Thursday, October 20, 2011

Best Campy Horror Films Guest Post by Courtney of Nobody Too

Greetings Mary Rebecca readers, I'm Courtney from Nobody Too and I'm here to share some tips for finding the best campy horror films.
I am by no means an expert, but I've seen more than my fair share of bad horror movies. For years I hosted a weekly bad horror movie night, and for the last two years have regularly attended a friend's "Monster Movie Monday". I have a real love for bad horror movies, and watch about them on a pretty regular basis. That said, I've compiled a list of tips for finding the best campy horror films.

1. An utterly ridiculous premise. Now, most horror films have improbable plots. What I'm talking about here are the movies whose descriptions you read in total disbelief. Movies like The Stuff (about an edible substance that looks like marshmallow fluff and kills people), or TerrorVision (about a family's satellite dish that ends up beaming down some silly looking alien creatures).

2. Vintage. I love the eighties for campy horror movies. The mid-eighties in particular were some great years for cheesy classics. This isn't a strict rule or course, as the camp factor can be found in movies of any release date. Many eighties horror films also feature a song that was written for the movie. You'll know if the song was written for the movie because it will be reprised several times throughout the film--watch for it!

3. It's a sequel or part of a series. Believe it or not, you don't usually need to see the first movie to understand the second...or third, or fourth. Most sequels will have plots that diverge wildly from their predecessors, or else rehash the best scenes from the first film. Also, sequels tend get more creative with their interpretation of the antagonist (be it a werewolf, vampire, alien, etc.), so that the creature featured now has new powers, a sordid history/origin story, a new locale (all horror series eventually end up in space), or all of the above.

4. It features a legitimate actor, actress, or director. These films are some of my favorites. When you start looking, you'll often find that if you scroll far enough down on a star's IMDB page, he or she almost always has a skeleton (or monster, or vampire) in his or her closet. Peter Jackson directed Dead Alive long before Lord of the Rings. One of Johnny Depp's first roles was being turned into a geyser of blood in the first Nightmare on Elm Street. Even George Clooney paid his dues with Return of the Killer Tomatoes. Sometimes stars will do these films even at the height of their popularity, such as when both Coreys (Haim and Feldman) starred in The Lost Boys. Even star power can't save these movies from cheesy goodness.

5. It's low budget. Please exercise extreme caution when following this tip. Low budget films are very hit or miss, and some are downright unwatchable. That said, you can find some fantastic lesser known films when you don't follow the money. Atrocious acting and questionable effects can be a delight or a true horror.

Additional tips:
*Bad horror movies are far more enjoyable in a group setting.
*If it's a horror movie from the eighties and carries an 'R' rating, it is highly likely that there will be some gratuitous nudity and/or "sexy times" scenes--use caution if you have young or sensitive viewers.
*Don't be afraid to fast forward! Some movies take for-ever to get going, so fast forwarding a few scenes of drawn out dialogue is sometimes desirable. I guarantee you'll be able to piece together what you missed.

A few recommendations: Dead Alive, They Live, Basketcase, The Howling, Scanners, Fright Night, Troll 2, The Gate, Birdemic, Creepshow, The People Under the Stairs...the list goes on.

What are some of your favorites?

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Mary: Courtney this is a great list of tips! My favorite type of horror films are cheesy/campy and you highlighted some great ones. I don't think I've mentioned this before, but I have a HUGE crush on Corey Feldman. I have to watch anything he's in-for better or for worse.

If you all enjoyed this post then you're going to love these next 11 days! They are going to be jam-packed with Fall and Halloween goodness from some great guest bloggers. (plus I'll be throwing in my own bit of creepiness here and there) ;D

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