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Like Halloween? Try HellBent; Like Child’s Play? Try Dolls

Halloween? Try HellBent; Like Child’s Play? Try Dolls” width=”560″/>

Blogger Stacie Ponder’s horror columns appear every Wednesday.

As a scary movie buff, there’s simply no better time of the year than Halloween. I mean, when else can you go to CVS and buy a Freddy Krueger mask and fake eyeballs? And please, you can’t shake a stick at your TV without it hitting a fright flick during October. Why anyone would “shake a stick” at the TV is beyond me, but I think you get my point, which is this: If I could marry Halloween, I would.

Halloween is also that one time of the year when people who don’t normally watch horror movies will pop in one or two. So what to watch? Fear not, my friend, for I’m here to help you out with a few recommendations. Hopefully you’ll find a lesser-known gem you can check out this year instead of the same ol’, same ol’.  All I ask in return is that when Halloween and I do get married, get us a nice gift.

Instead of Halloween, try… HellBent. This 2005 slasher film is also set on October 31, but it’s not set in sleepy Haddonfield, Illinois. HellBent takes place amongst the chaos of the Halloween Carnival in West Hollywood, California. Though it’s billed as “The first GAY slasher movie!” (yes, with all those capital letters and exclamation marks), HellBent simply proves that sexual orientation doesn’t matter once the grue starts flying.

Instead of An American Werewolf in London, try… Dog Soldiers:
Writer-director Neil Marshall’s debut sticks a bunch of soldiers out in
the woods of the Scottish highlands and pits them against a bunch of
werewolves. The story is simple, but Dog Soldiers doesn’t skimp on the humor, the action, the scares, or the gore. Yeah, just like An American Werewolf in London…but with 80% more accents!

Instead of Child’s Play , try… Dolls:
I’m not a big fan of the wisecracking killer. Evil dolls are
undoubtedly creepy, until they start with the constant yapping. I’d
like Chucky a whole lot more if he’d just keep his big mouth shut. The
miniature killing machines in Dolls know to keep quiet when
they get down to business, and boy, do they get down to business in
this twisted fairy tale. As this is a Stuart Gordon flick, there’s no
shortage of over-the-top violence: The dolls stab, pummel, shoot, and
saw their way through their victims… and right into my heart.

Instead of The Exorcist , try… Night of the Demons : Geez, Exorcist,
enough with the gravitas! Who says possession has to be all
metaphorical and conversation-sparking? Who wants to sit around
thinking on Halloween? Not me! I’d rather have fun watching a bunch of
20- and 30-something “teenagers” get their demon takeover on at their
own Halloween party. Sure, history won’t remember Night of the Demons as it does The Exorcist,
but when you’re all hopped up on candy, what would you rather watch: A
possessed Linnea Quigley doing outrageous things with her lipstick, or
a washed-up Father Karras having a crisis of faith?

Instead of Rosemary’s Baby , try… The Sentinel: The Sentinel is a bit like Rosemary’s Baby
if the latter spent the night swigging cheap booze. You’ve got your
vulnerable, pretty young woman living in a giant apartment building
surrounded by wackadoo neighbors who may or may not be in cahoots with
the devil, but this 1977 thriller is viewed through a lens more bizarre
than Polanski’s. It’s got an all-star cast, including Jeff Goldblum and
Christopher Walken, and it’s got an ending that seems directly pulled
from one of Tod Browning’s fever dreams. Highly recommended —
especially if you’ve just spent the night swigging cheap booze.

Instead of Romero’s zombie trilogy, try… Fulci’s zombie trilogy:
George Romero has expanded his zombie oeuvre beyond his original
trilogy, but let’s face it: We’d all be perfectly happy with only Night , Dawn , and Day of the Dead .
As zombie movies go, they’re considered the holy trinity. This
certainly doesn’t discount the work of Italian maestro Lucio Fulci,
however, who produced Zombie , The Gates of Hell, and The Beyond .
Fulci’s work is like Romero amped up to eleven, and the films are
certainly not for the weak of stomach. They feature eyeball impalement,
insides being vomited out, heads being drilled… and of course,
nauseating zombie grossness. Zombie also features a zombie punching a shark, which means that Zombie wins, no contest.

I hope I’ve given you a couple of options to liven up your 31st a bit.
Or any of the other 364 days in the year… because for me, anyway,
every day is Halloween. Now if only I could get my grocery store to feel the same way…


sp.jpgA fan of horror movies and scary stuff, Stacie Ponder started her blog Final Girl so she’d have a platform from which she could tell everyone that, say, Friday the 13th, Part 2 rules. She leads a glamorous life, walking on the razor’s edge of danger and intrigue.

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