What is Horror-Comedy you ask? Well, it’s one of my favorite genres. It takes two of my favorite things (comedy and horror) and brings them together in marital bliss. If it can make you laugh one moment and cringe in terror the next-that’s horror comedy. It may have a little bit of black humor in it. You know, the type of humor that makes you laugh, yet you feel a little guilty about finding it funny. You feel kind of dirty for laughing. It’s okay to laugh. It’s meant to be funny. If it’s unintentionally funny, well, that’s just a bad movie. Every now and again, some genius walks that tight-rope between horror and comedy and makes movie magic. Here’s my list of
TOP TEN HORROR COMEDIES:
10. Young Frankenstein (1974)-Directed by Mel Brooks, so you know it’s quality comedy. Really more comedy than any horror, it’s actually a parody of the horror movie, but a loving one; which is why it’s number 10. Gene Wilder stars as the the descendant of the infamous Dr. Victor Frankenstein. He becomes intrigued with Victor’s experiment, and tries it himself. Great scene with the monster dancing to Puttin’ on the Ritz, complete with top hat and tails.
9. Dead Alive (1992)-Directed by Peter Jackson. There is a zombie baby, a Sumatran rat-monkey and a lawnmower bloodbath. Need I describe more? You just have to see it.
8. The ‘Burbs-(1989)- Tom Hanks is a paranoid neighbor out to find proof that the creepy new neighbors are murderers. Hilarity ensues. This one is not all that scary, but a good movie none-the-less.
7. Behind the Mask-The Rise of Leslie Vernon(2006) – Ever wonder how guys like Jason Voorhees and Michael Myers learned their trade as movie psychopaths? Then watch this mockumentary about an aspiring serial-killer named Leslie Vernon (Nathan Baesel) and his efforts to prepare the perfect teenage slaughter. Angela Goethals co-stars as the virginal film student shooting his meticulous preparations, and Robert Englund makes a swell “Ahab.” One of the most clever comedy horror movies to come along in years.
6. Fido(2006) – Set in an alternate timeline that looks a lot like the 1950s ,Fido follows the continuing relations between the living and the undead following the Zombie Wars (created by radiation from space causing the dead to reanimate). When a housewife (Carrie-Anne Moss) buys a domesticated zombie (Billy Connolly) to help with chores, her son quickly befriends the creature and names it Fido. But when his control collar malfunctions, Fido doesn’t hesitate to take a bite out of the neighbors. Co-starring Dylan Baker and Tim Blake Nelson.
5. An American Werewolf in London (1981) Directed by John Landis, who had the comedy chops of Animal House and The Blues Brothers under his belt, An American Werewolf in London is nothing short of brilliant. Starring David Naughton (yeah, the “I’m a Pepper” Dr. Pepper guy) and Griffin Dunne as two American tourists backpacking in Europe who are attacked by a werewolf. One pal dies, the other becomes a werewolf (in that stunning transformation scene) – with the dead friend returning throughout, in different stages of decomposition. One of the best mixes of comedy and horror at work.
4. Evil Dead 2(1987) – Director Sam Raimi improved and expanded on his 1981 gore classic, this time adding better special effects and even more outrageous dark comedy. The plot is largely the same, as thick-chinned Ash Williams(Bruce Campbell) battles an army of demons at an isolated cabin in the woods. But there’s plenty of slapstick to be found amidst all the bile and demonic possessions, and the Three Stooges have been listed as a major inspiration for Ash’s on-screen antics.
3. Zombieland (2009) – In a world overrun by the undead, a foursome of survivors (Woody Harrelson, Jesse Eisenberg, Emma Stone, and Abigail Breslin) seek to reach a theme park that’s supposedly zombie-free. Meanwhile, one of the group searches for the last Twinkie on Earth. Bill Murray pops up as himself, and thirty-three rules for surviving a zombie apocalypse are revealed (including “Avoid strip clubs,” “Cardio,” and “Beware of bathrooms”).
2. From Dusk Till Dawn (1996) -Directed by Robert Rodriguez written by Quentin Tarantino.It also stars George Clooney and Harvey Keitel this is one of the most fun action/horror flicks ever made. The first half of this movie is pretty straight action/crime drama. Then the vampires show up. I love Cheech Marin as a vamp.
1. Shaun of the Dead (2004) – Shaun (Simon Pegg) is a working-class Brit who just got dumped by his longtime girlfriend, Liz (Kate Ashfield). To make matters worse, the dead are now rising from the grave. Luckily, Shaun and his tubby pal Ed (Nick Frost) have a plan: grab Liz, Shaun’s mum (Penelope Wilton), and Liz’s flat mates (Dylan Moran, Lucy Davis) and ride things out at the local pub. The laughs are plentiful, the gore non-stop, and it features the best use of a Queen song since Iron Eagle. Kudos to director Edgar Wright for helping revive both comedy horror movies and zombie films.
And here’s a few honorable mentions: Fright Night, Bubba Ho-Tep, The Frighteners, Severance, and Slither. If you haven’t seen them, well, what other plans do you have this weekend?
What’s your favorite scary-funny movie?