Action/Adventure, Best Movies, Classics, Crime/Mystery, Drama, Horror/Thriller

The Best Grindhouse Movies Of All-Time

“What are the best Grindhouse movies?” We looked at 187 of the top Grindhouse films, aggregating and ranking them so we could answer that very question!

The top 21 films, all appearing on 2 or more “Best Grindhouse ” movie lists, are ranked below by how many times they appear. The remaining 150+ movies, as well as the sources we used, are in alphabetical order on the bottom of the page.

Happy Scrolling!

Top 21 Best Grindhouse Movies Ever Made

21 .) Abby (1974) directed by William Girdler

Abby (1974)

Lists It Appears On:

  • List Challenges
  • Wicked Horror

When a minister’s wife becomes posessed by Eshu, the Nigerian god of sexuality, an exorcist is called in to drive the evil spirit away.

20 .) Bloodsucking Freaks directed by Joel M. Reed

Bloodsucking Freaks

Lists It Appears On:

  • List Challenges
  • Wicked Horror

Sardu, master of the Theatre of the Macabre, and his assistant Ralphus run a show in which, under the guise of ‘magic’, they torture and murder people in front of their audience. But what the punters see as a trick is actually real.

19 .) City of the Living Dead (1980) directed by Lucio Fulci

City of the Living Dead (1980)

Lists It Appears On:

  • IMDB
  • List Challenges

A young woman has visions that suggest the eruption of the living dead into the world through a portal, spurred on by the suicide of a priest.

18 .) Death Race 2000 (1975) directed by Paul Bartel

Death Race 2000 (1975)

Lists It Appears On:

  • Den of Geek
  • List Challenges

In a boorish future, the government sponsors a popular, but bloody, cross-country race in which points are scored by mowing down pedestrians. Five teams, each comprised of a male and female, compete using cars equipped with deadly weapons. Frankenstein, the mysterious returning champion, has become America’s hero, but this time he has a passenger from the underground resistance.

17 .) Equinox directed by Dennis Muren, Jack Woods


Lists It Appears On:

  • List Challenges
  • Wicked Horror

Four friends are attacked by a demon while on a picnic, due to possession of a tome of mystic information, and find themselves pitched into a world of evil which overlaps our own. Incorporates a 16mm amateur short film by Dennis Muren and Mark Thomas McGee, featuring author Fritz Leiber Jr., filmed in 1965.

16 .) Escape from New York (1981) directed by John Carpenter

Escape from New York (1981)

Lists It Appears On:

  • IMDB
  • List Challenges

In 1997, the island of Manhattan has been walled off and turned into a giant maximum security prison within which the country’s worst criminals are left to form their own anarchic society. However, when the President of the United States crash lands on the island, the authorities turn to a former soldier and current convict to rescue him.

15 .) Fight for Your Life (1976) directed by Robert A. Endelson

Fight for Your Life (1976)

Lists It Appears On:

  • BFI
  • List Challenges

A minister dispenses justice on three convicts who take his family hostage

14 .) Hobo with a Shotgun directed by Jason Eisener

Hobo with a Shotgun

Lists It Appears On:

  • Cinema Nerdz
  • Fandango

A vigilante homeless man pulls into a new city and finds himself trapped in urban chaos, a city where crime rules and where the city’s crime boss reigns. Seeing an urban landscape filled with armed robbers, corrupt cops, abused prostitutes and even a pedophile Santa, the Hobo goes about bringing justice to the city the best way he knows how – with a 20-gauge shotgun. Mayhem ensues when he tries to make things better for the future generation. Street justice will indeed prevail. ×

13 .) House on the Edge of the Park (1980) directed by Ruggero Deodato

House on the Edge of the Park (1980)

Lists It Appears On:

  • IMDB
  • Wicked Horror

Alex (David Hess) is a darkly sinister thug driving around New York City at night when he spots a young woman (Karoline Mardeck) driving alongside him. He follows the woman to a nearby park where he cuts her off, gets out of his car, and runs into hers where he throws her into the back seat and proceeds to savagely rape her before strangling her to death. He takes her locket as a trophy to another one of his many killings.

12 .) I Spit on Your Grave (1978) directed by Meir Zarchi

I Spit on Your Grave (1978)

Lists It Appears On:

  • Anti Film School Site
  • IGN

An aspiring writer is repeatedly gang-raped, humiliated, and left for dead by four men whom she systematically hunts down to seek revenge.

11 .) Please Don’t Eat My Mother! (1973) directed by Carl Monson

Please Don’t Eat My Mother! (1973)

Lists It Appears On:

  • IGN
  • NME

A middle-aged man buys a plant with a sexy voice that develops a craving for insects, frogs, dogs, humans…

10 .) Shogun Assassin (1980) directed by Robert Houston

Shogun Assassin (1980)

Lists It Appears On:

  • BFI
  • IMDB

A Shogun who grew paranoid as he became senile sent his ninjas to kill his samurai. They failed but did kill the samurai’s wife. The samurai swore to avenge the death of his wife and roams the countryside with his toddler son in search of vengeance.

9 .) The Exterminator (1980) directed by James Glickenhaus

The Exterminator (1980)

Lists It Appears On:

  • IMDB
  • List Challenges

A man’s best friend is killed on the streets of New York. The man (Robert Ginty) then transforms into a violent killer, turning New York into a great war zone and Christopher George is the only one to stop him.

8 .) The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (1974) directed by Tobe Hooper

The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (1974)

Lists It Appears On:

  • Anti Film School Site
  • Den of Geek

Five friends visiting their grandfather’s house in the country are hunted and terrorized by a chain-saw wielding killer and his family of grave-robbing cannibals.

7 .) Vampyros Lesbos (1971) directed by Jesús Franco

Vampyros Lesbos (1971)

Lists It Appears On:

  • IGN
  • NME

An erotic horror tale about a vixen vampiress seducing and killing women to appease her insatiable thirst for female blood.

6 .) Vanishing Point (1971) directed by Richard C. Sarafian

Vanishing Point (1971)

Lists It Appears On:

  • IGN
  • NME

Kowalski works for a car delivery service, and takes delivery of a 1970 Dodge Challenger to drive from Colorado to San Francisco. Shortly after pickup, he takes a bet to get the car there in less than 15 hours.

5 .) Coffy (1973) directed by Jack Hill

Coffy (1973)

Lists It Appears On:

  • BFI
  • IGN
  • List Challenges

After her younger sister gets involved in drugs and is severely injured by contaminated heroin, a nurse sets out on a mission of vengeance and vigilante justice, killing drug dealers, pimps, and mobsters who cross her path.

4 .) Ilsa, She Wolf of the SS (1975) directed by Don Edmonds

Ilsa, She Wolf of the SS (1975)

Lists It Appears On:

  • Anti Film School Site
  • Den of Geek
  • IGN

Ilsa is a warden at a Nazi death camp that conducts experiments on prisoners. Ilsa’s goal is to prove that woman can withstand more pain and suffering than men and should be allowed to fight on the front lines

3 .) The Baby (1972) directed by Ted Post

The Baby (1972)

Lists It Appears On:

  • BFI
  • List Challenges
  • Wicked Horror

A social worker who recently lost her husband investigates the strange Wadsworth family. The Wadsworths might not seem too unusual to hear about them at first – consisting of the mother, two grown daughters and the diaper-clad, bottle-sucking baby. The problem is, the baby is twenty-one years old.

2 .) Cannibal Holocaust (1980) directed by Ruggero Deodato

Cannibal Holocaust (1980)

Lists It Appears On:

  • Anti Film School Site
  • IGN
  • IMDB
  • NME

A New York University professor returns from a rescue mission to the Amazon rainforest with the footage shot by a lost team of documentarians who were making a film about the area’s local cannibal tribes.

1 .) Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill! (1965) directed by Russ Meyer

Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill! (1965)

Lists It Appears On:

  • Anti Film School Site
  • Den of Geek
  • IGN
  • List Challenges
  • NME

Three strippers seeking thrills encounter a young couple in the desert. After dispatching the boyfriend, they take the girl hostage and begin scheming on a crippled old man living with his two sons in the desert, reputedly hiding a tidy sum of cash. They become house guests of the old man and try and seduce the sons in an attempt to locate the money, not realizing that the old man has a few sinister intentions of his own.


The 150+ Additional Best Grindhouse Films


# Movies Directors Lists
22 2,001 Maniacs   Fandango
23 Aakrosh (1980) Govind Nihalani IMDB
24 Absence of Malice (1981) Sydney Pollack IMDB
25 Absurd (1981) Joe D’Amato IMDB
26 Across 110th Street   Den of Geek
27 Alligator (1980) Lewis Teague IMDB
28 Altered States (1980) Ken Russell IMDB
29 Amer Helene Cattet & Bruno Forzani Cinema Nerdz
30 American Gigolo (1980) Paul Schrader IMDB
31 Antropophagus (1980) Joe D’Amato IMDB
32 Bad Timing (1980) Nicolas Roeg IMDB
33 Battle Royale Kinji Fukasaku Cinema Nerdz
34 Beneath the Valley of the Ultra-Vixens   Den of Geek
35 Big Doll House   List Challenges
36 Billy Jack   Den of Geek
37 Birdemic James Nguyen Cinema Nerdz
38 Black Caesar (1973)   List Challenges
39 Black Christmas (1974)   List Challenges
40 BLACK GESTAPO   List Challenges
41 Blood Freak (1972)   List Challenges
42 Blow Out (1981) Brian De Palma IMDB
43 Bobbie Jo and the Outlaw (1976)   List Challenges
44 Body Heat (1981) Lawrence Kasdan IMDB
45 Brand Upon the Brain! Guy Maddin Cinema Nerdz
46 Cannibals in the Streets (1980) Antonio Margheriti IMDB
47 Chinese Super Ninjas   List Challenges
48 Christmas Evil (1980) Lewis Jackson IMDB
49 Class of 1984 (1982)   List Challenges
50 Contamination (1980) Luigi Cozzi IMDB
51 Contraband (1980) Lucio Fulci IMDB
52 Crazy Thunder Road (1980) Gakuryû Ishii IMDB
53 Cruising (1980) William Friedkin IMDB
54 Cutter’s Way (1981) Ivan Passer IMDB
55 Danger Diabolik   List Challenges
56 Dangerous Encounters of the First Kind (1980) Hark Tsui IMDB
57 Darktown Strutters (1975)   List Challenges
58 Dawn of the Dead (1978)   List Challenges
59 Day of Resurrection (1980) Kinji Fukasaku IMDB
60 Dead Hooker in a Trunk   Fandango
61 Death Hunt (1981) Peter R. Hunt IMDB
62 Death Proof   Fandango
63 Death Watch (1980) Bertrand Tavernier IMDB
64 Deep Throat (1972)   List Challenges
65 Detroit 9000 (1973)   List Challenges
66 Dogtooth Yorgos Lanthimos Cinema Nerdz
67 Dolemite   List Challenges
68 Dragon Princess   List Challenges
69 Dressed to Kill (1980) Brian De Palma IMDB
70 Eaten Alive! (1980) Umberto Lenzi IMDB
71 Effects (1980) Dusty Nelson IMDB
72 El Topo (1970)   Anti Film School Site
73 Encounters of the Spooky Kind (1980) Sammo Kam-Bo Hung IMDB
74 Enter the Dragon (1973)   List Challenges
75 Escape from Hell (1980) Edoardo Mulargia IMDB
76 Excalibur (1981) John Boorman IMDB
77 Eyes of a Stranger (1981) Ken Wiederhorn IMDB
78 Fade to Black (1980) Vernon Zimmerman IMDB
79 Father’s Day   Fandango
Female Prisoner #701: Scorpion (1972)
  List Challenges
81 Five Deadly Venoms   List Challenges
82 Five Fingers of Death (1972)   List Challenges
83 Flash Gordon (1980) Mike Hodges IMDB
84 Fleshpot on 42nd Street (1973)   List Challenges
85 For Your Eyes Only (1981) John Glen IMDB
86 Forbidden Zone (1980) Richard Elfman IMDB
87 Four Lions Christopher Morris Cinema Nerdz
88 Foxy Brown (1974)   List Challenges
89 Freaks   Den of Geek
90 Friday the 13th (1980) Sean S. Cunningham IMDB
91 Friday the 13th Part 2 (1981) Steve Miner IMDB
92 Funeral Home (1980) William Fruet IMDB
93 Gator Bait   List Challenges
Girls at the Gynecologist (Mädchen beim Frauenarzt, 1971)
95 Gloria (1980) John Cassavetes IMDB
96 Golem (1980) Piotr Szulkin IMDB
97 Grizzly   Wicked Horror
98 Halloween (1978)   Anti Film School Site
99 Halloween II (1981) Rick Rosenthal IMDB
100 Hammer House of Horror (1980) Nicholas Ball IMDB
101 Happy Birthday to Me (1981) J. Lee Thompson IMDB
102 Harlequin (1980) Simon Wincer IMDB
103 Heavy Metal (1981) Gerald Potterton IMDB
104 Hex (1980) Chih-Hung Kuei IMDB
105 Hollywood Shuffle   Den of Geek
106 House of the Devil Ti West Cinema Nerdz
107 Humanoids from the Deep (1980) Barbara Peeters IMDB
108 I Drink Your Blood (1971)   BFI
In the Jungle: The Making of Cannibal Holocaust (2003)
  List Challenges
110 Inferno (1980) Dario Argento IMDB
111 Invasion of the Bee Girls (1973)   BFI
112 Kamilla (1981) Vibeke Løkkeberg IMDB
113 Kill Bill Volume I and II   Fandango
114 Knightriders (1981) George A. Romero IMDB
115 La nuit de la mort! (1980) Raphaël Delpard IMDB
116 Lady Stay Dead (1981) Terry Bourke IMDB
117 Looker (1981) Michael Crichton IMDB
118 Lust for a Vampire   Den of Geek
119 Macabre (1980) Lamberto Bava IMDB
120 Machete   Fandango
121 Madhouse (1981) Ovidio G. Assonitis IMDB
122 Maniac (1980) William Lustig IMDB
123 Motel Hell (1980) Kevin Connor IMDB
124 Mother’s Day (1980) Charles Kaufman IMDB
125 Ms .45 (1981) Abel Ferrara IMDB
126 Mystics in Bali (1981) H. Tjut Djalil IMDB
127 Night of the Juggler (1980) Robert Butler IMDB
128 Night of the Living Dead   Den of Geek
129 Nightkill (1980) Ted Post IMDB
130 Nightmare City (1980) Umberto Lenzi IMDB
131 Outland (1981) Peter Hyams IMDB
132 Planet Terror   Fandango
133 Porky’s (1981) Bob Clark IMDB
134 Prom Night (1980) Paul Lynch IMDB
135 Rhythm of a Crime (1981) Zoran Tadic IMDB
136 Rubber Quentin Dupieux Cinema Nerdz
137 Savage Hunt of King Stakh (1980) Valeri Rubinchik IMDB
138 Scanners (1981) David Cronenberg IMDB
139 Schizoid (1980) David Paulsen IMDB
140 Shanty Tramp (1967)   BFI
141 Si yiu (1981) Chih-Hung Kuei IMDB
142 Spider Baby   Wicked Horror
SS Hell Camp aka The Beast in Heat (1977)
144 Sweet Sweetback’s Baadasssss Song   IGN
145 Terror Train (1980) Roger Spottiswoode IMDB
146 The Abductors (1972)   BFI
147 The Attic (1980) George Edwards IMDB
148 The Beasts’ Carnival (1980) Paul Naschy IMDB
149 The Beyond (1981)   List Challenges
The Bird With the Crystal Plumage (1970)
  List Challenges
151 The Boogey Man (1980) Ulli Lommel IMDB
152 The Boss (1973)   List Challenges
153 The Burning (1981)   List Challenges
154 The Changeling (1980) Peter Medak IMDB
155 The Children (1980) Max Kalmanowicz IMDB
156 The Chinese Boxer (1970)   List Challenges
157 The Devil’s Rejects   Fandango
158 The Doom Generation   Fandango
159 The Elephant Man (1980) David Lynch IMDB
160 The Fan (1981) Ed Bianchi IMDB
161 The Fog (1980) John Carpenter IMDB
162 The G.I. Executioner   List Challenges
163 The Last Hunter (1980) Antonio Margheriti IMDB
164 The Long Good Friday (1980) John Mackenzie IMDB
165 The Night of the Hunted (1980) Jean Rollin IMDB
166 The Ninth Configuration (1980) William Peter Blatty IMDB
167 The Other Hell (1981) Bruno Mattei IMDB
168 The Road Warrior (1981) George Miller IMDB
169 The Shining (1980) Stanley Kubrick IMDB
170 The Streetfighter (1974)   Anti Film School Site
171 The Stunt Man (1980) Richard Rush IMDB
172 The Undertaker and His Pals   Wicked Horror
173 The Unseen (1980) Danny Steinmann IMDB
174 The War of the Worlds: Next Century (1981) Piotr Szulkin IMDB
175 The Watcher in the Woods (1980) John Hough IMDB
176 Thief (1981) Michael Mann IMDB
177 Thriller: A Cruel Picture (1974)   Anti Film School Site
178 To All a Goodnight (1980) David Hess IMDB
179 Tucker & Dale vs. Evil Eli Craig Cinema Nerdz
180 Videodrome   Den of Geek
181 We’re Going to Eat You (1980) Hark Tsui IMDB
182 Without Warning (1980) Greydon Clark IMDB
183 X: The Man With the X-Ray Eyes   Den of Geek
184 Zigeunerweisen (1980) Seijun Suzuki IMDB
185 Zombi 2   IGN
186 Zombie (1979)   Anti Film School Site
187 Zombie Holocaust (1980) Marino Girolami IMDB



10 Best Grindhouse Film Sources/Lists

Source Article
Anti Film School Site Anti-Film School’s 10 Best Grindhouse Movies Ever!
BFI BFI | Sight & Sound | 10 Picks from the Grindhouse
Cinema Nerdz Ten Great Summer Grindhouse Movies
Den of Geek 13 Grindhouse Movies to Mourn the Loss of Blood Drive
Fandango The Grindiest of All Grindhouse Movies
IGN Top 10 Grind House Films
IMDB Greatest 80’s Horror, Thriller, Cult, Grindhouse & Exploitation Films
List Challenges 100 Grindhouse Classics – How many of these classic grindhouse
NME Five Grindhouse Films You Really Should’ve Seen By Now
Wicked Horror Eight Grindhouse Movies That Need To Be Rediscovered