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The Ultimate Guide To Halloween Triple Features
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The Bite #128
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The Ultimate Guide To Halloween Triple Features

September 29, 2020

In this Issue:


The Ultimate Guide To Halloween Triple Features

As we head into October, we’re all aware of how different this Halloween is going to be, so we wanted to put together a treat for the season. That’s why this week’s special issue of the Bite is designed with one thing in mind: to give you some inspiration for your Halloween movie marathon.

In order to do this, we needed a little help. We asked a group of filmmakers, programmers, journalists, editors, and creators to give us their ideal Halloween triple bill to make your spooky season freakishly festive.

To avoid as much overlap as possible, we had some ground rules: their first pick had to be from before they were born, their second from the past five years, and their last film was dealer’s choice … except they weren’t allowed to choose HalloweenTrick ‘r Treat, or Hocus Pocus! What can we say? We like giving folks a challenge. And besides, those three are a perfect triple feature on their own. The end result is a fascinating list of distinctly different options that we hope will inspire your spooky festivities this Halloween.


ANYA STANLEY

The Bite #128 - Halloween Triple Bill Special Edition - Anya Stanley - Saint Maud

Rosemary’s Baby (1968)

Written and Directed by Roman Polanski

Have you ever felt like your body was used as a means towards someone else’s ends? Do people routinely cross your boundaries? Did your pregnancy feel parasitic at times? Are your neighbors creeping you tf out? If you answered yes, pull up a chair and sip on a tannis root smoothie while you watch the most monstrous version of your life unfold before your eyes. Drink every time John Cassavetes acts like a chode.

Saint Maud (2019)

Written and Directed by Rose Glass

Co-dependent? Attachment issues? Are your emotional wounds mostly self-inflicted, like mine? Friend, I have found your Taxi Driver. Watch the cheese slide off a pious woman’s cracker and find catharsis therein.

The Devils (1971)

Written and Directed by Ken Russell

Do you see the gross political overreach that religious institutions have? Are you into sexually repressed nuns? Mass hysteria? Vanessa Redgrave doing the absolute most? Blasphemy? How about charred femur masturbation? If you’re still reading, then you’re my people and you should cap the night off with this X-rated film that was banned in several countries starring Oliver Reed (Father Grandier, if you’re nasty). The Devils, courtesy of the warped and ever-extra Ken Russell.


Anya Stanley is a columnist at FANGORIA Magazine, a film critic on the horror beat, and a staunch Halloween 6 apologist. Find her ramblings on Twitter @bookishplinko, and find her clips at www.anywrites.com.


PETER KUPLOWSKY

The Bite #128 - Halloween Triple Bill Special Edition - Messiah Of Evil

Messiah Of Evil (1973)

Written and Directed by Willard Huyck and Gloria Katz

From the co-writers of American Graffiti and Temple Of Doom comes this eerie indie about a young woman searching for her father in a remote seaside community full of undead ghouls. Conjures incredible dread and memorable surrealist horror that will provide this triple bill some requisite creeps.

The Nobodies (2017)

Written and Directed by Jay Burleson

Criminally slept-on by film festivals and the horror community at large, Jay Burleson’s faux-doc meticulously emulates the blown-out and blood-soaked aesthetics of SOV splatter as it documents the tragic backstory behind the production of a fictional regional slasher film. Its note-perfect performances will leave the slumber party in tears; first from laughter and eventually from profound pathos.

Freaky Farley (2007)

Directed by Charles Roxburgh, Written by Matt Farley and Charles Roxburgh

Matt Farley and Charlie Roxburgh perfectly walk a tonal tightrope between precise irony and charismatic earnestness in this delightfully silly shot-on-16mm horror/comedy. Evoking Silent Night, Deadly Night 2 with its absurd framing device, the film follows the misadventures of a peeping tom (Farley) that a town must rely on to hunt mysterious woodland creatures known as The Troggs — a direct homage to the Canadian cult film The Pit. Everyone will be singing the theme song by the time Matt Farley’s phone number appears in the end credits.


Film curator for TIFF Midnight Madness and Fantastic Fest; Producer of The InteriorThe VoidClimate Of The Hunter, and PG: Psycho Goreman. Follow me on Twitter and Instagram.


CAROLYN MAURICETTE

The Bite #128 - Halloween Triple Bill Special Edition - Carolyn Mauricette - The Monster Club

The Haunting (1963)

Directed by Robert Wise, Written by Nelson Gidding

A wonderful haunted house film directed by Oscar winner Robert Wise and based on Shirley Jackson’s The Haunting Of Hill House. Eleanor and Theo scared out of their wits in Theo’s room is my favorite scene because of the terrifying sound design and fantastic performances. This classic sets the tone for Halloween.

Digging Up The Marrow (2015)

Written and Directed by Adam Green

I LOVE this movie. Based on creature design by Alex Pardee, this mockumentary follows an obsessed detective played by Ray Wise who swears there are monsters living under the earth’s surface in “The Marrow”. Hatchet director Adam Green gives us monsters galore for Halloween night.

The Monster Club (1981)

Directed by Roy Ward Baker, Written by Edward Abraham and Valerie Abraham

Vincent Price stars as a cordial vampire who takes his victim John Carradine to the Monster Club for a chat about monsters and, um, a drink. This film has some of the best segments I’ve ever seen in an anthology horror. Vincent Price raps about monster lineage, there’s an unforgettable stripper scene, and UB40 does the score. It’s 80s Halloween perfection!


Rotten Tomatoes-approved critic and Blood In The Snow Film Festival Director of Development and Programmer. I also co-host the podcast Reely Melanated. You can find me on Twitter and my website.


BJ COLANGELO

The Bite #128 - Halloween Triple Bill Special Edition - Hell Fest

Night Of The Demons (1988)

Directed by Kevin Tenney, Written by Joe Augustyn

Considering Angela is my fashion icon 365 days of the year and 2020 makes me want to draw all over my face with lipstick in a fit of mania, Night Of The Demons is the perfect way to kick off the Halloween season.

Hell Fest (2018)

Directed by Gregory Plotkin, Written by Seth M. Sherwood, Blair Butler, and Akela Cooper

As a midwest kid with a love of rollercoasters, the Halloween makeover most amusement parks get each year is one of my favorite parts of spooky season. The setting makes for a perfect Halloween slasher film, and Hell Fest is the cinematic equivalent of the biggest stuffed animal prize in the game zone.

Murder Party (2007)

Written and Directed by Jeremy Saulnier

A bloodbath of pretentious art students in Halloween costumes and the opportunity to root for a main character wearing a cardboard knight costume? *chef’s kiss* Murder Party is perfect.


BJ Colangelo is the lovechild of Christopher Sarandon in Fright Night and Susan Sarandon in The Hunger. She writes about horror, wrestling, sex, kicking pancreatic cancer’s ass, and being a fat queer all over the Internet. She’s also the co-host of the teen girl movie podcast, This Ends At Prom, with her wife, Harmony Colangelo.


NICHOLAS VINCE

The Bite #128 - Halloween Triple Bill Special Edition - Dead Of Night

Dead Of Night (1945)

Directed by Alberto Cavalcanti, Charles Crichton, Basil Dearden, and Robert Hamer
Written by John Baines and Angus MacPhail

Halloween is a great time for telling ghostly and ghastly tales. This film includes a terrifying ventriloquist’s doll and I’ll never board a bus if the driver says, “Just room for one inside, sir”. The wrap around story makes this the most effective anthology film I’ve seen.

Train To Busan (2016)

Directed by Sang-ho Yeon, Written by Joo-Suk Park and Sang-ho Yeon

Gotta love zombies on a train. An edge-of-your-seat chiller with a resurrected Bambi opening. The journey of the rubbish Dad as he works to protect his daughter from the plague is heart-rending.

The Masque Of The Red Death (1964)

Directed by Roger Corman, Written by Charles Beaumont and R. Wright Campbell

Vincent Price as Prince Prospero locks the gates to his castle to protect his party guests from a virulent plague. The best of the Corman Poe Price films is a meditation on God’s role in the world, Satan, and death. A very relevant film for our time.


Nicholas Vince played the Chatterer in Clive Barker’s Hellraiser and Kinski in Nightbreed. He’s the host of the new YouTube show and podcast, The Chattering Hour, premiering this October, featuring special guests from horror, thriller, and suspense films.


ALEXANDRA WEST

The Bite #128 - Halloween Triple Bill Special Edition - Pyewacket

House (1977)

Directed by Nobuhiko Ôbayashi, Written by Chiho Katsura and Chigumi Ôbayash

I have Andrea Subissati to thank for getting me on the House train. For as wild as it is, it has a heart-breaking emotional core that gets me every time I watch it.

The Invitation (2015)

Directed by Karyn Kusama, Written by Phil Hay and Matt Manfredi

Feeling the effects of social distancing? Missing people, community, and in-person friendship? This film will make you glad we’re taking a break from each other.

Pyewacket (2017)

Written and Directed by Adam MacDonald

Scary as fuck. Canadian. Perfect autumnal setting. Get on it!


Alex co-hosts the Faculty Of Horror podcast alongside Andrea Subissati and is the author of Films Of The New French Extremity: Visceral Horror And National Identity and The 1990s Teen Horror Cycle: Final Girls And A New Hollywood Formula. ACAB!


DAVID LAWSON JR.

The Bite #128 - Halloween Triple Bill Special Edition - Train To Busan

The Exorcist (1973)

Directed by William Friedkin, Written by William Peter Blatty

Any Halloween triple feature that doesn’t include The Exorcist is just wrong.

Train To Busan (2016)

Directed by Sang-ho Yeon, Written by Joo-Suk Park and Sang-ho Yeon

On top of just being an excellent film in its own right, any time you do a triple feature you need to make sure at least one of them is chock full of energy.

Misery (1990)

Directed by Rob Reiner, Written by William Goldman

Misery is one of those films that I can just throw on. Such a simple premise brilliantly executed with two phenomenal performances.


David Lawson Jr. is a producer and co-owner of Rustic Films. His films include The EndlessResolutionSpringAfter Midnight, the recently released She Dies Tomorrow, and the upcoming film Synchronic.


JONATHAN BARKAN

The Bite #128 - Halloween Triple Bill Special Edition - Jonathan Barkan - The Hitcher

Magic (1978)

Directed by Richard Attenborough, Written by William Goldman

Kicking off a Halloween marathon with a creepy ventriloquist dummy just seems oh so very right.

Ready Or Not (2019)

Directed by Matt Bettinelli-Olpin and Tyler Gillett, Written by Guy Busick and R. Christopher Murphy

This movie is a pure blast! Halloween wouldn’t feel right without Samara Weaving being a total badass.

The Hitcher (1986)

Directed by Robert Harmon, Written by Eric Red

A wickedly fun treat that many haven’t seen. If you’re gonna end a Halloween marathon, end it with a bang.


Jonathan Barkan is a producer and acquisitions and distribution executive. He was the Managing Editor for Bloody-Disgusting and Dread Central’s Editor-in-Chief.


MEREDITH BORDERS

The Bite #128 - Halloween Triple Bill Special Edition - Meredith Borders - Livide

I Was A Teenage Werewolf (1957)

Directed by Gene Fowler Jr., Written by Herman Cohen and Aben Kandel

Responsible for a very familiar Halloween costume — although, weirdly, the Halloween party that takes place in its first half is shockingly bereft of costumes — I Was A Teenage Werewolf is the fun-schlocky foundation for a sub-subgenre that forever has my heart (you guessed it: teenage werewolf movies).

Boys In The Trees (2016)

Written and Directed by Nicholas Verso

As Halloween-atmospheric as pumpkin lights and candy corn, Boys In The Trees is also a surreal, emotional examination of fear, friendship, memory, and the painful process of growing up. Plus the soundtrack rules.

Livide (2011)

Written and Directed by Alexandre Bustillo and Julien Maury

Alexandre Bustillo and Julien Maury followed up their outstanding Christmas horror film À l’intérieur (Inside) with the perfect Halloween joint. Departing from the more straightforward extremity of their debut, Livide (Livid) is a supernatural wonderland, embracing eerie allegory and dark fantasy over shocking violence (although you’ll find some of that here, too).


Meredith is the Managing Editor of FANGORIA magazine and the co-owner of City Acre Brewing Company in Houston, Texas.


The Bite #128 - Halloween Triple Bill Special Edition - Meagan Navarro - The Boys In The Trees

Dark Night Of The Scarecrow (1981)

Directed by Frank De Felitta, Written by J.D. Feigelson and Butler Handcock

The perfect Halloween mood setter, full of scares, haunting scarecrows, and revenge. Dripping with Fall atmosphere and starring horror stalwart Larry Drake, this effective made-for-TV movie is a seasonal must!

Terrified (2017)

Written and Directed by Demián Rugna

It’s Halloween, everyone’s entitled to one good scare! In this case, expect a minimum of twenty good scares. This movie lives up to its title.

Boys In The Trees (2016)

Written and Directed by Nicholas Verso

On Halloween 1997, two estranged teens embark on a surreal journey of horror and dark fantasy in this bittersweet coming of age story. An underseen Halloween gem full of ‘90s nostalgia, an earworm soundtrack, and loads of Halloween atmosphere.


Meagan Navarro is a horror journalist, lead critic for Bloody Disgusting, and a co-host of The Bloody Disgusting Podcast. She’s written for FANGORIASlashfilm, and Consequence of Sound.


JOE LIPSETT

The Bite #128 - Halloween Triple Bill Special Edition - Joe Lipsett - Possession

Possession (1981)

Directed by Andrzej Zulawski, Written by Andrzej Zulawski and Frederic Tuten

A melodrama about the breakdown of a marriage masquerading as a doppelganger/body horror. Isabelle Adjani delivers one of the single greatest female performances in horror history in a film that’s equal parts gorgeous, sensual, and uncomfortable. Start the night off with unsettling mania.

The Invitation (2015)

Directed by Karyn Kusama, Written by Phil Hay and Matt Manfredi

Now’s the time to go dark. Karyn Kusama’s film is a masterclass in building dread and tension, as well as a surprisingly astute analysis of grief and loss. The setting is pure house porn, the characters are exquisitely sad, and the iconic final scene is haunting and elegant. The Invitation is, quite simply, a modern classic.

Next Of Kin (1982)

Directed by Tony Williams, Written by Tony Williams and Michael Heath

Wrap the night up with this underseen Aussie film, which has something for everyone: it’s supernatural, it’s slasher, and it’s slightly gothic, yet it never feels tonally disjointed. Featuring moments of high tension, restless camera work and deep focus, Next Of Kin plays with the conventions of the genre without strictly adhering to them. It’s the perfect “what is going on?” film to end a marathon with.


Joe Lipsett is a freelance writer with bylines in Bloody DisgustingAnatomy of a ScreamGrim Magazine, and Consequence of Sound. He is the co-host of the Horror Queers podcast, which examines horror films through a queer lens. Follow him on Twitter and Instagram for snark and gay stuff.


AARON B. KOONTZ

The Bite #128 - Halloween Triple Bill Special Edition - Aaron B Koontz - The Descent

The Fog (1980)

Directed by John Carpenter, Written by John Carpenter and Debra Hill

Carpenter’s most underrated score against Poe’s haunting story that creates ominous dread at every clouded turn. This gets overlooked in the Carpenter/Hill fandom and that’s a shame because it’s a masterpiece that features some of Jamie Lee’s best work opposite Adrienne Barbeau and her mother, Janet Leigh.

The Ritual (2017)

Directed by David Bruckner, Written by Joe Barton

Continuing with the creepy atmosphere and creatures hidden in the dark amidst a poetic folk tale, Bruckner’s expert examination of grief, regret, and the manifestation of our fears is criminally underrated. It also features maybe the best original creature design (courtesy of Russell-FX) since Pumpkinhead.

The Descent (2005)

Written and Directed by Neil Marshall

And nothing creeps behind you in the night more effectively than Neil Marshall’s masterpiece. With walls closing on them as fast as the monsters and heartbreaking character work, it’s one of my all-time favorite horror films. It also started with “The” and that became important at the end here.


Aaron B Koontz like to watch movies, talk about movies, and make movies. He also like pugs. Follow him on Instagram and Twitter.


LINDSAY TRAVES

The Bite #128 - Halloween Triple Bill Special Edition - Lindsay Traves - The Guest

Alien (1979)

Directed by Ridley Scott, Written by Dan O’Bannon

Halloween is the season of movie marathons and if you don’t think the Alien series is worthy of a binge, then I’ve got nothing for you. Ripley deserves a seat beside the best final girls and always pops by my place for spooky season like a Xenomorph in a duct.

Happy Death Day (2017)

Directed by Christopher Landon, Written by Scott Lobdell

My favorite slashers are ones that dip their toes into perceptions of grief, and Tree’s grief manifesting as rage hits my spot. A relatable protagonist in a slasher with a sci-fi twist? This film is on my list.

The Guest (2014)

Directed by Adam Wingard, Written by Simon Barrett

A grab bag of the best parts of Halloween and Terminator 2 seems too good to be true, and it almost is. This Halloween-drenched horror thriller screamed my name that first theater viewing, and it’s been a regular pumpkin spice-scented movie night staple for me since.


Lindsay Traves is a Toronto-based writer. After submitting her Bachelor’s thesis, The Metaphysics Of Schwarzenegger Movies, she decided to focus on writing about her passions; sci-fi, horror, sports, and comic books. You can find her writing on Daily DeadStarTrek.comWhat to WatchCGMagazine, and Bloody Disgusting and can follow her work on Twitter.


MATT DONATO

The Bite #128 - Halloween Triple Bill Special Edition - Matt Donato - The Devil's Candy

Black Roses (1988)

Directed by John Fasano, Written by Cindy Cirile

Halloween should be a moonlit party, and how better to start than with a demon metal band? Black Roses brings the sin, satanics, and crunchy riffage all parents feared when leather-clad performers strolled into town. Crank it loud, horns in the air.

The Devil’s Candy (2017)

Written and Directed by Sean Byrne

Ethan Embry as “Metal Daddy?” Sunn O))) providing Gregorian ominousness via musical scores? A cherry-red Flying V that summons pure evil? The Devil’s Candy stuffs itself with killer licks and satanic panic as tension drives more outright fearful heavy metal horror visions.

Deathgasm (2015)

Written and Directed by Jason Lei Howden

HEAVY METAL HORROR IN YOUR F*#KING EYEHOLES. Deathgasm is forever a subgenre favorite, birthed from sweaty thrasher moshpits and early Peter Jackson. It’s bloodsoaked, it’s rude, and it’s the perfect party-horror nightcap. Did I mention there’s a righteous dildo jaw-removal kill? PERFECT. PARTY. HORROR. NIGHTCAP.


Matt Donato spends his post-work hours analyzing cinema for /FilmWhat To WatchBloody Disgusting, and other internet reaches. Follow along on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd at @DonatoBomb. He seems like a pretty cool guy, but don’t feed him after midnight just to be safe (beers are allowed/encouraged).


PHIL NOBILE JR.

The Bite #128 - Halloween Triple Bill Special Edition - Phil Nobile Jr. - Dawn Of The Dead

The Last Man On Earth (1964)

Directed by Ubaldo Ragona and Sidney Salkow, Written by Richard Matheson and William F. Leicester

This Italian-filmed adaptation of RIchard Matheson’s I Am Legend gets some accidental atmosphere from the eerie dubbing, the deserted streets of Rome doubling for America, and Vincent Price in a rare role as a good guy (depending on your point of view). Hard to find for years, it’s in the public domain now.

The Night Eats The World (2018)

Directed by Dominique Rocher, Written by Jérémie Guez, Guillaume Lemans, and Dominique Rocher

Dominique Rocher’s zombie movie is a novel one: a musician, trapped in an apartment building as a zombie apocalypse rages on the ground floor, grapples with loneliness, empty days, his creative urges, and Denis Levant as a lovable zombie stuck in the building’s elevator.

Dawn Of The Dead (1978)

Written and Directed by George A. Romero

Forget the haters: George A Romero successfully sells the end of the world with 4 protagonists, a pile of extras, and an empty mall. Often imitated; no one has ever captured the melancholy of the apocalypse like Romero did.


Phil Nobile Jr. is the Editor-in-Chief of FANGORIA magazine.


JENN WEXLER

The Bite #128 - Halloween Triple Bill Special Edition - Jenn Wexler - Casper

The Exorcist (1973)

Directed by William Friedkin, Written by William Peter Blatty

The Exorcist always ends up in my holiday rotation because of the VIBES. Between the score, the shots of Ellen Burstyn strolling through autumnal Georgetown, and obvs all of the scary stuff, it is one of my Halloween faves.

Scary Stories To Tell In The Dark (2019)

Directed by André Øvredal, Written by Dan Hageman and Kevin Hageman

Again, atmosphere is everything! From cinematography to production design to its soundtrack (Yes, I quite enjoy Lana Del Rey’s rendition of “Season Of The Witch”), it does a great job of capturing all the October spookiness, with awesome creature FX to boot.

Casper (1995)

Directed by Brad Silberling, Written by Sherri Stoner and Deanna Oliver

Keeping in theme of children vs. the supernatural, I would choose Casper as the third film of my triple bill, a true Halloween classic that made my young mind dream about living in a haunted house, rocking lacy vintage dresses with combat boots, and slow dancing with Devon Sawa.


Jenn Wexler is a writer and director, whose directorial debut, The Ranger, world premiered at the SXSW Film Festival and was released by AMC’s Shudder. She is also the producer of acclaimed and award-winning genre films DepravedDarlingLike MePsychopaths, and Most Beautiful Island.


HALEIGH FOUTCH

The Bite #128 - Halloween Triple Bill Special Edition - Haleigh Foutch - Green Room

Return Of The Living Dead (1985)

Written and Directed by Dan O’Bannon

Silly, scary, sexy, and as ooey-gooey as pumpkin guts, The Return Of The Living Dead is like an unhinged Halloween party in a movie.

Green Room (2015)

Written and Directed by Jeremy Saulnier

Fighting off Nazis and just trying to make it out of this mess alive? It’s an extreme 2020 mood!

Night Of The Demons (1988)

Directed by Kevin Tenney, Written by Joe Augustyn

Keeping the raucous, raging punk spirit going, nobody throws a party that raises hell quite like Night Of The Demons.


Haleigh Foutch is a Senior Editor and SEO Specialist at Collider, where she co-hosts the horror podcast The Witching Hour.


ANDREW “LAPTOP” LASANE

The Bite #128 - Halloween Triple Bill Special Edition - Andrew "Laptop" Lasane - The Fly

The Fly (1986)

Directed by David Cronenberg, Written by Charles Edward Pogue and David Cronenberg

F*ck starting light! The best way to kick off a triple bill while everyone is wide awake is to go for a classic with two gorgeous leads, Typhoon the baboon, and a truly tragic ending that makes you apprehensive about the rest of the night.

The Eyes Of My Mother (2016)

Written and Directed by Nicolas Pesce

Where do you go from Brundlefly? To a quieter film that manages to be much more disturbing and gruesome, even though it’s in black-and-white. The Eyes Of My Mother is gorgeous and repulsive, and it’s main character is both an innocent and a ruthless monster.

Anna And The Apocalypse (2017)

Directed by John McPhail, Written by Alan McDonald and Ryan McHenry

After those two movies, you’re going to need something fun and less depressing to fall asleep to. AATA is a Christmas zombie musical with lots of laughs and some catchy earworms, but where it winds up ain’t no Hollywood Ending. Still, it’s the best way to finish off a horror triple bill: with a smile and the smallest amount of hope in humanity.


Andrew is a writer, editor, and artist based in Brooklyn. His ongoing goal is to make custom sneakers for every movie fan (horror or otherwise) currently reading these words.