There’s something to be said about getting off work just before midnight, walking through the door with some late-night fast food in hand, and sitting down to a horror movie. This is especially true for those horror movies that are seemingly birthed from some bizarre, bloody, and manic nighttime world. Those rare gems we fans affectionately come to label as “midnight movies”.
So this Thanksgiving, indulge me as I discuss the midnight movies I’ve always been thankful for, and let me know if we share any favorites.
Alternate dimensions. Otherworldly monsters. Demonic, dimensional sexuality. A psychedelic 80’s color scheme. I swear I didn’t understand shit about this film until about the 12th time I watched it, but it’s always been a favorite of mine.
Alone in the Dark
Not the shitty movie from 2005, which was based on a video game, but the 1982 slasher flick that saw a family besieged by a whole gang of escaped mental patients. One of the only horror films that truly terrified me when I watched it as a child.
I almost added Puppet Master AND Demonic Toys to this list, but when it comes down to it, I really find Dolls to be the superior killer toy flick. It’s gothic, dark, and genuinely creepy. Also, it was one of the better flicks that aired on Vegas’ local horror-hosted midnight horror broadcast, earning a special spot in my horror heart.
I’m not the biggest Cronenberg fan, but I love midnight movies and I love horror flicks that tackle sexuality. So this flick, about sex-crazed infected running amok in a high rise building, hit all the right buttons for me.
Night of the Comet
If Dawn of the Dead was the iconic zombie flick of the 70s, encapsulating everything the decade had to offer in terms of American culture, then Night of the Comet was the iconic zombie flick of the 80s. Everything was flashier, crazier, and more rocked out and it makes for an amazing flick.
Humanoids from the Deep
Another flick I was introduced to through Saturday Fright at the Movies, Las Vegas’ horror-hosted show from my youth. And, I mean, sea creatures who attack a small town fair in order to mate with human women? Sold.
Killer Klowns from Outer Space
Does this one even need reasoning behind it? I expect it to make everyone’s midnight movie lists. If it doesn’t… what’s wrong with you!?
Easiest way to make a successful midnight movie? Have it emerge from one of the greatest midnight horror TV shows. Demon Knight is a great flick that manages to create a solid horror mythology, while being just cheesy and cheap enough to qualify as a true midnight movie.
When it comes to midnight movies that I think deserve the remake treatment, Waxwork is the first one to come to mind. A strange little film that crescendos with an epic monster mash!
VHS & VHS2
The most modern midnight movies on my list, but they’re also the first flicks in a long time that have been able to give me the same feelings as those midnight movies of yesteryear. Strange, a little comical, violent, and definitely best watched after 12AM.