by Jessica Locke
I started writing this listicle with New Year’s Eve in mind. Whether you celebrate New Year’s Eve with a fancy party, or celebrate like I do by watching the Twilight Zone marathon on SyFy in your pajamas, there is one thing we all have in common come New Year’s Day – a hangover. We all go in to the new year filled with a renewed sense of purpose that is sure to fade by mid-February but actually end up starting it off feeling like complete shit.
A good hangover is like your own personal horror movie inside your body, and champagne hangovers are just about the worst kind. The mere sight of a bottle of Asti Spumante makes my throat pucker, my stomach gurgle, and my head hurt.
Hungover like me? Here is my list of my top three hangover horror movies listed by symptom:
When every pump of your heart sends blood pulsing through your circulatory system with such force that you are sure that the veins on your temples are visible, and it feels like a tiny dwarf has taken up residency behind your eyeballs and is trying to chisel his way out, you have a headache! What better way is there to relieve the pressure than to drill a hole in your head? And what better way to drill a hole in your head than with a flying death sphere? I submit for your consideration, the 1979 classic Phantasm.
Ah, can’t you feel the blessed relief?
Phantasm is the story of a young man named Mike who discovers that the local mortician is killing people, reanimating their corpses, shrinking them, and sending them to another planet to be slaves. Yes, you read that right. That is the plot.
In compiling this list, I was compelled to rewatch Phantasm as I hadn’t seen it in probably a good 15 to 20-ish years. Let’s put it this way, the last time I saw it I rented it from Blockbuster on VHS. Since it has been so long, I was sure I had forgotten much about the film. What I had forgotten about was how terrible the overall film actually is. Yes, it is a cult classic that has quite the fan base but, lets be honest, while quite enjoyable it is not actually very good.
What I did remember was all the good stuff. Who could forget the imposing image of Angus Scrimm as the Tall Man, a Dickensian name if there ever was one, and his intonement of the word “boy” as he terrorized the character, Michael? One of my favorite sequences of the film shows a nightmare that Mike is having. Seemingly awake, Mike opens his eyes to find the Tall Man standing over him with his arms spread wide like Christ at the Last Supper with apostle like tombstones on either side of him. The floor becomes the ground, and the Tall Man’s otherworldly henchmen who look like demonic Ewoks spring forth and clutch a petrified Mike. Scenes like this and the detailed death of the Caretaker at the blades of a flying ball of death stick in your craw long after you have forgotten the rest and are the reason there are five, yes five, Phantasm movies.
Maybe you puked and wish you hadn’t. Maybe you didn’t puke and wish you had. Either way, your stomach is heaving like it is full of alien slugs, and the only thing that will cure it is to gobble down large amounts of something fatty, greasy, and salty. Too hungover to drive to the nearest greasy spoon to carbo-load? Try some possum!
“I’m so fucking hungry, Bill. I’m so hungry. I never knew anyone could be so hungry. You mind handing me a piece of that that that possum over there?”
That little piece of cinematic gold is from one of my all-time favorite movies, Slither (2006).
Listen, all joking aside, this movie is cringe worthy at parts and gets pretty icky so if you are actually feeling nauseous and you are easily grossed out, you might want to wait until you feel better to watch it. I will say, however, if you can’t stomach it, we can’t be friends because I fucking love this movie.
Slither tells the story of what happens after a meteorite containing an alien being crashes in the woods outside a small town in South Carolina. As is typical with Sci-Fi openings of this sort, the first person to stumble across the crash site becomes the alien’s host, and bad things begin to happen. I admit that the standard issue plot coupled with the use of one of the Horror genre’s most overused tropes, the one where characters are overcome with an insatiable appetite for raw meat, make this movie sound like nothing special.
It is anything but ordinary. First of all, Michael Rooker is in this movie. That fact alone should have you clamoring to see it. The fact that he is the main character who morphs in to a cannibalistic human/alien hybrid with a soft spot for his beautiful wife, Elizabeth Banks, should seal the deal for you.
Secondly, . . . You know what? I could sit here and recount all the gross scenes I love and talk ad nauseam about their influences but why should I do all the work for you? Just watch it.
Even if you don’t like the movie, you should be able to appreciate this song that plays as the credits start rolling.
After a night of hitting the sauce, it is important to drink lots and lots of non-alcoholic fluids. It is the only thing that will de-sand your eyeballs and eventually return your bowels to normal. Many people go the sports drink route but I prefer to drink plain ‘ol water. This is mainly because I’m cheap and I usually don’t feel like leaving the house to procure said sports drinks.
Speaking of being thirsty, do you ever get tired of seeing Timothy Olyphant in a Sherriff’s uniform? I don’t! Talk about a tall drink of water! (Yes, I went there.)
For those of you that are parched, allow me to recommend the 2010 remake, The Crazies. I could not find one specific clip to sell you on this flick but you can find the trailer here or wherever fine trailers are sold.
The Crazies tells the story of what happens after a toxin which has been created by the government finds its way in to a small town’s water supply. The government charges in and tries to contain the situation by basically trying to imprison and/or kill everyone. Sound familiar? Like Slither, this movie is not serving up anything you haven’t seen before; however, it is nicely plated. It’s got lots of juicy gore and some pretty good jump scares. Oh, and did I mention that Timothy Olyphant is in it?
Like other films of its ilk it will make you think twice before turning on the tap to quench your thirst.
What cures a hangover?
Have you tried drinking raw egg mixed with Worcestershire sauce and hot sauce? Have you tried the hair of the dog? Did either of those work? I doubt it. There are many supposed cures out there but the only things that will cure you are hydration and time. I suggest you drink copious amounts of coffee followed by copious amounts of water then curl up on the couch to watch one of these horror flicks.