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Kathy Shaidle

The Top 7 Horror Movies for Conservatives

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Posted on October 31 2010 11:00 am
Kathy Shaidle blogs at FiveFeetOfFury, now entering its 11th year online. Her latest book is Acoustic Ladylandkathy shaidle, which Mark Steyn calls "a must-read."

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A lot of “conservative movie” lists really push the meaning of “conservative” beyond its strict dictionary limits, veering into the realms of libertarianism, Objectivism and anarchy.

(Starship Troopers [1997]?! Not sure what Burke or Kirk would think of those co-ed showers…)

Frankly, the following list is no exception. I don’t mean to suggest by using the word “conservative” that any of these films provide viewers with either a transcendent and deeply meaningful artistic experience or with models for living a moral life. Being horror films, they are neither wholesome nor particularly edifying.

It’s impossible for me to imagine William F. Buckley, Jr. watching, let alone approving of, any of these movies.

These are not necessarily “conservative horror movies.” But each in its own way is a “horror movie for conservatives.” I hope you’ll see what I mean by the end.

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15 Responses leave one →
  1. October 31, 2010

    Starship Troopers, with a few exceptions, is very conservative. The general theme fighting against evil. The bugs represented yesterday's nazis, today's islamofascists.

  2. October 31, 2010

    Yep, I saw Blue Sunshine. It wasn't as good as I'd hoped — someone should remake it. Maybe David Horowitz! After all, it's an allegory for how 60s actions have sinister modern day consequences.

  3. October 31, 2010

    Another omission — although this is hardly box-office fare, indeed rather esoteric — is the training film produced for the Soviet GRU as an initiation document. Described in the Prologue of Viktor Suvorov's Inside the Aquaruim, the film is the execution of Oleg Penkovskii, 17 May 1963 — alive and fuly conscious, feep first into the furnace of Moscow City Crematorium.

  4. October 31, 2010

    Thanks Kathy. I wasn't really interested in horror movies, but I read your article anyway and found a surprisingly insightful (if slightly Hunter S. Thompson-esque) cultural history of the last half century.

    Now maybe I'll rent The Thing…

  5. November 1, 2010

    "The Thing" remains a sci-fi classic. Low-budget cinema at its best. And let's give some credit to the monster, handily played by James Arness of "Gunsmoke" fame.

  6. November 1, 2010

    Thank you Molly. Any NewsReal reader who rents the original 1950s version of The Thing won't regret it. There is literally never a dull moment. Watching a team of smart, competent men and women handle a seemingly impossible problem, fail then keep trying — it is inspirational in its own way. Plus lots of action and great dialogue.

    • January 18, 2011

      The John Carpenter version of The Thing, though more faithful to the John W. Campbell science fiction story ("Who Goes There?"), is by far the inferior movie of the two.

  7. November 1, 2010

    Nice article. Had a lot of good laughs. Perfect for this time of year.

  8. January 12, 2011

    You can't forget David Cronenberg's "The Brood". It's the darkest of all possible satires of the 70's navel gazing self-help crowd and a comment on the then-relatively-new divorce culture's destructive impact on children, which is its overarching theme. Plus, it's legitimately scary, has some truly creepy moments, and is not for the squeamish!

  9. January 14, 2011

    Don't forget "Fahrenheit 451". They burn books in the film. Books I have treasured and read. It is the most frightening scene I have seen.

  10. January 18, 2011

    The "soldier" (actually airman) who responds "Yeah, that cheered everybody up" to Dr. Carrington in Howard Hawks' The Thing was played by the great Dewey Martin, who, like Jack Davis and some other actors of the 1950s, has been unjustly neglected.

    I also enjoy the repartee when one of the scientists says something like, "Maybe it can read minds," and one of the non-scientists responds with words to the effect of "It's gonna get real mad when it gets to me."

    It's incorrect to say that conservatives want limits to the pursuit of human knowledge, but it's close enough to be uncomfortable. The true conservative approach to the pursuit of human knowledge is that the pursuit of human knowledge should serve the goal of making humanity more virtuous. This was the purpose of natural philosophy as taught by the classical Greek philosophers whose ideas formed the basis of Western culture. Knowledge that does not serve that goal is of debatable value, and the consequences of applying such knowledge to the real world may be disastrous. The movie Frankenstein skirts around this issue, but doesn't deal with it directly except in the most simplistic sense. The M.W. Shelley novel is correctly noted to be about the romantic vs. the conventional and becomes quite philosophical after the creature learns to speak.

  11. April 15, 2011

    If I may say so, which I can, Rooseveltian Liberalism, which by the way defeated Facism and the Communist threat. It's ideals are not making things more equal at the expense of others, but rather this: If you make the mass of people properous, their prosperity will find its way up onto those who rest on them. The economic elites will do well if more people can afford their products, by making the world more equal, you have greater economic growth. In 1965 GNP grew by 6.5%, in our day and age, like between 2002-2007, it barely got past 2%. Liberalism worked. It is time that that fact is recognized.

  12. April 29, 2011

    Is this article for real? Conservative horror movies? i believe that notion is just in the mind of the authorette. She is just using a theory to make catty swipes at conservatives. How boring. The next thing I will read on this site is how conservatives oppress homosexuals. The new n—–s. Typical liberals. Blackontheright

  13. May 2, 2011

    Just a note here. Those of us who have read and love Robert A. Heinlein's 'Starship Troopers' know that the 1997 movie of the same name was a hate crime of major proportions. The only relationship between the book and the movie are the names in the book.

  14. February 14, 2014

    The true conservative approach to the pursuit of human knowledge is that the pursuit of human knowledge should serve the goal of making humanity more virtuous. This was the purpose of natural philosophy as taught by the classical Greek philosophers whose ideas formed the basis of Western culture. Knowledge that does not serve that goal is of debatable value, and the consequences of applying such knowledge to the real world may be disastrous. The movie Frankenstein skirts around this issue, but doesn't deal with it directly except in the most simplistic sense.

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