Okay, so you’re on a first date. Things are going well. You started the evening with coffee, followed by dinner and then several drinks at the bar. Now it’s past midnight. You’re drunk, horny and wondering what to do next. Then it hits you. Why not head back to your place to watch a really fucking weird movie? To your utter amazement, your date agrees. What happens now is crucial. You don’t want to spend an eternity browsing Netflix. That’s a real libido killer. Instead, think of this moment as a chance to show your impeccable taste in cinema. And since this is a first date, why not exploit the age-old tactic of cuddling up to a horror movie? But what are you going to watch? Don’t worry. I’ve got you covered. Here are ten foolproof first date horror movies that are weird as hell and guaranteed to make for a memorable first date.
Imagine if John Waters directed a post apocalyptic film and you’ll have some idea what awaits the viewer in Kuso. This film is comprised of a series of increasingly repulsive vignettes directed by electronic musician Flying Lotus. It follows a cast of eccentric characters dealing with the aftermath of a cataclysmic earthquake. There’s a massive laundry list of crazy shit in this movie, but here’s a couple highlights: a man receives a blowjob from a talking boil on his girlfriend’s neck, and a doctor has the ability cure various phobias with the help of a giant insect living in his anus. Yes, you read that right. Not only is this film bizarre on a narrative level, but its presentation—part mixed media collage and part deranged comedy sketch—is an absolute trip. Kuso is a must-watch for fans of strange, experimental cinema. It will scar you in the best way possible. And, who knows, with all those bodily fluids shooting across the screen, maybe you’ll look over to see your date raising some suggestive eyebrows in your direction.
WE ARE THE FLESH
Nothing heats up a first date more than incest and cannibalism. Emiliano Rocha Minter’s We Are The Flesh is a modern masterpiece of transgressive cinema. The story centers on siblings Lucio (Diego Gamaliel) and Fauna (María Evoli) as they explore an apocalyptic wasteland in search of food and shelter. Eventually, they happen upon an abandoned building inhabited by Mariano, a creepy uncle type chillingly portrayed by Noé Hernández. He offers his hospitality in exchange for their help. What kind of help, you may ask? Well, he needs a few extra hands to help him transform the building into a giant cocoon, and there’s also the small matter of wanting to watch the siblings have sex. With no other choice, Lucio and Fauna submit to his demands and things only get stranger from there. For a debut feature, We Are the Flesh is a true accomplishment. It’s impressive on a technical level, appropriately offensive and oddly prophetic. Emiliano has proven himself to be the cinematic heir of Alejandro Jodorowsky. And, oh yeah, the ending will knock you flat on your ass. When it’s over, just be sure you and your date check out one of those genealogy websites before ending the night on a high note— because you never fucking know.
Cronenberg’s second entry into the canon of body horror tells the story of Rose (Marilyn Chambers), a young woman who undergoes experimental tissue grafting after surviving a motorcycle accident. And because this is a Cronenberg flick, the procedure has some unexpected side effects. For one thing, Rose develops a taste for blood. And again, because this is Cronenberg, she doesn’t sprout fangs, but instead grows a phallic stinger in her armpit. To make matters even worse, whenever she feeds, she transforms her victims into ravenous zombies. I’ve heard about some botched medical procedures, but this is some next level lawsuit shit. Anyway, there’s nothing more romantic than making out while a woman drinks blood through a tiny penis in her armpit onscreen. And should this date blossom into a relationship, you can both check out the remake by the Soska Sisters due to be released in the near future. It’s the perfect opportunity to reminiscence about your first weird night together.
It’s usually thought to be taboo to bring up children on a first date. However, let’s say you don’t want kids and need a benign platform to make your intentions clear. Well, it doesn’t get any clearer than Larry Cohen’s schlock masterpiece, It’s Alive, in which a mutant baby is shot in the face with a rocket launcher. This movie is basically an exercise in anti-baby sentiment. Lenore (Sharon Farrell) gives birth to a monstrous, seemingly indestructible child that turns the delivery room into a slaughterhouse. After escaping the hospital, it goes on a rampage through Beverly Hills, crying and snarling as it tears through unsuspecting victims. At turns hilarious and insightful, It’s Alive is a low-budget monster movie with a surprising dose of social commentary. It engages with society’s views on physical deformity, and levels criticism against pharmaceutical companies. This is the perfect date movie that will scare anyone into purchasing a truckload of prophylactics.
This movie is tricky: at first your date will think you’re showing them a classic film noir, then suddenly two women are submitting a man to electroshock therapy and using his body as a vibrator. Written and directed by Nikos Nikolaidis, Singapore Sling is a Greek midnight movie that follows a private detective (Panagiotis Thanasoulis) searching for a woman named Laura. After sustaining a bullet wound, he stumbles upon a secluded mansion inhabited by a mother (Michele Valley) and daughter (Meredyth Herold). The women take the man in and subject him to a gauntlet of sadistic sexual roleplaying games. The film is shot in gorgeous black and white, and despite its affinity to the noir genre, it defies categorization altogether. It’s a mad, fourth-wall breaking romp, filled with top-notch performances and gorgeous cinematography. One word of warning, though: if you really enjoy kiwis, you might have second thoughts about eating one again after you see what the daughter does with that poor furry fruit.
The Japanese cyberpunk movement has given rise to such films as Shinya Tsukamoto’s Tetsuo the Iron Man and Katsuhiro Otomo’s anime masterpiece, Akira. Unfortunately, though, these flicks tend to overshadow some of the more bizarre contributions to the subgenre that emerged during its prime in the late 1980s to the mid 1990s. One of the best, and definitely strangest, of these hidden gems is Shozin Fukui’s 964 Pinocchio. This film is so bizarre, it’s almost impossible to describe. There isn’t much in the way of plot. We follow the titular sex android after a dissatisfied customer abandons him in the street. The android later meets a young homeless woman who attempts to educate him in the ways of the world. Meanwhile, he’s being pursued by a group of individuals intent on keeping their illicit sex android business a secret. The rest of the movie is pure hallucinogenic madness, underscored by a throbbing industrial soundtrack. By the time the credits role, you and your date will feel like you’ve both come back from a night of drinking Ayahuasca. Take my word for it: watching this movie will be one hell of a bonding experience.
THE GREASY STRANGLER
Get ready to laugh until you throw up. Jim Hosking’s directorial debut The Greasy Strangler tells the story of a romantic rivalry between father Big Ronnie (Michael St. Michaels) and son Brayden (Sky Elobar). Together they run a disco walking tour in Los Angeles and simultaneously fall in love with a woman named Janet (Elizabeth De Razzo). Meanwhile, a man covered in cooking grease is stalking the streets at night, murdering innocent people, and Brayden decides to find out who’s responsible. This is a film that might be easily dismissed as repulsive and juvenile, and in many ways it is, but it’s also funny and truly captivating. The director hypnotizes the audience with a constant barrage of disgusting imagery and highly quotable dialogue. If your first date has a strong stomach, this is the perfect choice for the night. Personally, I laughed my ass off. But, as you can see, my taste in movies isn’t what some would call normal.
Whenever people are discussing Japanese filmmaker Takashi Miike, I’m always baffled that Ichi the Killer and Audition are considered his most disturbing movies. In my mind, the pitch black comedy, Visitor Q, holds that coveted position. The story follows a highly dysfunctional family whose lives are forever altered with the arrival of a mysterious houseguest. The film was shot on digital video, and the handheld camerawork gives it an almost documentary-style realism. The performances are cartoonish and over-the-top, a directorial decision that either highlights or downplays some of the atrocities happening onscreen—it really depends on your sense of humor. If you look over and see your date laughing their ass off, then you either found your soul mate or a good reason to run away as fast as you possibly can.
Are the movies on this list not romantic enough for you? Well, the next entry should do the trick. Yüdai Yamaguchi’s Meatball Machine sounds like a homicidal kitchen appliance, but it’s actually the timeless story of two young lovers infected with alien parasites that transform them into biomechanical monsters known as Necroborgs. They are then forced to do battle, which obviously throws a wrench in their relationship. Like 964 Pinocchio, Meatball Machine is considered part of the cyberpunk movement. Unlike Fukui’s film, however, this one is less experimental and more of a silly action movie with horror elements. It’s the perfect viewing experience for a budding relationship. In addition to the over-the-top gore, you’ll also learn an important lesson: it’s okay to fight as long as you’re not possessed by a body-deforming parasite. Otherwise, chances are things will get a little awkward.
Julia Ducournau’s coming of age cannibalism flick is arguably the most accessible film on this list. It tells the story of Justine (Garance Marillier), a strict vegetarian who acquires a craving for flesh while attending veterinary college. Most of the marketing for this film centers on its gore, but it’s actually not very gruesome. It’s shot with such deliberate artistry that everything, including the violence and nudity, is depicted in a tasteful manner. In other words, the ‘gaze’ in this film is incredibly refreshing. Nothing is made to be titillating or gratuitous. So, if everything else on this list seems too fucked up, maybe some good old-fashioned cannibalism is more your cup of tea. At least you’ll have something meaty to discuss over breakfast in the morning.
There you have it, ten first date movies guaranteed to either get you blocked on social media or, if you’re lucky, help you find the love of your life.
Brendan Vidito is a short story author and novelist from Ontario. His work has appeared in several magazines and anthologies including Dead Bait 4, Splatterpunk’s Not Dead and the upcoming Tragedy Queens: Stories Inspired by Lana Del Rey and Sylvia Plath. You can visit him online at brendanvidito.wordpress.com.