Forgotten Flix Recommends… 13 Horror Movies for Halloween: Creature Features, Part 2

October 25, 2010

Original one-sheet theatrical poster for Sleepwalkers (1992)

by Joel G. Robertson

So, here’s the second part of my monster magnum opus! It contains the remaining six entries. After this post comes to a close, it will be my final entry in the “13 Horror Movies for Halloween” series for this year. But considering quite a few folks seemed to really enjoy these, I’ll be doing it again next year with a whole new crop of movies.

Also, these posts inspired me to create a weekly series of “Forgotten Flix Recommends…” that will feature 3 – 5 movies you’ll want to check out. Each entry will have a different theme, so you’ll never know exactly what you’re gonna get (kind of like a box of… chocolate-covered grasshoppers. Well, I guess you’d know exactly what you were getting after you crunched down on the first one).

Here are the monster movies (8-13) you should check out:

8. Ghoulies 2 (1988): It’s not scary and I realize Ghoulies 2 is a straight to video sequel to a cheesy 1985 horror flick (although, I remember getting freaked out when the lady’s tongue, which in my memory vaguely resembles a fruit roll-up, flicks out Frogger-style, wrapping around some poor sap’s neck). Anyway, like I said in the last post, I have a fascination with movies set against the backdrop of circuses or carnivals. This one fits that bill and is actually a fun movie to boot! Directed by Albert Band, father of legendary B-movie producer and Full Moon founder Charles, it also stars Phil Fondacaro stars as Sir Nigel Penneyweight. He’s a great actor, who gives his all no matter what movie he’s in.

9. Sleepwalkers (1992): I love this movie. I remember going to see it at the drive-in with my dad and it’s always held a nostalgic place in my heart. You know the place I’m talking about, the place where you forgive the most inane plot twist, or the worst acting. None of that matters. In that place, you only see the good in a movie, no matter what anyone else says about it. So, is Sleepwalkers good? Well, like I said, in that deep down place you bet it is. Regardless of my sentimental bias, it is actually an entertaining yarn that would play perfect in your neighborhood drive-in (assuming you have one). Story is simple: Girl falls for boy. Boy falls for girl. Boy turns out to be shapeshifting monster who sleeps with his mother and can only be killed by cats… ah, I get a warm fuzzy just thinkin’ about it!

10. Leviathan (1989): In 1989, this movie was competing against two other “trapped under the ocean with creature of unknown origin” movies: Deepstar Six and The Abyss. This one is pretty much Alien under water. However, there is one reason why Leviathan is greater than those other monster-in-the-ocean flicks. A reason that makes any movie it applies to 1000 times better than it otherwise would have been. A reason that can be summed up in two words: Peter. Weller. Original one-sheet theatrical poster for Pumpkinhead (1988)

11. Pumpkinhead (1987): This movie also has a two word reason for its greatness: Lance. Henriksen. Although, it’s actually a pretty good creature feature in its own right. Henriksen plays a grieving father who summons Pumpkinhead, a demon, to exact revenge on the teenagers responsible for the death of his child. Pumpkinhead himself was created by the late-Stan Winston and is on par with Winston’s other creations for movies like Predator, The Terminator, and T2: Judgement Day.

12. Tremors (1989): Giant, underground, man-eating worms that find their prey through vibrations in the earth. Starring Kevin Bacon and Fred Ward, Tremors is one helluva fun ride. Director Ron Underwood plays around with the “don’t move or you’ll get eaten” conceit in a variety of clever set pieces. If you think about it, Tremors is very much like the game you played as a kid where you had to get across a room using only furniture or other objects without touching the floor. Only, if you touched the ground when you were a kid, a massive phallic symbol wouldn’t burst through the floorboards swallowing you whole. If it had, the game would have been a lot more challenging (and fun if your kid sister was the one who stepped on the floor)! Original one-sheet theatrical poster for The Gate (1987)

13. The Gate (1988): This is one of those great “kids left alone while parents go on vacation” movies from the 80s. There are a ton of them, spanning multiple genres. It makes sense. In the same way that young adult novels remove grownups from the core action, so do many films with teens as the protagonists. After all, the kids are the ones who are supposed to be stopping the creepy, stop-motion demons they raised from a dark netherworld by playin’ their confounded devil music! It also stars a young Stephen Dorff. Definitely worth checking out!

Whew! Finally! I thought I’d never shut-up, er, I mean finish.

For the rest of this week, I’m going to be nose down, churning out posts and getting the blog ready for your movie-lovin’ pleasure! Later this week, I’ll be posting my blog’s schedule so you’ll know when, and what, I’ll be posting.

So, until next time, remember, a flick is only forgotten if you’re not talking about it!

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4 comments on “Forgotten Flix Recommends… 13 Horror Movies for Halloween: Creature Features, Part 2

  1. Ah man, I’ve always wanted to see Leviathan and The Gate but never have. Gotta add them to the queue. Have to agree with Ghoulies II also! It’s such a fun movie and Phil Fondacaro always makes a movie better with his presence.

    • I remember my old man taking me to see ‘Leviathan’. Same year he took me to ‘The Abyss’ and ‘Tremors’. ‘The Gate’ was one of those moments when I was eleven, in the Armchair Theater video store, noticed the cool cover, realized it was PG-13 (which was a no-no with my mom, but I was with my Dad that weekend! Ah-ha, who says divorce hurts kids! 😉 ), so I worked it into that weekends entertainment. Sure, it’s goofy fun, but I love those “kids-trapped-in-the-house-with-demons-while-the-folks-are-away-on-vacation” kind of flicks!

  2. TREMORS is the hell of a fun movie to rewatch. Not knowing about THE GATE, bout sounds really interesting…

  3. Hi Bellock! Welcome! Yes, I agree. It’s a classic. It’s so awesome, in fact, that it makes up for the fact that the man who directed it, Ron Underwood, also directed “The Adventures of Pluto Nash”! 🙂

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