There are a gazillion horror films out there. And I'm not gonna lie, I've seen most of them.
This Halloween, I'm going to be snuggling on the couch with my boyfriend and pigging out on junk food, with my eyes glued to the screen while we watch scary movies. To me, that is the perfect way to celebrate on a chilly fall night.
In honor of Halloween, I've decided to list five horror films I think you should know exist. You're not going to see The Exorcist or Scream on here, because this isn't a boring list. It's an awesome list.
Let's start, shall we?
Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956): Best classic horror film
Body Snatchers takes place in a picturesque 1950s world where martinis after work are mandatory and everybody is perfect...or are they?
The plot centers around Dr. Bennell, who returns home to discover many of his patients fear their loved ones are impostors. He decides to investigate the complaints and comes to a shocking discovery.
Not only is this an entertaining horror film, it also perfectly embodies the atmosphere 1950s America was facing at the time: fear of outsiders and fear of government repression.
Teeth (2007): Weirdest horror film
This film is about a girl with a killer pussy.
And I'm not talking about a cat.
It focuses on a coming-of-age girl who has teeth in her you-know-what.
Now, you're probably thinking Teeth is X-rated and a cheap trick. But it's not! This film is actually quite modest, given it's content, and it is a really good film. Not so-bad-it's-good, but good good!
You are just going to have to trust me. I will say no more.
Pan's Labyrinth (2006): Most beautiful horror film
This magical dark fairytale is so visually stunning, it is jaw-dropping.
The plot revolves around a young girl living in post-fascist Spain. She meets a fairy who tells her she is a princess, but in order to claim her crown, she needs to complete three gruesome tasks.
Words cannot describe how much I adore this whimsical, breathtaking horror film.
It is a must-see.
The Last House on the Left (1972): Most realistic horror film
Do not watch this movie.
I had the misfortune of not knowing what The Last House on the Left was about before I saw it. I was completely repulsed, shocked, and dismayed. When this film came out in theaters, during the early 1970s, many audience members fainted and some even had heart attacks. It is still banned in several countries to this day. It's that awful.
But I'm very serious when I say that I will not hesitate to show my teenage daughter this film one day. It is the best after-school special in the world.
Leprechaun (1993): Stupidest horror film
I'm not sure what makes this movie scarier: the cheesy dialogue or Jennifer Aniston's old nose. JUST KIDDING. Jennifer Aniston's film debut is a treat for viewers of this Irish-inspired gem.
The plot focuses around a severely unattractive and evil Leprechaun who goes on a killing spree to find his beloved pot of gold.
This movie is so bad, it's delicious. When I was in high school, my best friend Allison and I had Leprechaun sleepovers, where we stayed up all night watching all his dirty little adventures. In the sequels, the silly little fellow goes on killing sprees in "the hood," Las Vegas, New York City, and even outer space!
Will you see any of these films on Halloween night?
This was the last baby-sitting gig I ever had. This experience was so traumatic it was actually brought up in a therapy session I had three years after it occurred.
During my junior year in college, a new family moved across the street from my parents' house. The couple had a 12-year-old daughter, Leah, and a 6-year-old son, Chris.
The first evening I went there to babysit, the mother acted extremely nervous. I figured she was just concerned about leaving her kids with a stranger, which is understandable.
When I walked into the hallway, little Chris was standing eerily still and staring at me.
"Our last babysitter shut herself in the closet and cried," he said, solemnly.
"Why?" I asked, puzzled.
He shrugged and walked away.
Despite that odd exchange, the evening went extremely well. Chris was quiet and well-behaved. Leah was eager to please and seemed to idolize me.
"I love your hair," she would gush, touching it with envy. "And you're so pretty! I want to be pretty like you. I want to be your best friend!"
I was extremely flattered. I was also confused as to why Leah even needed a baby-sitter. At 12, she seemed awfully mature and responsible.
But then the lying started. The next weekend, Leah tried to convince me to drop her brother off at a police station because she suspected he had been kidnapped as a baby. She told me her mother had a sex-change operation and was really a man. She told me she was secretly married to a boy in her class and demanded I address her as Mrs. Anderson.
These lies irritated me and I was quick to dismiss them, which only made Leah angry.
I was also getting fed up with the way she treated her younger brother. She kept leaving Chris on my parents' doorstep at random times of the day, behind her mother's back. She also started calling him "It." She would steal food off his plate at dinner time and laugh when I caught her in the act.
One afternoon in October, I promised Leah that if she didn't tell a lie all day, I would take us all out on a bicycle trip around the neighborhood. Right before we were going to take off, Leah told me she had underwent DNA testing and discovered I was really her mother. Disgusted and not amused, I told her the bike trip was off.
Her face got dark red and twisted into a frightening, menacing scowl.
"We're going bike-riding!" she roared at me.
"No, we're not," I said, calmly.
She went into the garage and started unlocking her bike.
"Put your bike away, we're not going," I said, crossing my arms.
In one swoop, she picked up the bike and swung it across the garage, smashing the garage door. I'm not fucking kidding. It was like The Incredible Hulk or something. I was horrified.
When her parents got home, I told them I was never baby-sitting their kids again. They didn't ask questions or try to convince me otherwise. They merely nodded sadly and paid me.
A couple weeks later, Leah's mother called me, in tears. Her husband was stuck at work and she had to attend a neighborhood watch meeting. I warily agreed to watch the kids for an hour.
Everything seemed to be going smoothly. Chris was in his room, playing, and Leah was downstairs doing the laundry her mother said needed to be done. But wait...what was that noise?
With a sense of doom, I walked downstairs to the laundry room. When I entered the room, Leah was reaching to turn the dryer on. But there was a whimper coming from inside the dryer.
OH MY GOD! Leah had put her brother in the dryer! I shoved her out of the way and opened the dryer, which had just started. I grabbed her frightened, sobbing brother out of the machine.
"I wasn't going to hurt him," Leah said to me, with no emotion in her eyes.
I ignored her and ran upstairs, clutching Chris. I called their mother and before she could speak, I said, "You need to come home right this minute otherwise I am going to call the police," and I hung up.
I was so overwhelmed with shock and horror, I started crying. When their mother arrived, I spit out the situation. Before leaving, I told their mother she needed to get Leah help. Chris would have been killed, if I had not come downstairs in time.
Unfortunately, it took another incident to wake their parents up. The following Saturday, there were helicopters circling my parents' neighborhood. When I asked another neighbor about them, I was told Chris had ran away from home, because he was so scared of his sister. The police were looking for him.
They found him later that day, unharmed, and Leah got sent to a children's mental health clinic. She stayed there for six years and was released in 2010.
This past May, I ran into Leah at the grocery store. She was absolutely gorgeous, one of the most beautiful girls I had ever seen. She also seemed...normal.
She told me she's living with her boyfriend in a neighboring suburb and she's trying to find a job. She asked me if we could grab coffee sometime, but I told her I was simply too busy, which was a lie.
It just seems that being friends with her, even if she is better, would be a really bad idea.
I honestly don't even remember how I met Mrs. Montgomery.
But when I was a sophomore in college, word got around that I was babysitting. Almost every night I found myself bombarded with calls from desperate parents. Mrs. Montgomery was one of them. She needed someone to watch her 9-year-old twins that Saturday night.
When I first arrived at the Montgomery house, I could tell this babysitting gig was going to be a headache.
The colonial two-story house was absolute perfection. Fancy modern artwork decorated the walls. Glass tabletops with no smudges. Spotless white carpet.
I don't trust a house that clean, especially when twins are involved.
Mrs. Montgomery herself looked like Barbie Doll. She had long blonde hair and flaunted a fantastic body.
Every food product in the house was organic and mostly vegan. The girls were to have quinoa and raw veggies for dinner, she said. If they had a sweet tooth, there were prunes in the cupboard. The girls were not allowed to eat anything processed or containing sugar.
"Do you they have food allergies?" I asked, concerned.
Mrs. Montgomery looked surprised.
"Not at all," she said. "We're just a healthy family. Nobody in this household eats sugary or processed food. Plus, the girls need to be in top shape for pageant season."
When she left, the little girls came out of their hiding spots. They were decked out in vibrant blue eyeshadow, bright pink blush, red lips, and gloppy mascara.
They studied me intently, which made me nervous.
"Are you a lesbian?" one of the twins asked.
"What makes you think that?" I asked.
"Because you aren't wearing makeup," the twin said. "Mommy says that women who don't wear makeup all the time are lesbians."
Before I could respond, the other twin intercepted.
"Why are you fat?" she asked.
Um, I was five feet tall and 93 pounds. I didn't even dignify her question with an answer.
"What do you girls want to do?" I asked. "Play a game?"
They girls stared at me, blankly.
"Do you have any board games in the house?" I asked.
"What's a board game?" one of the twins asked.
"Video games?" I asked, baffled.
They shook their heads.
"We're not allowed to play games because Mommy says they rot brains," one of the twins explained.
"What do you do for fun?" I asked.
"I dunno, just put on makeup and weigh ourselves on the bathroom scale," the same twin responded. "Or yoga, but Cathy is on vacation."
So we literally sat on the pristine sofa and talked about their upcoming beauty pageants until dinner time.
Of course, I fucked things up from there.
You see, I burnt their dinner. I'm not sure how, it was just boxed quinoa and vegetables. But there was a big misunderstanding involving a fire and my not knowing how to use a stove.
The girls were delighted by the chaos. They had never known so much excitement!
So we went to the store and I got ingredients for the only dinner I knew how to make at the time: a chocofluffernutter.
Basically, you spread peanut butter, marshmallow fluff, and chocolate syrup on toast and eat it.
The girls were dubious at first, but after the first bite, they couldn't believe their luck.
"Oh my god, this is awesome!" they kept repeating, over and over again, in astonishment. It was the first time they had ever had marshmallow fluff in their lives. It was the first time they had ever had chocolate syrup and Jiffy peanut butter.
"Is this what heaven tastes like?" one of the twins asked me, dazed.
I was so fascinated by their reactions to the junk food, I just sat there and observed them. It was like watching aliens.
After dinner, I helped them take off their makeup and taught them how to play MASH. One of the twins was a little too excited at the prospect of living in a shack with some boy named James.
When Mrs. Montgomery arrived, she was pleasantly surprised to see the girls in such good spirits.
But unfortunately, I did not know that giving chocolate to a little girl for the first time was the equivalency of giving a junkie their first taste of crack.
A couple weeks later, Mrs. Montgomery angrily called me to let me know one of the twins had been caught drinking Hershey's syrup under her bed covers at 4 a.m. the night before.
Last week I was on the computer at the library, when I heard somebody call out my name.
I looked up and a good-looking blonde guy was waving at me. I scowled at him because I don't like it when strangers acknowledge me, but he continued to wave and then eventually came over.
"I can't believe it's really you!" the hot guy gushed. "It's been so long!"
Oh shit, I thought, did I date this guy? I racked my brain over my past relationships and dating disasters. Perhaps it had been so traumatic, my brain simply destroyed the memory!
"You were the best babysitter I ever had," the boy continued. "You are just as beautiful now as you were when I was ten."
A smile froze on my face. The strapping young gentleman standing before me was none other than Scottie, one of the kids I used to babysit when I was in college.
Am I that old?! Well, I must be.
In honor of this blast from the past, I have decided to share my babysitting experiences from college with you.
Spoiler alert: They're not boring.
My stories are too lengthy to put in one post. So, I will be doing a three-part series.
My first story revolves around: Scottie.
Scottie lived in a huge three story house located a block away from my parents' home. He was absolutely adorable, with a mop of shaggy blonde hair and big blue eyes. He was in fourth grade.
An hour before his bedtime, Scottie announced he was going to do his math homework.
I was pre-med at the time, juggling 18 hours of advanced calculus, physics, chemistry, and biology lab that semester.
I smugly told Scottie that if he had questions with his little fourth grade homework, I would be more than happy to help.
Sure enough, ten minutes later, Scottie called from the living room to say he needed my assistance.
I walked over to the coffee table and looked over his shoulder.
The problem stated:
"Jane ordered five pounds of chicken, two pounds of beef, and a half-pound of turkey from the butcher shop. The chicken was two dollars per pound, the beef was three dollars per pound, and the turkey was fifty cents per pound. She gave two-thirds of the chicken to her mother, who reimbursed her for half. Jane had $20 in her pocket, but dropped a $5 bill on her way to the store. How much money did Jane have left in her pocket when she got home that night?"
Are you fucking kidding me?
"I thought you were only in fourth grade," I said, wearily.
"I am!" Scottie responded.
I rubbed my temples and sighed.
"Scottie, I think you've been working so hard that you need a break!" I said. "Shoo! Shoo!" And I waved him out of the room.
He looked at me strangely and slowly walked up the stairs.
"But I only just started," he tried explaining.
I shooed him away again.
As soon as he was out of sight, I ran into the kitchen and grabbed the phone book.
I dialed the number for the nearest butcher shop.
Thankfully, it was still open.
"Hi, my name is Jane and I would like to purchase five pounds of chicken, two pounds of beef, and a half-pound of turkey," I told the employee when he answered.
"Oven-gold chicken or honey-roasted?" the man asked. "And would you like the beef 93 percent lean?"
Shit. The math book hadn't specified!
"Um, whatever is two dollars a pound," I answered, meekly.
"Our chicken is $4.27 a pound," he said. "Honey-roasted is a dollar more."
"I need to give two-thirds of it to my mother!" I stuttered, practically in tears.
"Excuse me?" the man asked.
I hung up quickly.
What the fuck was I going to do? I couldn't admit to Scottie, or have his parents find out, that somebody studying to be a doctor couldn't even help him with his fourth-grade math homework!
So, I did what I did when I had calculus homework I couldn't figure out.
I called my father.
Surely, a physicist could figure out this stupid shit.
When my father answered, I asked him if he could help me with Scottie's math homework.
He was disgusted. "You can't figure out a fourth grader's math assignment?" he asked. "You're taking Advanced Calculus!"
I explained the homework assignment over the phone. There was silence on the other end.
"That's retarded," he dad finally said. "I'm coming over."
So, my dad came over and had a look at the math book. He was dumbfounded by the complexity of the problem for a fourth grader. It only took him a few minutes to figure it out and he left before Scottie even knew he was there.
When Scottie came downstairs, I proudly showed him the solution. He was impressed.
"Now you can go to bed!" I said, cheerfully.
Scottie shook his head.
"No I can't," he said. "I still have 24 more math problems just like it!"
Yes, my friends, it was a very long night. When Scottie's dad got home around midnight, we were still trying to figure out how much Jane had left in her pocket after the clumsy little bitch dropped five quarters outside a flower shop.
Anyway, it was a delight seeing Scottie again after all those years. He informed me that he is graduating from high school in May and he even took me to the parking lot to show me the brand new Mercedes convertible his parents bought him for his 18th birthday.
He said he is applying to colleges, but he isn't sure what he wants to major in yet.
"Maybe you should major in math," I said, snorting with laughter.
Scottie smiled politely, but I could tell he didn't understand the joke.
I hope you will enjoy her hilarious Halloween guest post below and also check out herblog, which is both inspiring and relatable.
Here she is:
So, here's the thing: if you want to be "sexy" this Halloween, just be a hooker. Seriously. Buy some 4-inch pink pleather boots (I found mine at second hand store), and run into the night in all your hooker, streetwalker, high-paid call girl glory. Proudly tell people that you're a stripper or a 7th avenue whore and then yell "shots for all my fellow sluts!" and get the party started.
Embrace the fact that just for one night, you're dressed like you could charge $500 an hour -- $1000 if he wants to get really dirty.
But don't, for the love of god, pretend that you're dressing up as an actual nurse, or cop or referee and your costume just happens to be missing almost all its material.
If you want to be sexy this Halloween, go for it. Go for it hard. But don't dress like Julia Roberts's skanky cousin and then pretend you're anything other than a girl who's embracing her inner hoochie.
I know there are certain costume creators who want you to believe that any costume can be made sexy, but this just isn't the case. Certain things just aren't naturally supposed to be "hot," and when you try to force the issue, you get nothing but drunk people laughing at you behind your scantily-clad back.
Pinocchio is a fucking frightening story about an old man who's so super lonely he creates a boy out of a toy and then that boy is lured away by creepy guys who try to turn him into a donkey. True story. True, terrifying story that is anything buy "sexy."
And no, that phallic nose does not help things.
"Sexy Crazy Person"
First of all, this costume is going to prevent you from doing anything, so I'm not sure why you'd even consider it. And secondly, what part of "I'm so nuts I might freak out and kill people so restrain me" is the sexy part?
Besides, once you undo the arms, your costume just goes back to looking like you're a hooker in a weird white dress. (Read my initial point about just being a prostitute).
"Sexy Clockwork Orange Person"
So, I'm not sure if the good people at Yardy.com have ever read Clockwork Orange, but if they did, they would realize the main character is kind of like the antithesis of "sexy" – and also a guy.
Plus (are we sensing a trend here?) this girl looks like she just stepped off the Vegas strip. Pour some glitter on her and you've got a showgirl who makes a little extra cash on the side by sleeping with sad, ugly businessmen who think they're the only one she actually does this with.
Okay – sharks are terrifying. There's nothing "sexy" about an animal that could rip you in half if given the chance, and since there's been an increase in shark bite deaths recently, I don't think I want to start fucking laughing at them.
Also, this costume doesn't look like a shark AT ALL. I mean, what's with those armbands? Sharks don't have those. They also don't have furry tassels on the end of their heads. Because if they did, we could pull them every time they tried to sever our legs and maybe get away, instead of dying a horrible and terrifying death.
"Sexy KISS WoMan"
Ugh. If there's anything I hate in this world, it's taking a character that's always been a dude, and not only turning into a costume for a chick, but making it "sexy" at the same time.
I mean, who thinks that weird make-up is sexy? No one does, because it's not. Plus, those boots are ugly.
Unless you were a 14-year-old boy, these movies were lame. So why the hell would you want to spend like $50 on a costume that commemorates them? Not only were the Transformers dudes, they were robots. Alien robots. Who spent a lot of time with Shia Labeouf. Who wants to spend a lot of time with Labeouf?
Also, no one is going to get this costume. Not unless they're a giant nerd. And really, is that who you want to be spending Halloween with? A giant nerd? You dressed up in a tiny skirt and weird knee socks to hang out with a guy who likes alien robots Shia Labeouf movies?
Didn't think so.
Ladies, this Halloween, I want you to be as sexy and as hot as you can possibly be. But save yourself a lot of time and money and shipping costs and just go Pretty Woman on their asses all night long. Embrace your slutty side without having to deal with people looking at you weird and whispering, "wait, is that girl a sexy shark?"
Everyone knows what a hooker looks like.
PS: Even if you go as a whore, people may still mistake your costume for something a guidette would wear on the Jersey Shore. This can't be helped. Those girls know how to embrace their hooker side like no one else on this earth. Besides actual hookers.
This is a film you simply have to see at least once. There are no excuses.
While James Dean arguably has the most interesting life story in Hollywood history, I'm going to skip him and focus instead on his co-star, Sal Mineo. Because Sal has quite a disturbing tale of his own.
Sal played the troubled and homosexually-charged best friend to James Dean's character in the film.
Born to Italian casket-makers in The Bronx, he grew up in a rough neighborhood. By the time he was 8-years-old, he was the member of a much-feared street gang. After being arrested for robbery at age 10, his exasperated mother gave him a choice: go to juvie or go to acting school. Obviously, Sal chose the latter.
As a teenager during the 1950s, Sal broke into showbiz and made a few good films. But then Rebel Without a Cause came along. The film changed his life.
Sal soon found himself an international teenage heartthrob. He received more than 2,000 fan letters from adoring teenage girls every day. He basked in his newfound fame and couldn't believe his luck.
He milked his "troubled teen" image and played the same type of character in every movie offered to him. He even released an album of love songs, which did pretty well on the top 40 charts. He spent money like a billionaire, buying extremely lavish gifts for all his friends. He showed up to all the hottest parties with a bevvy of gorgeous starlets on each arm.
It was a dream life. But he was about to wake up.
When the 1960s came along, a grown-up Sal suddenly found himself unwanted. His teenage fans were now in their 20s and they were starting families and pursuing careers, rather than fawning over him. A new crop of teenagers, obsessed with the Beatles, had emerged. The innocence and charm of the 1950s were dead, and Sal was a leftover from a forgotten generation.
In his late 20s, he was no longer famous and completely broke.
He desperately tried to revive his career to no avail. He even camped out on Francis Ford Coppola's front lawn to earn a part in The Godfather, but it didn't work.
In the late 1960s, the bankrupt Sal shocked the world by revealing he was gay. It caused quite a stir, since coming out in Hollywood was unheard of at the time.
But even that publicity couldn't get him in films again.
In 1971, Sal humbly had his boyfriend call his old Hollywood buddies and beg them to reimburse him for the gifts he so generously gave them during his prime. Luckily for Sal, his friends were more than willing to help out. They gave him money to get back on his feet.
In the mid-70s, Sal began guest-starring on television shows.
He then snagged a role as a bisexual burglar in a stage play in Los Angeles in 1975.
The night before the play was supposed to open, Sal was found stabbed to death in front of his apartment in Hollywood. He was only 37 years old.
The police were baffled when they arrived on the scene, because Sal's wallet was not missing, which indicated he was not mugged. So, the police quickly assumed it had to be a gay thing, because, that's what they do, right?
Sal's murder stunned the world and created a media frenzy. All around the world, tabloids and gossip columnists speculated that Sal had been involved in a drug ring or perhaps rejoined his gang roots or he participated in sadistic homosexual rituals. What else could have led to his demise?
The mystery was so disturbing that even John Lennon put up a $100,000 reward for anyone who captured Sal's killer.
Four years later, the world learned the truth.
After a long investigation, a pizza deliveryman was arrested for the crime in 1979. The man had tried to rob Sal, but panicked when he heard a noise and stabbed him with a knife instead. He had no idea he had murdered a celebrity.
The murderer was given a life sentence but paroled in the early 90s. He was imprisoned again for another crime shortly afterwards.
Coincidentally, I learned that James Franco has directed a biopic about Sal, which is coming out this year.