It is currently FrightFest season on Film4, which is exciting for us horror buffs. I was particularly happy to see B movie homage, Night of the Creeps, in the lineup. There’s some other interesting stuff worth checking out, from the crowdfunded Absentia to the slapstick Re-Animator. The latter got me thinking: why am I such a fan of the silly when I can also appreciate the more disturbing or highbrow sub-genres of the horror genre?
I recently watched the 80’s cult B Movie Slugs, a completely nonsensical film. One scene [SPOILER ALERT] shows a flesh-eating slug get stuck in a man’s gardening glove. This results in him chopping his hand off and, naturally, the greenhouse exploding with him and his wife inside. It was awful, gory, and brilliant.
So many of us love such gross filmic stupidity because it is funny. From Sharknado to Chopping Mall, these films are darkly slapstick and ludicrous, more often than not, purposely so. Then there is the gore factor: oozing blood from open wounds, Plasticine guts disintegrating in stop motion, puss exploding from eyes. These are all cases of the “car crash effect”—we just can’t help but look and are creepily intrigued by the grottiness of it all.
Sorry to get macabre, but I know the reason that I flock to lists such as the Top 100 Best Worst Horror Films when I’m down (or hungover) is because of all that death. These films make death brutal and unlikely and, frankly, hilarious. I do not like talking about death at all, so these films offer a release by turning it into a hoot. Who knew dying could be so much fun? I hope I go in a flurry of exploding guts and flames with a bear gnawing on my arm.
So, for all those bad-horror junkies out there, and those that need a good laugh after all that death talk, here are my top five silly horror flicks:
And number one is a spectacular zombie film by Peter Jackson, Braindead. LOTR eat your heart out. Literally. Also, you get to see what zombies do when they get lonely at night. You can’t un-see that stuff.
There’s some brilliant horror on Film4 this week, so get your teeth stuck into it. If you need some light relief, feast on your favorite horror flops and send me some recommendations for my next hangover.
Title image: A scene from Night Creeps