So we here at Grizzly Bomb have a mammoth Countdown to Halloween going on, focusing on some of the greatest Halloween icons to ever terrify humanity. However, here I just want to give a thumbs up to some of the more obscure creatures of the night who have terrified me over the years.
So welcome to our Countdown to Halloween Special – Top 10 B-Movie Monsters. Click on through our new handy Tabber below and prepare yourself for some B-Movie greatness.
10.) David Lincoln (Waxwork, 1988)
If you love monster flicks then I suggest you sit down and enjoy this celluloid treat. It plays out a lot like an adult version of The Monster Squad, where a group of teens have to fight some of mankind’s scariest monsters in their own waxwork setting, and hope that the monsters don’t escape to wreck havoc on the world. Each waxwork display has a powerful artifact of evil from that time period within it, which essentially turns it into a portal that, when stood through, takes you into that creature. There are some great monsters in this, such as The Wolf Man (John Rhys Davies in a great role) and Dracula (Miles O’Keeffe). We also have Zach Galligan (Gremlins) as the lead and Patrick Magnee (The Howling) as a wheel chair bound fighter of evil.
It’s gory and it’s funny, it’s pretty much everything you would want out of a horror movie. But wait, there’s more! It also stars David Warner as David Lincoln, the Satan worshiping curator with his extremely tall and extremely small assistants. David is brilliant. It’s great to watch him sway around in his purple/pink attire and muttering his catch phrase “Would you like a closer look?” before pushing someone to their death. He just rocks this film over the edge to a piece of horror perfection. He balances camp, comedic and terrifying character traits so well, it makes coming back to this film a treat every time.
9.) Sammi Curr (Trick or Treat, 1986)
No, it is not Trick R Treat or any of the numerous other films that sound similar to this. It’s a film starring Sammi Curr; who’s “a rock and roll nightmare” or so the trailer would have you believe. In fact he may be the campiest undead killer I have had the pleasure of watching. He is released back into the world when an unreleased record is played backwards, then Coke is accidentally spilled on the record player, causing an electric surge that springs his spirit back to life. He now has the power to travel through anything electric and can use electricity as a weapon. If this sounds a bit like Shocker, then you would be right. The plots not that different, but horror is a genre that does like to rehash stuff.
Now this is not exactly what you would call a spine-tingler of a movie. What you could call it is an incredible camp master piece. Sammi Curr is a great horror villain, shooting electricity out of his guitar to kill people at a gig, electrocuting himself, etc. The great thing about him is he is hilarious. He reminds me of Gene Simmons (who pops up as a DJ in a cameo role) with all his tongue flashing. In fact the role was up for Gene Simmons originally but he turned it down. So instead we have Tony Fields playing a Gene pastiche that works very well. It’s a joy to behold, and this movie is just a lot of fun. Which is perfect, as Halloween should be about jokes as well as scares, right?
8.) Demons (Demons, 1985)
What I have learned from horror movies is you should never pick anything up that looks a bit out of place. It’s bound to be possessed in some way. Shame the people in this film did not pay heed, because they would have saved themselves a lot of grief. A demonic mask seen in a cinema entrance scratches a prostitute who goes in to see the movie. Unfortunately for her she turns into the demon from the movie and runs amok in the cinema. The doors magically close and everyone is pretty much screwed! There is so much to love about this film, like Bobby Rhodes as Tony the Pimp, who is one of the greatest screen icons to step out of Italy. Every thing he does is gold; in fact he is more fun than the actual demons.
Then we have the demons themselves, which are freaky as hell. Always dribbling blood or slime all over the place, they are a creepy creature indeed. The poor human who gets taken over by them has to watch as their teeth fall out and demons fangs pop through. Glowing eyes appear throughout this movie… never trust anyone with glowing eyes that’s what I say. They can be equal parts scary (when they are stalking their prey) or hilarious (when they are getting taken out by our hero on a motorcycle). This is a film that decides to get our heroes out of the building by crashing a plane through the roof! It is a superb mix of fright and thrills.
7.) Puppets (Puppet Master Series, 1989 – 2012)
If you want to have your own animated puppets here is how you do it. Get an Egyptian spell which will give you a magic elixir and use it on some puppets you have made. Job done. You can also make a series out of it like Charles Band did, where we follow the puppets of André Toulon (the guy who gave them all life). They have appeared in a variety of films in many different guises. The main crew seem to comprise of Blade, Leech Woman, Drill Head, Pin Head and Jester, though they all come and go and get interchanged.
The great thing about this series is you never know what the little bleeders will be up to. Sometimes they are killers, enjoying slashing throats and burning people alive. But then they are also anti-heroes and sometimes even the heroes of the movie. The magic behind this series is the inventiveness of it all. You always want to know what puppet will pop up next and how they will kill the bad guys or slutty teens. Andre Toulon may be dead (the puppets killed him, I told you they cannot be trusted) but his great creatures are still around to thrill us every Halloween.
6.) Herbert West (Re-Animator Series, 1980–2003)
West comes from the imagination of H.P Lovecraft, the genius writer who was ahead of his time. West is a man who is so driven by his search for life after death and reanimation he does not see that it always comes with a cost. Lovecraft penned quite a few different tales involving this warped genius but it’s the Stuart Gordon film that most people remember him from. Played to maniac perfection by underrated actor Jeffrey Combs, he is always slightly on edge, but never loses an opportunity to use his green elixir (Elixir is always green in horror films for some reason!) to make a zombie talking head or an eyeball finger. He is a bit messed up but has a sense of fun you see.
West’s creations are always horrific and always go insane in some way. For example he kills his teacher at the medical university he is in, then animates his head and body. So the head can cheekily have the body sneak up on people. Lets not go into the whole scene where the head decides to give a lady some head! He is a modern day Frankenstein only with even less morals than Victor. Humans as a species have always feared death but there is more to fear when Herbert gets his needle near you. The frights come from not knowing just what is going to come out of his basement next.
5.) Kreon (Spookies, 1986)
What I miss about horror today is there are not as many creature features about. Sure, if watching people get possessed or having chairs thrown at them by a dark force is your cup of tea, you are sorted. But there is a lack of really silly monster features (not CGI either, prosthetic only). The ’80s was full of them. A plot was not required just wheel them out and let them loose. This is what I love about Spookies. The plot is nonsense and involves a wizard called Kreon keeping his wife preserved by using human sacrifices until she is ready to awake for there wedding. Now Kreon is a bit like Mr Freeze from the Batman comics, he sits there moping around a bit. When he needs to pull out the stops killing wise, he does not let us down.
The way he goes about killing people is superb. He gets a teen possessed (yes, it was popular in the ’80s too) and gets them to use a Ouija board to bring up some really incredible monsters. Each person has to be killed in a room by these cheesy special effects beasts. This is great entertainment all around and will have you whooping with joy when you see what they come up with. Some of the best ones are farting mud men, a giant spider woman who takes up all the room and an octopus creature. It is really just a showcase for cheesy monsters and it is all the better for it.
4.) The Ghoulies (Ghoulies, 1983)
Where are we most vulnerable? Alone on our death bed, or in a dark forest perhaps? No, its when we are on the toilet. Charles Band knows this and devised an entire series around monsters that like to pop out of U bends [Ed Note – I assume this is English slang for shitters]. Here we have Ghoulies, another silly puppet horror movie which like Puppet Master, cooled down a bit and became a lot more silly later on. The Ghoulies creatures are silly and if I’m not going to offend anyone by saying this, stupid looking. But they are so much fun. Its difficult to describe them but one looks like a weird baby, another looks like a guinea pig and another like a rip of something from Labyrinth.
Much like the puppets from our earlier entry, it’s the playful nature of the monsters that is appealing. They love to have a bit of a giggle at your expense before ripping up your face (or ass, depending). The first film brings the Ghoulies here with that old black magic trick. But that is quickly put aside to focus on monsters jumping out at you whenever they can! By the series end they had been to college and were being played by vertically challenged actors, so they have been around. If you like a good scary shock, then pop the first one in your DVD player. But if you like a horrific laugh, then pop the rest in.
3.) Silver Shamrock Co. (Halloween 3, 1982)
I always feel sorry for this film. It seems to get a bad rap for not having Michael Myers in it and being completely different than any of the Halloween films. But leaving all that aside it is a shocking and fun horror movie about the festival of Samhain. It shares the same feel of Invasion of the Body Snatchers, just one man trying to make a difference but never succeeding. I mean, the end is pretty grim to say that it involves the death of pretty much every child in the world (or America at least).
Conal Cochran is a nasty piece of work, making Halloween masks with computer chips in them to kill the wearer when the advertisement is played is pretty bad. But making those same masks spew out bugs and stuff is downright shocking.That’s one loathsome man! He also makes android copies of people. This guy is wasted trying to bring his own brand of witchcraft; he could give Bill Gates a run for his money. It’s the fact that the villain is human, and its human drives and desires that make him do what he does that is so freaky. With monsters you know they are meant to act like that, because they are monsters. But this guy had a choice and he decided to be a dick. Still, it makes for a stunning horror film which will get you right up on the edge of your seat.
2.) Klowns (Killer Klowns From Outer Space, 1988)
Why do aliens like eating us so much? If it’s not the aliens from Bad Taste trying to freeze dry us and send us into space, its Killer Klowns turning us into candy floss and then sucking us dry like a milkshake. Still you have to admire an alien race that has a spaceship big top, has killer shadow puppets and pop corn guns that shoot out hungry pop corn that eats you up. Killer Klowns is a film that shows its love of all things silly. Every scene is filled with the Klowns finding more inventive ways to kill people and make us wet ourselves in the process. Hell, these guys could give Jason Voorhees a run for his money!
This film has to be seen to be believed. The comedy is well pulled off, but some of the scenes involving sucking humans dry sends a shudder down your spine. The Klowns look incredibly sinister and it’s a surprise when everyone thinks they are fine and normal circus clowns! Just look at them, there is no way I would even set foot in a circus with them in it. Best thing about this film is when we find out to kill them you have to pierce their red noses. That had me laughing all the way to the films end. If this is not your cup of tea, then just listen to the sound track while you are trick or treating as a song with the line “Beware of the Killer Klowns” should be on everyone’s iPod.
1.) The Deadly Spawn (The Deadly Spawn, 1983)
What’s great about this time of year is the scares. And nothing is more scary than the creatures in The Deadly Spawn. Yes, its aliens again (they were all the rage in the ’80s thanks to Ridley Scott’s movie) which start off really small (sounds familiar…) but get huge. In fact they get as big as a human and then as big as a house! So they are not a creature to be messing with. The thing about The Deadly Spawn is you never know who its going to kill. It is blind and can only go on sound alone, and so if you are quiet you are okay. But its hard to be quiet when you are stuck in a cellar and the baby spawn are swimming towards your feet.
There is a sense of dread throughout this film, where you have no idea when they will strike. They don’t care about anything else other than eating you, so there is no escape. The lack of eyes make this a particularly disturbing monster to look at. The creature designs are incredible here and this is something that if you saw it in your house, you would be running for the door. The scene where the ladies dinner party is broken up by them accidentally eating one of the spawn, and then been attacked by them is a scene just as powerful as the school yard scene in The Birds. These things are freaky. The low budget of them actually helps, and makes the film seem a lot grittier. With Halloween fast approaching its time to grab some pop corn, hide behind the sofa and enjoy some of these great horror hits.
Be sure to check out more of Grizzly Bomb’s Countdown to Halloween here!