The 25 Worst Horror Movies of All Time
The Best Of The Worst
I have covered some of the best horror movies ever made, as well as some of the greatest unknown horror movies. Now it's time for the very best of the very worst. There are some really horrible movies out there. Some of them are intentionally bad, and some, despite their best efforts, end up just being awful! I love a cheesy horror movie as much as the next person, but there are limits to what even I can deal with. I know there are many more terrible movies out there, but these are some of the very worst that I have ever encountered. Once again, this list is in alphabetical order. There is no way to quantify how rotten these movies really are. If you have any suggestions for other terrible horror movies, feel free to share your comments. I am always looking for wonderfully terrible movies to add to my list.
The 25 Worst Horror Movies
- The Beast of Yucca Flats
- Blood Diner
- Book of Shadows: Blair Witch II
- The Creeping Terror
- Dr. Giggles
- Halloween III: Season of the Witch
- Hood of Horror
- House of the Dead
- House of Wax
- Jason X
- The Leprechaun Movies
- Manos: The Hands of Fate
- Monster a Go-Go!
- Nine Lives
- Orgy of the Dead
- Paranormal Activity
- Plan 9 From Outer Space
- Psycho (1998)
- Robot Monster
- Troll & Troll II
- The Worst Horror Movie Ever Made
- Zombie Nation
- Zombie Strippers
1: The Beast of Yucca Flats (1961)
Some of the worst horror movies ever made have been featured on Mystery Science Theater 3000. This is one of those movies. The film is about a defecting Russian scientist. The unfortunate scientist gets hit by a blast from a nuclear test and is transformed into a horrifying monster. The movie stars Tor Johnson (former wrestler) as the scientist/Beast. The movie was filmed in silent, and voice overs and sound effects were added later. The result is a movie where the picture and sound are poorly synchronized, and the characters only speak when their faces are off camera or are less visible due to darkness or distance. Ever watch a movie where the sound and the picture doesn't line up? It's kind of like watching a dubbed Godzilla movie. The "action" scenes are laughable, at best, and the effects are pretty bad, even for that time. There really isn't much else to say about this movie. It was just really bad...really, really bad.
2: Blood Diner (1987)
What can I say about this movie? That's right...it's terrible! Two brothers own a health food diner. They are aided by the animated brain and genitals of their uncle in a terrible plot. They kill unsuspecting women in an attempt to get all the required parts that they need for a blood feast to resurrect an ancient Egyptian goddess. How terrible is this movie? Well, there is a scene where the brothers go into a topless aerobics class and gun down everyone in the place. A horrible horror movie just isn't complete without some unnecessary nudity.
3: Book of Shadows: Blair Witch II (2000)
First off, some will say that The Blair Witch Project was a terrible movie. In many ways, it was. In other ways, it was innovative, creative, and different. It wasn't a great movie, but it was a great concept. It really took an interesting approach to movie making. Book of Shadows, on the other hand, is just dumb. To start with, the writers couldn't even come up with creative names for the characters; they just took the actors names and changed them a little. The story is simple enough as far as sequels go. The characters are interested with the story of what happened to the three filmmakers that went missing, so they set off to investigate. They take a Blair Witch tour and end up camping out in a house for the night. The plot is incredibly thin, and the actors are mediocre at best.
4: The Creeping Terror (1964)
What can you say about a movie that had to be narrated in post-production due to the fact that all the audio had been lost, and the budget did not allow for re-recording it? Aside from that issue, the movie uses reverse stock footage of a spacecraft taking off to depict an alien craft landing on the planet. It has a monster that looks somewhat like a carpet-covered version of a Chinese dragon, or someone walking around in a really dirty sleeping bag. The effects are terrible, the plot is awful, and the narration is strange. The narrator frequently skews off topic, rambles on, and seems, at times, to have little to do with the actual movie. The Creeping Terror has been called by some to be the worst movie ever made. It is one of the worst I have ever seen. I watched it knowing full well that it was going to be terrible. Sometimes you just have to watch really bad movies to see how bad they really are.
5: Dr. Giggles (1992)
Dr. Giggles stars Larry Drake (best known for his mentally handicapped character on L.A. Law) as Dr. Evan Rendell. Rendell is a psychopath who escapes from a mental institution to seek revenge on the town that caught his murdering father. Like father, like son...I guess. The murders all have a surgical element to them, and as he murders his victims, Dr. Giggles lets out a creepy, high-pitched giggle. By the end of the movie, the giggle is more irritating than nails on a chalkboard. Of all the movies about a crazed escaped mental patient, this is one of the worst I have ever seen, and there are a lot of bad ones. This movie made me wish there was a deranged psychopath on the loose to put me out of my misery.
6: Halloween III: Season of the Witch
I love the Halloween movies! All of them except for this one. Michael Meyers is an iconic horror villain...who has no role in this movie whatsoever. So, why is it a part of the series? Your guess is as good as mine. This movie stinks on so many levels. It is called Season of the Witch, but there is no witch. The movie is about a company, called Silver Shamrock, that sells Halloween masks. That doesn't even make sense, but very little in this movie does. The head of the company has a sinister plot to kill thousands of children with cursed Halloween masks. Some say this movie is underrated because it is the only movie in the Halloween series without Michael Meyers in it, but I disagree. I dislike it for more reasons that that. Maybe the movie would not be as bad in my mind if they had called it something else and kept it out of the Halloween series. But then again, no...it's still terrible.
7: Hobgoblins (1988)
Another movie covered by Mystery Science Theater 3000 is the truly awful Hobgoblins. In fact, the director of the movie is the one who submitted it to MST3K, and MST3K's writer called it one of the worst movies ever made. Hobgoblins is about a bunch of little aliens that kind of look like darker, furrier versions of the evil gremlins. They go around killing people by fulfilling their greatest desires. Of course, every horrible horror movie has to have unnecessary nudity and sex, and this movie is no different. The plot is your typical B-movie ridiculousness. For some reason, which is beyond my understanding, they made a sequel to this movie.
8: Hood of Horror (2006)
I have to start off by saying that I love Snoop Dogg (or whatever he has decided to call himself now). I really do. I hate this movie, though. It's really bad. Sorry, Snoop! Despite having a decent cast of actors, including Ernie Hudson, Danny Trejo, Billy Dee Williams, and Jason Alexander, the three stories of terror that make up Hood of Horror are just bad. The stories are more like episodes of Tales From the Crypt set in the inner city. Snoop Dogg, as the Hound of Hell, sits in as the host instead of The Cryptkeeper, but other than that, it could have been a few episodes of the show slapped together.
9: House of the Dead (2003)
Based on the arcade game of the same name, House of the Dead is about zombies. I love zombie movies, by the way, and I love the House of the Dead games, especially House of the Dead: Overkill. The movie, though...it's just awful. In typical horror movie fashion, a group of teens arrive at an island in order to party it up at a rave. How many times have we seen that premise? Unfortunately for them, the island is overrun by zombies. The movie is beyond bad, with scenes from the game spliced into the live action scenes of the movie, and deaths that end in video game fashion. This could have been a great concept, but fell flat. Of course, this movie also features a mindless plot, terrible acting, and pointless nudity.
10: House of Wax (2005)
House of Wax has one redeeming quality. Paris Hilton dies in the movie, and before you get too upset that I spoiled something in the movie, it happens fairly early into the movie. That was the only good part of the whole movie. House of Wax is a terrible remake of a decent classic horror movie starring Vincent Price. If you want to see a good version of the movie, look up the 1953 version. It is way better. House of Wax is about a group of teens who stumble upon a creepy wax museum in an abandoned town during a camping trip. The wax figures look so real, and with good reason. The acting is bad, I mean, seriously, Paris Hilton is in the movie! That has to tell you something.
11: Jason X (2001)
Friday the 13th in space! What a great concept, right? No, not really. Being that Jason cannot be killed, he was frozen in order to keep him from killing. He is unfrozen many years later aboard a spacecraft by thoughtless scientists. He continues his reign of terror in the vast expanse of space. The movie is ridiculous! The concept is silly. The movie does have some redeeming qualities. The death scenes are incredibly humorous. There is one scene that cracks me up. I'm not sure if it's supposed to. Jason is in a simulator where he encounters a classic horror scene of two half-naked teenage girls camping in the woods. The way in which he kills them is beyond funny. I will let you see it for yourself.
12: The Leprechaun Movies (1993-2003)
The movie series goes from the first movie starring Jennifer Aniston (with her old nose) and ends with the terrible Leprechaun 6: Back to the Hood. Yep, the Leprechaun goes to the hood in two separate movies! What could be better than that? Well, just about anything. The Leprechaun movies follow a stupid premise of an evil leprechaun that kills those who steal his gold, and a lot of times, even those who don't. The character is disturbing only in its laughability. Not one of these movies is any good.
13: Manos: The Hands of Fate (1966)
Coming in at lucky number 13 is another terrible movie that has been covered by the show Mystery Science Theater 3000. This movie is so bad that it had to have been made that way on purpose. Then again, maybe not. You will be stunned at how bad it is. The movie is about a family that starts out on vacation and ends up getting lost, only to wind up at a shack where the residents worship an evil deity named Manos. The fights between the wives of the Master are really quite hilarious, though I doubt they were intended to be that way. It has often appeared at the top of lists for worst movie of all time.
14: Monster a Go-Go! (1965)
Even the title of this movie sounds bad. The premise of the story is that an astronaut, after a trip into space, crash lands in a field. He is badly affected by radiation and goes on a rampage. He then disappears. It is only after this that we discover that he was not the real astronaut. The real astronaut is found thousands of miles away, alive and well. Does any of this make any sense? What a horrible plot! Apparently, the movie was intended to be made years earlier, but ran out of money. The footage was tucked away somewhere, only to be found later. Footage was added, as was the wonderful voice-over narration that worked so well in The Creeping Terror. Another horrible movie affected by the constraints of a budget, but was still released anyway.
15: Nine Lives (2002)
What is it about Paris Hilton that just makes a movie awful? Oh, that's right...she can't act. The movie is about a spirit that resides in an old Scottish manor. Nine friends show up there to celebrate a buddy's birthday when the spirit is unleashed. It possesses one person after another, killing along the way. While the premise for the story is interesting, the acting is not. The characters are very one-dimensional and flat. The acting is barely tolerable. The plot has holes in it so big you could drive a truck through them. I guess I can't fully blame Paris Hilton for how bad this movie is, but she is a contributing factor.
16: Orgy of the Dead (1965)
A bad movie list would not be complete without at least one Ed Wood movie. Orgy of the Dead is considered by some to be the worst movie he ever made, and one of the worst movies of all time. A couple heads to a cemetery in order to get inspiration for a horror story, only to land in the middle of one themselves. They are captured by a parade of movie monsters and forced to watch a tedious, never-ending dance of the dead. Sitting through this movie is torture in and of itself. Ed Wood has made some laughably bad movies, and this ranks right up there with the best...er, the worst of them.
17: Paranormal Activity (2007)
I know there are people out there that liked this movie. My sister is one of them. I am not. Maybe it's because I actually paid good money to see it in the theaters. I feel like I got ripped off. The scares are minimal and trivial. The only creepy part is the end. It's like a worse version of The Blair Witch Project set inside someone's house. I left the theater feeling cheated. The character of the boyfriend was not likable at all. I was actually watching the movie hoping something bad would happen to him. There were some interesting parts, and the premise of the movie was good, but it just wasn't executed well.
18: Plan 9 From Outer Space (1958)
One of the worst movies ever made! Plan 9 is another amazingly bad movie from the king of bad movies, Ed Wood. Aliens come to Earth and resurrect the dead to create a zombie army to stop the world from creating a solar-powered weapon of mass destruction. With dialogue like, "Future events such as these will affect you in the future", the movie is tragically bad. Cardboard tombstones decorate an incredibly low-budget cemetery. The "spaceship" looks strangely like a hubcap someone swiped from a car, and the string holding it up actually catches fire. I guess editing wasn't in the budget, either. This is the sort of movie you really just have to see for yourself to see how bad it is. It goes beyond just a bad movie. There is nothing good about this movie aside from the fact that it might be good for a laugh.
19: Psycho (1998)
This film was shot frame-for-frame exactly like the Hitchcock original, so how can this movie be so bad? Well, it isn't Hitchcock, that's for sure. Why bother remaking a movie and making it exactly the same? They basically just added color and used different actors? I guess there are some out there that complain that remakes are too different from the originals, so they decided to make it exactly the same. It did not work. Nothing replaces the classic. The original Psycho is a horror movie masterpiece. This was a pile of steaming crap. It had a promising cast and a foolproof script, but it still managed to be a complete and total waste of time and money. They would have been better off creating an incredibly stupid, campy musical version of the movie. At least that would have been worth watching, if only for the amusement of such an absurd idea.
20: Robot Monster (1953)
A generic title for a terrible movie. What is the robot monster, you ask? Well, it's a guy in a gorilla suit with a diving helmet on his head. I am not joking here. I would not kid about such things. I guess this is supposed to be scary. I really don't see how. The "robot monster" is sent to Earth to capture humans in preparation for an alien invasion. Did the aliens create the robot? Are all the aliens part gorilla/part diver? The "robot monster" manages to destroy all life on Earth in short order, but spends the rest of the movie trying to kill the five remaining people on the planet. His sci-fi ray gun looks like a child's toy, and the other special effects in the movie are ridiculous beyond all belief. Another movie that you just have to see to believe.
21: Soultaker (1990)
Who do you get when you want the look of a big name actor without paying the A-list paycheck? You call Joe Estevez, brother to Martin Sheen. He looks enough like his brother without costing nearly as much. Of course, you get what you pay for. His acting skills are far below that of his brother. Every family has that one person. Soultaker is about a group of teens that are killed in a car accident. They leave their bodies, realize that they are dead, and are quickly hunted by Estevez's character, the Soultaker. Estevez is ordered around by the very strange looking Angel of Death. This movie lacks any redeeming qualities. The story is dumb, the characters are stereotypical and boring, and the special effects amount to something that looks like the glow-in-the-dark bracelets you get from vendors at the fair.
22: Troll (1986) & Troll II (1990)
Troll was beyond bad. Troll II was worse. Troll is about a man who was transformed into a troll by his ex-wife. While I am sure we have always wished we had this power, you might reconsider after seeing this movie. The troll takes possession of a little girl, and through the little girl, goes about transforming the tenants of the apartment into plant pods. Sonny Bono plays a tenant in the first movie. Troll II has no trolls, so why call it Troll II? Not sure. The film follows a family on a trip that lands them in danger from plant-eating monsters and goblins. A mediocre cast of unknowns only adds to the badness of the film with terrible acting and a stupid plot.
23: The Worst Horror Movie Ever Made (2005)
What list of bad horror movies would be complete without the movie that titles itself as such? As I said, some movies are intentionally bad. This is one of them. With characters such as a zombie Jesus, a demon made of poop, and a toilet paper mummy, this movie could never be considered good. A couple goes on the run when their friends die during a card game. They encounter scores of strange and ridiculous characters. This movie was so unbelievably bad that they decided that they needed to re-make the movie. The Worst Horror Movie Ever Made: The Re-Make came out a few years later following a similar storyline with scores of new strange characters.
24: Zombie Nation (2004)
A pack of zombie women rise from the dead in order to exact revenge on a crazy cop who has a penchant for killing the women he arrests. I love zombie movies, and while the story sounds interesting, the movie is not. The acting is terrible! The level of make-up effects is equivalent to me taking some Halloween make-up from the store and making my face pasty with black circles under my eyes. The movie lacks continuity, seems to jump around, and makes little sense. I could have made a better movie with the video camera on my phone. It really was a joke. How this movie ever got made is beyond me.
25: Zombie Strippers (2008)
Zombie Strippers is another movie that was intended to be bad. It stars former porn star Jenna Jameson as a stripper. It's not much of an acting stretch on her part, yet she is still terrible. Robert Englund (Freddy Krueger) is also in this movie. That made me sad. A virus is released and turns one of the girls into a zombie. This seems to work out well for her careerwise. The other girls become jealous and decide to become zombies themselves. With scores of horny male victims willingly walking through the door, they don't lack for a meal. The only thing I did really like about the movie was a song by Kazy (a great group from IL) that was featured in the movie.
Choke by Kazy, from Zombie Strippers
The Worst Horror Movies on Netflix
You might be interested in laughing at some bad horror movies that you can stream on Netflix. Here are some options that are currently on Netflix as of this writing.
- Most Likely to Die
- The Open House
- Death Note
- The Cloverfield Paradox
The Worst Horror Movies of the 80s
The 80s gave us many classic films in the horror genre. It also gave us some excruciatingly awful movies as well. Here are some of the worst horror films from the decade.
- Zombie Nightmare
- The Last Slumber Party
- Blood Cult
Questions & Answers
© 2010 Anna Marie Bowman