Few moments in horror movie history have such a profound affect on the soul as the death of Ben Tramer in 1981’s, Halloween II. It was tragic. It was unexpected. It was ridiculous. Dr. Loomis was hellbent on stopping Michael Myers, so much so that he was willing to kill anyone looking remotely like him. And this is why poor Ben Tramer met his fiery, over-the-top demise.
It hurts more every time I watch that and it also makes me laugh more every time as well. Sure, Ben Tramer was drunk as a skunk and extremely disoriented while walking in the middle of the street with his Captain Kirk Halloween mask on. But he didn’t deserve to die that way and was taken away far too soon from the Halloween movie franchise.
Laurie Strode had a serious crush on him, and he revealed in the original Halloween that he kinda thought she was cute too. You see, Dr. Loomis not only killed Ben Tramer that fateful night, but he killed young love as well. What a monster!! Not only that, but I really think Loomis needed some glasses because this Michael Myers imposter looked nothing like the real one. No sense in dwelling on the past I guess, because Ben Tramer is no more. After watching your yearly Halloween marathon this year, just make sure you pour out a bowl full of those orange and black wrapped peanut butter things in memory of him.
Lately, my grey hairs have been out of control. And I seem to be urinating more than I have in the past too. Not to mention I’m always taking ‘cat naps’ because I just can’t seem to get the energy going that I used to. Bottom line: I’m getting old. So I wanted to celebrate my favorite old guys throughout the years of horror movies with a Top 10 list to make myself feel better about inching towards that infamous age of 40. So without further adieu, I give to you the Top 10 Old Guys In Horror Movie History:
10. Old Man (Night Of The Demons – 1988)
The old man in 1988’s Night Of The Demons was the definition of a cranky old sonofabitch. He was that guy that would tell kids to stay off his lawn and spent his later years making kids feel bad for being kids. Fittingly, he got what he deserved in the end when his ‘razor blades in the apples’ Halloween trick backfired horribly. Poor cranky old sonofabitch.
9. Grampa (TerrorVision – 1986)
More than a guilty pleasure for me, TerrorVision is the epitome of an 80’s “Midnight Movie”. And the character of Grampa more than contributed to that whole vibe. He was a little bat-shit crazy, but what old guy isn’t? Now please enjoy this clip of his epic demise.
8. Mr. Machen (The Fog – 1980)
It’s all about the voice. And actor John Houseman had the kind of voice that would make Kim Kardashian’s memoirs sound interesting if he read it out loud. His scene in John Carpenter’s The Fog was added later in production to bulk up the movie, and I for one am glad it was. Watch and listen to Mr. Machen scare the shit out of bunch of little kids around a campfire with his tale of a ship that sank 100 years ago.
7. Joe Petto (Silent Night, Deadly Night 5: The Toy Maker)
Raise your hand if you even knew that there was a fifth installment of the killer Santa Claus franchise, Silent Night, Deadly Night. Ok – now raise your hand again if you knew that national treasure Mickey Rooney starred in that movie. Yeah, that’s right – he played a psychotic toy maker named Joe Petto, which was a somewhat clever nod to the story of Pinocchio. Not many clips of old man Rooney in action in this one on Youtube, so check out the crappy trailer for film to get your fix.
6. Grandpa (The Lost Boys – 1987)
How cool would it be if your grandpa was not only a taxidermist, but also a secret vampire hunter too? Pretty damn cool, which is why Grandpa from 1987’s The Lost Boys made the list. He’s pretty kooky throughout the movie, but damn near steals it with this scene at the end.
5. Grandpa (Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2 – 1986)
Another character named Grandpa! Now although I’m very partial to the original Texas Chainsaw Massacre over the sequel in terms of the movie as a whole, I have to give the edge of the Grandpa character to the latter. He was more spry, had more personality, and honestly swung that hammer like a spring chicken (albeit a borderline decomposing one).
4. Dr. Loomis (Halloween: The Curse Of Michael Myers – 1995)
You may have noticed that I chose the sixth installment of the Halloween franchise for Dr. Loomis’ character. That’s because he was pretty damn old in it and it showed. It turned out though, that it would be his swan song because actor Donald Pleasence passed away shortly after Halloween: The Curse Of Michael Myers was completed. So let’s raise a pint to the amazing Dr. Loomis and his equally amazing trench coat.
3. Henry Kane (Poltergeist II: The Other Side – 1986)
Not many horror characters burn their image into your brain like Henry Kane from Poltergeist II: The Other Side. Pretty much the only good thing about this sequel (besides the giant tequila worm of course) is this Bible thumping creepy old man that stole the show with his infectious smile and thinning hair. Dogs don’t seem to take too kindly to him though, which is usually a major red flag in a horror movie.
2. Crazy Ralph (Friday The 13th Part 1 & 2 – 1980, 1981)
“You’re all doomed!!!” And with that line, Crazy Ralph skyrocketed himself into the upper echelon of horror catchphrases. Some might have actually been surprised that Ralph survived Pamela Voorhees in the first Friday The 13th. The second time was not a charm unfortunately, as he took some barbed wire to the neck after being a creepy peeping tom. Serves you right Crazy Ralph!
1. Grandpa (Silent Night, Deadly Night – 1984)
Alright – here we go! Did you expect someone else to be at number 1? If you haven’t seen 1984’s Silent Night Deadly Night, then not only did you miss out on an awesome sledding decapitation, but you also missed out on the best old man moment ever in horror movie history. Billy, our psychopathic killer Santa Claus, visits his Grandpa in a nursing home when he’s 5-years-old. It’s at this point where the old bastard scares the shit out of Billy by telling him the horrible truth that Santa punishes little boys and girls who are naughty. Because of that, we pretty much have Grandpa to thank in part for Billy’s murderous rampage that would happen years later. Thanks for that Grandpa, but congrats on grabbing the number 1 spot!