The Family That Slays Together Stays Together

Dysfunctional Family of Horror? Or Just your run-of-the-mill Dysfunctional American Family?

It’s basically a Public Service Announcement:  The Family that engages in group activities bond with one another on several levels; simply put, without all the psychobabble: it creates a more unified, solid family structure. It creates memories, experiences, emotional bonds and ties.  Of course, in the horror genre, that means the family doesn’t exactly engage in scrabble or dance dance revolution, it usually means murder and mayhem (bwahahaha) creating the types of bonds most of us (hopefully) aren’t willing to achieve.

Yeah, I just put up this pic because I used to love this show! The Munsters!

There is something particularly horrifying about a family of murderers.  One murderer in the family is heinous, a part of the family we would probably try to divorce ourselves from.  But an entire family?  It makes us all wonder:  what went wrong?  Nature or Nurture?  The general reaction would be to assume their is something very very wrong in the DNA structure of a family of murderers.  Another reaction would be to distance ourselves from relatives of the same murderers last name…just in case.  As is generally agreed upon by psychologists nowadays, it’s not nature or nurture, it’s a bit of both.  That’s probably true of a family of killers.

Is there such a thing as a family of murders in real life?  Yes, there is.  Google Sylvia Likens and you’ll read about a horrid woman, her children, and a few other neighborhood children tortured and murderer a teenage girl.  And that’s just one example, which I will save for a much more serious post.  Let’s keep this one light.
Here is my list of

Horror That Promotes Family Unity

The Hills Have Eyes

Okay, so this movie is about a family of vacationers being killed and cannibalized by a family who are the remnants of mining families that refused to move in the 50s.  The government used their old town for testing nuclear weapons and these remaining descendants are disfigured from years of exposure to nuclear fallout.  The remaining people entrap visitors passing through their secluded desert and bad things happen. I haven’t seen the original version, but its premise is somewhat similar. Anyway, this particular movie is about a family of cancerous(I just assume they have cancer cause of the radiation) mutants who do what they apparently have to in order to survive.  One scene that sticks out in my mind is when Doug, walking for help, finds himself in a crater filled with vehicles that span the years.  He doesn’t realize the implications yet, but the viewer understands that these cannibals have preyed on people for decades….creepy.  This clannish family seems to thrive on cannibalism and rape of the people they manage to trap.  My personal view is that you have this clan that refused to be moved off their land and their way of life, so already they don’t like the government, on top of that Lord knows what the nuclear radiation did to their brains and DNA, well, that, and all the inbreeding, so simply put, this is one fucked up family.

And the descendants have been fed on “the other white meat”, so they already have a taste for flesh…..this movie is excellent, if you haven’t seen it, put it on your Netflix queue.  On the other hand, the Carter family that the freaks have been trying to eat do fight back to survive.  So The Hills Have Eyes actually shows what family unity can accomplish on both sides of the tracks (good vs evil).

The Texas Chainsaw Massacre

Now that I’m trying to write about TCM, I never realized that the premise is pretty similar to The Hills Have Eyes….hmmm.   Well, basically a group of teenagers are traveling through some rinky-dink town that’s very nearly a ghost town, and the remaining townsfolk (mainly one inbred family) prey upon those who are driving through.  Is it just me, or do I mention TCM in nearly every post….

Frailty

This little family consists of Daddy Meiks and his two sons, Fenton and Adam.  Daddy Meiks believes that God has told him to rid the world of demons that only he can see.  And he takes his young boys with him to do God’s work.  Is he really doing God’s work or is he just one crazy dude passing the crazy along to his sons, especially his younger son, Adam who believes unquestioningly in his father’s quest.  I love this movie, ’nuff said.

Otis

This is the most light-hearted movie on my list.  Otis is a mentally incompetent buffoon who kidnaps young girls to live an ideal high school romance.  For example, he calls them up on the phone and asks the girl to the prom, if she doesn’t play along with this psycho-ness, he hurts them.  This movie is actually pretty funny.  Not up to par with Sean of the Dead, but funny nonetheless.  Otis kidnaps a beautiful young blonde named Riley.  Her family is beside themselves with fear for her, and all they have is an ass of an FBI agent who is bungling up the investigation (this guy plays such an arrogant ass, it’s hilarious).  The family thinks they found the guy who kidnapped her and try to get revenge for Riley.  The only thing is….well, I’ll stop there, you should go out and watch it.  I thoroughly enjoyed this film.  Also, I am a big fan of Ileana Douglas, who plays the mother in this movie.

Whether you’re a family of freakish cannibalistic inbred mutants or the family fighting off said creeps, the point is:  family needs to stick together in order to survive…so remember kids:  the family that slays together-stays together (alive!)…this Public Service Announcement is brought to you by uncoolghoul.  

4 thoughts on “The Family That Slays Together Stays Together

  1. There was a story about this guy Sawney Bean and his inbred family who lived in a cave in Scotland and when the townsfolk finally found their hideout it was filled with bones.spooky.

  2. Oh yes, I read about this person too, and that is what The Hills Have Eyes is supposed to be based off of, or the tale at least inspired The Hills Have Eyes. And it’s quite a chilling story, one that personally, I think is quite plausible, yet historians believe that this Sawney Bean wasn’t based on any real person. It’s still creepy, just the same. Thanks for your comment, Linda, I really appreciate it.

  3. Have you seen the episode of The X-Files called “Home”? It’s creepy and gross…lol. But the family is definitely trying to protect their way of life. Sort of like the creepers from The Hills Have Eyes….dude I see a running theme here.

  4. Yeah, I’ve seen it. Yup, most definitely a running theme there. People who have to defend their way of life are always wrong…no just kidding, but in this case, yes, it was gross, there is nothing glamorous about inbreeding…lol. I did like that the sheriff’s name was Andy Taylor.

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