B-level horror movies worth your time

By Araz Havan

Courtesy of fallingwater123/Flickr

Good horror movies are hard to find these days with all of the unoriginal ideas, remakes and overhyped films that seem to saturate modern cinemas. Never get disappointed by a horror movie again by turning your attention instead to the less-touted but prolific world of B-movies. There, you’re guaranteed to find unintentional humor, ambiguous thrills and pure entertainment. So instead of sitting bored in your living room with friends while the little boy from “Insidious” scares no one, turn to these other movies for a terrifyingly good time.

‘Rabid Grannies’
This is the golden standard of the genre. “Rabid Grannies,” a Belgian creation from 1988, is a shining example of what a good B-movie horror is like. There simply is nothing better. What is fantastic about this movie is that it actually tries to be frightening at moments, and it almost succeeds. There is admirable effort put into building characters and a storyline remarkably close to “Sleeping Beauty,” only instead of a poisoned princess, there are two cannibalistic spinsters killing family members all because a grumpy nephew’s invitation got lost in the mail.
‘The Evil Dead’
Note that I’m referring to the original “Evil Dead” from 1981, not the recent remake. “The Evil Dead” is a little bit creepy because it was meant to be an actual horror movie. It’s gruesome, outrageous and the special effects were probably right on cue for the time. Watching this movie is like watching a 30-year-old demonic-force filled “Saw”: the perfect blend of gore and the supernatural. Note that apparently the film crew got lost in the woods the first day of filming, so keep in mind that that’s what kind of movie this is.
‘Gingerdead Man’
Sugar, spice and Gary Busey make “Gingerdead Man” a B-movie horror for the ages. This unbelievable tale of a cookie possessed with a serial killer’s soul is campy and ridiculous. Going up against one of the least threatening horror villains – again, a cookie – the bakery owners and patrons are mind-numbingly lethargic. The effects are something right out of the 80s, despite its 2005 release date. Sequels include “Gingerdead Man 2: Passion of the Crust” and “Gingerdead Man 3: Saturday Night Cleaver.” It’s safe to say that they stopped trying to be scary, but there is certainly some gold buried in the trilogy if you’ve got nothing better to do with your evening.
Some movies try to be scary. They put in a lot of effort, attempting to bypass their remarkably minimal resources to put fear into the audience. “Thankskilling” does not do this. This movie does not take itself seriously in any way whatsoever. The cast and crew almost seem proud of the fact that they worked with a $3,500 budget. This amount actually sounds like an overstatement when you watch the movie. The plot follows a murderous turkey, an expert killer because it is (naturally) a master of disguise, just after it is awakened by an old curse. Following its low-budget origins, the turkey is, of course, portrayed by a silly-looking puppet. The film also features catchphrases that rival, if not surpass, those of James Bond’s. Relevant for Halloween and Thanksgiving, “Thankskilling” remains inappropriate for children due to fowl language.
‘Night of the Living Comet’
“Night of the Living Comet” is spectacularly awful but so much fun to watch. There are moments of vague scariness but the directors manage to bungle them up every time. The teenagers in this movie somehow survive a radioactive comet and are living it up in a post-apocalyptic world alongside a few zombies. “Night of the Living Comet” is full of cheesy dialogue, weird plot lines and cheap effects. The scariest thing about this movie is the indifference all the children feel about losing everybody they know and love.
There is an endless treasure trove of  “scary” B-movies in video stores, on Netflix and especially on the Syfy channel, which during October, prefers to play only the best of the worst movies out there. So grab some popcorn, grab some friends and dive in for an evening of horrifying B-movie fun!
Araz Havan can be reached at [email protected]