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The Dreadful Ten: 10 Horror Icons Who Should be in the FANGORIA Hall of Fame

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For many filmmakers, artists and fright fans out there, the FANGORIA Hall of Fame is one of the most prestigious accolades within the horror landscape. An annual honor bestowed by the horror community itself, the FANGORIA Hall of Fame has become a collection of the most respected and beloved within horror, each of whom made their unique mark upon the genre in some way, shape or form. And with this years inclusion of horror auteur Ti West and director-turned-El Rey Network mastermind Robert Rodriguez, the Hall of Fame grows even larger and more diverse in its inductees.

Yet even with the 35 plus years in which FANGORIA has covered the horror world and all of its facets, there will always be glaring omissions within the Hall of Fame. With only 2 entries every year, some fright icons who have made incredible contributions to the genre will be lost in the shuffle as more and more candidates enter the voting pool. With that in mind, this writer assembled ten of the most deserving candidates for the FANGORIA Hall of Fame in hopes that you might find a choice for an open spot next year…

10. Takashi Miike

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A true fan of horror whose breakneck work pace has resulted in innovative, insane films in a multitude of genres each year, it’s a shame that the 54-year-old Japanese filmmaker has yet to find his place in the FANGORIA Hall of Fame. Furthermore, Miike has made such unforgettable fright flicks as VISITOR Q, ICHI THE KILLER, ONE MISSED CALL and THREE… EXTREMES, as well as a legitimate genre classic in 1999’s AUDITION. And let’s not forget Miike is the only filmmaker from MASTERS OF HORROR whose title was too visceral and graphic for even Showtime!

 

9. Sam Neill

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While I could sit here and tell you all about Neill’s incredible genre performances from POSSESSION, THE OMEN III, EVENT HORIZON, JURASSIC PARK, IN THE MOUTH OF MADNESS and more, I’ll just let you read my lobbying cry from 2015’s voting season here.

 

8. Brian Yuzna

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As a producer, Yuzna is one of the men directly responsible for RE-ANIMATOR, DOLLS, FROM BEYOND, WARLOCK, TICKS, DAGON and many more. As a director, Yuzna’s work is even more subversive and twisted, ranging from SOCIETY to both RE-ANIMATOR sequels to the Lovecraftian anthology NECRONOMICON and even the retroactively beloved RETURN OF THE LIVING DEAD III. But in any case, Yuzna’s imaginative approach, persistent hard work and support in the world of practical SFX has made him an essential figure in the horror history, one which deserves to be cemented with a long overdue spot in the FANGORIA Hall of Fame.

 

7. Debra Hill

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As much as fright fans can credit their childhood and top 10 film lists to John Carpenter, the truth is that work would not be as revered today without the help of Debra Hill. Without Hill, who knows what would have became of THE FOG, ESCAPE FROM NEW YORK, THE DEAD ZONE, CLUE or the first three HALLOWEEN films, if anything? She’s a crucial and underappreciated figure in horror history, and the fact that she’s not in the FANGORIA Hall of Fame next to Carpenter is criminal.

 

6. Cassandra Peterson a/k/a Elvira

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Over 60 years old and she’s still got it! The horror genre’s resident skewer of all things dark and gothic, Elvira has been an icon and sex symbol within the genre for decades now and yet she still has yet to find her way into the FANGORIA Hall of Fame. Hopefully, 2016’s Chainsaw Awards will give fright fans the chance to see the error of their ways and induct the Mistress of the Dark herself, Cassandra Peterson.

 

5. Rod Serling

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Another jaw-dropping omission in a list full of them, there are very few people who the horror and sci-fi genre owe more to than Rod Serling. The creator of THE TWILIGHT ZONE, THE PLANET OF THE APES and NIGHT GALLERY, Serling became the face and voice for a whole new style of storytelling, using shocking and thought provoking allegories to elevate the often unfairly derided horror and sci-fi genres into the zeitgeist. And it’s a testament to Serling’s incredible work that the show still remains in syndication, and a fervent topic of discussion among horror fans, over 56 years later.

 

4. Marilyn Burns

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Arguably the first, and most effective, scream queen, I’ll save my efforts here to redirect you all to my lobbying argument from the 2015 Chainsaw’s here.

 

3. Bela Lugosi

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While his career may have ended with the likes of Ed Wood, there’s no denying how iconic Bela Lugosi has been to the horror genre. A benchmark in terms of his legendary figure and performance in Tod Browning’s DRACULA, Bela remained one of the genre’s most reliable performers, turning up in such memorably macabre fare as WHITE ZOMBIE, THE BLACK CAT, THE WOLF MAN, ISLAND OF LOST SOULS and ABBOTT AND COSTELLO MEET FRANKENSTEIN. But above even that, Lugosi’s image has become so synonymous with vampires and horror that there’s nary a horror shop in the world that doesn’t offer some product adorning his frightening visage.

 

2. Boris Karloff

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Why is Boris Karloff more deserving than Bela Lugosi of a spot within the FANGORIA Hall of Fame? Perhaps because Karloff broke out of the shadow of his iconic turn as Frankenstein’s Monster while paying respect to the multiple avenues that the horror genre had to offer. Following his roles in James Whale’s FRANKENSTEIN films, Karloff went on to become a master of his craft in the service of Mario Bava, Roger Corman, Karl Freund, Robert Wise and Jack Hill, becoming one of the most prolific and respected genre performers of his time, or of any time for that matter.

 

1. Alfred Hitchcock

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Really, FANGORIA Readers? The Master of Suspense isn’t in the Hall of Fame? Ridiculous. You’re better than that.

And now, some honorable mentions who unfortunately did not make the cut:

Alamo Drafthouse head honcho Tim League
There’s few contemporary voices who have done so much to expand the world of horror than Tim League. His work on THE ABCs OF DEATH have shown new, international cinematic voices within the genre to a wealth of fans who otherwise would have never seen them, and there’s few locations that celebrate horror films both old and new better than the Alamo Drafthouse.

HANNIBAL/DEAD LIKE ME Creator Bryan Fuller
Outside of having contributed to the horror genre in the past, Bryan Fuller has redefined the lengths at which grue and horror can be served on network television. So much so that Fuller will be FANGORIA’s very first guest editor on #343, an honor that is only second to making the FANGO Hall of Fame itself.

TIE: Masters of Horror Literature Edgar Allen Poe / H.P. Lovecraft
If Stephen King and Clive Barker can make the FANGORIA Hall of Fame for their respective contributions to and adaptations within horror, then Poe and Lovecraft should stand right besides them.

Horror Acting Extraordinaire Katharine Isabelle
Although her GINGER SNAPS co-star Emily Perkins resides in the FANGORIA Hall of Fame, Isabelle has somehow escaped inclusion for all of these years, even though her resume touts the likes of DISTURBING BEHAVIOR, FREDDY VS. JASON, INSOMNIA, BONES, RAMPAGE, 30 DAYS OF NIGHT: DARK DAYS, AMERICAN MARY, 13 EERIE, SEE NO EVIL 2, GOOSEBUMPS, 2002’s CARRIE, SUPERNATURAL, BEING HUMAN and, of course, HANNIBAL.

The Godfather of the Midnight Movie, Alejandro Jodorowsky
Though his work has always leaned towards the fantastical and experimental, Jodorowsky’s cinematic visions have provided some of the most haunting and visceral images ever put to screen, and perhaps made one of the strongest serial killer films of all time with SANTA SANGRE.

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About the author
Ken W. Hanley

Ken W. Hanley is the Managing Web Editor for FANGORIA and STARLOG, as well as the former Web Editor for Diabolique Magazine and a contributing writer to YouWonCannes.com. He’s a graduate from Montclair State University, where he received an award for Excellence in Screenwriting. He’s currently working on screenplays, his debut novel “THE I IN EVIL”, and various other projects, and can be followed on Twitter: @movieguyiguess.

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