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.


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Documentary Now! Robert Evans Mansion

The Reel Deal

Everything You Need To Know About “Mr. Runner Up” Inspiration Robert Evans

Watch the two-part finale of Documentary Now! this Wednesday at 10P on IFC.

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Photo Credit: Everett Collection

In its upcoming two-part finale, Documentary Now! spoofs the crown jewel of docs: The Kid Stays In The Picture. It’s the autobiographical documentary about Robert Evans, the unlikely Hollywood mogul whose mix of self-aggrandizing bravado, classic good looks and extremely circumstantial good luck took him from being a salesman to an actor to the head of Paramount Pictures.

If you’ve never seen the film, it’s totally worth it. Rotten Tomatoes agrees, with a staggeringly-high approval rating. Watch it before, or watch it after — doesn’t matter. You’ll appreciate it whenever.

In the meantime, here’s a bit of background that will come in handy…

Robert Loves Robert

Robert Evans desk

USA Films/Everett Collection

Robert Evans is the ultimate Robert Evans fan. The movie was narrated by Robert Evans and based on his memoir of the same name. It is totally unbiased.

He’s Kind Of A Big Deal

Robert Evans, Chinatown
Paramount Pictures

Evans produced some of Hollywood’s true classics: Chinatown, Rosemary’s Baby, The Godfather, Love Story…the list goes on. Totally legit and amazing movies.

He’s Also Kind Of A Joke

Wag The Dog
New Line Cinema

Evans has been parodied in TV shows and movies like Entourage and Wag The Dog. He is the quintessential “producer” you already have in your head.

So Wrong He’s Right

Robert Evans Slap
20th Century Film Corp

Robert Evans is a notorious narcissist whose love of self is so blind and sincere that it’s actually adorable.

There’s Something Missing

via Giphy

Entire sections of Robert Evans’ life are left out of the documentary. Maybe it’s because of timing. Maybe it’s because real life isn’t a tidy narrative. Who knows.

He Blew It

Spider coke

Evans had a pretty spectacular fall from grace. He was convicted of cocaine trafficking in the early 80’s, and was connected to a contract killing during the production of The Cotton Club. Oops.

Losing Is For Losers

Everett Collection
Everett Collection

In the Robert Evans mythology, all tragedies are just triumphs in disguise, and every story has a happy ending…for Robert Evans.

Bill Hader Jerry Wallach

With these simple facts in hand you are now prepared to thoroughly enjoy the two-part finale of Documentary Now! starting this Wednesday at 10/9c on IFC.

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Weird Roles

Anthony Michael Hall’s Most Rotten Movies

Catch Anthony Michael Hall in Weird Science on Friday at 8P on IFC.

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Photo Credit: Universal/Everett Collection

Anthony Michael Hall was the quintessential ’80s nerd. We love him in classics like The Breakfast Club and National Lampoon’s Vacation. But even the brainiest among us has his weak spots. In honor of Weird Science airing this Rotten Friday, we analyze Hall’s worst movies.

Weird Science (1985) 56%

A low point for John Hughes, Weird Science is way too wacky for its own good. Anthony Michael Hall’s Gary and his pal Wyatt (Ilan Mitchell-Smith) create the “perfect woman.” Supernatural chaos ensues. The film costars a young Bill Paxton, floppy disks, and a general disconnect from all reality.

The Caveman’s Valentine (2001) 46%

This ambitious drama starring Samuel L. Jackson couldn’t live up to its rich premise. Jackson plays Romulus, a Juilliard-educated, paranoid schizophrenic who lives in a cave. Hall co-stars as Bob, a rich man, who wants to see Romulus play the piano. The plot centers around Romulus investigating a murder, but with so much going on, the movie never quite finds its rhythm.

All About the Benjamins (2002) 30%

Ice Cube plays a bounty hunter who teams up with Mike Epps’ con man to catch diamond thieves. Hall plays Lil J, a small-time drug dealer. It’s definitely a role we’ve never seen Hall in, but overall the movie isn’t funny or original enough to justify its violence.

Freddy Got Fingered (2001) 11%

This showcase for Tom Green’s goofy gross-out comedy is often hailed as one of the worst films of all time. Green plays Gord, a 20-something slacker, who dreams of having his own animated series. Hall is Dave Davidson, a CEO of an animation studio who eventually helps Gord find success. Too bad Tom Green wasn’t so lucky.

Johnny Be Good (1988) 0%

Hall plays against type as Johnny Walker, a star quarterback. Robert Downey Jr. is his best friend and Uma Thurman plays his devoted girlfriend. Despite the support of a future A-list cast, the movie lacks central conflict and charm. Or, as TV Guide put it, “Johnny be worthless.” Ouch.

Catch the “Too Rotten to Miss” Weird Science this Friday at 8P on IFC.

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Season 6: Episode 1: Pickathon

Binge Fest

Portlandia Season 6 Now Available On DVD

The perfect addition to your locally-sourced, artisanal DVD collection.

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End of summer got you feeling like:

Portlandia Toni Screaming GIF

Ease into fall with Portlandia‘s sixth season. Relive the latest exploits of Fred Armisen and Carrie Brownstein’s cast of characters, including Doug and Claire’s poignant breakup, Lance’s foray into intellectual society, and the terrifying rampage of a tsukemen Noodle Monster! Plus, guest stars The Flaming Lips, Glenn Danzig, Louis C.K., Kevin Corrigan, Zoë Kravitz, and more stop by to experience what Portlandia is all about.

Pick up a copy of the DVD today, or watch full episodes and series extras now on IFC.com and the IFC app.

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