I watched Sam Raimi’s Drag Me To Hell the other night. In the tradition of Raimi horror films, this one is pretty campy, like Evil Dead 2 and Army of Darkness. So I thought I would come up with my top five films of this co-genre. Keep in mind, these are not judged on the film making merits or acting performances, they are simply my favorites for various reasons. Feel free to comment with your own list.
5. What We Do in the Shadows ( Dir. Jermaine Clement, Taika Waititi – 2014) Pretty fresh, but highly entertaining and clever. I had not laughed at the cinema like I did while watching this film earlier this year. Mockumentary about four vampires renting a flat together in New Zealand. The scene where the Vamps run into a pack of werewolves in the park is very funny stuff!
4. Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2 (Dir. Tobe Hooper – 1986) The very campy sequel to the classic 1974 horror Texas Chainsaw Massacre. Dennis Hopper (yes, thee Dennis Hopper) is tracking the infamous Sawyer family. Bill Mosley (Devil’s Rejects) provides plenty of creepy comic relief as Leatherface’s chrome-domed brother, Chop Top. Not a huge body count, but violent and funny.
3. The Cabin in the Woods (Dir. Drew Goddard – 2012) A very original and very pleasing film.A group of young adults head out to a remote cabin for a weekend of fun. They discover a book in the cellar, and things go wrong. Sounds familiar (Evil Dead)? Rest assured that it is what you’d expect. Richard Jenkins (Step Brothers) is a tremendous comedic actor, and delivers in The Cabin in the Woods. Plus Joss Whedon co-wrote.
2. Gremlins ( Dir. Joe Dante – 1984) I shouldn’t assume that anyone reading this list has seen Gremlins, but I’m sure you are all aware of what a Gremlin is, and who Gizmo is. Billy gets a gift from his dad, and is given 3 simple rules. Never get it wet, never expose it direct sunlight, and for god sakes, do not feed him after midnight. Well, Billy screws up, gets Gizmo wet, and then feeds his brothers after midnight. Terror and comedy ensues. A very charming Christmas film, complete with green little ghouls getting piss drunk in the town pub. The Gremlins themselves offer up most of the laughs, but the film also features a young Corey Feldman. A nice trip back into the ’80’s.
1. Evil Dead II (Dir. Sam Raimi – 1987) This movie has everything. “Dead by Dawn” features blood, guts, books bound in human flesh, Bruce Campbell battling his severed hand, and mounted deer head cackling like a psychopath. Ash (Campbell) battles demons in a secluded cabin, and loses a few body parts along the way. This is a chaotic, nerve-biting, bloodbath that you will thoroughly enjoy if you have a soul. Bruce Campbell is absolutely amazing, as he takes Ash from a shivering coward to a certified Deadite ass-kicker. Groovy!