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October 30, 2010

Six Degrees of Cheese: Six Films to Watch on Halloween

Ah, Halloween is upon us once again. The weather is cooling down, leaves are changing colors, haunted attractions return and most importantly...the horror film marathon begins! I watch horror movies repeatedly regardless of the time of year but during October it just seems much more meaningful. Everyone has their favorite horror film's but what if you could just pick 6 to watch on Halloween? Having trouble? Fear not dear cheeser for I've compiled a list of six films of the macabre to view during the season of the witch. Read at your own risk!

1: The Evil Dead - "The Ultimate Experience in Grueling Terror".
No Halloween marathon is complete without Raimi's ferocious classic. I discovered Evil Dead late one night on TV and the rest is history. The Evil Dead isn't just a staple in my Halloween horror marathon, I watch this all the time. Easily one of my favorite films in general. Evil Dead has it all. Bruce Campbell, demon possession, gallons of gratuitous gore, Bruce Campbell and the now infamous tree rape scene. Did I mention Bruce Campbell? Hail to the king baby!

Trick 'r Treat - "Poison, drowning, claw or knife. So many ways to take a life".
I absolutely love anthologies, especially in the horror genre. Fine examples would be Creepshow, Black Sabbath, Tales From the Crypt and many more. Trick 'r Treat isn't just essential Halloween viewing, it's a damn good film to boot. Taking place on Halloween night, four stories are shown and all are related in some way. Sam, the cute little guy with sack over his head and razor sharp lollipop in hand ties the stories together. Trick 'r Treat has great atmosphere, you really get into the Halloween spirit watching it. It's gruesome but also very humorous. Highly Recommended.

3: Night of the Creeps - "The good new is your dates are here. The bad news is they're dead!"
My love for this film is eternal. Night of the Creeps perfectly blends horror and comedy while displaying a loving homage to the B films of the 60's. Night of the Creeps is a fucking blast from start to finish. You have aliens, slugs, zombie frat dudes, flamethrowers, shotguns, boobs, blood and Tom "Thrill Me" Atkins! It doesn't get any better than this. Atkins chews the scenery up as Detective Cameron, spewing lines such as, "What is this? A homicide or a bad B-movie?", and "It's Miller time!". The line that sums up the film is, "Zombies, exploding heads, creepy crawlies..and a date for the formal. This is classic spanky". Jesus himself couldn't have said it better.

4: House (Hausu)
This would be the recommendation film of the bunch. I don't know too many people who have seen this but those who have know it's one of the most bizarre films ever made. To borrow a quote that describes the film perfectly, "An episode of Scooby Doo as directed by Mario Bava?". Intrigued? Good. I first saw Hausu earlier this year at Madcap in Tempe, AZ. The super fly Midnite Movie Mamacita (Andrea Beesley-Brown) showed a 35mm print of this experimental oddity and I was gobsmacked. I can only explain it as a lucid dream of the utmost absurd...and that's what makes Hausu so unique. Watch this and be prepared for an experience like no other.

5: The Monster Squad - "Call them for a monster-ous good time."
The Goonies meets Universal Monsters, nuff said. Another classic from Fred (Night of the Creeps) Dekker, this has been a long time favorite of mine. The story follows a group horror lovin kids, dubbed "The Monster Squad" trying to stop Gill-man, Wolfman, Mummy and the diabolical Dracula from taking over the world. Greatest premise ever? The characters, action, story, atmosphere and music make this required Halloween viewing. Monster Squad is pure retro fun from start to finish.

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6: The Return of the Living Dead - "They're back from the grave and ready to party!"
Brain hungry zombies, loud rock 'n roll music, Linnea Quigley nude and much more make this the classic it is today. ROTLD always get's me into the Halloween spirit. When The Cramps "Surfin Dead" blasts through the speakers with the whining guitar and 45 Graves "Party time" with it's piercing "DO YOU WANNA PARTY, IT'S PARTY TIME" vocals, you know you're in for a treat. Not to mention ROTLD is fuckin hilarious, making it a top contender for best horror/comedy. Watching the Tarman zombie growl "Brains!" and devour a punks head is horror heaven. Return of the Living Dead is a no-brainer (no pun intended) when it comes to deciding if you should watch this on Halloween. "Send more paramedics!".

Oh no, this list is shit! It doesn't include Carpenter's legendary Halloween, Friedkin's Exorcist or Scott's Alien! Round up the lynch mob! Let's be honest, all of those films are phenomenal film and personal favorites. Fact is including those in this Top 6 list would have been cliche as cliche can get. I hope fellow Cheese readers can respect this list, one horror fan to another. I hope every boy and ghoul has a very Happy Halloween!

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