Here at Castle Blogferatu we can be just as ridiculously festive as anyone given the right time of year. Take Valentine’s Day for example. We’re quite fond. Candy, roses (black of course), hearts hanging everywhere—what’s not to love? What do you mean “Where did the hearts come from?” Mind yer business.
Plus there’s the added bonus that the day has a bit of a gruesome history—martyrdom and beheadings and such. There’s a swell piece by Lisa Bitel about it at The Conversation.
And so, in honor of the day’s gory origins as well as the fact that love goes little sideways now and then, as a late Valentine’s Day prezzie, I give you my Top 10 “Valentines” Gone Horribly Wrong.
#10 The Witch Who Came In From The Sea (1976)
Before there was Alex in Fatal Attraction, there was Molly in The Witch Who Came In From The Sea. On one hand, she really wants love and/or a father figure. Unfortunately she conflates the two, and intimacy ends up triggering violence. Sex, drugs, homicidal daddy issues—what more could Cupid want?
#9 Honeymoon (2014)
Had to work some Lovecraftian stuff in here. Newlyweds Paul and Bea head off to spend their post-nuptials in a, wait for it, cabin in the woods. And more along the lines of Cabin In The Woods or Evil Dead than, say, Friday The 13th, some cosmic weirdness unfolds.
#8 The Love Witch (2016)
Elaine is another poor soul who just wants to be loved. At any cost. Not a huge fan of this one if I’m honest, but it certainly fits into this week’s list, and good lord & butter is it ever as gorgeous a piece of cinema as anyone would want to behold. Seriously, story aside, it’s visually stunning and fun as hell with its 70s vibe.
#7 What’s The Matter With Helen? (1971)
Adelle (Debbie Reynolds) and Helen (Shelley Winters) become kind of inextricable from each other after their sons get arrested for murder. Their friendship becomes pretty solid, although Helen’s attachment to Adelle goes somewhat beyond mere friendship. All of this gets thrown into turmoil and disarray with the arrival of Lincoln (Dennis Weaver) who becomes Adelle’s love interest. Also, it’s written by Henry “What Ever Happened To Baby Jane” Farrell.
#6 Ready Or Not (2019)
Speaking of Lovecraftian stuff…okay, the cosmic horror is mainly implied here and takes a back seat to the survivial horror at least until the end. It’s a grisly little romp as Samara Weaving does her best to survive her newly wedded bliss.
#5 [REC]3: Genesis (2012)
This kinda combo prequel/parallel storyline is Paco Plaza’s solo effort in the series. I think it holds up pretty well, much more so than the 4th installment. Lots of what I believe to be Kill Bill references as well as The Blood Spattered Bride (can hardly have one without the other), especially given A) Clara’s ultimate fate, B) the fact that it takes place on her wedding day, and C) the bloody swath she cuts through the wedding venue.
#4 “Julie,” Trilogy Of Terror (1975)
Trilogy Of Terror was quite the horrific experience for 10-year-old me, and its scares still hold up today. Not bad for an ABC Movie Of The Week. “Julie” is a very cool take by Richard Matheson on the whole Bluebeard/black widow idea. Julie is an English professor who is seemingly blackmailed into a sexual relationship by one of her students. Seemingly.
#3 My Bloody Valentine (1981)
Ah yes, the ol’ “oops we left 5 miners unsupervised so’s we could go to the Valentine’s dance but the mine blew up” storyline, a tried and true plot device dating back to the time of Sophocles if I’m not mistaken.
#2 Cutting Class (1989)
What? Brad Pitt? In a bad 80s slasher? Oh hell yeah! The less said the better in case y’all have let this diamond in the rough, nay, this gem, nay, this apotheosis of slashy 80s schlock somehow slip past you.
“Amateur Night” (V/H/S). Crimson Peak, Donkey Punch, Fatal Attraction, Let The Right One In, Pigs, Private Parts (1972), Psycho, The Cook The Thief His Wife And Her Lover, The Loved Ones
#1 “Only Skin Deep,” Tales From The Crypt S6 E2 (1994)
Hands down my favorite on this list and one of my favorite Tales From The Crypt episodes. Very loosely based on a story of the same name from Tales From The Crypt V1 #38, alpha dirtbag Carl crashes his ex-wife’s Halloween party. There he meets the mysterious, masked Molly (another Molly). I don’t wanna spoil this, other than to say that all Molly apparently wants is some passion, but some guys just can’t leave well enough alone.
And that’s our list along with a healthy serving of Honorable Mentions. Which of these have you seen? What’s missing? Lemme know in The Comments.