BY LIONEL FRANKENSTEIN
Starting on Friday, March 4th, our second ghoulish grab-bag of horror shorts,Fun Size Horror Volume Two, will begin streaming in its entirety on Hulu. As such, we're obsessing over anthology horror even more than usual this week (check out our anthology horror trailer reel that serves a fun pre-show for Volume Two). To wit: my top five favorite anthology horror films--the big and bloody slabs of crypt-tales and horror-vaults that I find my bloodshot eyes returning to again and again (until Volume Two drops on Hulu, that is).
BODY BAGS (1993; dir. John Carpenter, Tobe Hooper)
Worth the price of admission for John Carpenter's bizarre Beetlejuice-meets-the Cryptkeeper schtick as the cadaverous host of the film's bookended segments, Body Bags covers a lot of horror real estate in its three stories--a breezy pulp slasher story, a comic comeuppance tragedy in the vein of Tales From The Crypt, and a brutally disturbing supernatural serial killer tale.
CREEPSHOW (1982; dir. George Romero)
While not the only horror film anthology either written by or based upon the works of Stephen King (both Creepshow 2 and Cat's Eye are entertaining enough if you come across them on a slow Sunday afternoon or midnight channel-surf), Creepshow is certainly the best, modeling itself after the classic EC Horror comics like Tales From The Crypt, The Haunt Of Fear, and Vault of Horror that helped warp King's imagination as a child.
DEAD OF NIGHT (1945; dir. Alberto Cavalcanti, Charles Crichton, Basil Dearden, Robert Hamer)
A stone-classic of horror filmmaking, anthology or otherwise, and absolutely terrifying to boot. Bonus points for featuring the creepiest and most off-putting ventriloquist dummy sequence in the genre.
KWAIDAN (1964; dir. Masaki Kobayashi)
The only film on this list to win an award at the Cannes Film Festival (though we still maintain Carpenter's Body Bags performance got robbed!), Kwaidan (translation: "ghost stories") features four haunting Japanese folk tales recast as short horror films.
TRICK 'R TREAT (2007; dir. Michael Dougherty)
Five Halloween tales bloodily stitched together by one dark thread: the appearance of Sam, a demonic enforcer of Halloween traditions (who just so happens to take the shape of a child in the world's most slapdash, yet somehow creepy, Halloween costume).
And don't forget to check out our newest horror anthology, Fun Size Horror: Volume Two, available to stream via Hulu beginning on Friday, March 4!
What's your favorite horror anthology film?