The best of the worst: Horror Movies
What do Nazi zombies, killer clowns from outer space, and flesh-possessing demons have in common? They are the antagonists of some of the most absurd horror films to grace the silver-screen. For some films, a bad review can be detrimental to the success of the film discouraging viewers and ensuring a low rating in the box office.
However, films such as “Dead Snow”, “Killer Klowns from Outer Space” and “Evil Dead” belong to a unique niche of the horror genre where bad reviews launched these movies into cult classics. It’s not accurate to say these movies are just bad, because they are so bad, they are great. Sometimes it’s the ridiculous premise that draws audiences in or the laughable acting and special effects or just the sensation of laughing at something that’s supposed to be scary.
With effects that create a veritable gore fest, it is definitely the premise of Tommy Wirkola’s “Dead Snow” that makes it a “so bad it’s good” films. In this German horror movie a group of medical students go on a ski vacation and end up in a bloody confrontation with a group of flesh-eating Nazi zombies. At times, it seems like the creators of “Dead Snow” might have been in on the joke, as some parts of the movie are so obviously funny that Wirkola must have meant for the audience to laugh. Even the big showdown between the students and the fascist zombies at the end is so over-the-top gory that viewers are equally disgusted and amused. For a historian, the movie might actually be a bit frightening, but for the average viewer the ridiculousness is more likely to make you laugh.
As one might expect, the evil-doers in Stephen Chiodo’s film “Killer Klowns from Outer Space,” are a group of killer “klowns” who land their circus-tent space ship in the woods of a small town. The killer klowns go about terrorizing the human race with flesh melting cotton candy, killer balloon animals and popcorn that bites you back. “Killer Klowns” is a perfect combination of 1980s hair, costumes, and special effects with a premise that is so sweetly absurd it might just give you a cavity.
Junior Karina Kainth said “‘Killer Klowns’ really stands out as a film that uses all creative elements of the absurd.” Nonetheless, it’s difficult to watch “Killer Klowns” and not have a good time, because while it might not keep you up at night like the more serious-minded clown horror movie “It,” it’s sure to make you laugh. Be careful not to underestimate “Killer Klowns” though, because as the catch phrase of the movie tells you, “in space, no one can eat ice cream.”
The original 1981 “Evil Dead” by Sam Raimi was meant to be more of a serious horror film. However, “Evil Dead” proved to be too funny to really be afraid of. In the movie, a group of friends go on a camping trip in the woods and become possessed by vicious demons and start attacking one another. Somewhere between the acting and effects, the movie failed to raise many goose bumps. When Raimi discovered that viewers enjoyed laughing at his film more than being scared by them, he created a sequel to the movie that seemed more conscious of its “bad but good” qualities. A remake of the original “Evil Dead” is slated to be released in theaters in 2013.
For those who want to join in on the Halloween fun of watching a scary movie but can’t quite stomach an actual horror movie, these films might be the perfect solution. They have all the elements that categorize the horror genre save one – the ability to seriously scare anyone.
Emily Lake can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.