After Dustin Boltjes of Skeletonwitch — one of our newest writers — contributed a column on must-see horror flicks, we decided to open the topic up to the members of other bands. Why? Well, in addition to music and literature, we’re huge movie buffs and feel maybe your life could benefit from a big screen broadening.
So here for you now is a new column from Mike Weintraub, basssist for Old Wounds, whose new EP is available for purchase here.
I’ve always enjoyed the horror genre. The good, the bad, the unbelievably bad. My earliest memories were of switching on HBO in the mid-90s to catch “Tales From The Crypt” and maybe half of the time I was able to make it through the show’s one and a half minute long intro without pissing myself.
But I really dove into horror and developed a love for it in my teen years. I remember signing up for a message board, Bloody-Disgusting.com, in the early 2000s. It was there where I was exposed to the classics (“Evil Dead,” “The Texas Chainsaw Massacre,” “Friday the 13th,” etc.), the exploitative (“Cannibal Holocaust,” “I Spit On Your Grave”), the foreign (“Ichi the Killer,” “Battle Royale,” “Versus”), and the countless nearly unwatchable sequels (“C.H.U.D. 2,” “Ghoulies 2” through “4” — ugh!)
I like to think that I’ve seen a lot over the years and with any “top three” list, it can be quite difficult to choose, but here’s a trio that have always stood out in my mind as some of the best/most fun horror flicks to throw on any given night, especially when the moon is full and you’re home all alone…or some spooky shit like that.
This 1982 movie is such a trip. Kurt Russell. Antarctica. Metamorphosing alien. Hello! Fucking dogs?! These things all added up to create one of the most suspenseful and thrilling tales ever recorded on film. The creatures are flat out nuts. From the “Blair-Thing” to the “Kennel-Thing.” Thank you, Stan Winston, for haunting my dreams with yet another delightful monster.
It’s hard for me to think of another movie that’s left me as impressed by the makeup, props, and overall mind-fucking it does to you. The way it happens here makes me feel like I’ve been huffing Sharpie paint markers for two whole hours and I love it.
Way before Peter Jackson ever touched a green screen, discovered his fetish for motion capture technology, or had the chance to take the world’s most prized oversized primate and make him ice skate, he wrote and directed this gem.
This…fuck. This is perhaps the most perfect gross-out zombie movie of all time. The low budget hand-crafted visual effects are on point. The stupid amount of dismemberment in this one really satiates my lust for blood and splatter. The gags are all there (who doesn’t enjoy the sight of an ear falling off into a bowl of custard?)
I’d say that this is New Zealand’s answer to Evil Dead, for sure. I’ll also even go as far as to suggest that if, hypothetically, there were someone in a position who had the power to cease all horror movie production in the world for eternity, who determined that this was the film to end it all, I’d say, “That’s fine.” That’s how confident I am in “Dead Alive.”
(A quick little note: I remember buying a bootleg DVD of the unrated version from a vendor at a convention for $20. The video quality was lowest of the low and throughout the entire length of the film there were Spanish subtitles that you couldn’t turn off. The lesson learned? Maybe don’t buy bootlegs you can’t preview before purchase and definitely don’t pay $20 for it.)
Five short films balled up into one? All written by Stephen King? All directed by George Romero? All touched by the grace of Tom Savini? Has the world gone topsy turvy?! Well, duh.
This here is a very unique piece of scary cinema. The anthology format has never shined brighter in a feature film than it has in “Creepshow.” One of the shorts has Stephen King playing a goofball redneck who comes upon a meteorite that lands on his farm. Long story short, like an idiot, his character touches the damn thing and winds up spreading a plant-like organism all over himself and his house.
Eventually he turns into one big walking plant and then he blows his leafy green brains out. That’s how it ends. Personally, I always thought it would be cooler if he turned into a giant bud of weed and smoked himself to death. But as they say — you say toe-mato, I say ta-mato.
Honorable mentions: “Fright Night” (1985), “Cube,” “The Host,” “Tucker and Dale vs. Evil”
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