The Academy Awards, AKA,the Oscars, have a notorious history of nominating dramas beyond all other categories. In fact 49% off all the Best Pictures out there are dramas, according to Oscar. Fighting for the left over scraps of best picture awards are the genres, in order comedy, epic, musical, action-adventure, war, suspense, and crime. Horror doesn’t make the list, having only one win for best picture 90 years. And if you’re wondering about how comedy came in second, you’re not alone. According to the Oscars the greatest comedies of all time include Tom Jones (1963), The Sting (1973),The Apartment (1960), Terms of Endearment (1983), Driving Miss Daisy (1989), Shakespeare in Love (1998) and American Beauty (1999). Hilarious?
While they seldom win best picture, or anything at all, some really landmark horror films have been nominated for Oscars. Here’s a history of Horror at the Academy I like to call
“The Phantoms of the Oscars”
1927 – Metropolis
Winner for Best Picture: Wings
Why it should have won: Metropolis is a ground breaking picture way ahead of it’s time in calling for sex robots and middle management. The special effects are still mesmerizing as is the performance of Bridgette Helm.
Why it didin’t Win: Too weird, too nihilistic ,too German.
Verdict: Oscar the Grouch!
Winner of Best Picture: Cavalcade.
Why it should have won: Groundbreaking special effects, infectious enthusiasm. Hot monkey on girl action.
Why it didn’t win: Oscars known anti-monkey prejudices.
Verdict: I think Oscar is trying to make it up to the original King Kong by giving an Oscar to every King Kong since and even that imitator Mighty Joe Young. Unfortunately all this just feels like a slap in the face. Stop awarding the copycats and just give a honorary oscar to the OG already.
1935 – Bride of Frankenstein
Winner of Best Picture: Mutiny on the Bounty
1939 – The Hunchback of Notre Dame
Winner of Best Picture: Gone with the Wind
Winner of Best Picture: The Apartment
1968 – Rosemary’s Baby
Wins:1 Best Actress in a Supporting Role, Ruth Gordon
Winner of Best Picture: Oliver!
Note: We have our first horror movie to win an Oscar! Although the real stars didn’t win – Roman Polanski’s oscar nominated screenplay and the amazing lead actress Mia Farrow.
1971 – A Clockwork Orange
Nominations: 4, including best director, best picture, and best writing
Winner of Best Picture: The French Connection
Note: Watch the French Connection back to back with A Clockwork Orange to experience what it must have been like to live in 1971, a time when Oscar had balls.
1976 – Carrie
Winner for Best Picture: Rocky
Should have won: Taxi Driver
Note: Still basking in the ballsy glow of Oscar in the 70’s
1980 – The Shining
Nominations: 0, 0? Seriously? That movie ruled.
Wins: You can’t win if you’re not nominated.
Winner of Best Picture: Ordinary People
Note: The 70’s ended with one of the greatest horror movies of all time not even getting nominated.
Wins: 1 for best visual effects! We have our second Oscar winning Horror movie!
1982 – Poltergeist
1982 – Blade Runner
Winner of Best Picture: Ghandi
Note: We can all agree 1982 was an awesome year for movies and we can all agree cyborgs and ghosts in the TV could take Ghandi for a ride any time they want.
1984 – Ghostbusters
Winner of Best Picture: Amadeus
Note: Since the telephone had only been invented early that year, American’s were captivated by it. The Ghostbusters “Who You Gonna Call?” theme song was nominated for best original song Oscar but lost to Stevie Wonder’s “I just Called to Say I love You.” Both of them make great voicemail messages.
1991 – Silence of the Lambs
Wins: 5 including Best Picture
FINALLY! Thank you Oscar. I’ll stop bitching now and let you go back to business as usual.
1993 – Nightmare Before Christmas
Winner of Best Picture: Schindler’sList
Note: Lets see you try selling Schindlers List babydoll T’s at Hot Topic!
1995 – Se7en
Winner of Best Picture: Braveheart
2005 – Pan’s Labyrinth
Note: It took 15 years but we finally have another Horror(ish) film winning multiple Oscars. That means on my top ten list of Oscar winning horror it’s number 2, right after Silence of the Lambs, and right before Alien, Rosemary’s Baby, and 6 empty slots.
If there’s any justice in the Academy Hellboy II will get the Oscar for best Makeup, beating out critic favorites Benjamin Button and the Dark Knight. Go watch the Troll market scene again and tell me that’s not as good as old age stipple and runny clown face.