With Valentine’s Day right around the corner, your unlucky-in-love status might be on your mind lately. But don’t feel too bad if you’re on your own this February 14th. It could always be worse. You could be in some messy romantic entanglement like one of the seven couples below. Sure, you don’t have an evening of mood music and red wine in your near future, but you won’t have to contend with buckets of blood or horrendous hangovers either.
As for those of you who do have dates planned, try not to pick up a possible candidate for town serial killer, a teen vampire with a heart of gold, or a pal of Herbert West’s. Your mother’s right—it will never work out.
And before you demand to know the whereabouts of Jack and Wendy or Rosemary and Guy, all married couples are waiting in queue for a future ‘Unholy Matrimony’ article. Today’s list is dedicated to the ones that by final fadeout hadn’t said ‘I Do’. Vows or not, a few still made good on that ‘Til Death Do We Part’ promise.
Dan Cain and Megan Halsey in Re-Animator
If you ever discover your lover’s roommate has resurrected the family cat, you should probably do a little more than just throw a hissy fit.
Dan and Megan may be planning a trip to the altar, but the audience gets the feeling that things weren’t meant to be, even if the would-be bride hadn’t met an untimely end. She hates his friends, and he doesn’t seem to understand anything about women except that, you know, they exist. Plus, the couple clearly doesn’t agree on very basic tenets of a marriage, such as what to do with your spouse’s body post-mortem.
But maybe Megan never made Dan aware of her after-death wishes. Setting boundaries early in relationships is always a good move, so make sure any future paramours know your stance on re-animation by the end of the first date. That full disclosure will save both of you a lot of trouble when the time comes. It might even rescue you from a substandard sequel.
Caleb Colton and Mae in Near Dark/ Michael Emerson and Star in The Lost Boys
More than two decades before the Twilight franchise attempted to commandeer a genre, the year 1987 saw the release of doppelganger teen vampire flicks with near identical storylines. Photogenic leading men fall for equally Noxema commercial-worthy girls, only to discover their lady loves hang with a tough vampire crowd and care for an undead child with a dreadful moniker (seriously, who names their kids Laddie and Homer?). These sanguine hijinks are set to kickin’ soundtracks, with the more esoteric Tangerine Dream score of Near Dark arguably eking out a win over The Lost Boys’ veritable 1980s rock graveyard, complete with tunes by INXS and Echo and the Bunnymen.
However, the two romantic relationships at the unbeating hearts of these films are troubled to say the least. The girls pull the usual femme fatale routine to draw the horny but otherwise innocent guys into their bloodlust worlds. But Star and Mae really just want a nice man and a way out of the immortality rigmarole. Through a standard deus ex machina, the two couples manage to find a third act cure and live happily ever after. Happy, that is, until Michael and Caleb realize those formerly sharp-toothed minxes will continue to hoodwink them with shady schemes for the rest of their human lives. If the girls were duped by a racket as catastrophic as vampirism, then every pyramid scheme business and phony sweepstakes will be sure to follow. Good luck, guys. Your savings accounts are going to need it.
Frank/Larry & Julia Cotton in Hellraiser
Every fervid fan of 50 Shades of Grey should be forced to watch Hellraiser if only to witness where prolonged S & M antics ultimately lead. Not so sexy and harmless when Uncle Frank is using his cube of pain to phone the Cenobites, huh?
At some point, we’ve all been in a relationship with someone who was never satisfied. Usually, said discontent involved us not saying the right thing during a fight or choosing the latest slasher film over a rom-com for date night. Things aren’t so simple for Frank Cotton. Having exhausted sexual options from A to Z, he says phooey on carnal bliss in this universe and turns to an antique puzzle box for promises of untold pleasures elsewhere. Unfortunately, old Frank doesn’t realize the Cenobites are a cranky bunch when you first wake them up, and he’s tortured into cosmic bits and imprisoned in an attic.
His on-again, off-again girlfriend Julia discovers Frank in his half-baked state and upon realizing he requires beaucoup de blood to regenerate, she happily obliges his needs, even sacrificing her husband—Frank’s brother, Larry—to the cause. The laissez-faire couple shuns basic decency and the mounting body count, but their schadenfreude harmony ends when Frank kills Julia and decides ‘Eh, why not?’ to eating her remains.
Meanwhile, our luckless heroine Kirsty is pulled into this mess when her libidinous uncle—in the visage of her beloved father—tries to get frisky. During the final skirmish, she manages to donate Dirty Uncle Frank back to Pinhead and escape, but not before she activates a major case of PTSD that no psychotherapist, human or Cenobite, will ever be able to cure.
Dr. Sarah Bowman and Private Miguel Salazer in Day of the Dead
Mundane problems like balancing schedules and meeting parents are hell enough on relationships, but when you add in a zombie apocalypse, romantic bliss takes an immediate shot to the forehead. And forget about trying to initiate an affair once the undead have hijacked the countryside. Your amorous designs don’t stand a chance.
Just ask Sarah and Miguel. While they’re the only two people burning off libidos in the underground army lab, the wanton release isn’t helping their mental states much. She keeps cool during the day but suffers severe nightmares each evening whereas he’s unraveling at the psychological seams and spends any spare time berating Sarah and twitching in corners.
Despite his obvious shortcomings, Sarah jockeys to save Miguel’s life after a zombie attack, and though her violent amputation of his gnawed arm might have been a passive-aggressive way to express anger, she’s still on his side. He repays her by surreptitiously crawling to the loading dock and admitting a gaggle of zombies into the facility. Love’s labor’s lost or what?
As audience members, we never find out the specifics of the couple’s relationship, and after his constant freak-outs and ultimate betrayal, we don’t care to know more. Because even in a doomsday world with a shortage of suitors, Sarah could do way better.
Jess Bradford & Peter Smythe in Black Christmas
She wants an abortion, but he wants a family. From the get go, Bob Clark’s prototypical cut ‘em up reminds the audience again and again that it’s the 1970s. Second-wave feminism is in the air, and if Final Girls in slasher films don’t want to have kids with the resident Red Herring, then they shouldn’t have to.
In this case, our heroine Jess is pragmatic enough to know that she doesn’t fancy the notion of birthing a little Junior or Jane with oddball boyfriend Peter. However, she wasn’t smart enough to force him to use a prophylactic during what the audience has to assume were some seriously awkward bedroom frolics. As a result, they’re in a quandary, made all the more difficult by Jess’s mounting suspicion that her lover might be a serial killer. And with a creeper glint in his eyes, Peter doesn’t help his case, eschewing any form of anger management in favor of destroying his career—and an expensive piano—in one glorious temper tantrum.
Their relationship comes to a fitting end when Peter breaks into the sorority to “help” Jess, and, in a fit of panic, she bludgeons him to death. Although he turns out to be innocent of mass murder, no one can really blame Jess for anything other than her initial poor taste in dating such a weirdo.
Sidney Prescott & Billy Loomis in Scream
A Jess and Peter for the MTV generation, Sidney and Billy don’t have white picket fences and 2.5 children in their future. Okay, maybe they do, but only if Billy uses the fencepost to cut a third youngster in half.
Most of their problems break down to this: Sidney’s got intimacy issues, and Billy’s a psychopath. And while Sidney manages to get over her problems, her stringy haired boyfriend isn’t so accommodating.
Although not a recognized term back in the mid-1990s, Billy is clearly the original emo. Life is so hard, he claims. I am going to whine that mama left me and use my maternal abandonment to justify every mistake I’ll ever make. Get some therapy, kiddo. You might be a poor man’s Johnny Depp, but you’re still a poor man’s Johnny Depp, so no need to have such a homicidal chip on your shoulder.
What other couples from horror movies make you glad to spend Valentine’s Day without a date? Tell me in the comments below!