Words: Rob DeStefano

7. Night of the Living Dead (1968)

“They’re coming for you, Barbara!” The many iconic elements of Romero’s zombie debut elevate it to masterpiece status. Night of the Living Dead defied the conventional norms with its gritty texture and documentary realism, giving its social commentary an unsettling canvas to project onto. Duane Jones, an African American, plays the unforgettable hero – a man who has his comrades’ survival in his best interest and who isn’t afraid to throw some punches when needed. The film sparked a new form of inspired storytelling, as well as the array of living dead fare we have today.

8. The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974)

The last twenty minutes in which Sally incessantly screams for her life is a biological spectacle in itself. Similar to Romero’s low-budget success, Tobe Hooper’s slasher film delivers a gripping depiction of murder and destruction. From the enduring shoots – the “dinner” scene drove its cast mad, causing them to actually cut Sally (Burns) when the fake blood failed after a near thirty hour filming period – to its political and gender related subtext, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre is an immortal contribution from American independent horror.

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