My Boyfriend’s Back: Horror’s Best and Worst Boyfriends [1989 Week]

Presented by Lisa Frankenstein1989 Week is dialing the clock back to the crossroads year for the genre with a full week of features that dig six feet under into the year. Today, Jenn Adams weighs in on the dreamiest and scariest boyfriends the genre has to offer.

We’ve all dated our fair share of bad boys. They win us over with their dreamy aloofness, then just when we’ve let our guard down, they turn out to be monsters in disguise. Horror has a long history of these roguish young lovers, some so bad they commit cold-blooded murder. But they’re not all monsters.

Every once in a while, a cinematic boyfriend manages to be attractive, kind, and non-murderous, all while supporting his girlfriend as she runs away from the film’s true villain. Rospo Pallenberg presents us with two appealing boyfriends in the 1989 slasher Cutting Class. Brian (Donovan Leitch Jr.) and Dwight (Brad Pitt) both vie for the affections of Paula (Jill Schoelen) and it’s not until the final act that we find out which one she should kick to the curb.


Cole Sprouse stars as The Creature and Kathryn Newton as Lisa Swallows in LISA FRANKENSTEIN, a Focus Features release.
Credit: Michele K. Short / © 2024 FOCUS FEATURES LLC

Set in the same year, Zelda Williams’s Lisa Frankenstein features an equally perplexing beau. His rotting flesh and missing body parts suggest this Creature (Cole Sprouse) might not be boyfriend material, but his sensitive eyes and musical charm may be worth a second glance. As we try to decide whether to date him or dump him, let’s revisit some of horror’s classic boyfriends, from the swoon worthy best to the villainous worst.

Best: Chip – Jennifer’s Body

Needy (Amanda Seyfried) has been best friends with the stunning Jennifer Check (Megan Fox) since their days playing together in the elementary school sandbox. Hopelessly devoted to the popular flag girl, she puts up with passive aggressive behavior, manipulative insults, and cruel abandonment because she genuinely believes they’ll be best friends forever.

Balancing the scales is Needy’s boyfriend Chip (Johnny Simmons). He may not approve of her friendship with Jennifer, but he does love his girlfriend. Chip is always there when Needy needs support and he excels in building her back up when Jennifer lashes out. He’s not even angry when Needy ends their relationship to protect him from her friend’s out-of-control murder spree.

Having transformed into a powerful succubus, Jennifer does indeed seduce Chip to punish Needy for her ethical concerns. In a final showdown, the endearing couple works together to stop the demon possessing Jennifer’s body from feasting on any more boys though only one young lover will survive this dangerous encounter. Sandbox love never dies, but true high school love doesn’t either.

Worst: JD – Heathers

On the opposite end of the spectrum is Jason Dead, aka J.D. (Christian Slater), the cute new loner at Westerberg High School. Observing the social atmosphere from a corner table in the cafeteria, J.D. finds himself intrigued by Veronica Sawyer (Winona Ryder) and her gang of ultra popular mean girls, all conveniently named Heather.

But J.D. is no angel. After pulling a gun filled with blanks on two jock bullies, he sneaks in through Veronica’s bedroom window and helps her pull off a prank that accidentally kills the highest ranking Heather. This unintentional murder kicks off a killing spree in which J.D. and Veronica attempt to eliminate the school’s bullies one by one. U

nfortunately the sensational nature of their deaths make their victims more popular than ever. As their relationship spins out of control, Veronica begins to see J.D.’s more psychotic side. The next time he breaks into her bedroom, it might just be to kill her – before going on to murder the entire student body.

Best: Carter – Happy Death Day

For many college girls, waking up in a strange boy’s dorm room would be an absolute nightmare. But Tree Gelbman (Jessica Rothe) manages to find the nicest guy on campus to crash with. After a drunken night out, Carter (Israel Broussard) has allowed her to sleep it off in his bed while he curls up on the floor. Tree rewards him for this kindness by pretending not to know him around her shallow sorority sisters.

Unfortunately, she wakes up in Carter’s room again the next morning and finds herself trapped in a time loop she’s doomed to repeat until she can figure out who keeps killing her. Though they begin as relative strangers, Carter soon becomes the only one Tree can turn to for help.

As the day plays out over and over again, she starts to see the world in a new light and lets go of the stuck-up party girl persona she was using as a form of emotional protection. Tree’s endlessly repeating day truly takes a turn when she finally wakes up to the great guy standing there, right in front of her eyes.

Worst: Arnie – Christine

Nerdy Arnie Cunningham (Keith Gordon) never thought he’d be able to get a date with anyone, least of all the most beautiful girl in school. After years of being picked on or ignored by nearly everyone but his popular friend Dennis (John Stockwell), Arnie has pretty much accepted his status as a loser. But one glimpse of a run down 1957 Plymouth Fury changes everything for the shy boy with the taped-together glasses.

As he begins to fix up the car he calls Christine, Arnie’s own appearance begins to change. With growing confidence and increasingly good looks, he works up the courage to ask out Leigh (Alexandra Paul), the gorgeous new student and the apple of Dennis’s own eye. Unfortunately, Arnie’s transformation doesn’t stop with improved social status and the formerly sweet teen develops a sinister new personality.

Instead, Arnie spends all his time with Christine, and Leigh begins to wonder which lady actually holds the keys to his heart. When people who’ve wronged Arnie begin to die grisly deaths in the road, Leigh worries that if she doesn’t break it off with Arnie, she may just be the next to stare down Christine’s murderous headlights.

Best: Ray – I Know What You Did Last Summer

Everyone believes they’ll be able to keep their high school romance going strong after graduation. Many have tried and failed, but few couples have had the deck stacked against them like Ray Bronson (Freddie Prinze Jr.) and Julie James (Jennifer Love Hewitt). With the grim reality of separate colleges looming, Julie and Ray join their two best friends for a moonlit bonfire on the rocky coast. When a horrific hit and run sends the frightened teens reeling, they decide to cover up the crime and carry on with their lives as if nothing ever happened.

Unfortunately, none of the four friends find it easy to move on. Their promising relationships and bright futures cannot survive in the shadow of this horrible lie. The following summer, Julie receives a note from an anonymous sender claiming to know their awful secret and has no choice but to turn to Ray, now her ex, to find the slicker-clad stalker.

Fortunately, Ray still loves Julie despite all they’ve been through. He vows to protect her and doesn’t turn away even when she suspects him of murdering her friends. With his undying devotion and protective support, Ray proves to be one of the best cinematic boyfriends in the history of ’90s teen horror.

Worst: Billy Loomis – Scream

Wes Craven’s Scream could be considered a modern day masterpiece for many reasons, but we particularly love the way he points directly to the killer in an early scene then spends the rest of the film daring us to doubt our own senses. The troubled Billy Loomis (Skeet Ulrich) may be handsome, and he’s definitely trying to support his girlfriend Sidney (Neve Campbell) as the anniversary of her mother’s death approaches. But we’re just not sure if we should trust him. And neither is Sidney.

When a costumed killer starts slashing through the students of Woodsboro High, Billy appears to be the prime suspect. Only a night in jail and a clean cell-phone history can convince her to give this moody boyfriend a second chance. Sidney regrets her distrust when Billy becomes the latest victim at a killer house party that concludes the film. Turns out this, too, is another lie.

Not only is Billy the killer, but he and his best friend Stu (Matthew Lillard) are the true culprits behind her mother’s brutal murder one year ago. It seems that this dreamy bad boy actually is bad and if Sidney can’t foil his master plan, she’s going to become his final victim.

Lisa Frankenstein is only in theaters this Friday. Get Tickets Now!

The post My Boyfriend’s Back: Horror’s Best and Worst Boyfriends [1989 Week] appeared first on Bloody Disgusting!.