Ho-ho-horror, everyone! M.L. Miller aka the @$$hole formerly known as Ambush Bug here. Continuing the countdown fun, I’ve decided to finally compile a list of the Best Holiday Horror Movies this December. Some of these films can be found in theaters, but others have unfortunately only seen the light of day on Video On Demand or simply go straight to DVD, BluRay, or digital download. I’ve tried to indicate in the reviews where you can check these films out as thoroughly as I can.
As far as how I compiled this list? Well, there’s no real method to my special brand of madness. Having seen quite a few holiday horrors, I simply have been keeping a list and checking it more than twice throughout the year. I’ll be counting down every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday through December to my favorite holiday horror film of the year. I’m sure there are some that I’ve missed, overlooked, or simply haven’t seen yet, but that will leave leftovers to cover in upcoming Decembers
So let’s get to it! Chime in after the article and let me know what you think of the film, how on the nose or mind-numbingly wrong I am, and most importantly, come up with your own damn list…let’s go!
#12 STALLED #12
Why is STALLED #12? Because it’s one of the few office party horror films for one thing. And for those of us who know how horrific an office party can be, adding zombies to the mix isn’t a far cry from the terror of seeing Phyllis from HR making out with Frank from mid-management while the shrewish office recluse ends up breaking the glass of the copier after photocopying her ass and the boss hitting on all of the young interns. In this time of inter-office turmoil, there’s nothing like the office as a setting for terror. And while STALLED is more of a horror comedy than straight up horror, it has a decent amount of gore and genuinely unique moments of weirdness to be a modern classic. You can find it here on Amazon here!
Directed by Christian James
Written by Dan Palmer
Starring Dan Palmer, Antonia Bernath, Tamaryn Payne, Mark Holden, Giles Alderson, Sarah Biggins, Victoria Broom, Victoria Eldon
Find out more about this film here and on Facebook here
Because of the inundation of zombie films, it’s tough for a film about the living dead to get ahead of the herd. In order to do so the film either has to have a super star in the cast or come at the subgenre from an angle that hasn’t been tried before. Now, the zom-com has been tried before, but very few of these films are as successful at being entertaining as STALLED is.
For the most part, STALLED is a one man show as a night janitor is trapped in a ladies’ bathroom stall during the zombie apocalypse on Christmas Eve. That one man is writer Dan Palmer, who does a great job of doing all of the heavy acting lifting here as the timid and nebbish janitor who thinks quick on his feet and may have a bit of a selfish streak to him, but those are attributes that do well during a zombie apocalypse.
Played for laughs, the film doesn’t shy away from the gore. Heads are crushed in toilet bowls, brain matter splats onto the camera lens, hammers are embedded into foreheads, and fingers are lopped off by the handful. If you’re looking for a horror/comedy tone to compare it to, I’d liken STALLED to DEAD ALIVE, as the zombies are played for laughs despite the dark and dangerous circumstances the janitor has found himself in.
Filled with some solid humor, such as a sequence where the janitor trips on acid in the stall and dreams he and the zombies have a Michael Jackson style dance routine which begins with the janitor crowd surfing across the zombie horde to the tune of techno music, STALLED almost plays out as a “What if Charlie Chaplin was stuck in the zombie apocalypse?” scenario as the film plays as a series of funny bits laced together loosely, increasing in dire circumstances and power of the laugh as the film goes on. There are some genius bits of silent cinema at play here as the facial expressions and wacky Rube Goldbergian scenarios play out with the zombies falling victim most of the time.
Not all horror has to be super serious and dire. Sometimes it’s best to laugh in the worst scenarios and that’s exactly what STALLED does. STALLED takes a simple scenario and runs full blast with it. Honestly, there are probably only fifteen people in this film and most of them shuffle around as mindless zombies. Palmer as the janitor plays a version of the classic underdog who one can’t help but root for despite one bonehead decision after another. There’s a lot to love about STALLED; a quality indication that you don’t have to go big to get big laughs and make a good zombie movie.
If you like what I said about, help me out and click on the link to buy it on Amazon here!!!
THE COUNTDOWN SO FAR…
#13 – THE HORROR NETWORK V.1 “Merry Little Christmas” segment
#12 – STALLED
M.L. Miller goes by many names—Ambush Bug, Mark L. Miller, hey you jerk over there! He’s an original @$$Hole/wordslinger/writer of wrongs/reviewer/interviewer/editor of MLMILLERWRITES.COM. Follow Mark on the Twitters @Mark_L_Miller.
I’ve also set up a Patreon Page to help keep this website rolling. It’s going to be crucial in these early stages that we get some kind of funding to keep the lights on, so if you have extra dough, please support me! Also, if there are any people in need of advertising on MLMILLERWRITES, feel free to contact me here and we can talk turkey!