Nasty, Nasty, Halloween

For those of you who no longer shriek at "Halloween", chill at "The Shining", and have no time for the CGI-filled nonsense of "The Haunting" (the original is far superior), there is help. If you want to impress your friends and giggle as they seek refuge behind your sofa, then you may find this little guide of alternative 18-rated films handy. Be warned, the emphasis is on nastiness and gore and the faint of heart should not attempt to entertain the brutal nature of these films.

Some titles are harder to come by than others but for a film that still stretches the 18 certificate, you should consider "Day of the Dead". The third in George A Romero's living dead trilogy - a grim tale of survivors locked in a bunker and surrounded by zombies - is not for those with a weak stomach. Even the stars of the film can't stop their guts spilling out of their bodies in mesmerising waves of gore.

But if you prefer your gore with a sprinkling of humour then don't miss the superbly witty "Re-animator". With body parts galore and a headless surgeon on the rampage, it'll make you think twice about a visit to the hospital.

Ultimately gore can get boring, especially if there's little plot or a lack of nudity. What you need are carefully-timed shocks for that jarring edge to go with the jets of blood cascading across your screen. The happy solution lies in such films as the exceptional "Tenebrae". Banned for many years, this stylish movie contains some of the best horror set pieces committed to celluloid.

And if you like the thrill of the chase as victims are picked off one by one, check your local video store for a copy of "Stagefright". This Italian 80s flick is genuinely exciting as the performers of a stage play become prey to a deranged murderer armed with a chainsaw, drill, axe, and plenty more.

But if all that sounds far too nauseating then watch "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre". You'll be surprised at how little graphic violence is in that film. The effectiveness of the movie lies in the psychological tension it generates, just like that fine thriller "Deep Red".

If you think a wacky title guarantees a good film, think again.

"I'm just going down to the cellar. There can't be anything dangerous down there..."