How To Survive a Horror Movie

I have learned my survival skills from horror movies, the residents of the Stephen King Bulletin Board and my own father, Dr. Ralph Donald, who once wrote a tongue-in-cheek article applying the laws of Darwin to horror flicks: i.e., the stupidest die before they can reproduce.

Therefore, I bring to you the 2006 edition of THE RULES: What You Can Do to Save Yourself and/or The World.


If your name isn't one of the first two in the credits, you WILL die.

If you have the biggest boobs, you WILL die.

If you're stupid enough to investigate that strange noise, you're deserving of a particularly gruesome death.

If you are the one playing hard to get and don't bump uglies, you will probably be safe.

Chances are, either the hitchhiker or the driver is criminally INSANE. If you're the sane one, get out of the car. Even if it's moving.

If you are the CEO of a corporation that has polluted the water/soil/air of a small town and created an eco-monster, you're toast. Stomping around and muttering about the bottom line will not save you. Denying responsibility will not save you. Nothing will save you.

If you're a lawyer, the dinosaurs will eat you first.

If you're a cop, you will not believe in the monster until it eats you.

If you're a doctor, you're toast before the final reel. The teenagers will have to save the town without you.

If you're a teacher, same thing. Unless you're mean to the kids. Then you're toast in the second reel.

If you're a principal, you're toast in the second reel no matter what.

If you own a store, you're the second one to go. Unless you employ a teenager who's a hero. Then you get to live to the third reel.

If you live alone and nobody comes to see you, you're the first to go.

If you're a member of the armed forces, especially if you're a Crusty Old Retired General, you are obligated to sacrifice yourself to save the others. No excuses.

If you're a politician, you're toast. No matter what. And everyone will cheer when the monster eats you.

So how DO you survive? Here are 70 tips!

1. If the house in which you are living tells you to "GO AWAY," do so.
2. If you're a virgin, stay that way.
3. If a killer with a knife is chasing you around the house, do not go upstairs. Go out the front door.
4. For God's sake, turn on the lights.
5. Never split up.
6. Never stoop over to see if the killer is dead. He's not.
7. Never get naked in front of a window.
8. Avoid the following geographical locations: Amityville, Elm Street, Amity Island (or any other place named Amity), Crystal Lake, Transylvania, the Bermuda Triangle, Midwestern towns surrounded by cornfields and any small town in Maine.
9. Never pick up hitchhikers.
10. If the small town off the highway is deserted, it's for a very good reason.
11. If your speedometer suddenly starts turning backward, trade the car.
12. Never dig up strange-looking objects in the woods.
13. Never bury pets or loved ones in old Native American burial grounds.
14. As a general rule, do not solve puzzles that open doorways to Hell.
15. Find out what your parents were up to when they were younger. You never know if they set a serial killer on fire, had a mysterious other child, are not your real parents, or opened doorways to Hell.
16. Ask yourself seriously, "Do I really want to float?"
17. If there is a knock on the door in the middle of the night, but no one appears at the peephole, do not open the door and step outside to see who's there.
18. Never assume it's your naked boyfriend/girlfriend under the sheet.
19. Do not mess with DNA. For any reason.
20. No sex in graveyards!
21. Keep your car filled with gas, tuned up, and for God's sake keep the keys with you. P.S. A mechanic should not have a rabid St. Bernard for his alarm system. I'm just saying.
22. On Halloween, there is no such thing as "coincidence."
23. For that matter, there is no such thing as "coincidence."
24. Do not stay overnight at the old house at the end of town that's supposed to be haunted. Let them think you're chicken. Even if the prize is one million dollars. It's not worth it.
25. Pig's blood does not make for a good practical joke.
26. The guy conducting the "insomnia study" in the spooky old mansion is not telling you the truth.
27. Watch out for the guy with the accent in the ruined abbey next door who works the night shift.
28. If you're alone in the house and something calls out your name, leave immediately through the nearest exit.
29. If there is no exit, make one.
30. When you've shot the monster six times to no effect, do not bother throwing the gun at it.
31. Do not answer distress calls from deserted planets that never see daylight.
32. Don't touch the TV that calls out your name.
33. When the power goes out, do not go into the basement armed only with a candle to check the fuses.
34. Reasons to consider moving out of that great house that was such a bargain: bleeding walls, disembodied voices, too many flies, a room in the basement painted red that wasn't on the blueprints, phone service that seems to come and go, windows that look like eyes, finding out murders were committed in the house, secret passages behind bookcases, all your neighbors looove to cook and do housework.
35. In fact, when these things start happening, just set fire to the house. It always ends that way anyway and you'll save time.
36. There is no good reason why anyone's eyes should glow red.
37. The crank caller breathing heavily into the phone is already in your house.
38. There is a boogeyman.
39. If the kid says, "I see dead people," believe him.
40. If you just ripped your phone out of the wall and it rings anyway, DON'T ANSWER IT!
41. Clothing to avoid: capes, high heels, ancient amulets you don't understand, any kind of elaborate jewelry or scarves around the neck.
42. Never break quarantine.
43. Anyone wearing a hockey mask should also be wearing skates.
44. The crazy old guy knows what he's talking about.
45. Leprechauns do not want to grant you three wishes.
46. Elevators going up and down by themselves have something wrong with them that a maintenance man can't fix.
47. Do not attempt to kill your spouse for her inheritance/life insurance/to marry your secretary. You will not get the results you seek.
48. If everyone around you starts to display flu-like symptoms, move to the mountains quickly.
49. If your companions exhibit uncharacteristic behavior such as hissing, biting, thirst for blood, howling, glowing eyes, unnatural hairiness, marked resemblance to demons, excretions of ectoplasm or other forms of gelatinous goo, flaming appendages, extra appendages etc., get as far away from them as possible.
50. If the statues in the wax museum suddenly start looking like your missing friends/lovers/relatives, a quick trip out of town may be warranted.
51. If little kids are jump-roping and singing songs in slow motion, all the while staring at you, leave town or ask for last rites.
52. Never open the locked door.
53. It's not safe to go back in the water.
54. Pay attention to dogs, cats, horses and other more intelligent creatures. If they're nervous, scram.
55. Do not try to teleport yourself or anyone else.
56. Don't mess with the gypsies.
57. Never repeat any names while staring into the bathroom mirror.
58. Skip the shortcut.
59. Never take anything from a clown in a sewer.
60. If you have inadvertantly set loose a force of destruction that could destroy the world, do not attempt to handle it yourself. It is NOT "between you and the vegetable." Call the marines.
61. If the guy/girl you just married after a whirlwind courtship brings you to his/her ancestral home and it's a large, spooky mansion, get an annulment, quick.
62. Do NOT consummate the marriage.
63. If a hunchback named Igor meets you at the train depot, take the next train out.
64. The police always take forever. Even if you live two blocks from the police station, the police will never arrive before the psycho makes his appearance.
65. Don't pick on the miserable geek or the ugly, unpopular girl. You'll get yours.
66. Babysitting on Halloween isn't worth the extra dough.
67. You won't be right back.
68. You do not need to preserve anything for science.
69. The aliens are not friendly.

And finally...

70. No, it's not your imagination.

Happy Halloween!


  1. Devin Harris5:29 PM

    67. If you have inadvertantly set loose a force of destruction that could destroy the world, do not attempt to handle it yourself.

    That is a parent's JOB; don't try to weasle out of it just because it could end in your gruesome death.

  2. What can I say? I'm just a whiner.

  3. Anonymous10:09 AM

    On #8, add "Perfection Valley" or any other place with "Perfection" in the name.


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