One of the great things about the Horror genre is that it never ceases to expand into different territories. Be it slashers, zombies, monsters, ghosts, haunted houses etc. What’s great about this is that combining different elements from different genres can sometimes lead to new and invigorating directions. And for many who aren’t into horror, combining comedy is a great way to get them started. Cinema has had a long history of great horror comedies with too many titles to even name, and with that trend continuing with the release of Pride & Prejudice and Zombies (2016), now would be a good time to look back at some of the greats.
10. Zombieland (2009)
Starting off our list with a title many may be familiar with, Zombieland would be the perfect introduction. Woody Harrelson, Jesse Eisenberg, Emma Stone and Abigail Breslin lead the cast of survivors of a zombie apocalypse on a road trip to find a sanctuary away from the cannibalistic population. With useful survival tips, countless scores of undead slayings, and even a Bill Murray cameo, what’s not to love?
9. What we do in the Shadows (2014)
This Mockumentary from the team behind Flight of the Conchords, follows the lives of several vampires sharing a house together in New Zealand. However when one of their victims becomes a flatmate, the new responsibilities he takes on become dangerous for the rest of the group. With throwbacks to Vlad the Impaler and Nosferatu, having a look at the vampire lifestyle from this new perspective is somewhat strange and unexpectedly hilarious.
8. Bride of Chucky (1998)
Ah Chucky! Such a mischievous rascal of the horror genre for the last 30 years. Although Chucky has a severely twisted sense of humour, Bride is the first film in the series that actually invites the audience to join in on his macabre jocularity. With a self-referential parody of itself, you can see some similarities to Scream, but it takes this idea and has way too much fun with it, giving you a slasher flick, that knows, and jokingly, gives the audience what it wants.
7. An American Werewolf in London (1981)
Although films of a similar premise were released around the same time, The Howling and Wolfen are both worthy titles. However John Landis’s monster classic makes the list, due to the legendary Oscar-winning work of the late great Rick Baker. Make-up aside, Werewolf has some classically black humour. Such as the decomposing corpse/ghost of main protagonist David’s (David Naughton) best friend Jack (Griffin Dunne) waking up ass naked in a zoo after a night of beastly roaming. It happens to the best of us.
6. Tucker & Dale Vs Evil (2010)
Nothing like getting away from all your tough college studies to go camping out in the wilderness, only for all your friends to get seemingly kidnapped and killed by two backwoods hillbillies, who in reality are two of the nicest guys ever. An absolute classic in the making here, the kills are increasingly gory, but so is the laughter brought upon by each one. With the lack of communication, and these college kids seeing one too many horror films, it surely spells a recipe for disaster, but side-splitting none the less.
5. Re-Animator (1985)
Dr. Herbert West, a character immortalized in the work of H.P Lovecraft, and portrayed perfectly (and memorably) by Jeffrey Combs, leads the charge as a brilliant, but mad scientist who discovers a serum to bring the dead back to life. However nobody told Dr. West, that some things should just stay dead. Including the decapitated head of your medical schools head Dean. Which sits in the basement and argues with West even from beyond the grave. Morbid sense of humour needed here.
4. Beetlejuice (1988)
Before playing an iconic part in the following years Batman (1989), Michael Keaton collaborated with director Tim Burton for this 80’s gem as the repulsive poltergeist Betelgeuse (pronounced Beetlejuice). Only something as whacky and zany could have been brought to the big screen thanks to Burton, with his trademark gothic style and bizarre set-pieces, coupled with the eccentric show stealing performance of Keaton, it’s truly a film that sticks in your mind, whether you want it to or not.
3. Braindead (AKA Dead Alive) (1992)
When people think of Peter Jackson, they think of The Lord of the Rings (2001-2003), The Hobbit (2012-2014), and the remake of King Kong (2005). What a shock to the system it would be for people to see his original splatter infested gore hound masterpieces. Braindead being a particular stand out as it tops the lists of goriest films of all time by a countless number. When 300 litres of fake blood are used in a scene involving a lawnmower and a house full of zombies, you know what you are in for, and it is as funny as one would think.
2. Ghostbusters (1984)
A true cinematic gem, and a childhood classic for nearly everybody under 40, who doesn’t love Ghostbusters? With it’s classic line-up of Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd, Ivan Reitman and Ernie Hudson, the four heroes take down some truly evil spirits haunting the city of New York. Including the iconic battle against the stay-puft marshmallow man. With a supporting cast including legend Sigourney Weaver and 80’s funny man Rick Moranis, it’s a film you could watch time and again, and it will never, ever get old, even after 30 years. The remake can hit the road.
1. Evil Dead II (1987)
And what better way to round off our list than with the Sam Raimi masterpiece. As if the original Evil Dead (1981) wasn’t amazing enough, the director outdoes himself in this remake/slash sequel. With a bigger budget, more blood and more laughs, and a “groovy” central performance which boost the career of Bruce Campbell – battling the severed head of his girlfriend, cutting off his own hand after it tries to kill him, and then attaching a chainsaw on his stump. That’s only the beginning of the long list of insanity that will remain throughout the entire movie. Do yourself a favour, do NOT miss out on this.