Top 5 Horror Movies That Aren’t Scary

Generally, the best horror movies are the scary ones. I love horror movies because I love a good nervous giggle, the gratifying giddiness of a pounding pulse and an audible gasp—I love that the useless act of shrinking down into my seat and peering between my fingers actually makes me feel safer. But some of my favorite horror movies aren’t scary at all, and their frightlessness doesn’t take away from how fantastically cool they are.

So here are my Top 5 Horror Movies That Aren’t Even a Little Scary:

5. Motel Hell (1980)

motel-hell by you.

Kick-ass poster, right? It seriously gives no clue as to the outrageous awesomeness of this movie. Motel Hell has everything: cannibalism, hypnotism, swinger sex, a May-December romance, CHAINSAW FIGHTS and a folksy wisdom dryly delivered by the lovely Rory Calhoun. Farmer Vincent’s sausage and jerky is praised all over the county for being the tastiest meat around. (And yes, that sounds dirty, but you try describing tasty meat without sounding dirty!) He keeps his meat so hella fresh by hypnotizing random itinerants and keeping them buried to their necks until they’re tender and juicy. I’m pretty sure this outlandish opus actually hides some sneaky vegetarian agenda, but the message gets a bit lost amidst the sex, blood and hilarity. Do rent it!

4. Wild Zero (2000)

wild zero by you.

Another great poster! Wild Zero has rather a lot going on: zombies AND aliens, explosions, motorcycles, naked ladies, lasers, and transgender romance. It stars the Japanese garage punk band Guitar Wolf and their biggest fan, Ace. Wild Zero is the only film on my list to boast the outstanding honor of providing its own drinking game. Yes, the DVD offers that most excellent feature of having a mug of beer pop up in the corner of the screen when one of the rules apply. The drinking game rules tell you more about this movie than I ever could: you drink when a character in the movie drinks, when someone yells “ROCK AND ROLL!”, when a character combs their hair (yes!), a head explodes, anything else explodes, fire shoots out of something, or Tobio (Ace’s love interest) faints. These rules, ludicrous as they may seem, will get you trashed.

3. Bubba Ho-Tep (2002)

bubba ho tep by you.

Bubba Ho-Tep is based on the novella by East Texan writer Joe R. Lansdale, and it takes place in a nursing home in Nacogdoches, one of the many small East Texas towns in which I lived as a kid. It also features Bruce Campbell as Elvis Presley, the divine Ossie Davis as John F. Kennedy, Jr, and a redneck Egyptian mummy who’s terrorizing the elderly housed in their sad establishment. Bruce Campbell does a resplendent Elvis, stuck in this nursing home after he switched lives with his greatest impersonator decades ago because he wanted to get away from the notoriety. Everyone thinks he’s just some crazy old guy, except for JFK, who believes him. Of course, JFK actually is just some crazy old guy—a crazy black old guy, actually. Bubba Ho-Tep also features Elvis’s description of a monstrous scarab menacing the nursing home as “about as big as a peanut butter and banana sandwich.”

2. Shaun of the Dead (2004)

shaun of the dead by you.

Shaun of the Dead is the illustrious founder of the zom-rom-com subgenre. Simon Pegg is fantastic as Shaun, the hapless schlub who’s just trying to get his girlfriend back when the zombie apocalypse hits. Shaun and his layabout deadbeat friend Ed (Nick Frost) are uniquely qualified to deal with the zombies, due to their love of video games, horror movies and setting things on fire. Shaun is for the Romero lover in all of us—there are so many hidden homages and inside jokes nestled within the entertaining and straightforward A-plot, I’m still catching new things as I watch it for the 30th or 40th time.

1. Evil Dead II (1987)

evil dead 2 by you.

Okay, so Evil Dead II: Dead by Dawn actually can be kind of scary. But it’s also hilarious and weird and fun and just utterly, utterly perfect. Bruce Campbell’s Ash is the single greatest horror movie protagonist of all time. Throw in a book of the dead, a disembodied hand battling its owner, tons of chainsaw-and-shotgunny goodness, evil spirits and the coolest and most surprising cliffhanger ending ever, and you’ve got yourself a winner. Army of Darkness is a worthy successor, and the first Evil Dead is really fun, too. But nothing tops this baby! As Ash would say, “Groovy.”

5 Responses to “Top 5 Horror Movies That Aren’t Scary”

  1. I forgot all about Wild Zero! That movie kicks assss.

  2. this list is totally designed for my pants! yay!

    i definitely want to play the wild zero drinking game. i love beer mug icons!

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