True Masters of Horrorby LanceBrave | created - 17 Sep 2013 | updated - 22 Jan 2020 | Public
IMDb doesn't need another list collecting Masters of Horrors. Here's one anyway. The directors listed here have contributed at least two important, enduring films to the horror genre.
1. Paul Wegener
Actor | Der Student von Prag
Paul Wegener was born in Arnoldsdorf, West Prussia, part of the German Empire. His birthplace is currently part of Poland, under the name "Jarantowice". Wegener's family included a number of scientists, the most notable being his cousin Alfred Wegener (1880-1930). Alfred is remembered as the ...
The Student of Prague (1913), The Golem (1915), The Golem, How He Came Into the World (1920)
2. Robert Wiene
Director | Das Cabinet des Dr. Caligari
Robert Wiene was born on April 24, 1873 in Breslau, Silesia, Germany. He was a writer and director, known for The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (1920), L'autre (1930) and The Hands of Orlac (1924). He died on July 17, 1938 in Paris, France.
Fear (1917), The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (1920), Genuine (1920), Hands of Orloc (1924)
3. F.W. Murnau
Director | Sunrise: A Song of Two Humans
F.W. Murnau was a German film director. He was greatly influenced by Schopenhauer, Nietzsche, Shakespeare and Ibsen plays he had seen at the age of 12, and became a friend of director Max Reinhardt. During World War I he served as a company commander at the eastern front and was in the German air ...
The Haunted Castle (1921), Nosferatu (1922), Faust (1926)
4. Fritz Lang
Actor | Le mépris
Fritz Lang was born in Vienna, Austria, in 1890. His father managed a construction company. His mother, Pauline Schlesinger, was Jewish but converted to Catholicism when Lang was ten. After high school, he enrolled briefly at the Technische Hochschule Wien and then started to train as a painter. ...
Dr. Mabuse: The Gambler (1922), M (1931), The Testament of Dr. Mabuse (1933), House by the River (1950), The 1,000 Eyes of Dr. Mabuse (1960)
5. Paul Leni
Director | The Man Who Laughs
Paul Leni was born on July 8, 1885 in Stuttgart, Baden-Württemberg, Germany as Paul Josef Levi. He was an art director and director, known for The Man Who Laughs (1928), Das Rätsel von Bangalor (1918) and The Last Warning (1928). He died on September 2, 1929 in Los Angeles, California, USA.
Waxworks (1924), The Cat and the Canary (1927), The Man Who Laughs (1928), The Last Warning (1929)
6. Tod Browning
Director | Dracula
Belonging to a well-situated family, Charles Browning fell in love at the age of 16 with a dancer of a circus. Following her began his itinerary of being clown, jockey and director of a variety theater which ended when he met D.W. Griffith and became an actor. He made his debut in Intolerance (1916)...
The Unholy Three (1925), The Unknown (1927), London After Midnight (1927), Dracula (1931), Freaks (1932), Mark of the Vampire (1935), The Devil-Doll (1936)
Director | Psycho
Alfred Joseph Hitchcock was born in Leytonstone, Essex, England. He was the son of Emma Jane (Whelan; 1863 - 1942) and East End greengrocer William Hitchcock (1862 - 1914). His parents were both of half English and half Irish ancestry. He had two older siblings, William Hitchcock (born 1890) and ...
The Lodger (1927), Rope (1947), Dial M for Murder (1954), Rear Window (1954), Vertigo (1958), Psycho (1960), The Birds (1963), Frenzy (1972)
8. James Whale
Director | The Invisible Man
James Whale was an English film director, theatre director and actor. He is best remembered for his four classic horror films: Frankenstein (1931), The Old Dark House (1932), The Invisible Man (1933) and The Bride of Frankenstein (1935). He also directed films in other genres, including what is ...
Frankenstein (1931), The Old Dark House (1932), The Invisible Man (1933), The Bride of Frankenstein (1935)
Director | Casablanca
Curtiz began acting in and then directing films in his native Hungary in 1912. After WWI, he continued his filmmaking career in Austria and Germany and into the early 1920s when he directed films in other countries in Europe. Moving to the US in 1926, he started making films in Hollywood for Warner...
Doctor X (1932), Mystery of the Wax Museum (1933), The Walking Dead (1934)
10. Victor Halperin
Director | When a Girl Loves
Was a stage actor and later a stage director before getting into the movie business.
White Zombie (1932), Supernatural (1933), Revolt of the Zombies (1936)
11. Erle C. Kenton
Director | The Ghost of Frankenstein
Erle C. Kenton entered films as an actor with the Mack Sennett troupe (he was one of the original Keystone Kops). In addition to acting, he performed pretty much any kind of behind-the-scenes job he could get, and by 1919 Sennett gave him a job directing two-reel comedies. The next year he ...
Island of Lost Souls (1932), Ghost of Frankenstein (1942), House of Frankenstein (1944), House of Dracula (1945), The Cat Creeps (1946)
Director | Dr. Cyclops
Ernest B. Schoedsack was born on June 8, 1893 in Council Bluffs, Iowa, USA as Ernest Beaumont Schoedsack. He was a director and cinematographer, known for Dr. Cyclops (1940), The Most Dangerous Game (1932) and Rango (1931). He was married to Ruth Rose. He died on December 23, 1979 in Los Angeles ...
The Most Dangerous Game (1932), King Kong (1933), Son of Kong (1933), Dr. Cyclops (1940), Mighty Joe Young (1949)
13. Jacques Tourneur
Director | Out of the Past
Born in Paris in 1904, Tourneur went to Hollywood with his father, director Maurice Tourneur around 1913. He started out as a script clerk and editor for his father, then graduated to such jobs as directing shorts (often with the pseudonym Jack Turner), both in France and America. He was hired to ...
Cat People (1941), I Walked with a Zombie (1943), The Leopard Man (1943), Curse of the Demon (1957), The Comedy of Terrors (1963)
14. George Waggner
Director | Wolf Call
George Waggner was born on September 7, 1894 in New York City, New York, USA as George Waggoner. He was a director and writer, known for Wolf Call (1939), South of Tahiti (1941) and Guilty Trails (1938). He was married to Danny Shannon. He died on December 11, 1984 in Hollywood, California, USA.
Man Made Monster (1941), Horror Island (1941), The Wolf Man (1941), The Climax (1944)
15. John Brahm
Director | The Twilight Zone
The son of comedian and theatre director Ludwig Brahm, Hans followed in his father's footsteps and began his career on the stages of Vienna, Berlin and Paris. Again, like his father, he graduated to directing and had his first fling with the film business as a dialogue director for a Franco/German ...
The Undying Monster (1942), The Lodger (1944), Hangover Square (1945), The Mad Magician (1954)
16. Reginald Le Borg
Director | The White Orchid
The oldest of three sons, Reginald LeBorg majored in political economy at the University of Austria and studied musical composition for a year at Arnold Schoenberg's Composition Seminar. His education completed, LeBorg entered his father's banking business and, acting as the senior LeBorg's ...
Calling Dr. Death (1943), The Mummy's Ghost (1944), Weird Woman (1944), The Black Sleep (1956), Diary of a Madman (1963)
17. Robert Wise
Director | West Side Story
Robert Earl Wise was born on September 10, 1914 in Winchester, Indiana, the youngest of three sons of Olive R. (Longenecker) and Earl Waldo Wise, a meat packer. His parents were both of Pennsylvania Dutch (German) descent. At age nineteen, the avid moviegoer came into the film business through an ...
Curse of the Cat People (1944), The Body Snatcher (1945), The Day the Earth Stood Still (1951), The Haunting (1963), The Andromeda Strain (1971)
18. Jack Arnold
Director | The Incredible Shrinking Man
Jack Arnold reigns supreme as one of the great directors of 1950s science-fiction features. His films are distinguished by moody black and white cinematography, solid acting, smart, thoughtful scripts, snappy pacing, a genuine heartfelt enthusiasm for the genre and plenty of eerie atmosphere.
It Came from Outer Space (1953), Creature from the Black Lagoon (1954), Revenge of the Creature (1955), Tarantula (1955), Monster on Campus (1958)
19. Eugène Lourié
Production_designer | The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms
Russian-born French art director and director who gained a significant reputation, particularly as a collaborator with director Jean Renoir. At the age of sixteen, Lourié went to Paris where he studied painting and stage design. He designed sets and costumes for various ballet companies before ...
The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms (1953), The Colossus of New York (1958), The Giant Behemoth (1959), Gorgo (1961),
20. Ishirô Honda
Director | Gojira
Influential Japanese film director born May 7th, 1911, often credited as being the father of Godzilla. His name is a combination of "I" (or Ino), meaning "boar" and "shirô," meaning fourth boy in the family. Originally, the young Honda had aspirations of becoming an artist. However, as he moved ...
Godzilla (1954), Rodan (1956), Mothra (1961), King Kong vs. Godzilla (1962), Matango (1963), Mothra vs. Godzilla (1964), Ghidorah the Three-Headed Monster (1964), Frankenstein Conquers the World (1965), War of the Gargantuas (1966), Destroy All Monsters (1968), Terror of MechaGodzilla (1975)
21. Val Guest
Writer | The Day the Earth Caught Fire
Val Guest began his career as an actor on the British stage and in early sound films. He ran the one-man London office of "The Hollywood Reporter" until an encounter with director Marcel Varnel led to a screen writing job at Gainsborough Studios. Guest's directing career began in the early 1940s ...
The Quatermass Xperiment (1955), Quastermass II (1957), The Abominable Snowman (1957), The Day the Earth Caught Fire (1960), When Dinosaurs Ruled the Earth (1970)
22. Terence Fisher
Director | Dracula
Terence Fisher was born in Maida Vale, England, in 1904. Raised by his grandmother in a strict Christian Scientist environment, Fisher left school while still in his teens to join the Merchant Marine. By his own account he soon discovered that a life at sea was not for him, so he left the service ...
The Curse of Frankenstein (1957), Horror of Dracula (1958), Revenge of Frankenstein (1958), The Mummy (1959), The Brides of Dracula (1960), The Curse of the Werewolf (1961), The Gorgon (1964), Island of Terror (1966), Frankenstein Created Woman (1967), The Devil Rides Out (1968)
23. John Gilling
Director | The Pirates of Blood River
Worked as editor prior to World War II, subsequently writer-director of potboilers and horror films of variable quality. Did arguably his best work for Hammer: The Shadow of the Cat (1961), The Plague of the Zombies (1966), The Reptile (1966) and The Mummy's Shroud (1967).
The Gamma People (1957), The Flesh and the Fiends (1960), Shadow of the Cat (1961), Night Caller from Outer Space (1965), The Plague of the Zombies (1966), The Reptile (1966), The Mummy's Shroud (1967)
24. William Castle
Producer | The Lady from Shanghai
William Castle was born on April 24, 1914 in New York City, New York, USA as William Schloss. He was a director and producer, known for The Lady from Shanghai (1947), Homicidal (1961) and Rosemary's Baby (1968). He was married to Ellen. He died on May 31, 1977 in Los Angeles, California, USA.
House on Haunted Hill (1959), The Tingler (1959), Mr. Sardonicus (1960), Straight Jacket (1964), Shanks (1974)
25. Roger Corman
Actor | The Silence of the Lambs
Roger William Corman was born April 5, 1926, in Detroit, Michigan. Initially following in his father's footsteps, Corman studied engineering at Stanford University but while in school, he began to lose interest in the profession and developed a growing passion for film. Upon graduation, he worked a...
A Bucket of Blood (1959), House of Usher (1960), The Little Shop of Horrors (1960), Pit and the Pendulum (1961), X: The Man with X-Ray Eyes (1963), The Haunted Palace (1963), The Masque of the Red Death (1964)
26. Mario Bava
Cinematographer | Ecologia del delitto
Italian director Mario Bava was born on July 31, 1914 in the coastal northern Italian town of San Remo. His father, Eugenio Bava (1886-1966), was a cinematographer in the early days of the Italian film industry. Bava was trained as a painter, and when he eventually followed his father into film ...
Black Sunday (1960), Black Sabbath (1963), The Whip and the Body (1963), Blood and Black Lace (1964), Planet of the Vampires (1965), Kill, Baby... Kill! (1966), Hatchet for the Honeymoon (1970), Twitch of the Death Nerve (1971), Shock (1977)
Director | The Avengers
Back in the days when ships burned coal, John Moxey's family had a coal/steel business with depots all over the world; he was born in 1925 in Argentina, where his father was running one of the firm's stations. Moxey knew from childhood that he was cut out for a job in the picture business and, ...
The City of the Dead (1960), Circus of Fear (1966), The Night Stalker (1970), Home for the Holidays (1970),
28. Freddie Francis
Cinematographer | The Straight Story
During his last years at school he spent most of his time writing a thesis on 'the future of film' On leaving school he joined Gaumont British Studios at Lime Grove as an apprentice to a stills photographer for a year. He claimed this taught him more about the art of photography than any other form...
Day of the Triffids (1962), Paranoiac (1963), Dr. Terror's House of Horrors (1965), Girly (1970), Tales from the Crypt (1972), The Creeping Flesh (1973), The Ghoul (1975)
29. Jesús Franco
Writer | Der Teufel kam aus Akasava
He was only six years old when he started composing music under the protection of his brother Enrique. After the Spanish Civil War he was able to continue his studies at the Real Conservatorio de Madrid, where he finished piano and harmony. Being a Bachelor of Law and an easy-read novel writer (...
The Awful Dr. Orlof (1962), The Diabolical Dr. Z (1966), Venus in Furs (1969), Count Dracula (1970)
30. Roman Polanski
Director | Chinatown
Roman Polanski is a Polish film director, producer, writer and actor. Having made films in Poland, Britain, France and the USA, he is considered one of the few truly international filmmakers. Roman Polanski was born in Paris in 1933.
His parents returned to Poland from France in 1936, three years ...
Knife in the Water (1962), Repulsion (1964), The Fearless Vampire Killers (1967), Rosemary's Baby (1968), Macbeth (1971), The Tenant (1976), The Ninth Gate (1999)
Producer | Apocalypse Now
Francis Ford Coppola was born in 1939 in Detroit, Michigan, but grew up in a New York suburb in a creative, supportive Italian-American family. His father, Carmine Coppola, was a composer and musician. His mother, Italia Coppola (née Pennino), had been an actress. Francis Ford Coppola graduated ...
Dementia 13 (1963), Bram Stoker's Dracula (1992), Twixt (2012)
Director | This Stuff'll Kill Ya!
Only one film-maker can claim the title "Godfather of Gore." That peculiar but apt identification seems to be the exclusive property of Herschell Gordon Lewis. With an unusual background that included teaching English Literature to college students, producing and directing television commercials, ...
Blood Feast (1963), Two Thousand Maniacs! (1964), Color Me Blood Red (1965), Something Weird (1967), A Taste of Blood (1967), The Wizard of Gore (1970), The Gore-Gore Girls (1972)
33. Don Sharp
Director | Bear Island
Don Sharp was born on the island of Tasmania off of Australia, and began his show-business career there as an actor. After World War II he traveled to England and continued his acting carer. He became a director in the mid-1950s and turned out some low- and medium-budget musicals, such as the Tommy...
The Kiss of the Vampire (1963), The Devil-Ship Pirates (1964), Curse of the Fly (1965), Rasputin: The Mad Monk (1966), Dark Places (1973), PsychoMania (1973)
Actor | Encarnação do Demônio
José Mojica Marins was born on March 13, 1936 in San Paulo, Brazil, to a family of simple means. José's love of movies began at an early age. He spent a great deal of his time with his family at the local movie house, which his father helped manage. By the time he was eighteen, he had completed ...
At Midnight I'll Take Your Soul (1964), Tonight I'll Possess Your Corpse (1967), The Strange World of Coffin Joe (1968), Awakening of the Beast (1969), Estrupo! (1979), Embodiment of Evil (2008)
35. Jack Hill
Jack Hill, sometimes referred to as a legendary cult-film director, grew up around movies--his father was a set designer for Warner Brothers since 1925, and later for Walt Disney Studios, where he eventually designed the Disneyland Castle. Jack went to the University of California to study film, ...
Blood Bath (1966), Spider Baby (1968), Switch Blade Sisters (1975)
36. Roy Ward Baker
Director | A Night to Remember
Roy Ward Baker's first job in films was as a teaboy at the Gainsborough Studios in London, England, but within three years he was working as an assistant director. During World War II, he worked in the Army Kinematograph Unit under Eric Ambler, a writer and film producer, who, after the war, gave ...
Quatermass and the Pit (1967), The Anniversary (1968), The Vampire Lovers (1970), Dr. Jekyll & Sister Hyde (1971), Asylum (1972), The Vault of Horror (1973), The Legend of the 7 Golden Vampires (1974), The Monster Club (1981)
37. Brian De Palma
Director | Dressed to Kill
Brian De Palma is the son of a surgeon. He studied physics but at the same time felt his dedication for the movies and made some short films. After seven independent productions he had his first success with Sisters (1972) and his voyeuristic style. Restlessly he worked on big projects with the ...
Murder a la Mod (1968), Sisters (1973), Phantom of the Paradise (1974), Carrie (1976), The Fury (1978), Body Double (1984), Raising Cain (1992)
38. George A. Romero
Writer | Land of the Dead
George A. Romero never set out to become a Hollywood figure; by all indications, though, he was very successful. The director of the groundbreaking "Living Dead" films was born February 4, 1940 ,in New York City to Ann (Dvorsky) and Jorge Romero. His father was born in Spain and raised in Cuba, and...
Night of the Living Dead (1968), Season of the Witch (1972), Martin (1977), Dawn of the Dead (1978), Creepshow (1982), Day of the Dead (1985)
39. Kinji Fukasaku
Director | Batoru rowaiaru
Kinji Fukasaku was born on July 3, 1930 in Mito, Japan. He was a director and writer, known for Battle Royale (2000), Fall Guy (1982) and Crest of Betrayal (1994). He was married to Sanae Nakahara. He died on January 12, 2003 in Tokyo, Japan.
The Green Slime (1968), Message from Space (1978), Virus (1980), Battle Royale (2000), Battle Royale II (2003)
40. Dario Argento
Writer | Profondo rosso
Dario Argento was born on September 7, 1940, in Rome, Italy, the first-born son of famed Italian producer Salvatore Argento and Brazilian fashion model Elda Luxardo. Argento recalls getting his ideas for filmmaking from his close-knit family from Italian folk tales told by his parents and other ...
The Bird with the Crystal Plumage (1970), Four Flies on Grey Velvet (1971), Deep Red (1975), Suspiria (1977), Inferno (1980), Tenebre (1982), Phenomena (1985), Opera (1987), The Stendhal Syndrome (1996)
41. Dan Curtis
Producer | Burnt Offerings
Dan Curtis was born on August 12, 1927 in Bridgeport, Connecticut, USA as Daniel Mayer Cherkoss. He was a producer and writer, known for Burnt Offerings (1976), Dark Shadows (1966) and War and Remembrance (1988). He was married to Norma Mae Klein. He died on March 27, 2006 in Brentwood, California,...
House of Dark Shadows (1970), The Night Strangler (1973), The Norliss Tapes (1973), Dan Curtis' Dracula (1974), Trilogy of Terror (1975), Burnt Offerings (1976), Dead of Night (1977), Intruders (1992)
42. Robert Fuest
Director | The Final Programme
Well regarded for his stylish genre work of the 1970s, Robert Fuest may not have a very extensive list of feature film credits, but the quality of his output is what matters, not the quantity.
He certainly came to the business with a real talent for art. Born in London in 1927, he would spend some ...
And Soon the Darkness (1970), The Abominable Dr. Phibes (1971), Dr. Phibes Rises Again (1972), The Devil's Rain (1975)
43. Jean Rollin
Director | La nuit des traquées
Jean Rollin was born on November 3, 1938 in Neuilly-sur-Seine, Hauts-de-Seine, France as Jean Michel Rollin Le Gentil. He was a director and writer, known for The Night of the Hunted (1980). He was married to Simone Rollin. He died on December 15, 2010 in Paris, France.
The Nude Vampire (1970), The Shiver of the Vampires (1971), The Iron Rose (1973), Lips of Blood (1975), The Grapes of Death (1978), Fascination (1979), The Living Dead Girl (1982)
44. Lucio Fulci
Director | Zombi 2
Lucio Fulci, born in Rome in 1927, remains as controversial in death as he was in life. A gifted craftsman with a sharp tongue and a wicked sense of dark humor, Fulci achieved some measure of notoriety for his gore epics of the late 1970s and early 1980s, but respect was long in coming.
A Lizard in a Woman's Skin (1971), Don't Torture a Duckling (1972), The Psychic (1977), Zombie (1979), The Beyond (1981), House by the Cemetery (1981), The New York Ripper (1982)
45. Harry Kümel
Director | Malpertuis
Daughters of Darkness (1971), Malpertius (1971)
46. Sergio Martino
Director | Vendetta dal futuro
Talented, prolific and versatile writer/director Sergio Martino has made a vast array of often solid and enjoyable films in such diverse genres as horror, comedy, Western and science-fiction in a career that spans over 40 years.
Martino was born on July 19, 1938, in Rome, Italy. His grandfather was ...
The Strange Vice of Mrs. Wardh (1971), The Case of the Scorpion's Tail (1971), All the Colors of the Dark (1972), Your Vice is a Locked Room and Only I Have the Key (1972), Torso (1973)
47. Ken Russell
Director | The Devils
Ken Russell tried several professions before choosing to become a film director; he was a still photographer and a dancer and he even served in the Army, but film was his destiny. He began by making several short films which paved the way for his brilliant television films of the 1960s that are ...
The Devils (1971), Altered States (1980), Crime of Passion (1984), Gothic (1986), The Lair of the White Worm (1988)
48. Andrzej Zulawski
Writer | Possession
Born in Lvov, Ukraine; then he moved with his father Miroslaw Zulawski to Czechoslovakia and later to Poland. In the late 1950s, he studied cinema in France. In the 1960s, he was an assistant of the famous Polish film director Andrzej Wajda. His feature debut The Third Part of the Night (1971) was ...
The Third Part of the Night (1971), The Devil (1972), Possession (1981)
49. Bob Clark
Director | A Christmas Story
Bob Clark was born on August 5, 1939 in New Orleans, Louisiana, USA as Benjamin Clark. He was a director and writer, known for A Christmas Story (1983), Baby Geniuses (1999) and Porky's (1981). He died on April 4, 2007 in Pacific Palisades, California, USA.
Deathdream (1972), Children Shouldn't Play with Dead Things (1973), Black Christmas (1974), Murder by Decree (1979)
50. Wes Craven
Writer | A Nightmare on Elm Street
Wes Craven has become synonymous with genre bending and innovative horror, challenging audiences with his bold vision.
Wesley Earl Craven was born in Cleveland, Ohio, to Caroline (Miller) and Paul Eugene Craven. He had a midwestern suburban upbringing. His first feature film was The Last House on ...
The Last House on the Left (1972), The Hills Have Eyes (1977), Deadly Blessing (1981), A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984), Deadly Friend (1986), The People Under the Stairs (1991), New Nightmare (1994), Scream (1996), Scream 2 (1997), Red Eye (2005)
51. Umberto Lenzi
Writer | Superseven chiama Cairo
Born in Massa Marittima, Italy on August 6, 1931, Umberto Lenzi was a movie enthusiast since his early grade school years. During those years, he founded various film fan clubs while studying law. Lenzi started out as a journalist for various local newspapers and magazines. Lenzi put off his law ...
The Man from Deep River (1972), Seven Blood-Stained Orchids (1972), Spasmo (1974), Eyeball (1975), Nightmare City (1980), Cannibal Ferox (1981)
Director | The Barbaric Beast of Boggy Creek, Part II
Charles Bryant Pierce was an independent filmmaker from Arkansas whose movies have become cult classics. Films that he wrote, directed and/or produced were not only made in Arkansas with local actors but also drew their inspiration from Arkansas themes. He is believed to be the source of one of the...
The Legend of Boggy Creek (1972), The Town That Dreaded Sundown (1976), The Evictors (1979), Boggy Creek II: And the Legend Continues (1985)
53. Gary Sherman
Producer | Missing Persons
Gary Sherman was born in Chicago, Illinois in 1945. He studied design and photography at the Illinois Institute of Technology. Sherman started out as a filmmaker by making music clips and short movies in the mid 60s which where early precursors to MTV music videos. While still a teenager Sherman ...
Death Line (1972), Dead & Buried (1981), Vice Squad (1982), Lisa (1990), 39: A Film by Carroll McKane (2006)
54. Pete Walker
Director | Man of Violence
Writer, director, and producer Pete Walker was born on July 4, 1939 in Brighton, Sussex, England. The son of musical comedy performer Syd Walker, Pete began his show business career as a stand-up comic at a Soho strip club. Walker went on to play bit roles in a few films prior to starting his own ...
The Flesh and Blood Show (1972), House of Whipcord (1974), Frightmare (1974), Schizo (1976), The Comeback (1978), House of Long Shadows (1983)
55. William Friedkin
Director | The French Connection
Friedkin's mother was an operating room nurse. His father was a merchant seaman, semi-pro softball player and ultimately sold clothes in a men's discount chain. Ultimately, his father never earned more than $50/week in his whole life and died indigent. Eventually young Will became infatuated with ...
The Exorcist (1973), Cruising (1980), Rampage (1987), The Guardian (1990), Bug (2006)
56. Larry Cohen
Writer | God Told Me To
Larry Cohen was born July 15, 1936, in New York, New York, and spent time in Kingston, a small town north of New York City. At a young age, his family moved to the Riverdale section of the Bronx, and he eventually majored in film at the historic City College of New York, from which he graduated in ...
It's Alive (1974), God Told Me To (1976), Q: The Winged Serpent (1982), The Stuff (1985)
57. Tobe Hooper
Director | The Texas Chain Saw Massacre
Honored with many awards for his films and achievement in the horror genre, Tobe Hooper is truly one of the Masters of Horror (2005).
Tobe Hooper was born in Austin, Texas, to Lois Belle (Crosby) and Norman William Ray Hooper, who owned a theater in San Angelo. He spent the 1960s as a college ...
The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (1974), Eaten Alive (1977), Salem's Lot (1979), The Funhouse (1981), Poltergeist (1982), Lifeforce (1985), The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2 (1986)
58. Peter Weir
Peter Weir was born on August 21, 1944 in Sydney, New South Wales, Australia as Peter Lindsay Weir. He is a director and writer, known for Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World (2003), The Way Back (2010) and Witness (1985). He has been married to Wendy Stites since 1966. They have two ...
The Cars That Ate Paris (1974), Picnic at Hanging Rock (1975), The Last Wave (1977), The Plumber (1979)
59. David Cronenberg
Actor | The Fly
David Cronenberg, also known as the King of Venereal Horror or the Baron of Blood, was born in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, in 1943. His father, Milton Cronenberg, was a journalist and editor, and his mother, Esther (Sumberg), was a piano player. After showing an inclination for literature at an early...
They Came from Within (1975), Rabid (1977), The Brood (1979), Scanners (1981), Videodrome (1983), The Dead Zone (1983), The Fly (1986), Dead Ringers (1988), Naked Lunch (1991),
60. Joseph Zito
Director | Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter
Joseph Zito is a well known action film director. Three of his movies--Missing in Action (1984), Invasion U.S.A. (1985) and Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter (1984)--each reached the #1 box office position of top grossing film in the country in their opening weeks of U.S. theatrical release. "...
Abduction (1975), Bloodrage (1979), The Prowler (1981), Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter (1984)
61. John Carpenter
Writer | The Fog
John Howard Carpenter was born in Carthage, New York, to mother Milton Jean (Carter) and father Howard Ralph Carpenter. His family moved to Bowling Green, Kentucky, where his father, a professor, was head of the music department at Western Kentucky University. He attended Western Kentucky ...
Assault on Precinct 13 (1976), Halloween (1978), The Fog (1980), The Thing (1982), Christine (1983), Prince of Darkness (1987), They Live (1988), In the Mouth of Madness (1994), Vampires (1998)
62. Richard Donner
Director | Superman
Richard Donner was born on April 24, 1930 in New York City, New York, USA as Richard D. Schwartzberg. He is a director and producer, known for Superman (1978), Ladyhawke (1985) and Lethal Weapon (1987). He has been married to Lauren Shuler Donner since November 27, 1986.
The Omen (1976), Two-Fisted Tales (1992)
63. William Fruet
Director | Death Weekend
Death Weekend (1976), Funeral Home (1980), Baker County, U.S.A. (1982), Spasms (1983), Killer Party (1986), Blue Monkey (1987)
64. Ruggero Deodato
Director | Deathcember
Ruggero Deodato was born on May 7, 1939, in Potenza, Italy, and grew up outside Rome. One of his close friends at the time was Renzo Rossellini, the son of famed Italian director Roberto Rossellini. Knowing Ruggerio's love for the movies, Renzo persuaded him to work as a second unit director on ...
Last Cannibal World (1977), Cannibal Holocaust (1980), Cut and Run (1985), Body Count (1986)
65. David Lynch
Writer | Twin Peaks
Born in precisely the kind of small-town American setting so familiar from his films, David Lynch spent his childhood being shunted from one state to another as his research scientist father kept getting relocated. He attended various art schools, married Peggy Lynch and then fathered future ...
Eraserhead (1977), Blue Velvet (1986), Twin Peaks (1990), Mulholland Drive (2001), Inland Empire (2006)
66. Joe Dante
Director | Innerspace
Joe Dante is a graduate of the Philadelphia College of Art. After a stint as a film reviewer, he began his filmmaking apprenticeship in 1974 as trailer editor for Roger Corman's New World Pictures. He made his directorial debut in 1976 with Hollywood Boulevard (1976) (co-directed with Allan Arkush)...
Piranha (1978), The Howling (1981), Gremlins (1984), Gremlins 2: The New Batch (1990), Matinee (1993), The Hole (2009)
67. Richard Franklin
Director | Hotel Sorrento
Writer, director and producer Richard Franklin was born on July 15, 1948 in Melbourne, Australia. Infatuated with cinema at an early age, Franklin first began making 8mm films at age 10. Franklin saw Alfred Hitchcock's "Psycho" two years later and was hooked on movies for life. Richard enrolled at ...
Patrick (1978), Road Games (1981), Psycho II (1983), Link (1986), Visitors (2003)
68. Don Coscarelli
Writer | Bubba Ho-Tep
In much the same way that director George A. Romero creative output has been primarily centered around the highly successful "Dead" series of zombie films, then fellow fantasy director Don Coscarelli has for over two decades seen his universe swirling around the lesser successful, but equally cult,...
Phantasm (1979), Phantasm II (1988), Survival Quest (1988), Phantasm III: Lord of the Dead (1994), Phantasm IV: Oblivion (1998), Bubba Ho-Tep (2002), John Dies at the End (2012)
69. Joe D'Amato
Director | Ator l'invincibile
Joe D'Amato was born Aristide Massaccesi on December 15, 1936, in Rome, Italy. At age 14 he began working for his father, a chief electrician and later the founder of the company A.C.M. By going to school in the daytime, Massaccesi worked afternoons part-time as a stagehand and stage cameraman ...
Beyond the Darkness (1979), Anthropophagus (1980), Absurd (1981)
70. Abel Ferrara
Director | Bad Lieutenant
Born in the Bronx, Ferrara started making amateur films on Super 8 in his teens before making his debut with violent exploitation films such as 'Driller Killer' and 'Ms.45'. Good reviews for the latter helped create his cult reputation, leading to larger budgets, studio funding and 'name' actors (...
Driller Killer (1979), Ms. 45 (1981), Fear City (1984), The Addiction (1995)
71. David Schmoeller
Director | Little Monsters
Raised and educated in Texas, David Schmoeller began his career as a young playwright and was awarded the Texas Good Neighbor Scholarship for studies in Mexico, attending the Universidad De Las Americas from 1967-1968. In Mexico he studied theater with Alejandro Jodorowsky (El Topo (1970)) and was ...
Tourist Trap (1979), Crawlspace (1986), Puppet Master (1989),
72. Ridley Scott
Producer | The Martian
Described by film producer Michael Deeley as "the very best eye in the business", director Ridley Scott was born on November 30, 1937 in South Shields, Tyne and Wear (then County Durham). His father was an officer in the Royal Engineers and the family followed him as his career posted him ...
Alien (1979), Hannibal (2001), Prometheus (2012), Alien: Covenant (2017)
Producer | Friday the 13th
Like William Girdler, Oliver Hellman or even Ed Wood, Sean S. Cunningham had a successful career of starting films cheap and fast. Originally from New York, Cunningham had a vast knowledge of directing films and came to Hollywood. He started about the same time Wes Craven did. Cunningham meets ...
Friday the 13th (1980), A Stranger is Watching (1982), The New Kids (1985), Deep Star Six (1989)
74. William Lustig
Producer | Maniac
William Lustig was born on February 1, 1955 in Bronx, New York. During his teenage years, Lustig avidly watched a huge volume of lowdown trashy exploitation fare at numerous 42nd Street grind house theaters in Manhattan and also worked as a movie theater usher in Fort Lee, New Jersey. After ...
Maniac (1980), Maniac Cop (1988), Maniac Cop 2 (1990), Maniac Cop 3: Badge of Silence (1993)
75. Paul Lynch
Director | More to Love
Prom Night (1980), Humongous (1982), Blindside (1987), So Weird (1999-2001)
76. Lewis Teague
Director | Cujo
Extremely efficient and underrated director Lewis Teague was born on March 8th, 1938, in Brooklyn, NY. He apprenticed with director Sydney Pollack at Universal Television, and was a production manager on the landmark rock concert documentary Woodstock (1970).
Teague found gainful employment working ...
Alligator (1980), Cujo (1983), Cat's Eye (1985), The Triangle (2001)
77. John Landis
Director | The Blues Brothers
John Landis began his career in the mail room of 20th Century-Fox. A high-school dropout, 18-year-old Landis made his way to Yugoslavia to work as a production assistant on Kelly's Heroes (1970). Remaining in Europe, Landis found work as an actor, extra and stuntman in many of the Spanish/Italian "...
An American Werewolf in London (1981), Thriller (1983), Innocent Blood (1992), Burke and Hare (2010)
78. Steve Miner
Director | Warlock
Steve Miner has had a very popular career in making films and remains one of Hollywood's most prolific directors and has worked with a variety of stars that includes Jamie Lee Curtis, Leslie Nielsen, C. Thomas Howell, Tom Arnold, Amy Steel Rick Moranis, and Bill Pullman.
Before becoming a director, ...
Friday the 13th Part II (1981), Friday the 13th Part III (1982), House (1986), Warlock (1989), Halloween H20 (1998), Lake Placid (1999)
79. Sam Raimi
Director | Spider-Man
Highly inventive U.S. film director/producer/writer/actor Sam Raimi first came to the attention of film fans with the savage, yet darkly humorous, low-budget horror film, The Evil Dead (1981). From his childhood, Raimi was a fan of the cinema and, before he was ten-years-old, he was out making ...
The Evil Dead (1981), Evil Dead II (1987), Army of Darkness (1993), A Simple Plan (1998), Drag Me to Hell (2009)
Director | Bad Biology
Writer/director Frank Henenlotter was born August 29, 1950, in New York City. He gleefully "misspent" his youth watching a large array of blithely cheap'n'cheesy low-budget exploitation flicks in various seedy grindhouse theaters on Mahattan's 42nd St. He began making 8mm films as a teenager. His ...
Basket Case (1982), Brain Damage (1988), Basket Case 2 (1990), Frankenhooker (1990), Bad Biology (2008)
81. Tom McLoughlin
Writer | Friday the 13th Part VI: Jason Lives
Tom McLoughlin was born on July 19, 1950 in Los Angeles, California, USA. He is a writer and director, known for Friday the 13th Part VI: Jason Lives (1986), Date with an Angel (1987) and Sometimes They Come Back (1991). He has been married to Nancy McLoughlin since July 2, 1983. They have two ...
One Dark Night (1982), Friday the 13th Part VI: Jason Lives! (1986), Sometimes They Come Back (1991)
82. Jack Sholder
Director | The Hidden
Known for The Hidden, Nightmare on Elm Street 2, and Alone in the Dark, Jack Sholder was born in Philadelphia where he studied to become a classical trumpet player. While still in high school, he performed under such conductors as Leopold Stokowski and Eugene Ormandy. After a year studying chemical...
Alone in the Dark (1982), A Nightmare on Elm Street 2: Freddy's Revenge (1985), The Hidden (1987), Wishmaster (1999)
Director | The Man from Hong Kong
Brian Trenchard-Smith is an Anglo Australian film and television director, producer, and writer, with a reputation for large scale movies on small scale budgets, many of which display a quirky sense of humor that has earned him a cult following. Quentin Tarantino referred to him in Entertainment ...
Turkey Shoot (1982), Dead End Drive-In (1986), Night of the Demons 2 (1994), Leprechaun 3 (1995), Leprechaun 4: In Space (1996)
84. Neil Jordan
Writer | The Crying Game
Neil Jordan was born on February 25, 1950 in Sligo, Ireland. He is a writer and producer, known for The Crying Game (1992), Greta (2018) and Breakfast on Pluto (2005). He has been married to Brenda Rawn since June 30, 2004. They have two children. He was previously married to Vivienne Shields.
The Company of Wolves (1984), Interview with a Vampire (1994), The Butcher Boy (1997), Byzantium (2013)
85. Lloyd Kaufman
Producer | The Toxic Avenger
Stanley Lloyd Kaufman never really wanted to make movies, but wanted to work in Broadway musicals. During his years in Yale, though, he got introduced to "B" pictures and the works of Roger Corman. Lloyd later got the opportunity to executive-produce a short movie made by a fellow student. The film...
The Toxic Avenger (1984), Class of Nuke 'em High (1986), Troma's War (1988), Tromeo and Juliet (1996), Terror Firmer (1999), Citizen Toxie: The Toxic Avenger Part IV (2000), Poultrygeist: Night of the Chicken Dead (2006), Return to Nuke 'em High (2014)
86. Stuart Gordon
Writer | Re-Animator
Stuart Gordon started his film directing career in 1985. After graduating from Lane Technical High School, Gordon worked as a commercial artist apprentice prior to enrolling at the University of Wisconsin in Madison. Unable to get into the film classes, he enrolled in an acting class and ended up ...
Re-Animator (1985), From Beyond (1986), Dolls (1987), Castle Freak (1995), Dagon (2001), Stuck (2007)
87. Dan O'Bannon
Writer | Alien
Dan O'Bannon was inspired at an early age by EC Comics like Tales from the Crypt and old horror films that he saw in St. Louis. He even wrote a few stories for Heavy Metal magazine (which also showed up in the film).
O'Bannon got his start when he and John Carpenter collaborated on the cult sci-fi ...
Directed: Return of the Living Dead (1985), The Resurrected (1991)
Wrote: Alien (1979), Dead & Buried (1981), Heavy Metal (1981), Lifeforce (1985), Screamers (1995), Bleeders (1997)
88. Tom Holland
Writer | Fright Night
Tom Holland is an American director and screenwriter of horror and thriller films. His early writing projects include Class of 1984 (1982) and the Robert Bloch- inspired Psycho II (1983), the latter starring Anthony Perkins as the menacing psychopath, Norman Bates.
Tom gained more notoriety, however...
Directed: Fright Night (1985), Child's Play (1988), The Langoliers (1995), Thinner (1996)
Wrote: The Initiation of Sarah (1978), Class of 1984 (1982), Psycho II (1983), Scream for Help (1984)
Special_effects | Hatchet
When he ran the make-up effects department at New World Pictures, Roger Corman called him "...the best in the business..." John Carl Buechler was born in Belleville, Illinois. An actor, writer, producer, director, special effects artist, he has always been in love with filmmaking. He was the first ...
Troll (1986), Cellar Dweller (1988), Friday the 13th Part VII: The New Blood (1988)
90. Fred Dekker
Writer | The Monster Squad
Writer/director Fred Dekker was born on April 9, 1959 in San Francisco, California. An avid comic book fan, monster movie buff, and film nerd from an early age, Dekker was rejected by both USC and UCLA film schools. He wound up attending UCLA as an English major instead. His fellow UCLA classmates ...
Night of the Creeps (1986), The Monster Squad (1987)
91. Peter Jackson
Peter Jackson was born as an only child in a small coast-side town in New Zealand in 1961. When a friend of his parents bought him a super 8 movie camera (because she saw how much he enjoyed taking photos), the then eight-year-old Peter instantly grabbed the thing to start recording his own movies,...
Bad Taste (1986), Meet the Feebles (1989), Dead Alive (1992), The Frighteners (1996), King Kong (2005)
92. John McNaughton
Director | Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer
Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer (1986), The Borrower (1989), The Harvest (2013)
Producer | Kidnapping Mr. Heineken
Funland (1986), Sleepaway Camp II: Unhappy Campers (1988), Sleepaway Camp III: Teenage Wasteland (1989)
94. Kevin Tenney
Director | Witchboard
Independent writer/director Kevin S. Tenney was born in 1955 in Honolulu, Hawaii. He hails from a military family and grew up in Hawaii, Bermuda and California. Tenney made his first 8mm movie while in the sixth grade. He attended the University of Southern California. He's the first and only USC ...
Witchboard (1986), Night of the Demons (1988), The Cellar (1989), Witchboard 2: The Devil's Doorway (1993)
95. Clive Barker
Writer | Hellraiser
Hellraiser (1987), Nightbreed (1990), Lord of Illusions (1995)
96. Kathryn Bigelow
Director | The Hurt Locker
A very talented painter, Kathryn spent two years at the San Francisco Art Institute. At 20, she won a scholarship to the Whitney Museum's Independent Study Program. She was given a studio in a former Offtrack Betting building, literally in an old bank vault, where she made art and waited to be ...
Near Dark (1987), Strange Days (1995)
97. Jörg Buttgereit
Director | Lexx
NekroMantik (1987), The Death King (1990), NekroMantik 2 (1991), Schramm (1994)
98. Chuck Russell
Director | The Mask
Chuck Russell was born on May 9, 1958 in Park Ridge, Illinois, USA. He is a director and producer, known for The Mask (1994), The Blob (1988) and A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors (1987). He has been married to Ania Zeyne since November 29, 2007.
A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: The Dream Warriors (1987), The Blob (1988), Bless the Child (2000)
99. Michele Soavi
Director | Dellamorte Dellamore
Born in Milan, Italy in 1957, Michele Soavi's parents separated when he was little and he lived with his mother who remarried a painter. Interested in his stepfather's interest in painting, Soavi began an interest in creative arts in his school. During his teenage years, he decided that the cinema ...
Stage Fright (1987), The Church (1989), The Sect (1991), Cemetery Man (1994)
100. Tim Burton
Producer | Edward Scissorhands
Timothy Walter Burton was born in Burbank, California, to Jean Rae (Erickson), who owned a cat-themed gift shop, and William Reed Burton, who worked for the Burbank Park and Recreation Department. He spent most of his childhood as a recluse, drawing cartoons, and watching old movies (he was ...
Beetlejuice (1988), Edward Scissorhands (1990), Mars Attacks! (1996), Sleepy Hollow (1999), Sweeny Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street (2007)