Alright my nostalgic nuggets, you’ve forced my hand here. Ok, not really I actually get a real sick pleasure out of writing this stuff up. However, my most recent piece on Scorpion and Sub-Zero’s epic entrance in the 1995 Mortal Kombat film, and it being pretty much the greatest goddamn thing in the universe, really threw up a few interesting discussions in the ring about the film. One, in particular, the best fight from the movie.
Without a doubt, the fights in the film are absolutely the best parts of the movie, (with of course the exception of the previous article). It’s MORTAL KOMBAT! The fights are what it’s all about! While some are fantastic on their own, a few left us with an undesirable mountain of wtf and was ultimately- a little disappointing. I really hate having to write that, but a few of our beloved characters really got the garbage shaft in this movie. So as great as this live-action adaptation is, let’s hope the 2021 film brings some of our guys some deserved justice.
And to be perfectly honest, I have no doubts that they will.
Anyways, I’m all about using my worthless opinion to rank stuff- so let’s do this! From Worst to Best, because I like save the best for last-
8. Liu Kang VS Kitana
I don’t even know what to say about this other than this is some lame bullshit. Kitana has always been one of my personal favorites to play with because if you got those moves down to memory, you can really beat some serious ass with her. I get the story doesn’t want them to fight it out and blah, blah, blah… However, this was just terrible. And only serves the purpose in her blabbing on how to defeat Sub Zero. Which is another huge pile of horseshit, but we’ll get to that in a minute.
7.Liu Kang VS Nub
PANTHER GROWL! Hey, not one, but two! For this to be the official kickoff to the Earthrealm’s ultimate fate via dudes kicking the shit out of each other, it’s just… OK. Nub isn’t up to par getting defeated with a double dropkick. But, he real winner here is Liu Kang’s glorious locks. Oh, and it’s pretty awesome seeing Shang Tsung collect his soul.
6. Liu Kang VS Sub-Zero
Goddamnit this is a fight that when we knew it was gonna happen, we were like, “THE SHIT IS ABOUT TO GO DOWN!” and then… massive disappointment. As an important character in the MK universe, Sub-Zero really got fucked here theatrically. Our boy came down the steps quite confidentially, and the fight scene itself is nothing to gush over. The gymnastics are cool? But this is Mortal Kombat! And for Sub Zero to get taken out so quickly by a bucket of water was just, lame. Ok, Liu Kang is the chosen one and all but COME ON. Ugh.
5. Sonya Blade VS Kano
That Veronica Vaughn, erm I mean, Sonya Blade really kicked the shit out of Kano, literally. Taking time restraints into consideration, this fight is again, ok. But it’s not one I’m truly upset about. It would have been nice to see Kano use his laser eye, but alas, Sonya’s thighs got the better of him. And ultimately, FOOTALITY!
4. Liu Kang VS Shang Tsung
Here we are, a man with presumably a thousand souls getting taken out by a man with, let me count real quick, one without breaking much of a sweat. Albeit the matter of the sorcerer summoning other fighters in lieu of him fighting half the time and myself personally desiring a little more from the fighting performance, both Robin Shou and Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa embody and ARE those characters without a doubt. This is what perfect casting looks like ladies and gentlemen. Also, the MK Immortals techno beat that drops when they throw hands, and ending it with Liu Kang’s signature fireball fist is redeemable enough for me.
3. Johnny Cage VS Goro
This fight ranks so high for three reasons:
“Those were $500 sunglasses asshole!”
The dick punch
The enthusiastic Goro Groupies ‘brah
Ok, now we’re getting into the REAL good shit. You know, the type of fight scenes that had us jumping out of seats, dropkicking popcorn all over the theater patrons in front of us. Mr. Special Effects Goro was a glorious spectacle reminiscent of 80s fantasy films such as The Labyrinthand The Dark Crystal. It was slightly clumsy at times with the mouth piece not syncing up when Goro spoke at times, but mad props anyway because as a 13-year-old seeing this for the first time- who literally gave a shit?
2. Johnny Cage VS Scorpion
Now it’s time to start dropping the heavy beats!
The first time Scorpion yelled, “GET OVER HERE!”, as a kid in the theater I just went WILD! It was about to go down with one of my all-time favorite fighters and this scene DID NOT disappoint. Well except for maybe how Scorpion was taken out but the fatality/friendship crossover end to the match really boosted this into one of the coolest things ever. And that stands even now to this day. I’m of the opinion Scorpion won this fight up to the end. I mean he must have kicked the shit out of Cage at least 30 times in this short fight. But I guess, Cage had to make it to the end only to be killed within the first two minutes of the sequel.
Liu Kang VS Reptile
I’m gonna tell you something right now: If you don’t think this wasn’t the most epic battle of the film, I’m very sorry for how wrong you are. No one saw this coming and when that little monster slithered into the statue and the narrator of a film that doesn’t even HAVE a narrator simply states, “REPTILE” and then the beat drops with an all out ass-whooping, everyone in that theater back in 1995 lost their ever-loving minds.
Fun fact, this scene was actually filmed after the movie was already finished and ready to go, but the studios felt like there wasn’t enough “kombat” in the film, so they added this national treasure. Also, according to Robin Shou, the kick that lands Liu on the edge of a pillar ledge where he falls off, was shot ten times with the last and final shot being used in the film was that of him busting a few ribs from that land.
Now what do you guys think? What’s your favorite fight in the movie? Or if you need to revisit, Amazon has a great deal on the Blu-Ray for under $5.00!! Which you can get here.
Well here we are. A new year means a new top ten horror list that will remind us all to put Bengay on that upcoming shopping trip inventory of crap. Instead of doing my usual “Dirty 30” (of which I will still do a little later), we’re gonna start 2021 off with a myriad of horror flicks that turn the Fabulous 40 this year!
1981 was a banner year for horror indeed and audiences had a variety to choose from on those Friday night date nights at the local theater. Hot off the slasher craze of the surprise hit of Friday the 13th the year prior, studios were eager to jump on that bandwagon for cheap thrills at a minimum budget that brought in major profits. And thy behold, 1981 gave us fresh faces of horror such as Harry Warden, Gunther, and the introduction of a machete wielding maniac in adult form that would go on to become one of horror’s most iconic villians.
So of course I wanted to start this new year fresh spotlighting some of the very best the year of our slasher lord, 1981 has to offer. While this is at the end of the day, my own opinion piece on the matter, please feel free to comment your favorites- maybe something not mentioned, or hell, give me YOUR list! I would love to hear from you guys! Also, worth noting I’ve included trusty Amazon links to the films mentioned if one would be so inclined to make a purchase- which would also help little me earn a percentage in possibly five years or so (heh). So hey, if you want to add to your horror collection while your fellow nostalgic contributor out with running this website, I will forever thank you and write a sweet Kenny G style love song about you in the very near future.
Alright let’s get dive into this mess. Counting down to what I think is the best movie at number one- THE TOP TEN HORROR MOVIES OF 1981!
10.Dark Night of the Scarecrow
Premiering as a Halloween film of the week on CBS in October of ’81, Dark Night of the Scarecrow apart from stellar performances from the cast, is the first horror film that actually centers around a killer scarecrow!
With a plot surrounding a mentally handicapped man named Bubba, who is falsely accused of attacking a young girl and ends up being murdered while incognito as a scarecrow hiding in a field, and the lynch mob basically getting away with it; it makes for a fine-tuned horror film in the making as well, in revenge fashion the culprits are killed off quite phenomenally one by one. With a scarecrow being sited at each death scene.
Some might feel its cliché ridden, however Dark Night of the Scarecrow is an underrated, hidden gem that is perfect for October viewings! Get it here from Amazon!
9. The Howling
One of two fantastically furry wolf-centered films makes numero nine on the list-The Howling. An almost satirical, and self-aware of being exactly what it is, The Howling stars the beautiful Dee Wallace and is directed by a pre-Gremlins Joe Dante.
Wallace plays a news anchor who after being traumatized after a seemingly to others, hallucination episode on her part, is sent a “resort” ( which is a nice way of saying a nut-house, where she soon finds out what she has experienced is very real- and surrounds her in this very colony she is now stuck in.
The Howling was released in March of ’81, just five months before the “big” werewolf film of the decade. And it’s sort of shame as I feel it became somewhat overshadowed with the hype of AAWIL. Which to be fair, is great of course. However, with two big werewolf film releases in one year, the more flashy one will usually get the glory and juice. Had this been released a year before or after, I feel like more people would hold it higher than they do now. Anyways, get it here on Amazon!
Visually striking and a TRUE GODDAMN BEAUTIFUL horror film, Possession is everything that embodies sexual, feminine empowerments in the genre. Disturbing for some? Sure. But I think it’s done rather tastefully– pun intended. As a matter of fact, if at some point you don’t feel uncomfortable at all during a viewing, I’d say you’re more than probably a sociopath.
A young and beautiful wife (Isabella Adjani) leaves her husband (Sam Neill) abruptly for an unexplained reason. He thinks infidelity is involved. She claims that’s not the case. But goddammit he KNOWS there must be SOMEONE else involved. So he follows her in a very subtle non-stalkery way and holy shit what comes of that story is nothing more than a pure mind fuck. I refuse to say anymore for anyone that is shameful to haven’t had the pleasure, or unpleasure of seeing this.
And if that be the case, please get on this shit immediately. IF you can find it. I managed to find some legit sellers on EBAY (click here), so that might be your best bet.
7. My Bloody Valentine
My Bloody Valentine is basically Canada’s answer to the holiday horror film populace of the ’80s that Friday the 13th kicked off for the decade. And goddamn it is a ripe pickin’ out of the now hundreds of holiday horror genre films that we can currently fill a good size swimming pool with.
The story of antagonist Harry Warden of My Bloody Valentine is fairly a clever set-up: Twenty years prior, an accident in the town’s mine led to five workers being trapped underground when their supervisors left their posts early to attend a Valentine’s dance. Four of the trapped workers died and the fifth, Harry Warden, had to resort to cannibalism to survive.
Anyways, after Warden and the now half-eaten corpses were discovered and rescued, he was by then insane and went mental on his former supervisors- by ripping out their hearts and placing them in cute little Valentine boxes as a warning to never celebrate this day veer again, dammnit!
Yeah, well apparently folks felt the statute of limitations was twenty years, and well- now we got a horror movie. Which you can pick up right here!
6. Friday the 13th Part 2
Well with the magnificent Pamela Voorhees kicking off the slasher genre of the ’80s, it would be stupid not to include the sequel that gave us her now iconic special, special boy Jason! I mean, it’s a pretty good sequel too.
Following the events of the first film, we find ourselves back at Camp Crystal Lake with fresh meat for a now magically grown adult Jason, (who cares if it makes sense) to seek revenge on some unsuspecting counselors for his mother’s death.
From a critic’s POV, the Friday franchise has some stinkers. From a fan’s however (like myself), they all maintain a level of charm that makes us return to each one with loving nostalgia.
Ahh, good ol’ Scanners. Cronenberg’s science-fiction horror take on, I guess a fucked up X-Men?! The movie may have hit the 40-year mark, but it’s a tale from the master storyteller that feels very modern and messaging that runs deep that is just as relevant today as it was back then. Hell, a hundred years from now, someone might say the same thing and that’s why this film can possibly NEVER be rebooted in a proper manner. Can’t fix perfect man.
Scanners is a movie with a special ability called “scanning”. Technically, psychic powers such as reading thoughts, control a person’s mind and organs (making your heart speed up, etc…), and yes, blowing someone’s head up. We’ve all seen the infamous scene whether you’ve seen the movie or not. There’s a lot of corporate greed conspiracy going into the plot so I won’t go any further, but seriously if you have been sleeping on Scanners, give it a go- get it here!
4. An American Werewolf in London
When John Landis made the jump from Comedy to Horror, he did so with a BANG- well, maybe rather a vicious snarl but you get the idea. AAWIL, 40 years later, is still looked at very closely by those studying film and especially, students in the special effects industry. The Landis legacy is truly problematic (putting it mildly), and I’m not super comfortable celebrating anything about him. However, I can’t deny how great of a horror film this is, whatever my opinion on the man might be. So personal feelings aside, the art made prior to some seriously tragic events (The Twilight Zone Movie); I’ll stick this guru of lycanthrope effects at number four.
Landis had written the screenplay as a modern homage to Universal’s The Wolfman way back in 1969, almost a decade before the film was made into a reality. Two backpackers from New York take a tour of Europe but only get as far as Yorkshire where they are viciously attacked by a large animal. One is mauled to death, the other barely makes it out alive, however, with a spiffy souvenir- a werewolf bite!
As an early 80s horror film, AAWIL doesn’t exactly fit that stereotype. Beyond fashion and hairstyles, the movie feels just as simplistically modern today as it did forty years ago. Foregoing the horror movie clichés into a somewhat more serious film about tragedy and despair. With of course some light humor here and there. It is Landis after all. Therefore, the movie will most likely stand the test of time for another forty years, and beyond.Get the Blu-ray on sale here!
3. The Funhouse
Now some of you might be asking why I put Tobe Hooper’s ball of weirdness, horror, and fun so high up this list.. And well here’s my answer to that:
Sorry, that had to be done, hah!
My first viewing of Hooper’s The Funhouse was sometime around the age of nine or ten for myself as part of a Saturday afternoon horror movie-thon on basic cable. Saturday morning cartoons were over and then up pops this beauty. The creepy montage of carnival music with the black canvas of credits occupying the merry-go-round of slightly horrifying animatronic figures that occupied the Funhouse at center stage was enough to pique my curiosity to sit and watch this thing and the rest is history. I certainly can’t remember EVERY horror film I saw for the first time. But with The Funhouse, I remember like it was yesterday. On top of it being a pretty great horror installment for the decade, it’s pretty special to me in that aspect.
The story is fairly straightforward with a pair of couples engaging in date night at a traveling carnival with some seedy history behind it. The teens decide it would be a kinky adventure to sneak inside the funhouse and stay the night. Of course, fun is halted when they realize the pop and “son” running it is a pair of murdering maniacs- with Frankenstein face being something way worse than they experienced at any Freak Show.
The first quarter of the movie really sets that shady atmosphere with little random things that occur inside the place leading up to the night in the Funhouse, and I always really appreciated that. The whacky out-of-place old lady in the bathroom, the creepy Magician, and that skeevies-inducing dude showing off his half-naked sister for the adult girls show. The movie just screams everything done right with an 80s horror film without walking into cliche territory and I just love it to death.
Oh yes. The film that gives one of horror’s GREATEST lines ever narrated by none other than Sir Donald Pleasance, and not to mention the BEST pumpkin opener (fight me) in the series, comes in at a close second.
Directly continuing the violent Halloween night Michael Myers caused in his rage and chaos, Myers follows Laurie to Haddonfield Memorial Hospital and doesn’t skip a beat along the way, killing anyone that enters his path to get to what is now revealed, to be his sister. Halloween II is darker, more aggressive, and a little more fast-paced as Myers is just PISSED now. Many might disagree with me, but I almost prefer it to the original.
Oh and that greatest line ever? You know I’m right.
Slash your way to savings with this Blu-Ray anniversary edition for only $9.99 here!
1. Evil Dead
I’d like to think I’m channeling Ash Williams here when I say, “If you think any other movie was gonna beat this out, this town only has room for one magnificent asshole here. And that guy is me.”
Evil Dead. The film Sam Raimi created spawned a cult-phenomenon of Deadites and launched Bruce Campbell into horror legendary status. Following 2 sequels, Evil Dead 2 and Army of Darkness, with later a Starz series and even a stage musical, Evil Dead has certainly made its mark in the genre. It’s got everything almost every movie-goer could possibly ask for in a film. Romance, check. Action, check. Scary shit, check. Oh, and more blood than anyone probably needs in any one film. Heck, Evil Dead was so effective, it was outright banned in West Germany, Iceland, Sweden, Finland, Ireland, and the UK. Religious groups branded it evil and newspapers branded it obscene. MP Graham Bright claimed it was so dangerous it could harm not only you and your children but also your pet dog.
Like that was going to stop anyone from wanting to watch it even more.
You can probably disagree with a lot of my rankings here, but I believe collectively that we can all agree that Evil Dead is truly a beloved, badass treasure among the genre.
Nab your copy that includes the first two films on Blu-ray here for $7!
The year was 1990. The Hubble Space Telescope sent down its first images from space to NASA. The number one TV show was Cheers, and girl you know it’s true how embarrassed Pop duo Milli Vanilli must have felt that year.
But, arguably one of the most important events to streamline and set the tone for horror in the ’90s, was quite possibly the legendary Tim Curry slapping on a red nose; inducing a mighty fear of clowns into TV audiences everywhere for the unforeseeable future. Thanks Tim!
Beyond the television terrors of Derry, 1990 was a pretty fantastic year for horror. Tasking myself with dwindling down the list down to, what I think, are the ten best, was slightly anxiety inducing. However, I’m pretty satisfied with the results and the lineage of order. Also, if we’re gonna celebrate anything in 2020, it might as well be things from the past that live on to keep us from losing our minds!
Can we at least agree on that?
So let’s get to it! I’ve also included handy Amazon links with the best deals I could find for said features if you feel inspired by this list to add to your horror collection! Also, I won’t bore you with an in-depth analysis of each film. I feel like most of you have seen or at least know the plots of these gems- and if you haven’t FOR SHAME and click the title links to remedy that immediately.
What do you get when you cross Hulk Hogan, a Grandpa Munster impersonator, and genetic splicer lab run by Christopher Lee? Why, Gremlins 2 of course! I fondly remember seeing this in theaters when I was about eight and I got to tell you, watching the Hulkster threaten the Gremsters with a 24 inch python beating was probably the highlight of my year and deserving of a top-ten slot.
Being as how this Puppet Master installment in particular is my favorite of the franchise, I couldn’t leave it off the list! The puppets return with a very aggressive physical form of Toulon in hopes to resurrect their old puppet party days; along with a few new tricks. A new group is at castle at the puppets’ disposal to slice and dice, but it was those damn “human” puppets that gave me nightmares for weeks on end!
Fun fact: Puppet Master II is playing in the Toyland Warehouse security office in Demonic Toys.
If you weren’t afraid of spiders before the “Roseanne” era John Goodman thriller, I’ll take a million dollar bet that Arachnophobia induced that anxiety in you. Pretty impressive as this IS the first film distributed by the Walt Disney Hollywood Studios label. Way to set the bar there Mickey.
Quite possibly the greatest horror anthology since Creepshow, the Tales From the Darkside feature presentation-as well as the series– is the perfect love-child for fans of the Romero-King collaboration and the unforgettable Tales From the Crypt with a star-studded cast to boot. Steve Buscemi, Christian Slater, Debbie Harry, and a young Matthew Lawrence who serves as the stories’ introduction opposite Blondie’s Harry. We got a homicidal mummy, an even more homicidal (adorable) cat, and one fucked up gargoyle tale of love and betrayal. Need I say any more?
As wild and bewildering as it is, there’s a lot to love about a pen-written Clive Barker film about a mental patient who believes he is a serial killer by none other than, David Cronenberg. The group in the film dubbed the Nightbreed, may look wonky and in movie-terms, scary. But are actually the misfits. The outcasts. And the dreamers. A lot of things I whole-heartedly believe many horror fans can relate to. Love it or hate it- it has a place in my heart.
Ok first off: YES. I know Ghost isn’t a traditional horror film like the others listed here. However, my motto has and alsways been- “If it scares you, it’s a damn horror movie.” And I’m sticking to that. Those demon ink-blobs scared the literal piss out of me when I was a kid therefore this masterpiece gets a slot here.
Ghost has just about everything the average cinema-goer could want in a film. Also could be why it was undoubtedly one of the most popular films of that year. Love, betrayal, drama, thrills, a little comedy, and a cool cat that sees ghosts. Ok, he has a small part but it’s still one of my favorite little quirks about the movie.
The sequel to the Mancini/Holland endeavor is every bit as great as the original with Chucky really coming into his own in 1990. Sure, the Chuck had some memorable one-liners from the first film. But in the sequel, the pavement has been laid for Chucky’s homicidal yet humorous personality with a dozen or so “you can’t help but laugh” lines and actions that just makes this one so great. Worth mentioning is the opening title sequence of the burnt remains of his body being pieced back together like a fucked up Frankenstein.
BEEP BEEP! I can fondly remember watching the 2 part-miniseries that premiered on the ABC network in November of 1990. I was eight-years-old and by God, as a young brooding horror nerd, this was absolutely thrilling for me to see something so terrifying being aired on a family-friendly network! As with above’s Arachnophobia, the rise of coulrophobia went full steam ahead with audiences everywhere and I hold the magnificent Tim Curry fully responsible for his genius performance as Pennywise for inducing clown-related panic attacks for years down the line.
Humorously enough, it was during the mini-series premiere of IT where I caught my first glimpse of that cockadoody nurse Annie Wilkes and the theatrical trailer for Misery during a commercial break. The strong, and ankle-anxiety inducing story from Stephen King for me, is perfectly represented on screen with Kathy Bates. Bates IS Annie and delivers a performance that can be compared to Hopkins’ Hannibal Lector one year later. You love to hate her. That’s not an easy feat for any character.
And now that you’ve exorcised my invitation to the top ten dance, here we are at the very greatest film of 1990- THE EXORCIST III. The film, adapted from William Peter Blatty’s “Legion”, is about as aesthetically pleasing being the first person to walk on fresh snow in the morning hours. Incidentally, it’s also intellectually the one true, and finest sequel to The Exorcist. Brad Dourif (his second appearance on this list-BRAVO), clocks into his One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest days to remind us that he’s a lot more than just the voice of a killer doll for horror fans. The man is an ACTOR. And one of the damn finest alongside George C. Scott who serves as his opposite making way for a beautiful on-screen performance that compliment each other wonderfullly.
Not to mention it has THEE greatest jump scares to this day of any horror film. EVER. And since it hold’s the number one spot, let me endulge you with you possibly shitting your pants one more time with the headless nun!