These movies weren’t selected because they’re strictly Halloween movies; they’re just three spooky and dark flicks that I love. Two 80s, one 90s; all three great fun.
First up is The Lost Boys 1987. My favorite vampire film. Even when I was in the heart of my heavy vampire phase in my early 20s, this was the one I loved the most. Fun, dark, hip, great cast, and a fantastic ending. Kiefer Sutherland before anyone had even imagined Bauer, a crazy old man who’s not as loopy as he seems, and a bunch of ‘beautiful people’ kids who come from both sides of the plot. “Sleep all day. Party all night. Never grow old. Never die. It’s fun to be a vampire.”
Come to think of it, we could really use a good modern vampire movie. Like, a really really good one. Not campy, not silly, not full of stupid fucking teenage girls and even stupider love triangle; a great vampire movie built around vampire characters doing beautiful-monster things. Something like Underworld, which was fantastic; but then slipped off the rails with the others that followed its name. Maybe with a bit less action and a bit more drama. Someone get on that please. Thanks.
Next, Ghostbusters 1984. Really, do I have to even talk about this one? An absolute classic, and a monster hit for its year. Murrary, Aykroyd, Ramis, Hudson; a movie that was almost ahead of its time in some of the effects it was trying to use, and one that took a normally dark subject and turned it into a laughfest. I’ve always, always wanted a sequel or followup that focused on Ernie Hudson’s Winston, where he’s no longer the “as long as there’s a steady paycheck in it” guy, but how’s now turned into a wide-eyed believer like Aykroyd’s Ray. Hmm, I’m glad I looked up Dan Aykroyd’s name; I would’ve missed that there are two Ys in it.
A comedy with comedic-dark overtones, from the midst of a great phase of Hollywood comedies. I miss those. “It’s not weird; everyone has three mortgages these days Ray.” and “That’s a big Twinkie.” And don’t forget, “He slimed me.”
Finally, my favorite pure horror film ever; Scream 1996. Cabin in the Woods is a very, very close second, but to me Scream will always be the classic. I hate horror; suspense, I love, but Hollywood horror is . . . boring. Trite. Totally been done into the ground, even decades ago. Scream takes all the things I hate about Hollywood horror and turns them into a meta plot that is right up my alley. It uses the tropes and invites me into a story crafted using — rather than ignoring — them. The crowning pinnacle of Kevin Williamson’s hottest period, when he was everywhere accompanied by that Goddamn Paula Cole song. The rest of it has faded — not the song, damnit — but Scream lives on.
Accompanying these films will be some bourbon mixed with cola. And if those run out, vodka mixed with lemonade. Strictly as an emergency backup.
Happy Halloween everyone!