If you’re familiar with my writing on this site, you’ve probably figured out my tastes don’t exactly fall within the confines of mainstream entertainment… which roughly translates as “Greg’s into weird shit.” Yeah, so you got me there. But when Halloween season comes around, I’m also brimming over with nostalgia for all the amazing horror movies and shows I grew up watching.
With that said, since I’m pretty much watching horror movies every day — for work and pleasure — this season just adds a little (pumpkin) spice to my weekly routine, so I tend to widen the field of my viewing choices once in a while.
That’s not to say I overlook the perennial classics — after all, there’s just something about the smell of Autumn in the air (or what passes for it in Southern California) that makes me want to queue up my favorite Universal and Hammer titles, Halloween-friendly horror anthologies and old-school slasher standards. But mixed among them are some old and new oddities that help make this month even more exciting.
Some of these choices are also determined by the fact that many of them are coming to local revival houses in town over the next month — and in a few cases, it will be my first time experiencing the films in a packed theater.
By the way… since it’s impossible for me to rank these films in order of preference, I decided to arrange them by date of original release, because I dig watching the evolution of horror themes and tastes (or lack thereof) over the years. Enjoy!
1. AT MIDNIGHT I’LL TAKE YOUR SOUL (1964)
2. SPIDER BABY (1964)
3. MAD MONSTER PARTY (1967)
4. MAD DOCTOR OF BLOOD ISLAND (1968)
5. TO THE DEVIL… A DAUGHTER (1976)
6. SATAN’S CHEERLEADERS (1977)
7. ALUCARDA (1978)
8. DAWN OF THE DEAD (1978)
9. ALIEN (1979)
10. DRACULA SUCKS (1979)
11. LOVE AT FIRST BITE (1979)
12. PHANTASM (1979)
13. ALTERED STATES (1980)
14. FADE TO BLACK (1980)
15. THE MONSTER CLUB (1980)
16. AN AMERICAN WEREWOLF IN LONDON (1981)
17. HOUSE BY THE CEMETERY (1981)
18. CAT PEOPLE (1982)
19. THE ENTITY (1982)
20. THE THING (1982)
21. ONE DARK NIGHT (1983)
22. SOMETHING WICKED THIS WAY COMES (1983)
23. TWILIGHT ZONE: THE MOVIE (1983)
24. PHENOMENA (1985)
25. NIGHT OF THE CREEPS (1986)
26. THE BLOB (1988)
27. BEHIND THE MASK: THE RISE OF LESLIE VERNON (2006)
28. TRICK ‘R TREAT (2007)
29. ALL HALLOWS’ EVE (2013)
30. THE FINAL GIRLS (2014)
31. TALES OF HALLOWEEN (2015)