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Have Yourself A Spooky Shudder Valentine’s Day

by Alex Kirschenbaum Feb 11, 2022

Suppress your bitter aching loneliness this holiday by watching some very anti-Valentine’s Day cinematic relationships on Shudder! We here at Trailers From Hell have culled through all of the least romantic flicks currently showing on that spookiest of movie streaming platforms, and found some intriguing viewing fodder if you’re less-than-receptive to the typical amorous pablum.

Valentine (2001)

This hokey slasher, starring such staples of the early aughts as Denise Richards and David Boreanaz (plus a pre-Grey’s Anatomy Katherine Heigl). A serial killer wanders the streets of San Francisco (with a Los Angeles interlude) wearing a creepy marble Cupid mask, using a variety of slick household items, including an electric drill and a hot iron. Not the healthiest form of romantic self-expression for our Cupid.

White Zombie (1932)

The Haitian-set Bela Lugosi horror classic so memorable it inspired the name of a multiplatinum hard rock band five decades later! In White Zombie, a lovelorn rich jerk Charles Beaumont (Robert W. Frazer) consults with the subtly-named sugar mill proprietor Murder Legendre (Lugosi) to win the affections of the woman who has spurned him, the very engaged Madeleine Short (Madge Bellamy). Legendre has cornered the market on cheap labor by hypnotizing unwitting employees into free zombie workers. Beaumont enlists Legendre to use his nefarious voodoo trickery to zombify Madeleine, though of course Charles gets a bit more than he bargained for in the offing.

Trailers From Hell Guru Mick Garris supplies his trailer commentary for the pre-Code classic:

Bride of Frankenstein (1935)

A revived Frankenstein’s Monster (Boris Karloff) seeks a mate in director James Whale’s brilliant, winking follow-up to the original 1931 Universal classic. Let’s just say that love is an uphill battle for the Monster, comprised of several cadaver pieces, and his newly constructed Bride (Elsa Lanchester). Surprisingly, there is no TFH commentary for this unforgettable sequel. At least, not yet.

Habit (1997)

Reeling after a recent breakup and the death of his dad, the aimless, arty Manhattanite Sam (writer/director Larry Fessenden) finds himself transfixed by the gorgeous and strange Anna (Meredith Snaider) at a Halloween gathering. After incurring a strange disease, Sam begins to suspect that Anna may have a sinister supernatural background.

For further insights into the flick, give TFH Guru Ti West’s trailer commentary a spin:

Frankenhooker (1990)

Power plant bioelectric whiz Jeffrey Franken (James Lorinz), distraught over the extremely violent lawnmower-related accidental death of his fiancee (Patty Mullen), tries to revive her, Victor Frankenstein-style, by harnessing electric circuitry to resurrect what remains of her body, supplemented with the body parts from New York City prostitutes he murders with a particularly explosive new strain of crack he has engineered. Not exactly a testament to the everlasting power of love, this picture.

To glean what makes Frankenhooker tick, watch TFH Guru Mike Mendez’s trailer commentary:

The Stepfather (1987)

A serial killer whose MO is marrying and then murdering families picks the wrong family to mess with in the original The Stepfather, starring Terry Quinn before he got Lost. This film represents the dark side of second marriages.

Behold TFH Guru and The Movies That Made Me podcast host Josh Olson’s trailer commentary below:

Eve’s Bayou (1997)

Set against the background of 1960s Louisiana, the dramatic thriller Eve’s Bayou tells the tale of psychically gifted 10-year-old Eve (a young Jurnee Smollett), as she uncovers the less-than-savory secret life of her father (Samuel L. Jackson), a repeat adulterer.

A Quiet Place to Kill (1970)

A Quiet Place to Kill has no affiliation with the recent John Krasinski-helmed, Emily Blunt-starring dystopic sci-fi horror franchise A Quiet Place. Umberto Lenzi’s giallo A Quiet Place to Kill is a testament to failed marriages, as spiraling race car driver Helene (Carroll Baker) plots to kill her ex-husband Maurice (Jean Sorel) with Maurice’s current wife Constance (Anna Proclemer), and the narrative invariably undergoes a few Hitchcockian hiccups.

Nosferatu, The Vampyre (1979)

The original silent 1922 classic illegal adaptation of Bram Stoker’s classic horror tale Dracula (1897), Nosferatu, is also available on Shudder right now. Werner Herzog’s ethereal, atmospheric remake, starring the always-ethereal Klaus Kinski as the lustful vampiric count and Isabelle Adjani as Lucy Harker, the subject of his unhealthy appetites, is well worth your while.

A Good Woman is Hard to Find (2019)

In Ireland, after local cops appear apathetic about investigating the brutal slaughter of her husband, young mother Sarah Collins (Sarah Bolger) takes matters into her own hands, tracing his absence to a drug-related gangland dispute. Not a happy flick.