Hope everyone had a happy Valentine’s Day 2017! If you’re in your refractory period at the moment and looking for something fun to read, or even better, if you had a less-than-happy holiday and you’re feeling a little like love is hell, here’s a list of some of our favorite romantic bits from horror movies.
JEREMY LOWE: When you’re a weirdo it’s hard to find love. It’s even harder when your deformed, murderous, formerly-conjoined brother is wanted for multiple homicides. Thankfully, for the brothers Bradley, Duane (Kevin Van Hentenryck) and Belial, the sequel BASKET CASE 2 finds each of them a love interest at the home for wayward freaks run by Granny Ruth (Annie Ross), who’s a match maker and a half. Even when you’re torn apart, it’s great to be with someone that loves you for you.
JOVY SKOL: I am a sucker for a tragic love story, especially one that doesn’t fit the traditional mold. Add on top of that an unsolved murder, and I’m in love. That’s why I love to revisit Alexandre Aja’s HORNS, a 100% faithful adaptation of the Joe Hill novel. Our lovers are Ig and Merrin, two people who have been together since they were little kids. We get to see via flashbacks both the puppy love exchanges from their youth to their more sexual urges they explore with each other. The reason for these flashbacks is due to the fact that Merrin was murdered prior to the beginning of this film and Ig is the prime suspect. He awakens after a drunken stupor to find horns growing out of his head and this provides a power to get the truth out of anyone who steps near him. It’s this power that he utilizes to find out the truth of what happened to Merrin. However, the truth turns out not to be so simple and the secrets from those around him spill some hurtful facts, including those about Merrin. I’m not going to hit spoilet territory, but the final truth about her death is completely heartbreaking and could be the ultimate act of love one could show. Their story feels unique and universal at the same time and I find myself aching to feel that first love again one only gets once in their life. My favorite line in the movie is “Love makes devils of us all” and I completely agree.
And when I was younger and still confused about my own feelings, I found something so endearing about Tara and Willow on BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER. Not only was Willow’s sexuality not one to come into question, but this new discovery within herself felt so refreshing and natural at the same time. Their relationship never once felt exploited for male consumption. Joss Whedon actually showed middle America (during a time when it was rare to see same sex relationships outside of a gimmick) that love is universal. The relationship evolved over several episodes, which ultimately made the outcome that much more tragic and really tore inside the hearts of BUFFY fans. To this day, I still get upset over it, but find it amazing that this show still finds new fans even after being off the air for several years.
ANDY VANDERBILT: I happen to really love the romance in THE TOXIC AVENGER. It has a take on the beauty-and-the-beast concept — in the madcap Troma style — that’s honestly more sweet than one would expect. The scene where Toxie and Sarah are setting up their new home together is equal parts funny and heartwarming, to me at least. When they hang up the picture of her dog, it hits a chord with me every time.
JON ABRAMS: Since Albert Muller covered SPRING so nicely, which is the one I’d have chosen (either that or Francis and Reba in MANHUNTER, but that one’s not nearly as lovely), I’m going to switch it up and cite the friendship between Peter and Roger in DAWN OF THE DEAD — not a romantic relationship, but one of the better demonstrations of love between true friends that I could name. Remember that Peter is the outsider of the group at first — Stephen and Fran are dating, and Roger is their friend who has plans to meet up with them on the roof of the TV station, knowing Stephen is taking a helicopter away from the cities. So Peter and Roger are the one relationship in the movie we get to witness from start to finish. Both of them being cops, they meet early on during a SWAT raid, which is one of the two most sustained violent setpieces in the movie. Immediately they bond through action. Again, since Stephen and Fran are romantically involved, a lot of the time spent exploring the characters in DAWN OF THE DEAD is seeing Peter and Roger bond over a shared talent for zombie-killing, and eventually, for shoring up the shopping mall into a zombie-proof fortress. There’s a lot more here, but I’m trying to decide if I want to venture into spoiler territory. Is there anybody who hasn’t seen this movie yet? I’ll save the rest for the book, maybe. There’s so much more to write about these guys.
ANDY VANDERBILT: Their camaraderie is one of my favorite parts of the film. When they start looting is priceless.
TRISTAN RISK: Goddamn closet romantic over here… Being a Scorpio and having a streak in me for drama and passion, I’m drawn to the tragic ‘monster who loved a beauty’ stories. The Creature From The Black Lagoon, The Phantom Of The Opera, The Phantom of the Paradise, King Kong… It’s the love I have for that Old Hollywood charm, I suppose. It tends to melt my morbid heart.
MIKE VANDERBILT: As I’m emotionally unavailable, I find my favorite relationship stories are about co-workers. I spend most of my life at work, so it just seems more realistic to me. While not explicitly horror (although its third season’s Carver storyline can be seen as the slasher prototype for AMERICAN HORROR STORY), NIP/TUCK featured one of my favorite “love stories:” Sean McNamara and Christian Troy.
These two vapid, damaged men fought and fussed over four great years of soapy camp, deftly straddling the line between seriousness and camp (something AHS has tossed out the window). No matter what happened—backstabbing, infidelity, bad business decisions, and murder—the moral of the show that Christian and Sean were meant for another. Unfortunately the show’s last two seasons betrayed the characters (making Christian borderline evil) and ended with the two of them parting ways. The show runners missed a golden opportunity by not finally having them walk down the aisle together.
So that’s it from us tonight, but always remember, first comes love, then comes marriage, and then…
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