We here at Love Horror love Halloween (and not just by proxy). Every year, when the Celtic festival of harvest rolls around a wicked expression of unsettling menace creeps its way across our sunken faces. It’s the one day of the year that we are allowed to indulge our obsession with everything ghoulish and ghastly, donning grotesque costumes of rubber and nylon.
Inevitably, it also results in an influx of horror movie tedium. It’s always the same, endless re-showings of Halloween sequels plague our screens with their facile ventures into low grade fright flickery. So then, how do you avoid sifting through the sewage of video dungeon off cuts and ‘made for tv’ b*ll*cks in order to discover the perfect playlist of Halloween films? The answer is simple…we’ll do it for you.
What you see before you is a series of ‘top 5’ genre titles as chosen by the individuals here at the web site, each list designed to create the perfect night in on All Hallows Eve. They will both entertain and terrify you…enjoy!
Jonesy the Cat:
Hi, my name is Jonesy, I’m the one standing next to the nonchalant skeleton.
5.) The Garbage Pail Kids: Don’t think this is a horror? Lord knows it scared the s**t out of me. It was a toss up between this and Howard the Duck.
4.) Halloween: Obvious but essential. John Carpenter at his second best (The Thing is better). Less scary than it is brilliant, an exploration of sex and violence that does not patronise or exploit. Myers will haunt your nightmares.
3.) Snoop Dogg’s Hood of Horror: The D O double G minces his way through a series of Creepshowesque adventures. Includes demon dwarfs, urinal missfires, exploding chiwawas and Lando Calrisian. Perfectly awful stuff.
2.) Killer Condom: It’s all in the name. Team Troma and H.R. Giger wreak phychosexual havoc through New York’s seedy underbelly. A film more effective at encouraging abstinence than Twilight…
1.) Return of the Living Dead: “I can feel myself rotting…” For such a gloriously crappy movie, it did feature some cracking one liners! Admirable in both scope and stupidity, this film cannot be beat for perfect Halloween entertainment.
Mad Woman in the Attic:
A difficult challenge, but here is a list that has a bit of everything and is tailored to your Halloween needs (and yes, i carved that pumpkin, its not my face…or maybe it is?).
5.) George Romero’s gaudy and grotesque Creepshow to start with, a perfect way to ease into the festivities and a great accompaniment to pumpkin carving (i.e. not too scary, no one wants to accidentally cut their hand off in a moment of terror).
4.) Followed by Rob Zombie’s House of 1000 Corpses. A bit more scary and gory than the previous film, but still plenty of fun, plus some inspiration for those Halloween costumes.
3.) Its time to get a little bit more serious now, whilst still honoring the festive nature of the evening. The Wicker Man (1973, categorically NOT the 2006 abomination) is ideal for getting into the pagan mindset.
2.) Now something to ease the tension a little bit, maybe to watch with those left over trick-or-treat snacks: The Slumber Party Massacre. What’s Halloween without a bit of Slasher action? This overlooked gem has everything you’d want – girls in nighties, an insane killer – and it was written/directed by a couple of feminists, so there.
1.) Ok, it’s the big one, the fun’s over, something to scare you silly before bedtime: The Others. This was a tough choice, I nearly went with The Shining, but thought this would better to round out the evening. Its got a big isolated house, lots of darkness, dead people, small children and Nicole Kidman’s eerily white face. Perfect.
Damn! I wanted to have Creepshow in mine! Never mind, there are plenty of other great horrors that are perfectly suited to the nastiest night of the year…
5.) Zombie Flesh Eaters: Things go mad in a zombie kind of way when a apparently abandoned yacht returns to Manhattan from the West Indies. On board is a man who has been infected by some kind of ‘illness’ that causes him to eat people and turn them into zombies too. Okay, you’ve heard it all before, but have you ever seen a zombie wrestle a shark underwater? Didn’t think so.
4.) The Woman in Black: An excellent book, a highly regarded stage play, but have you ever seen the film? It’s pretty hard to get hold of (I got a VHS on bay) but this BBC production is still excellent, if a little bit basic. One of the best ghost stories around and a film that will really give you the chills. You’ll be looking over your shoulder for the woman in black for the rest of the evening (maybe the rest of your life) – guaranteed.
3. ) Tourist Trap: A killer who lives in an old tourist attraction and controls manequins via telekenesis to make them murder his prey. What more do you need to know? Oh, and he has a freaky doll-face mask. Nasty! Creepy, weird and lots of fun.
2.) Halloween 3 – Season of the Witch: So you want to watch a Halloween film on Halloween, but have seen the ‘original’ too many times? Well, before you resort to Rob Zombie, check out Halloween 3.
No Michael Myers, no psychopathic slasher, but instead an evil corporation wanting to kill as many people as possible on All Hallows Eve using their own TV sets.
1.) The Burning: One of the original slashers from the golden era of horror. You have your essential elements, a summer camp, some kids playing a prank (that goes horribly wrong), and the mutilated monster that wants revenge on any cocky teenagers that it finds. A little known hidden gem. Good, old-fashioned, slash-tastic horror!
Hello and happy Halloween to all our rabid readers. This is a picture of me from a Halloween party at Zombie1’s crypt a couple of years ago. As you can see decomposition has not been too good for my skin.
5.) Dead of Night: This 1945 British portmanteau movie includes a collection of random characters telling 5 tales of terror. Varying from the ridiculous gentlemen ghost’s in ‘Golfing Story’ to the petrifying puppet in ‘The Ventriloquist’s Dummy’ to the crazy nightmarish climax of the wraparound narrative each mini-masterpiece is sublimely short and scary and a perfect start to a monster movie marathon.
4.) Urban Legend: Urban myths and legends are contemporary fairytales which permeate our society not only shaping our morality and attitudes but scaring the bejeebus out of us in the process. A truly original modern slasher with some ingenious murders, Urban Legend takes all those stories you have heard, which happened to someone, who knew someone, and makes them real.
3.) The Thing: Choosing one John Carpenter film is a hard task especially when the man has directed such a variety of brilliant horror movies. As the most obvious choice has already been mentioned I have opted for this stone cold classic full of excellent performances, nail biting tension and great special effects. Snow covered tundra, Kurt Russell with a beard and a shape shifting monster which could be inside anyone ready to explode out and eat you – what more could you want.
2.) The Hitcher: Rutger Hauer is hypnotising as the psychopathic hell-bent hitch-hiker driven by unknown forces to relentlessly pursue the poor young guy, whose only mistake was to pick him up. Inspired by The Doors “Riders on the Storm” this is a flawless film with an iconic killer that stays with you even once the credits have rolled by.
1.) The Entity: Halloween is not complete without a good ghost story and this genuinely chilling 80’s horror classic is guaranteed to give you nightmares. With a simple story written by a twisted imagination and brought to life with some amazing effects, this is nasty supernatural chiller chock full of spooky scenes. It’s also supposedly based on a true story which makes it even more frightening.