Okay, so I admit, I am a total horror movie fiend. I love the thrill of wondering if the hero/heroine will survive. I love the fact that no matter what, if being chased, all female characters will inevitably fall down so the ridiculously slow killer can catch them. Probably while she is semi-nude. I love that if a character has sex, they might as well have painted a giant target on their forehead with a sign saying “kill me next” on their back. I love that dark, ominous tones always hint at the violence ahead. There’s a comfort in the predictability.
For the month of October (the scariest of all months), I will be sharing with you a few scary movie picks that are personal favorites of mine. Today’s installment shall be known as Why Camping is Never a Good Idea.
So, if you’re thinking to yourself, how do I end my young life without actually committing suicide? Answer: go camping. Preferably at a place with a nickname. How about “Camp Blood”? Sounds like a good time waiting to happen! Oh, hey, let’s make sure wherever we camp is nice and remote so no one can hear us scream. That guy with the mask? I’m sure he’s just the new art instructor at camp, showing off his mad mask-making skills. FACT: People who wear masks will murder you! Watch these movies and take notes, people!
1. Friday the 13th (1980)
How can you not love a movie about a drowned boy and the mother who avenges him? How can you not love a movie starring a young Kevin Bacon? How can you not love a movie with special effects by Tom Savini? How can you not love a movie that has a creepy old guy screaming at the counselors that they’re all “doomed”? (Side note: If a guy tells you that you’re all doomed and that the camp you’re staying at has a death curse, you should maybe not stay there. I’m just saying.) I also highly recommend catching part 2 of this series when Jason Voorhees himself does the slicing and dicing.
2. The Burning (1981)
This little movie was actually written before the Friday the 13th movies and stars a young Jason Alexander of Seinfeld fame. This is one of the first offerings of the Weinstein brothers and also features the special effects of the legendary Tom Savini. Years ago, at Camp Blackstone (Sounds quaint!) some campers thought it was a good idea to play a prank on the camp caretaker. Five years of reconstructive surgery and physical therapy later and Cropsy is out for revenge! You will never look at rafts the same again!
3. The Evil Dead (1981)
This series began with a simple camping trip. Just some friends, a cabin in the woods, oh, yeah, and THE BOOK OF THE DEAD. Let’s make some s’mores! Bruce Campbell shines in this movie. As does the creamed corn they used to simulate zombie guts.
4. Sleepaway Camp (1983)
This movie is a must see! People are dropping like flies at this camp in the most delightful of ways! I kid you not, someone is murdered using a pot of corn on the cob. The ending is like something out of The Crying Game. I highly recommend checking out the sequels—they star Bruce Springsteen’s sister, Pamela Springsteen, as the crazed killer.
5. Cheerleader Camp (1988)
What could possibly go wrong at a remote cheerleader training camp you ask? Besides former 70’s pop star, Leif Garrett, trying to carve out an acting career? The scariest thing in this movie is Leif Garrett. This movie is spectacularly cheesy. If you don’t know who Leif Garrett is, watch this clip.
6. Campfire Tales (1997)
Okay, so the kids in this movie aren’t exactly camping, but they are telling ghost stories around a campfire. Did I mention that there’s a crazed killer on the loose? This movie contains several vignettes, so it’s like a bunch of mini scary movies in one. Each story ends with a twist, the biggest twist being the ending of the movie.
7. Cabin Fever (2004)
Okay, not exactly a slasher flick, but it really did give me a healthy respect for flesh-eating bacteria. I didn’t shave my legs for 2 weeks after watching this movie. The flesh-eating bacteria probably would have been more attractive.
Join me next week for the second installment of my scary movie recommendations: Why Babysitters Aren’t Paid Enough.