12. PRESTON FOSTER AS DR. WELLS IN DOCTOR X (1932)

It might seem tame by today’s standards, but think about what passed for horrific back in 1932. Blood was virtually non-existent in films, and Universal owned the horror genre with the fictional monsters Dracula and Frankenstein. But director Michael Curtiz’s (who went on to shoot Casablanca nine years later) Doctor X, packaged as a serial killer mystery, explored the nastier and more reality-based subject of cannibalism. A homicidal maniac leaves a trail of cannibalized bodies and a case of hidden identity for a reporter (Lee Tracy) to uncover, and, though Doctor X doesn’t show much teeth-to-flesh activity, it implies a great deal of grossness perfectly suited for strong imaginations and weak stomachs.