It is that time of the year again when grocery stores and corner drug stores fill their shelves with heart-shaped boxes of chocolate, cheap roses, and over-sized bears and unicorns. But for us single, diehard horror fans, the promise of sweets and cotton-stuffed animals means nothing.
I still want horror films!!
Valentine’s Day, though, is for cuddling up with your beloved to watch some sugary-sweet romantic comedy, right? F**k no!! Below is a list of films that I think are perfect for watching with your loved one on Valentine’s Day. Not all of these films have a Valentine’s Day theme, but all have a love theme that runs throughout the film. Please note, these films aren’t ranked in any particular order.
MY BLOODY VALENTINE (1981)
This is, without doubt, the grandaddy of Valentine’s Day-themed horror films. There’s a killer on the loose in a small mining town–dressed like a miner–killing the locals as Valentine’s Day quickly approaches. This film is definitely a product of the slasher craze that was born in the 1980s, but this one always stood out for me. It has a really fun plot, some great gore, and a really interesting killer, with an even more interesting backstory. Don’t miss this one.
I know, I know. This doesn’t have anything close to a Valentine’s Day theme. But, it does have more than one love story that runs through it. One of the love stories has an endless, true-love, “I love you beyond the grave” kind of theme (the love between Dan and Megan), while the other is a more obsessive kind of love. I think you know exactly what I’m talking about–the obsessive love that Dr. Hill has for Megan. Yup … I’m talking about that scene. This is one of the classic films that all true horror fans have watched at least a dozen times. At least!! This was the film I would show to my dates in high school. If they couldn’t make it all the way through, the relationship was over. RE-ANIMATOR is a must see!!
HOSPITAL MASSACRE (a.k.a., BE MY VALENTINE, OR ELSE) (1981)
Another film from 1981 that has an actual Valentine’s Day theme. This is directed by Boaz Davidson, who wrote enough made-for-TV giant-creature flicks to keep the SyFy network in business for decades. This one has the killer stalking a woman in a hospital and attempting to get revenge for a traumatic childhood Valentine’s Day humiliation. No, it isn’t the best film on this list, and the killer’s motivation is pretty much exactly like the killer from 1980s TERROR TRAIN, but this one is pretty damn fun and has a certain nightmare-quality to it. Check it out.
You might think I’ve finally lost my mind for including this one on my list, but I found VALENTINE to be pretty fun, albeit flawed. A killer stalks five women as Valentine’s Day draws near. That’s it. That’s pretty much the entire plot. The film was full of popular actors du jour, including Denise Richards, David Boreanaz, Jessica Capshaw, Katherine Heigl, and Daniel Cosgrove. This is nowhere near the strongest film on this list, but it has some pretty fun kills and some memorable scenes of over-acting.
BAD BIOLOGY (2008)
Another film that doesn’t have a Valentine’s Day theme, but has a strong theme of love that runs throughout. BAD BIOLOGY is the return of classic horror director Frank Henenlotter. Here he gives us a film with two protagonists who each have a very particular sexual abnormality. Alone, each character is miserable and deadly, but together they make a good couple. Well, this is how I see it. BAD BIOLOGY has everything you’ve come to expect from a Henenlotter film. Bizarre sexuality, over-the-top gore, and some great dialogue. This is a modern classic for sure!!
MY BLOODY VALENTINE (2009)
Yup, the 2009 remake of the classic 1981 slasher film made this list. No, this update isn’t nearly as good as the original one, but it has a lot of energy, lots of great kills, and also has the longest full-frontal nudity scene ever put on film in a horror film. This remake ultimately fails in the story department–especially when the killer is revealed–but this is overall a lot of fun.
THE LOVED ONES (2009)
Another horror film that has a strong theme of obsessive, out of control love at the backbone of the story. In it, Brent turns down Lola’s invitation to go to the prom, but instead of tucking her tail between her legs and running away, Lola comes up with a plan to kidnap and make Brent realize how much she loves him–and is determined to make him fall in love with her. With themes of incest, some graphic, hard-to-watch scenes of torture and gore, THE LOVED ONES is a fantastic film, full of great surprises. This is a definitely “must-see”!!
BASKET CASE 3: THE PROGENY (1991)
Filmmaker Frank Henenlotter makes this list again! When you’re looking for weird love stories full of monsters and gore, you go for a Henenlotter flick!! Belial is back, and this time he is a proud, expecting father of a brood of little monsters. But when a couple of sleazy sheriffs kidnap Belial’s monstrous kids, he goes on a bloody rampage like you’ve never seen before. This is a great installment in the BASKET CASE franchise, and it is nice to see that Henenlotter can still throw his fans some new tricks to shock and disgust. I love this twisted tale of love and revenge!!
BRIDE OF FRANKENSTEIN (1935)
Do you really need to ask or wonder why this film is on my list? This is the classic, if not original, tale of love between monsters. Wait … human’s are the true monsters, aren’t they? I watch this film at least once every year. If you ask me, “why?”, then you’ve missed an essential aspect of your horror education. Watch this with your loved one this Valentine’s Day.
This is my list of great films to watch this Valentine’s Day with a loved one. Which are your favorites? What films do you think should be included on this list? Sound off in the comments below.
…and just because it is such a great scene, here’s another still from “that scene” from RE-ANIMATOR: