It’s that time again! Yes, the holiday before The Holidays™ is upon us, which means crappy store-bought costumes, stale, hard candy left over from last year’s Halloween party, and of course, crappy Halloween movies.
I’m not sure which person in Hollywood was the person that decided that it was okay to release horror films throughout the entire year, thus diluting what was already a shallow pool to begin with, but that person needs to be executed using some combination of the most contrived horror film shtick out there.
That’s where your trusted Busboy, the definitive voice on movies, comes in. I’ve compiled a list of the ten creepiest, kookiest, most mysterious, and spookiest films that will make your Halloween party the best on the block.
So, without further adieu …
10. Rocky Horror Picture Show
That’s right everybody. RHPS comes in at the bottom of the list. I don’t know how to describe the RHPS phenomenon adequately. It’s a cult classic that’s become mainstream over the years. In fact, can we stop calling it a cult classic now? When your songs are featured on “Glee”, the following two things happen:
Even so, the film does feature a bunch of sexual deviants in costumes, so it’s relevant to every Halloween party ever, and there’s always at least one person who insists on watching it every year, so it makes the list.
9. It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown
Ah, Peanuts. You’re wholesome, mildly amusing, and moralistic without being pushy about it. There’s absolutely nothing about you that says “Halloween”. So why on Earth does the Great Pumpkin outrank Tim Curry in fishnet stockings on my list of Halloween films?
It’s the most important Halloween movie ever made.
No, I’m not speaking out of some sense of childhood nostalgia – quite the opposite, really. Halloween when you’re a kid and Halloween when you’re an adult are two very, very different experiences. It would be a faux pas, however, to wear your “Sexy Fill-In-The-Blank” costume to a party with children present. The solution? Set the kids down in front of the TV, put in the DVD, and let Charlie Brown babysit your kids while the debauchery happens all around them!
Halloween as an adult without Snoopy and the gang? A very scary prospect, indeed.
8. Van Helsing
So, next on my list is an especially crappy, yet essential, Halloween movie. You see, like any party, you need a way to politely tell your guests to “Get the hell out”. It’s a tricky proposition, because you need to be subtle and polite, yet firm, because you don’t want a bunch of people passed out on your floor or taking up every bedroom in the house, including your own. On the other hand, you don’t want to alienate these people so that they don’t come to future parties that you may wish to throw. Enter Van Helsing.
Just make sure that everyone knows that they either have to watch the movie or leave, and and watch the place become as empty as a “New Kids on the Block” reunion concert.
I know what you’re thinking: “If I wanted to put in a crappy movie with lame vampires and werewolves, I’d pick ‘Twilight’,” but trust me, people won’t get the hint that they should leave.
Ah, the “Seven Deadly Sins”. You know, the stuff that makes us bad people because we’re people. Or as they are better known “those homunculi from Fullmetal Alchemist”. But even before FMA, there was another place for folks to learn about how stuff you’re doing every day is killing you.
Because everyone is guilty of likely more than one of these sins, the film has that oh-so-important “that could have been me” quality that makes a film truly terrifying. Oh, and it has Brad Pitt asking life’s most important question: “What’s in the box?”
And just in case I absolutely have to say it, that last clip is most definitely NSFW.
6. The Sixth Sense
I originally wanted to put “The Last Airbender” at this spot on the list, just for yucks. Still, this film has enough of “Oh yeah, I remember this movie” going for it so that folks at your party will sit around and be entertained long enough for you to finish spiking the punch or whatever it is you folks do while guests are still arriving.
For added terror, find someone at your party who hasn’t seen the movie and tell them “Bruce Willis is dead” fifteen minutes into the movie. If a chair being swung at your head by someone who managed to avoid having the movie spoiled for them for this long isn’t terrifying, I don’t know what is.
Unless you’re just not a fan of being entertained, it’s tough to not like Blade. It’s got action, gore, sex – everything you want in a Halloween movie. It also serves as a reminder of what vampires used to be like, before Stephenie Meyer ruined them forever.
It’s important to remember that, like the Matrix movies, the first one is the only one that’s any good, so make sure that you don’t make the mistake of picking up any of the sequels.
Ah, zombies. They’re the product of the laziest plot ever conceived: “The dead come back to life and attack the living, and no one knows why.” The alleged “horror” of the zombie movie comes from two major elements:
In a large number of these movies, there’s always the implication that the zombie problem will continue to grow until society collapses. I call bullshit on this. Do you really think the government wouldn’t blow a town off the map in order to save the rest of the world? You bet your red-white-and-blue-lovin’ ass they would. Also, there’s no way that a zombie outbreak would effect the entire world. Those corpses would either disintegrate in the ocean or get crushed if they ever tried to make their way underwater. No, in these films, the outbreak spreading is always the result of everyone being as stupid as possible at all times. While I’m not one to underestimate the human creature’s capacity for stupidity, I’m just not buying it.
Enter Zombieland. It’s got lots of action as well as all the gimmicks and cliché that consumers of this creatively-bankrupt genre have come to love, adding an edge of humor and satire to win over even the most discerning film viewers.
Plus, it has Bill Murray. Badass.
Speaking of Bill Murray, what Halloween party is complete without a viewing of Ghostbusters? A shitty one, that’s what. It’s a film that is as exalted as RHPS, but without transvestites, musical numbers, and unlike RHPS, Ghostbusters has an actual sense of humor. It’s also the film that teaches us the timeless lesson of “If someone asks if you’re a god, you say yes”.
Also, if someone at your party doesn’t love this film, throw them out. Immediately.
2. Vampire Hunter D
Action. Blood. Sex. These are the things that every Halloween movie for adults has in common. But depth? Never. Characters in horror films never have to have much personality, since they’re only alive for a few minutes, or otherwise spend the rest of the time running in terror from the monster du jour. Vampire Hunter D, however, has depth. A half-vampire with questions about his own existence who goes out hunting vampires while trying to stem his own evil urges? This is far too complicated a story for Hollywood. Nope, they’d rather write a script about “a monster who chases a girl around while she tries to get help” for the millionth time. That’s okay, D. You’ll always be a guest of honor at my party.
For the record, the movie really is as cool as the trailer makes it look.
1. Street Fighter
Yes, yes. I hear what you’re saying, and no, Street Fighter isn’t technically a “Halloween movie”. But it is the scariest movie ever made. It literally killed Raul Julia. It features Jean-Claude Van Damme trying to play an American military officer.
What’s more, it features a lot of the same things you’d expect in a traditional horror film:
Terrible acting? Check.
An improbable plot? Check.
Plenty of moments where you cover your eyes in horror? Check.
When you add in the fact that it involves people in terrible costumes, it’s hard to dispute that Street Fighter is the perfect Halloween movie.