A Shocktober special: 10 cult classics you need to see

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by Michael O’Keefe

Shocktober is the perfect excuse to catch up on horror films. From the great to the not-so-great, there’s always so much to explore. Compiled here are not necessarily the best horror films of all time, but a collection that’s so much fun you’ll hardly miss trick or treating. Happy Halloween, y’all!

1    The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2: While it’s not a classic, anything-goes-let-it-all-burn film like the first one is, the second  installment in this series is very funny. I mean, how can you beat Dennis Hopper having a chainsaw duel with Leatherface?

2    The Toxic Avenger: A cult classic from Tromaville! New Jersey’s first Super Hero! The Toxic Avenger might not be your favourite movie but maybe it should be. Basically the local wimp gets bullied one day, thrown in toxic waste and runs around town stopping crime.

3    I Drink Your Blood: This film is about a bunch of jerks going to stir stuff up in a small town. A kid has enough and infects their food with rabies, and the jerks go on a killing spree. Need I say more?

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4    Pieces: “It’s exactly what you think it is!” “Because . . . you don’t have to go to Texas . . . for a Chainsaw Massacre!” These are the actual advertising taglines for this film. Coming from Spain where Pedro Almodóvar is king, little known director Juan Piquer Simon cranked out some great sleaze, most notably this film. Matricide, pool fights, and intrigue are all in this glorious film.

5    Bad Taste: With humble beginnings, Peter Jackson made this horror comedy which is all about a bunch of maniacal aliens who want to turn humans into their new fast food combo meal!  Yes, it’s better than Lord of the Rings. No, I’m not joking.
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6    Microwave Massacre: Everyone’s favorite cannibal comedy. This movie stars Jackie Vernon who was the comedian who played Frosty the Snowman in the classic Christmas cartoon! Then he did this movie! It’s really a terrific blend of humour and comedy. The conceiver of the project and producer Craig Muckler was a recent guest on Movie Mondays.

7    Driller Killer: This one would be a perfect double bill with Microwave Massacre because it takes itself so seriously yet is so inept. It’s just dying to be Taxi Driver 2 and there is no one who was talented enough at the time to make that happen.  It’s star and director Abel Ferrara would go on to make great films but Driller Killer is not that film.

8    Yakuza Apocalypse: Takashi Miike has directed 100 movies! Most of them stick with you forever whether it’s the scene where a character trips down the stairs on his own vomit or a woman gives birth to a full grown man—don’t look for subtextual hidden meanings, just vibe out to it.  Yakuza Apocalypse is a yakuza vampire movie, so go figure what that entails: an abrupt ending, lots of strangeness, and plenty of violence.
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9    Demons: A classic roller coaster ride of a ‘demon’ film that is presented like a zombie movie. It was directed by Lamberto Bava, son of the genius Mario Bava who invented the modern slasher with Twitch of the Death Nerve aka Bay of Blood. This film is designed to be watched for fun like the rest of these films but is well constructed, as most of the other films on this list are.

10    Hell of the Living Dead: Directed by Bruno Mattei, this wonderfully inept film appeals to all the cinematic masochistic types. It literally steals music from Dawn of the Dead and somehow got a major distribution deal on DVD and Blu Ray! Only in the movies . . .

 

Movie Mondays is the only show on the CKCU roster that is dedicated to discussion of cinema. From Italian sub genres of horror to interviews with actors, composers and producers—if you’re a movie fan, we’ve got you covered. Join in on the fun whether it’s live from 8:30 a.m. to 9 a.m. on Mondays or on-demand at ckcufm.com.