Rhett's Halloween List 2004 Every Halloween there are hundreds of different horror films to choose from. Whether it is the latest offers at the multiplex or on home video, it is often tough to choose a suitable film list to occupy your time during the horror fan’s holiday. This is made all the more complicated by the horror blitz that most studios usher in throughout September and October. In order to help you sift through all the clutter, I offer you my personal top ten list of horror films to watch on the holiday. By no means definitive, this is simply a list of the top ten horror films I will be entertaining this October 31st. Enjoy! 10. Night of the Demons There is nothing like seeing Linnea Quigley inserting a bottle of lipstick into her nipple to get the party started. Night of the Demons is a fun little gem, ripe for play on the eve of fall disarray. If trick or treating is a ritual to expel demons, then Night is the film that unleashes them. Every Halloween night must have some sort of demon unleashed, and Night of the Demons does so in a fun party setting. It is a nice bit of late eighties visual style, and who can’t appreciate the celebration of superstitions and scares with the opening animation sequence? 9. Popcorn Another party film like Night of the Demons, Popcorn instead has a group of film geeks arranging an ultimate movie night. Alan Ormsby’s film has fun riffing some of the older gimmick films of the past, and the movie theatre setting lends perfectly to your own Halloween movie night. It really is the perfect party film, making as much a part of the audience as all the people sitting in the Popcorn theater seats. And it has Jamaican music. 8. Troll 2 Every Halloween night needs a good bad movie, and boy do the blokes from Nilbog deliver. Troll 2 succeeds so well at being awful it truly is in a class of its own. Just when you think the movie can’t get more preposterous it outdoes itself, whether it is Grandpa Seth stopping time and convincing his grandson to urinate on the supper table, Joshua discovering the big revelation that Nilbog is actually you-know-what spelled backwards or a man being seduced by the power of corn on the cob. The whole film has a storybook quality for it, like one of those run-on campfire stories that are entertained so much in Halloween lore. Witches, goblins and vegetables…three of the 31st’s scariest concoctions, all in one tasty Nilbog package. 7. Zombie Another great film for a Halloween party is Lucio Fulci’s original Zombiefest. High on gore and low on plot, this is the perfect film to infuse the background with a nice sense or morbid horror celebration. Chat with some friends, gag together at the eye gouge scene, and revel in all the sloppy goodness of Eurohorror. No Halloween night is complete without Zombies, and considering all the play that Dawn of the Dead has been getting lately, Zombie is the perfect alternative. 6. The Haunting (1963) Here is a film that works for its scares, one that relies on the unseen and the power of the imagination to truly frighten. The Haunting plays best in small audiences, so if you are all alone on Halloween night, there is little better than popping this black and white chiller in your player. Even more prolific than Zombies and demons, ghosts have been one of the driving foundation of horror, whether it be Poe or William Castle. Celebrate the horror that is both nowhere and everywhere at once. Ghosts rule. 5. Shivers And now we move into some distinctly Canadian horror. David Cronenberg’s Shivers is not his best film, but it is one with the most unkempt energy and humor. A modern meditation on the Zombie film, it leaves nothing sacred. The infecting virus shoots itself up a woman’s vagina, is vomited from the top floor of a high rise building onto senior citizens and is cultivated in a rape scene of sorts by a mad doctor within the first five minutes. The pacing is quick, especially for Cronenberg, and it makes for good blood curdling Halloween horror. 4. Ginger Snaps If Shivers is Canada’s take on the Zombie film, then Ginger Snaps is Canada’s werewolf picture. The film encapsulates that late fall atmosphere so well, with parched leaves and orange skies infiltrating all the werewolf madness. Monster films are required horror viewing, and few fit the Halloween aesthetic as well as Ginger Snaps. Not only that, but the film is laced with wit and intelligence, envisioning werewolf lore as a metaphor for female sexuality. If there is one thing nearly as prolific as monsters in horror, it is brooding female teenagers. Definitely a Halloween treat worth biting into. 3. Deranged The fall can be full of leaves, but in Canada it is often full of snow. Deranged uses that snowy atmosphere to create a truly bizarre little movie. It is the Canuxized version of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, with the snowy Ontario locations as stand-ins for the dry south, and Ezra Cobb in the place of Leatherface. Like any version of the Ed Gein story, there is ample mask wearing, which seems right at home on Hallows’eve. For all those sick of those idealized portraits of Halloweenwith the warm fall colors and orange pumpkins, take a trip up north with Deranged. The best thing is…the cold stays on the screen. 2. Terror Train Finally released on DVD this fall, Terror Train is prime fodder for Halloween viewing. It takes place at a huge costume party, where everyone from Groucho Marx to David Copperfield makes an appearance. The killer switches costumes after each murder, so it is like a costume parade for all those wishing to stay home on the night of the ghouls. Not only are there costumes, but there is also some wonderfully excessive magic sequences with a shameless Copperfield, perfect for a night based around imagination and black magic. Not only is Terror Train a classic slasher film and one that really gets the Halloween feel right, but it also serves as a great lead in to the inevitable Halloween mainstay… 1. Halloween Year after year, you just can’t beat John Carpenter’s Halloween as the fall’s seminal seasonal shocker. Boogeymen, masks, pumpkins, pranks, trick or treating, late night horror film watching and Blue Oyster Cult, are all exploited to create the ultimate summation of this great holiday. Everything about this movie is perfect, and the story’s similicity gives you even more opportunity to take it all in. This film is seeped in atmosphere, from the infamous opening panaglide shot, to the final breaths of Michael Myers. Never has a time and a feeling been evoked so well with imagery as it has been with Halloween. With a simple be all end all title like "Halloween", the film will be all you need this coming October 31st.