Not every Halloween movie has to have endless violence. Many have a sense of humor, dark or otherwise. These five movies are crowd-pleasers, not to be taken seriously and perfect for a Halloween-themed party.
Beetlejuice is a Dark Comedy Movie to Watch at Halloween
Tim Burton’s 1988 movie Beetlejuice has earned cult status. In this dark comedy, a young Gothic girl is tricked into summoning a banished “exorcist” called Beetlejuice. He has been hired by the home’s previous owners, killed in a car crash, to scare off the original occupants, who do not like the yuppie decor and lifestyle of the new owners.
One of this movie’s most memorable scenes is the seance, where those present become possessed and end up dancing the Banana Song. With slick special effects and some truly creepy landscapes, this movie should be seen by every new generation at Halloween. (Rating: PG.)
High Spirits is a Slapstick Ghost Story
A second cult classic and delightfully silly ghost movie from 1988 is High Spirits. Trying to save his historic castle, Peter Plunkett invents ghosts to glean money from American tourists. His staff is reluctant, since this involves swinging around on wires in long white dresses, but the tourists quickly become dissatisfied and suspicious.
Then, the real ghosts start to wake up, creating all manner of havoc, and forming some unlikely love affairs too. Peter O’Toole is wonderful as the drunken, ashamed lord often berated by his ghostly ancestors. (Rating: PG-13.)
Ghost Busters has Halloween Monsters Made from Marshmallow
The 1984 movie Ghost busters features a giant marshmallow monster, a beautiful lady possessed by a powerful demon and a vacuum cleaner for sucking up ectoplasm. When the original Ghostbusters office sets up shop to catch ghosts, the team does not know what it’s in for. But, just like in every good B-movie, at some point the heroes need to step up to the plate and rescue the world from a horrible, sugary death.
Ghostbusters II followed in 1989; a third sequel is planned. The reader could do worse than to rent both, and wreak vengeance on the Marshmallow Man with s’mores. (Rating: PG.)
Attack of the Killer Tomatoes! is a Pure Horror Spoof
Unashamedly “B,” this horror movie farce features giant tomatoes that start rolling around the countryside and squashing people. The movie never quite explains how the tomatoes become sentient, but the gore in this movie is “really” made from “tomato sauce.”
A raging spoof, this movie is best enjoyed in a group with popcorn and maybe a bloody mary or two. For those who are particularly brave and who don’t fear going into the cellar, there are three sequels. (Rating: PG.)
Chopper Chicks in Zombietown
No list of Halloween movies would be complete without some zombies. Chopper Chicks in Zombietown is a B movie spoof that somehow contrives to also be a B movie. This movie was one of Billy Bob Thornton’s first roles, filmed in California’s Johannesburg mountains.
A crazed undertaker starts creating zombies out of toxic waste, just in time for a band of female biker rebels to roll into town. The zombies escape from the mine where they’ve been incarcerated, and all hell breaks out to the tune of Pink Elephants on Parade. (Rating: R.)