Actually the oil filter design is fairly well thought out when you consider the options.
If the filter is oriented vertically, then when you loosen the filter oil spills down over the entire circumference of the filter, very messy, and if its hot it'll burn your hand. It also makes the filter slippery to grip. However, you can pre-fill the new filter all the way and screw it back onto the block without a drip.
If the oil filter is oriented horizontally, then when you loosen the filter more than half the contents of the filter want to spill out immediately, no problem if you leave it cracked and let it slowly empty into the catch pan. But if you're in a hurry it can be very messy. Either way the oil wants to drip down the side of the block, along seams, down the pan, and onto any frame rails that might be in the way. On top of that its either very messy or a complete waste of time pre-filling the new filter.
With the angle of the Cleveland filter, when you loosen the filter only a small stream flows out at the junction of the filter & block, as the stream quickly slows it begins to drip down the filter and then downward into the catch-pan from the bottom of the filter. Nothing drips down the side of the block or pan. The new filter can be pre-filled about 3/4 of the way and screwed back onto the block without a drip. This is overall the least messy orientation ... and allows for filter pre-filling.
Some clever guys use a pointed tool like a large center punch, using a hammer they punch a hole in the bottom of the filter and let the filter drain its contents into the catch pan prior to loosening the filter. That method works pretty good for all orientations. However high pressure oil filters which are made of thicker tin are difficult to punch a hole in.