Fans love horror movies for many reasons. Our favorite films speak to us. They take us to a blissful and Zen-like headspace, allowing an escape from our hectic and stressful lives. But one thing horror movies aren’t widely recognized for is their rockin’ dance sequences. And I think that’s a shame because there are at least a handful of decadent and bizarre dance scenes contained within our favorite horror features. So, with that in mind, I will be looking back on ten of the most awesomely bad dance sequences from genre cinema.
Violet in Friday the 13th: A New Beginning
Friday the 13th: A New Beginning is one of the most derided of the Friday the 13th sequels and is mostly known for being “the one without Jason”. But discounting it on that basis precludes you from enjoying one of the most noteworthy dance-related death sequences ever committed to film. Violet’s moves are every bit as fun as they are fresh. See for yourself below!
Jerry and Amy’s New Wave Dance in Fright Night
This sexy dance sequence shows just how seductive vampires can be. Especially to impressionable youngsters. How will sweet Amy ever resist Jerry’s bewitching moves? Especially in that rollneck sweater! Swoon. In all seriousness, I love that this scene feels so similar to a music video. And it makes sense, seeing as how ever-present MTV was in 1985.
Disco Aerobics Zombie Dance from Nightmare City
The Mayo Clinic recommends getting a minimum of 75-minutes per week of “vigorous aerobic activity”. And that may have been all the zombies crashing this on-air exercise class were looking for. Yes, they are technically doing aerobics and not dancing. But I think the most accurate way to describe what’s going on would be to call it dance-infused aerobics.
Samantha in The House of the Devil
Poor Sam just wanted to make enough money to rent a radical apartment and get out of the dorms. So, booking a job babysitting an adult woman for a crazy amount of cash probably put her in the mood to do a little dance. And that’s just what she did. See below just how bitchin’ her moves really are.
The Giant Owl Dance in Stagefright
It’s hard to dance in a gigantic owl mask and not look awkward. And this scene from Stagefright is no exception. Everything about this sequence is delightfully surreal, and awkward. It’s peculiar and dreamlike in the best possible way. On a related note, I would like to extend major props to the woman in the Marilyn Monroe dress who is casually playing a saxophone on the balcony above the stage.
Angela’s Suggestive Dance Moves in Night of the Demons
This is part interpretive dance and part Headbanger’s Ball. And I am 100% here for it. Angela is a memorable horror movie antagonist. And I like to think that part of what makes her so noteworthy is her bewitching dance skills. The wardrobe, styling, and set design of Night of the Demons all come together perfectly to make this entire sequence unforgettable.
Kim and Her Prom Date in Prom Night
I assume this sequence between Kim (Jamie Lee Curtis) and her prom date was thought of as featuring great dancing at the time of the film’s release. It was the tail end of the disco era, after all. And even if it comes across as a bit dated by contemporary standards, I really enjoy this dance sequence as a time capsule and as an opportunity to see Jamie Lee Curtis break out some fresh moves.
The Locker Room Dance Scene in Teen Witch
I love this sequence because of how bizarre it is. I attended high school some time ago and I never witnessed a choreographed dance routine break out in one of the locker rooms. But if it had happened, I hope it would have looked something like this.
Jimbo’s Dance Moves in Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter
One of my favorite things about Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter is how aggressive Jimbo’s (Crispin Glover) moves are. He isn’t afraid to try something different, even if it doesn’t work. He’s in a completely different groove than his dance partner. But I think that makes his character all the more endearing and this scene all the more enjoyable.
Jesse in A Nightmare on Elm Street 2: Freddy’s Revenge
Jesse’s (Mark Patton) dance moves in A Nightmare on Elm Street 2: Freddy’s Revenge are gloriously unusual and have even become somewhat legendary in certain circles. Like the film itself, the dance is awesomely over-the-top and more than a little peculiar. If you’re curious to see more of my thoughts on this film check out this op-ed chronicling its journey from franchise black sheep to queer cult classic.
I would like to extend an honorable mention to Trash’s dance moves in Return of the Living Dead. I had to leave it off because the only clip I could find was age restricted and thus too spicy to embed.
What are some of your favorite horror movie dance sequences? Let me know in the comments.