Tag Archives: Horror movie lists

10 Side Characters From the “Friday The 13th” Films That Deserve More Praise

With horror fans, the Friday the 13th franchise is a necessary essential and rite of passage for all of us burrowing our way through the genre. Whether you’re new to the fandom or a long-standing, card-carrying member, you’ve at the very least seen ONE of the original 10 films that made Jason Voorhees a household name. Everyone has their favorite entry, their favorite final girl, and their favorite Jason. It’s always a hot-button topic with the horror community and a fun debate at that. And I’ll even indulge that very query with my own personal favorites of said topics:

Favorite Entry: Friday the 13th: Jason Lives

Favorite Final Girl: Ginny (Amy Steel)

Favorite Jason: CJ Graham ( I know shocker it’s not Kane, right)

But what about the hundreds of side characters that didn’t quite make it to the end and served as either one of the film’s kill-count casualties along the way, or were merely placed there for pacing purposes? There are NOT enough conversations about side characters like Ethyl and Junor and I’m here to remedy this bullshit. So let’s give some credit and praise where it’s rightfully due and champion these performances that made the films that much more enjoyable.

10. Harold Hockett

Nobody says a word about the animal-loving Harold but let’s get one thing straight here- While Jason obtained his iconic hockey mask from Shelly Finkelstein, he stole his new shirt and pants from Harold’s wardrobe, which he wore for many years and was even buried in. He does not appear to get a new outfit until Jason Goes to Hell, due to the fact these dubs were likely destroyed during his battle with toxic waste in the sewers of Manhattan.

Harold helped set the pace and opening for Part III and seemed like a genuinely nice dude who didn’t deserve the wrath of Voorhees. So, let’s honor the guy and remember that that legacy of his pants lives on in at least 5 movies after this one.

9. Joey and Vic

Joey and Vic are a package deal here because without their fateful interaction, all brought on by a chocolate bar, Part V would have never happened. Kinda gives that old saying, “Death By Chocolate” some weight, eh? So we really have to tip our hats to this odd couple of unstable teenagers for one of the most gruesome and memorable scenes from the entire franchise of films. Also, who in their right mind gives a mentally unstable person a fucking ax?! This is just bonkers and welp, I’m here for it.

8. Demon

Demon’s appearance in The New Beginning was brief but impactful- also probably the most quoted with “Them Damn Enchiladas“. I can’t be the only one who simply can NOT just say enchiladas when they’re around. They are specifically referred to as THEM DAMN ENCHILADAS. Also, I’ve never seen a movie where enchiladas were the cause of death-well indirectly but if it weren’t for them damn enchiladas, Demon would still be alive singing sweet tunes with Anita. Another damn fine memorable scene from the films that deserves all the recognition. Plus, that run to the shitter had me laughing my ASS off. No pun intended.

7. Julius

Out of all the “side characters” on this list, Julius from Jason Takes Manhattan had the strongest supporting role for our heroes and final girls/guys- along with hands-down, one of the most amusing scenes and deaths from the entire bracket of Friday movies.

Julius was a cocky dude, but I think his heart was in the right place. However, that cockiness got him killed thinking he could take on a Zombie Jason with nothing but his fists. Damn, I wish I had that sort of confidence. Whether you’re a fan of Part VIII or not, you gotta admit this aside from the Time Square scene with the stereo is the absolute highlight of the movie. Thanks Julius for not using and losing your head on this one.

6. Shelly Finklestein

A lot of people surprisingly shit on Shelly and I don’t understand why. He’s such a delightful dork and for me personally, it’s hard to dislike his lighthearted demeanor, even if some of his pranks are annoying to his friends. Love him or hate him, we have Sheldon to thank for Jason’s iconic Hockey Mask look and without his character, the Friday films would have gone on with Voorhees with a paper bag over his dome. Also, I don’t think a lot of fans are taking Shelly’s character into consideration when the movie was attempting to fan service the horror fans with his character. Maybe it’s not spot on, but I can’t hate on a fellow horror nerd. So let’s here’s one for Sheldon and the bullied fans of the genre.

5. Violet

Violet would be seen by most as sort of a bitch, but I didn’t see her that way at all. She was just a misunderstood, troubled teenager that seemed lost- leading to some attitude issues and distancing herself from others to avoid interaction and disappointment. That’s the psychology side of my brain talking, or rather, my inner Hannibal Lecter as I like to refer to it as.

She was also seen as inclusive to those suffering from anxiety and depression or bipolar disorders because her types of “lash-outs” are very similar to those who suffer. There’s no harm in it, but it can be seen as rude as hell. And then, there’s the infamous room dance. If you weren’t trying to imitate that robot dance in the 80s, what the hell were you even doing? And on a personal note, Jenna Ortega’s Wednesday doesn’t hold a candle to Tiffany Helm’s moves. Here’s to our little Violet, whose original death was much more brutal but axed from the theatrical cut.

4. Sissy

Sissy, played by Elizabeth Baker in Jason Lives is just so goddamn likable and in rare form really when it comes to the Friday films when a “side character” is more personable than the final girl herself. Not ragging on Megan by any means, but Sissy here was robbed as SHE should have been our final girl in Part VI. She didn’t deserve to die at all, and if you were gonna kill her off at the very least give her death some meaning. Totally snubbed in all directions. I’ll die on this hill as Sissy being the best Final Girl we SHOULD have had if she had lived to the end. Ah well, at least we have a genuinely nice character in the franchise we collectively all rooted for.

3. Jimmy and Ted

Just like with Vic and Joey, the odd couple of Ted and Jimmy are a package deal as they play off one another to make this dynamic work. Ted(dy Bear) is at peak toxic male masculinity while Jimmy is trying to find love at the stakes of being labeled a “Dead Fuck.” Neither one of these characters work or would even have the impact they had had they had not been coupled together for most of the scenes. The Final Chapter wouldn’t have been nearly as entertaining without them and because of that, let’s go wild with a little LION.

2. Ethyl and Junior

As far as comedic duos go in the Friday franchise, there are none greater than Ethyl and Junior. A lot of people give a LOT of shit towards A New Beginning, but facts are facts: Part V gave us some of the best memorable side characters in the entire franchise and this pair of mother-and-son local yokels dish out some of the most hilarious scenes of all the Friday films here. If Ethyl’s not hitting kids with heavy doses of blind hatred with her sharp tongue, she’s in the kitchen cookin’ “slop” or calling her son a fucking dildo”, which, to be fair to her, he absolutely is. Also worth noting, as a grown woman myself with my own house, I’d be pretty pissed too if I found some teenagers fuckin like rabbits in my yard.

They just put this bonkers movie over the top and we gotta respect them for it.

Now eat yer fuckin’ stew dildo.

1. Crazy Ralph Neeley

The entire franchise of Friday films owes a debt of gratitude to the prophet of doom “Crazy” Ralph Neeley. He warned those damned kids. He warned everyone. But alas, no one listened. And perhaps that’s a good thing because had they heeded his warning, we wouldn’t have much of a movie now would we? But, the theater-trained Walt Gorney started a chain cliche in following Friday movies. Ralph was the original “red herring” and inspired a reincarnation of this character in sorts; like Abel in Part III , the Cemetary Groundskeeper Martin in Jason Lives!, and the deck hand in Jason Takes Manhattan. Ralph serves as a pioneer in the series for his role and his lines remain the most quoted in the films to date. He even survived the first film altogether, but alas, succumbed to his own prophecy in the direct 1981 sequel.

He wasn’t so crazy after all.

Happy Friday the 13th Nostalgic Nuggets! Let’s chat in the comments below. What’s your favorite side character from the series?

Happy Dirty 30! The 10 Best Horror Films From 1990

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.

10. Gremlins 2: The New Batch

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.

Available for $7.69 at Amazon

9. Puppet Master II

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.

Available for $11.46 at Amazon

8. Arachnophobia

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.

Available for $4.99 at Amazon

7. Tales From the Darkside: The Movie

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?

Available for $5.00 at Amazon

6. Nightbreed

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.

Available for $11.99 at Amazon- Director’s Cut!

5. Ghost

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.

Available for $8.99 at Amazon

4. Child’s Play 2

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.

Available for $3.99 at Amazon

3. Stephen King’s IT (1990)

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.

Available for $7.40 at Amazon

2. Misery

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.

Available for $6.95 at Amazon

1. The Exorcist III

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!

Available for $19.99 at Amazon

What’s your favorite horror gem from 1990? Sound off below and I’ll be back with a a top ten of 1980 list in the near future! Stay tuned!

Nightmare Nostalgia Ranks The “Halloween” Franchise Opening Credits!

One of the greatest memories of my childhood was the multitude of horror movies that were introduced to me through my Dad and Grandfather (Pop- we called him). Pop was a passionate fan of ALL Universal Horror Monsters films, and on top of watching them endlessly by his side on the nights the grandparents would babysit, I would often admire his very complete Universal Monsters VHS Collection and the artwork embodied within it. However, my Dad, albeit a super Frankenstein himself, was more on the Slasher spectrum. And by the way, is the biggest John Carpenter’s Halloween fan I know. It sounds biased but being inside the horror community for fifteen years, I stand by that statement- and you could read more about that here.

That being said, the Halloween films were a pretty standard rotation in the ole’ VCR growing up and hell still are. And while I’ve found this to be a pretty common list among the horror website interwebs, they sure as shit aren’t my opinion and that of the greatest Halloween fan I know! So, here we go: Nightmare Nostalgia’s official ranking of all the Halloween opening credits!

I truly feel like I’m really going to make some of you mad. BUT, just remember my opinion is not yours and we can all agree to disagree!

And no: I’m not including the Rob Zombie versions because of NO.

10. Halloween: Resurrection

With many fans, Resurrection ranks dead last in pretty much all aspects; and here on this list is no exception. Following a very generic version of John Carpenter’s classic tune paired with pitch-black backgrounds and orange credit lettering, we stroll down the halls of the Grace Sanitarium Institution where we meet a seemingly docile Laurie and a pair of nurses who narrate to the audience the very bullshit story of why she’s there. It just sucks when in comparison to ALL the others. Sorry, not sorry.

9. Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers

In my opinion, and well that’s what this all is, Curse’s opening doesn’t fair much better than Resurrection. The only reason it’s a slot higher is that it’s a lot shorter. The messy intro here that clumsily inserts parts of the film in the damn thing merely sets the tone for the rest of it. One big mess. However, as big a mess as it is, it still isn’t the worst in the franchise by far. Resurrection still holds that title belt.

8. Halloween 5: The Revenge of Michael Myers

Ahhh, here we are. The last of the original pumpkin intros in the franchise- up until 2018 of course when they resurrected it. Personally, I rather enjoy the lowkey angry tone behind this one in combination with the process of what I would call, The Wild Maniac World of Pumpkin Carving Sports here. However, compared to others before it, it falls short.

7. Halloween H20

The cool newspaper clippings and a throwback to Samuel Loomis speaking his infamous words on what Myers eternally represents is a pretty cool change and so very 90s.

6. Halloween Kills

Halloween Kills may have been a shit-show as far as a decent follow-up to its 2018 predecessor, but at least the pumpkin opening credits were on point. In fact, it’s probably the best party of the whole movie.

5. Halloween (2018)

One can certainly appreciate the return of the pumpkin intro via the 2018 franchise’s homecoming. And in such a unique form as the jack-o-lantern has fallen flat and laid dormant for many years, only to be blown up into it’s original form. Like it never missed a beat. Truly an honorable way to start the Myers madness again!

4. Halloween (1978)

Alright. This is the one that MIGHT trigger some pissed-off feelings from fellow fans in regards to ranking. BUT, I feel like some of the follow-ups were just a smidge more intriguing to my senses. It’s classic, simple, and a perfect start into the Haddonfield journey whereas the original film was simplistic yet effectively terrifying.

3. Halloween III: Season of the Witch

Love the movie or hate it (and yes it’s still an argument), you are very wrong if you deny the magnificence of thy Magic Pumpkin paired with a sinister synthesizer. The onset of the 80s’ included the launch of a new wave and MTV and this was a perfect representation of what early 80s horror films looked and sounded like. It’s just a staple of an era that many have since used as inspiration- including Stranger Things.

2. Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers

The return of Myers meant a ditch off the recurring pumpkin intro this time around with a spine-chilling sequence of a sunset on a farm instead. The ambiance of a sinister Autumn setting with the low-tone score, the winds blowing, and Halloween decorations swaying in the breeze always struck the skeevies chord with me. That Michael is still out there. Waiting- and coming soon.

1. Halloween II (1981)

There is just no way in Haddonfield Hell that anyone can convince me otherwise that the sequel to the original isn’t the greatest goddamn gift we’ve ever been given in this franchise. Well, as far as appeasing intros are concerned anyway. Opening with the events of the last film spilling over to start the continuing journey of cat and mouse between Myers and Laurie, we roll into a perplexed Loomis staggering outside of the Doyle home to the spot where Michael had dropped, and only a pool of blood remains. Garnering attention from (finally) a nosy neighbor who has ignored all the blood-curdling screams, and apparently is just NOW paying attention to what’s been going on right next door, annoyingly asks if this is a joke and that “He’s been trick or treated to death tonight.” This leads into one of the greatest lines of this fuckin’ franchise from Loomis himself- “You don’t know what death is!” Who then scurries off around the corner in a wild state.

And then- the glorious, more angry pumpkin intro this time around. The score is more aggressive, much like in the rest of the film coinciding with an angrier Myers. The pumpkin cracks down the middle to reveal a skull. The symbol that death is coming and isn’t stopping for anyone.

So good.

What’s YOUR favorite Halloween opening sequence? Discuss below in the comments!