The 10 Best Summer Horror Movies, By Canadian Death Metallers VHS
For most of us, horror is all about the autumn, when Halloween rears its ugly head and the year begins decorating for its own funeral. But for VHS, Ontario’s premiere gore metal trio and one of our 20 heavy Canadian bands you need to know right now, horror can’t be relegated to only one time of the year — it’s a passion that consumes their every waking moment. In fact, the band’s entire new album, We’re Gonna Need Some Bigger Riffs, is centered around aquatic and beachfront horror stories, from Zombie to The Creature From The Black Lagoon.
As such, VHS have plenty of horror films they worship even during the sunniest, cheeriest months. So to celebrate the height of summer, we asked Mike to pick the 10 best horror movies set during the summertime.
“You really forget how many horror movies take place during the summer,” says guitarist/vocalist Mike Hochins, “and it also seems like the vast majority of these are some of my favorite movies. With the aquatic theme of the new album, I could have just picked movies that we wrote about on the new album [for this list], but I wanted to look outside of those flicks and pick my absolute top 10 and not just the movies we wrote about this time around.”
Here are the 10 summer horror movies Mike dragged out of the surf…
10. Turistas (2009)
“I know what you are thinking: the band that always gets inspiration from 80’s movies is recommending a newer movie. Yup, I most certainly am! Beautiful people, beautiful scenery and then it all goes to shit! Lots of tension and twists in this one, and I was really surprised by how much I liked it.”
9. The Hills Have Eyes (2006)
“I hear people say that horror is a genre of film best viewed in a theater setting, and this is one of the movies that really made this point hit home. This gore fest shook me to my core, and just left me with such a feeling of dread and uneasiness when I left the theater that I still think about it to this day. This is a movie that also might make you think about not going on summer vacation. You never know when you might run into a group of crazy, mutated killers! Not your typical sunshine and bikinis summer horror flick, but this one is so good that it should be mandator. Any fan of horror needs to see this one if they somehow managed to miss it when it first came out.”
8. Friday the 13th Part 6: Jason Lives (1986)
“While I guess all of the Friday The 13th movies had to do with Crystal Lake to a certain degree, this sequel really brought back camp counselors getting brutally murdered to the forefront. This was actually the first Friday The 13th movie I ever saw, and to this day it is still my favorite in the series. The music really stands out on this one, and the songs Alice Cooper did for the soundtrack are amazing. I really couldn’t even think about summer horror without this one coming to mind!”
7. Humanoids from the Deep (1980)
“When I was coming up with the concept for the album and what movies I wanted to draw upon for the lyrics, this one was one of the first that I knew had to be on there. This is such a gory, sleazy piece of trashy cinema. It’s got the two B’s in spades: boobs and blood! The story is a bit nonsensical and I wouldn’t want it any other way. Be prepared to have a shower after this one though, it’s got a lot of sea monsters trying to have their way with unsuspecting beach babes!”
6. Piranha (2010)
“Okay, so I know it may be blasphemous to pick the remake over the original, BUT come on, the remake is like the perfect summer horror flick. Killer fish, tons of bikinis and TONS of gore. Alexandre Aja proved he could make a horror film that was super gory but still super fun with this one. The Piranha song on the album is actually based on the original 1978 movie, but this one would be my go to during the summer.”
5. Madman (1982)
“This one really captured that feeling of sitting around the camp fire telling stories and being scared of what might be out in the bushes ready to kill you violently. This movie had a really cool use of color in the way it was shot, an awesome villain, and some very violent and original kills. Definitely in my top 10 slasher films of all time.”
4. Sleepaway Camp (1983)
“As a kid who was sent to summer camp a few times when I was younger, I always felt like this movie was a pretty accurate representation of what camp life was like — albeit with much more murder and plot twists. Seriously, though, this is a strange and memorable slasher that needs to be a part of any summer horror movie marathon!”
3. Jaws (1975)
“Clearly the best shark movie of all time, and one of the most effective horror movies of all time. The music, the practical FX, and the cast all add up to make one hell of a movie that I could watch over and over. Clearly, the album name is a tribute and parody of this movie. Fun fact, though, there actually isn’t a song about Jaws on our new album. Seemed like it would be too easy of a choice, so we went a bit more obscure with the movies we took inspiration from!”
2. Friday the 13th (1980)
“I guess a few other movies kind of started laying the groundwork for the slasher genre, but this is the movie that really made the style what it is and created a lot of of the tropes that would be beaten to death throughout the ’80s. Looking back now, summer camps being terrorized seem common, but it was a new idea at the time, and clearly it was what people wanted, as the franchise was very successful and it spawned thousands of imitators!”
1. The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974)
“While not a summer movie in the sense of bikinis and beaches, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre definitely uses the backdrop of a dry and sweaty Texas summer to great effect. You can almost smell what the hitchhiker must reek of through the screen. Not only one of the best horror movies of all time in general, but hands down the best summer horror movie of all time, without any question.”
VHS’ We’re Gonna Need Some Bigger Riffs comes out July 25th, and is available for preorder.
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According to the band’s Instagram, the exchange appears to be all in good humor.