By Breanna Whipple
CALGARY – When it came time to select a theme for the month of October, I will admit I had assumed it’d be a cakewalk. With the Halloween (2018) revival only a mere few weeks from release, I toyed with the idea of covering that franchise in its entirety. It dawned on me that you’re all likely familiar with the lore of Michael Myers… I mean, you’ve had 40 years, there are no excuses at this point! Anyway, moving forward, I considered compiling a list of Halloween-centric horror films that were appropriate, yet stale. Then it dawned on me, despite being a horror fan throughout my entire life, what always made October special to me was the influx of fun films floating about. Colourful, outlandish tales of every kind of monster you could imagine. Films that make perfect companions to costume parties – nothing too heavy, just gloriously rad cinema. This is the spirit of Halloween to me, and here lies a lineup of films that perfectly summate it.
Killer Klowns from Outer Space (1988)
Leave every preconceived notion you’ve gathered about creepy clowns by the wayside. Bathed in ’80s neon and sporting weaponry including popcorn guns that wrap their victims in cocoons of cotton candy, the Killer Klowns from Outer Space are so outlandishly insane that is hard to believe they exist in the world of horror. Digging past the comedic kills and boisterous cinematography, there is something incredibly sinister about these morbidly cute alien creatures.
Another movie so unbelievably over-the-top is TerrorVision, a horror/comedy focused heavily on the latter. Functioning as an exception of my general dislike of comedy driven horror, it functions well in this instance due to caricature-like characters. Not only are the visuals bathed in post-modern aesthetics and gorgeous technicolor, it covers all the various facets of excessive ’80s culture. Garbage aliens, leather-clad headbangers, disco-swingers, patriotic warmongers… They’re all here waiting for you!
It would be a cardinal sin to compile a list featuring this sort of weirdo, schlocky content without mentioning a film taken from Frank Henenlotter’s catalogue. Frankenhooker is exactly what it sounds like – an undead monster hooker stitched together by the most desirable, discarded limbs taken from a mass of slain prostitutes. Like the aforementioned entry in this list, the characters often feel a little cartoony, allowing for a very comic-book like atmosphere throughout the entrancing 85 minute runtime.
Leprechaun 3 (1995)
I’m a sucker for films situated in Las Vegas, and Leprechaun 3 is by no means an exception. Not only is this my favourite instalment in what I consider to be the most underrated horror franchise of all time, I’m going to go a step further – it is one of all-time favourite films. You have an evil leprechaun with an endless supply of powers, stalking the glittering streets of mid-90s Vegas in search of his gold. He gambles, he sleazes, he even bumps into ‘Elvis’ – what more could you want in the world of fun horror?Frankenhooker, Killer Klowns from Outer Space, Leprechaun 3, Season's Bleedings, TerrorVision