The Top 10

We’ve all had that experience of watching a horror movie and yelling, “No, you idiot!” -or at least thinking it. Perhaps no other genre is populated by so many boneheaded characters, committing acts of colossal stupidity which usually lead to their own demise and/or the demise of others. Yet in a way, we should be thankful for these blundering clods. After all, it’s only when the stuff hits the fan that the movie kicks into high gear. So here’s to the most mind-boggling blunders ever witnessed in the annals of fright flicks…

The Top 10 “Doh!” Moments in Horror Movie History


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10. Boobs in the Woods – The Evil Dead (1981)


Question: If you found the recorded diary of a scholar who had been destroyed by demons he accidentally summoned up by reading an ancient incantation, would you play back the tape of him reading it? Apparently this never occurred to Ash and company, who elbow each other and giggle while the gates of hell open up in the forest outside their cabin.

9. Life’s a Beach, and Then You Die – Jaws (1975)


Perhaps there’s no stock horror movie character more infuriating than the cynical, shameless profiteer who blows everything to hell through his greed/pride. Take the mayor of Amity, for example, who sees fit to keep the beaches open for the holiday weekend despite repeated shark attacks. The result: instant smorgasbord!

8. Friends Don’t Let Friends Drive Dumb – Night of the Living Dead (1968)


I don’t care if there was a whole lovey-dovey scene right beforehand that was set up to make me feel sympathy for these two dolts. I can’t feel sorry for people who decide to drive off into a crowd of zombies in a truck covered in flaming gasoline. When they finally decide to jump ship, the broad gets her stupid jacket stuck in the door. No wonder they end up as barbecue.

7. Curse, Shmurse! – The Mummy’s Hand (1940)


In one of the most blatant acts of Eurocentric arrogance ever captured on film, archaeologist Steve Banning and his team scoff at the warning inscribed over the tomb of Kharis as they proceed to desecrate his resting place and incur his murderous wrath. Jeez, you’d think these guys had never seen a mummy movie. Oh wait, they’re in one.

6. Military Intelligence? – 28 Weeks Later (2007)


With a new outbreak of the rage virus on the verge of exploding, the American peacekeeping forces come up with the bright idea of locking up the civilian population in a cramped little room with no light and no access to the outside. Once the raged-up Begby from Trainspotting shows up in their midst, it’s all over but the shouting…

5. What Part of “Do Not Feed After Midnight”… – Gremlins (1984)


It was a simple set of rules, really. Yet in the course of 90 minutes, the characters in this movie manage to accidentally break every one…repeatedly. Of course, the worst of these infractions leads to a town full of havoc-wreaking green cretins. Alright, so Stripe messed around with the alarm clock, but come on now, wasn’t anyone wearing a watch??

4. Brit Nitwit – Shaun of the Dead (2004)


We all may love Ed–he’s perhaps the coolest buddy in buddy movie history. But which one of us wasn’t cringing when the well-meaning lug turned on that blaring arcade game in the Winchester, instantly turning the once-cozy pub into a scene of mass zombie mayhem?

3. Who Let Out the Gas? – The Return of the Living Dead (1985)


When you think about it, the nuclear destruction of most of Kentucky could’ve been avoided if that idiot Frank hadn’t been such a show-off and decided to whack that canister to show off how “sturdy” it was, releasing the dreaded trioxin compound–and a very hungry Tarman.

2. Walter Peck is an Ass – Ghostbusters (1984)


Rarely had such rage been built up in my little nine-year-old body as it was watching the EPA’s most infamous agent order the NYPD to shut down the Ghostbuster’s ecto-containment unit. Everyone in the audience and in the movie knew better, except Mr. Peck, and before you knew it, the Big Apple was up to its stem in free-floating, full-torso, vaporous apparitions.

and finally, the top “Doh!” moment in horror movie history…

1. Fritz Loses His Mind – Frankenstein (1931)


Yep, it’s the granddaddy of all horror screw-ups. If you’re anything like me, you’ve probably given at least a little thought to how things might’ve played out if Dr. Frankenstein’s assistant had only managed to bring the right brain back to the lab. Why, the rest of the movie probably would’ve consisted of the doctor and his freakish creation playing backgammon and discussing Proust over a spot of tea. On second thought, maybe I’m kind of glad Fritz dropped that jar…

For more of my opinions on the world of horror, plus news and other interesting stuff, check out my daily blog, The Vault of Horror.