It’s Halloween, and that means watching the same rotten horror flick marathons that are on TV every year – made-for-TV sequels of Carrie, straight-to-DVD installments of Friday the 13th, reruns of Tales from the Darkside.
Don’t get stuck watching It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown again. No matter what kind of horror fan you are (or if you aren’t a horror fan at all), the Vanguard has a movie for you.
The traditional slasher fan
You’re a firm believer in the three T’s – terror, teenagers and titties. Every film needs a half a dozen sequels, and back in the day sequels were made because the people wanted more movies, not because of Hollywood’s money-mongering, insatiable need to franchise everything.
You already love: The Halloweenfranchise, the Friday the 13th franchise, the Hellraiser franchise, the Nightmare on Elm Street franchise.
Watch: House of Wax (the remake). Sounds terrible, yes, but this film works because it sticks to the formula – Paris Hilton and the gang are really stupid, they get trapped somewhere for stupid reasons, the main character falls into a pit of road kill because she’s stupid and everyone dies horrible gruesome deaths because they’re stupid. Perfection.
Avoid: The budding Grudgefranchise. A silly, bloodless, boobless mess.
The ironist (aka hipster)
You have a taste for the unintentionally terrible horror movie – but not just any unintentionally terrible horror movie. The acting must be appalling, the plot sprawling and incomprehensible, because you pride yourself on your ability to tolerate and laugh at things that others cannot.
You already love: Plan 9 from Outer Space, Bloodfeast, Jack Frost (not the Michael Keaton movie), Piranha.
Watch: Leprechaun in the Hood. A murderous leprechaun dresses up like a pimp, and raps, and tokes. Watching the previous movies is totally unnecessary.
Anklebiters. Yes, it’s about midget vampires! No, it’s not worth it! The premise may sound magical, but Anklebiters was shot with someone’s camcorder in broad daylight (they probably couldn’t afford to shoot at night), and in many scenes they’re next to the freeway and you can’t hear any of the retched dialogue. It’s unspeakably bad – really really bad. I dare you to like it, you hipster fuck!
Avoid: Pumpkinhead.The plot seems pretty ridiculous – a man uses a monster to seek revenge against a gang of hoodlums who murdered his son – but the film is actually somewhat emotionally poignant. Somewhat. Definitely not your bag.
You hate horror movies. Child’s Play 3 gave you nightmares as a teenager. You find them offensive and they make you sick to your stomach.
Watch: House.A man moves into his dead aunt’s haunted house after she offs herself. The Vietnam War is in the pool in the backyard. Really, it is.
May.Nobody likes poor May because she’s got a lazy eye. She’s 5-foot-2 and weighs 80 pounds, and has D boobs, but that lazy eye – it repels people. She’s real good at sewing, and wants to sew herself a playmate – out of human flesh! Don’t think of it as a horror movie. Think of it as a character study.
The “Thriller” music video. It’s good clean fun, and the music will soothe you.
Avoid: Hostel. Exploding eyeballs and long torture scenes.
The fan that thinks horror films are either masterpieces or wastes of time
You think Psycho, Rosemary’s Baby and The Exorcist are the only horror movies worth watching.
You already love: Psycho, Rosemary’s Baby, The Exorcist.
Watch: Psycho, Rosemary’s Baby and The Exorcist.
Avoid: Everything else.
The pretentious film buff
You only watch Italian zombie movies, which you believe have genuine artistic merit. You enjoyed Japanese horror films until American remakes like The Ring thrust them into the mainstream.
Watch: Zombie. The plot of this Italian zombie movie is sufficiently slow, there’s lots of pointless dialogue for you to regard as “high art,” and while you may not appreciate it, there’s an awesome scene in which a woman’s eyeball explodes after being impaled.
Don’t Look Now. How do parents deal with the death of a child? Slowly. Very slowly. But the payoff is worth it to many fans like you. It’s in English, but the plot is incredibly tedious. Movie buffs like tedium, don’t they?
Avoid: Meatballs 4.
The politically conscience fan
You’re not really a horror movie fan, but one time in a women’s studies class you read a book about gender and the horror film and thought it was pretty neat.
You already love: I Know What You Did Last Summer.
Watch: Slumber Party Massacre. It’s oozing with bad feminist symbolism and commentary. A man kills teenage girls by – drilling them with a giant screw.
Avoid: Meatballs 4.