#3. Blood Freak
Blood Freak is about a biker named Herschell who's driven into a homicidal rage by a combination of experimental turkey meat and marijuana. The concoction turns him into a wereturkey, because for some reason the producers felt the actor's natural face wasn't scary enough.
The wereturkey can only survive by drinking the blood of drug users, which we imagine is why they called the movie Blood Freak instead of Wereturkey or some variation thereof. He plods hazily after his victims, finally cornering them for some of the most drawn-out and torturously violent killings ever featured in a horror movie. He hangs one lady upside down, slits her throat, and cups his hands beneath her to catch the blood and drink it.
"It's a subtle metaphor for the commercialization of Thanksgiving."
In another sequence, he slices some dude's leg off with a table saw, once again arranging himself in the optimal position to guzzle the gushing life fluid in his beak.
"YOU BLOODY SAVAGE ... use a glass."
However, in the film's final few minutes, we suddenly learn that the whole thing was just a dream to show Herschell the error of his drug-using ways. A reformed Herschell has an extended make-out session with his girlfriend and then strolls merrily down a pier as the credits roll, because that's how movies called Blood Freak are supposed to end.
... of their careers.
For you aspiring horror directors out there, this film gives you a profound lesson in why creature design is so, so important. Do you find yourself struggling to make your wereturkey look scary, to the point that it's undermining the gruesome murder scenes? Consider a redesign of the costume. Still doesn't work? Maybe it's time to go back to the drawing board and ask yourself the hard question: Was a wereturkey the right choice for my graphic cautionary tale about the dangers of substance abuse?
Because it turns out that it really is hard to take anything seriously when the hideous monster at the core of your film looks like a guy wearing a mascot head, even if it was killing us in real life. It would've been immensely more frightening if that's what he actually was, instead of a wereturkey -- a hulking psychopath in a papier-mache turkey helmet, drinking people's blood.
#2. The Langoliers
"Langoliers" is a word that Stephen King invented to describe giant razor-toothed meatballs that devour the past once we're all done living through it. The setup for the plot is that 10 people on an airplane get sent back in time, and they have to find a way to get back to the present before the titular monsters appear to consume them. Or before they succumb to a deranged Bronson Pinchot.
If you were born after 1989, you have no idea who this man is.
It's pretty convoluted, but really the monsters are the star of the show, right? The plot in a movie like this is all about putting the characters in position to be eaten -- that's why the monsters are always the title character. Well, the movie is four hours long, and the first three and half of those are totally monsterless. Then, when the Langoliers finally get their big reveal, we are treated to this:
What you'd get if the "P" in H.P. Lovecraft stood for "poop."
The Langoliers looks like the toe fungus in a Tinactin commercial. Lenticular posters have more impressive special effects, and, to date, those have never frightened anybody. It doesn't get any better when the Langoliers start chewing the scenery like a literal interpretation of a review of William Shatner's performance in Star Trek V:
It looks like King Kong is chucking handfuls of his own deuce at the plane.
It's difficult to scare your audience once you've spent three hours boring them to tears with a bunch of people yelling at each other in an abandoned airport about an impending threat that takes way too long to explain, but when your monster looks like it came from an episode of ReBoot, you need not even have bothered.
#1. The Hand
The Hand inexplicably stars Michael Caine as a cartoonist whose amputated hand comes to life and starts murdering people. Somewhat less baffling is the fact that this movie was written and directed by Oliver Stone, because it was conceived during the coke-vacuuming period of his life that eventually inspired Scarface.
A lifetime of watching what his previous owner's left hand did taught Righty the perfect technique.
The hand scuttles around and strangles people to death, even ambushing Caine himself in a sequence that would medal in every single event of the Unintentional Comedy Olympics:
"No one touches my perm!"
Look, we know it's unfair to pick apart the science in a movie like this, but even granting them the concept that possessed hands are a thing, how does it get any leverage? It can't punch you -- it would need to be attached to a body for that. If all it can do is squeeze you with its fingers, anyone over the age of 10 would still be able to pick it up off the floor by the wrist and toss it into a garbage disposal. If it's being powered by some kind of super-strong poltergeist, then, well, it'd be better off possessing a gun or a chainsaw than some artist's dainty manicured hand. Actually, we can think of at least three other possessed body parts that would be scarier.
For more hilarious creepiness, check out 5 Reasons Humanity Desperately Wants Monsters to Be Real and 6 Bizarre Real World Versions of Fictional Monsters.
And for more on things that go bump in the night, click here.