9. Peeping Tom - Michael Powell
Throughout the 1940s and 1950s, Michael Powell was among the most respected names in cinema. In collaboration with his directing, producing and writing partner Emeric Pressburger, Powell had lent his name to such time-honoured, family friendly classics as The Red Shoes and A Matter Of Life and Death.
However, in 1960 Powell tried his hand at something very different indeed in the form of Peeping Tom - and the resulting film pretty much derailed his career.
Hand in hand with Alfred Hitchcock's Psycho (which was made and released that same year), Peeping Tom is widely regarded the birthplace of the slasher movie. Carl Boehm stars as Mark, a nudie pin-up photographer and aspiring filmmaker, whose social awkwardness masks a horrifying secret: he's a serial killer preying on young women, impaling his victims on the lethally sharp leg of his camera tripod and capturing the moment of death on camera.
To say this was pushing the envelope for the time is a major understatement. The critical establishment which had previously heaped praise on Powell were appalled, and the backlash hit the director hard. Though previously prolific, he would direct only five more films and a few TV episodes in the years ahead, before passing away in 1990.
Happily, Peeping Tom has long since been re-evaluated, and is now widely recognised as a truly groundbreaking horror classic.