While most people tend to act like Memorial Day Weekend is more like "4 Day Weekend in which we BBQ!", we here at THC take it for what it is; a remembrance and celebration of brave and selfless Soldiers who serve and have served in the Military. Some of our very own family and friends are serving now, deployed to far away lands to force democracy on people who don't even speak English. All of us have Parents and Grandparents, or other loved ones who have served, and kicked all kinds of ass. We don't love War, but we do love our Soldiers.
Whether you're American or not, the same thing applies to you too, so let's all honor Soldier's both present and past together, shall we? Let's do it by watching some Military themed horror flicks this weekend. It may seem morbid, but at least this way it's less depressing. We cry fairly easy around here.
There are a few horror flicks that have to do with the modern day conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan, even though those conflicts are alive in well in various ways. They usually involve some U.S. troops pissing off a Djinn or some ancient Islamic spirits and paying the price, which I guess is a metaphor of some sort? The Devil's Tomb is the best of them in our book, although Osombie looks pretty interesting... alright, Osombie looks fucking stupid, but it makes us laugh. Plus, who doesn't want to see him killed twice, you know? Most other flicks in this category are decent enough if the modern day war efforts tug at your interest strings.
The real bread and butter of War themed Horror movies involves Nazi's and WWII. There are tons of Nazi horror movies around, most of them involving them coming back as zombies. We have to admit that as awful as the Nazi's were, they do make for good film villains, so we're usually down for these kinds of flicks. The Devil's Rock is one of the better horror flicks we've seen recently, and one of the best Nazi/Occult flicks we've ever seen. It has an genuine WWII feel about it, and is all kinds of effective. Blood Creek is awesome too and extremely unknown/underrated. All I'm saying is Nazi Necromancer and zombie horses... amazing, right? The Keep is a classic, and one of our faves.It's cheesy in spots, but a demon destroying S.S. Soldiers is a thing of beauty. Below is creepy and subtle, and reminds us that all submarines are haunted. All of these flicks are definite must see material.
Nazi ghosts and zombies are always out for revenge. Whether protecting their bunker's, their hidden gold, or trying to return and conquer the world again, they always manage to look cool on screen and evoke this sort of creepy nostalgia... even if some of them are cheesy and full of schlock.
There are also other horror flicks that take place in other wars, and they all deliver their goods and sometimes even some heavy messages. Dog Soldiers, the best werewolf movie ever (according to us), shows that Soldiers can be in danger even during routine training exercises. It's a top notch flick. Pan's Labyrinth shows the effects that WWII had on a little girl in Spain, and does so in a haunting and beautiful manner. It's a world class film by Guillermo Del Toro. R-Point takes the creepy action to Vietnam and delivers a pretty good ghost story with some fun twists. Deathwatch, the only WWI horror flick we've ever seen, takes place in a trench on the western front, and delivers the evil spirit goods.
So you see, there are plenty of ways for we horror fans to pay homage to the veterans of the world this Memorial Day Weekend, and and do so in a way that's less sad and depressing.
As for the love...
War is what it is. It forever changes the lives of the brave men and women who don the uniform of their homeland and fight for what it is they believe in. Some never return home, while other return shells of their former selves. It embitters some while filling others with a sense of selfless pride.
For those of us who are not, nor have never been soldiers, it is our duty to honor and respect the men and women of the armed forces as best we can. We may not believe in the war that they wage, but it's not about that int he least. Soldiers are some body's parent's, somebody's children. They are brothers and sisters and loved ones. They have shitty jobs to do, and they do them for very little money and almost no praise. They endure horrific things on behalf of those that can not. They protect. They defend. They sacrifice their lives and often times their souls, so that the rest of us may live free and not have to sacrifice our own.
If we see a man or woman in uniform on the street or in a restaurant, we should say thank you. A quick simple word of thanks, a pat on the shoulder, or an "I'm glad you're home" suffices. Send them over a drink and raise your glass with a silent nod of the head. Quietly pick up their lunch tab, and leave them to wonder who it was. Big or small, just do something. With everything that they've seen and endured, a small gesture of genuine love or appreciation goes a hell of a long way.
Just don't call them "Hero" though, because they'll never cop to that. Heroes never do.