The Definitive Top Ten Halloween Movies

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Rocky Horror Picture Show

One of the greatest bad movies of bad movies, the cult film of cult films, Rocky has lived on in the hearts and minds of the alienated, marginalized, and gay youth of each generation since its 1975 debut. The Picture Show has become a right of passage for those who will one day become fans of the cult movie, the bizarre musical, and eventually, possibly, even sex. Of all cult movies, no other has a following quite like the sexually confused, camp-horror followers of the late night, double feature picture show. There is nothing quite like seeing a 200-lb Janet, complete with white underwear, dancing and singing in front of two-hundred overly-Zima’d virgins – if you have never been to a modern screening of Rocky, go. Go now. Take a camera – and a change of underwear – it will be the scariest Halloween experience you’ve ever had.


Beetlejuice, Beetlejuice, Beetlejuice! What, no ghost with the most? I guess cirrhosis will kill even the hardiest of cult movies. Tim Burton’s ability to turn almost anything he touches into something not only instantly cultish, but also beautiful, is a testament to his sick fascination with bad science fiction films and terrible horror movies. Beetlejuice is enduring, which I think is partly due to the use of Belafonte island dance numbers in a comedy movie made “in-the-style-of” a horror film, and partly because even the bad guy seems like someone you would want to share a bottle of bourbon with. Not only is Beetlejuice great to have on as background noise at your Halloween party, but it is also something with which you can kick-start your kid’s education in cult movies.


For God’s sake, it’s called Halloween, a no-brainer for a Halloween list maker. Anyway, Halloween is not just a convenient title for selling theatre seats in October, but it was also the film that created the teen babysitter slasher cliché. Now clichés are spawned from actual memorable moments, and John Carpenter’s low budget masterpiece has become a part of Americana. Jamie Lee Curtis being terrorized by Nick Castle (the same guy who directed Dennis the Menace and Major Payne – VERY scary) in an expressionless white mask created a template for future slasher films. If you’ve ever wondered where the camera angles and female stereotypes of Friday the 13th and A Nightmare on Elm Street came from, look no further – but be aware, the opening credits are terrible.


Night of the Living Dead

This 1968 George A. Romero über-classic cult film makes lethargic, brain hungry, stiff, undead, Reagan-loving nursing home rejects the scariest predators a small town in broke-ass PA has ever seen. I, personally, love zombie movies, and what better than one of the originals? But there is something that always bothers me about the whole zombie genre: they just don’t seem that tough. You would think that even decrepit old Stephen Hawking and pansy Andy Dick could fight at lest 60 or 70 of them, let alone a home full of adults including a black man (and we’re not talking black man like Sammy Davis, Jr; I mean like lock up your white women because you know if they go black they really aren’t going back, black man).


A Nightmare on Elm Street

Before Johnny Depp was swashbuckling his way into another awful Jerry Bruckheimer movie, he was dodging his way from child killer and winner of the 1984 Captain Grody Face Award. Freddy Kruger, one part wolverine, one part Edward Scissorhands (no Johnny Depp pun intended), and much like Helen Keller, is a hero to all psychotic serial killing burn victims. I think the premise of this movie should be well known to all of us so I will give you a little tip on how to make this movie really scary. I like to pop a hand full of melatonin and wash it down with a nice glass of warm milk and pray to God that I don’t crap myself.


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20 Responses to “The Definitive Top Ten Halloween Movies”

  1. Casey Says:

    This is our best list; absolutely indisputable!

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  2. Phil Says:

    I don’t know about indisputable, but it’s pretty damned good! By the way, The Town That Dreaded Sundown was released in 1976 and was directed by Charles B. Pierce. Just in case you want to find it for me.

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  3. Greg Says:

    Indisputable! This may be the greatest list of cult films suitable for watching in honor of All Hallows Eve, that will ever grace any web site ever, ever!

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  4. Margapantalones Says:

    A short list of things I learned from some of these movies:

    Rocky Horror Picture Show – Tim Curry had (still has, perhaps?) GREAT legs.
    Beetlejuice – If you play with your food (read: dance around it and sing at the table), it will turn into hands and pull your face into it. Yes, it’s very silly, but when I was little, the concept of this scared the shit out of me and caused great distress while dreaming.
    Poltergeist – Speaking from inside your TV SHOULD create an automatic reverse-reverb effect.

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  5. Margapantalones Says:

    PS: I’m a little sad Dawn of the Dead (1978) isn’t on here… not because I love the movie or anything like that… I just wanted an excuse to mention the Hare Krishna zombie who looked like Moby. Hm… I guess I found an excuse, and I’m no longer sad.

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  6. Steve Says:

    When are we going to go see the Rock Horror Picture show?

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  7. mortimer nova Says:

    like half of this list gets played on amc during october. the problem with a list like this is that any horror movie could be included. so, name ten more horror movies and that list will be indisputable as well. but regardless, classic goodness.

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  8. Greg Says:

    No, this is not like that, you can’t throw “Scream” up there and justify it as worthy for Halloween, it doesn’t have that “Hallow” feel to it. This list has had way more thought and effort put into than, say, the GOP decision for Vice President, and we stand by our decision. Plus, this is a cult movie site, the films have to have that cult movie feel, or at least a group of people who have seen it a hundred times and dress up as the characters for Halloween (or in the case of Rocky Horror, Thursdays.)

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  9. raylynn Says:

    palin was a good choice for vice preserdent. she appeals to my motherly needs and isnt a muslim like that “other one”.

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  10. Casey Says:

    WTF with the GOP spam? Everyone knows I got a thing for Palin, but that is stupid.

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  11. mortimer nova Says:

    i agree. palin was really good in scream.

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  12. raylynn Says:

    she makes my armpits moist

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  13. Casey Says:

    Dude, who was she in Scream? Matthew Lillard?

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  14. Greg Says:

    Ooooh, John Mccain… there is a scary ass Halloween costume!

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  15. maryFinPoppins Says:

    Night of the Living Dead great movie and you can watch it online for free

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  16. Steve Says:

    I think we are going to re-encode it and post it for free here as well…

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  17. CrypticDweller Says:

    What about, “It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown”. That movie terrifies the hell outa me.

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  18. Casey Says:

    I thought ours was Night of the Diving Lead. 😕

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  19. brandi Says:

    i never watched half of these movies growing up, and I feel like im not a fully rounded, well developed person because of it. I guess its never too late to grow up and become a transvestite from transsexual Transylvania.

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  20. Steve Says:

    Nope, it’s never too late

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