Today, we’ve got egomaniacal mad scientists, yuppie vampires, and zombies zombies zombies… well, variations on a theme, anyway. The Halloween celebration continues with six more of my top 31 favorite horror comedies.
19. Re-Animator (1985)
From the tagline alone, you know you’re in for a good time: “Herbert West has a very good head on his shoulders… and another one in a dish on his desk.” Throw in Jeffrey Combs as Herbert West, the man obsessed with re-animating dead tissue and you’re good to go. Add David Gale as the dastardly Dr. Hill, who–in spite of being decapitated and re-animated–believes he can both take credit for West’s work and get the girl, you’ve got horror comedy gold.
18. Fright Night (1985)
Thanks to the remake, you probably already know the story here: teenager learns that his neighbor is a vampire, but nobody believes him. And while I did enjoy the remake, I still prefer the original. There’s something about an 80s yuppie vampire that I just love, especially when played by Chris Sarandon. And Roddy McDowall as the aging horror movie star is priceless. Sarandon and McDowall make this movie pretty hilarious.
17. Return of the Living Dead (1985)
Apparently, 1985 was a good year for horror comedies. Dan O’Bannon (writer of Alien) wrote and directed this quirky punk rock zombie fest. Return of the Living Dead plays like zombies crashing the party in the Beastie Boys “(You Gotta) Fight For Your Right (To Party)” music video. I love it. Plus, you got Linnea Quigley as Trash, the iconic morbid punk/amateur nudist with a shock of red hair.
16. Poultrygeist: Night of the Chicken Dead (2006)
And now, things get a bit Tromatic… Troma, the studio that seems to celebrate their god-given right to offend whoever they want, presents Lloyd Kaufman’s tale of a fast food restaurant (American Chicken Bunker) built on an ancient Indian burial ground and the subsequent curse, which turns anyone who eats the food into a zombie chicken… Yeah… it’s amazing… though, definitely not for everyone. It’s gloriously gross and offensive and I’m all for it, but those with somewhat sensitive sensibilities might want to avoid this one.
Here’s the “G-rated” trailer for the faint of heart:
And the regular (probably NSFW) trailer for those with a heartier constitution:
15. Slither (2006)
From Troma alumni, James Gunn (Dawn of the Dead), Slither is a tale of alien invasion/zombie apocalypse that hints at Gunn’s time with Troma, without being quite as ecstatically egregious. There are alien slugs, slimy mutants, and a town full of zombies who are all in love with Elizabeth Banks, which is understandable. She’s great. So is the rest of the cast, including: Nathan Fillion, Michael Rooker, Gregg Henry, and Jenna Fischer. It’s funny. It’s disgusting. Slither is a great warm up for Troma movie.
14. Army of Darkness (1992)
Yes, we finally get some Sam Raimi. It’s a horror comedy list… did you really think I’d leave him off? Here we have the silliest of the Evil Dead trilogy. Wise-guy skeletons, wacky Deadites, and boom stick action abound. Ash is still the man. “Hail to the king, baby.” What horror geek doesn’t love Bruce Campbell?
Check back tomorrow for six more funny fright fests, and stay tuned all week to see all 31 of my favorite horror comedies.