Five Fun-Bad Horror Movies

Cover of "The Return of the Living Dead"

If there’s one thing I love, it’s a bad horror movie. I’ve said repeatedly that most days I’d rather watch Friday the 13th Part III or Halloween IV over most Oscar winners, but I admit some of those bad flicks are more fun than others. Well, fun for me anyway (and this list could probably be used as an indictment on what I find “fun”).

So here are five of my favorite fun-bad horror movies.

1. The Return of the Living Dead (1985)-Clu Gulager Alert! In this zombie flick, containers carrying zombies are accidentally ruptured by two medical warehouse employees. When a reanimated body is burned, the resulting smoke causes a rainstorm that re-animates the local cemetery. Naturally, this results in many people killed, like most horror flicks. But really, the whole film can be summed up by a zombie using a police radio. “Send more cops.”

2. Jason X (2001)- I could probably put a few Friday the 13th movies on this list, but if I’m going to pick one, it’ll be this one because it’s the most fun. It’s Jason in space in the fuuuuuture. He and one of his intended victims were cryogenically frozen and revived something like 400 years later by space-school kids that found them. Of course when Jason wakes up, he has to go killing folks and there’s a whole bunch of people on this ship, lucky him. It’s fun because the kids are snarky, right up until death.

3. C.H.U.D. II-Bud the CHUD (1989)- A childhood favorite. A couple of high schoolers break into a government science lab to steal a corpse for a prank and SURPRISE! It’s a CHUD named Bud. Naturally, hijinks ensue. CHUDs aren’t zombies. They’re Cannibalistic Human Underground Dwellers. And they’re a lot of fun. This film has a lot of intentional humor, including one of the CHUDs that can’t keep his head attached and at one point is kicking it down the road trying to pick it up. My dad has been quoting it since I was a kid, most often before dinner. “Eat ’em up! Eat ’em up! Yum yum yum!”

4. Killer Klowns from Outer Space (1988)- Afraid of clowns? Well, this flick won’t help, but I still feel compelled to watch it every time it’s on. Just like it says, clowns from outer space invade a town and proceed to eat a bunch of humans, encasing them in what looks like cotton candy and then stabbing the cocoons with crazy straws and sucking out the contents. Of course, it’s up to three teenagers to stop them. The clowns are all doughy looking, their ship is like a fun house, and there’s a popcorn gun. It’s the fair from hell, fun but without the funnel cake.

5. Tremors (1990)- Kevin Bacon and Fred Ward lead a quirky little group of townspeople (basically the whole town) against giant, underground worms. It’s fun because the people are fun. The folks in Perfection act and react a lot like actual people might, from the gun nuts to the mother to the money-making grocery store owner. Val and Earl (Bacon and Ward) are big on coming up with plans, but their plans aren’t always the best.  Remember, running’s not a plan. Running is what you do when a plan fails.

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