Trick or treat? Every year I’m asked to make lists of movies for Halloween. Sometimes they’re a treat, other times they’re so disturbing and offensive you feel like you’ve been tricked. I wanted to pick some movies the casual horror fan might not have seen but I think will be glad they did. Here’s a little mix of both, I’ll let you decide which is which.
What can I say about Brian Yuzna’s dark and visceral satire about the rich feeding off the poor? It’s beyond explanation. It has all my favorite 80s movies tropes, and then not only twists them on their head, but inside out, upside down, and out someone’s ass. You’ll put it on and watch, and after the ending, you’ll either be so disturbed by what you’ve seen you’ll never eat again, or you’ll be shocked at how you never saw this masterpiece of special effects and body horror. Brian produced the classic Re-Animator, and then said “I think I’m gonna outdo it.” Decide for yourself if he did.
This was the movie that single-handedly got me disinvited to every party from 7th grade on. I went to a friend’s party and everyone was watching The Breakfast Club. Don’t ask me why, I had a VHS with me, and said “I have something way better than this.” I put on Re-Animator and the entire party cleared the room. People were freaked out by me for the rest of my teenage years because of that tape. Now THAT’S an effective movie. It’s so good it spawned several sequels and a live musical, and still shocks audiences to this day. Masterpiece.
This was the movie that got me into Italian horror, but I didn’t know it at the time. To get a film released in America, the Italians used European actors speaking English who they would then redub using the same few Americans. It gives the film this incredible alien quality like it’s from another planet, but once you lock in and just give over to it the style, it’s spectacular. This was the first time I really got Italian horror. It was so much faster paced and higher octane than American horror, like there were no rules. Also a fantastic score by Goblin, produced by the master Dario Argento, incredible makeup by Sergio Stivaletti, and directed by Lamberto Bava, son of master director Mario Bava. Tell me you’ve seen a more insane finale in horror movies. I don’t think one exists.
Okay, ignore what I just said above. This might be the best final shot in horror history. It’s everything I love about 80s slasher movies and the ending…well, I won’t ruin it. But you won’t forget it. Ever.
Stephen King writing and acting? George Romero directing? Tom Savini gore? Young Ed Harris and undead Ted Danson? Count me in. Five jolting tales of terror done in the style of the 1950’s EC comics. People know the show on Shudder now but not everyone has seen the film. Every story is so fun; pure Halloween cinema candy.