I woke up to a text message from BDM that read, “You should do a horror movie piece for Fetchland.”

A horror movie piece? Like a list? But what kind of list? Underrated movies? Good movies? Bad movies? For fans of the genre only? Hell, it’s 5am in the morning so how about a little something for everyone? So here I give you:

Fetchland’s Top 8 Horror Movies That Are Good, Bad, Underrated, Weird , Great, And Game Changing.

It’s 5am kids.

Happy Halloween!
— Paul

The WFT One
Possession (1981) dir Andrzej Żuławski

I found this one a few years ago while on my annual “need to find movies for Halloween I haven’t seen yet” quest.
IMDB describes it as:

A woman starts exhibiting increasingly disturbing behavior after asking her husband for a divorce. Suspicions of infidelity soon give way to something much more sinister.

Sounds straightforward right?


I’m going to say these two words to you.



Watch the movie and you’ll understand.

The Crazy Italian One
Manhattan Baby (1982) dir Lucio Fulci

You want to watch a crazy Italian horror movie. There’s no drought of those. How about a crazy Lucio Fulci movie? No challenge there. But Manhattan Baby…Manhattan Baby makes The Beyond seem tame.

The Good Movie One
Session 9 (2001) dir Brad Anderson

Someone asked me just last week for a good horror movie “not just scary but a good movie from the last ten years”.

I couldn’t think of any. I am not a big fan of modern horror. Give me a few more years to play with and I’d say Session 9. Just the location alone makes this worth seeing. I think the whole movie works on so many levels.

The One That Changed It All One
Dawn of the Dead (1978) dir George A. Romero

You wouldn’t have The Walking Dead.

You wouldn’t have the modern obsession with everything zombie.

And it wasn’t Night of the Living Dead that did that.

It was Dawn. It’s the reason horror nerds check out the local Costco and think, this would work. And if you’ve only seen the remake, go watch the original. Kids today.

The Carpenter Movie You Didn’t Expect One
Prince of Darkness (1987) dir John Carpenter

I have argued for hours over what is John Carpenter’s best horror film. I say Halloween.

Others say The Thing… which is great.

Some even say In the Mouth of Madness and if you do I’ll walk out of the room.

But you gotta love Prince of Darkness. Come on, tachyon transmissions from the future and Alice Cooper.

‘Nuff said.

The Action Comedy One
Encounters of the Spooky Kind (1980) dir Sammo Hung

I love my kung fu movies. Encounters of the Spooky Kind aka Spooky Encounters gets you the great Sammo Hung at the height of his abilities. This is the one that started the Hopping Vampire craze that was all over the place in the 80s.

The Never Heard Of This One
Next of Kin (1982) dir Tony Williams

I found out about Next of Kin watching the amazing documentary Not Quite Hollywood about Australian exploitation films. This movie is an Ozzie giallo if that makes any sense. Just watch the trailer and tell me you don’t want to see it.

The Slow Build Up One
Let’s Scare Jessica to Death (1971) dir John D. Hancock

A lot of times you hear someone defend a boring horror movie by saying it’s not appreciated because it’s not filled with gore and has a slow build up. People say that about 2009’s House Of the Devil but I’m not a fan of that movie. Let’s Scare Jessica to Death is the movie I talk about that uses atmosphere and little to no blood to create a disturbing story.

Sun Sing Theatre

(If you have watched the first episode of Kitchen Table Gaming then you have already met one of my oldest friends in Paul Yellovich. In addition to carrying a tube of cookie dough with him at all times Paul has given over no small portion of his life to watching martial arts films. Like me, Paul grew up in New York where these films were shown on the Drive-In Movie most weeks on Channel 5. In the 90’s our group of friends starting digging into the canon of Jackie Chan, Jet Li, Chow Yun Fat, John Woo, and Tsai Hark — among others — and would venture into the cavernous Sun Sing Theater under the Manhattan Bridge to watch the movies on a big screen while eating pork buns and being serenaded by fornicating cats.

In 2000 Paul got his first DVD player and he went down the rabbit hole of martial arts films the way I went down the Magic: The Gathering rabbit hole a few years prior. He has since collected more than 2000 films — and watched more than half of them — and for years maintained a web database on alternate titles for martial arts films. In his own words, he is nuts — but in the best possible way.

I still love the genre especially with the luxury of having my experience curated by Paul. And now you have the luxury of that experience as well as Paul brings us his Top 8 martial arts fight scenes of all time — BDM)

Top 8 Fights in Martial Arts Movies
by Paul Yellovich

So BDM said, “Give me a Top 8 of the best fights in movie history.”
I said,” Kung Fu/Martial Arts? Weapons, no weapons?
Then he said, ”Your choice.”
So I started making a list. Problem is after a while I felt I had a lot of apples and a couple of oranges. So I decided to make this a Top 8 Martial Arts Fights in Movies.

Don’t get overly concerned with the order, we are all friends here.

VIII. Alley fight from Martial Club (1981)
Gordon Lui vs. Wang Lung-wei

Your kung fu is no good. You must go to Shaolin!

From the legendary Shaw Brothers Studio and legendary director Lau Kar Leung, starring legendary martial arts superstar Gordon Lui comes… an ok movie. Which happens all the time; amazing fights in mediocre films.

This scene screams old school. Rivals pause to call out kung fu styles as they move along an impossibly twisty-turny, narrowing alley. An alley built for no other reason than to be another character in this scene.

VII. End Fight from Hong Kong Godfather (1985)
Bryan Leung & Norman Chu vs. Wang Lung-wei & The Rest of the World

Who the hell’s going to clean this mess!

Wang Lung-wei walks out of the alley in Martial Club and goes on to direct this dull movie. But if you made it till the end you were rewarded. Sometimes it’s not about subtlety. Sometimes it’s about an obscene amount of bad fake blood, wholesale murder, a million stuntmen, and falls that make your back hurt.

VI. Old Vs New School fight from Pedicab Driver (1989)
Sammo Hung Kam Bo vs. Lau Kar Leung

A beautiful dance of violence!

This is the equivalent of the Fred Astaire and Gene Kelly dance scene from Ziegfeld Follies. Few have had the impact Sammo Hung Kam Bo and Lau Kar Leung have had on Hong Kong action films. This scene is about a clash of styles. Lau Kar Leung is old school and Sammo Hung Kam Bo new — new being the 1980s. And that premise gives us kung fu comedy that isn’t cringe-worthy.

V. Castle fight from Wheels on Meals (1984)
Jackie Chan vs. Benny “The Jet” Urquidez

Is that the killer from Grosse Pointe Blank?

This is new school martial arts. Gone are the silly costumes and animal styles. Now we have awful 80s clothes, more stuntiness, and more of a western boxing influence. Not that Bruce Lee didn’t give that to us a decade before, but this is the 1980s and Jackie was king.

IV. One Take fight scene from Tom Yum Goong aka The Protector (2005)
Tony Jaa vs. The Editor

Let’s do it again.

When BDM was in Thailand years ago he asked me if there was anything he could bring for me. I wanted a dvd of Ong Bak. You see, Tony Jaa was going to save us. Save us from the crappy martial arts films of the later 90s. Save us from cheap CGI and pop stars who couldn’t fight. He was the new Jackie Chan. But after The Protector he stumbled.

The gimmick of this scene is the single shot with no cuts. The action is a little more tentative and slower than what we usually get from Jaa. But who cares. I would have hated to be the guy that screwed up that take!

III. Alley Fight from SPL aka Kill Zone (2005)
Donnie Yen vs. Wu Jing

Who brings a baton to a knife fight?

Kill Zone is a depressing film with an ending so brutal and controversial it didn’t make it to some countries. This fight is brutal, mean, bloody and to me a little painful to watch. I want to say it’s more realistic, but let’s face it, you’re never going to see two guys in an alley doing this in real life. Let’s just call it raw and less choreographed.

II. Dojo Fight from Fist of Legend (1994)
Jet Li vs. A Dojo

A guy walks into a dojo…

You either love or hate this film. The hate may come from the fact it is a remake, one of many, of Bruce Lee’s classic Fist of Fury from 1972. The love? Jet Li always looks cool. And when he’s tying his shoe at the end…

I. 3 Masters are revealed from Kung Fu Hustle (2004)
3 Masters vs. The Axe Gang

Best of the best!

Kung Fu Hustle is Stephen Chow’s love letter to the films he saw growing up. I had heard people say Kung Fu Hustle might be the greatest kung fu movie of all time. Actually I’ve said that myself.

When I thought about why I find this scene worthy to be on this list I thought I’d discuss the music. I love it. It takes it to another level. But then I thought no, I love this scene because it’s heroic.

Three masters come out of hiding to save the people of their little crappy town.

Heroes. That’s what makes a great martial arts fight. We root for the hero. We want them to win. Winning sometimes means literally cutting the other guy to shreds. Sometimes it’s just showing how much better of a fighter they are.