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in 100 words or less, what's your favorite scary movie?


I've been spending one of my first weeks off in a long time enjoying AMC's Monsterfest. Nothing's better than bad 80's horror movies that have been edited for television. Scary movies friggin' rock even when they're horrible. Just like pizza. And to commemorate that fact, along with the fact that this is dude.man.phat's 500th blog post (woohoo! break out the streamers and shit!!), I've decided to launch a new interactive feature: In 100 Words Or Less. I read and enjoy a lot of well-written blogs. So I've asked (via email) a few of my favorite bloggers (this week it's all L.A., baby), "What's your favorite scary movie (in 100 words or less)?" and, since I'm not totally lazy, I'll start:

Justin, Dudemanphatnotfatbutphat
"All of my favorite movies seem to involve 80's nostalgia. So my favorite scary movie would have to be Gremlins. Not scary, you say. Suck my balls, I say. When friggin' mean, green monsters with scary teeth start jumping out of my Christmas tree when I'm trying to decorate it, I piss in my pants. I don't know about you. They also tried to kill Phoebe Cates!! And, as a little kid, I didn't want to feed my pets after midnight or get them wet for months after I saw the movie. My poor stinky anorexic pets."

Geoff, Bullmonkey
"Right now, my favorite horror flick is Ju-on 2 (the sequel to the original Grudge). I watched in a room full of men and still jumped out of my seat more times than is acceptable. But it does make me wonder why the Japanese are so afraid of little girls with messy hair. That's probably why the Asian horror market has been sucking over here in the US for a while... the "scared of little girls with crazy hair" thing just doesn't translate on this side of the Pacific. What if we just took out the little girls and put in an evil clown or some midgets? I think that would work better."

Hilary, Superfluous Juxtaposition
"This one's easy. I absolutely positively hate scary movies, so I don't watch
them. Thus, I have no favorite. How's that for a hundred words or less?"

A.J., A.J.'s Piece of the Web
"My favorite scary movie is The Changeling (1980) starring George C. Scott (Patton, Dr. Strangelove). Though 25 years old, The Changeling has aged VERY well (better than I have). Here's the logline: "A man retires to a lonely mansion and begins to experience supernatural occurrences linked to the house's evil past." This movie has everything: slow, spooky, spine tingling scenes and swallow-your-gum, shriek-out-loud shocking scenes; all wrapped in a great mystery. I can't reveal much more without spoiling it, but let me just say that you'll never look at an empty wheelchair the same way again. Netflix this one now."



Helena, Blood and Guts
"The Stuff (1985) made me afraid of yogurt. When miners find this substance oozing from the earth, they do what anyone else would do—taste it! And wouldn't you know, it's downright delish? The product is mass-marketed, catchy jingle and all—Can't Get Enough of The Stuff! Things are peachy until people become inexplicably addicted to it, and start turning into horrible, jaw-unhinging zombies. Is this a Delicious Dessert? Or Mind-Controlling Alien Being? Thankfully, this disaster would be impossible today, as I'm sure The Stuff is so loaded with carbs that nobody would eat it in the first place."

Reagan, Glory Fades & the now defunct Tale of Two Cities
"the exorcist, b/c when i was but a fetus growing in my mother's womb, she and my father rented the movie for what i'm assuming was a romantic evening indoors. up until this point, i was to be a meagan. like reagan, but with an "m." however, while watching regan aka linda blair vomit pea soup and fuck herself with a cross, my parents (again, i'm assuming) looked at each other, my father possibly laid his hand upon my mother's stomach, and in that moment of silent agreement i became reagan. so no, i was not named after the president."

Liz, Greenfireburning
"Lord of the Rings: Return of The King ~ Everyone has their quirks -- midgets, clowns, anal sex, midget clowns having anal sex. Me? It's the giant spiders that haunt fantasy films. You get a spider so big that you can see those eight horrid eyes and razor-sharp pinchers... Ghastly. So while I very much enjoyed the gay hobbits and epic warfare, there are large portions of ROTK I have never seen because I was curled into a ball, eyes tightly closed, hoping that the horrid squeals of Shelob were almost over. Once, I let myself peek… for long enough to choke back a scream."


Lonnie, Crushed By Inertia
"MY FAVORITE SCARY MOVIE: The Texas Chainsaw Massacre ~ Tobe Hooper's 1974 masterpiece is so simple, so rudimentary, with its amateur cast and zero-budget production, that the scares and violence feels more authentic. Like in the similarly-chilling Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer, the killings in the film aren't gruesome, over-the-top set pieces like you'd see in a Wes Craven or Dario Argento movie. They're mundane tasks, chores even, performed by guys who presumably commit these sorts of atrocities all the time. I think it's why Hooper chose to open his movie with the soon-to-be-chainsaw-massacred teenagers driving past a slaughterhouse. Leatherface isn't killing people like some brilliant methodical serial killer. People are not a challenge for him, they're not the ultimate prey. He kills them like a farmer might kill a cow, with no feeling or remorse. We're just meat to Leatherface. Now that's disturbing."

Neil, Citizen of the Month
"I do not have a favorite scary movie because I hate scary movies. I've never seen a movie with either Jason or Freddie. I know, I'm a total wimp. The scariest movie I've ever seen was a 70's movie called The Omega Man with Charleton Heston. Chuck is pretty much the only normal man alive after some sort of nuclear disaster. Everyone else is some sort of zombie that only comes out at night. And these zombies are scary as hell, with creepy makeup and really ugly 70's clothes. I can still visualize the scary faces of these zombies. Maybe I'll see if I can watch it again on Halloween. Maybe I've gotten braver with age."

Atlas, Assistant Atlas
"I'm not a big fan of scary movies, since screaming like a schoolgirl is bad for my rep. That said, Dario Argento's Suspiria is one sweet-ass horror movie. It's got all the classic elements-- such as an all-girls boarding school with evil teachers-- plus, it's got that soundtrack which has me all Pavlov-ed out. Every time I hear that eerily happy melody, I start nervously looking around for ballerina witches."

Megan, Overeducated and Underemployed
"I am easily scared. As a child, I made my friend's mom take me home from Goonies before it even started because the trailer shown before was vaguely frightening. I tell you this because I feel I must disclose that the number of "scary movies" I have seen is small. Still, I can say with confidence that among them (and all others), Watcher in the Woods is the awesomest. To summarize: Old Bette Davis. Spooky mirrors. Backwards spelling. ALIENS. A seven year-old Megan at her final New York sleepover before moving west. A fear that followed her to California. Nerak!!!"



Thank you everyone for your participation. I ditto all of the choices AND recommend all of the above sites for content that is way better than the Average Joe blogger. If anyone wants to participate in future "In 100 Words Or Less" posts, drop me a line. I like fanmail. I also like hatemail. Okay, I'm just trying to fill up my Gmail account (now hovering at 13%). Let's work together to make that happen.
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Posted by Blogger Avatar on 6:15 PM

I'm sorry, Justin, but Poltergeist still kicks the asses of all those movies. To this day, I can't sleep with the closet door open, I don't put large anthropomorphic toys to sit upright on chairs, I avoid bedrooms with large elm trees outside their windows, I fill the empty space under the bed so killer toys can't hide under there, I keep within 20 ft. of empty swimming pools, I stay off native american burial grounds, and when I see a short, fat, old lady with huge glasses coming at me, I cross the street.  



Posted by Blogger justin on 6:39 PM

Agree to disagree. But this is an open forum of scarymoviedom.

The only part I thought was scary in that was the clown. Clowns are always scary.  



Posted by Blogger Jonathan on 7:28 PM

I'd be up for participating in the 100 words or less thing should you need another person to say something like "To be honest, scary movies don't do much for me."  



Posted by Anonymous Kealeen on 10:23 PM

I agree about Watcher In The Woods. Disney came out with some bizarre shit in the 70s. To this day, I cannot watch that movie if I'm home alone.  



Posted by Anonymous Hilary on 11:17 PM

Well apparently I'm in good company when it comes to hating scary movies. Who knew?

Thanks for including me in this 100 Words Justin!  



Posted by Blogger MichaelPop on 10:37 AM

I'm not a fan of scary movies, so I'd have been no help here whatsoever, but keep me in mind for future installments in the series.  



Posted by Anonymous Anonymous on 11:50 AM

Halloween.
Garbagemen in coveralls still creep me out.

And that music screws with your head.

-JD  



Posted by Blogger Assistant Atlas on 9:34 PM

Holy crap, Poltergeist! My older cousins made me watch that when I was like 8 and I was seriously mentally scarred by the experience. Still, I maintain Suspiria is a better movie. . . I watched Poltergeist again recently and was significantly less terrified. By the way Justin, I think you've assembled a good list. And what the hell happened to Phoebe Cates? She had Fast Times, she had Gremlins-- then. . .nothing. Stupid mercurial gods of film and television.  



Posted by Blogger JM on 7:18 AM

I'm disappointed that nobody has mentioned one of my favorite cheezy B-movie favorites from the 80's, Scanners. Part horror, part sci-fi, with heads blowing up; what's not to love? Michael Ironside embodies evil, in a performance that overshadows most of what he has done since then. Patrick McGoohan also turns in a great performance as well in a movie direct and written by David Cronenberg. It's a movie that's guaranteed to keep you on the edge of your seat!  



Posted by Blogger -san.kie- on 10:24 AM

I saw The Blob remake when I was 10 years old. Couldn't go to a shower or bathroom without getting goosebumps for a month. And watching Hypercube after midnight induced a heightened fear of cannibals.  



Posted by Blogger Keith on 3:09 PM

I've never understood why people thought clowns were scary. Me, I find haunted spaceships and Sam Neill all possessed scary as fuck, which is why my vote for Scariest Movie of All Time™ goes to Event Horizon.  



Posted by Blogger Layna on 6:33 AM

I don't like scary movies either. I watched Serial Mom and had nightmares for months and have avoided scary movies ever since. I also avoid phonebooths, fire place pokers and make sure not to wear white after labor day.  



Posted by Anonymous nic on 11:25 AM

The movies that scare me the most are the ones that make me afraid they'll never END!  



Posted by Blogger EmployeeMegan on 12:28 PM

The amazing thing about Event Horizon is that my brother (about 12 at the time) convinced my grandmother to take him to see it. I believe they were both scarred as a result.  



Posted by Anonymous Helena on 12:15 AM

OMG GREMLINS TERRIFIED ME!

I saw it at 5 years old. I could not sleep in the dark until I was ELEVEN.

Sad, I know. Can't believe I'm admitting it. (I also was paranoid about wetting my pets)

That was fun, thanks for thinking of me.  



Posted by Anonymous Anonymous on 1:16 PM

The Ring.
Creepy corpses and a freaky girl and a disturbing videotape.  



Posted by Anonymous Anonymous on 1:23 PM

i agree about the ring. also ALIEN scared the heck out of me. I watched it and went to bed twitching and thinking I was going to blow up from the inside!

P.S Poltergeist has many scary moments but it as a whole didn't scare me because I only felt an element of suspense in the scary moments, not throughout the whole movie.  



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