Top 20 Horror Movies to Make You Laugh

Not everyone loves horror movies.  Shocking. I know.  But there are people out there that just don’t like to be scared, at least not completely.  That’s why so many horror movies throw in comic relief from time to time.

So for those people who need a little more laughs than shivers, here’s the Fright Owl’s Top 20 Horror Movies to Make You Laugh.

Warning: Here be spoilers.

20) Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Next Generation (1994): Matthew McConaughey and Renee Zelwegger both star in this TCM sequel.  It’s got a terrible rating on IMDB, but I recommend it just for the absurdity of it all.  Plus, Renee Zelwegger bellows a menacing “You sit the fuck down!” at a rising Leatherface.  Instant classic moment.

19) House (1986): The monsters in this remind me of a Looney Tunes episode.  Just a bunch of craziness and some classic 80s sweaters.

18) Lake Placid (1999): Betty White plays an old lady who has been feeding alligators along with her husband in her lake for years.  Who cares that one got so big it started eating people?  You leave her babies alone.

17) Gremlins 2 (1990): This was so entertaining to me when I was a kid, and it still has some good value today.  The gremlins dress up in all sorts of fun little costumes, and remember the theater scene?  Love it.

16) American Werewolf in London (1981):  This one’s a little scarier than some on the list, but it’s got some comedic value, mostly in the form of David’s deceased buddy, Jack.

15) Slither (2006): Gross and funny, this one stars fan-favorite Nathan Fillion and boasts some great laughs and many nasty moments to make you cringe.

14) The Lost Boys (1987): Corey Haim and Corey Feldman team up to take down the vampire menace plaguing their town, and while there are some serious moments, there are a ton of laughs.

13) Behind the Mask: The Rise of Leslie Vernon (2007):  This innovative horror film cracked me up when I first saw it.  It’s a very different take on the genre, taken from the point of view of a documentary film crew who interviews an up-and-coming slasher.

12) Jennifer’s Body (2009): This movie was dogged when it first came out, maybe because it starred Megan Fox.  But believe me when I say that this one is crazy entertaining.

11) Zombieland (2009):  Just give Woody Harrelson some twinkies!  I’m not a fan of Jesse Eisenberg, but this horror comedy had a lot of great moments and some great laughs.  And I, of course, have to mention THE cameo from Bill Murray.  I mean, how great was that?

10) Young Frankenstein (1974): Such a classic movie starring the late, great Gene Wilder.  The ‘Puttin’ on the Ritz’ dance is a classic movie moment, and although I’ve seen it over and over, I laugh every time.

9) The ‘Burbs (1989): Tom Hanks just wants to have a quiet vacation at his home, but his neighbor isn’t having it and wants him to help investigate the creepy newcomers who just moved next door.  So many shenanigans.  And another one with Corey Feldman.

8) Ghostbusters (1984):  I don’t think I need to go into any description of this one, a classic comedy with ghosts aplenty.

7) Seed of Chucky (2004): The Child’s Play movies started off scary, but Chucky went full funny in this one.

6) Tremors (1990): Kevin Bacon has to deal with crazy creatures under the dirt in his desert home, but no worries, Reba McEntire is there to help.

5) Cabin in the Woods (2012): Joss Whedon and Drew Goddard made a classic when they made this one.  It’s a different take on the origin of scary movies, and it delivers laugh after laugh along with the scary moments.

4) Tucker & Dale Vs. Evil (2010):  Just a big misunderstanding leads to some hilarious situations in this movie starring Alan Tudyk and Tyler Labine.

3) Evil Dead II (1987) & Army of Darkness (1992): I let these two share a number because I just couldn’t decide which one to put on top.  Bruce Campbell is amazing in both.

2) Beetlejuice (1988): This movie delivers a ghost story with some hilarity and a fantastic I performance from Michael Keaton.

1) Shaun of the Dead (2004): I LOVE THIS MOVIE.  This is the first of the Cornetto Trilogy from Edgar Wright and Simon Pegg, and it’s a crazy-fun ride through the zombie apocalypse.

So are there any that should have been on this list that I missed?

Frightmaster Lovecraft, Spinnin’ Terror

It’s Friday again, and if you’re looking for a way to start your weekend off with a fright, then I suggest you look into the works of H.P. Lovecraft.

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Even if you haven’t read any of Lovecraft’s stories, you are still sure to have read, heard, or watched something that was influenced by him.  Multiple musicians, directors, comic book artists, and authors (including the master of horror himself, Stephen King) have cited Lovecraft as a huge inspiration in their work.

And for all you Evil Dead fans (myself included), you know the Necronomicon?  Yeah.  He invented that.  Respect.

Now, if you’re looking for light reading, this ain’t it.  His stories boast some of the heaviest content I have ever read.  Thinking about the size of the universe and your place in it can make you feel small, but Lovecraft’s descriptions of our place in the galaxy, the origins of our ancestors, and ancient inhabitants of our planet make you feel positively microscopic.

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It’s not feel-good material is what I’m saying.  It’s just good.  Really good.

My favorites of his stories are “At the Mountains of Madness,” “Dreams in the Witch House,” “The Dunwich Horror,” “The Shunned House,” and, of course, “The Call of Cthulhu.”

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It’s about this guy, but scarier.

I suggest you start with all of those and keep going.

Not much of a reader?  No problem.  Check out the following movies and TV episodes based on or influenced by his work:

  • Re-Animator (1985): This horror-comedy based on Lovecraft’s story “Herbert West – Re-Animator” is gory, disturbing, and hilarious.
  • Masters of Horror – “Dreams in the Witch House” (2005):  The second episode of this awesome series (check it out if you haven’t already) is directly taken from the story of the same name.  It’s dark and creepy, and it’s one of my favorites.
  • South Park – “Coon 2: Hindsight,” “Mysterion Rises,” & “Coon vs. Coon & Friends” (2010): Trouble begins in the first episode of this trilogy when DP drills too deep into the ocean floor and releases Cthulhu from the watery depths.  Of course, Cartman is there to make friends.  If you love to laugh, this will not disappoint.
  • The Thing (1982): Although it isn’t actually based on the story, this movie is reminiscent of “At the Mountains of Madness,” one of my all-time favorite Lovecraft stories.  Antarctica? Check.  Doom? Check. Gloom? Check. Creepy Alien Lifeforms? Check.

I believe I’ll take my own advice and re-read some of my favorite stories over this long weekend.  What about you?  Do you have any favorites?  What Lovecraftian horrors give you the chills?

Project Scarecrow: A Song of Paper and Glue

It’s time for another DIY Wednesday!  Since I shared my love of PVC pipe last time, this week I thought I’d talk about another one of my favorite project materials: Papier Mache.

When my love of Halloween prop DIY began, I ate up everything I could online.  There are so many awesome Halloween blogs out there with so many great projects that I felt a little overwhelmed but so excited about the possibilities.  Although I looked at every Halloween blog I could find, my three favorites for inspiration were (and are) Stolloween, Pumpkinrot, and Spookyblue.

I fell in love with all the cool, creepy props the artists had made, especially the scarecrows.  I liked the scarecrows so much in fact that I decided I would try to make one, too.

One of the first steps when doing a papier mache project is to create a base.  This could be a number of things, whatever you can use to create the shape you want.  I wanted to make a large pumpkin head, so I used a large plastic grocery bag filled with newspaper.  To get the pumpkin ridges, I used masking tape to create the right shape, and for the stem, I used a rolled up piece of a magazine secured with masking tape.

Like so.
Like so.

After the base has been made, it’s time to make the glue.  There are so many recipes for this stuff online.  Choose whichever one works best for you.  For mine, I mixed flour and water at a ratio of 1 to 4, and then added some white Elmer’s glue and some liquid starch because I read that it would help the mixture adhere to the paper more easily and create a stronger hold.

Next, it’s time to get messy.

Take strips of shredded newspaper and dip them in the glue mixture. After they’re completely covered, start laying them over your base, making sure to create a thin layer over the entire thing and allowing it to dry a bit before adding a new layer.  It’s best to do multiple layers for a stronger prop.  I think I used about seven layers for my scarecrow head, but you could do more or less depending on what you’re going to be doing with the prop.

Next up is the detail work.  After my scarecrow head dried, I removed the newspaper and bag from a hole in the bottom.   You can use your own judgment to decide whether or not you need to do this step.  If you’re not going to cut into your prop, you can probably skip it.  Since my scarecrow wouldn’t be scary without a creepy face, I drew an outline on the form and then carefully cut out the mouth, nose, and eyes with a craft knife.

For the finishing touches, I used spray paint and dry brushing to give my scarecrow head some color and creepiness.  Pieces of dried cane from my husband’s grandmother were used to make the scarecrow body, fastened together in a T-shape with tape and twine.  Lastly, I draped some creepy cloth over the arms to flesh it out a bit.

Voila!  Scarecrow.

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Sure.  It might not be the fantastic creations of Spookyblue and Pumpkinrot, but although it might not measure up to those guys, I was pretty damn pleased with the final product.  Plus, it was my first attempt, and practice makes perfect.  I even got compliments from the trick-or-treaters that came to the house.  I call that a success.

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I’m already looking forward to making some new creepy things this year. There aren’t many days left until Halloween, so I better start planning now.  What about you?  Are you planning on any cool props this year?  I’d love to hear about your creations in the comments!

Guy Woodhouse, You Despicable Bastard

If you’re a fan of horror movies or even movies in general, you know there is no shortage of characters to hate.  Some are just bad, some  are so bad you love to hate them, and some are the kind of bad that makes you afraid of them.

And then there’s this douchebag.

One of my favorite horror movies (see my Top 25) is Rosemary’s Baby.  It’s also home to one of the absolutely most despicable characters I’ve ever seen: Guy Woodhouse, poor Rosemary’s husband.

WARNING; If you haven’t seen the movie yet (and shame on you if you haven’t), here be spoilers.

The movie opens with Rosemary and her husband, Guy, apartment hunting in New York.  They end up in the Brown, an old building with a lot of frightening history, and make friends with the old couple living next door,  Roman and Minnie Castevet.  After having dinner with them one night, Guy grows close with them.

I’ll cut to the chase.  Minnie and Roman are actually Satan worshippers who help Guy become successful after he consents to allowing Rosemary to be raped and impregnated by the devil.

And if that last sentence doesn’t do it for you, let me run down the reasons why I hate him so much:

  • Rosemary is a sweet, naive young woman who loves Guy and wants nothing more than to have his children and live a happy life with him.  Guy knows this, and he sacrifices her happiness to get ahead in his profession.
  • He tells her he wants to have a baby, something she wants so, so much.  Then, he drugs her, undresses her for the ritual to take place in front of the Satan-worshippers, and – what was the last thing? Oh, yeah – allows her to be RAPED BY SATAN!
  • He repeatedly makes Rosemary feel like crap during her pregnancy.  She gets a haircut (THE iconic pixie haircut), and he tells her multiple times how terrible it looks (very minor compared to rape, but still).  She says she wants to get a second opinion about the terrible pain she’s experiencing, and he says he won’t let her do it because it isn’t fair to her doctor.
  • He sacrifices Rosemary’s friend (and his friend), Hutch, to ensure that he doesn’t get in the way.  THEN, he throws away a book that is the only thing Hutch leaves Rosemary.  Yeah, he throws it away to keep Rosemary from reading anything else about Roman’s history, but it’s a pretty crappy thing to do.
  • This line: “They told me you wouldn’t be hurt, and you haven’t been, really.  Supposing you had the baby and you lost it. That would be the same thing, wouldn’t it?  And we’re getting so much in return, Ro.”  Ugh!
  • And one more time for those in the back:  HE ALLOWS HER TO BE RAPED BY SATAN.imageYep. This guy.

Whoa.  I got pretty riled up and angry just from writing all of that.  I just cannot stand this guy.  So what about you?  Are there any characters in horror movies that just make your skin crawl?

Throwback: Bloody Mary and Other Deadly Games

I remember watching Candyman at a sleepover I hosted when I was little.  My friends and I decided to test the movie’s premise by speaking the name ‘Candyman’ 5 times in the mirror in the bathroom.  (Spoiler Alert: He didn’t show.)

My aunt came over when we were in the middle of it, and being an inquisitive individual, she asked, “What the hell are you doing?!  What were you going to do if he showed up? Die?”

I guess we hadn’t thought that far ahead.

But being idgit kids, we played these games over and over and over.  And being an idgit adult, I decided to play a few tonight, just for the sense of nostalgia.  Here are my favorite deadly games from yesteryear:

Bloody Mary

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Not this.

I really don’t think I need to explain this one, but just in case you’re a mole person that just escaped your hatch, you basically speak the name “Bloody Mary” three times in front of a bathroom mirror in the dark and she appears to kill you, or hurt you, or read you a scary story or something.

So I went to my bathroom, turned the lights off, and said the magic words.  She was a no-show.  But then I decided to pee while I was in there and found out I had started my period. Success?

Light as a Feather, Stiff as a Board

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This one probably needs very little explanation.  A group of kids surround a kid who is lying on the floor.  Each kid puts two fingers under the lucky kid on the floor and chants “light as a feather, stiff as a board” repeatedly until the kid magically floats off the floor.  Just good old-fashioned witchcraft at its finest, folks.

Well, as you can tell from the description above, you need more than a few people to do this one, but I improvised by getting my husband and dog involved.  Since my dog doesn’t have fingers, she got to be the lucky one on the floor.

And she was not having it.

We attempted to do the chanting and the lifting, but she just wiggled around until we gave up.  I mean, we were able to lift her, but it wasn’t really in the spirit of the game.

Concentrate

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We’d do this one while waiting in lines in elementary school.  Two people play.  One pounds lightly on the other’s back while chanting “Concentrate. Concentrate. Concentrate on what I’m saying. People are dying. Children are crying. Concentrate. Concentrate.”  Not awkward at all.

Anyway, creepy verses follow that have corresponding hand movements for effect.  You can check out this link for the full thing.  Afterward, the kid not chanting is supposed to open her eyes and find out how she’s going to die according to whatever colored door she sees.  Makes sense, right?

My husband took a bit of convincing because, for some reason, he didn’t want to know how he was going to die.  Go figure.  He didn’t really have to worry about anything.  I couldn’t get through it.  It’s actually really weird to chant something to someone’s back, even  if that person is your spouse.

Ouija Board

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Um…no.  Not touching this one.  The closest I’m getting to these is this tin of mints I bought at Spirit Halloween last year.

If you want to play around with this one again, be my guest.  But fair warning:

Do you want demons?  ‘Cause that’s how you get demons.

Well, it was fun walking down memory lane, but it really made me realize how little boundaries children have…and how dumb they can be.  Like, what were we going to do with Candyman if he showed up?

Top 5 Most Disappointing Movie Monsters

We’ve all been there.  You’re watching a horror movie.  Strange, scary things are happening, and you just know whatever is the cause has got to be equal parts creepy and awesome.

Then, it shows up.  And it kinda sucks.  Why did it have to suck?

So in honor of our shared disappointment, this Top Tuesday post is dedicated to the Top 5 Most Disappointing Movie Monsters.

Quick disclaimer: I will not be including any SyFy movies in this list or else it would’ve been too damn long.  And it would have been redundant.  Most of them are supposed to be stupid, right?

5.  Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark

I was pretty excited for this movie when it was advertised. I only saw the trailers that didn’t show the creatures (I try to limit my views of horror movie trailers so they aren’t ruined), so I had no idea that the BIG BAD THINGS were cute, little fairy-like creatures. I mean, I wouldn’t mind having one of these little guys as a pet. I’d dress it up, take it to the park, feed it nice things. One thing I wouldn’t do is be terrified of it.

4.  Cloverfield

I can’t say so much that I was disappointed in what this monster looked like; I was just disappointed they showed it all. It wasn’t that bad or anything. In my opinion, the movie just went downhill after they fully showed the big guy. I liked the glimpses, just not the whole enchilada. It was too much enchilada. Like when you think you can eat three at a Mexican restaurant, but you really should have only tackled two. You don’t hate the enchiladas. You just know you had too much.

3.  Paranormal Activity: The Ghost Dimension

I’ve said before that I love the Paranormal Activity movies. I just do. I enjoy the subtle effects and the storyline.  Toby, little Kristie’s best friend, is the malevolent force behind all the chaos in the movies, and I think Toby, in his invisible form, was pretty cool.

And then they gave us the sixth installment, Paranormal Activity: The Ghost Dimension.

It wasn’t exactly terrible.  It just sorta ruined the air of mystery surrounding Toby.  I admit I was pretty excited to find out that they were going to “show the activity” in this one, but I was pretty disappointed to see Toby as just another CGI ghost.  Oh well.  It didn’t ruin the series for me. I just wasn’t a fan of visible Toby.

2.  Stephen King’s The Langoliers

This one’s a little obscure if you aren’t a fan of 90s-era Stephen King TV movies, but it makes the list because it annoyed me soooooo much as a kid. I was so excited about The Langoliers when it was advertised.  I remember even asking one of my teachers in fifth grade if he knew what they were at recess.  Surprise, surprise. He didn’t.

So I watched this movie.  If you don’t know, it’s about a group of people on a plane that flies through the aurora borealis.  Everyone who was awake when that happens disappears, and those that were asleep awake to find themselves wondering why the hell all these people left without their clothes, wigs, pacemakers, and dentalwork.

Thankfully, one of the sleepy passengers just so happens to be a pilot who is able to land the plane at a deserted airport.  After some quick sleuthing and leaps of logic, they figure out they went back in time, proving what middle schoolers already know – history is boring.

One of the passengers, an annoying businessman expertly played by Bronson Pinchot, tells a story about the Langoliers, monsters his dad used to tell him would come and eat him alive if he was bad.  They end up hearing a buzzing noise off in the distance and decide they should get out of there before the source makes it to them.   When the source finally shows up – the titular Langoliers – they are nothing but flying cannonballs with teeth, eating the landscape and devouring time as we know it. WTF, guys?

1.  Stephen King’s IT (*Not Pennywise. He’s Cool.*)

Yep.  Another King entry.  It makes me a little sad to add this one to the list, but as much as I love Stephen King’s It and as much as it holds a very special place in my heart, even I can admit the monster reveal at the end was a let-down.  Maybe it was because Pennywise was so awesome.  There just wasn’t anything they could do to top him, so I imagine the conversation went something like this:

Guy 1: “Okay, we need something to be the actual monster at the end, so what could be scarier than this clown guy?”

Guy 2: “Giant spider?”

Guy 3: “…Yeah. Giant spider.”

Guy 1: “I guess. Let’s tell the effects team.”

Fin.

So those are the top 5 monsters that disappointed me.  Are there any that I missed that made you a little sad?

Have You Heard of the Goatman?

It’s another edition of Friday Night Frights, and for this one, I really want to draw your attention to one of my all-time favorite scary stories.  Have you heard of the Goatman?

There are Goatman legends in quite a few parts of the country, namely the Pope Lick Monster in Kentucky, the Lake Worth Monster in Texas, and the Goatman of Maryland.

But I’m not talking about those.

I am from Oklahoma, so Native American folklore has always been pretty fascinating to me.   I grew up around Native American burial grounds, and there have been more than a few arrowheads found around my childhood home.  Since I’ve always been a horror junkie, these circumstances have fueled my imagination ever since I was little because – well – burial grounds = dead people = ghosts.

Like these guys but – you know – scarier.

So when I came across Anansi’s Goatman Story a few years ago, I immediately fell in love.  If you haven’t read it, I suggest you go read it now…unless it’s still daytime.  Wait until night for a better effect.

In my opinion, this version of the Goatman is the most terrifying.  This story just speaks to me. My house was near the woods, so I have little trouble imagining myself in the same situation.  I can remember so many fun times with my friends out there in the forest: camping out, having sleepovers with late-night treks through the trees, and telling so many scary stories that every snap and crackle we heard became a monster.  I can’t tell you how many times my friends and I were alone out there at night.

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Thinking about hearing strange jabbering noises coming from the dark woods while you’re helpless to do anything, smelling something so out-of-place it puts you on edge, and realizing one of the people in your group doesn’t belong – well, that just creeps me right the hell out.  But in an extremely good way.

Because of the popularity of this story, other internet storytellers have hopped on board the Goatman train.  And I love every story I read.  There have been stories on Reddit’s No Sleep and Creepypasta that have a similar vibe, and I hope they keep coming.  Just check them all out.

So what’s your favorite scary story?

PVC Pipe: A DIYers Best Friend

PVC pipe.  If you haven’t played around with this stuff, you’re missing out on some fun.  It is so versatile.  Just type “PVC PROJECTS” in Pinterest and feast your eyes on all the cool things you can do.

I never knew how much I loved PVC pipe projects until I saw a picture of a zombie prop frame and decided to try my hand at it.  I got my project list, headed to Lowe’s, and ended up with this just a little while later:

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You’ll have to forgive the low-light pic.  Just look at this cool thing.  It was my first prop project, but let me tell you something.  It wasn’t the last.  Check out these fun monsters I made this year with a PVC pipe base, some masks, clothes, and foam heads:

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20151018_16243820151101_133003I’m really glad I had the after picture for this last one.

If you want to try some projects out for yourself (and I know you do), just go to your local Lowe’s or Home Depot and check out their selection.  The pipe itself comes in quite a few sizes, and there are fittings of all sizes and angles to make your wildest dreams come true!

Okay. Maybe not your wildest dreams, but you’ll be able to do some pretty cool stuff with it.  They’re like adult tinker toys.  Seriously.  It’s so fun.

Here are a few tips and tricks to get you started:

1)  BUY A PVC PIPE CUTTER!  There’s a reason this one is #1 and in all caps.  It’s important.  I tried using a hacksaw the first time followed by an extra small rotary saw blade.  It sucked.  PVC dust went everywhere, and that’s just not healthy. You can buy one of these cutters at Lowe’s or Home Depot for cheap, and it makes all the difference.

2)  Use PVC glue to make your props permanent.  Or you can use them on select fittings to keep your props a little more stable but still able to be deconstructed easily.  I don’t use the glue much because I like to be able to take my props apart completely.  When you have as much Halloween stuff as I do, space is a big deal.

3)  Measure your own limbs and proportions to decide how big you want your prop.  PVC pipe is relatively cheap, but you don’t want to waste it by cutting the wrong sizes.  Make sure to account for the length of the fittings you want to use.

4)  Draw it out.  The only art skill you need for this is basic stick figure drawing.  Drawing your prop first and counting the angles and connection points helps greatly with knowing how many fittings of each type you need.

5)  Get creative with combining these projects with other prop-making materials.  You can add thickness and depth to your props by using chicken wire or cardboard under clothes/costumes, or you can use spray paint directly on the pipe to make cages or “steel” pipes in your Halloween display.  There are just so many options.  For instance, with some thick-gauged wire, cardboard cut in the shape of my palm, and masking tape, I made these creepy, skeletal hands and arms.

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So get out there and try some fun projects of your own.  There’s no wrong way to do it.  Unless you don’t use a PVC pipe cutter.  That’s just dumb.

Motherly Love: The Lessons We’ve Learned

Happy Mother’s Day!

Okay, I know Mother’s Day was yesterday, but we should really be celebrating our mothers every day.  Shouldn’t we?  Moms are so important.  I know that I’ve been so lucky to have such a loving mother in my life.  She’s funny, loving, smart – the whole package, really.

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But this isn’t the place to talk about all that mushy stuff.  So let’s stick with the status quo and discuss what horror movie moms have taught us:

Lesson:  It’s important to have a moral compass.

Mother: Margaret White (Carrie)

Carrie’s mom just wanted her daughter to follow the righteous path.  Maybe Carrie’s telekinetic powers came naturally to her.  But maybe – just maybe – they came from Satan.  Not Margaret White’s baby!  She was ready to do anything and everything to keep her daughter from landing in the fiery pits of hell, including straight-up murdering Carrie to save her soul.  It’s tough to have to make those kinds of decisions.

Lesson: It’s important to be polite. (Also, don’t wear white after Labor Day.)

Mother: Beverly Sutphin (Serial Mom)

Social niceties are important.  You don’t just steal parking spaces or stand someone’s daughter up for a date in a civilized society – not without consequences.  Beverly Sutphin knew this and tried her darndest to teach impolite people why they needed to die for their slights.  And for wearing white after Labor Day.

Lesson: Explore your talents.  If you’re good at something, it’ll pay.

Mother: Norman Bates/Mother (Psycho)

Ms. Bates was a little domineering.  We all know that.  But she was only looking out for the best interests of her child.  Would Norman have gotten as far in life without Mother’s support?  Telling him when to change the bed sheets, when to turn on the ‘Vacancy’ light, which guests to kill, how to cultivate his skill in taxidermy so that she could “live on” after death?  I’ll tell you where he’d be.  He’d be just another boring guy working at a failing motel.  Listen to your mom.  Mother knows best.

Lesson: Cleanliness is next to godliness.

Mother: Woman (The People Under the Stairs)

Little Alice was bad.  She was friends with Roach, who spoke against her “parents.”  Sometimes children need discipline for going against their parents’ wishes, and sometimes that discipline needs to be a scalding hot bath to wash away their sins.

Lesson:  If anyone hurts my baby, there’ll be hell to pay.

Mother: Pamela Voorhees (Friday the 13th)

A good mother loves her child unconditionally and will go to terrifying lengths to protect/avenge him.  Oh, so Jason drowned while you were having unprotected sex and getting high on all kinds of drugs?  No problem. Ms. Voorhees will slice-and-dice you and every counselor there ever was.  Don’t come between a mother and her child, or you might just end up dead.

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These are just some of the important lessons we’ve learned from the horror movie mommies in our lives.  And those are some pretty good lessons.  They might be a little more violent than necessary, but well, no mother is perfect.

I mean, my mom is, but that’s beside the point.

Throwback: Tales from the Crypt

Hello, Boils and Ghouls.  For this edition of Throwback Thursday, I thought I’d talk about one of my favorite shows as a kid: Tales from the Crypt.  I’d always stay up on Saturday nights to make sure I didn’t miss an episode.  I still L-O-V-E this show.  Let’s talk about why you should, too.

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The Opening & Theme Song

From the very beginning, this show captured my attention.  There aren’t many shows I watch that I make a point of also watching the opening sequence every single time (Game of Thrones and Black Sails now also hold that honor).

I’d hear the groan of the wrought iron gate and immediately snap to attention.  I always wanted to visit that house as a kid – creepy decor, secret passageways, and it’s own basement crypt.  What kid wouldn’t love that?

And can I just say how much I love the theme song?  It’s actually been my ringtone for a few years now.  Danny Elfman is one of my favorite composers.  His music style is fun but still dark and perfectly set the tone of the show.

The Cryptkeeper 

The man himself.  The Ghostess with the Mostess.  I loved this guy. Still do, really.  He had just the right amounts of both fright and charm.  Not many people – dead or alive – can get away with the amount of puns that he could, and he was a master of it.  Sure, it was painful at times, but that was what made it so fun.

John Kassir’s voice work made Mr. Keeper an icon.  If the new version of Tales from the Crypt actually gets on the air, I doubt the new host will even come close to measuring up.

The Effects

I’m a fan of gore, and this show had no shortage of it.  Blood, guts, maggots – the special effects team brought it.  So it wasn’t realistic.  So what?  So someone that just died wouldn’t have rotted that much already.  So what?

So what?

The Guest Stars

This is what gives this show the greatest re-watch value.  There were so many great guest stars.  Catherine O’Hara, Demi Moore, Jeffrey Tambor, Steve Buscemi, Tom Hanks, Dan Aykroyd, Daniel Craig, and – my favorite – Tim Curry are just a few of the awesome stars that made an appearance on this show.  It’s so fun to watch serious actors ham it up in these crazy stories.

The Stories

The show itself was based on the comic books by the same name, so there was no shortage of crazy content. Episodes ranged from the comical, like the living comic book in “Korman’s Kalamity,” to the downright terrifying, such as the horrifying haunted house in “Television Terror.”

There were no happy endings in the Tales from the Crypt world. I have such fond memories of Morty the “hand puppet” (Not the meat grinder!).  Even when it almost works out for the main character, it doesn’t.  There’s always the twist at the end.

Whoa.  Maybe that’s why M. Night Shyamalan is rebooting it.  He just can’t get away from the twists.

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So glad I could SCARE up a few memories about one of my most FEAR-vorite shows.  Now, I’m just DYING to watch my collection again.

Man, I’m really bad at that.