Movie recommendations are always better when they come from a trusted source, and if there’s someone who has a proven love for genre cinema it’s Joe Dante, the director behind classics like Gremlins and The Howling, and under-appreciated gems like Innerspace and The ‘Burbs. Lucky for us, the filmmaker has teamed with the excellent AMC-backed horror streaming service Shudder to put together a list of his five of his favorite horror films, all of which are available now on the streaming service, and even better he’s brought his passion project Trailers from Hell to the party as well.
If you’re not familiar, Trailers from Hell is a celebration of the long tradition of exceptional genre trailers throughout history put together by Dante, Jonas Hudson, Charlie Largent and Elizabeth Stanley that pairs classic horror, science fiction and exploitation films with commentary from filmmakers like Edgar Wright (Shaun of the Dead), John Landis (An American Werewolf in London), Guillermo del Toro (Pan’s Labyrinth) and many others. And now, Shudder subscribers can look forward to seeing selections paired with certain films throughout the Shudder platform.
For Dante’s selection, the director chose Spider Baby, Lisa and the Devil, The Flesh and the Fiend, Horror Express, and Carnival of Souls. You’ve got some classics — the incomparable Carnival of Souls, a little Mario Bava, a little something from exploitation maestro Jack Hill — and a couple lesser known treats as well. You can’t really argue with that list. Check out what Dante has to say about his picks in the exclusive video below.
And, just in case you’re not aware of Shudder, it’s by far the best streaming service out there for horror fans (all due respect to Amazon’s impressive selection). Curated on the regular by Sam Zimmerman and Colin Geddes, Shudder offers a wide-ranging, international catalogue of horror films throughout the history of film. For the record, this isn’t a sponsored post or anything, I’m just a big fan of the service. In the Blockbuster days, I used to have to hunt films like these down online, and it’s pretty fabulous that now they’re just a click away.
Dante is Shudder’s eighth guest curator, following collections by Robert Eggers (The Witch), Alexandre Aja (High Tension), Karyn Kusama (The Invitation), Alan Palomo (Neon Indian), Jaume Collet-Serra (The Shallows), Larry Fessenden (Wendigo), and Fred Dekker (The Monster Squad).