Believe it or not, but I watch a lot of movies, and most of them fall into the genres of either schlock or horror (or schlock horror). I typically prefer older stuff, so this is going to be a list geared a bit more towards the old skool.

Anyway, all of that watching hasn’t really made me an authority or respected critic in the field, but this here is the internet and I can squeeze the disgusting filth of my opinion out as much as I want! …and seeing as it is October (the official season of Halloween) I thought I would let the world know what I think are the ideal movies to watch to get into the Halloween spirit.

Presented in no particular order, here are my Top 10 picks for the 2020 Halloween season. There are links for reviews, or if you don’t care to watch the movie yourself (?), there are synopses with screenshots, so live your life, I guess.

Hack-O-Lantern – 1988

Hack-O-Lantern (1988)
An underappreciated gem.

I know this list is in “no particular order” but this is my absolute favourite Halloween flick of all time. The timing of the movie matches the season exactly and it was clearly designed to be a “Halloween Flick” and it does so perfectly. But this movie is more than just a cheap cash-in, it features everything that was great about 1980’s Horror Cinema: nudity, violence, weirdness, and amazing production values! Literally the only bad thing I can write about this movie is that I am able to only see it for the first time once.

Synopsis / Review with spoilers.
Review with no spoilers.

Freddy Vs. Jason – 2003

Robert Englund and Ken Kirzinger in Freddy vs. Jason (2003)
The most recently-released film on this list!

A lot of contemporary movies and shows take aim at recreating the aesthetic from a previous generation, and in my opinion, really fail at it quite badly. Not this, oh no, definitely not this film. This film takes the best parts of the early 2000’s (somehow amazing CGI) and blends it with everything that the 1980’s represented for horror movies. This one has a checkmark in every box and will satisfy any horror fan in the month of October.

Synopsis / Review with spoilers.
Review with no spoilers.

Alucarda – 1977

Alucarda, la hija de las tinieblas (1977)
Mexico likes it weird.

In a lot of ways Mexico seems like an untapped resource, and this is particularly true when it comes to trashy horror movies – Mexico has been pouring them out since the late 1960’s, with 1977’s Alucarda being a great example. This one has something for everyone, maybe just don’t watch it with your Catholic grandmother, I mean, unless she’s really cool.

Synopsis / Review with spoilers.
Synopsis with spoilers.
Review with no spoilers.

Zombie / Zombi 2 – 1979

Ottaviano Dell'Acqua in Zombi 2 (1979)
The quintessential Italian schlock classic.

This here is an old-fashioned zombie flick and it is a good one. There are a few plotholes in this one, but overall it is very entertaining and has some good, spooky scenes. Violence, horror, sexuality, and interesting, varied scenery, this one has something for everyone.

Synopsis / Review with spoilers.
Synopsis with spoilers.
Review with no spoilers.

Faceless – 1987

Faceless (1987)
This will creep you out.

This is a great Halloween movie. I know a lot of people aren’t “scared” by the films they watch, and I understand that, but this one absolutely will creep you the fuck out, and if it doesn’t, you are a psychopath and I have to wonder why you even care about entertainment.

Synopsis / Review with spoilers.
Review with no spoilers.

Mausoleum – 1983

Mausoleum (1983)
This is a good one!

Cemeteries are Halloween and this classic flick is all about cemeteries (and possession and general weirdness) and should really make it to your watch list!

Synopsis / Review with spoilers.
Synopsis with spoilers.
Review with no spoilers.

Flesh Eater – 1988

S. William Hinzman in FleshEater (1988)
Zombies!

Like Hack-O-Lantern, this flick is perfect for Halloween. It takes place in the fall and has a lot of that retro/vintage feel that you should crave. There is lots of violence and generally uncomfortable scenes that make this a truly great horror flick and one that is fantastic for October and Halloween.

Synopsis / Review with spoilers.
Review with no spoilers.

Bram Stoker’s Dracula – 1992

Gary Oldman in Dracula (1992)
It’s really, really good!

Dracula (and vampires in general) is a Halloween classic and this film is a classic in and of itself. This flick is, in my opinion, the best vampire film that has so far been made (take that, Twilight!). If you like spookiness and sensuality, this one is for you, and for your Halloween 2020 viewing.

Synopsis with spoilers.
Review with no spoilers.

Night of the Demons – 1988

Night of the Demons (1988)
How can you not like Angela?!

This film takes place on Halloween in a haunted house and features a group of highly-promiscuous teenagers getting picked-off one-by-one with all kinds of 1980’s insanity. If that doesn’t reek of premium Halloween entertainment you need a lobotomy.

Synopsis / Review with spoilers.
Review with no spoilers.

Black Candles – 1982

Los ritos sexuales del diablo (1982)
So the original title of this bad boy is “The Sexual Rites of the Devil” – how is that not Halloween appropriate?!

This one is on the sexier side of scary, but it has plenty of weirdness and spooky stuff to keep a horror fan pleased, and honestly, what kind of horror fan doesn’t like weird devil-demon-sex stuff?!

Synopsis / Review with spoilers.
Review with no spoilers.

That’s the list! I hope you check out some of these classics, and if you are reading this before (Canadian) Thanksgiving, maybe you should check out:

Blood Rage – 1987

Blood Rage (1987)
This is without doubt, the finest Thanksgiving movie ever made, one of the greatest horror films ever made, and simply one of the best flicks ever put together.

If you celebrate Thanksgiving this flick is required watching.

Synopsis / Review with spoilers.

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