(All this month we'll be bringing back some of our favorite Halloween-themed posts, as well as digging up some brand new stuff from beyond the grave. Enjoy!)
By: Monika Bartyzel
This was supposed to be a list of horror movies appropriate for dates. Unfortunately, I kept coming up with reasons why each movie wasn't a good idea. While my rationale wasn't entirely realistic, it got me thinking about movies that open certain cans of worms. Pregnancy. Momma's boys. Infidelity. These seven flicks have got lots of relationship deal-breakers in them, and can lead to some date-damaging conversation, rather than sexy innuendo and rose petals to the bedroom. They might uncover questionable morals, or even some private kink that you just can't get into. And some will get just a little spoilery, but most of them are classics, so you probably know the gist already.
Either way, you've been warned!
Henry Spencer (Jack Nance) is just a simple, nervous printer who thinks his girlfriend, Mary (Charlotte Stewart), has broken up with him -- that is, until he is invited to dinner with her and her family. He finds out that she has had an amazingly brief pregnancy, and has given birth to some sort of strange alien baby. Being the noble boyfriend, he marries her, and is quickly left with this weird, wailing tot when she abandons them. Henry starts to become unhinged, and that just doesn't bode well for baby.
While this may be a short film, Eraserhead is packed full of taboo dating topics. Pregnancy. Marriage. Accepting abnormal babies. Ditching the family when sleep-deprived. Infanticide. One minute, you're watching an eerie David Lynch movie, and the next, you're having discussions about what you'd do with alien babies, whether you'd be noble and marry the mother of your out-of-wedlock kid. Or heck, whether love would keep you with her even if it looks like she got horizontal with some other strange sort of being.
My Boyfriend's Back (1993)
Alright, so this one isn't scary, but it's got zombies, so it applies. While alive, Johnny Dingo (Andrew Lowery) can't win the heart of the most beautiful Missy McCloud (Traci Lind). But then he gets killed trying to help her, and continues on with life as a zombie. Of course, his body starts to disintegrate and he needs human flesh to survive, which interferes with his undead life and getting it on with the popular paramour.
This can of worms works two-fold. First: it might lead to your date/partner questioning your sanity for picking My Boyfriend's Back out of all the possible films in existence. But there's also discussions of cannibalism (Would you eat human flesh if you had to?) and necrophilia (Would you still love me if I came back as a zombie?). Before you know it, voices are raised and you're finding yourself in an argument about just how far and wide love should conquer.
Sidney Prescott (Neve Campbell) is just a young girl trying to get through life. Her murdered mom has already been raked over the sensationalist media coals. Now two more have been murdered, and Sidney is the killer's main target. But of course: the shite hits the fan, her best friend is murdered, and she finds out that all the death around her comes from her messed-up boyfriend and his whiney right-hand man.
Movies like this make you start to wonder just how much you can know another person. Do they love scary movies a little too much? Do they maybe sound just a little creepy in personal situations? Or, perhaps they're looking for a higher-rated relationship than you're ready to give. Oh, the paranoia!
The Rocky Horror Picture Show (1975)
Brad (Barry Bostwick) and Janet (Susan Sarandon) are young lovers stranded in the rain, in front of a freaky-looking castle. A simple request to make a phone call turns into a night of lasciviousness and murder. Dr. Frank-N-Furter (Tim Curry) gets them into saucy lingerie, hops into both of their beds, and flaunts his new, barely-clad boy toy around. They dine on some Meatloaf, relish their new-found naughtiness, and share Transsexual urges in the pool.
There's nothing like a little Rocky Horror to get the blood pumping. Transsexual is so in these days; but it's also pretty risky. You dress up in revealing clothing, head down to your local RHPS performance, and before you know it, your loved one is rubbing up against someone else. To make matters worse, this opens discourse up to notions of the perfect person, and you're stuck wondering if you're Rocky or Eddie.
Planet Terror (2007)
An experimental gas starts a chain reaction and turns many residents of a Texas town into freaky zombies. Inconveniently, it's on the night when Dr. Dakota Block (Marley Shelton) is supposed to run away with her secret love. In the course of one night -- the zombies take over, a stripper loses her leg and gets a machine gun replacement, the doc's female paramour bites the dust and she finds herself under attack by her husband, and the whole mishmashed lot of good guys have to come together and save the world from the zombie threat.
It seems like a nice, gory movie to curl up on the couch and watch with your loved one, but Planet Terror includes paranoia with the blood and guts. After watching Dr. Dakota Block try to keep her Black-Eyed-Pea affair secret from her husband, any mysterious cell phone call won't be the same again. The little tune will ring, and when your loved one hangs up and says it was nothing, or vice versa, you just better hope zombies don't come to town.
Marion Crane (Janet Leigh) just wants to be with her man, who is going broke paying alimony to his ex. So, she thoughtfully steals thousands of dollars from her boss, and after escaping, gets caught in a storm and pulls into the Bates Motel. Marion gets a nice sandwich for Norman Bates (Anthony Perkins), listens to mom berate him, and then goes for a nice, relaxing shower that turns into the most infamous cleaning session ever. Bye-bye Marion. You're history.
There's really no problem quite like mom problems. Bates is the quintessential Momma's Boy -- to obvious, serious ends. You can't get more whipped than being controlled in your mind from beyond the grave. But in the real world, there's lots of dudes who also have it bad. One viewing of Psycho could open old in-law arguments while he swears up and down that he's not whipped... right before he runs to Mom, that is.
The Evil Dead (1981) & Evil Dead 2 (1987)
Ashley J. Williams (Bruce Campbell) is the perfect, sweet boyfriend. He takes his S-Mart love up to an old, abandoned cabin in the woods with friends, looking for some time away and some saucy snuggling. But then the dumbarses have to listen to recitations from the Book of the Dead, and Deadites start inhabiting them one by one. Of course, while others are quick to be locked up, killed, or decapitated, Ash can somehow fight it off. Instead of taking all of him, the undead somehow only gets his hand, then all of him, but that necklace brings him back.
You gotta love Ash and his increasingly womanizing ways, but while the flick could lead to discussions of Bruce Campbell's godliness, they can also lead to questions of whether or not his girlfriend, best friend, and sister could be saved. Did he jump too quickly? As soon as that comes out, it's just a matter of time before the arguments start up about just how far love should go, and would you kill your love off as quickly as Ash did. Although man, it could lead to a classy break-up:
You loved me once.
Honey, you got reaaal ugly!