Horror films from A to Z: part three

At The ABCs of Death, showing now at the Sie FilmCenter, you're going to get the equivalent of horror tapas -- one short, punchy tale for each letter of the alphabet, each delivered by a current or rising star in the genre. It's a tasty appetizer that can serve as a meal in and of itself, but what if you want more? What if this just whets your appetite for horrific death and graphic dismemberment?

We're here to help. In the spirit of The ABCs of Death, we're offering 26 full-length horror-movie suggestions, one for each letter of the alphabet, at a pace of five a day for each day the film is showing (on day five, we'll actually offer six, because of the alphabet and math). Some are favorites old and new, some are overlooked gems, and some are just there because, look, there aren't very many horror movies that start with Q, okay?

Scared yet? You will be after watching these 26 films.

See also: - Horror films from A to Z: part one - Horror films from A to Z: part two - Eight things every horror movie needs, according to Bruce Kawin

K is for Killer Klowns From Outer Space

If you're going to get through 26 horror films, you're going to need a little comic relief, and nothing is funnier than clowns, right? This late-'80s horror-comedy is a cult favorite that should be good for a few laughs among the scares -- unless you're a coulrophobe, that is.

L is for Last House on the Left

Wes Craven's 1972 exploitation classic showed you don't need the supernatural, a monster or even clowns to make a gut-wrenching horror flick, just a twisted premise -- in this case, a gang of sex criminals escaping and going on a rape/murder spree -- and the willingness to push things further than anyone else had before. After this one, you might need a shower. Or three.

M is for Maniac

Sleazy, lurid and infamously graphic, William Lustig's


is another movie about an ordinary guy who just so happens to kill people. Well, as ordinary as a dude who scalps women and has conversations with his dead mother can be, anyway.

N is for Near Dark

Before Kathryn Bigelow found success making thinly veiled propaganda films about the War on Terror, she made the finest vampire Western epic of all time. Veteran character actor Lance Henriksen leads a gang of Civil War-era vampires across the Southwest until one reluctant undead recruit ruins things for everybody.

O is for The Others

It's hard to say much about

The Others

without ruining it, so let's just say it's a haunted-house story, but a thoroughly atypical one. It's a creepy, atmospheric film that relies on a slow build of tension instead of lots of jump scares or gore, making it a perfect horror film for people who don't usually like horror.

Check back Wednesday for the letters P through T.

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