Top 10 Halloween horror picks

October 30, 2003


Candy may rot your teeth, but horror movies rot your brain. That's

why nothing goes better with a great Halloween sugar buzz than

watching great horror flicks. It's a tradition as American as Mom,

Apple Pie, and monsters who attack promiscuous teenagers. Turn off

the lights and crank up the surround sound, here's my top 10 picks

for Halloween:


Frankenstein (1931 -- Directed by James Whale) Dr. Frankenstein

tries to create life using human body parts from a local cemetery.

Overwhelmed by feelings of inadequacy, Frankenstein's monster roams

the countryside trying to learn how to love himself. Angry villagers

with torches make his quest for emotional healing a real challenge.

This movie turned Boris Karloff into a household name. When asked to

play the monster, Bela Lugosi said no and regretted it for the rest

of his life. If you have cable you can catch this one early Friday

evening on TCM.

The Tingler (1959 -- Directed by William Castle -- banned in

Finland) It's not Halloween without horror legend Vincent Price. This

movie is creepy, campy and a total hoot. Price plays a scientist who

discovers that each of us has an organism living inside our body

called the tingler. It grows stronger as your fear intensifies and

will eventually kill you unless you release your fear by screaming.

Back when this movie debuted, theaters hid vibrating gadgets in the

seats so you'd feel the tingler growing stronger. Hmmm ... it seems

like there might be a market in Van Nuys and North Hollywood for

theater seats with vibrating gadgets. "Scream! Scream for your


The Fearless Vampire Killers or: Pardon Me, But Your Teeth Are in

My Neck (1967 -- Directed by Roman Polanski) Vampires are an

essential for Halloween night and this is a very cool vampire flick.

It's funny, scary and well crafted. Polanski must sneak into the

vampire's castle and rescue Sharon Tate from a life of eternal

beauty, luxury and an occasional nibble on her neck. Polanski

co-wrote the story, which is beautifully photographed in cryptic

black and white.

Dawn of the Dead (1978 -- Directed by George Romero -- banned by

many nations) "Dawn of the Living Dead" is the sequel to the greatest

horror flick of all time, "Night of the Living Dead" (1968). Flesh

eating zombies now outnumber the living and civilization deteriorates

into anarchy. A small group of survivors decide to take refuge in a

shopping mall. The inside of the mall is safe, but for how long? Like

teenagers with credit cards, the zombies never stop coming. A remake

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