The Best Campy Horror Movies to Watch After M3GAN

Leprechaun 4: In Space (1996)

There’s something punk rock about Leprechaun 4: In Space. It just doesn’t give a fuck. The Leprechaun series was already known to be campy to the core, following a grotesque lil’ leprechaun as he murders folks left and right, desperate to find precious gold. Just when it seemed like the series couldn’t get any crazier (Leprechaun 3 saw the titular monster terrorize Las Vegas, blowing a poor woman to pieces by inflating her, um, assets…), Leprechaun 4 takes the insanity to another level, logic and reason out the window to tell an intergalactic tale of space marines, princesses, and mad scientists. 

The movie was the first in the series to go straight to video, and it’s clear to see why. It’s so, so bad in so, so many ways. But there’s also something fun about the fact that the filmmakers understood that the series needed to go completely bonkers to have any chance of topping the previous three movies. Was the film well-received? No. But it’s not trying to impress anyone. It’s camp incarnate, with some of the cheesiest dialogue and deaths you’ll ever see and a premise that is so utterly stupid it’s ingenious.

trolls in Troll 2

Troll 2 (1990)

Troll 2 has a long reputation of being one of the most sublime examples of a so-bad-it’s-good movie there is. The 2009 documentary Best Worst Movie delves into the the making of the film, and its unlikely cult following incredibly well. But in a nutshell, the film is a mind-numbingly inconsistent, messy, poorly acted, shoddily filmed wreck that somehow winds up being outrageously entertaining from front to back, given you go into it with the right attitude.

Aside from the movie being campy as all hell (it goes well beyond camp, in fact), watching it after seeing M3GAN serves the purpose of highlighting just how well made the latter actually is. Cinematography, sound, and editing are often undervalued with regards to genre films, and M3GAN deserves its flowers for being as polished as it is freaky and fun. Both M3GAN and Troll 2 are entertaining in a campy, absurdist way, but if you look at their respective production values side by side, it makes it easier to recognize just how slick M3GAN is from a cinematic perspective.

Ash in Evil Dead II

Evil Dead II (1987)

Sam Raimi went full camp with Evil Dead II, the sequel/remake of its equally iconic predecessor. If you went out to see M3GAN in theaters, you’ve most likely seen Evil Dead II countless times before. But what makes it a fun pairing with M3GAN is that both movies feature hilarious, unnerving, show-stealing dance sequences. M3GAN’s hallway death dance has been taking TikTok by storm, and its random but oh-so-perfect placement in the film harkens back to Deadite Linda’s twisted forest ballet for Ash in Evil Dead II.

In the unlikely event that you have seen M3GAN but have never seen Evil Dead II, please go out of your way to watch what many horror fans consider to be one of the best entries in the comedy-horror subgenre. Bruce Campbell’s Ash is one of the few examples in horror of a hero who’s more compelling than any of the villains in the film. Raimi’s flare and tenacity as a filmmaker is on full display here, and the film continues to inspire horror filmmakers to this day.

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The Best Campy Horror Movies to Watch After M3GAN

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