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Benjanime's Top Ten Halloween Movie Picks

Greetings guys and ghouls! Halloween is only a couple of weeks upon us, so what better way to hold out the wait than with a listing of some obscure, if not hard to come by horror films? Join me as I give some personal choices from....

10. Re-Animator (1985)

As perhaps an inspiration to Mary Shelley's Frankentstein's Frankenstein, this story is about a youthful scientist by the name of Herbert West (Jeffrey Combs), inventing a chemical to bring the dead back to life, though with his efforts, a professor  wants to steal it. What neither of them know though, is that the chemical has the downside of making those that consume it go crazy. For its time the special effects look well done, and if you can handle a little gore here and there, then I say give it a go. Though, as far as animal cruelty goes, you may not like how Herbert's first subject of his invention comes out, as he reanimates a dead cat, only to beat the cat to a pulp. Don't worry, he's an animatronic!

9. The Incredible Melting Man (1977)

As a rather low budget film from MGM, The Incredible Melting Man revolves around an astronaut by the name of Steve West (Alex Rebar) who becomes exposed to radiation after an expedition in space. His only cure to this is consuming human cells, but rather, he actually goes out of his way to chomp through human skin as he's in a mad panic. The movie is a bit tongue-in-cheek, and it may not be one of the best horror films around, but if you're looking for a good B-Movie fright, this might do the job.

8. Vampire Hunter D (1985)

Imagine if you will, that vampires and other ghoulish monsters still prowl the Earth in the distant future. No advanced technology emerges, but instead our culture ends up going back to basics with a 19th century feel. Vampire Hunter D pretty much sums up our protagonist's name in a nutshell. Count Magnus Lee, a late century vampire looks into making a female human one of his own. Doris Lang, daughter of a local werewolf hunter, ends up becoming infected with a bite from the Count upon a meeting, and soon D follows in both of their footsteps in not only protecting Doris, but ultimately overthrowing Count Magnus Lee. Based on a set of both novels and manga, Vampire Hunter D is worth checking out, even if you're not into anime, but it's by no means for the kiddies out there.

7. Tales from the Darkside:The Movie (1990)

If you're familiar with the film Creepshow, this is a familiar concept. Three short stories are told by a youngster trying to keep himself from becoming lunch for a witch. While I won't spoil them for you, I will say that it has its fair share of being campy. Canadian singer Deborah Harry stars in this film by the same director of the original tv series.

6. The Blob (1988)

So aside from the usual suspects of monsters like werewolves, vampires and zombies, what could be said about the formula with a gelatinous creature that consumes everything? Enter The Blob, a once aggressive moving piece of slime from a meteor, as it latches onto the arm of an old man living in Colorado. A trouble making kid by the name of Brian Flagg takes him in to to the hospital with his friend Paul and Paul's girlfriend, Meg. To no avail, the old man doesn't get treated, but slowly begins a rampage amongst the city. It's all good fun as a horror movie, I recommend it if you're looking for something different, other than that, the film is fairly decent.

5. Mad Monster Party (1967)

What's this? Something not horror related? Well, it does fit in with the holiday charm. The only downside is, out of all the common holiday specials that you see that are stop motion, it seems that this one is unfairly overshadowed by the stop motion Christmas specials that still air today. Boris Karloff lends his voice as Baron Bon von Frankenstein, as he feels that it's time to give up his business with creating monsters and choose somebody else to step in for the job. It's frightful fun for the kids, and parents should enjoy it as well.

4. Prom Night (1980)

Prom Night starts off in a rather unusual fashion, in which a group of intermediate school students play a game of hide and seek, but one of the girls, Robin gets pushed around by the other kids until she meets her demise by falling out of a two story window. As the others decide not to tell a soul that they were responsible, a shadowy figure looms over Robin as she lay dead, mistakenly taken in raping her and getting arrested afterward. Her parents mourn her loss, but as a few years pass Robin's brother and sister attend an upcoming school prom, which is where the fun begins. Unknowing to the brother and sister though, the kids that bullied Robin are going as well, and someone else familiar. A masked killer who was previously mistaken as the offender during Robin's death creeps into the prom, motivated to kill the teens one by one. It's another low budget film, but with Jamie Lee Curtis popping up I'd recommend checking this one out.

3. Creepshow 2 (1987)

I know what you're thinking, 'what's this doing in a list of obscure-based movies?' Well according to many, this sequel to the 1982 film by the collaboration of Stephen King and George Romero didn't quite have the same level of being a hit. And while it does return with having the focus of telling a handful of spine-tingling stories, there are only three of them this time around. The beginning sequence starts with a young boy who takes a comic book from a rather odd looking cloaked man, but trouble comes the boy's way as a group of bullies stop him on his bike on his way home. Before that though, the boy begins reading from his newly acquired comic book, and thus begins the prelude to the set of the three stories. The first, "Chief Wooden Head" is about a wooden Indian statue that takes revenge after an antique shop owner gets shot to death,"The Raft", in which a bunch of teenagers go swimming, and caught by surprise of a flesh eating oil slick that creeps in a lake. And the final story "The Hitchhiker". A woman named Annie, is in panic over running over a hitchhiker after a hit and run, and he constantly pops up on the road, looking more and more damaged. The woman keeps running her car into him. The movie was on a tight budget, explaining the lack of added tales, but it's still an intriguing string of stories nonetheless. I'm sure that most of you in the audience have watched it already, but if not, it could be worth a good viewing.

2. Dead Alive (1993)

Taking fame from the Evil Dead series in terms of both horror and comedy, Dead Alive (known as Brain Dead outside the U.S.) is about a cowardly geek named Lionel who encounters a rat monkey during a date with his new girl, Paquita as they're in a zoo. Unbeknownst to them, the rat monkey had escaped its own habitat after being captured by the clutches of a couple of zookeepers. Lionel's mom follows in his footsteps only to get angered about the girl that he's with. She makes the move to the cage that the rat monkey is in, and she gets bitten in the process, turning her into a ravenous zombie. Though she does get imprisoned, she eventually breaks free and causes the spread of more zombies. This film actually became an instant favorite of mine, and it's done pretty well too despite it being an early Peter Jackson film.

1. Sweet Home (1989)

Sweet Home was a Japanese film, released in collaboration with a video game on the Famicom with the same name and plot. It follows Tagushi, Asuka, Akiko, Emi and Kazuo, a film crew who all visit a run down mansion and restoring any old paintings inside. Many ghastly events occur to the crew, as they make their venture inside The ghost of a deceased child roams the mansion and endangers anyone who steps foot in any of the rooms. The movie itself is pretty interesting, and while both the film and the video game never made it stateside, it can be viewed online through subtitles, and the game having a fan translation.

I hope you all enjoyed my little rundown of my Halloween movie recommendations. In preparation for the article I watched all of them, and hopefully didn't go too far with spoilers. I leave it up to you to watch these little oddities in film. I'd be delighted if you watch a select few and give your thoughts in the comments! Until then, I'll see you all next Halloween!
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Julie Posted on Sep 30, 2020 at 09:26 PM

So many unknown movies here for me! :O But they seem to be really great. ;) ❤

Benjanime Posted on Oct 22, 2014 at 03:09 AM

@jkatz: thanks! all of them were a breath of fresh air from the usual jason, freddy and chuckie movies that everybody loves so much.

@Hoju Koolander: it's a pretty fun movie, i'll give it that. i like how lionel goes from a wimpy protagonist to butt kicking hero :)

@echidna64: i was gonna recommend watching and adding that one to the list, but i thought an honorable mention part would add a bit much to the article. thanks!

echidna64 Posted on Oct 22, 2014 at 02:56 AM

Really good choices man! I would add House in there as well!

Hoju Koolander Posted on Oct 21, 2014 at 11:57 PM

These are all familiar posters/VHS boxes, though surprisingly I've only seen Dead Alive. Taking a break from a rehearsal with my high school garage band in '99, our bassist put it on and all I can say is I've never seen so much orange tinted "blood" in my life. When the guy straps on a lawnmower and starts walking through ghouls/zombies it just gets ridiculous.

jkatz Posted on Oct 20, 2014 at 06:44 PM

I love Dead Alive! Great picks, Benjanime!

Mr Magic Posted on Oct 20, 2014 at 03:45 PM

Saw was quite an experience. It made me rethink the horror genre. Can't believe it's been 10 years since it was released. Time just flies by. Whoosh!

Vaporman87 Posted on Oct 20, 2014 at 03:32 PM

Yeah. Re-Animator can be a bit much. Though from what little I've seen, today's graphic content in movies like Saw and such is far worse. They make me physically sick... for real. And from what I hear, there is far worse than that out there (Human Centipede? - do we really need these movies in our society?).

Mad Monster Party is fun. Good for the whole family.

Benjanime Posted on Oct 20, 2014 at 02:32 PM

@thecrow174: indeed, i think it holds a candle to the original.

@NLogan: lol, i just say a little because at this point in my life i'm pretty much used to graphic imagery in movies. my mom is a horror movie junkie herself, so she pretty much got me into it all. still, it's all good fun.

NLogan Posted on Oct 20, 2014 at 02:21 PM

"If you can handle a little gore"
Man your definition of a little gore and my definition are totally different. The reanimator was seriously disturbing. The guy takes his still living severed head and thrusts it between the legs of the screaming naked girl strapped to the table.

Creepshow 2 is my favorite of your list. None of the above mentioned get me in the Halloween mood as I lament the death of the gothic horror and classic scares of yesterday, in exchange for the blood and gore slashers of today. Mad monster party is very dated because of the music but is fun. All the monsters from all around are invited and the claymation is cool, but I prefer the Christmas one from the same rankin and bass company.

Mr Magic Posted on Oct 20, 2014 at 12:20 PM

The Blob remake was terrifying.

I've only seen The Prom (Original) once. I don't remember that much about it.

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