My Top 10 Campy Horror Films

In honor of Halloween, or Samhain, or however you choose to refer to it, here is my list of the most awesomely cheese-stastic and hi-larious horror flicks of all time.

10. Anything based on a Stephen King novel

"That's right. I'm seducing you…. with my EYES!"

From Carrie to The Mist I counted 82 (!!!) film adaptations of Mr. King’s work.  That’s no small shit.  Some of them are the best horror films of all time like Misery and The Shining.  Some are cheese-tastic wonderlands like It and Pet Cemetery.  They’re all pretty freaking scary.  Mr. King gets on the list, if for nothing else, than for the sheer volume of work based on his novels.

9. Tales of the Crypt: Bordello of Blood

A vampire brothel being run out of a funeral home.  Corey Feldman finally getting his turn at vampire glory.  Dennis Miller running a private detective business out of a porn theatre.  Angie Everhart as the mother of all vampires.  What more do you need?  Besides some sunblock that is.

8. The Rocky Horror Picture Show

Some people will argue with me about whether or not this counts as a horror film.  It’s my list and I say it counts.  So there.  Besides, it’s got “horror” in the title.  I don’t feel that I need to explain any further.  It’s got music and dancing and sci-fi and Tim Curry in drag.  In 2005 it was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry by non other than our own Library of freakin’ Congress and was declared “culturally and historically significant.”  How many musical horror comedy rock operas can say that, hmmm?

7. Child’s Play

Coincidence? I think not.

When I was a kid we had a doll that came from some family member long gone and had been passed down through the generations.  This doll was kept in a pillowcase in the far reaches of my closet because I was the girl and Lord forbid my brother have a doll in the back of his closet that no one will ever see.  I got curious one day and pulled down said doll in pillowcase.  I remember seeing the back of the head first.  That in itself was pretty creepy.  I turned the doll around and her eyeballs had fallen out of their sockets and were rolling around in the back of her head.  They suddenly stopped rolling and were staring straight at me.  Needless to say, I have never and will never look upon the face of that doll again.  Dolls are creepy.  Period

6. Gremlins

What child of the 80’s didn’t want a mogwai as a pet when they were a kid??  This movie contained enough unforeseen violence that it helped convince the Motion Picture Association of America to reform its rating system.  Drops of water, not great but manageable for a while.  Food after midnight.  Baaaad.  The main lesson gleaned from this film: never buy anything in Chinatown.

5. The Lost Boys

Oh, the horror that is teen angst.  I’m pretty sure “Santa Carla” is supposed to be Venice, CA.  Gang-ridden or not, how many coastal cities in California do you know of that would let an earthquake crumpled hotel just sit there instead of building something else on the property?  Just sayin’.  It’s a bunch of brat packers running around looking cute and causing trouble long before Stephenie Meyer ever dreamed up her saccharine covered Twilight vamps.  My favorite character is Grandpa.  I may be a vegetarian but I can appreciate some good taxidermy.  He gets the last word: “One thing about living in Santa Carla I never could stomach…all the damn vampires.”  Grandpa’s been around the block a few times.

4. From Dusk Till Dawn

"Hey…. wanna make out?"

Personally, I love Quentin Tarantino and Robert Rodriguez (when he’s not making stupid kiddie films).  They are rather good at satisfying my desire for action, gore, and lewd comedy.  I think that sometimes people forget that George Clooney was even in this movie…what with the Cary Grant Junior image that has been built up around him…something I’m sure he finds hysterical.  Hot Mexican vampire strippers.

I’m sorry, do I need to say anything else?  Didn’t think so.

3. Drag me to Hell


I hear the theatrical version of this movie fell apart at the end.  Luckily I didn’t see it in the theatre and instead rented the Director’s Cut.  This is not a movie for those with weak stomachs but if you can handle your gore and an ungodly amount of disgusting fluids going into a pretty girl’s mouth, then this is the movie for you.  It stars Alison Lohman as a really sweet girl who really pisses off an old gypsy woman the first time she tries to be tough at her job.  I really hope I never piss off an old gypsy lady.  The demon, Lamia, tortures you for three days before doing exactly what the title entails.

2. Elvira, Mistress of the Dark

And we have found cleavage even I am jealous of.

This was one of my very favorite movies as a kid.  So much so that I actually dressed up as Elvira for Halloween one year.  Talk about goth done right.  It’s hard to believe that Cassandra Peterson was 37 years old when this movie came out!  The moment that will be with me until the day I die?  When Elvira chucks her stiletto high heel and it lodges in her Great Uncle Vincent’s forehead.  Brilliant.

1. Evil Dead series

My explanation for this need only go as far as the name “Bruce Campbell” but for those who haven’t seen it I will explain further.  Horror and comedy together (intentionally) is Sam Raimi’s genius.  Inspired by low-budget horror films at drive-ins and HP Lovecraft, he created an epic trilogy of awesomeness centered around Ash (Bruce Campbell) and a series of deadites created by Ex-Mortis.  Watch all three (Evil Dead, Evil Dead II and Army of Darkness) in a row and it will be the best Halloween you’ve ever had.  My favorite lines: “Honey, you got reeeeaaal ugly!” and “Good. Bad. I’m the guy with the gun.”



11 responses to “My Top 10 Campy Horror Films”

  1. Santa Carla = Santa Cruz, as far as I’m concerned. :p I spent time in Santa Cruz for the first time about the time I saw “Lost Boys” and I was left with the impression that “Lost Boys” was, in truth, a documentary about the region. Vampire attacks in Morgan Hill, just east of the Santa Cruz Mountains, actually made the newspaper while I was living in San Jose about the same time. As for the hotel, I was exploring real estate at the time and legend was that building in Santa Cruz was almost illegal at the time. Though, in retrospect, they did seem fix things up a bit after the Loma Prieta quake.

    1. I stand corrected! Thanks Sean!

  2. Great list, and glad to see Gremlins crack the top 10. However, I would have thrown in Zombieland as well, or at least given it an honorable mention. The Bill Murray cameo in it alone makes this movie, and is possibly one of the greatest cameos I’ve ever seen in a flick (and I’m not alone in that opinion) I’m not a big horror movie fan in general, and definitely not into Zombie flicks, but Zombieland is actually one I found entertaining enough that I’d see it again, and possibly even own.

    1. This is a list of movies I’ve seen and, alas, I have yet to see Zombieland. (and not just because zombies are my biggest fear). Once I’ve seen it this list may need to be amended but until then, this is what you get 😉

      You know I love a good Bill Murray cameo…

  3. TOTALLY agree on Rocky Horror Picture Show.

    Great pic at the very top btw. Who is that stunning blondie?? lol 😉

    1. Just the most awesome chica EVER! 😉

  4. […] Dead series is quite possibly my very favorite campy horror film franchise of all time…in fact, I know it is and despite my fear of zombies, I allowed you guys to convince me to watch Zombieland this […]

  5. Sarah Miller Avatar
    Sarah Miller

    I like Elvira Mistress if the dark becuase I fell like she has the emotion of a more complex charchters. For example in homers epic poem: The odessuy. Calypso seduces the acient Odyseuys like Elvira seduces every other man in the film. The screenplay can also be reflected apoun Homers use of imagry in the oddesy. There are many dark scenes where the directors leaves you thinking in awe of what will happen next. Ending sentence.

    1. Sarah Miller Avatar
      Sarah Miller

      dammmnnnn guuurrrllll. yooooouuu finnneeee youuu haaaaannnnngggg atttt myyyy plaaaccceeee anyyyytttiiimmeee. (hey that rymed!)

  6. i have been trying to find some really campy movies…not just outdated special effects but true cheese…in the vein of “toxic avenger” or “the melting man”
    something that would earn a spot on mstk3000
    any suggestions?

    1. Oh man, there are sooo many. Some off the top of my head:

      The Brain That Wouldn’t Die
      Forbidden Planet
      Earth vs. The Flying Saucers
      Night of the Lepus
      It! The Terror From Beyond Space
      The Tingler
      X: The Man with X-ray Eyes
      Teenagers from Outer Space
      Flash Gordon (personal fave)

      There’s a ton more but that’s what I can think of right now. Some of those I haven’t seen since I was a kid so I’m going purely off of a child’s memory of them being good lol. Hopefully it helps!

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