Serial killer films and television shows have become an epidemic for streaming services. We've probably all seen Conversations with a Serial Killer: The Ted Bundy Tapes or Mindhunter could recite at least 10 famous serial killers and their entire story. However, have we ever thought about the beginning of this infamous Hollywood theme?
While it definitely didn't start in this decade, but we're here to argue that the 60s was the point in time where serial killers in film jetted off and totally contributed to what we have now. Here are the 10 best serial killer films from the 1960s, ranked, for your next crime binge.
10 Room 13 (1964)
This crime thriller is kind of cheesy, so it'll take the last slot on this list. This film follows a serial killer who murders women of a night club. A detective is on the case, searching for this killer, but he keeps up coming short with gangsters in the area.
This film is based on a novel, so, clearly, there's some artistic success there. This movie is also directed by Harald Reini, who has literally over 70 films that are the exact same cheesy, killer-frenzy style. So, if you're looking for a 60s crime film binge, here you go.
9 Bluebeard (1963)
This serial killer film takes place in France during World War 1. Landru, a father of four, makes his way through Paris and contacts women through newspaper ads. He seduces them, lures them, and eventually kills them. Again, this movie is pretty cheesy, and it definitely checks off all the boxes of a regular serial killer film. So, of course, you have to watch it. This director also dabbles in many French films, so if you're bilingual, you can watch creepy killing movies dans Français.
8 The Strangler (1964)
This movie tells the story of Leo Kroll, a lab technician who strangles and murders young nurses. This movie is full of mother-issues (like he kills his mother's nurse so she dies, kind of thing), and it's definitely guilty of perpetuating this common serial killer theme.
This is a pretty straight and narrow serial killer story, but it takes place in a hospital for an extra spin on things. This is as serial-killer cliche as they get, so you must give it a watch. Plus, it even got a 6.6/10 on IMDb, so we suggest you give it a go for a taste of 60s serial killers.
7 The Flesh and the Fiends (1960)
This film takes place in 1828 Scotland and actually has another medical take on serial killers. A surgeon, Dr. Knox, does medical research on dead bodies. The catch, though, is that he buys these bodies from two serial murderers, and doesn't dare ask questions about where they've gotten them from. This is actually a pretty interesting story, and still has all the serial-killer goodness you're looking for.
6 Nightmare in Chicago (1964)
This movie follows a police chase as they try and hunt a serial killer who is targeting blonde women in the city of Chicago. This film ends is a high-speed car chase through the crazy highways of this busy city, so you'll get your fill of car action and serial-killer crime.
In fact, this movie is much more about the intense catch of the culprit, so, if you're looking for a less murdery serial killer film, this movie just may be the one for you.
5 No Way to Treat a Lady (1968)
This film is another story that follows an intense police investigation. A serial killer is playing a sneaky game with the police detective who is trying to catch him. Christopher Gill is a killer who disguises himself while tricking and strangling his victims. Moe Brummel is a police detective who receives phone calls from the killer, and they begin a game of cat-and-mouse. This film also has a few interesting side stories, and it'll definitely keep you on the edge of your seat. Who doesn't like a fun mystery game between a cop and a serial killer?
4 Eyes Without a Face (1960)
This movie is definitely a strange, disturbing one. It's a different twist on the regular serial killer film, but that doesn't mean it isn't great. This film follows a surgeon after he causes an accident that leaves his daughter's face disfigured. So, what does he do? Naturally, he tries to give a daughter a new face. How? He kidnaps young women and attempts face transplants.
Not at all shockingly, these transplants are extremely unsuccessful. Things get even worse when his daughter discovers what he's been doing. Yeah, this is a creepy classic with a benevolent spin. Give it a watch.
3 The Boston Strangler (1968)
This film takes the true story of the infamous Boston Strangler. When a series of brutal murders take place in Boston, a complicated and intense manhunt begins. This film focuses on the police investigation, and we get to see the whole story almost exclusively from the detectives' perspectives.
This story is actually incredibly intriguing, and the way this movie frames these events is definitely enthralling. This movie even got nominated for a Golden Globe, so we definitely suggest it. Who doesn't love true crime police investigations about serial killers, right?
2 Peeping Tom (1960)
This film is honestly a classic. It follows a young man, Mark Lewis, who is a photographer and filmmaker for a film studio. He is obsessed with fear (which is weird, but whatever), and Mark is also a cold-blooded killer who serially murders women, and uses a movie camera to film their terrified final moments.
Yeah, this movie is pretty messed up, but, if you haven't seen it, we're not sure you can call yourself a serial-killer film lover. This film has a 7.7/10 on IMDb and has honestly been a pretty popular choice for old serial killer films. You have to give this creepy film a go.
1 Psycho (1960)
We would be madmen if we didn't put this classic on the #1 spot on this list. Honestly, this film made waves for the serial killer film, and it is definitely the reason we have many of the movies we have today. Directed by the brilliant Alfred Hitchcock, this film follows the story of Norman Bates, a young man who runs a motel under the instruction of his wicked mother.
When Lila Crane, a secretary fleeing after robbing her boss, stops at the motel, things get a bit murdery. If you haven't seen this film, you better hang up your serial-killer fan hat, because you're only faking it.