Top 20 guilty pleasures for men -- Our list of the greatest macho movies out there

By Chris Nashawaty
Updated March 23, 2007 at 04:00 AM EDT

These 20 macho, high-octane movies will help turn your living room into your very own grind house. The sticky floors and ripped seats, however, are your responsibility.

1. Escape From New York
1981 Want to know why Russell was cast in Grindhouse? Then check him out as Snake Plissken: an eye-patched badass on a suicide mission in a maximum-security prison known as Manhattan.

2. Vanishing Point
1971 In a decade that was wall-to-wall with great car-chase flicks, this is one of the greatest. Watch and wonder why Barry Newman didn’t become a star.

3. Mad Max
1979 Remember when Mel Gibson was young and dangerous instead of middle-age and kinda bananas? No? Check out the import that brought him to America.

4. A Fistful of Dollars
1964 Sergio Leone’s first spaghetti Western captures the exact moment when Clint Eastwood became a squinting, gun-slinging legend.

5. Dawn of the Dead
1978 The alpha and omega of zombie movies. George A. Romero’s splatterfest unleashes the undead on a Pennsylvania shopping mall.

6. The Warriors
1979 Ahhh, New York City in the ’70s. The subway cars were covered with graffiti and you wouldn’t dare step outside without mace. This candy-colored street gang epic shows you why.

7. The Bird With the Crystal Plumage
1970 The ”Italian Hitchcock,” Dario Argento, serves up a knife-wielding lunatic, Italian models in peril, and a super-funky Ennio Morricone score. Bravissimo.

8. The Street Fighter
1974 If you’re finished with the Bruce Lee cannon, Sonny Chiba should be next. He may not be pretty, but he gets the job done…with extreme prejudice.

9. Piranha
1978 After the success of Jaws, grind houses were overrun with schlocky underwater knockoffs. This one, directed by Joe Dante and written by John Sayles, is the best of the bunch.

10. Zombie
1979 The Cadillac of Italian zombie films…which is saying something. They cranked ’em out like pizzas. Lucio Fulci’s masterpiece is both terrifying and hilarious — a zombie battles a shark!

11. El Topo
1970 If David Lynch directed a spaghetti Western and edited it together with The Passion of the Christ, it might look something like this. Love it or hate it, it’s a true original.

12. Maniac
1980 From the same man who would later bring you Maniac Cop and Vigilante, this slasher flick is utterly gonzo, with enough mommy issues to make Norman Bates seem well-adjusted.

13. Dolemite
1975 Shaft‘s Richard Roundtree was tougher. Super Fly‘s Ron O’Neal dressed better. But Dolemite‘s Rudy Ray Moore was the comic Everyman of the blaxploitation genre.

14. Raw Meat
1972 Also known as Death Line, this British horror movie features a deranged serial killer who lives and lurks in the London Underground.

15. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Garcia
1974 Sam Peckinpah’s most nihilistic film — no small feat — stars Warren Oates as a sleazy gringo messing with the wrong guys on the wrong side of the border.

16. Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill!
1965 Sexploitation auteur Russ Meyer was called ”King Leer.” But his buoyant starlets were hardly Shakespearean talents. Still, it’s hard to have more fun watching crap.

17. My Bloody Valentine
1981 Halloween was the classiest, and Friday the 13th had the best gimmick, but this slasher flick was the most criminally under-appreciated of the genre.

18. Dr. Jekyll and Sister Hyde
1971 No one combined corsets and classy scares like England’s Hammer Films. Is it a Victorian chamber piece or a gender-bending chiller? You decide.

19. The Big Bird Cage
1972 Women-in-prison films are dicey. While some step over into misogyny, here’s a rare good one that plays it tongue in cheek. Plus, Pam Grier sings!

20. The Clones of Bruce Lee
1977 Perhaps the oddest ’70s B-movie subgenre was the campy rash of martial-arts films that slavishly resurrected the late Bruce Lee. It was like the Far East version of Tupac.