Every year for my Halloween post, I list several horror films that I have seen over the year that needs attention. Most of them are movies that either flew under the radar, or are the classic older films that many have forgotten about. This year I decided to do something different, and I hope, entertaining. The past year I have been able to review many books and have contact with many authors and publishers, including having the pleasure of emailing several of the writers on a normal basis. I thought that I would survey several people and ask them what films they suggest you watch during Halloween. Keep in mind, I did not ask them to list their opinion of the greatest of all time, just what films they would suggest to be good to watch, along with choosing any category-they could list all vampire films, all slasher films; whatever they wanted. Here are some of the responses I received. This is the first of two parts.
One of the first people I contacted is an author who has been featured on this page several times. Gary A. Smith gave me a great Q&A after reviewing his book “Vampire Films of the 1970s” (both you can find in the archives section). He has been a contributor to the magazine Little Shoppe of Horrors from 1980 -2013, and has written several books about various aspects of films. Smith and I started emailing each other frequently discussing the films we have seen in the past months. Smith, like me, makes it a habit to watch at least one horror film a night in October leading up to Halloween. Here are his picks when I asked him:
Every year I watch a horror movie a day during October. My one rule is no science fiction, just horror. Here are a handful of movies that I seem to include every year for a variety of reasons.
1.) Halloween– I know, what could be more cliche but the original is, in my opinion, one of the best and most frightening horror movies ever made. It’s simple. It’s scary. And it has seldom been equaled.
2.) Carrie– This movie holds a special place for me as I first saw it at a Halloween midnight sneak preview before it was officially released. As the remakes prove, you can’t top Brian DePalma’s brilliant direction. And that final scene! Wow!
3.) Frankenstein Meets the Wolf Man– More than anything else, Halloween means the original Universal monsters to me. In this film you get two of the best. It’s hard to pick just one Universal horror during Halloween but this one always is on the top of my list.
4.) Brides of Dracula– What’s Halloween without Hammer? My favorite of all the Hammer Horrors is this film. Not your run of the mill vampire movie by any means. Tops in every department…acting, direction, story, sets, costumes. This one has it all.
5.) Ghost Story– Sure, it’s not a patch on the original Peter Straub novel with it’s shape-shifting spirits, but don’t let that stop you from watching. This is a genuinely creepy film with the wonderful Alice Krige as a ghost bent on revenge.
Who better knows what’s good for Halloween than horror hosts? I contacted the hosts of The Mummy and The Monkey‘s Janet Decay and Grimm Gorri from Cleveland, Ohio, and they picked these films:
Janet Decay’s Halloween Flicks:
Halloween 3 Season Of The Witch ( seems fitting) it has nothing to do with Michael Myers, but it gives you those Halloween “feels”
Hocus Pocus, a great 1990s family friendly Halloween movie about the Witches of Salem.
Dracula, Starring Bela Lugosi. Classics never go out of style, and Bela was a dashing Drac.
Trick R Treat, a more modern horror film with a nostalgic Halloween feel, that’s on the gory side. Make sure you leave Sam some candy.
The Great Pumpkin. Because, I have this stuck in my skull for all eternity.
A family classic for youngsters and young at heart.
Janet also stated that:
“3 things I learned to never discuss, religion, politics, and The Great Pumpkin”
Grim Gorri responded by stating:
What’s buzzin’, cousins?! Grimm Gorri, here, wishing everybody a Happy Halloween! There are too many great scary movies that would make for good watching on Halloween, but my top five are a great start! I chose 5 newer flicks that I found refreshingly frighteningly fun!
- Trick r Treat
- Get Out
- Cabin in the Woods
- The Orphanage
- Drag Me To Hell
Eric Walker is a fan of not just horror films (and movies in general), but also runs a comic book store in Columbiana, Ohio, called Watchtower Heroes Comics LLC. He has attended several comic conventions for his business (where horror celebs and comic icons are usually present). His favorite Halloween films to watch features comedy, family, and slashing:
1.Young Frankenstein: This movie is by far my favorite movie to watch around Halloween. The nostalgia mixed with timeless comedy make this a “must-watch” every year
2. Disney Halloween: This is just good old fashion family fun. The combination of the talking mirror, timeless characters, and catchy music are what truly make this a favorite.
3. The Wolf Man: All of the classic Universal Monster movies are absolutely masterful. This movie, along with Frankenstein have that little extra bit of terror that put them above the rest.
4. Frankenstein: See #3
5. Friday the 13th Part 3: This movie serves up the usual dose of teenage angst and graphic murder scenes. This also marks the beginning of Jason’s trademark hockey mask.
Thanks to all the contributors that helped me.
For information on The Mummy and The Monkey Show at themummyandthemonkey.com or http://www.facebook.com/themummyandthemonkey
For comics and collectibles, visit http://www.watchtowerheroes.com , the facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/WatchtowerHeroesComics, or stop in the Columbiana, Ohio store at 6 S. Main St, Columbiana, OH 44408
PART TWO COMING SOON!!