All hallowed classics

October 31, 2002

For some people, Halloween means dressing up the kids and driving

them door-to-door in a luxury SUV while they beg for penny candy. For

me, it means watching old scary movies until my eyes fall out of my


Some of these flicks get shown on TV once in a while, but it's

more fun to watch them uncut and without commercials. Turn off the

lights and crank up the surround sound. Here's my top 10 picks for



Halloween (1978, directed by John Carpenter). This is the

original, with Jamie Lee Curits, Donald Pleasance and P.J. Soles.

It's just not Halloween without this movie. A vicious killer escapes

from an asylum and kills unsuspecting teenagers. It spawned the '80s

craze for faceless slasher flicks.

Scream (1996, directed by Wes Craven). "Scream" flips the slasher

formula on its head. A faceless killer follows the rules of horror

movies while slaughtering high school students and faculty. It's a

smart movie with a good sense of humor about itself. This one

features a cameo by Drew Barrymore and stars Neve Campbell, David

Arquette, Courteney Cox and Henry Winkler.

Night of the Living Dead (1968, directed by George Romero). I have

friends who are still afraid to watch this movie alone. A group of

people trapped in a rural farmhouse are surrounded by flesh-eating

zombies who have just risen from the grave. Despite a shoestring

budget and a cast of unknowns, this movie is so intense that it was

banned in many countries. Romero used a local butcher shop as a

source for props. If you've never seen it, you're in for a treat. Bon


Dracula (1931, directed by Tod Browning). This is the role that

made Bela Lugosi a household name. Loosely based on the Bram Stoker

novel, Count Dracula travels to London to get a bite to eat. This

movie goes back to a time when horror was about protecting the

innocent from an imaginary pure evil. A decade later, people learned

that pure evil wasn't imaginary. It isn't Halloween without Bela


Psycho (1960, directed by Alfred Hitchcock). Forget the remakes

and sequels, this is the one that made people afraid to shower again.

Anthony Perkins plays an amateur taxidermist who runs a little motel

and has some serious issues with his mother. In addition to being a

horror classic, this is a visually innovative movie that pushed the

envelope in film production. Like "Texas Chainsaw Massacre" and

"Silence of the Lambs," "Psycho" is based on the antics of Wisconsin

serial killer Ed Gein. It's funny how Wisconsin has a knack for

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