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A Scary Feast for Hallowe'en!

Despite how hokey and contrived it is, I love Halloween. There’s nothing like the chill that runs up your spine when you sit around the campfire with the weenies a-roasting, trading eerie experiences and stories about hooks hanging from car doors.

When I was a kid, I loved watching monster movies.  Boris Karloff, Bela Lugosi, Lon Chaney Jr. and Sr., they all kept me up late into the night every Friday, when Ted Turner’s flagship station WTCG sent forth the Friday Night Frights on Channel 17. 

Yep, I loves me a good scary flick, and apparently Osbasso, Mr. HNT Himself, does too.  And, following Osbasso’s example, I figured I’d compile an off-the-cuff list of my top 10 favorite all-time scariest monster movies.

Number 10: A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984)

Freddy Krueger was a damn fine monster, end of story.  The sequels were ridiculous, but the first ‘Nightmare’ was an original, violent, perfect-for-high-school-date horrorfest.

Number 9: The Fog (1980)

Adrienne Barbeau, Jamie Lee Curtis, and Janet Leigh of Psycho fame all on one screen: Now that’s some lung power.  There’s more screaming in this movie than all John Capenter’s other movies combined, and for good reason: This is one scary-ass slasher. The Fog is one of those forgotten classics from the great horror wave that the 70s rode out on; great but forgotten murder-fests like Dead and Buried or The Howling.  Definitely worth checking out.

Number 8: Hush, Hush, Sweet Charlotte (1965)

Not really your typical horror film, but a white-knuckle piece of Southern Gothic that really gave me the heebie-jeebies when I was a kid.  To me, Bette Davis was always the loony, axe-wielding Charlotte instead of the vamp everyone else knew her as.  And the scene of the murder, the guy with the missing hand, that’s pure campfire goodness right there.

Number 7: Jacob’s Ladder (1990)

Good old-fashioned devils, demons, zombies, and chicks getting vaginally impaled by giant lizards.  Plus, it’s Tim Robbins when he’s not being a dick. The creepiest thing about this movie is probably unintentional, however, with Macaulay Culkin doing the weary-eyed man-child Gabe.

Number 6: Halloween (1978)

Still on Number 6, and already we’ve got two John Carpenter movies.  Halloween was the movie that started the whole Jason / Freddie / Chuckie craptaculousness that dominated the horror scene in the 1980s.  And Michael Meyers could still kick any serial killer’s ass this side of Hannibal Lecter.  Which brings us to...

Number 5: Silence of the Lambs (1991)

Although billed as a psychological thriller and not as horror, any movie that can make a grown man sweat with and cover his eyes while watching people get brutally murdered is close enough for government work.  Name one thing that Jason did that was scarier than the Jame Gumb Tuck Dance *Shudder*.  Much as Halloween opened the door for the splatter movies of the 80s, ‘Lambs convinced studios that making intelligent psychothrillers like Se7en and Memento could be profitable.

Number 4: The Mummy (1932)

Every other monster film from the so-called Golden Age of the 1930s up to the 1950s  is a steaming, ridiculous pile of shit next to The Mummy.  It’s the only good movie that Karloff ever made, Frankenstein be damned.  Looking at Karloff getting his tongue ripped out and embalmed alive makes Lugosi’s Dracula look like a Paulie Shore character.  The look on his face as they’re applying the last bandages is pure terror and claustrophobic dread.  That movie still gives me nightmares, and welds me to the couch every time I see the opening title.

Number 3: Jaws (1975)

Ah, yes: Steven Spielberg, when he wasn’t an ET-loving pussy.  My mom actually took me to see this when I was five years old.  My brother, who was seven, puked when the shark bit Cap’n Quint in half.  Any movie that can make a kid puke has to be high on the list.  This movie still has some of the best performances I’ve ever seen in a monster flick.  Roy Scheider, Richard Dreyfus, and Robert Shaw: Who’d’a thunk it.

Number 2: The Thing (1982)

The third and final James Carpenter entry.  This is one of the best horror movies ever made, and the first one on this list that I bought on DVD.  Creepy crawling heads, jumping blood samples, guys getting body parts bitten off, nightmarish bugs popping out of dogs, and more slime and steamy entrails than a slaughterhouse floor, and you still never know who the bad guy was.  Man, what a ride.

Number 1: Alien (1979)

A slimy little alien chews its way out of John Hurt’s stomach, flashes his silver pimp-grill at the astonished crew, and takes off into the airducts.  Monster movie gold. I saw this one at my grandmother’s house in 1981, back when she was the only relative I knew who had cable television. When the Hurt threw himself on the table and started screaming, my grandmother covered my eyes so I couldn’t see what was happening.  Though it was probably well-intended, the nasty-ass sound effects scared me more than the visuals probably would have.  I imagine this film is way up there on most people’s lists, so I’ll just leave it at that.  Best Monster Ever.

So, what does your list look like?



Hmmm...I'll make my list of good Halloween flicks..

  1. Dog Soldiers (2002)...good werewolf story..kinda hokey but I liked it.

  2. Ginger Snaps Back (2004)'s Canadian but I really enjoyed this daughter talked me into watching it.

  3. Halloween (1978)...the music scared me more than anything...great soundtrack.

  4. House of 1,000 Corpses (2003)...AWESOME. Rob Zombie is like TOTALLY a kick ass horror movie director...he just brings back all the goodness of 70's slasher type films to the big screen on this.

  5. The Devil's Rejects (2005)...Rob Zombie's sequel to the above film and it's different..not as dark as House but man I can't wait to see more of Rob Zombie's films....sooo icky and gross but sooo good. And I have to add the dialogue in these movies are about as funny as the "Evil Dead" flicks....just soo gawd damn minute you're whincing and covering your eyes and the next minute you're laughing your ass off.

  6. Hellraiser (1987)...Pinhead still freaks me OUT.

  7. Friday the 13th (1980)...I'll go ahead and admit that I've watched ALL of these stupid ass movies and I get scared every single freakin' time.

  8. When a Stranger Calls (1979)....Awesome movie to scare the pants off any babysitter...seriously...this movie used to scare me and my girlfriends to death. The one they made recently sucked balls...the original still stands out and that goes for "The Hills Have Eyes Too"...they shouldn't have tried to remake that movie...

  9. Terror Train (1980) you can't go wrong with a flick with a young Jamie Lee Curtis...she's the Scream Queen!

  10. The People Under the Stairs (1991)...don't ask me why but I LOVE this movie...soo silly.

These are not my favorites in order or nothing and honestly I couldn't even mention all my favorites...these just came to mind.


Yo, good list! Hellraiser hasn't really stood the test of time for me. But When a Stranger Calls, now that's a damn scary movie.

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