Help me program a Horror/SciFi Movie Night
March 11, 2005 8:48 AM   Subscribe

Movie Night. I'm helping plan a Horror/SciFi Movie Marathon for a few friends. I need to come up with a list of 4-6 movies available on DVD in the U.S., and am looking for a theme to tie it all together. Any ideas?

There are a number of good indie video rental shops nearby, so obscure or foreign shouldn't be a problem. Bonus points for creativity and lesser-known titles. Some ideas so far, albeit too predictable...
Insects: Them!, The Fly, Mosquito, Mimic
Jamie Lee Curtis: Halloween, Terror Train, The Fog, Prom Night, Virus
Sex is bad: Friday the 13th, Rosemary's Baby, Killer Condom, Titanic
posted by FreezBoy to Media & Arts (44 answers total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
We've done this several times. We did a great zombie movie night w/ 28 days later, Day of the Dead (both versions) and Shaun of the Dead. Your ideas sound terrific too. Bugs are creepy.
posted by luriete at 8:54 AM on March 11, 2005

Spoofs: Blackula, Young Frankenstein, Mars Attacks, Army of Darkness and/or Evil Dead 2
posted by glyphlet at 9:03 AM on March 11, 2005

I wouldn't put Rosemary's Baby in the "sex is bad" category. I'd put it in a "neighbors are bad" category, along with his The Tenant. For "sex is bad," I'd recommend Polanski's Repulsion, and Rabid or The Brood by Cronenberg.

And may I recommend a vampires category, spearheaded by Near Dark? Great picture, esp. for group viewing.
posted by scratch at 9:04 AM on March 11, 2005

I've thought about this and come up with several themes, some of which overlap.

THEY DARED TO TAMPER IN GOD'S DOMAIN! -- mutants of different sorts. Start with an oldie -- say The Amazing Colossal Man or Them, you *have* to include Prophecy if it's available, and then work your way through one or two 80s/90s mutant movies (any Jurassic Park movie, or Carnosaur, or Skeeter or Ticks, Leviathan, etc) through to a modern one like Deep Blue Sea or Spiders / Spiders 2. I'd class Lovecraftian movies like Re-Animator and From Beyond in here too, but the fit ain't perfect. Mimic and Them! and the other bug movies go here. Top it off with a dose of Toxie?

argh. too lazy to keep italicizing, be I.

MONSTERS FROM THE BRINY DEEP! Jaws, Piranha, Piranha 2 The Spawning (James Cameron's first "real" movie), Jaws 3-D, Deep Rising, Orca with Bo Derek and the Whale With The Angry Eye, Deep Blue Sea, and last but far from least Tentacles with Shelley Winters.

TERROR FROM BEYOND THE STARS! A host of them. I'd recommend Lifeforce, with naked space vampire chix. Jason X is a lot of fun too.

HORROR RISES FROM THE GRAVE! Zombies, vampires, lycanthropes. Be sure to get Return of the Living Dead here. Also, Zombie Nightmare with soundtrack by Motorhead. Hellraiser movies fit here too. Dracula 2000 is a decent twist on vampire movies.

EVIL FROM HELL ITSELF! Exorcist, Rosemary's Baby, House, Poltergeist, The Haunting, Haunting of Hill House, Manos: the Hands of Fate, The Entity, etc. I put ghost movies here since ghosts amount to demons in this context; you could class them as BEYOND THE GRAVE!!! movies too.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 9:10 AM on March 11, 2005

TFBTS or TDTTIGD: also should include the 1980's version of The Blob, which is good fun. If you can, you also want the 1950s version just for the title sequence with song by Burt Bachrach, no shit.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 9:13 AM on March 11, 2005

ROU_Xenophobe did a better job than I could ever do, but if I was doing this I would make sure I included the movie slugs! Maybe a "Garden Horror" theme?
posted by bDiddy at 9:14 AM on March 11, 2005

If you do a Garden Horror theme, look for Night of the Lepus.
posted by jessamyn at 9:17 AM on March 11, 2005

Add a category:

PSYCHO KILLERS: Qu’est que c’est!?!?!
Halloween movies go here, Jason, slashers, and of course:

MOTEL HELL! there's all kinds of critters in Farmer Bob's fritters.

Night of the Lepus is wunnerful, but you'll fer-shure have to get a bootleg dvd. I've been looking for a real dvd for ages.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 9:18 AM on March 11, 2005

ROU_Xenophobe: You can't have a zombie list without George Romero or Fulci!
posted by Kellydamnit at 9:18 AM on March 11, 2005

I can't even begin to imagine a movie theme night that didn't include juggling or knitting.
posted by iconomy at 9:19 AM on March 11, 2005

Indeed not.

Also, any vampire night must include Jesus Christ: Vampire Hunter, in which Our Lord gets together with a Mexican wrestler to save the lesbians of Ottawa from vampires. Not a horror flick, but good fun.

TFBTS also needs to include They Live and The Thing, either version.

yes, I like crappy movies. what of it?
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 9:22 AM on March 11, 2005

How about a Technology Is Evil theme?

Ringu (Ring, Japan) - TV and VCRs
Kairo (Pulse, Japan) - websites
The Phone (Korea) - cellular phones
Maximum Overdrive - trucks and other machines

Not sure how if they'll achieve the same effect with back-to-back viewing - with some of these, I couldn't sleep properly for weeks!
posted by Lush at 9:22 AM on March 11, 2005

And I just noticed that a truly fine film, SSSSSS, is finally out on dvd! SEE Starbuck get turned into a snake-man! SEE! badly edited-out nudity, so you don't SEE! Starbuck's bum!
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 9:25 AM on March 11, 2005

Living in Alternate Realities -- The Matrix, Existenz, Brainscan, Virtuosity, Total Recall (sort of)
posted by o2b at 9:38 AM on March 11, 2005

Monsters from the Briny Deep, Technology is Evil and Alternate Realities are my favorites so far.

ROU - you have an awesome knowlege of these types of movies and I tip my hat to you. I mean, who else would name check Dirk Benedict and the wonderfully schlocky SSSSSS!

Scratch - you're right, I was too hasty to include Rosemary in that list.

Keep 'em coming. You guys are awesome!
posted by FreezBoy at 9:55 AM on March 11, 2005

How about Aliens Aren't So Bad After All?

The Day the Earth Stood Still
Close Encounters of the Third Kind
Enemy Mine

ROU_Xenophobe, I'm saving your ideas to use for future parties! Fantastic.
posted by iconomy at 10:04 AM on March 11, 2005

And Aliens Are Very, Very Bad:

War of the Worlds
Men in Black
Battle of the Planets
Photon: The Idiot Adventures
Warlords of Atlantis (hehe)
posted by iconomy at 10:10 AM on March 11, 2005

I'm having trouble coming up with movie titles, but body snatching is a fairly common horror theme. I guess Invasion of the Body Snatchers and Scanners are examples.

Alternatively, just show the entire Rocky series. Your guests will be horrified.
posted by anapestic at 10:13 AM on March 11, 2005

Worst SciFi Movies Ever Made (subject to interpretation, obviously)

Power Rangers
Battlefield Earth
The Incredible Shrinking Man
THE QUEEN OF OUTERSPACE!! This is an absolute must.
Plan 9 from Outer Space (actually, any movie with the words outer space in the title is pretty much guaranteed to be bad)
Destroy All Monsters
Abbott and Costello Go to Mars
posted by iconomy at 10:18 AM on March 11, 2005

some starters:

Self-referential/Meta - The Tingler, Scream, Ringu (sort of?), (any horror movie ever made really)

Originals/remakes - Dawn of the Dead, Ring/Ringu, Texas Chainsaw, etc.

Black & White (in color era) - Blair Witch, Texas Chainsaw, Night of the Living Dead, Man Bites Dog

Possession/transformation - Carrie, Ginger Snaps, Rabid, Damien, American Werewolf in London, on and on...

Living Hands - Phantasm, The Thing...

damn, I'm having trouble getting more than 2 or 3 (work is so distracting!)
posted by hellbient at 10:24 AM on March 11, 2005

and to add to iconomy's worst sci-fi (if I may):
Planet Wars
Turkish Star Wars
posted by hellbient at 10:45 AM on March 11, 2005

More worst of sci-fi: Battlefield Earth, The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension (which is so bad it passed good and went back to bad -- but I love it)
posted by o2b at 11:00 AM on March 11, 2005

oops -- BE was already mentioned. sry.
posted by o2b at 11:01 AM on March 11, 2005

David Cronenberg!
eXistenZ, Naked Lunch, Videodrome, Scanners
posted by bDiddy at 11:05 AM on March 11, 2005

Kwaidan, Poltergeist, The Shining, The Changeling...
Ghost, Beetlejuice, Ghostbusters, Casper...
I feel this barely scratches the surface of GHOSTS!!!
posted by safetyfork at 11:12 AM on March 11, 2005

Worst SciFi Movies Ever Made

Santa Claus Conquers the Martians
Wing Commander
Message from Space, though I loved it in 1978

Galaxina does indeed suck.

On the other hand, Saturn 3 is actually a decent movie if you can look past the seventies awfulness of it. A TDTTIGD movie with the robot as "mutant."

Buckaroo Banzai worst? A pox on you, o2b.

Plan 9 shouldn't be in a worst-of night. It should be in an Ed Wood night, complete with Bride of the Monster / Atom, The Sinister Urge, and Glen or Glenda.

Glen or Glenda is a really weird movie. Especially the parts with the bondage lesbians. Moreso if you've seen the Johnny Depp movie.

posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 11:20 AM on March 11, 2005

Living Hands - Phantasm, The Thing...

Dr. Terror's House of Horrors has a nice little living hand bit, not to mention a killer plant.


Don't forget The Uninvited--1944, starring Ray Milland, Ruth Hussey, and a house.
posted by scratch at 11:21 AM on March 11, 2005

don't forget the really scary, but no (or almost no) blood/gore: When a Stranger Calls, Psycho, Blair Witch....
posted by amberglow at 11:30 AM on March 11, 2005

To add to ROU_X's "Briny Deep" list, how about Leviathan and Deep Star Six?

And for a "Puppets are Scary/Lame" theme, might I suggest Puppet Master, Puppet Master 2, Puppet Master 3, Puppet Master 4, and Puppet Master 5. On a similar theme, you could also try the Child's Play series, which they've also managed to drag on for 5 movies.
posted by bachelor#3 at 11:49 AM on March 11, 2005


Until the End of the World (is in english, but has a German director, and a very international feel),
Solyaris, but it is a long film and may not appeal to many Americans because of lack of action.
Cité des enfants perdus,
and if you could count England as foreign, Brazil
posted by edgeways at 11:59 AM on March 11, 2005

CANNIBALISM! (watch with "finger food")
posted by hellbient at 12:27 PM on March 11, 2005

If you're a fan of both cheesy sci-fi flicks and insects, I recommend all four Lexx films:

I Worship His Shadow
Super Nova
Eating Pattern

YMMV; people either tend to really love or really hate Lexx.
posted by spinifex23 at 12:46 PM on March 11, 2005

Bring Back the Reluctanct Expert To Solve Something!!
Fifth Element
Jurassic Park 2

Gratuitious Cadillac Product Placement!
Matrix 2

Dude learns how to use super human powers for good!
Equilibrium (gah, I realize i've seen very very few interesting movies compared to the rest of you MeFis ;))
Dark City
Star Wars IV A New Hope

Oooo, Pretty!
Chronicles of Riddick
Lost in Space
Dark City
posted by eurasian at 12:51 PM on March 11, 2005

Bad Vegetables (inspired by "garden horror"):
The original The Thing, The Day of the Triffids, and Little Shop of Horrors.
posted by zanni at 1:42 PM on March 11, 2005

I really need to be banned from this thread...for my own good.

Trapped people (besides prison):
The Collector (or "Butterfly Collector")
Bad Boy Bubby (more horrific than horror, almost a comedy by the end)
Silence of the Lambs
2001: A Space Odyssey (also for "Evil Technology")

if you feel like cheating, the "plots" search on IMDB is great for populating ideas...
posted by hellbient at 1:43 PM on March 11, 2005

To add to ROU_X's "Briny Deep" list, how about Leviathan and Deep Star Six?

Absofuckinglutely. I usually think of Leviathan as a mutant movie, since while the terror *happens* in the briny deep, it's *from* Evil Russian Mutagens.

Deep Star Six though is good old-fashioned briny deep terror, AND it has Greg Evigan.

See also:

Humanoids from the Deep
Snakehead Terror
Octopus 2: River of Fear

And the best,

Shark Attack 3: Megalodon, with the best ad-libbed line ever.

At one point, Our Hero actually comes straight out with "Jbj, V'z ernyyl grafr... ubj 'obhg jr tb onpx gb lbhe cynpr naq V rng lbhe chffl?" The shot lasts about another 2 seconds as the other actors look on in horror, obviously cutting off right before they started laughing.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 1:47 PM on March 11, 2005

A good horror movie marathon is an art. It is not simply a stack of good movies. The movies must meet the tone that the audience desires. It is also essential that the environment and conditioning be equally considered. The best place to throw a horror movie marathon is a basement with an ideal entertainment center. You want a place that feels claustrophobic and can be made very dark. Next you want the proper food. Though I tend to lean towards being a vegetarian, a carnal night demands flesh. The top five meals for a marathon are...

1) Pizza.
2) Spaghetti (preferably with ground beef in the sauce)
3) Lasagna
4) Taco Salad
5) Steak (or other such beefy beef goodness)

(Note: If you got to go the no meat rout I’d recommend eggplant parmesan.)

I personally discourage the presence of alcohol. The way I see it, any party of this kind (at least that I’ve been to) with alcohol becomes an alcohol party. You want to throw a real horror movie marathon, the only things that should be going down with your system is adrenaline, caffeine, sleep depravation and the possible sugar crash. My poison for such events would have to be a few ice cold bottles of Jerritos. As long as it’s green you should be good. IBC cream soda and root beer are also excellent choices and if you can get your hands on that Jones canadian soda by all means do! As for snack food I always go for that Reese’s Peanut Butter Puffs cereal when I can, Goldfish are also good. If you want to make it a halloween party, music should also be considered. Early Misfits, The Cramps and Tom Waits album Raindogs are what I usually try and crank up, but to each there own. Some good creepy ambient music really goes a long way. Track 2 from Aphex Twin’s selected works vol. 2. is a great nightmare producer before bed.

As for movies, like I said above it depends on the tone you want for a good laugh and lots of fun, whip out Evil Dead 2, Phantasm 2, Braindead, Shaun of the Dead, Return of the Living Dead and Re-animator. If you want to mess with your head try Jacob’s Ladder, Session 9, Pi, Eraserhead... you know what... I’m just going to list some I like a lot that I figure you might not have yet been recommended.

1) Serpent and the Rainbow
One of the few really good and under appreciated Wes Craven films)

2) Nightmare Castle
Before there was Jacob’s Ladder there was the dreams from this...

3) Pit and the Pendulum
For some reason I watch this one a lot when I’m bored. Nice mood.

4) The Gate
Almost everyone saw it on TV when they were little and can’t remember it. Lots of fun! Good with the first Phantasm back to back.

5) The Nanny
An under appreciated Hammer classic. Smart and disturbing.

6) The Last Man On Earth
Before Night of the Living Dead this baby paved the way like MC5 for the Ramones.

7) Cabinet of Doctor Caligari
The fact that it was made in 1919 alone makes me want to laugh at Sixth Scent. Any horror geek worth their salt has seen it. Good to watch with Nosferatu, Eraserhead, and Un Chien Andalu.

8) Andy Warhol’s Frankenstein
A.K.A. Flesh for Frankenstein, this puppy is gore galore. Right up there with Re-animator it also makes an odd bridge with the old Barbara Steele films like Nightmare Castle and Pit and the Pendulum.

9) Habit
To me, this is the vampire film of the 90d’s. Very erotic but never really pornographic. A nice moody film that goes well in a mix with Near Dark and Martin and, though I’m not much of a fan of it... The Hunger.

10) Martin
From the man that brought us Night of The Living Dead... Nuff said?

I’ll probably Add some more when I think of them. Hope this helps... Peace.
posted by Neosamurai85 at 2:40 PM on March 11, 2005

On goofy movies... got to love Piranha one and two (the second being the first film by a certain director with a thing for doing sequels to good films) or who can ever have too much Alligator... and need I mention the cinematic masterpiece... ORCA! Peace.
posted by Neosamurai85 at 2:48 PM on March 11, 2005

thanks ROU and Neosamurai for extending my already ridiculously long Netflix queueue...and thanks FreezBoy for wasting half of my day!
posted by hellbient at 3:32 PM on March 11, 2005

Werewolf movie marathon (not necessarily in this order)

1) The Wolf Man
The classic. Lon Chaney Jr. at some of his best!

2) The Howling
Nice opening… tad cheesy. Worshiped by most Werewolf fans. I’ve never been clear if this came before or after American Werewolf in London.

3) Wolf
James Spader is such a creep… you just have to love him. Oh yeah, and Jack Nicholson forgets to shave and pisses on stuff.

4) An American Werewolf in London
I like this a lot more than The Howling. The black humor is gold.

5) Dog Soldiers
The box said it was a cross between Aliens, Predator, and Night of the Living Dead… with werewolves! God was that title right! B-movie bliss.

6) Ginger Snaps
Think Daria meets The Adventures of Pete and Pete meets Ghost World… with werewolves! Also a lot of venereal horror undertones. Perhaps compatible with something like The Fly remake.

posted by Neosamurai85 at 4:22 PM on March 11, 2005

Part 3’s to that are liquid crap.

1) Halloween 3
Has nothing to do with Halloween.

2) Phantasm 3
Besides that razor Frisbee of death… no… it’s just bad.

3) The Howling 3
Wow… marsupial werewolves… wow…

posted by Neosamurai85 at 4:29 PM on March 11, 2005

Sci-fi fugitive marathon

1) Logan’s Run
2) Total Recall
3) eXistenZ
4) Blade Runner

If desired you can also throw in Minority Report.

Tripping fantastic marathon

1) A Clockwork Orange
2) Altered States
3) Pi
4) Jacobs Ladder
5) Naked Lunch

Methinks I have too much free time... Peace.
posted by Neosamurai85 at 6:52 PM on March 11, 2005

Children, grown-ups are all dangerous, psycophatic killers and monsters.

1. The Shining
2. Parents
3. Silver Bullet
4. The Glass House
posted by Clay201 at 10:28 PM on March 11, 2005

Knew I forgot a good wolf film. Yeah, Silver Bullet is good... as is any movie that uses fireworks as weapons.
posted by Neosamurai85 at 11:12 PM on March 11, 2005

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