Saturday, August 7, 2010

You May Now Kill the Bride

It’s been a big week for holy matrimony, as California finally acknowledged that if Tom Cruise can stand below the veiled chin of three and counting women, then maybe same sex marriage isn’t the first sign of the modern apocalypse. And thus, in honor of progressivism and romance, I give you a few of horror cinema’s happiest--okay, really just horrific--wedding stories.

1. Beetlejuice

As wedding dresses go, one could do a whole lot worse than Winona Ryder’s epically burgundy ball gown in Tim Burton’s 1988 bizarro comedy. On the other hand, Michael Keaton’s ghostly menace seems like unfortunate husband material. Bad oral hygiene. A lust for underage women and the habit of hitting on everything without a Y chromosone. Thankfully, the 15 year old (!) Lydia is spared an eternity of fast-talking teleporting thanks to the divine intervention of giant snake. It’s how all weddings should end.

2. Flowers In the Attic

Not overly horrific and even less good, this unfortunate adaptation of the seminal teenage novel departs from its original (and superior) source material to end with the marriage of evil Corinne Dollanger to the wealthy playboy Bart Winslow. Though they would’ve made an attractive couple, the modest wedding is interrupted by the objection of her surviving children, a trio of sad-eyed blonds still a little sore from being locked up in a single bedroom (and titular attic)  for four years. What to give your cruel, homicidal mother for her big day? How about a sweet little cookie powdered in arsenic. 

3. Hausu

It’s the lack of a wedding that spurs the action (I think) in this surreal Japanese horror comedy (I think) about a sleepover gone horribly awry. Years ago, a woman only known as Auntie was engaged to a handsome young soldier whose untimely death birthed a bizarre curse over the house she waited in (seems like it). In a possible attempt to reclaim her past, the sometimes wheelchair-bound (and eyeball crunching) Auntie now lures marriable young women to her hidden estate in order to collect their energy (perhaps) to build her wedding dress and call back from the depths of death her long-lost fiance. Believe it or not, the movie makes far less sense than my description but there are worse crimes in cinema than kookiness.

4. Bride of Chucky

Chucky & Tiffany, together forever. The ring is six sizes too big and ripped off a still bloody corpse. The dress is second hand from an uptight doll and guest list a mere pair of kidnapped runaways, but despite a less than fairy tale start, these two crazy kids make it work. Need further proof? The best thing to come out of this miniature wedding night (i.e., Seed of Chucky) happens to be the best sequel to come out of this franchise.

5. Salo

When hosting a month of sexual debauchery with underage, unwilling victims, it’s apparently quite important to pack a one-size-fits-all wedding gown, or so the horrible Italian nobles of Pier Paolo Pasolini’s 1975 shocker prove. Between unappetizing, unsanitary feasts and being poked, chained, and urinated upon, a group of unlucky teens partake in underage, unconsummated marriage with both their peers and middle-aged captors. No matter how many drunken in-laws, overeager DJs or bridezillas you’ve encountered, there’s never been a less seemly wedding than in Salo.

He’s a pin-headed millionaire with a talent for creative kills. She’s a wealthy white collar criminal mastermind with a taste for leather. He wears an oversized stone mask. She wears very little. His only companions are a kidnapped girl band, trio of killer dolls and loyal clown-faced butler. She’s unfulfilled by a pea-brained husband with a penchant for thongs. In many ways, the ruthless villains of Blood Dolls are made for each other, even if they spend the first 80 minutes of this Full Moon cheapie plotting the other’s demise. Although their unexpected marriage is initially doomed by a Clue-like fake ending, Virgil and Moira are saved by the divine intervention of a stoic, spiritual servant with the painted face of a circus clown. Just like Diana and Charles.

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