Trevor Strnad of The Black Dahlia Murder delivers his list of essential horror flicks

Posted by Ramon Gonzales in Culture on September 23, 2020

The frontman offers a collection of the genre’s most disturbing and most influential titles that remain among his favorites.

The parallels between the metal community and the culture of the horror genre have long been synonymous with one another. Among the artists that have tastefully integrated the two, few do it as well as The Black Dahlia Murder.

Particularly versed in his knowledge of horror cinema, frontman Trevor Strnad has championed the genre though his music and by sharing selections that people really ought to experience. In short, Strnad’s horror credentials really are second to none.

Strnad has compiled a list of essential horror flicks that among his personal favorites. The collection spans from classic titles that anchor the genre to modern offerings that push the boundaries of the conventional horror movie.

In addition, Strnad offers commentary on each film, detailing how they have influenced Black Dahlia Murder tracks, were among his childhood favorites, or have disturbed him enough to share it with the world. Check the list below.

Buio Omega (Beyond the Darkness)

Strnad – Directed by Italian smut lord Joe D’Amato, Beyond The Darkness is crazy as hell and had a big influence on the lyrics of what has ended up being our most popular song to date, “Deathmask Divine”.  A tale of love, loss, and embalming your own recently deceased girlfriend.  If you’ve ever wanted to see someone get their fingernails ripped out by pliers, this is your movie! 

Hereditary 

Strnad – This is the last great modern horror movie I saw.  It fucked me up, how a good horror movie should.  The tension builds and builds and builds until you almost can’t take it anymore.  By the end of this movie you’ll feel like absolute shit (in the best way possible).  Truly a striking, disturbing effort.  Midsommar was cool, but it’s got nothing on this. 

Evil Dead 2 

Strnad – This is definitely one of my favorites.  The blend of horror and comedic elements works incredibly well here.  I’ll never forget the first time I saw this at my friend’s birthday party in 7th grade.  His older sister snuck out of the house and pounded on the window during a really tense moment, sending us jumping ten feet out of our preteen skin. 

Dawn of The Dead 

Strnad – I’m talking about the original here, not the remake.  This might be tied with Evil Dead 2 as my favorite horror movie of all time.  It’s a bit of a slow burn, but the sense of apocalyptic dread this film exudes is almost palpable.  I feel like this of all the zombie movies was the most influential to the wildly popular Walking Dead series. 

Halloween 2 

Strnad – Again I am talking about the original film, not the remake.  I feel this was a great sequel yet somehow doesn’t seem to get mentioned in the same breath as the first movie.  This one saw a bit of a turn away from the voyeurism/stalker vibes of the first into what we now know as a full-blown slasher movie. Michael Myers in the hospital after dark is just too fucking scary. 

Martyrs 

Strnad – A mindfuck of a movie that will leave you feeling shook long after the credits have rolled.  Gave me some of the same lurid “I want to delouse my brain” feelings as Hereditary. 

Creepshow 

Strnad – A classic from my youth, the first two movies in this series never get old.  The perfect dosage of terror, campiness, and all things 80s.  We modeled our “Everything Went Black” video after this movie and it was one of the best videos we’ve ever done. 

Inside 

Strnad – Another truly disturbing movie that would inspire yet another horrific The Black Dahlia Murder song.  A young mother goes crazy after losing her baby in a horrible accident.  She goes to horrific extremes to become the mother she was always meant to be.  While some movies only insinuate violence, the unapologetic, unflinching gore in this movie is second to none.  

Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2 

Strnad – I used to watch this movie over and over at my neighbor’s house on fucking BETA MAX.  99% of you are too young to even know the format, but it was at one time a competitor to VHS tapes.  It’s maybe not quite as scary or realistic as the first, but goddamn, it’s a riot.  Bill Mosley brings a lot of black humor to the fold here, delivering line after line of quotable outbursts.  Great gore and one of the most fucked up families you could ever have the displeasure of meeting make this a Halloween homerun.   

It Follows 

Strnad – Gotta show some love to a movie set in my homeland of Detroit.  The plot revolves around a supernatural sexually transmitted disease that turns a group of teens worlds upside down. For a lower budget movie, this is really quite a success. 


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