1992 is often labeled by genre fans as a pretty sup-par year in horror, but I’m here calling bullshit on those misguided spun tales via cinephile snobs. There were some stinkers in the form of sequels via some heavyweight franchises like Hellraiser 3: Hell On Earth and Alien 3 (my opinion folks, they DO suck balls); which may just be the reason why horror fans give this year, in particular, some grief. But the horror season of 1992 brought some FANTASTIC cinematic terror to the fans that really shouldn’t be overlooked in the shadow of these popular franchise failures.
So here we go, an official ranking here at Nightmare Nostalgia of the best horror movies of 1992 turning the dirty 30 this year!
Honorable Mention: Demonic Toys
Before you ask, the answer is yes: I would much rather sit through Baby Oopsie Daisy’s devilish sense of potty mouth humor than sit through Alien 3.
Full Moon’s whacky horror about a couple of toys in an abandoned warehouse that are anything but, is Full Moon doing what it does best; to entertain. It’s not Puppet Master material but it was popular enough with the Charles Band crowd to spawn a couple of crossovers and sequels, including one with Toulon’s marionettes themselves. It’s cheesy bad but in all the right ways. Sometimes I just want to watch a bunch of powerful demons parading around as innocent playthings trying to help bring about the birth of the Antichrist, and this does the job.
Mikey- another killer kid film that gives all skeevies that well, killer kids in film do so well. Family Ties star Brian Bonsall goes from loveable child star to Terry O’ Quinn Stepfather staus in this 1992 psychological horror. Mikey is an abused child and that trauma leads to his homicidal tendencies, including one gnarly scene with a baseball bat that would leave Negan from the Walking Dead grinning like a proud father.
Worth noting a few Nightmare On Elm Street alumnis’ make an appearance in the movie- Whit Hertford (A Nightmare On Elm Street 5: The Dream Child), and Mimi Craven (A Nightmare On Elm Street and Wes Craven’s wife) while also using Freddy in the tagline for the film: “Remember, Jason and Freddy Were Kids Once, Too.” Just an interesting tidbit I thought I’d throw in.
9. Lawnmower Man
While Stephen King absolutely hated this adaptation of his short story from “Night Shift” so much he sued to have his name removed from the film, in actuality I don’t think it’s that bad at all. And a horrifying precursor to how advanced technology can really fuck with your mind. Men sure love to play God as history has told time and again and as mankind advances, the more maniacal we become.
Anyway, I appreciate it for what it is. Mind fuck your way over to Amazon for a copy for your collection!
King had some serious displeasure with Lawnmower Man, but in ’92 the master of horror wrote his first featured film NOT based on any of his previous works in Sleepwalkers, and is completely underrated if you’re asking me. The film has a ton of horror icon cameos like Clive Barker and Tobe Hooper and is a Stephen King penned movie directed by Mick Garris surrounding vampires and cats. That’s really all I need to enjoy myself here.
7. Dr. Giggles
If you’re asking me, Larry Drake’s Dr. Giggles is an entirely overlooked horror icon and I’m here to set the record straight: “Laughter is the best medicine.” And if you read any of my mental health and horror-related pieces and resonate, you would totally agree. It’s full of fun, gore, and smart filmmaking where you wouldn’t think you would find any. Yet here we are, talking about Dr. fuckin’ Giggles.
6. Bram Stoker’s Dracula
Anyone trying to fill the shoes of Bela Lugosi is likely going to come up a fang or two short, but goddamn I do love Gary Oldman as Dracula. Plus, any movie with national treasure Keanu Reeves in it, is okay by me. The Academy, although they mostly get these things wrong, recognized the 1992 visual stunner with four awards that year. Pretty impressive and a monumental win for the horror genre. The gothic tale of romance and horror is a great watch for a dreary Sunday afternoon or just any time you feel like watching Oldman at his best.
5. Pet Sematary 2
Without question, the greatest thing about Pet Sematary 2 is Clancy Brown as asshole Gus Gilbert. While that may not be much of a powerpoint in terms of ranking it so high here, Clancy birthed a horror cult icon of sorts here and basically carried the film with this egregious character, and that counts for something. Especially in a film with a trending star such as Edward Furlong. He stole the whole show and gave us another side to Stephen King’s immaculate tale of tragic death and the human experience.
4. Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me
David Lynch doing what he does best and fucking with the minds of audiences is nothing short of just fantastic. The prequel to the television series “Twin Peaks”, Fire Walk With Me chronicles Laura Palmer’s final days leading up to her death and finally revealing her killer. It was pretty goddamn exciting back in the day and watching it now just brings me pure hypnotizing joy diving into Lynch’s strange world of visual symmetry.
3. Braindead (Dead Alive)
Although Peter Jackson’s Braindead wasn’t released in the US, and had a name change, until early 1993, it was released in the director’s home of New Zealand in 1992 as Braindead and that’s where I think it counts as a 1992 film; and by God, it is one of the best.
Hailed as one of the goriest movies to this very day, and exceeds all expectations in what a horror comedy can and should be. As a zombie film, it stands out from all others as being over-the-top pure fun but with a black-box warning as some of the scenes in this genre treasure are almost too sickening to watch, at least for those who have a serious gag-reflux anyway.
2. Army Of Darkness
I don’t even need to explain this all. If you question Army of Darkness‘ greatness in any shape or form, you shouldn’t even be here pal.
I’m one of those that enjoys Army maybe even a little more so than Evil Dead itself. Bruce Campbell’s character of Ash really came into his own as a legendary horror hero with memorable one-liners and a full-circle scope of who Ash Williams really is. Plus, the clay skeleton army is just a lot of fun.
Sweets to the sweet and there as shit isn’t anything sweeter to come out of 1992 than Candyman.
Clive Barker’s story of “The Forbidden” went visual this year, birthing a rare POC horror icon and no one could have done it or WILL EVER do it better than Tony Todd. This movie is so beautiful in terms of score, cinematography, and real-world horror revenge with a love story underneath all of it. There hasn’t been anything like it before, or since that moves my emotions in every direction quite like this film and stands as not just one of the greatest horror movies of 1992, but of the entire decade in itself.
That about wraps it up nostalgic nuggets! What would you add to the roster of 1992? The Gate II? Perhaps Innocent Blood? Sound off in the comments!