If you’re anything like me (bah humbug!) then you’ll despise Christmas with a passion and glad when it’s gone. Personally I find it therapeutic to lock myself away from all things Christmas, have a Chinese takeaway delivered, and watch some horror.
So, here’s my top ten films (in no particular order) that I think you should watch over Christmas.
John Carpenters The Thing
I defy anyone to say anything bad about this film. It’s impossible. Not only is there a cracking story (trapped in the Arctic with a weird beastie eating people) but the special effects still make eyes pop. Includes the infamous chest-cave-in scene and the head-sprouting-legs scene. Fan-fuckin’-tastic!
Not the crappy US remake, but the original (with subtitles). I dare anyone to watch this in the dark and with the sound up… it will scare the pants off you. Story: mad old woman goes zombie and the building gets quarantined, locking the survivors inside. Made on a shoe-string budget, this film is a cracker, it shows what talented people can do with just a little money.
This film personifies the 80’s. It’s mad, funny, gory… all the good things in life. Fluffy little alien ‘critters’ have invaded a hick town and shape-shifting alien bounty hunters are after them. Plenty of explosions ensue. If you don’t like Critters 2, or you don’t find it funny, then you might as well just shoot yourself and be done with it…
My Bloody Valentine
Another film of the 80’s, highly controversial in it’s time too. Often overlooked, this is a cracking slasher flick. Poor Harry is a miner who was killed and seems to return every valentines day to wreak havoc in his sleepy little town. Apparently the (3D) remake wasn’t bad, but I haven’t seen it, so I’m referring to the original one here. Oh, and make sure you get the uncut version to get the full (gory) effect!
Master Flying Guillotine
While not technically horror, as such, it is completely bonkers yet genre making. A blind man has a big hat thing on a chain that literally saws peoples heads off. Lots of other mad stuff happens but this is one of several films that shaped many of the characters in the Street Fighter video games. You need to see this film just so you can tell others about its madness!
Tokyo Gore Police
Speaking of all out madness. Tokyo Gore Police (TGP) is one of my favourite films, EVAR! It has samurai-style cops, a hot chick in suspenders with a sword, a skin covered chair that pees on people and… oh good God, the list goes on. Just watch it.
This film had a lot of hype behind it, people saying it was brutal and depressing. By golly they were right. Several scenes in this film will make you sit up and take notice and sometimes I wondered if the actress really was taking a beating! The basic story is that a woman escapes from being kidnapped and befriends another girl, this other girl ends up being kidnapped and finds out what happened to the first girl. I can’t give too much away as it’s a surprise ending. Just don’t watch it if you’re already feeling a bit depressed, or have sharp objects nearby.
Based on the short novella, ‘Hellbound Heart’, by Clive Barker and directed by Clive Barker, this is a cracking film that was completely original in its time. Frank is a bit of a pleasure/pain freak and seeks out a box called the Lament Configuration which will open the door to a new world of pleasure. It also skins him to where he requires human blood to put skin on his bones. Literally! It has some great effects for the time and, again, shows what someone with talent can do with a little money.
Zombie Flesh Eaters
Recently reissued in widescreen with beautiful colours, Zombie Flesh Eaters (sometimes called Zombi 2) is one of several zombie movies that started it off, obviously with Day of the Dead et al. In this film we see the usual brainless (non-zombie) folks heading for a deserted island with a mad doctor who is reanimating the dead. While it may seem like a run of the mill zombie flick, it has a nice twist ending.
Friday the 13th – Part VII – The New Blood
This is my own personal favourite from the Friday franchise. While the story of Tina and her magic mind is a bit far fetched (as is Jason), the makeup and design of Jason is just fantastic in this film. He really does look like he’s been at the bottom of Crystal Lake for years, with clothes ripped and bones showing. Definitely the best of all ten films. Let’s just pretend Uber-Jason never happened…
So, there you go. That’s your Christmas viewing sorted. Head over to your favourite rental site/shop and secure those ten with all due haste and you’ll have a very Merry Pagan Holiday Christmas.