DID YOU READ

10 horror comedies (that are more comedy than horror)

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You may think that the “horror comedy” is a relatively new phenomenon, now that we’re all post-modern and ironic these days, but the long history of B-movie schlock horror pictures are classics for all their campy laughs as much as for their ghoulish imaginings. If we were to list all of those, you’d be reading for days. Yet, comedy is an intrinsic part of the horror genre, necessary in order to keep these films entertaining and not so much like audiences are paying to revel in human suffering and terror. There are often comic elements at play in standard horror movies, but then there are those films which take the tropes of scare flicks – zombies, vampires, monsters of various stripes, stalkers, what-have-you – and swing the equation far over toward the funny side rather than the frightening one. The macabre in service of the guffaw. So here’s a list of ten horror comedies which are much more comedy than horror.


1. “Evil Dead 2/Army of Darkness”

We have to start here, with Sam Raimi’s enduring cult favorite saga, as it’s a perfect example of the progression from horror to horror comedy to comedy. The first “Evil Dead” was a straight-up horror film, creepy and disturbing. Then, Raimi went back and essentially remade it for “Evil Dead 2,” but made it more hysterical than skeevy with a man’s fight against his own possessed hand. Then came “Army of Darkness,” which was so over-the-top with Bruce Campbell’s chainsaw-handed S-Mart maniac Ash being thrust back in time and in the midst of undead magic wars that there wasn’t anything actively scary about it – except maybe the extent of Ash’s inner madness.


2. “Shaun of the Dead”

Edgar Wright’s film about a group of British slackers with enough personal problems to make a zombie uprising feel like an inconvenience was a breath of fresh air. Simon Pegg’s performance as the title character, oblivious to the zombies at first and then comically inept in his attempts to fight them off once he does notice them, is charming enough to make the fact that the whole movie becomes something of a dramedy in the third act work well enough to earn itself a deserved cult following. They’ve also been wise enough not to try and dilute its effectiveness with sequels (yes, we are mildly concerned about “Anchorman 2”).


3. “Fido”

You know you’ve got a solid yukfest on your hands when Billy Connolly is playing a child’s pet zombie. In a version of the 1950s where zombies happened, but are able to be controlled with special collars from the Zomcon company and used as household servants, nice fenced-off suburban communities thrive in a surreal way – that is, until Fido’s collar malfunctions and a fresh outbreak takes hold of the town of Willard. Exaggerated suburban satire and ridiculously inappropriate hijinks ensue.


4. “Tucker and Dale vs. Evil”

This Sundance hit is an ingenious turn-around of the whole ‘creepy yokels in the woods’ genre, making the standard group of attractive young roadtrippers into the paranoid bad guys, always assuming the worst of well-meaning country boys Tucker (Alan Tudyk) and Dale (Tyler Labine). A series of escalating accidents surrounding the campers’ attempts to “rescue” their friend Allison (Katrina Bowden) result in increasingly gruesome deaths that serve to really freak out our hillbilly heroes.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RFFh25DmPNU

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New Nasty

Whips, Chains and Hand Sanitizer

Turn On The Full Season Of Neurotica At IFC's Comedy Crib

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Jenny Jaffe has a lot going on: She’s writing for Disney’s upcoming Big Hero 6: The Series, developing comedy projects with pals at Devastator Press, and she’s straddling the line between S&M and OCD as the creator and star of the sexyish new series Neurotica, which has just made its debut on IFC’s Comedy Crib. Jenny gave us some extremely intimate insight into what makes Neurotica (safely) sizzle…

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IFC: How would you describe Neurotica to a fancy network executive you met in an elevator?

Jenny: Neurotica is about a plucky Dominatrix with OCD trying to save her small-town dungeon.

IFC: How would you describe Neurotica to a drunk friend of a friend you met in a bar?

Jenny: Neurotica is about a plucky Dominatrix with OCD trying to save her small-town dungeon. You’re great. We should get coffee sometime. I’m not just saying that. I know other people just say that sometimes but I really feel like we’re going to be friends, you know? Here, what’s your number, I’ll call you so you can have my number!

IFC: What’s your comedy origin story?

Jenny: Since I was a kid I’ve dealt with severe OCD and anxiety. Comedy has always been one of the ways I’ve dealt with that. I honestly just want to help make people feel happy for a few minutes at a time.

IFC: What was the genesis of Neurotica?

Jenny: I’m pretty sure it was a title-first situation. I was coming up with ideas to pitch to a production company a million years ago (this isn’t hyperbole; I am VERY old) and just wrote down “Neurotica”; then it just sort of appeared fully formed. “Neurotica? Oh it’s an over-the-top romantic comedy about a Dominatrix with OCD, of course.” And that just happened to hit the buttons of everything I’m fascinated by.

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IFC: How would you describe Ivy?

Jenny: Ivy is everything I love in a comedy character – she’s tenacious, she’s confident, she’s sweet, she’s a big wonderful weirdo.

IFC: How would Ivy’s clientele describe her?

Jenny:  Open-minded, caring, excellent aim.

IFC: Why don’t more small towns have local dungeons?

Jenny: How do you know they don’t?

IFC: What are the pros and cons of joining a chain mega dungeon?

Jenny: You can use any of their locations but you’ll always forget you have a membership and in a year you’ll be like “jeez why won’t they let me just cancel?”

IFC: Mouths are gross! Why is that?

Jenny: If you had never seen a mouth before and I was like “it’s a wet flesh cave with sharp parts that lives in your face”, it would sound like Cronenberg-ian body horror. All body parts are horrifying. I’m kind of rooting for the singularity, I’d feel way better if I was just a consciousness in a cloud.

See the whole season of Neurotica right now on IFC’s Comedy Crib.

The-Craft

The ’90s Are Back

The '90s live again during IFC's weekend marathon.

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Photo Credit: Everett Digital, Columbia Pictures

We know what you’re thinking: “Why on Earth would anyone want to reanimate the decade that gave us Haddaway, Los Del Rio, and Smash Mouth, not to mention Crystal Pepsi?”

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Thoughts like those are normal. After all, we tend to remember lasting psychological trauma more vividly than fleeting joy. But if you dig deep, you’ll rediscover that the ’90s gave us so much to fondly revisit. Consider the four pillars of true ’90s culture.

Boy Bands

We all pretended to hate them, but watch us come alive at a karaoke bar when “I Want It That Way” comes on. Arguably more influential than Brit Pop and Grunge put together, because hello – Justin Timberlake. He’s a legitimate cultural gem.

Man-Child Movies

Adam Sandler is just behind The Simpsons in terms of his influence on humor. Somehow his man-child schtick didn’t get old until the aughts, and his success in that arena ushered in a wave of other man-child movies from fellow ’90s comedians. RIP Chris Farley (and WTF Rob Schneider).

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Teen Angst

In horror, dramas, comedies, and everything in between: Troubled teens! Getting into trouble! Who couldn’t relate to their First World problems, plaid flannels, and lose grasp of the internet?

Mainstream Nihilism

From the Coen Bros to Fincher to Tarantino, filmmakers on the verge of explosive popularity seemed interested in one thing: mind f*cking their audiences by putting characters in situations (and plot lines) beyond anyone’s control.

Feeling better about that walk down memory lane? Good. Enjoy the revival.

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And revisit some important ’90s classics all this weekend during IFC’s ’90s Marathon. Check out the full schedule here.

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Get Physical

DVDs are the new Vinyl

Portlandia Season 7 Now Available On Disc.

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In this crazy digital age, sometimes all we really want is to reach out and touch something. Maybe that’s why so many of us are still gung-ho about owning stuff on DVD. It’s tangible. It’s real. It’s tech from a bygone era that still feels relevant, yet also kitschy and retro. It’s basically vinyl for people born after 1990.

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Inevitably we all have that friend whose love of the disc is so absolutely repellent that he makes the technology less appealing. “The resolution, man. The colors. You can’t get latitude like that on a download.” Go to hell, Tim.

Yes, Tim sucks, and you don’t want to be like Tim, but maybe he’s onto something and DVD is still the future. Here are some benefits that go beyond touch.

It’s Decor and Decorum

With DVDs and a handsome bookshelf you can show off your great taste in film and television without showing off your search history. Good for first dates, dinner parties, family reunions, etc.

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Forget Public Wifi

Warm up that optical drive. No more awkwardly streaming episodes on shady free wifi!

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Inter-not

Internet service goes down. It happens all the time. It could happen right now. Then what? Without a DVD on hand you’ll be forced to make eye contact with your friends and family. Or worse – conversation.

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Self Defense

You can’t throw a download like a ninja star. Think about it.

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If you’d like to experience the benefits DVD ownership yourself, Portlandia Season 7 is now available on DVD and Blue-Ray.