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The HMS Halloween Movie Marathon

Greetings horror-heads, and welcome to a special Halloween edition of The Gore Spotlight!

Recently, The Horror Show crew came together to put together a Horror Metal Sounds Movie Marathon with some of our favorite films for you to binge-watch this Halloween! From the classics to more recent scare-fests, we’ve put together one frighteningly fantastic list of horror films that we feel should definitely be on your must-watch list this Halloween! So, without further ado, check out our recommendations below, and from all of us at HMS, have a safe, fun, and Happy Halloween!

-Stevie Kopas, Managing Editor HMS

PJ Griffin:

The Toxic Avenger (1984)
Many times I've used the phrase “The Toxic Avenger changed my life.” The main reason I say this is because the statement is 100% true. I first saw the film when I was ten or so at the local video store. Although not strictly horror (when I saw it, it was actually in the comedy section) the film carries a horror spirit that extends to Troma's work in general. The world of Cult and Horror opened up to me this classic and I will always appreciate it. I had seen plenty of slasher films and whatnot before first meeting my toxic friend, but what I saw in this film all those years back was quite shocking to me. The gore was far more extreme, but it was done in a way without the usual dark overtones of horror. The horrific acts on the screen were not just perpetrated by stereotypical “bad guys” and the boundaries the film allowed itself to push were all the more emphasized by the humor and “out in the open” feel of the film. It didn't feel boxed in by any pre-existing rule or concept with how content and genre were supposed to coexist. At first, I'll admit, I was a bit freaked out. Then I realized I liked being freaked out and never looked back. The first version I saw on that video store VHS from way back was the unrated director's cut. Fans will know this as featuring what the film's own box advertises as the “Full Head Crushing Scene.” For this, I will always be grateful to the universe.

Tales From The Hood (1995)
I first saw and became obsessed with Tales From the Hood in elementary school. This was before I watched Creepshow for the first time, before anthology films had become a favorite of mine or even entered my consciousness in a real way. I had been watching Are You Afraid of the Dark and Tales From the Crypt for a while at this point; the idea of a film with multiple stories was new to me. This was a wonderful flick to be introduced to this world with. Tales From the Hood only impresses me more as I grow. It's got a lot to say and tackles many controversial subjects with bold spirit. It's not a film that just re-iterates the same point over and over again. It shows the different sides and struggles of urban culture and finds true horror that, even when dealing with the supernatural, resonates in a fantastically real way. There is a lot of truth to what the film has to say. What makes all this just that more impressive is that the film is a total blast with beginning to end fun. I will always recommend this underrated masterpiece. Certainly not all films, and by extension horror films, have to be socially conscious at all. This one is, however, and for this particular movie, it works with phenomenal results.

Maria Kriva:

The Houses October Built (2014)
What’s not to love about this Halloween horror flick? From the extraordinary and inspiring title to its theme, The Houses October Built is pretty amazing. Unexpectedly terrifying costumes and extreme Haunt-House experiences make this found-footage horror documentary an absolute treat, and if you love Halloween, you’ll love everything about it. Porcelain masked weirdos, sinister clowns and disturbing settings synthesize an eerie atmosphere that will certainly get you even more excited about this holiday.

Tip: just wait for the ending. The last couple of minutes are genuinely disturbing and for those of you with claustrophobia, it will be nightmarish. Director and star of the movie, Bobby Roe, used a quite simple idea and managed to create a really pleasing outcome that might linger with the audience for a day or two.

Halloween (2007)
Shout-out to Rob Zombie’s 2007 Halloween extravaganza - even though it stands in the shadow of a legend. Having a slightly different take on John Carpenter’s classic masterpiece, Zombie isn’t just focusing on Michael Myers’ adult hunting days, but is excessively showing some rather appalling scenes about his brutal killing spree as a child. And as in almost every Zombie flick, the gore does flow. His version of Halloween might not be as action-packed as Carpenter’s original, but it’s certainly gory. Its biggest asset is probably young Daeg Faerch, who portrayed a 10-year-old Michael Myers shockingly well. The plot, the cast, the director… everything makes it one worthy choice for a fun Halloween night!

Robin Thompson:

Evil Dead 2: Dead by Dawn (1987)
This film holds a special place in my heart. It's one of the first horror flicks I ever rented from the little tiny video store that my grandparents went to. My little 4'11” Nanny loves Charles Bronson, she would rent the Death Wish movies for her and my grandfather all the time. She would let my cousins and I pick one movie a piece. I would always go for classic Looney Toons or the horror movie with the weirdest box art and I happened to pick up Evil Dead 2. We were only allowed to veg in front of the TV after the sun went down or if it was raining. We were only allowed in the house if we wanted a drink or grab a Little Debbie cake. I ran in to get some red Kool-Aid, and there is my little Nanny watching the dancing corpse scene! She is laughing her butt off at this crazy dead Linda dancing in glorious stop motion! She calls me over and rewinds it to the beginning and I sat there and watched Evil Dead 2 for the first time with my Nanny. She's taught me a lot about life, but I'm most thankful she gave me my weird sense of humor and love for horror.


A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984)
When I was a teenager, my friends had pictures of the latest Tiger Beat heartthrob hung up on their walls and in their lockers. The Corey's or Balthazar Getty or Def Leppard, it was always some really pretty boy. I was not like my friends; I didn't want those lame boys on my wall, I already had my dream fella. I had Freddy. I'm not even kidding. In my locker I kept a centerfold I pulled out of Fangoria that was Robert Englund as Freddy and Heather Langenkamp as Nancy. In my bedroom I had one of those door sized posters on my door facing the inside of my room. My mom said I could hang it up, but only there cause her bedroom faced mine. I would wait up every Saturday to watch Freddy's Nightmares. I got in trouble for calling both the trivia line and the talk to Freddy 1-900 lines, I was obsessed with the franchise. To think that it all started with a boy at school daring me to watch Wes Craven's original trip into dreamland. When Wes Craven died I felt like I lost the person who introduced me to my first love. I can honestly say that A Nightmare on Elm Street is my all-time favorite slasher movie and one of my favorite franchises. They can keep remaking it, but it will never ever come close to the first time we visited Springwood.

Stevie Kopas:

The Descent (2005)
It was nearly impossible for me to narrow down my picks to just two films, but after much thought I went with my gut and decided on two of four films that I absolutely cannot ever pass up watching. The first is The Descent. With a talented all-female cast and otherworldly beasts that creep around in caves, this movie is about as claustrophobic as they come! Chock full of monsters, tight spaces, darkness, and human conflict, this film has entertained me each time I’ve watched, no doubt. There’s plenty of gore with great character development and a bitchin’ story to boot. If you haven’t seen The Descent yet at this point in your life, I can’t express to you just how much you’re missing!

30 Days of Night (2007)
You’d think since I’m such a zombie lover that one of my picks would have been a flesh-eater film. I was originally going to nominate Dawn of The Dead, but I decided to go with the other type of undead we’ve all seen our fair share of. The reason I chose 30 Days of Night is simply because I’m not a vampire fan, but this film makes me want to be. The vampires in this movie are really how they always should be: vicious, terrifying, and relentless. Isolation, survival, darkness, sub-zero temperatures, and a pack of intelligent creatures hunting them down? I mean, come on… I could go on and on about the horrors and challenges that the main characters face, but that would just take too long. Really, after seeing this film close to fifty times, there is absolutely nothing about it that I dislike. It’s also based on the comic book series from Steve Niles, which I also recommend.

Kenneth Gallant:

Hellraiser (1987)
I was a gore obsessed teenager back in the mid 80’s, listening to metal, drawing comic books and reading Fangoria when I first came across the name Clive Barker. In fact Fango had interviewed him twice, so I found out about his writing and devoured all 6 volumes of the Books of Blood! That led me to The Hellbound Heart; a novella used as the basis for his first film Hellraiser. Let me tell you, the film blew me away when I rushed to the Multi-plex and had that eye-orgasmic experience for the very first time. My mind was instantly fueled by sadomasochistic demons embroiled in blood and guts and it set up my love affair with Clive Barker’s writing for the next three decades. The film was bursting with phantasmagoric imagery, despite film critic Roger Ebert calling it “only a dreary series of scenes that repeat each other” and boy is he so wrong here. Hellraiser was a different take on the horror genre and it spat out the new face of fear; the one and only Pinhead!

Pumpkinhead (1988)
I picked this film because it reminded me of the type of horror comics released by Marvel during the 1970’s. It featured a tortured soul of a man named Ed Harley who lost his son to some reckless teenagers and wanted revenge for it, so he goes and seeks out an old witch in the mountains. She commands him to dig up a disfigured corpse in the local graveyard and bring it back to her, so she can raise the demonic creature known as Pumpkinhead. This film came out a year after Hellraiser was released and I picked this because of the incredible talents of Stan Winston; who made his directorial debut with this the movie; giving us a great movie monster for yet another eye-orgasmic experience. In my mind, this is a special kind of horror movie filled with pathos and movie magic that you just don’t see in modern horror films of today. Pumpkinhead is a delight to watch on the big screen and it proved to become a cult classic in years to come; spawning sequels, comic books, action figures and even song titles.

The Horror Show Crew, HMS

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