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Monday, September 19, 2011

The Ten Worst Horror Movies Ever

Today on Civil War Horror I'm participating in the Worst Movies Ever Blogfest. Technically we're all supposed to list our picks for the ten worst movies, but I'm going to skip Ishtar and Kid Ninja and go straight to a genre near and dear to my heart--B horror films. So without further ado, here are my picks for the worst schlock you really must see.

Jesse James Meets Frankenstein's Daughter. While all Jesse James films mangle the history of the world's most famous outlaw, no film kicks the legend so squarely in the crotch as this piece of trash. It is exactly what the title says, except the female lead is actually Frankenstein's granddaughter, continuing the mad doctor's nefarious experiments. This little slip pales in comparison to the wooden acting, boring shootouts Jesse never participates in, and stereotypical portrayals of Mexicans, Indians, and foreigners in general. It can't seem to decide whether to be a bad horror film or a bad Western, so it takes the worst of both genres and runs with it.

The Beast of Yucca Flats. This one stars Tor Johnson, professional wrestler-turned-actor immortalized in Ed Wood's films. It isn't an Ed Wood picture, and that's too bad. Tor plays an irradiated scientist wandering around the desert to bizarre narration obviously written by someone smoking something potent. We're treated to lines such as "Boys from the city. Not yet caught by the whirlwind of Progress. Feed soda pop to the thirsty pigs" and "Touch a button. Things happen. A scientist becomes a beast." Actually things don't happen. People just stroll through the desert or drive along roads in endless bridging sequences that don't actually connect to any real scenes. The film was shot without sound (to save money?) hence the narration. There's some dialog, but because the director didn't trust himself to sync the sound with the actors, you only see the person listening, not the person talking.

Reptilicus. Denmark is the last place you should set a horror film. It hasn't been exciting since the Viking age. Prim, proper, socialist, and wealthy, nothing happens there and they like it that way. That is, until an unconvincing rubber monster starts messing about in Copenhagen and even has the gall to attack Tivoli, the cheesy amusement park. Copenhagen is burning! Women in bikinis and beehive hairdos are screaming! The Danish army, which got its butt kicked by the Nazis in a single morning, is helpless! What, oh what, can we possibly do??!!

Teenage Zombies. This one doesn't even make the "so bad it's good" category. It's boring. Fun-loving teenagers stumble upon a plot by Russian agents to create a gas that turns people into shambling slaves. So they aren't really zombies in the traditional sense, and none of the teenagers become zombies. The "zombies" are slow-moving actors with their eyes rolled up under their eyelids. Oh, but there's a guy in a gorilla suit. That was pretty cool. Not.

Manos: The Hands of Fate. In this flick we see the typical middle-class family get lost and fall into the evil clutches of The Master and his flunky, who worship the evil god Manos. I saw this one with the psychological crutch of Joel and the robots to help me through. Because MST3K cuts off the bottom of the movie, I didn't know the flunky had cloven hooves and was supposed to be a satyr. I just thought he walked funny. The Internet Movie Database says, "The majority of the cast (and crew) never appeared in another movie." Good.

Scarecrow Slayer. I bought this used here in Spain thinking it was a Spanish film. The Spaniards made some pretty kick-ass Templar zombie films back in the day. Unfortunately this was from the land of Kmart. A killer scarecrow preys on college freshmen. I kid you not. You'd think that in a film made in 2004 about college freshmen that one of the girls would take her shirt off, but no. Bare breasts are the standard special effect of B-movies--inexpensive, safe, and always popular. Instead the director relies on cheap special effects that would barely pass muster in an 80s music video. I want those 87 minutes of my life back.

Basket Case 2. This doesn't really count since it's a horror comedy and isn't supposed to be taken seriously. Still, it's pretty painful. The first one was kinda cool, with a young teenager and his separated twin hiding out in New York. The twin is a football-sized thing with fangs, sharp claws, and a bad attitude. Like all sequels, Basket Case 2 didn't have the Sturm und Drang of the original. We do get to see the evil football find a football girlfriend and have graphic sex. That got this flick onto the list. Hey, at least I was able to write a Gadling post about how it symbolized the English riots.

Chucky. I'm ashamed to say I saw this in the theater. Toy doll gets possessed with a killer's spirit and goes on a rampage. Nuff said. At least I didn't see the sequel, Bride of Chucky. The sex scene from Basket Case 2 was enough monster sex for one lifetime, thank you very much.

Boggy Creek II: And the Legend Continues. I never saw the original so this may be a case of a great movie having a horrible sequel, sort of like The Blair Witch Project 1 & 2. Based on the "real-life" Fouke monster (ahem) of Arkansas, this incredibly slow-paced film stars the director as a University of Arkansas professor hunting the beast while two coed students act dumb and a male student spends all the time with his shirt off showing his scrawny, hairless chest. Not much else happens except that at the end the director sings a love song about the monster. There were actually five Boggy Creek films made, so this is one of the more successful bad movies out there.

The Incredibly Strange Creatures Who Stopped Living and Became Mixed-Up Zombies. I saved the best for last. I first saw this film when I was seven years old and it totally freaked me out. There was a scene where a drunk guy goes to a gypsy woman to have his fortune told and a monster leaps out from behind a curtain and kicks his ass. As he's lying on the floor we get a shot from his point of view of the fortuneteller pouring acid on his face. That scene always stayed with me even after I forgot the rest of the movie. A few years ago I was watching it for what I thought was the first time, saw that scene, and nearly fell out of my chair. Well, you can't go home again. This movie has murder victims reappearing alive in later scenes, a gypsy whose wart moves around her face every scene, and off-key musical numbers, all shot in "Bloody-Vision" and "Hallucinogenic Hypnovision". It's notable for having László Kovács doing the camera work. After this he went on to make Easy Rider, my favorite good film, and become a Hollywood icon.

"What?" you say "No Plan 9 from Outer Space?" No. While Ed Wood's masterpiece is a truly bad film, devoted fans of the genre know that Wood doesn't even come close to being the worst director of all time. Dig deeper, my friends, and you will find the landfill was built on top of an outhouse.


  1. Tor Johnson did some bad ones! I think MST3k covered most of those trainwrecks.
    Thanks for participating in the blogfest!

  2. That last one may be bad, but it has a great title.

  3. totally old school bad flicks, much respect!
    i love bad/worst movies, these lists are tough!

  4. The last one does have a unique title.

  5. I've been anti-Chucky since it came out. Good to know I'm not alone.

  6. I don't really do Horror movies, they are soo hard to do properally

  7. Your list completely rocks this blogfest.

  8. Wow, the only one I've seen or heard of is Chucky. My son went to see that and hated it...which is saying something, because he'll pretty much sit through anything.


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