31 Campy Cheesy Horror Films for Halloween
Silly Scary Cinema
If you like comedy mixed in with your blood and gore, here's a random list of 31 movies to die (laughing) for. They range from subtle to over-the-top. I realize not everyone will agree with my choices, and I have probably completely forgotten about some films that should have made it on here. Feel free to add your own picks in the comments.
The films are listed randomly, in no particular order. Watch some trailers, and make your selections. Once you've got your favorites in hand, pop some corn, turn down the lights and prepare to be both frightened and amused. Happy Halloween!
1. They Live (1988) - Directed by John Carpenter
Starring the late (Rowdy) Roddy Piper and Keith David.
Wearing sunglasses allows our hero to see aliens (who appear human to everyone else) who are trying to take over the world. I guess this is more of a sci-fi film, but let's not get technical.
2. Otis (2008) - Daniel Stern, Illeana Douglas, Kevin Pollack
A family seeks revenge on the creep who kidnapped their daughter. I don't think too many people have even heard of this one, but it's a delightful combination of dark and funny.
3. My Name is Bruce (2007) - Starring Bruce Campbell as himself.
Bruce Campbell directs. Also starring Ted Raimi.
A small town associates the actor with characters he has portrayed in movies, and they expect him to rid them of their demon. I love this movie!
4. Motel Hell (1980) - Starring Rory Calhoun
"It takes all kinds of critters to make Farmer Vincent's fritters." Farmer Vincent kidnaps people and plants them in his garden. Very cheesy, but still fun.
5. Tucker and Dale vs. Evil (2010) - Starring Alan Tudyk & Tyler Labine
It's not your average slasher film, because the twist here is that the kids are accidentally killing themselves. The main characters are endearing. And hilarious.
6. House (1986) - Starring William Katt and George Wendt
The main character inherits his aunt's house, after she dies. It turns out his young son (who has been missing for some time) is trapped in the house. Held hostage, actually, by our hero's old war buddy (played by Richard Moll). This isn't one of the better ones, but it's still good for some laughs.
7. Idle Hands (1999) - Starring Devon Sawa, Seth Green and Jessica Alba
Music by The Offspring
Anton's hand is possessed, and it does things he has no control over. Killing people, for instance. This movie is a lot of fun.
8. Evil Dead II: Dead by Dawn (1987) - BONUS: The Evil Dead (1981)
Both were written and directed by Sam Raimi. Bruce Campbell is Ash. Awesome low budget cult classics. Things go terribly wrong for our hero, Ash, and a group of his friends while they try to enjoy a secluded getaway.
9. Shaun of the Dead (2004) - Starring Simon Pegg and Nick Frost
I would describe this as sort of a spoof homage to zombie films. It's extremely entertaining - one of my personal faves.
10. Return of the Living Dead (1985) - BONUS: Return of the Living Dead Part II (1988)
Both of these are hilarious zombie films. You'll notice some of the same actors, playing different characters, in both movies.
Have you seen these? - Did you enjoy them?
Which one did you like better?
11. Bubba Ho-Tep (2002) - Starring Bruce Campbell and Ossie Davis
Bruce Campbell's character claims to be Elvis. Ossie Davis's character thinks he's JFK. These two nursing home residents are the only ones who can stop an ancient evil.
12. Trick or Treat (1986) - Cameo Appearances by Ozzy Osbourne & Gene Simmons
Starring Marc Price (from Family Ties)
A dead rock star comes back to life, and one of his teenage fans must figure out how to send him back to the grave. Yes, it's cheesy, but it's fun, and it has a great soundtrack. The songs are from a band called Fastway. If you have fond memories of the 80s, you will most likely enjoy this film.
13. Slither (2006) - Starring Elizabeth Banks, Nathan Fillion and Michael Rooker
I'm not really sure how to sum this one up. The townspeople are more or less being taken over by aliens, but it's a lot less subtle than Invasion of the Body Snatchers. Hilariously ridiculous and seriously gross.
14. Critters (1986) - Starring Dee Wallace and M. Emmet Walsh
More alien hi-jinks. This time, the aliens are little furry things with sharp teeth wreaking havoc on a small town. The sheer absurdity will keep you in stitches.
15. May (2002) - Starring Angela Bettis, Jeremy Sisto and Anna Faris
This one is a lot more subtle than some of the others; it didn't have me rolling on the floor, but I did enjoy it. May has trouble connecting with her peers, and she has some creepy ways of dealing with rejection. It's different.
16. Leprechaun (1993) - Starring Jennifer Aniston
It's a typical slasher film, with the slasher being an evil little mythical being. If nothing else, you can laugh at the awful 80s attire and count the mullets. Fair warning: This and C.H.U.D. are probably the worst two on this list. You might want to have a few drinks before attempting to view either.
17. From Dusk Till Dawn (1996) - Starring George Clooney, Harvey Keitel, Quentin Tarantino and Juliette Lewis
Directed by Robert Rodriguez, screenplay by Quentin Tarantino - a winning combination. A pastor and his teenage children are taken hostage by two criminal brothers. They all wind up at a strip club (which turns out to be a den of vampires) in the middle of nowhere. This is worth viewing more than once.
18. Lake Placid (1999) - Starring Bill Pullman, Bridget Fonda and Oliver Platt
This one is about a giant crocodile on the loose in Maine. What else is there to say? Betty White is in this also, and she is hilarious. I love this one!
19. Fright Night (2011) - BONUS: Fright Night (1985)
A vampire moves in next door to a teenage boy and his mother. I'm not usually a fan of remakes, but I never really cared for the original version of this. Here they both are; you can decide for yourself.
Which version is better? - The original or the remake?
2011 or 1985?
20. An American Werewolf in London (1981) - BONUS: An American Werewolf in Paris (1997)
A young man is bitten by a werewolf while vacationing in a foreign country. The first one was written and directed by John Landis. The Paris version stars Tom Everett Scott, Julie Delpy and Julie Bowen (Modern Family, Lost). Both are worth checking out.
21. The Cabin in the Woods (2011) - Starring Chris Hemsworth
Strange things happen to a group of young friends when they arrive at a remote cabin for some rest and relaxation. This is the most recent film to make my list. It's fast-paced, full of action, and it will keep you entertained.
22. C.H.U.D. (1984) - Starring Daniel Stern
Cannibalistic, humanoid underground dwellers. How stupid is this? See for yourself...
23. Cursed (2005) - Starring Christina Ricci, Joshua Jackson, Jesse Eisenberg and Judy Greer
Directed by Wes Craven
An indulgent werewolf movie with a good cast.
24. Tales from the Crypt Presents Bordello of Blood (1996) - Starring Dennis Miller, Corey Feldman and William Sadler
Here's another vampire fix for you. Better than Fright Night, but not as good as From Dusk Till Dawn.
25. Planet Terror (2007) - Written & Directed by Robert Rodriguez
Starring Rose McGowan, Jeff Fahey and Josh Brolin. This is another one of my favorites. It's the best zombie film ever!
26. Texas Chainsaw Massacre 3 (1990) - BONUS: Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Next Generation (1994)
Part III stars Viggo Mortensen. The Next Generation stars Renee Zellweger and Matthew McConaughey. I can't decide which movie is worse.
Is one worse than the other? - Texas Chainsaw Massacre - Part III or TNG?
Which is worse?
27. Piranha (2010) - BONUS: Piranha (1978)
The 2010 version stars Elisabeth Shue, Jerry O'Connell, Ving Rhames, Richard Dreyfuss and Christopher Loyd. As for the 1978 original, well... it doesn't get much cheesier than that.
28. Feast (2005) - Starring Balthazar Getty, Eric Dane, Henry Rollins and Jason Mewes
Some people get trapped inside a bar together, when things get really crazy. This one just doesn't let up, once it gets going. There is a lot of action and a lot of blood! It'll gross you out and make you laugh.
29. Army of Darkness (1992) - Starring Bruce Campbell
The third part of Sam Raimi's Evil Dead trilogy is also the coolest. Ash tries to get back home after being sucked into some kind of wormhole into medieval times. The budget is bigger, and the effects are better.
30. Zombieland (2009) - Starring Woody Harrelson, Emma Stone, Jesse Eisenberg and Abigail Breslin
One of the best zombie films out there. An epic good time.
31. Dead & Breakfast (2004) - Starring Jeremy Sisto, Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Diedrich Bader and David Carradine
And yet another great zombie movie; this one is very campy.
© 2012 Sara Krentz