Tuesday, October 27, 2009

The Film Connoisseurs Halloween Movie Choices!

Well, you know how everybody always suggests the same old batch of movies to watch on Halloween night? Flip through any list on the net, from any major newspaper or film magazine and they will most likely recommend the same batch of films: The Exorcist, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Alien, Night of the Living Dead…and I’m fine with those movies. Actually, I love those movies and do consider them to be classics and awesome horror films on their own. But there’s so many other horror movies out there to watch on Halloween! Fun stuff! Gory stuff! Spooky old fashion horror films that will make you feel like you’re celebrating Halloween Night! The greatest night of the year! And you just know you have to watch a movie on Halloween night…it kind of goes with the whole holiday. So anyhow here’s some movies I’ve gathered for you guys. These are movies you can throw in you’re DVD player to spook and tantalize the guests at your Halloween Party!

And hey, if you want more horror movies then the ones you see on this post, just look through the archives, Ive got a couple of other good ones there as well! So anyway, here they are in no particular order:

The Old Dark House (1932)

Director: James Whale


This old school horror film is about a group of travelers who are forced to shack up in a spooky old house when a wild storm doesn’t allow them to continue driving. What waits for them inside of this spooky old house is The Femm Family, your basic weirdo family and their mysterious mute butler. What I love about this movie is that it was directed by the great James Whale, who also directed the must watch horror classics Frankenstein and Bride of Frankenstein. This movie is loaded with tons of atmosphere and old school spookiness, and if you pay attention, you can have some fun with the dialog as well. Also, this film was remade by famed b-movie director/producer William Castle in 1963, only he turned it into a comedy!

Trick R’ Treat (2009)

Director: Michael Dougherty


This movie was tailor made to be watched on Halloween night, with your hollowed pumpkins lighting the room, while eating your Halloween treats. Basically, the film takes place during Halloween night, and it tells four different tales, all the tales are connected. The film is brimming with Halloween atmosphere. Lots of full moons, Pumpkins, trick or treaters, dried trees, werewolves, a murderous high school principal, ghost kids, you name it, its here. Fun movie. Perfect for this season. Be sure and watch the little animated short film entitled ' Seasons Greetings' that is included in the dvd extras, that little short is oozing Halloween atmosphere every step of the way!

Brides of Dracula (1960)

Director: Terence Fisher


Well, this one is perfect for Halloween because it just so damn eerie. Basically, one of Dracula’s disciples has decided to continue his legacy and is striking terror all over town. Thankfully, Van Helsing is still around, ready to go into action! Movie is extremely gothic, has many memorable moments in it, and is all around, a spooky movie with excellent production values. Its one of Hammer Studios best films! Directed by one of Hammer Films best directors, the great Terence Fisher.

Bride of Frankenstein (1935)

Director: James Whale


I actually enjoy this film way more then the iconic first film. They are both good, its just that this one has a little more coolness to it. So many memorable moments on this one, but best thing I love about it? The sympathy I feel for the creature. This is the one Frankenstein film that makes you feel something for the creature. It’s a film about dealing with loneliness, isolation and being misunderstood. But aside from that? Well, it’s a bigger production then the first, the sets are bigger, the art direction is fantastic! This is a masterpiece every film buff should watch! A perfect Halloween movie filled with cemeteries, burnt windmills and a monster looking to be accepted and understood.

Horror of Dracula (1958)

Director: Terence Fisher


This is the traditional Dracula story, told by Hammer Studios. Of course they changed a few things around, but it’s all there, Jonathan Harker, Lucy, Dracula, Dr. Van Helsing. Movie Oozes atmosphere 100% I love those moments with vampire Lucy walking around the cemetery and the creepy woods while holding a little girl that she wants to feed on by the hand! The movie is filled with spooky moments like this one, and it’s truly creepy! The music enhances the experience. Terence Fisher made sure every moment is spooky, so you’ll love watching this one with your lights turned down! Christopher Lee as the vampire is intimidating, and Cushing’s Van Helsing is ready to kick his ass with his vampire knowledge.

Sleepy Hollow (1999)

Director: Tim Burton


You know when Halloween time comes and everyone is asking for that “perfect Halloween movie” to watch on that special night? Look no further! This is it! Tim Burton has always been known for making gothic ' halloweenish'  films, but I have to admit that to me this is the one! Everything about it is spooky and stylish and creepy! I would love to live in this town! So dreadful! Fog everywhere, haunted forests, ghosts, witches, treason, jealousy, and all those bad traits us humans are famous for. It’s got it all. Johnny Depp plays the scary cat detective Ichabod Crane. Another excellent performance from the always great Johnny Depp. Christina Ricci looks angelical in this one. And Miranda Richardson is pure concentrated evil! Highly recommend this one.

Hocus Pocus (1993)

Director: Kenny Ortega


Three witches were burned at the stake during the Salem Witch Trials! Apparently, these were real witches and not part of all those innocent women that were burned during the real life witch trials that occurred thanks to the Inquisition. So anyways, these three witches have been cursed for 300 years! And when a little kid lights a special candle, the witches are brought back to life! Now, these three witches are looking to steal the life away from trick or treaters! I love this movie, it has all the things that make an awesome Halloween movie. It has Bette Middler playing the head witch, Sarah Jessica Parker and Kathy Najimy play the other two witches that make up the trio. There’s zombies, magic, black cats that talk and magic candles! Highly recommended to show to your kids on Halloween night. If you have any.

Fright Night (1985)

Director: Tom Holland


Charlie Brewster’s new neighbor is a vampire! And nobody believes him! What’s a guy to do? Well, if you are Charlie Brewster, you go up to your favorite T.V. horror host and ask him to use his knowledge of horror films to kill your vampire neighbor! This is an awesome 1980’s vampire movie! It’s got so many cool special effects! We get a truly awesome werewolf transformation, we get demonic looking vampires, spooky houses, vampire best friends and girl friends….and a memorable battle between good an evil. One of the best vampire movies from the 80s, along with The Lost Boys and Near Dark.

I always wondered how they did this awesome effect!

Poltergeist I (1982) 
Poltergeist II: The Other Side (1986)
Poltergeist III (1988)

Directors: Tobe Hooper, Brian Gibson and Gary Sherman respectively


All three of these movies are awesome Halloween movies, the supernatural element is given so much life in these films! But at heart, all three films are about family unity and keeping everyone together, not letting the evil get to you. I always find it kind of curious that the villain in these films is actually a religious fanatic’s ghost trying to get little Caroline to take "him into the light! But what keeps this family together is their love, I always liked that about these films. But what I also love are the special effects! The ghost still hold up against modern day fx, these ghost were old school, done with out one drop of CGI! Part III goes even further and decided not to use any special visual effects, and instead the director chose to do all his fx on camera, and practically, so that makes part III special as well. I love that scene in which Papa Freeling barfs up that tequila worm! Love it when that hole to the other side appears in Carol Annes closet! Love it when Robbie Freeling is attacked by his bracers! Plus, you can’t go wrong with Craig T. Nelson’s awesomely funny dialog!

Evil Dead I and II

Director: Sam Raimi


So what can I say that hasn’t been said about these two movies? For those of you who haven’t had your Evil Dead experience yet, go get these two movies, turn of your lights, hold on to your bibles and watch this Evil movie! It’s filled with demon conjuring books, forests that come to life, demon possessions, decapitations, cellar dwelling zombies, laughing furniture, evil mirrors, evil chopped off hands…just rent it and experience the damn thing. You’ll thank me later.

Night of the Creeps (1986)

Director: Fred Dekker


Finally we get to complete our horror collections! I’m so excited that this film is finally out on DVD! Why is this movie so cool you may ask? Well, its got everything you could ever wish for in a horror movie: evil alien scientists, alien slugs, zombies, murderous psychopaths, college fraternity parties, cryogenically frozen dead bodies...need I go on? It has a college nerd and his girlfriend trying to stop an army of alien slugs that brings back the dead! Pretty soon, its one nerd vs. mountains of alien slugs and zombies! How can you go wrong with that? This movie rocks and those of you who haven’t had a chance to see it yet, run to your favorite movie store and buy this sucker! It’s a hidden gem from the 80s that is fast paced and fun to watch!

Phantasm II

Director: Don Coscarelli


Phantasm II is the biggest budgeted of all the Phantasm films, so in many ways, its one of the coolest of all the four Phantasm films. At least in my book. You don’t need to have seen the first film to understand this one because this one does a pretty good job of explaining all the rules of this universe. The Tall Man and his spheres never looked better! This one has gorier effects, more spheres! The whole series has a surreal dream like aura to it. You’ll feel like you are having a nightmare! I love this series of films because it has lots of horror elements! The tall man steals corpses from graves! His base of operations is inside of a mausoleum! He takes dead people and turns them into slave dwarfs! Highly recommend this one for a fun Halloween night!

The Gate (1987)

Director: Tibor Takacs


Without them knowing it, a pair of best friends do everything that is necessary to open up a gate to hell! Soon, little demons start appearing all over the house, everyone starts having these messed up dreams and hallucinations because the door to hell has been opened! Could Satan himself be scheduled for an appearance? I love this movie because (just like the Phantasm films) it has such a surreal vibe to it, it all feels like one big nightmare. In this movie you’ll find séances, levitations, heavy metal records being played backwards, zombies, little demons, melting phones, dead dogs, and gigantic demons from hell! The effects in this movie are fun to watch and inventive. It stars a very young Stephen Dorff. Recently this movie was re-released into the world by the guys at Lionsgate, don’t miss it!

Halloween III Season of the Witch (1982)

Director: Tommy Lee Wallace


I don’t think there’s a better film to watch on Halloween. An evil Warlock is looking to kill all the children of the world on Halloween night! He plans on hypnotizing them all to the TV screen on Halloween night and melting their faces away! Will Tom Atkins be able stop this crazy warlock who uses the power of Stonehenge achieve his goals? A lot of people don't like this one because it has nothing to do with Michael Myers, the psycho killer that appears in all the other films in the Halloween franchise, but you know what? So what!  This one aint got Michael Myers in it, but its one hell of a Halloween movie! It’s even got evil cyborg robots in it for crying out loud! Just watch it and make believe it doesn't belong to the whole Halloween franchise, you'll have a blast! 

The Beyond (1981)

Director: Lucio Fulci


This one comes to us from Italian Horror Maestro Lucio Fulci. The Beyond is all about one of the seven gates of hell which as fate would have it have just slammed opened! A woman has just inherited a hotel, what she doesn’t know is that beneath it lies one of the seven gates of hell! What this means of course is that zombies and demons are now roaming the earth! Can the door be closed? This one is one of Fulci’s best films ever, it oozes with tremendous amounts of atmosphere and gore. You will see some sick gore on this movie, the likes of which you will never see in an American film! Wanna see what blowing off the head of a 12 year old girl with a shot gun looks like? Look no further! Highly recommend it if you want to shock your friends and leave them with their jaws dropped on the floor!

Creepshow (1982)

Director: George A. Romero


I love anthology movies because of their fast pace and their ability to get to the point and give you a quick jolt! Creepshow is an excellent anthology film that was directed by George Romero and written by Stephen King for the sole purpose of paying homage to the Tales from the Crypt/Vault of Horror comics they used to read as kids. And they did it well! Five jolting tales of terror and the macabre! A fun film to watch on Halloween night, the stories are about vengeful zombies, long forgotten monsters hidden underneath the staircase of a university, an alien life form that will turn you into a walking moss man and a story about a rich old man that hates bacteria, roaches and dirt…yet in the end he gets more then he deserves! Fun times!

Tales from the Darkside: The Movie (1990)

Director: John Harrison


A little boy has just been kidnapped by a witch who lives in the suburbs! She is about to cook him so her witch friends can eat him up when they come over later in the night. So the little boy, in a move of desperation begins to read some horror stories to the witch, from a book of horror stories that a past victim left on the dungeon he is being held prisoner in. The rest of the movie is composed of the stories the kid is reading to the witch. One is about a nerdy college student who uses a magical parchment to resurrect a Mummy, one is about a gargoyle that falls in love with a human, and another is about a cat who avenges the death of all his brother and sister cats who had been killed in experimentation for a new drug. Get this: Tom Savini has been quoted as saying that this movie was really going to be Creepshow 3! But, since the Tales from the Darkside show was so popular they decided to name it after the show. It stars the likes of Julianne Moore, Christian Slater and even Steve Buscemi! 

Tales from the Crypt (1972)

Director: Freddie Francis


This film is based on the old EC Comics Tales from the Crypt series, just like the HBO show that lasted seven seasons. Only thing is, this movie came before that famous show! On this film we get five strangers who don’t remember how they got to this spooky cave like dungeon. But while there, they meet this strange individual who knows all about them and how they got there. They each tell the last thing they remember, and so, our stories begin to unfold. On this film we get five different stories! This film was directed by Freddie Francis who at one point worked with Hammer Studios making some memorable horror films! This movie is best known for its episode called “…And All Through the House” about a murderous loony who dresses up like Santa Clause on Christmas Eve, it was later remade by Robert Zemeckis for the HBO Show and aired as the first episode of the series! But also, this film has an excellent story (my favorite of the bunch) about a bunch of blind people who decide to go up against the new dictator like director of their home for the blind, a ver spooky and eerie story not to be missed. 

Check it out, Peter Cushing in zombie make-up!

Night of the Demons (1988)

Director: Kevin Tenney


Yet another excellent film to have a fun Halloween night! It’s got all the necessary ingredients! A haunted House! Horny Teenagers! Demons! And Heavy Metal! This is the quintessential 80s horror movie! A bunch of kids decide to go to a local “haunted house” to have some fun on Halloween night. Little do they know that Angela, the girl who invites them is in cahoots with demons! This movie is a very low budget effort, but it’s got imaginative effects, and Linnea Quigley slips a lipstick into her nipple. Don’t worry, that last sentence will make perfect sense once you watch the movie.

Title: Demons

Director: Lamber Bava


Come on, what’s scarier then demons on Halloween night? Nothing! So this movie has a cool premise. It’s about this new movie that is getting premiered and only the select few with the special ticket get to go and see it! Kind of like the Golden Ticket from Willy Wonka, but for a horror film. What they don’t know is that the film is so evil that it releases Demons onto the movie theater and soon, the audience becomes possessed by demons and start killing each other in truly grizzly ways. This movie is Italian, so you can expect the gore and the mayhem to get really really crazy! It’s really out there. Throats get ripped apart, eyes get ripped out…you name it, you’ll see it here. This is for those of you who want to gross out your guests during Halloween.

The Fog (1980)

Director: John Carpenter


This is an old fashion spooky ghost story directed by non other then John Carpenter. It’s about a strange fog that suddenly takes over the town of Antonio Bay. What they don’t know is that this isn’t just any old fog! This Fog brings something old and menacing and vengeful along with it! This movie is recommended for those who want to have a spooky, quiet, terror filled night with your friends. It’s got a hell of an ending!

The Blob (1988)

Director: Chuck Russell


This one is about a strange blob that falls on earth by way of a meteor. The blobby mess is hungry for humans! And it grows! The more humans it eats, the bigger The Blob gets! Its up to the town rebel/misfit without a clue and the local cheerleader to stop this alien creature from eating everyone in their town and possibly…the world! Ive always loved this movie because the special effects are awesome! It’s a very entertaining film, with tons of gross out make up effects!

House of a 1000 Corpses (2003)

Director: Rob Zombie


This movie marks the beginning of Rob Zombies directorial career, and boy what a way to start! This film tells the tale of the Firefly family. Basically, they are a bunch of loony’s who love to torture and kill strangers who fall into their house like flies on a spider web. They are fucked in the head, and they will take you down to the deepest levels of hell! This story gets crazier and crazier as the movie goes along…till by the end, its full blown madness! It’s Rob Zombies homage to Tobe Hooper’s Texas Chainsaw Massacre.

Young Frankenstein (1974)

Director: Mel Brooks


So if you want to have a bit of comedy in your Halloween night, this is the way to go. Story is about Frederick Frankenstein, the grandson of one Victor Von Frankenstein, who use to experiment with the dead! So essentially, Frederick inherits his granddads castle and decides to move there. Once he gets there, the mad scientist bug bites him and he decides to try and duplicate his grandfather’s experiments of resurrecting the dead! Pretty soon, there’s a monster rampaging the streets of the town and its up to Frederick, Igor and Inga to stop the creature. So what makes this one work so well is the comedy in it. The cast is pitch perfect! Gene Wilder as Frederick Frankenstein was the most inspired piece of casting I’ve ever seen! Wilder has an ability for going coo coo on screen, and trust me, on this one he is in full crazy mode! Marty Feldman as Igor is HILARIOUS! And Peter Boyle as the creature is one of the best Frankenstein’s Monster to ever grace the silver screen. This movie is not only considered one of the funniest movies of all time by many critics around the world, it is also an excellent Frankenstein film. Filled with spooky castles at the top of the hill, thunderstorms…and a deadly creature roaming the cold streets! Quite possibly Mel Brooks masterpiece.

Tales from the Crypt Presents: Demon Knight (1995)

Directors: Gilbert Adler and Ernest R. Dickenson


This one is about this magical key that demons from hell are after because this key holds within it the blood of the one and only Jesus Christ! Its also one of the seven keys that can open up the gates of hell and let the demons take over earth! And whoever drinks from it becomes a Demon Knight, sworn to fight and defend the earth from the evil demons from hell. This movie is one fun ride, if you don’t want your Halloween Party to get boring, pop this one in, it’s a non stop thrill ride of make up effects, gore, action, and demons! It also has an excellent cast which includes Billy Zane, William Sandler, Jada Pinket, and Thomas Haden Church. Fun times all the way!

So anyhow, theres my choice of cool films to watch this Halloween. I chose these films cause they are spooky, fun and amusing. Hope you enjoy at least one of these during your Halloween night!


Mr. Fiendish said...

great list, although I would add The Monster Squad and the original House On Haunted Hill

Franco Macabro said...

I was going to put Monster Squad in there as well, but I was going on 27 movies and I got kind of tired of typing! I think I can add it in there, let me see what I can do!

Anonymous said...

Glad to see the different better Halloween movies instead of the same old usual movies people would recommend! For sure, I would watch those on the list you named. I love those old movies! Great choices!!!

Franco Macabro said...

Glad you liked the choices Lovely Lady, let me know if you get to see some of them! :)

I Like Horror Movies said...

WHAT?! No Poltergeist III?? =D

Glad to see The Gate on there, still an all time favorite, but thanks for throwing up some titles that many newer fans are less likely to know of, great to see many of the classics like The Old Dark House on there Fransisco!

Franco Macabro said...

The Gate has been one of my favorite movies to watch on Halloween for the longest time, I remembering putting it on my last Halloween party, even with all the music and craziness going on, one or two people were glued to the screen through out the whole thing!

I should not have left out Poltergeist III, its just as good. I love the directors approach on that one of only using practical on camera effects and no special visual effects or computer images or nothing...but I didnt include it in there cause it didnt have the original Freeling family which is something I always loved about the first II.

Still Poltergeist III is a great watch!

Reina said...

Very nice! I promise to talk to my boyfriend and see if he wants to watch any of these movies on halloween! ohh... wait.... you're my guy! ill give you the pleasure to choose one from your list... what about..demons? ahahahahah just kidding!!!...could be young frankenstein or the gate!

Franco Macabro said...

Hey, if you havent seen Young Frankenstein, I have no problem with seeing that one on Halloween Night, no problem whatsoever. Its one of my favorite movies ever. It makes me laugh so muuuch! No matter how many times Ive seen it!

"Its pronounced Fron-ken-steen!"

Anonymous said...

Excellent list. Well done for the recommendations for Halloween III: Season Of The Witch and Evil Dead. They are two of my favorites, as are the Poltergeist series. They don't make 'em like this anymore!!!


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