Generally speaking, the films on this list span the 1970s through the '90s. But some 1960s were so good and so gory, they qualified for the list. Among them are the films of H.G. Lewis; George Romero's "Night of the Living Dead"; and Polanski's horror classic "Repulsion."
It's true this "Psycho"-inspired film is quite dated. It evoked laughter when I saw it at a revival house in San Francisco. But incredible black-and-white photography and atmosphere make Polanski's first English-language films a must-see for fans of the genre. Fortunately, a wonderful print of it was re-released to video in 1998 by Columbia Pictures.
Deneuve plays a seriously disturbed London manicurist whose obsessive fear of sex is driving her insane. When her roommate/sister Furneaux leaves town for a week, Deneuve goes way over the bend, killing a man who wanted to date her and seeing visions of hands emerging from walls and a phantom rapist.
It's an amazing movie and set the stage for Polanski's ultimate horror triumph, "Rosemary's Baby," which he directed just three years later.