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By Steph Greegor · March 26, 2015
You will not see an Alfred Hitchcock movie on this list. No, this list is for those B-Horror movies that are so bad, they’re good.
B-movies actually stem from the days of drive-in theaters when double features were popular. The not-as-popular, bottom half of the double was, quite literally, termed the “B” movie. Often shorter than the main feature, running around 70 minutes or less, the B-movie was always considered a lesser version of its starring counterpart. B-horror movies often displaying little to no budget, terrible acting, unbelievable plots, horrible special effects, more blood than is actually needed and dialogue that has no business being uttered. Anywhere. Ever.
From leprechauns to blobs, and all kinds of horribly executed CGI effects, see which B-Horror movies made this girl’s list of humorous horror.
10. Saturday the 14th (1981)
This classic spoof on Horror movies starred real-life husband and wife Paula Prentiss and Richard Benjamin. The special effects were lame, from a pair of plastic eyeballs in a coffee mug to weird red light around a person turning into a bat. The dialogue was equally campy with lines such as “I’ve got bats in my Belfry,” and telling a levitating boy to, “Quit fooling around.” If you want to scare yourself into hiding, go with Friday the 13th, but if you want to laugh at how ridiculous a B-Horror movie can be, go with this gem, which, unfortunately, is out of print, making any copy of it an instant campy classic.
9. Birdemic: Shock and Terror (2010)
To be clear, any movie with a bird in it is going to feel like horror to me. But this little bird flu “Shock and Awe campaign” cautionary tale is truly horrific on the B-scale. Panned by pretty much everyone, it became an instant B-Horror classic to put in your stash, showing why good movies cost more than $10,000 to make. The logline alone would make you buy it—vultures and eagles attack people, spit acid and dive-bomb into the ground, where they explode. Bloody hell, man, do eagles and vultures even like each other? There’s symbolism here, I’m sure of it, but I was, honestly, too busy laughing to care. Is this the inspiration for Angry Birds or vice versa?
8. The Blob (The Original, 1958)
I mean, it’s the Blob. Sure, some people saw the title and thought “school lunches,” but the truly visionary embraced this gelatinous muck for what it really was – B-Horror gold. The pop culture flick was part of the new drive-in culture to attract teenagers, who were hopefully watching the movie and not making out. Though I doubt they screamed, so much as laughed, when the silicone-based blob, in various shades of red thanks to vegetable dye, consumed its victims. And if you want to continue the B-Horror love after the movie, head to Pennsylvania for the annual “Blobfest,” where re-enactments of Steve McQueen’s performance are top-shelf entertainment.
7. My Bloody Valentine (1981)
This B-horror slasher film inspires the question, “How does a dead, bleeding body stay in a freezer for such a long period of time without anyone noticing?” It’s the best of the B-Horror best, opening just before Valentine’s Day in 1981 and earning $6 million at the box office, thanks to a mine-masked killer on a rampage and hell bent not to let kids party. The music and effects make it campy, but its cinematic reputation for being forced to cut almost nine minutes of bloody gore before being given an “R” rating makes it a cult classic. Huh, a miner’s pick. Who knew?
6. Attack of the Killer Tomatoes (1978)
Sure, the FDA wants you to eat your vegetables, but no one ever said anything about them eating you—until this movie. This wonderful, glorious, B-Horror spoof cracks you up. From a reporter grilling a woman after her husband has been killed, to attempted assassination on the detective, Dixon. Plus, how does one vocalize a tomato on the hunt? The sound effect is brilliant. Even “Puberty Love,” the tomatoes’ kryptonite, can’t kill the glee you’ll get from watching this classic.
5. Class of Nuke ‘Em High (1986)
These days, there isn’t a government official anywhere who would ever build a high school next to a nuclear power plant if they want reelected, but in 1986—fair game! At least in New Jersey, apparently, where teenagers hopped up on radioactive marijuana hallucinate, before a pregnant teenage girl spits a nuclear monster into a toilet. Riveting, I know. The monster then kills all the drug-dealing teenagers and eventually the building explodes. This was quite possibly the best anti-drug ad before “This is your brain on drugs.” Any questions? Just one: Why isn’t this in your B-horror movie collection?
4. Critters (1986)
A B-Horror movie is nothing without sound effects, particularly when they give alien creatures a voice. Or in this case, some kind of weird, squeaky vocalization that is best heard and not explained. Panned as a second-hand version of Gremlins, the filmmaker swears the script was written before Gremlins was even released. And while Gremlins were cute, Critters are disgusting, fang-filled balls of fur that gobble up humans and steers in seconds. Plus, this particular movie has some fantastic bounty hunters from space with big hair and leather coats that make you smile and say, “Ah, yes. Thank you B-movies for your cultural significance.” And that $13 million at the box office.
3. Killer Klowns from Outer Space (1988)
OK, clowns are freaky enough without having them actually be an alien species who wraps its victims in cotton candy cocoons and eats them. However, this campy flick, where balloon-animals come to life and chase you down, helps make clowns bearable, even for those afflicted with coulrophobia. The clowns are hilarious. And I mean that in the sense that you want more of them on the screen—even more than you want the humans. Which makes me happy that Return of the Killer Klowns in 3D is on its way in 2016.
2. Leprechaun (1993)
Many A-list actresses got their start doing horror movies; in this case, Jennifer Aniston made her debut being chased by a gold-digging leprechaun. No judgment here, people. We all get our start somewhere. But if we’re being honest with ourselves, the only reason to watch this B-Horror flick is to see Aniston in her younger years wearing chunky, white tennis shoes and having her voiceover not match her lips moving. Also, is it just me or did anyone else know four-leaf clovers kill leprechauns? It’s kinda like finding out eggs can kill the Easter bunny, no? Still, the flick pulled in $8.5 million at the box office and launched our favorite Friends’ career. So, there’s somethin’.
1. Child’s Play (1988)
Personally, I find dolls far creepier than clowns, which is why Child’s Play takes the No. 1 spot. Seriously, I never looked at dolls the same again after Chucky came to life and sported a kitchen knife. Now, this film doesn’t necessarily qualify as B-Horror—it had a big budget of $9 million and generally received more positive critical acclaim, than negative. However, it’s a knife-wielding, electrocuting DOLL, people. Just because it was done well doesn’t take away its campy feel. The way Chucky moves and kills and creeps you out is enough to inspire B-level cult followings. Earning $33 million at the box office, this creepy classic inspired four sequels, including Bride of Chucky.
All I have to say is: “Why? Why did you inflict this horrible pain upon the world?” Oh, that’s right. B-Horror fun. Are we sure there’s not a C-level? Because, Ian Ziering. Or maybe D-level. Because, Tara Reid.