Even us most ardent horror fans need a reprieve once in a while. Spooky season aka October may be the best month to squeeze in all your scares, frights, and delights alike, but there’s always room for some tension breaking. Whether you’re a horror franchise marathoner or just looking for something to add to break up the screaming -- these 5 movies are a perfect blend of scary and cheesy. Make no mistake, these aren’t horror-comedies. These are just a bit different. The scary movie from the other side of the tracks. Their blood may be a little too red, their gore a bit too plastic, but the kills are fun, the hearts are thumping within them. It’s a guarantee you’ll add at least one to your annual Halloween viewing party from now on. Let me know your new favorite in the comments below!
Killer Klowns from Outer Space
This is a title you would’ve seen on your video store shelf, assumed it was awful and moved on. What you missed is a bananas premise executed with flawless commitment from the filmmakers. It’s funny watching clowns use clown-y things to kill people at first, but the more the cheerful looking silent killers unleash their malevolence, the more unsettling it becomes. Come for the Klowns, stay for the brightly colored deaths and kooky spaceship.
Master director Tobe Hooper delivers a less-trashy slasher film that has some fun character archetypes. It’s creepy in its lack of polish with carnival barkers pulled from the Hills Have Eyes casting call. It’s simply one of those movies that you just enjoy the more times you see it. Clever kills, perfectly murder-y villain, and all of its real scary stuff pulled off in a contained setting that are all elevated thanks to Tobe’s excellent directing.
Maybe you stayed away because the title is too innocuous, maybe it was because you never heard of Director Tibor Takács or anyone else involved in the film. That’s fine, everyone makes mistakes. What you’re missing is a low budget film that is packed to the seams with every special effect trick on the market, a young Stephen Dorff already acting his ass off as a teenager, and a super sweeeeet heavy metal score. The premise is simple: teens discover a hole that is a gateway for demons, chaos ensues. It’s Biblical at times, it’s pure frenzy at times, and it’s all awesome. Follow it up with the recent The Hole in the Ground for a double feature about the potential dangers of backyard holes.
This is a forgotten bloody film. The 80’s delivered a lot of odd parents and an equal number of odd kid horror films; this is the former. It follows a young boy who’s starting to wonder what all the eerie noises are coming from the den, and then there’s the gross meat slabs that comprise the family dinners that really turn the curiosity wheel. The parents present this sinister dread every time they’re on screen, it’s impossible not to wonder what they’re up to. The whole vibe is like a rotten Pee-Wee Herman episode. This bloody, gory mess of a film is a dark outlier in the genre whose sheer mix of death and laughs is a treat to behold.
The whole satellite TV thing never really seemed to take hold. Before you could have one clamped to your balcony, back when sat TV first came to suburbia -- they were these big, mechanical monstrosities that never did anything more than let the neighborhood know you were most likely an asshole. TerrorVision proves it. A family gets a brand new satellite TV and before you know it aliens are hijacking it, creating trash monsters that drip slime, and all the shit is the hitting the fan. It’s a mix of alien and creature feature that you have to see to believe...and then watch again because seriously WTF.