I watch horror movies, pretty much nonstop, all year long. Every October, though, I kick it into overdrive beginning at the first of the month. There’s something about the fact that horror movies are readily available on TV, regardless of whether or not they’re censored for content. Even if I have a movie on DVD/Blu Ray, I’ll still watch it from beginning to end if I see it on AMC or one of the other stations celebrating the holiday. I have no idea why. As big as my archive is, I can pretty much watch whatever horror movie I want, on-demand, and uncensored. I just can’t help it. If mainstream television stations wish to celebrate the season, I’m going to participate in their celebration.
All of that said, there are certain films that have become a ritual for me each season. More often than not, these films are not offered as a viewing option. Some of these films will be entirely obvious, hell, most of them will be. These are the films that, to me, make the season what it is. Some of you may not agree with these picks, but at the very least, you should be able to appreciate their relevance. Keep in mind that this is in no way a ranked list. All films are in the order that they came to me.
This is an odd little film. It never quite developed the following that it deserves. Hell, some people outright hate this movie. I really have no idea why, as it’s almost the perfect little film to celebrate the occasion. Not only does it physically take place on Halloween, but it encompasses the sort of mean-spirited side of the holiday that doesn’t often happen. Yeah, Michael Myers murders people on the holiday, but even he does so with gravitas. In Satan’s Little Helper, nobody is safe. And while yes, it is entirely mean-spirited, it’s still fun as hell to watch. It’s fun to see a little boy’s depraved video game fantasies come true, and the implementation of the point system for real-world kills is fantastic. If, for whatever reason, this one has managed to fly underneath your radar, 2012 may be the year to put this one in your brain. It’s a little late in the game for you to be able to order the flick online in time for your Halloween festivities, but it HAS been spotted in budget bins such as Walmart, Best Buy, and even Kmart. It can also be rented via YouTube for $2.99.
This one should be a no-brainer. This is a new-gen, Halloween epic incarnate. And, while it’s not the first “stoner” movie to be made, it is definitely the pinnacle of stoner-horror. Many great weed related horror films have been release since this bad boy was unleashed, but none of them were quite as successful as this, in my opinion. With a young cast of fresh talent, an absurd premise, and a phenomenal soundtrack, Idle Hands should be on all of your watch lists for the season. How cool is an asthma inhaler converted into a make-shift sneak toke pipe? Tell me, after seeing this, who DIDN’T try that out at least once? Idle Hands does what other movies of the like often forgets to do when making a horror comedy. It brings the funny. There’s plenty of blood to be had, and of course, there’s Jessica Alba back when she used to eat cheeseburgers. This is one movie that is LONG overdue for a Blu Ray release. It’s criminal that it hasn’t happened yet. No Halloween experience is complete without at least one viewing of this film. Unfortunately, I haven’t seen it for purchase at any physical stores. So, if you don’t already have this in your collection, you probably won’t be watching it this Halloween. At least not legitimately.
I know, I know. It’s a remake, and some of you have been programmed to hate them regardless of whether or not they’re entertaining. It’s sickening to me, really, that people can’t just get their head out of their ass, and enjoy a film. The construction of a remake does not entail sending out brownshirts to destroy every existing copy of the original material, so get your panties out of a knot and let us have some fun, ok? Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE the original Night of the Demons, but for the purpose of this list, I’ve chosen the remake. It’s a fast and fun movie, with a killer soundtrack, and an excellent cast. You tell me that an age-worn Ed Furlong isn’t the perfect casting choice for a scumbag drug dealer. To me, Furlong was better here than he has been for a long time. I like him in almost everything, good or bad, but he just fit the part here, I thought. This, to me, is a movie you can watch with a younger, non-horror nerd friend during the month of October, and it will go over much better than any classic would. And to be honest, any time I think about Halloween after viewing this movie, I think girl-on-girl Type O Negative…
The obvious choice. I questioned whether or not I should include this title on my list. I don’t know anybody that DOESN’T watch this film every year. But, as ritualistic as it is, I felt like, however cliche it is, I have to include it on my list. Trick r Treat is, for almost everyone, the perfect Halloween movie. It helps that it revolves around the holiday, of course, but the most important thing about this film, and the reason it should be on all of your lists, is because it’s fucking good. Sooner or later, my hope is that theaters that celebrate the season will catch on to this, and yearly screenings will ensue. It’s a crime against man that this film didn’t see a wide theatrical release in the first place, but why not remedy that by making it available for fans to see in a theatrical setting once a year? For now, the Blu Ray will have to suffice. If you don’t already own this movie, it is your own fault that you won’t be able to have this little piece of Halloween magic as part of your holiday celebration. For me, and I may do this again, this goes perfect as the second half of a double feature, preceded by Creepshow, of course.
Yes, I know. The OTHER obvious choice. Believe it or not, though. Outside of the horror geek community, this is pretty well a universally loathed film. To be fair, though. Most people that claim to hate it, either haven’t seen it for a LONG time, or haven’t seen it at all. It can’t be a coincidence that the biggest complaint is the lack of Michael Myers. This film is infamous for that, and developed the hate behind it because of that fact alone. In reality, it’s a fantastic little mean-spirited Halloween movie. I love pretty much all of the Halloween sequels, with the exception of maybe Resurrection(Trick or treat, motha fucka!), but how cool would it have been if the idea of different, Halloween themed horror movies would have been released each year, rather than the beating of a dead horse that followed this film? Oh, what could have been. Luckily for us, This year we can view Halloween 3 in all it’s HD glory. Scream Factory have released the title on Blu Ray, just in time for the season, and it looks and sounds fantastic. If you don’t already have this, PLEASE pick it up before next Halloween.
So, there you have it. This is five films that I would suggest to any horror fan for ritualistic Halloween viewings. Feedback is always welcome. Is there anything you would have added or subtracted? If you were to combine all five of these films into one night’s worth of movie viewing, it would make for an epic Halloween. Especially if you can do so in great company. At the end of the day, that is what Halloween is all about. Reliving childhood memories, and making new, great memories with the people that you love. Happy Halloween from The Liberal Dead. Make this year as epic as you possibly can.