I must admit to something, and I know in horror fandom it's on par with blasphemy, but I need to get it off my chest. I'll hope you'll respect me in the morning when I say this.
I don't like Michael Myers.
Now don't get me wrong, the first Halloween was a really good slasher. Hell, any movie where I get to see PJ Soles topless is a-ok with me. But Michael Myers as a character was a bit one note. You can say the same with Jason, but no one takes those films seriously.
After part two, John Carpenter and Debra Hill wanted to take the series in another direction by making each new film a different story based on the holiday itself, which I thought was a great idea. But the poor box office to Halloween III put an end to that.
I love the third Halloween film. I know it gets shit on by lots of people because of the lack of a mute guy in a bad Shatner mask, but if you can look past that, it really is a scary, fun ride.
Dr. Challis goes to Santa Mira to investigate a mysterious death involving a Silver Shamrock mask and some bulging eyes being pushed waaay back in the poor dope's head. Chalis takes the dead man's daughter with him, and they get busy in a gross motel room.
Challis and Boo find out that the whole town is under the control of one Conal Cochran, the owner of Silver Shamrock Novelties. Conal is like a mix between your kind grandpa, and Mr. Burns from the Simpsons.
Challis and Boo end up finding out that the guards Conal has aren't men, but Devo androids. Like in most horror movies, they are caught and separated. Challis finally learns of Conal's evil plan as he watches the lamest family in America get an early test of the new Silver Shamrock commercial that's about to be aired. Side effects to this commercial includes panic, disorder, bugs and snakes coming out of your body, and death.
It's very strange to see children die in a horror film, and I like seeing it not because of kids dying, but because I know there isn't much that's going to be taboo. Cochran is the ultimate "DAMN KIDS! GET OFF MY LAWN!" guy in that he plans on using chips in the Silver Shamrock masks to go off when the commercial is played, killing all these kids. That is one fucked up man.
Here's Conal telling Challis why he's doing what he doing. Enjoy!
Funeral Home is one of a series of great slasher films in the early 80's that came from our brethren up north in Canada. It's also the film that introduces us to our next underrated villain in Grandma Maude Chalmers.
The story is Heather comes to her Grandma's place to help her open a bed and breakfast. Now this place used to be a funeral home (hence the title), but honestly, outside of a few creepy locations, it's really not that important. Rumor has it that Maude's missing husband ran off with another woman after Maude had a nervous breakdown...but if that's so, why does Heather hear her talking to a cranky old man down in the cellar?
Before too long people start showing up at the bed and breakfast, and then start disappearing. Maude isn't too keen on some of the guests, including Mickey from Meatballs with his mistress, who looks like a community theater version of Adrienne Barbeau (without the boobs or looks).
Again, there's spoilers, but it's from 1980, so if you don't want spoilers from there, tough (I won't say who shot JR though). Turns out Maude's nervous breakdown turned into full fledged insanity because Heather finds out that Grandma is talking as herself AND her long dead husband (whom she killed). Now I talk to myself on occasions, but I've stopped just short of axe murdering people...well outside of Des Moines...but they had it coming.
Here's the scene that convinced me she belonged on this list. It's really creepy how insane she looks arguing with herself. I just hope she can look at herselves in the morning.
Dead and Buried is a weird movie in that it's a zombie movie, but the zombies aren't of the brain munching variety. No, these are "manufactured" undead, and the guy making this all happen...is Grandpa Joe.
Jack Albertson plays the town's funeral director William G. Dobbs. He's a carefree, if not slightly creepy, kind of guy. His skill in making even the most busted up looking dead people look like they've never been hurt is amazing. But there's something far more sinister going on afterwards.
The town is made up of with what appears the be the most evil citizens this side of Stepford. They burn a photographer alive, bash a hitchhiker's head in with a big rock, and force hydrochloric acid up some poor schmuck's nose. The kind sheriff notices things are going wrong when the dead photographer turns into Goober at the filling station. Also, someone foolishly left their arm in the grill of his truck.
I know I'm spoiling this film, but it came out in 1981, so sue me. Seems that the crazy killing townsfolk are all undead, killing more folks so they don't have to seek outside people to fill their jobs. I'll let Dobbs tell you (and the sheriff) himself.
Creepy shit eh? I'll leave the last big spoiler for you to watch. It's a pretty damn good film in the zombie genre, and seeing the Man in Chico and the Man play this dastardly evil guy is really unsettling. Go seek it out.
This one's a little less well known, but I fell in lust with this wonderfully awful movie called Fatal Exposure when I reviewed it a while back. The main reason I enjoyed it was because of our main villain and my selection as #14 on this list, Jack T. Rippington.
Jack, as he breaks the fourth wall (ala Mister Roper), lets us know that he is related to THE Jack the Ripper. I'm assuming Rippington's using a fake name, because that would take some balls to decide to be known as the Rippingtons. Not like relatives of Jason Voorhees decide to have their last name be the Machetes.
The movie itself is basically a series of gruesome murders with a half assed story about Jack drinking blood to be more sexually potent and have a son to pass the family tradition of killing to. As many people as this guy kills, I'm surprised he doesn't have a raging boner throughout the movie.
Anyway, you can tell the actor playing Jack is having a grand ol' time, because he is easily the best thing about this film. There's such a gleeful almost childlike joy in what he does you almost want to root for him instead of the moronic girlfriend who inadvertently helps him get models to kill off. She's so dumb she doesn't get the hint until the car radio practically yells at her who the killer is.
The gore in this movie ranges from Blood Feast like to pretty damn effective. The scene I've posted is an example of some of the better gore effects. So here's to Jack T. Rippington...making great grandpappy proud!
If you want to see the whole film, it's on youtube. I recommend you check it out.
My first entry on this list is a bit of a strange case. A lot of people talk about how beloved the Tall Man is, and I agree he is. But while there's been four (soon to be five) Phantasm movies, outside of cult audiences, Tall Man doesn't get a lot of love.
I first heard about the Tall Man when I first got into horror movies in the late 80's. I would religiously buy Fangoria, and to their credit they pushed the hell out of him in their pages. I always saw him as the tier below the big group, along with the Leprechaun, Candyman, and someone else you'll be seeing on this list. There's nothing wrong with being slightly below guys like Leatherface obviously, but if someone wants to expand their horror knowledge, this is the guy to start with.
The Tall Man, to the best of my knowledge (and it does get a bit murky as the films get a bit more convoluted) is an inter-dimensional alien who steals people, makes them Jawa sized, and uses them as slaves. Now what occupation best serves that purpose? No, not carnival worker you asshole, but a mortician. Things seem to be going to plan for ol' Tally until he catches the attention of nosy kid Mike, who catches the Tall Man casually tossing a loaded coffin into a hearse single handed. Of course being a kid Mike has to investigate further, and ends up pissing the big guy off.
I admit I haven't seen part four (Oblivion), but the first and to a lesser extent the second film are really required viewing. It's very disorienting not knowing what's real and what isn't. A big part of what makes the Tall Man work is Angus Scrimm, who is absolutely terrifying in the role.
And now what you guys want to see...video footage of the Tall man. I thought this scene was a perfect example of why I put Tall man on the list. Nothing worse than seeing a giant angry looking alien casually stroll down the street.