Well, you made it through another spine tingling year horror enthusiasts. It is now November and we’re all crawling toward upcoming holidays and the closing of 2017. For the last month we spent our time indulging in the horror genre with the best offerings for the witchy month of October. The list below is a spoopy, cweeeeepy and scurry countdown to the marvelous night of candy soliciting and jumping out of your skin! The fare of films below are catered to that nostalgic horror kid in all of us. In the tradition of late night slumber parties a majority of these films were prime targets for our rental bloodlust. For me they embody the sentiment of the Halloween Spirit. Whether it be ghouls, dracs, wolves, masked slashers, corn lovers, carnies, scurcrows, undead or the reincarnated these films will be enjoyed on the coldest of fall nights.
We dare you to watch them all, enjoy.
31. Children of the Corn / 1984 / Dir. Fritz Kiersch
A potential favorite in a “Thanksgiving horror list” this film also works for the fall centered October — see depictions of “crop care”. Need a group costume idea? Why don’t ya’ll dress up as the children from the corn? Drab Button ups and droopy scarecrow hats.
30. The Slumber Party Massacre/ 1982/ Dir. Amy Holden Jones
Nothing screams late night shenanigans and horror movie sleepovers like a slumber party massacre! You know the kids just went back to school and a driller killer is on the loose. Soup Easy Halloween costume would be the driller killer. Just need tons of denim and an impressive power tool.
29. Deathship / 1980 / Dir. Alvin Rakoff
Although DEATHSHIP could be included in a summer horror movie marathon it deserves to be mentioned for its unique take on the “haunted house” genre of horror flicks. After all haunted houses are a big part of Halloween. Halloween Garb: Be that girl covered in blood from that shower scene.
28. Future-Kill / 1985 / Dir. Ronald Moore
he stars of Texas Chainsaw Massacre are back and now involved in some strangeo radioactive Scfi-Horror drama! Future-Kill follows a group of fraternity brothers who mess around with the wrong crowd, Splatter’s Crowd. If you are in need of a Halloween costume this season – please be Splatter! I don’t think this Halloween costume has ever been attempted so I am officially on a hunt to see someone dressed as the forgotten horror madman SPLATTER!
27. Body Parts / 1991 / Dir. Eric Red
Oooh. Now we’re getting into the early 90’s. Scary! Most importantly we are watching a movie starring Jeff Fahey. I guess when he’s not mowing lawns (see Lawnmower Man) he’s getting an arm sewn on — Frankenstein style – that once belonged to a serial killer! As for Halloween Costumes if you’re not already dressing up like the Lawnmower man you could just be one huge amputated arm.
26. Creepshow / 1982 / Dir. George A. Romero
The Creepshow films are the collaborative effort of George A. Romeo (see definitive living dead filmmaker) and Stephen King (see definitive horror writer). It is definitely a “Creep Show” as the bone chilling tales are the optimum peek at different categories in the horror genre. Halloween Costume Idea: CRATE MONSTER! CRATE MONSTER!
25. Creepshow 2 / 1987/ Dir. Michael Gornick (Who dis?) W/ Writers George A. Romeo & Stephen King
See Above Entry. Also try these fabulous costumes:
- Oil Spill Lake Monster – Tarp over your head
- Old Wooden Head – Might not want to do, appropriation.
- Crate Monster – Just put yourself in a crate with some rubber monster hands or something.
- Birthday Cake – be the headless woman dressed as a cake
- Jordy Verrill – Either covered in the parasitic plant or just dumb ol’ hillbilly
- Head in the Sand – Lots of sand in lots of bad places
- A cock-a-roach – Huge nasty bug thing!
- Adrienne Barbeau – Cuz uh, why not
- Sea Zombies – Lots of green streamers
24. The Mutilator / 1984 / Buddy Cooper & John Douglass (co-director, whut)
Ah yes, the ultimate in beach slashers. The Mutilator is an often forgotten about 80s horror cult classic in the slasher sub genre. Originally titled Fall Break the story follows a group of carefree college co-eds, one of which committed matricide. They now find themselves being hunted in paradise by the revengeful and drunken father. Costume: Babes in Bikinis with a fishhook planted somewhere.
23. Witchboard 2 / 1993 / Dir. Kevin Tenney
Oh so you and your basic lady friend want to go as a matching Halloween costume. Well for this DIY costume all you need is two white T-shirts, high waisted light faded jeans and an ax. Throw in a ouija board and you got one banging costume. You could go together as the ghost that is trying to possess you and kill you violently with an ax! Clever!
22. RawHeadRex / 1986 / Dr. George Pavlou and written by Clive Barker
Clive Barker is a master of horror and he further cements himself as the writer of this foreign horror sleeper from the 80’s. Best viewed on a rainy day with tons of mac and cheese RawHeadRex is genuinely terrifying at moments but then the demon will make the “derpiest” face EVER! You know it! You gotta be the Rawhead for Halloween!
21. Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers / 1988 / Dir. Dwight H. Little
Halloween Costume idea? Meh, I’m tired of the Michael Myers look. It’s too obvious. But I really love Jamie Llyod’s haunted clown costume with the simplistic mask and big red clown nose. Definitely going to be a hot costume this Halloween season.
20. Chopping Mall / DIR. Jim Wynorski / 1986
OK. Chopping Mall is not necessarily the scariest horror movie ever made — but lets face it, horror goes BEYOND needing to be scary and can include many other genres. Comedy being one of it’s likely pairs. Chopping Mall is a feast of nostalgia for americana and human experience. Unfortunately we humans like to experience shopping at our finger tips — it could cost you an arm and a leg! Halloween Costume: Be that strange married couple from the start — Yassss Mary Woronov.
19. Intruder / 1989/ DIR. Scott Spiegal
Intruder is again one of those great late night 80s slumber party dream movies. It probably gets grouped into those slasher films that use their settings as a crutch — and it does. The story takes place entirely in a super market! A great pick for any halloween stormy night — don’t forget the bread, or you might be dead! *Just practicing my own silly gimmick lines*
18. Friday the 13th Part 3 / 1982 / Dir. Steve Miner
Ok. I’m just going to put it out there. Friday the 13th Part 3 (in gloriously bad 3D technology) is the best Friday the 13th film — EVER. No, culty fans of The Final Chapter or zombie heads from Friday the 13th 6 Jason Lives those are not as good as the third entry to the franchise. Why? The gore and kills are top notch both inventing new horrific ways to be murdered but also referencing past friday the 13ths (see pregnant dead chick and Kevin Bacon similarities). Halloween Costume: Shelley! With that clear mask and really unruly curly hair!
17. Salems Lot / 1979 / Dir. Tobe Hooper
Salem’s Lot makes the list because it is the ultimate in vampire terror! A Tobe Hooper classic that at times is a slow burn but worth the skin graphs as you experience gut wrenching terror from the unfolding of this late seventies classic. Vampires? Fading journalist? All spoopy halloween costume ideas.
16. The Funhouse / 1981 / Dir. Tobe Hooper
he Funhouse is one of those movies that has creep value from start to finish. It also contains one of the most underrated monsters in slasher horror history — just simply known as The Monster. I enjoy it for it’s colorful teenage exploration of the vibrant visiting carnival and for it’s surreal horror when they enter the Fun House. Halloween costume? I sure do love that laughing china lady at the end of the film.
15. Howling 2 / Dir. Philippe Mora (sounds foreign)/ 1985
Howling 2 has some amazing….wait a second, this is a pile of garbage! Yes, the film is not really that good at all. HOWEVER, it has some amazing sequences and shots in the film that go unnoticed. It also has one of the best horror film posters to emerge from the 80’s. I can’t help but be fascinated by this film from the horrible swipe editing techniques to a drunken werewolf orgy! There is a charm here and it can only be appreciated by being drunk at a slumber party. I dare you to be the lady from the film poster – super hipster cool.
14. The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2 / 1986 / Dir. Tobe Hooper
OK I WILL CUT IT OUT WITH THE TOBE HOOPER FILMS! The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2 is on this list because of its absurdity, gore and radical departure in tone from the original father film. The film has an impressive scare scene as well with Stretch unknowingly unleashing Leatherface to destroy precious vinyl records in the TV station. Be a representative from K-OKLA Red River Rock and Roll!
13. Night of the Living Dead / 1968 / Dir. George A. Romero
It doesn’t even really need to be said — Night of the Living Dead is the zombie film that began the craze. We all were infected with zombie fever with this late 60’s journey into horror. George A. Romeo would later become known as the Zombie Master with Dawn of the Dead and the ever now popular Day of the Dead. Halloween Idea: Zombie? Yeah, but try and be creative you can literally DO ANYTHING with a Zombie costume.
12. Halloween 2 / 1981 / Rick Rosenthal (who the?)
What I really like about the sequel to the original trick or treat slasher is that it takes place inside a hospital. I don’t think this gets mentioned enough but it is in the same realm of films like Intruder or Chopping Mall in that it uses its setting as a crutch for basically telling the same story as the previous installment. But it is a wonderful follow up, love that fake wig on Jamie Lee Curtis. Be that wig, lace-front.
11. Return of the Living Dead / 1985 / Dir. Dan O’ Bannon
Where George A. Romero’s zombie films were more on the serious spectrum Dan O’ Bannon’s Return of the Living Dead mixed both horror and comedy into one delicious viewing experience. ROTLD is pure 80s fab trash late night horror indulgence. It makes this list because of one really notable scene. The scene with the ooey-gooey Tar Man! If you have to be the tar man for Halloween then please just let me know which parties you are going to so that I don’t have to endure that kind of horror. K, thanks.
10. Rocktober Blood / 1984 / Dir. Beverely Sebastian
The film culminates in an exciting 30 minute blood bath mixed with a concert ending. I bet you’ve never experienced that before! Everything about this film is late night eat yourself into a coma trash and I gotta say I LOVE IT! You really have to see it to believe it, kiddies! Someone please find that mask for Halloween!
9. Halloween 5 The Revenge of Michael Myers / 1989 / Dominique Otherin-Girard
We have to add pretty much every Halloween film in this list — because duh. This almost out of the 80’s sequel has a delicious car chase that we can never get enough of! There is just something that happens to our blood when that bumping Halloween music blasts over running children and strange odd-ball Tina. I guess you could be Michael Myers for Halloween….
8. Halloween 6 The Curse of Michael Myers / 1995/ Joe Chappelle
I will tell you this much — I WILL NOT BE PUTTING THAT Busta Rhymes sequel on here, shudders. I just could never do that to my loyal gore hounds. But, if we have to include the Revenge we also have to bring you the CURSE. Halloween 6 actually has some really great moments — we’re looking at you Paul Rudd. Halloween Costume Idea: Be Paul Rudd (Note: we’re really running out of ideas for the Halloween franchise.)
7. Halloween H20: 20 years Later / 1998 / Steve Miner
Previously you saw the Revenge and the curse, now we give you the WATER. H20 (horrible gimmicky title) is actually a great follow up to the original two Halloween films. It has that 90s smart writing flare (also see the Scream-like film poster) and it is just great seeing Jamie Lee Curtis — and not being murdered in five minutes like in Resurrection. We will be impressed with short haired Jamie Lee Curtis costumes — duh!
6. Waxwork / 1988 / Dir. Anthony Hickox
A great mixture of all things spooky — werewolves, vampires, slashers and more! Also no one can say no to Zach Galligan. What an 80’s babe. We will be mouthwatering over your Galligan tribute costume.
5. Fright Night 2 / 1988 / Tommy Lee Wallace
Superb soundtrack, amazing creature features and the return of the most important people from the first film make Fright Night 2 one of the most enjoyable Halloween films to watch. It has a great moody atmosphere and a killer female villain — we don’t see that often! Embrace your inner feminist and be a seductive powerful vamp for Halloween.
4. PumpkinHead / 1988 / Stan Winston
Perfect holiday fare. Pumpkins, conjuring deceased demons to enact revenge, just usual bikers gone wild stuff. The perfect mix of your Halloween hijinks with also a touch of Lance Henriksen, enough said. We’re sold. We’ll also watch the following sequels because why not? Halloween Costume: Pumpkinhead Spice Latte. Kewt.
3. Dark Night of the Scarecrow/ 1981 / Frank De Felitta (fellatio)?
Gotta have a movie with a killer scarecrow from beyond the grave on a Halloween horror list. Am I right? If you have a potato sack laying around you can easily be the above shocked emoji face scarecrow or even Jason from Friday the 13th part 2, your choice.
2. Halloween / 1978 / Dir. John Carpenter
Not having this near the top of the list would probably enrage many fans. So here it is. Halloween, the original bloodbath that started the entire franchise. It is now canon for any horror fan during the scary month. It has all our favorite friends too: Laurie Strode, DR. Loomis and Michael himself. You won’t be disappointed by watching this on Halloween night. And we’re suggesting Dr. Loomis as your Halloween costume this year.
1. Halloween 3: Season of the Witch / 1982 / Tommy Lee Wallace
Kids all over america are about to scream — because we have a controversial number one on this mega Halloween list. Halloween 3 should be regarded as a Halloween favorite, even possibly the best one in the series. Now I know you are scratching your head because if your memory serves you right, then yes, this is the one Halloween film in the franchise that does not center around Michael Myers. Well then why is it SOOO GOOD?! Terrifying plot centered around witches trying to murder every joyful trick or treater in America. Not enough? Lazer Beam jump scare that completely obliterates a woman’s face. Not enough? Scary robot killers? Still? Tom Atkins and that mustache. Whew, gotta fan myself. The original intention of the Halloween series was to be an anthology of sorts centered around the spooky night of Halloween. One has to wonder what other directions they would have gone if everyone didn’t have Michael Myers hysteria. I consider it to be the ultimate Halloween movie to watch — and that’s a wrap.
Oh yeah, I’d get your hands on a genuine silver shamrock mask just so you can experience true Halloween spooks.
Thanks for reading.