27. The Sentinel (1977)
Director: Michael Winner
Stars: Chris Sarandon, Cristina Raines, Martin Balsam, John Carradine, Jose Ferrer, Ava Gardner, Burgess Meredith, Arthur Kennedy, Sylvia Miles, Eli Wallach, Christopher Walken, Jerry Orbach, Beverly D'Angelo
With so many horror masterworks having debuted in the 1970s, it's understandable that several cinematic winners would ultimately fall under the nostalgic mainstream's radar.
The Sentinel, director Michael Winner's fascinating and bizarre adaptation of co-screenwriter Jeffrey Konvitz's same-named novel, is one of the decade's better unsung triumphs. Namely for its all-bets-off, see-it-to-believe-it finale, which sees the gates of Hell open, and freakish zombie-like demons run amok inside, the interior of a Brooklyn brownstone. The craziest thing about it, though: Winner cast a bunch of actual circus freaks and disfigured people to play the demons. Pure insanity. —MB