Since the beginning of cinema, horror movies have been terrifying audiences in new, unique ways. Sure, as time goes on, the film industry resorts to cheap scares, gore and nudity, but a majority of the time, the true “horror” in the film still outshines those small aspects.
Unfortunately, it’s a truth in the realm of horror in today’s society that not all movies classified as “scary” end up fitting the bill. In fact, many horror films fall so far short that it’s a mystery how they ever ended up categorized in the genre. Sometimes the acting is to blame, sometimes it’s an uninspired plot, but most of the time, the film’s an irreparable mess due to the overuse of sexualized characters with no real motive in the story.
Here are 10 Trashy Horror Movies With More Skin Than Scares.
10 Cheerleader Massacre (2003)
With this film, you’re getting exactly what you’d expect, and that’s not necessarily a good thing. The straight-to-video film follows a group of five cheerleaders (alongside their coach and a group of sexually eager teenage guys) that visit a cabin in the woods and end up losing their lives one by one when a mystery killer aims his sights at them.
While not much is expected from the film from the get-go, even these low standards aren’t met in the end. The film has plot holes, a complete lack of substance and relies solely on the sexuality of the young characters to carry it, which doesn’t end up being enough.
9 Teeth (2007)
By now, this horror film has become notorious in the industry, though not for the right reasons. For many, this cringe-worthy premise is nothing more than a shock-value attempt at horror that falls flat. Following a teenage girl with special abilities that she discovers when she becomes the victim of male violence, never since I Spit On Your Grave has a horror film had such a dark premise.
And the major pitfall of this one is that the premise is just too dark for audiences. The entire film relies on sexuality (and a lack thereof) and condemns the sexually active in a shocking, repulsive way.
8 House of Wax (2005)
This remake of the original Vincent Price film of the same title (1953) stars Paris Hilton, Chad Michael Murray and Elisha Cuthbert, so to say the film’s sex appeal is present would be an understatement. However, a potentially great remake quickly became a letdown as viewers learned the film didn’t have much more than that to offer. Sure, many negative reviews of the film resulted from Hilton’s involvement, but, to be fair to the heiress, the film was still lacking in the horror aspects.
Just because a remake can be made doesn’t mean that it should. Still, if a remake comes to fruition, it should be a rule of thumb that it’s going to need substance and can’t just rely on its cast, no matter how attractive they are.
7 Vampyros Lesbos (1971)
Jesus Franco’s Vampyros Lesbos is yet another horror film that doesn’t quite qualify as scary. More erotica than anything else, the film follows a vixen vampiress that, as the title would suggest, targets female victims. While a lesbian vampire is certainly a creative, albeit odd, character choice, that doesn’t mean that the idea should result in the film.
Unfortunately for us, it did. And as you could probably guess, scares are in short supply while the sexualization of women is at the forefront of the entire film. Of course, there are many that would disagree – in many circles, this film is considered brilliant, even one of Franco’s best works. However, no matter the opinion on the film’s success, it’s very clear that sexuality is valued over the its “scary” qualities.
6 My Bloody Valentine 3D (2009)
On the tenth anniversary of the “Valentine’s Day Massacre,” in which 22 victims lost their lives, Tom Hanniger finds that he is a suspect in their deaths when he returns to town. The only other person that believes the Tom is innocent is his old girlfriend, and the two quickly find themselves at odds with those around them in this mysterious, gory story.
While there’s certainly a plot in this film, it does fall flat. Gore and sexuality can only get you so far in the industry, and when there’s no true substance to make up for it, the film results in disappointment, which is unfortunately the fate of My Bloody Valentine.
5 The New York Ripper (1982)
Based very loosely on the story of infamous Jack the Ripper, The New York Ripper follows a detective and psychoanalyst as they attempt to stop one of the most vicious serial killers they’ve ever come across that stalks and brutally murders young women in New York city.
While a story about such a vicious serial killer has tons of potential, The New York Ripper focuses on the wrong aspect of the film a bit too much, decreasing the horror and increasing the amount of skin. Misogynistic, sleazy and completely demeaning at times, this film highlights all the wrong aspects, which is disappointing considering the untapped potential.
4 Piranha 3DD (2012)
With a title like that, it’s no surprise that this horror film landed a spot on the list. The second installment in the rebooted Piranha franchise stars Danielle Panabaker and Matt Bush in a story that continues after the events at Lake Victoria, as the prehistoric, man-eating fish make their way into a newly opened waterpark.
The film tries to breathe life into an already dying franchise and fails, miserably (at least, for most people). While others will disagree, most find the film a sad attempt at a new plot, and the thinly veiled, sexual agenda of the film undoubtedly takes precedence of the scares, which doesn’t do the movie any favors in the end.
3 Sorority Row (2009)
You can bet that anytime a horror film takes place in a sorority, female sexuality is at the forefront while horror takes a backseat. Unfortunately, Sorority Row does not break this cycle. Following a group of sorority girls that cover-up the accidental death of a sister only to be stalked and picked off by a serial killer, these one-dimensional female characters are strictly used for their sexuality in the plot, which is disappointing for an otherwise adequate film.
Even with Rumer Willis, daughter of Bruce, the female characters aren’t at all powerful, and the catty, typical sorority girl storyline isn’t broken either, both to the detriment of the characters and the film in a broader sense.
2 Texas Chainsaw 3D (2013)
There are almost too many Texas Chainsaw films to count at this point, and Texas Chainsaw 3D isn’t one to take note of. For one thing, the film makes an attempt at redeeming one of the most violent, vicious murderers in horror history, and for another, skimpy clothing and female sexuality take precedence over the suspense typically found in the Texas Chainsaw films.
While the film isn’t a terrible horror film, it’s nowhere near the standards of the original it stemmed from, and the cheesy, over-sexualized, one-dimensional characters don’t help its cause, either. Bottom line: you can’t redeem Leatherface. Don’t try.
1 Zombie Strippers (2008)
Typically, when a horror film stars Robert Englund, best known for playing Freddy Kruger in the Nightmare on Elm Street series, you can assume it’s going to be worth your while. In this case, only a select few will find the merit in a film that covers the zombie epidemic in a Nebraska strip club. The premise is enough on its own to let you know this film isn’t much more than a sleazy, horror spoof at best. While it’s true the film is classified as comedy as well, it’s hard to ignore the importance of skin in this blatantly sexual film.
It’s difficult to discuss a horror film starring Englund without praising it, but Zombie Strippers? Really?
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