Blood and scares.  Fright and gore.  Horror movies are a varied lot, ranging from psychological torment, to supernatural terrors, to violent splatterfests.  Everyone has their favorite horror movie, the one that we love so much it somehow feels wholesome in our hearts.  We in the trenches are no different.  Here’s the rundown on our favorite horror movies!

Mike’s Pick

Otis Driftwood.  Baby Firefly.  Captain Spaulding.   For whatever sick and demented reason, I will always love those three characters.  And I will always love House of 1000 Corpses.  It may be an amalgam of classic 70’s “crazy family” films, but to me it is a perfect homage to the genre from the brilliantly twisted mind of Rob Zombie!

Horror movies and I have always had a strange relationship. Basically, it takes quite a lot to spook me.  And most of the time it’s “jump gags” that get me. For me there’s absolutely nothing scary about traditional horror movies because, first of all, I’m not squeamish in the least bit, and secondly, I can’t really be afraid of anything supernatural.  So that basically leaves the demented gory stuff.  And you’re hard-pressed to find a more delightfully demented horror movie that Ho1kC. (Anyone from the old Devil’s Rejects forum will remember that abbreviation!)

600px-Hoccolt452So why do I love Ho1kC more than Texas Chainsaw, Saw, or any of the other slasher/torture/crazy-family movies? Because it’s batshit loony, that’s why.  From the inexplicably charming murderous clown, to the sadistic spoiled hot chick, to the completely overblown evil messiah, all the way down to Doctor Satan himself, the movie takes you on a winding sadistic journey that some love, and some hate.  But for me it is an unparalleled offering in a genre that can, and often has, become frightfully repetitive and stale.

What makes Ho1KC stand out, in my opinion, is the characters themselves, something that often takes a backseat in horror movies, especially of the slasher variety.  Sure you have some enduring personalities throughout the genre, such as Leatherface and the old man from Saw, but Ho1kC is literally brimming with exaggerated characters of the most evil and insane variety.   While it may only last a minute, Grandpa’s “comedy show” is shocking because of its raunchiness and randomness.  And that’s what Ho1kC does best, be completely unexpected in the most random, exaggerated ways.  And that’s why I love it so damn much!

ED’s Pick

My favorite horror film is “House on Haunted Hill”, the 1959 thriller classic staring Vincent Price, the Master of creeptastic movies! If you haven’t seen this old gem, it’s fairly similar to the lovingly re-created version that came out in 1999 starring Geoffrey Rush.

Basically Vincent Price (Frederick Loren) rents out this fantastically Gothic, and monstrously haunted house; invites 5 people who are connected to him there under the guise of awarding them $10,000 if they agree to spend the night in the house after it is locked at mid-night.

house-on-haunted-hillWhat follows is a series of gruesome murders committed not only by the ghosts of the previously murdered inhabitants, but by Frederick Loren himself. Loren’s ultimate goal was to rid himself of his fourth (and presumably final) wife Annabelle. The ultimate scene of horror occurs when Annabelle believes that Frederick has fallen into a vat of acid in the house’s basement level, only to be surprised by the skeleton of her husband rising from the acid. The scene ends with her fearfully stepping away from the creature and around the room while it taunts her, only to fall into the vat herself! Frederick Loren then steps from behind some crates to show that he was simply operating the skeleton like a marionette, and grins at us in that well known Vincent Price sardonic smile.

While it doesn’t hold a candle to the gore, shocks, and plot that goes into horror films today; it’s safe to say that House on Haunted Hill paved the way for the horror genre to evolve into its current gruesome form!

Ryan’s Pick

A man once battled a drinking problem and a cocaine addiction while directing a movie. The movie was Maximum Overdrive. The man, none other than Stephen King, and this was his feature film directing debut. The ‘Master of Horror’ was about to transition from paper to celluloid. This would be the last movie he ever directed.

tumblr_md0waigpWt1rwq85xo1_500Maximum Overdrive is by no stretch of the imagination a critically acclaimed film. It was not received very well at all upon its theatrical release. But I know I speak for many when I say, it is an awesome film. The entire premise of the movie is excellent, the Earth passes through the tail of a comet and machines start to come to life and murder people. Soda machines have devious agendas. Anyway the film focuses around an ex-con played by Emilio Estevez along with some other characters trapped in the diner of a truck stop. They cannot leave because big rig trucks are holding them hostage; the lead truck has the mask of a Green Goblin on its grill. This reckless gang of trucks has laid waste to two of the party at this point. Well our fearless crew hatches a plan to escape; they will sail to an island off the coast that has no machines on it. Luckily there was a cache of weapons under the diner, so our group has an M72 LAW rocket at their disposal. Anyway they escape, more people die, the Green Goblin is blown up, and the machines are stopped by the Russians. They destroy a UFO with nuclear missiles and laser cannons. You may say to yourself, “I don’t remember that ending.”, watch to the end of the credits.

Anyway, that is how the movie goes and this is why I love it. I love the dark humor from the opening credits till the last title card after the end credits. Right along with this dark humor is the perfect amount of blood and guts. I mean a child is run over with a stream roller. That seems violent, but years of videogames have desensitized me to violence, according to some really smart people. I really enjoy that Emilio Estevez is in this movie, he was on a movie tear in the 80’s. It is unfortunate that this movie received such a terrible reception, and Stephen King considered it his worst work. I would really enjoy seeing some more directing work by King. The shots in the movie, though somewhat generic, showed some talent for directing may be hidden away somewhere in King. I think with further honing of the craft King could have become one of the greats. Hey a person can dream.

Steve’s Pick

The best horror movie ever created, hands down, is the original ‘A Nightmare on Elm Street’. Those that have seen this film know what I am talking about, those of you who have not…well you’re all stupid, and you should watch it now.

nightmare-on-elm-street-movie-posterThe film takes place in the small town of Springwood, where a group of high school friends discover that they are all suffering from the same horrible nightmares. A severely burned man wearing a dirty red and green striped sweater, whom also has razor-sharp knives for fingers on one hand, terrorizes the dreams of these helpless teenagers. And to top it all off…any injury, not matter how serious, will become real. If you die, you will never wake up.

The man in their dreams, Freddy Krueger (Robert Englund), was once a child murderer until one day the parents of Elm Street decided to take justice into their own hands and send him packing into the depths of hell via his own personal inferno. Back to seek revenge on the lives of the children of Elm Street, Freddy hunts them when they are their most vulnerable, their dreams.

This is one of the most creative and original works of horror of all-time. It puts a completely new and fresh spin on the classic slasher film. It has set a benchmark for all horror movies since its release and personally opened my eyes to the horror genre. With all of the special effects and underlying themes aside, the movie is genuinely scary and reminds us constantly that within this horrifying universe, there is no place to hide, no solace…not even our dreams.

“One, two, Freddy’s coming for you.
Three, four, better lock your door.
Five, six, grab your crucifix.
Seven, eight, gonna stay up late.
Nine, ten, never sleep again.”

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