“Perfect, monsters hate religious stuff”
It’s insights like that that show these kids truly know what they’re talking about when it comes to monsters.
In this case it’s a who’s who of classic film. Dracula. His three brides. Frankenstein’s monster. The Wolfman. The Creature from the Black Lagoon. The Mummy. The gang’s all here in their traditional laconic demeanor (except for Dracula, that guy loves to hear himself talk…and come up with little witty quips like “Meeting adjourned.”) I can’t sing this movie’s praises for too long, it’s just too silly to do so, but it gets this high on the list because it does understand the nature and style of all the classic horror movies, wraps them into one, and adds a touch of the innocence of childhood.
This movie is also a fun trip back to the 80’s. There is the power ballad montage as the squad prepares for battle. There is the truly awful fashion. Drive-in movies are still around. Parents still smoke right in front of their kids unaware that it’s a class A felony and crime against humanity. The language is so radically not P.C. that even I was a little stunned when I heard it (yeah it’s been a few years…a decade…since the last time I saw this.)
In some ways this is better than any of the classic horror films because it both embraces them and shows how terrible they were.
There have been complaints about some of the movies I don’t seem to have included…so let me run down the list of why some other movies and TV shows didn’t make the list
Twilight Zone: Too hopeful. Yeah there were some scary scenes but overall Rod Serling wasn’t so much taken with the fear of death but with the miracle of life…just look at the episode where Redford plays death, it’s a very uplifting tale.
Outer Limits: Not well done. In either the old or the new version its quality was always inconsistent at best…and laughable at worst. The poor man’s Twilight Zone.
Gremlins: Horror movies cannot have cute furballs…and Christmas movies can’t have stories of people’s dads dying in a chimney, so it won’t be making that list either.
The Exorcist: I have comedies on this list, but they were trying to be funny, The Exorcist is funny because it’s so poorly done. I can’t help but laugh the whole way through. Honestly, how is anyone frightened by this farce?
The Ninth Gate: I’ve actually heard good things about this…and the minute director and child rapist Roman Polanski dies I’ll give it a try, but not a minute before.
House II: Several people from my generation mentioned this movie to me…we all seem to remember it fondly. How can you not? The movie actually includes the following line from an electrician called to deal with an old house’s electricity problem: “What you’ve got here is your standard transdimensional portal. I’ve dealt with this before.” But aside from a few witty (albeit bizarre) lines, it really didn’t hold up when I went back to watch it.
Evolution: I think it’s funnier than some of the comedies on this list…but I just see it as more sci-fi than horror.