I would be lying if I said I was a movie aficionado—that would imply I watch more than the odd mainstream flick every few months—but if there's one genre I love, it's campy horror movies.
In honor of my favorite holiday, I've created a list of 31 of my favorite not-so-scary movies that run the gamut from hilariously bad to straight-up comedy.
There are bad movies that try really hard to be good movies, and then there are bad movies that fully embrace their horrible decisions. Zombeavers falls into the latter category. Beaver puns, zombie sex, and feminist undertones—did I mention it also has a theme song? This movie is amazing. Fight me.
Evil Dead I & II
No horror movie list would be complete without two of the most cult zombie classics of all time, made famous by seriously bad effects and questionable morals.
Army of Darkness
Classic, incoherent, massively referenced, and instantly quotable. Start from the first Evil Dead to watch a serious attempt at horror quickly devolve into slapstick and puns. "Hail to the king, baby."
The best low-budget monster movie to ever come out of SyFy. I suggest playing the drinking game and binging all four.
Shaun of the Dead
Not many movies could feature a zombie beat-down (zom-beat down?) choreographed to Queen and still maintain an air of seriousness. What I love most is how it tackles zombie tropes with such lackadaisical purpose.
Fright Night (the 2011 remake)
Colin Farrell as a vampire? Yes, lawd.
An American Werewolf in London
The dry, British comedy does a fantastic job reminding you that, while somewhat humorous, this is still a horror movie. The grotesque transformation sequence is still stomach-churning, even after all these years.
This movie gave me nightmares as a child, but then again, so did pretty much everything. (Why was a child watching these, you ask? Who cares, you're not my real dad!) Scream (and all subsequent sequels) are fantastic, self-aware gore fests that acknowledge tired slasher tropes and uses them anyway.
Cabin in the Woods
Much like Scream, this is one of those meta horror flicks that touches on almost every classic horror movie cliche.
I haven't seen every Jason movie ever made, but I imagine this one is a solid contender for the Worst One. Jason, in space for some reason, and also there's an android. The crew trying to tempt robot Jason with simulated promiscuous campers is by far one of my favorite movie scenes.
Little Shop of Horrors
A cult classic simply for the "FEED ME, SEYMOURE!" song. Great for quoting when hangry.
Hoping to ride the coattails of Blade (released a few years prior) and into action-vampire success, it instead failed miserably. It won out over Keanu Reeves' Dracula because reasons.
Attack of the Killer Tomatoes
This would be the most ridiculous movie ever made, if not for the sequel: Return of the Attack of the Killer Tomatoes. The title alone should clue you in as to why. My mom would sometimes sing the theme song in a silly voice, and I would groan and pretend I hated it. Good times.
I'm not sure this counts as horror, but I'll give it a pass because it's a classic.
The Rocky Horror Picture Show
Nothing will ever be as perfect as a sci-fi musical about an alien transvestite who engineers a hunky lover. Society has reached peak camp.
If this wasn't a childhood favorite, you missed out. Wistful nostalgia makes a modern-day re-watch that much sweeter. Without it, the movie's kind of dated, even if Gizmo is the most adorable monster.
"Nice tits, bitch!" Great line, 10/10, amazing cinematic experience. This one's for you, Sam.
The Lost Boys
Alternative title: The Two Coreys Take On Blonde Mullet Vampire and His Gang of Angsty Blood Suckers
I've never not heard this referred to as the Nazi zombie movie, and really, that's all there is to say about this one.
Killer Klowns from Outerspace
What if the clown invasion gripping the country is actually an alien invasion?? The spelling of clown with a "k" is a dead giveaway of this movie's awfulness.
I Married an Axe Murderer
This movie is a silly romcom, which is good because Mike Meyers doesn't belong in a non-comedic movie unless that movie is Halloween and Mike Meyers is actually the name of the murder and not the acclaimed actor of the same name.
"Come for Megan Fox, stick around for the potential girl-on-girl action." - Jennifer's Body's marketing team
The Return of the Living Dead
Zombies, punk rock, and more than a little bit of nudity. Fun fact: this film is actually noted for introducing brain eating into zombie lore.
Ju-On is the original Japanese movie The Grudge was based on. It's only slightly less terrifying, but the low-budget appeal might help stave off nightmares.
Aaah! Zombies!! (also known as Wasting Away)
This is a zomb-com that switches perspectives between the zombies (who still think they're human) and how the world perceives them (as unintelligible zombies).
I watched this quite a bit as a kid because of Johnny Depp. Upon re-watching this as an adult, it's 1000x more ridiculous than I remember and almost as embarrassing.
I loved this movie so much I named my black cat Binx. Anyway, my point is that this movie is, and always will be, the best.
What can I say, I really like zombie movies, especially hilariously self-aware ones that play up the worn-down tropes.
Buffy the Vampire Slayer
This movie somehow spawned a hugely successful television series. Buffy as a "gag me" valley girl is kind of awful, even if she's sassy.
Horror and sex have a storied history, and movies that thoughtfully explore that dynamic are fascinating. Traditionally, women are hyper sexualized and punished for their unchaste transgressions. Teeth is an unflinching reversal of this trope. It's also about a vagina with teeth, that bites off dicks. Perf.
The Cars that Ate Paris
A crazy movie that's worth watching if you're a fan of any of the following: cars, old horror-comedies, Mad Max: Fury Road. To elaborate, the cars in the movie were used as inspiration for one of the crazy Wasteland vehicles. There are also power tool lobotomies, if you're into that sort of thing.
To be honest, I haven't seen this one and thus have no comment, but the Internet seems to agree this is hands down the best worst horror movie ever made.
Super Special Bonus:
Hush from Buffy the Vampire Slayer
Not actually a movie, but an iconic episode that is worth revisiting.
What is your favorite scary movie? Did yours make the list? Yell at me in the comments!