Want to be terrified? Nah? How about frightfully amused?
On Halloween night, Starz is launching a 10-episode series called Ash vs. Evil Dead, a new spin on the cult classic 1981 slasher flick The Evil Dead. In the series, it’s 30 years later and Ash Williams is now an adult slacker, played as always by Bruce Campbell.
Campbell is the same actor who originated the role back when Ash was a college student on vacation with friends in a remote cabin. He’s 57 now, and he and Sam Raimi, the original writer and director, and Rob Tapert, an original executive producer, are still at it. Which got us thinking: What campy horror flicks are worth returning to again and again?
1. Abbott & Costello Meet Frankenstein (1948)
This is the first in a series of films featuring the popular comedy duo interacting with Universal Studios’ most famous monsters. The boys not only meet Frankenstein but also Dracula (played by the Bela Lugosi — the only time he appeared in the iconic role outside of the movie Dracula) and the Wolfman (Lon Chaney, Jr.).
2. The Brain That Wouldn’t Die (1962)
Even the title of this flick is funny. What’s the plot? A mad doctor develops a way of keeping human body parts alive. Eventually, he must use this technique on someone near and dear to him. It doesn’t go so well.
3. Plan 9 From Outer Space (1959)
This Ed Wood classic—known as “the worst film ever made” — tells a story of aliens who are trying to prevent Earth from developing a “doomsday” device. Their Plan 9 is to resurrect dead people on Earth. It’s your classic zombie fare, only Wood called them “ghouls.” And only when Bela Lugosi, the “star” of the film, died before it was made, Wood used old silent footage of Lugosi he had shot for another movie. It didn’t go so well.
4. The Rocky Horror Picture Show (1975)
Sex, drugs rock ’n’ roll—and a sweet transvestite played by the always amazing Tim Curry. Based on the stage play, this movie wasn’t exactly a hit when it was released. But then midnight screenings around the country attracted its true audience and it became a cult fave. Now it’s been playing in theaters for 40 years, making Rocky Horror the longest-running feature film in history.
5. The Evil Dead (1981)
Vacationing college students find an audiotape which lets loose spirits and demons. Murder, mayhem and demonic possessions follow. Although it was made on a small budget, the film was given a rave review by horror master Stephen King, which helped ensure distribution.
6. Shaun of the Dead (2004)
Shaun is a guy with no direction in his life. After a really bad day, he drowns his sorrows. The next day, he awakens with a horrible hangover and attempts to straighten everything out. Unfortunately, it’s all happening during a zombie apocalyptic uprising.
7. Bloodsucking Bastards (2015)
Often described as Office Space meets Shaun of the Dead, this new movie stars Fran Kranz as Evan, a guy who is stuck in a dead-end job in a soul-sucking company. After being passed up for a promotion, his girlfriend dumps him. But things start to happen when the new guy gets hired.