FINAL GIRL explores the slasher flicks of the '70s and '80s...and all the other horror movies I feel like talking about, too. This is life on the EDGE, so beware yon spoilers!

Oct 7, 2020

FAVE 20: Anthony Hudson

Anyone who knows me knows that I make a lot of bad decisions. From cutting my hair whilst not looking at my hair to impulse buying the Leprechaun DVD box set to substituting salsa for spaghetti sauce...listen, I may be the eternal village elder but that certainly does not make me wise! However, once in a Nell moon I make a decision that is actually to my benefit, and one of those decisions was emailing Anthony out of the blue and saying "Hey, do you want to do a podcast?" Recording Gaylords of Darkness every week has become the highlight of every week for me because it means I get to spend some time living, laughing, and loving horror movies with one of the smartest, funniest, most creative people I have ever had the pleasure of knowing. If you live in or around Portland OR I know you know all of this, because you've likely seen Anthony performing as drag clown Carla Rossi, or maybe you've attended one of the essential Queer Horror nights that Rossi hosts. (Remember going places and doing things? HA HA HA) Maybe your introduction is this list of movies! Whatever the case, now you know what I know: Anthony is the best! Hmm, maybe I will try to make these so-called "good decisions" a habit.

Now where did I put my scissors...

THE BLAIR WITCH PROJECT (1999, Daniel Myrick and Eduardo Sánchez)

I might not have ranked the others, but I want to crown this perfect little gem as my #1 because SHE HAS EARNED IT. I've been terrified of this movie since I first saw Tabitha Soren talk it up on MTV News, and my love affair with Elly Kedward - or found footage - hasn't let up since. It’s still the only horror movie I won't watch alone. And never forget that Heather Donahue (both the character and actor) is a goddamn formative feminist filmmaker, goddamnit.

HALLOWEEN (1978, John Carpenter)

You never forget your first. That said, I'm not sure this was my first because I've forgotten, but I still love this classic as much as I hated that new hack job reboot.

SUSPIRIA (2018, Luca Guadagnino)

As if you had to ask. This film is my politics, this film is my life.

THE SILENCE OF THE LAMBS (1991, Jonathan Demme)

In addition to launching a teenage/rest-of-my-life obsession with Clarice Starling, FBI, this was one of my earliest gateway horror films, and might always be among my very top - transphobic warts and all.

BRIDE OF CHUCKY (1998, Ronny Yu)

Jennifer Tilly as Tiffany Ray was a femme fatale / icon / gender identity game changer for middle school Anthony, and this ignited my now decades-long love affair with the Child's Play series and its Martha Stewart references.

THE WITCH (2015, Robert Eggers)

For once the ending we deserve (though I'm not sure we even deserve it) is the ending we got. I couldn't believe it. I've been floating with Thomasin ever since.

BLOOD RAGE (1987, John Grissmer)

The only way to make Louise Lasser more chronically watchable is to put her in a gory Thanksgiving slasher movie full of sexy people in great '80s outfits - except she's dressed like Jon Benet Ramsey and eats green beans off the floor from the refrigerator. See? Chronically watchable. This movie is my kind of perfect.

SLEEPAWAY CAMP (1983, Robert Hiltzik)

Aunt Martha. Angela. Judy. Meg. M. E. G.

FRIGHT NIGHT (1985, Tom Holland)

A gay-soaked classic and one of my all-time I-could-watch-this-every-days. Charlie is still the cutest boy, and I love live-in-carpenters, Amanda Bearse's vampire hair extensions, and the weird he's-gonna-be-a-porn-star-ness of Stephen Geoffreys' Evil Ed.

THE DESCENT (2005, Neil Marshall)

One of the few times (as a non-child) that I’ve nearly left the theater out of sheer fear! And that was before any of the HORRIBLE DRIPPY MONSTERS showed up.

THE STEPFORD WIVES (1975, Bryan Forbes)

I love this movie and the women in it so, so much. Joanna and Bobbie are my favorites and I’ll never stop crying for them.


This movie is so goddamn cool, the score is so goddamn cool, "Mother" is so goddamn cool, Delphine is so goddamn cool. I want to live in this movie.

THE LORDS OF SALEM (2012, Rob Zombie)

According to Robert Zombie's song of the same name, God hates the Lords of Salem, but I love them. I'm an admitted Zombie apologist, but this is by far his best (and a sometimes strangely thoughtful) film. How to hook me in the first minute? Have a filthy Meg Foster say "in the name of Satan."

DAWN OF THE DEAD (1978, George A. Romero)

Romero's masterpiece might be Day of the Dead, but Dawn is where it all started for me. I just love a blue zombie - and great, now I have "The Gonk" stuck in my head.

MARTYRS (2008, Pascal Laugier)

I’ve seen this movie way more times than I should probably admit. There’s something so beautiful about it that I still can’t quite put my finger on. I’ve always said if I ever ended my QUEER HORROR series I’d end it with this, and just before Anna’s final journey we’d stop the movie and provide wine and grief counselors for a processing break.

BANSHEE CHAPTER (2013, Blair Erickson)

Don't mind the egregious use of After Effects ghost face in the ending - with the exception of that final frame, this movie is pretty rad and gives me the willies. If I ever watched it in VR (it was originally designed for Oculus Rift, hence its found footage shooting style, though only the opening scene is meant to be found footage) I would poop myself. And it got me obsessed with the abject horror of numbers stations, so.

THE FINAL GIRLS (2015, Todd Strauss-Schulson)

I have what are called "mommy issues," so I cried my way through the entirety of this film on my first watchthrough. A deep emotional core elevates (oops, am I not supposed to use that word?) what could have been a campy comedy to a truly loving homage to Friday the 13th, the Final Girls we grew up rooting for, and women's relationships. And Malin Akerman's final dance sequence to that song gets me every damn time.

AS ABOVE SO BELOW (2014, John Erick Dowdle)

I love this movie so much and I don’t care what anyone thinks! It freaks me out, Scarlet is the best, and it’s the closest thing I’ll ever get to the (found footage) Tomb Raider movie of my dreams.


I'm trying to lean into just horror proper here, but when I think of my favorites I immediately go to this seasonal tradition. It's like Ghostwatch meets The Amityville Horror re-recorded through a VCR four times, complete with terrible local commercials. The psychics are weirdos based on Ed & Lorraine Warren and they gauge paranormal activity through their cat. Like I could love anything more?

NOROI: THE CURSE (2005, Kôji Shiraishi)

I feel like I'm cheating since I've only recently seen this movie for the first time thanks to Stacie and Gaylords! But I haven't stopped thinking about it since. I'm thinking about it right now. And Kagutaba. And the ectoplasmic worms. And that nightvision shot where SHE'S RIGHT THERE AND THEY'RE CRAWLING ALL OVER HER OH MY GOD WHY WOULD SOMEONE MAKE THIS


goblin said...

Somehow, Noroi: The Curse eluded me while I compiled my list. Oh well, there'll always be SHOCKtober 2025.


Stacie Ponder said...

2025 is gonna be LIT! Probably literally know. Climate change hahahaHAHAHA

Peter said...

I think that’s more properly National Treasure Anthony Hudson.

Stacie Ponder said...

I'll do better in 2025 :(

Unknown said...

I love found footage so much, and was sad because I thought I had seen every halfway decent entry into the subgenre out there. Thank you so much to the Gaylords of Darkness for alerting me to the fact that I was missing out on maybe the best example of found footage ever?

Noroi: The Curse was just incredible and it has definitely jumped onto my lists just since your episode too!

Catsparkles said...

I love the WNUF Halloween Special so much and so appreciate that it and The Final Girls make the list!

Colleen said...

Amazing list...... No surprise there!!

Steve said...

As Above, So Below definitely relieved my found footage fatigue. It has strong The Descent vibes too.

Steve K said...

I am LITERALLY watching Blood Rage right now. OMG IT IS EVERYTHING.