Halloween is a time to embrace the darkness. By darkness, I mean the spooky and macabre, not dancing around to The Smiths and secret cutting.
That being said, the perfect way to get yourself in the mood for tricks and treats is with a movie marathon. However, horror movies are like wine or porn. Everyone has their own personal preferences, predilections and opinions. Theres reality horror like Paranormal Activity or torture porn like the Saw franchise. Theres classics like A Nightmare on Elm Street, Hellraiser, and Friday the 13th. And we mustnt forget the eponymous Halloween.
Either way, these all boil down to your own taste. So heres a list of some non-traditional choices so you can dodge the complex politics of the Fangoria set. Theyre also convenient if youre the type who is scared of the dark.
This Disney film has become a Halloween classic. At first, a comedy with Bette Midler, Kathy Najimy and Sarah Jessica Parker as witches who steal the souls of children might seem like a tough sell. Instead, the movie has become an instantly quotable cult classic. This family-friendly comedy has become the Halloween equivalent of A Christmas Story. It also is notable for being Parkers most attractive role to date. Plus, you get to remember Thora Birch before her dark indie American Beauty make-under.
There are entire generations that are unfamiliar with the Hollywood Golden Age movie monsters. Dracula, The Wolfman, Frankenstein, and the Mummy are not just famous historical novel characters, theyre also major movie stars. This 1980s comedy features a group of foul-mouthed tweens serving as humanitys last hope against these ghastly ghouls. Think The Goonies meets Buffy the Vampire Slayer.
“Mad Monster Party?”
Everyone knows Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer and Santa Claus is Coming to Town, however, people dont know that somewhere in a bargain bin there exists a Halloween stop-animation classic. Mad Monster Party? features an epic theme song on par with a Bond movie. It also boasts the vocal talents of horror-movie icon Boris Karloff and comedy queen Phyllis Diller. What more could you want than Boris Freaking Karloff?! Plus, a bunch of walking, talking kid robot-looking toys is pretty awesome.
“Elvira, Mistress of the Dark”
Comedian Cassandra Peterson has turned Elvira into an industry. She made genius business choices and retains the rights to her trademark character. This 1988 film features a bizarre bloodcurdling bio for the buxom babe. Elvira heads to a sleepy Puritan town after a long-lost aunt leaves her a strange inheritance … Given her
gifts (i.e. bewbs), they instantly breed fear and hate in the town. Her only hope is to embrace her identity as Mistress of the Dark and save the town. Theres plenty of double entendres, tits & AHHHH! and a ton of comedy actors including Edie McClurg, Kurt Fuller and even Grease star Jeff Conaway.
“Return to Oz”
This movie is fucking creepy! The 1985 unofficial sequel has some loose ties to the MGM classic, but it is much darker and includes some of the freakier aspects of the L. Frank Baum novels. Theres humanoids with wheels attached to their extremities, a witch who steals heads and a talking Pumpkinhead. The Craft star Fairuza Balk stars as a more age-appropriate Dorothy, who has been locked in an insane asylum. It also features the super-spooky Jean Marsh and Piper Laurie.
“Killer Klowns from Outer Space”
A lot of people hate clowns. This movie gives them a good reason. A group of man-eating aliens that conveniently look like circus clowns start taking over a small town by wrapping people in cotton candy and drinking their blood. The premise is stupid, the acting is bad, but like with the Sharknado franchise, the filmmakers were in on the joke. There also is talk of a sequel coming soon.
“The Addams Family”
Before Christina Ricci was relegated to making Lifetime movies and Anjelica Huston was that old lady from Smash, they were in this great movie remake. Adapted from the classic series, this movie finds the freaky family navigating the present day with their uniquely monstrous point of view. Its funny, spooky and altogether ooky. It also boasts a pretty decent sequel, Addams Family Values.
“Its the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown”
The “Peanuts” franchise may not have been able to capture great adult dialogue, but it did have a great handle on the holidays. This film finds your favorite cartoon characters celebrating Halloween in style. Lovable Linus gets center stage as he stays up all night in order to try and make The Great Pumpkin” a thing, but, hey, at least he wasnt trying to make “Fetch” happen …
“The Rocky Horror Picture Show”
If you cant make it to a midnight matinee of this cross-dressing classic, be sure to add it to your Halloween movie queue. It boast Oscar Award-winner Susan Sarandon dancing in her underwear, having sex with a transvestite and porn idol version of Frankensteins monster. The soundtrack is mesmerizing and memorable and features a pre-man boob Meat Loaf. It will see you shiver with antici
“Shaun of the Dead”
Simon Pegg and Edgar Wright put a comedic spin on the zombie genre. Theres the typical trappings of hidden bites, head shots and supreme sacrifices, and it also features Peggs take on coming of age. Plus, there are tons of hilarious jokes. This movie is a great off-beat addition to your Halloween celebrating.
These are just a few fun films for you to avoid frightening yourself too much or losing your lunch to. Enjoy, and share your favorites below.
* … pation.