Entries 6 Through 10
10. Army of Darkness (1992)
Ready for Black Friday!
Raimi’s followup to Evil Dead 2 finds Bruce Campbell’s Ash stuck in the middle ages, fighting the “deadites” while falling in love with a local girl. Has some fun stop-motion effects in the style of Jason and the Argonauts, and has lots of humor. Watch for Bruce Campbell fighting his “evil” self, attempting to free the Necronomicon by saying words from The Day the Earth Stood Still (he says them wrong), and his replacement of his chainsaw hand with a metal one that can crush goblets. Don’t miss the funny S-Mart ending, too. Army of Darkness jettisons the horror aspects of the previous films in favor of fantasy/camp, but Raimi still keeps his inventiveness.
9. Night of the Living Dead (1968)
When gardening goes horribly wrong.
Zombies weren’t invented in 1968 (remember Bela in White Zombie?) but George Romero certainly brought them to the mainstream with this chilling black-and-white classic. Night of the Living Dead is full of suspense, gore, and general dread. Very scary while also quite obviously a product of the civil rights era. The beginning scene (“They’re coming to get you, Barbara!”) is classic; the ending is shocking and powerful. A good movie for Halloween viewing.
8. Halloween III: Season of the Witch (1982)
Never use a light saber to brush your teeth.
When compared to the first Halloween, none of the sequels are that good – ask some people and they’ll tell you that Halloween III – Season Of The Witch is the worst, since it doesn’t even feature Michael Myers. We maintain that it’s one of the better sequels, because it doesn’t feature Michael Myers. That’s not to say it’s any good, mind you. No, it’s really, really cheesy. But it’s also funny and has an audacious storyline. Get this: crazy old codger is really a secret witch who intends to use his Halloween mask company to sacrifice children for Samhain. To do this involves lasers, black magic, computers, silly commercial advertisements, and … Stonehenge. Oh yeah, he’ll need an army of robot bodyguards to help. Lots of fun, despite the goofiness, and it features Tom Atkins, so what more do you want? Read our review of Halloween III here.
7. Return of the Living Dead (1985)
Never cross Ronald McDonald.
Really fun horror/comedy hybrid that suggests Night of the Living Dead was based on real events, where a canister of experimental gas from the military ends up in the warehouse where James Karen and Thom Mathews work. Return of the Living Dead has really good effects work and is equal parts funny and creepy – take the scene where our two main characters are infected and slowly turning into zombies. Paramedics are extremely confused when they find bizarre symptoms like no pulse and rigor mortis. A movie where the attempt to destroy the undead ends up making things worse. Don’t miss the famous scene of Linnea Quigley stripping nude in a graveyard. The ending is brave, too, and the punk soundtrack is great. Read our review of Return of the Living Dead here.
6. Night of the Creeps (1986)
That is not Captain America...
Night of the Creeps is a fun college-buddy picture that happens to involve space slugs, zombies, brooding cops, resurrected axe murderers, and Rush Week shenanigans. It’s probably the greatest semi-reinterpretation of Plan 9 From Outer Space ever made and is full of B-movie goodness – quotable lines, a fun turn by Tom Atkins, and a cool scene where Jason Lively has to dispatch a group of undead frat boys with a flame thrower and lawn mower. Read our review of Night of the Creeps here.
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