This is Halloween, this is Halloween Pumpkins scream in the dead of night.
Ah the lyrics to one of my favorite animated films — Nightmare Before Christmas. It’s that time of year and everyone needs to have their horror films queued up and ready to go. What’s that you say? You have no idea where to begin? Well, we can’t have that. October is the time in which we should all be enjoying a good horror movie marathon. Even better — Halloween-themed movie marathons. It’s a pseudo-recursive theme and I’m going to arm you with a few outstanding films to get you moving in the right direction.
Trick ‘R Treat: This is one of my favorite Halloween-themed films. Four interwoven stories that occur on Halloween: An everyday high school principal has a secret life as a serial killer; a college virgin might have just met the one guy for her; a group of teenagers pull a mean prank; a woman who loathes the night has to contend with her holiday-obsessed husband. This film stars a pre-True Blood Anna Paquin and a great little pumpkin-headed slasher who wields a lollipop like the truest of mad bastards.
Halloween (original): You’ll be hard-pressed to find a more appropriate Halloween-themed horror film to watch during the month of fright. This film is pretty much the Mac Daddy of slasher films and should be watched (with reverence) every Halloween season. If you’ve never seen Halloween, you are in for such a treat…no trick!
Halloween (remake): I get schnubbed a lot for being a fan of Rob Zombie’s films. Not that I love all of them. The second Halloween remake he did really pushed the limits with the whole mother/horse analogy (which was an analogy for what????). The first of his remakes was, however, pretty outstanding. What he does is turn Michael Myers into a vicious killing machine — not slowed down by death and evil and plot convenience theatre!
Pumpkinhead: Is one of my favorite “moody” horror films of all time. It’s Lance Henrickson-charged film with Stan Winston effects. You won’t find a better piece of film to show on a dark, creepy, October night. The gist of this film is a father’s young son is killed and he exacts vengeance on the killers with the help of an evil witch and a demon called Pumpkinhead. Trivia: Pumpkinhead was inspired by this Ed Justin poem:
Keep away from Pumpkinhead,
Unless you’re tired of living,
His enemies are mostly dead,
He’s mean and unforgiving,
Laugh at him and you’re undone,
But in some dreadful fashion,
Vengeance, he considers fun,
And plans it with a passion,
Time will not erase or blot,
A plot that he has brewing,
It’s when you think that he’s forgot,
He’ll conjure your undoing,
Bolted doors and windows barred,
Guard dogs prowling in the yard,
Won’t protect you in your bed,
Nothing will, from Pumpkinhead.
House of 1000 Corpses: It may not be fair to have two Rob Zombie films on this list, but House of a 1000 Corpses is just such a fun romp through the land of dangerous inbreds and masochists. The Firefly family are just plain nuts and the film enjoys the wicked brilliance of Sid Haig as Captain Spaulding. There’s all sorts of wrong to enjoy in this film and seeing as how it’s set on Halloween, how can you go wrong? Get your crazy on and run, rabbit run!
And there you have it; five films with a Halloween theme for you to enjoy during this haunted October. Make sure to conjure up some creepy snacks and a blanket or two before you begin, else you have nothing to hide from when Pumpkinhead rips off your head and drinks your blood!