My, what a big eye you have there. Ok – this will be a challenge because the Hungry Beast from TerrorVision can distract you with his giant toothy smile and also the giant eye that I alluded to earlier. Gotta stay focused here and see if you can break him from his concentration. Steady…..Steady…..Keep your eyes on the prize. Oh wait – did you just pull out an old W.A.S.P. cassette to distract him and take his eyes off of you? That’s genius because this this dude’s into metal! You win!!!
What’s better than one great 80’s horror movie haircut? Well, that would be TWO great 80’s horror movie haircuts! Much like Bonnie & Clyde, the duo of Suzy Putterman and O.D. (yes, his name was O.D.) from 1986’s weird horror/comedy TerrorVision were the perfect couple with perfect 80’s hair to boot.
Nothing says the 80’s like a sweet mullet and some Rainbow Brite hair. Suzy Putterman (Diane Franklin) and O.D. (Jon Gries) were the power couple in TerrorVision, and when they weren’t trying to civilize their googly-eyed large alien friend, they were flaunting their retro dos with no inhibitions.
Let’s be real, TerrorVision is not a great movie by any stretch of the imagination, but it is fun. And pretty gooey too. And gooey is always good. Not to mention that O.D. sported a W.A.S.P. T-shirt throughout the movie, which perfectly accentuated his mullet. Now I have to say, that is a first. Not one, but two heads of hair are being welcomed into the illustrious Dirty Horror Hair Hall Of Fame. So without further adieu, it gives me great honor to induct Suzy Putterman and O.D. into the class of Great Moments In Horror Hair History! Now I really want to go find a W.A.S.P T-shirt on eBay.
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!
One of the joys of my youth was running to the local video store in town to check out the ‘Horror’ section and see if anything caught my eye. And an appealing VHS cover would sometimes be used for covering up a foul stench, with that smelly stench being the movie that you were about to watch. Speaking of which, easily one of the most enticing VHS horror covers of all time came to us in 1987 courtesy of The Video Dead:
The first time I saw this, I think my eyes almost popped out of my head. Then I realized that I was looking at the cover for Reform School Girls instead. Nevertheless, the VHS packaging for The Video Dead remains a highlight as far as VHS packaging goes. The question is, was it better than the actual movie? Well – yes and no.
The premise for The Video Dead is both simple and stupid at the same time. I don’t think this movie was made to make anyone use a giant amount of brain cells though, so stupid works in this case. Basically, a TV is delivered to a house in the woods that randomly spouts out a variety of zombies for no apparent reason. And that’s the gist of it. Probably more so classified as a horror/comedy, The Video Dead is the definition of a guilty pleasure. Aside from being viewed on VHS, it had a strong following on the USA Network’s, Up All Night and Saturday Nightmares weekly shows.
As far as whether or not the VHS cover is better than the actual movie, I would begrudgingly have to say yes. The artwork is honestly stellar, especially for an independent film with a budget of $80,000. And had it not been for that artwork, I wouldn’t have even thought of picking it up to rent. Mission accomplished there. Let it be known though, I do have a soft spot for The Video Dead as an actual movie. It’s just that if you mention the name to me, I automatically think of the cover, not of the scene where a zombie bride somehow hides her entire body in a washing machine before strangling a lady. What kind of zombie strangles someone btw?
If you have seen The Video Dead, you might find the zombie dinner table scene very reminiscent of Peter Jackson’s in 1992’s Dead Alive (a.k.a. Braindead). Is Mr. Jackson a closet fan of the movie? Perhaps. If you haven’t seen the movie though, Scream Factory recently released a double-feature Blu-ray version with TerrorVision being the companion film. And the good news is that they kept the original cover art for their release! Which makes me happy and makes writing this post all the more worth it.
Thank you Scream Factory. Thank you for bringing back another piece of my lame childhood! First, news broke a few weeks ago that one of my cheesy horror favorites, TerrorVision, was finally coming to DVD. Now my mind has been blown because it was just announced that Scream Factory is bringing you another one, with the 1987 cult classic The Video Dead! I have fond memories of this one as I remember watching it numerous times on USA’s Up All Night. That was a thing back in the 80’s/early 90’s if you don’t remember. As a young boy, I much preferred Rhonda Sheer and her big breasts over Gilbert Gottfried for obvious reasons. But enough about my early puberty stages, let’s get back to The Video Dead!
This movie has it all: Terror. Intrigue. Boobs. Zombies With Irons Stuck In Their Head. Comedy Hijinks. A Bridezilla Zombie With A Chainsaw. Horrible Acting. And More Horrible Acting! Continue reading