The following is a listing of movies that are generally regarded as the worst horror films of all-time. And then we have added many more of our own choices. People asked us repeatedly to produce this list and although it’s difficult to define a “worst” movie, we have tried to apply universally accepted modes of critical appraisal and aesthetics. Plus, commonsense from a fan’s point of view.
This ‘Worst of’ listing is not intended to be damning; in fact, some of the admittedly atrocious movies here are favourites of ours. Just because a movie is ineptly made it doesn’t necessarily mean it isn’t entertaining, or even somewhat endearing.
What’s more, this list is not intended to denigrate the efforts of earnest filmmakers, amateur wannabes or even opportunistic hacks.
We don’t believe the supposedly amusing approach to mocking cult cinema taken by the likes of Mystery Science Theater 3000, Golden Turkey Awards, Razzies or riffing, has any value, even when it is clearly aimed at the lowest of the low. Smug comedians can easily deride the efforts of inept filmmakers as their movies offer easy pickings. However, it’s the amateurish auteurs and the (perhaps) awful movies they made that are remembered, not the often shadowy cheap laugh-makers, who return to their uncreative lives once they have delivered their (perhaps bitter?) barbs.
Nonetheless, there are some shockingly bad films here that can defy the patience of even the most hardened horror addict. After all, this listing contains abominations such as Birdemic: Shock and Terror and Satanwar.
This trawl of the worst horror/sci-fi movies has focused mainly on those movies intended (often amazingly so) for theatrical release. Clearly, there are 1000s of low budget snoozers that have been pumped out since the advent of home viewing releases began with the VHS revolution in the early 1980s, continued with direct-to-DVD and now digital video-on-demand.
Anyone could spend a depressing lifetime cataloguing the atrocities that have been presented for our home ‘entertainment’ during the last umpteen years. Yet, why would they? This listing merely offers a snapshot of the awfulness that’s out there, especially free on Amazon Prime. It’s a work-in-progress, a horrendous headache a-happening. That said, we’ll try and offer as much terror tripe as we can cope with so please revisit as we regularly update this movie muck-chuck.
Thematically, as this listing has grown, it’s become clear that horror films that involve rock bands in their plot are often poor, those with the military or navy in many scenes tend to drag on, and many of the most atrocious movies in the world seem to have emanated from Texas. That said, we have to look at many more movies from around the world yet and completely recognise that it’s somewhat US-centric at the moment, mainly because there are so many terrible American movies and commentators have previously focused on their homegrown product.
Please feel free to suggest additions (especially mainstream bombs), or perhaps send us your outrage that we’ve included a film you love.
Abe’s Tomb aka Abe’s Tomb: The Movie – Carl R. Merritt, USA, 2006
Alice in Murderland – Dennis Devine, USA, 2010
Alien 51 – Brennon Jones and Paul Wynne, USA, 2004
Buy DVD: Amazon.com
The Alien Dead – Fred Olen Ray, USA, 1980
Alien Factor 2: The Alien Rampage – Don Dohler, USA, 2001
Alien Space Avenger – Richard W. Haines, USA, 1989
The Alien Within aka Unknown Origin – Scott P. Levy, 1995
Aliens vs. Avatars – Lewis Schoenbrun, 2011
The Alpha Incident – Bill Rebane, USA, 1978
Amityville: Mt. Misery Road – Chuck and Karolina Morrongiello, USA, 2018
Amityville: Vanishing Point – Dylan Greenberg, USA, 2016
Ankle Biters – Adam Minarovich, 2002
Anthropophagous 2000 – Andreas Schnaas, West Germany, 1999
Antihuman – Luke Gietzen, Mark Robins, UK, 2017
Apocalypse Z aka Zombie Massacre – Marco Ristori, Italy, 2013
Asesinos de otros mundos aka Santo contra los asesinos de otros mundos – Rubén Galindo, Mexico, 1971
The Astro-Zombies – Ted V. Mikels, USA, 1968
Astro-Zombies M3: Cloned – Ted V. Mikels, USA, 2010
Astro-Zombies M4: Invaders from Cyberspace – Ted V. Mikels, USA, 2011
Aswang – Michel Laurin, USA/Philippines, 2018
Attack of the Beast Creatures – Michael Stanley, USA, 1985
Attila – Emmanuel Itier, USA, 2013
Auto Shop of Horrors – USA, 2016
Autopsy of a Ghost – Ismael Rodríguez, Mexico, 1967
AVH: Alien vs. Hunter – Scott Harper, USA, 2007
Ax ‘Em aka The Weekend It Lives -Michael Mfume, USA, 1992
Axecalibur – Russ Gomm, UK, 2016