Apparently, it’s happened again. I blinked and suddenly summer was over. WTF? I was just pulling out my floaty flower-print dresses and strappy sandals five minutes ago, wasn’t I? Now I’m hunting for sweaters and boots. Ah well. Tempting though it may be to mourn summer’s demise, let’s look on the bright side. It’s October, peeps! Fall colors, crisp chill in the air, everything under the sun made with pumpkin, everything under the sun made with apples, and, oh yeah. Halloween!
To be honest, I’m not actually a costume kinda gal, so Halloween parties don’t do much for me. On the other hand, Halloween also means horror movies. Scary, spine-tingling, watching-with-one-eye covered spooky thrillers. Yippee! To be clear, horror movies for me are not slasher gore fests. Too much blood and guts just becomes more gross than ghoulish. What I want from my horror movies is a good and proper scare. The kind where you’re curled up into a ball on your couch, feeling the hairs on your head standing straight up, wanting to look away but no way in hell do you dare. Those are the fun ones, the ones worth many repeat views. I remember the first time I saw When A Stranger Calls, the 1979 version. Teenage babysitter alone in the house with kids sleeping upstairs. She starts getting creepy ass phone calls replete with heavy breathing in which a stranger keeps asking if she’s “checked the children.” Suspense builds as the scare-o-meter jumps with every call until finally, after the babysitter asks the police to trace the calls it’s discovered that they’re coming from inside the house!!! Ahhh!!
That’s the kind of horror movie I’m talking about. And yet, being a true Lady of Smut, I’ll readily admit that if a horror movie also weaves in sensual, sexy, even erotic elements into the plot, it’s icing on the spooky cake. The primal fear and desire instincts work in the horror genre, both on film and in print. Why? I think film writer Martyn Conterio aptly explains it this way: Horror films can be seen as the battleground between the mind and the body. Between fears and pleasures of the flesh. Eroticism is a striking feature of so many classics and cult movies, whether forming a small part of the overall experience or more explicitly focused. Psychological terrain explored in nightmare movies can be freaky, scary and downright weird. For it is true that sex and death rule the cinematic imagination as they rule life.
There are now four weekends until Halloween, four weekends in which to enjoy sexy scary flicks. But what to watch? How to know what works? Why, I thought you’d never ask. Below, in no particular order, some suggestions to get your sexy spook on.
First off, let me say something about vampire flicks. Sex and biting go as well together as butts and plugs. Or…well, you get the point. It works. We all know vampires are hot. This is by far the most prevalent theme in the erotic horror genre and there are several scary sexy vamp movies to choose from, including:
The Hunger. David Bowie, Susan Sarandon, Catherine Deneuve. Sexy vampire Deneuve needs a new lover when her current one (Bowie) starts aging too fast. She sets her sights on Susan Sarandon. Lesbian vampire sex! And if you need more where that comes from…
Daughters of Darkness. A tale featuring that most ruthless of beauty seekers, Countess Elizabeth Bathory, who killed virgins so she could bathe in their blood and perpetuate her youth. When a young couple has the misfortune of crossing her path, it’s curtains for the husband, but the Countess decides that his young wife is just the lover she’s been seeking. The two women eventually kill the husband and drink his blood and have hot lesbian relations. Yummy! And lastly on this theme:
Vampyros Lesbos. Just like it sounds.
Dracula. I’m specifically talking about the 1992 Francis Ford Coppola version. Keanu Reeves gets down and dirty with three hot Brides of Dracula. This movie has made numerous “sexiest erotic horror movies ever made” lists. Decide for yourself whether you agree.
Thirst. Korean director Chan-wood Park’s spin on a vamp tale, this one involves a priest who gets infected during a blood transfusion and turns into a vampire. The interesting part of this set-up is that in his former life the priest had made a decision to avoid those tempting sins of the flesh. After his transformation, however…well, he feels a little different.
For some non-vampire sexy scares, let me suggest:
Cat People. This is another one on several critics’ “best erotic horror” lists, largely due to the provocative performance of 21-year-old Nastassja Kinski. She plays a young woman descended from an ancient bloodline causing her to mutate into a murderous blank panther after having sex. Kinski prowls about the film like the panther she is, oozing sex appeal with every scene. Oh, and the skinny dipping scene is hot, too.
Jennifer’s Body. Mean Girl Megan Fox is a succubus who must dine on man flesh to stay alive. Yeah, OK, it’s vampire-ish, but not in the classical sense. Written by Diablo Coty (she of Juno fame), Jennifer’s Body is silly and campy, scary and hot.
Hellraiser. Clive Barker’s S&M zombie flick will be 30 years old next year but hasn’t aged a bit in failing to seduce and scare.
And last but not least…Under the Skin. Never heard of this one? You’re in popular company. Scarlett Johansson plays The Female, a woman who gallivants around Scotland seducing men before ending their lives through submersion in a giant vat of black liquid. ScarJo gives us plenty of skin, and so do others. This isn’t a typical Hollywood film and some have criticized its slow pace. But for sure it’s got the creep factor, and the nakedness, and the seductive pull of a good erotic horror.
Have I left anything out? A sexy fright you think should be on the list? Give me a shout in the comments, and pass the popcorn.
Elizabeth Shore writes both contemporary and historical erotic romance. Her newest book is an erotic historical novella, Desire Rising, from The Wild Rose Press. Other releases include Hot Bayou Nights and The Lady Smut Book of Dark Desires.