Veg-sploitation Halloween Horror Flicks Even a Vegan Zombie Could Love!

October 31st, 2011 10:30 am by Kelly Garbato

The husband and I have a longstanding Halloween tradition. Three words: horror movie marathon. Three more: vegan junk food. There will be John Carpenter and Stephen King and Tofurky pizzas and fancy movie popcorn and more gallons of homemade vegan ice cream than you can wag a tongue at.

This year’s picks include a few films that might be loosely described as vegan-friendly, inasmuch as they contain elements that are potentially anti-speciesist or might otherwise appeal to vegan sensibilities: vivisection that triggers an apocalyptic plague; nonhuman “monsters” who prove more human than the story’s human protagonists; cow meat pies secretly swapped for those containing bits of human flesh; bird flu and mad cow disease; exploited animals out for revenge – all these and more make for a “vegan-friendly” horror flick. “Veg-sploitation,” in more colorful terms. (Like “sexploitation,” but SEXIER! AND VEGAN! ‘CAUSE VEGAN = SEXY, YO.)

For those who’d like in on the festivities, I’ve compiled a list of veg-sploitation horror flicks that appeal to the vegan zombie in all of us. (What’s that? You don’t like horror movies? LALALALA I CAN’T HEAR YOU!) Many of these I’ve seen, some I haven’t; so there are bound to be a few lemons on the list. (Poultrygeist, I’m looking at you!) Most are pretty f’in awesome, though.

In the queue this year: The Texas Chainsaw Massacre and Soylent Green, along with three or four more as-of-yet undetermined movies.

Got a favorite vegan-friendly horror flick I missed? Tell us in the comments!

(Unless otherwise noted, the summaries are snagged from Netflix.)

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Soylent Green (1973) – “Set in a polluted, congested New York City in 2022, this sci-fi thriller stars Charlton Heston as Robert Thorn, a gumshoe looking into the murder of a corporate executive (Joseph Cotten) whose company makes a nutritious synthetic food called Soylent Green. But in the process of tracking down the killer, Thorn unearths shocking information about the product’s ingredients. The cast also includes the great Edward G. Robinson in his last film role.” Soylent Green is people! No more outrageous than if it were chickens!

Attack of the Vegan Zombies! (2009) – “Joe and his wife Dionne have had yet another bad crop for their winery. Faced with the prospect of losing the family farm, Dionne convinces her mother (a witch) to cast a spell upon next year’s crop. The crop is such a success that Joe hires some college students to help them harvest. However, when a nosy neighbor begins poking around in the fields, he finds out more than he bargained for. Now the question isn’t how to best harvest the crop, it’s how to keep from being harvested!” I do not understand where the vegan zombies fit in, but I would like to find out! (plot summary via imdb)

Isolation (2005) – “On a desolate farm in the Irish countryside, destitute Dan Reilly (John Lynch) — in return for cold cash — allows his heifers to be part of a genetic study intended to boost bovine fertility and beef output … until the experiment goes awry. When one of his cows spawns lethal mutants, Dan and a few other unlucky folks suffer the repercussions of meddling with nature in this unsettling chiller also starring Essie Davis and Marcel Iures.”

The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974) – “Director Tobe Hooper’s horror classic is a gruesome reminder that a movie need not be complicated to scare the daylights out of viewers. Sally (Marilyn Burns), her wheelchair-bound brother (Paul A. Partain) and their friends travel to a vandalized graveyard to see if their grandfather’s remains are intact. En route, they come upon chainsaw-wielding maniac Leatherface (Gunnar Hansen), and it’s a fight to the bloody death between good and evil.” The greatest vegetarian movie of all time?

King Kong (2005) – “Set in the 1930s, Peter Jackson’s remake of the black-and-white classic follows a group of adventurous explorers and filmmakers (including Jack Black, Adrien Brody and Andy Serkis) to mysterious Skull Island, where they search for a legendary giant gorilla known as King Kong. The team battles dinosaurs and, with the help of a beautiful woman (Naomi Watts), manages to capture the mighty ape and ship him back to New York.” Like Rise of the Planet of the Apes, minus the ape revenge fantasy. A kind of prequel, perhaps?

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Alien Resurrection (1997) – “Sigourney Weaver and Winona Ryder star in the fourth installment of the Alien series. Two hundred years after Lt. Ripley (Weaver) died, a group of scientists clone her, hoping to breed the ultimate weapon. But the new Ripley is full of surprises … as are the new aliens. Ripley must team with a band of smugglers (including Ryder) to keep the creatures from reaching Earth. Includes the theatrical and extended cuts of the film.” The scene in which Ripley stumbles upon the failed Ripley clones – her sisters – shattered my heart into a million pieces. Since when is Alien a tearjerker!?!

Willard (2003) – “In this remake of the 1971 horror film by the same name, Crispin Glover plays a shy young man named Willard who is constantly pestered by his co-workers and has no friends save for his beloved pet rats. When one of the rats is killed at work, Willard exacts bloody revenge on all those who did him wrong — with the help of his furry friend Ben, an unusually intelligent (and lethal) rat who leads his cohorts to commit horrific murders.” Okay, so maybe Willard proved to be a back-stabbing, narcissistic frenemy to his posse of rodent roommates. But still: A POSSE OF RATS! If I lived in NYC, I’d totes be a female Willard, but better. As in, nicer to the rats.

28 Days Later (2002) – “Twenty-eight days after a killer virus was accidentally unleashed from a British research facility, a small group of London survivors (including Cillian Murphy and Brendan Gleeson) are caught in a desperate struggle to protect themselves from the infected. Carried by animals and humans, the virus turns those it infects into homicidal maniacs — and it’s absolutely impossible to contain. Danny Boyle (Slumdog Millionaire) directs.” There goes vivisection, unleashing a zombie apocalypse again! When will we learn? Also: Cillian Murphy and Naomie Harris. Yes please!

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Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street (2007) – “Johnny Depp reteams with director Tim Burton for this big-screen adaptation of the hit Broadway musical, earning an Oscar nod as vengeful Sweeney Todd, who becomes a deranged murderer after being falsely imprisoned by a sinister judge (Alan Rickman). To cover his tracks, Todd enlists the help of Mrs. Lovett (Helena Bonham Carter), who disposes of the victims by baking them into tasty meat pies that become the toast of London.” Reviewed by yours truly here.

Little Shop of Horrors (1986) – “Plant yourself in front of the tube and veg out with Frank Oz’s horticultural horror flick. Gawky Seymour Krelborn (Rick Moranis), looking for a way to save his job in a ramshackle, skid row flower shop, purchases a curious exotic plant hoping it will make business bloom. And it does. There’s just one problem: The little creeper possesses a rapacious appetite for fresh human plasma … and it’s mushrooming out of control!” A carnivorous, human-munching plant. From the ’80s. IN MUSICAL FORMAT. This one’s a must-see, odontophobia be damned!

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Zombieland (2009) – “An easily spooked guy, Columbus (Jesse Eisenberg), joins forces with wild man Tallahassee (Woody Harrelson) to fight for survival in a world virtually taken over by freakish zombies. As they destroy scores of the undead, they meet up with two other survivors, Little Rock (Abigail Breslin) and Wichita (Emma Stone), and journey to a supposedly safe abandoned amusement park. Ruben Fleischer directs this horror romp.” Two words: VEGAN TWINKIES! Two more: Woody Harrelson!

Daybreakers (2009) – “Earth’s population is up against a vicious plague that’s transforming everyone into vampires and draining the world of an increasingly precious resource: blood. Edward Dalton (Ethan Hawke) and “Elvis” Cormac (Willem Dafoe) must decide what happens next. As the human race count nears zero, will vampires feast on the few men and women who remain, or could science hold the key to a less destructive solution? Sam Neill and Claudia Karvan co-star.” With the development of synthetic blood, are vampires morally obligated to dine on it, instead of humans? Or does their physical superiority give them the right to dominate this “lesser” species?

Swamp Thing (1982) – “When the botanical experiments of Dr. Alec Holland go awry and a lab explosion renders him more plant than man, rival scientist Anton Arcane plans to capture the Swamp Thing and learn his secrets.”

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Black Sheep (2006) – “On a quiet New Zealand ranch, a genetic experiment has gone horribly wrong, transforming a calm flock of sheep into killers hungry for human blood in this outrageous comic gore-fest. Those bitten become ravenous were-sheep. As the body count rises, a desperate handful of outnumbered survivors take a last stand against the bovine onslaught. Who will live, and who will be the next victim of the vicious killer sheep?” …and hilarity ensues.

Poultrygeist: Night of the Chicken Dead (2006) – “What happens when a fast-food chicken franchise is built on a sacred Native American burial site rife with restless spirits? Zombie chickens! Now it’s up to high school grad Arbie (Jason Yachanin) to find a way to destroy the featherless fiends. Or will the fowl beasts turn the hungry drive-thru customers into the insatiable undead, too? This gleeful free-range romp through the supernatural also features Kate Graham and Allyson Sereboff.”

Severed: Forest of the Dead (2006) – “When a forestry company’s profit-driven decision to genetically engineer trees goes horribly wrong, a mismatched group of loggers and environmental activists become ravenous flesh-eating zombies. And although a few uninfected survivors remain, their chances of getting out of the wilderness alive are as remote as the forest itself. An ensemble cast stars in this undead gore fest that makes a run-in with a wood chipper seem tame.” I’M ROOTING FOR THE ABOLITIONIST VEGANS. (Rooting! Get it?)

Dead Meat (2004) – “You are what you eat! The seventh level of hell is unleashed when a mutated strain of mad cow disease infects the countryside, turning people into flesh-eating zombies that like their food … fast! Caught in the middle of this gory upheaval is Helena (Marian Araujo), a young Spanish tourist, and Desmond (David Muyllaert), the local gravedigger. Together, they must join forces and fight for survival or else become appetizers in a zombie feast.” Horror flick or speculative fiction? You decide!

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Mad Cowgirl (2006) – “Director Gregory Hatanaka’s decidedly twisted thriller stars Sarah Lassez as Therese, a health inspector whose progressively delusional psyche leads her on a surreal — and bloody — odyssey. To cope with her marital split, Therese takes up with a slimy televangelist (Walter Koenig), indulges her appetites for sex and beef, and obsesses over a kung fu TV show. Meanwhile, her meat packer brother (James Duval) may have infected her with mad cow disease.” Ew.

Meat Market (2001) – “When two former employees of a company that conducts bizarre medical experiments put two and two together, they realize that a series of “animal attacks” reported by the media are actually the work of flesh-eating zombies created by the company. As the walking dead invade the city, the two truth-seekers team up with three vampire women, a washed-up Mexican wrestler, a wounded soldier and a mysterious scientist to fight for their lives.”

Flu Birds (2008) – “A tight-knit group of teens find themselves fighting for their lives when unexpected visitors — a flock of flesh-eating birds infected by a malicious virus — crash their carefree camping trip in the woods. With each deadly swoop, the flying predators are spreading their dangerous strain and transforming the locals into bird feed. Can a shrinking group of survivors fight back and reclaim the skies?” The Birds meets Bird Flu meets zombies. Hello, awesomeness!

Beast Within (2008) – “Terror catapults onto the screen as a new form of avian flu turns its unsuspecting victims into voracious zombies. Pleasure-seeking 20-somethings partying in a remote mansion must then battle the flesh-eating monsters and the infected birds. Armed with flamethrowers, brawn and scientific know-how, the friends barricade themselves against the horrors of the night, but will any of them live to see the morning light?” See: above, plus flamethrowers.

Masters of Horror: Dario Argento: Pelts (2006) – “Sleazy fur trader Jake Feldman (Meat Loaf) will do just about anything for a quality skin. When Jake crosses paths with a trapper (John Saxon) offering raccoon pelts, he jumps at the chance to score big bucks and win a stripper’s heart. Little does Jake know that the supernatural furs wield bloody revenge upon anyone who covets them. This very different kind of skin flick is the 19th episode of the hit Showtime series.” MEAT LOAF! “I would dew anyTHING for LOVE…”

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Harry and the Hendersons (1987) – “Returning home from vacation, the Hendersons — George (John Lithgow), Nancy (Melinda Dillon), daughter Sarah (Margaret Langrick) and son Ernie (Joshua Rudoy) — accidentally run over a strange Bigfoot-type animal (Kevin Peter Hall). They decide to take the friendly “Harry” home and adopt him as a pet. But soon, they’re scrambling to hide their new friend from authorities and Bigfoot hunters. This charming family film won a Best Makeup Oscar.” Not a horror film – heck, not even a monster movie, as evidenced by Harry’s gentle demeanor and compassion for his fellow nonhumans – but I just had to include it on this list anyway. I COULDN’T NOT INCLUDE IT! It’s Harry and the fucking Hendersons, yo! A vegan classic.

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4 Responses to “Veg-sploitation Halloween Horror Flicks Even a Vegan Zombie Could Love!”

  1. Eat to the Beat: Pumpkin Marshmallow Chocolate Chip Cookies & Ray Parker, Jr. » V for Vegan: easyVegan.info Says:

    […] you like scary movies, vegan? Check out this list of animal-friendly horror movies I compiled last Halloween. We ticked a bunch off our list in 2011. Soylent Green? It’s […]

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    […] so many horror movies seem to have an overt or hidden vegan message. (See e.g., for just a small selection.) MAYBE YOUR SUBCONSCIOUS IS TRYING TO TELL YOU SOMETHING? Just a […]

  3. ToM Cat Says:

    I loved reading this! Especially the Solient Green one, I remember watching it at a theatre with my gf and the ending was so ridiculous!

    What’s your e-mail? I want to talk to you about a pro-vegan horror film I’m working on. trying to get the word out, yo!

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    […] hollywood movie” (we presume this is a question about vegan horror, which apparently is a thing, although the sub-genre’s not really too hard to avoid…). Our winner of the Weirdest […]

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