's esteemed reputation with regular cinematic trips into the horrific and weird with their weekly Terror Tuesday & Weird Wednesday midnight shows.