Politics can be scary. In honor of Election Day, we’ve assembled a list of politically-charged horror films to take your mind off the real elections. Go vote, wear your “I Voted” sticker proudly, and come home for a political horror movie marathon to drown out the political horror punditry on the television.
In one of the most overtly political horror flicks on the list, John Carpenter’s They Live is about a drifter who, after obtaining a pair of sunglasses, realizes that they are magic and allows him to see that the current political leaders are aliens with totalitarian leanings. They have taken over the earth and are causing global warming, and collaborating with the earth’s “elite.”
Masters of Horror: Homecoming
Joe Dante’s 2005 episode of the anthology series dealt with soldiers killed in action who come back to life to vote out the men who put them in harm’s way.
Kevin Smith’s first foray into horror is based not-so-loosely on real-life evangelical Fred Phelps and his Westboro Church. In the film, a group of high school kids answer an ad on a hook-up website and go meet her for group sex. Instead, they are drugged and locked up, all part of the plan of the ultra-conservative pastor, who believes he is being righteous in ridding the world of those who would engage in such prurient pursuits.
Invasion of the Body Snatchers, Attack of the 50ft Woman and other atomic-age sci-fi
These films, about invaders from outer space or grotesquely mutated people or animals, were frequently seen as carrying anti-communist sentiments and fearful warnings of nuclear attacks. The original 1956 Invasion of the Body Snatchers was considered by many to be an anti-communist statement. The 1978 version is often cited as right-leaning in its portrayal of wiping out San Francisco hippies, while the 1993 version, Body Snatchers, is considered leftist in its portrayal of military conformity.
George Romero’s zombie films
Each of Romero’s classic zombie films carries with it a distinct socio-political overtone. Night of the Living Dead dealt with race relations. Dawn of the Dead addressed rampant consumerism. Day of the Dead is seen by many as a critique on the military. Land of the Dead focuses on class conflicts.