Top 10: Comedy Horror

Trying to balance gore and laughs is far more difficult than you might think and there are relatively few directors/writers who have managed to pull it off well. Here are ten who did, however. In no particular order:

 

Shaun Of The Dead (2004)

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They always say you should leave the best until last but screw it, I’ll dive straight in with this one. An absolute classic and a rarity in that it’s a British comedy which has become popular across the pond without the slightest mention of a possible remake. The first in the ‘Cornetto Trilogy’ from Edgar Wright, Simon Pegg & Nick Frost. If you haven’t seen this film yet, where have you been? A superbly British and wonderfully hilarious take on the zombie apocalypse. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shaun_of_the_Dead)

 

Tucker & Dale vs. Evil (2010)

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Despite being very much a comedy horror (as opposed to a horror comedy) this film does not shy away from the gore. A brilliantly crafted farce of a horror film with some subtle commentary on the genre at the same time – à la Scream etc. Another superb performance from Alan Tudyk makes you wonder why he isn’t a comedy superstar by now. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tucker_and_Dale_Vs._Evil)

 

Zombieland (2009)

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The second zombie horror on this list takes a slightly more sombre look at the end of the world but without sacrificing the comedy. The balance between laughs and heart makes this a really great film and a must-watch for anybody, regardless of whether you’re a genre fan or not. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zombieland)

 

The Revenant (2009)

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Depending on how strict you are in your definitions of a zombie this could potentially be the third zombie comedy on this list! This film should be an instant classic (well, in my mind at least) and you won’t regret taking the time to search out and watch a copy. What other film can boast a scene where a living decapitated head has to have a vibrator pressed to its throat in order to speak? (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Revenant)

 

American Werewolf In London (1981)

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This is the film which landed director John Landis the gig directing Michael Jackson’s Thriller video – it isn’t exactly hard to spot the similarities. A brilliant horror film with a great script, fantastic acting and some absolutely incredibly special effects – the transformation scene is probably still the best example ever recorded. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/An_American_Werewolf_in_London)

 

How To Be A Serial Killer (2008)

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One of the less well-known films on this list but there’s no reason this indie couldn’t become a cult hit if given a slightly wider press. Very much a dark comedy compared to some of the others on this list, this film strikes just the right balance between farce, comedy, horror and surrealism. Find yourself a copy now! (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/How_to_Be_a_Serial_Killer)

 

Dead Snow (2009)

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A bunch of 20-somethings fight zombie Nazis in the snows of northern Norway. Need I say more? (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dead_Snow)

 

Bloodbath At The House Of Death (1983)

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The Scary Movie franchise may be the most well-known horror movie spoofs but this British effort predates those films by nearly twenty years. Includes another classic performance from one of the all-time masters of horror, Vincent Price. An oldie but a goodie. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bloodbath_at_the_House_of_Death)

 

Scary Movie (2000)

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OK, so the above film may have beaten Scary Movie to the concept of a horror parody and yes the latest instalments in this franchise are nothing to write home about but the first two Scary Movies are very enjoyable indeed, particularly for any serious genre fans. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scary_Movie)

 

Drag Me To Hell (2009)

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Yes, Spiderman was not exactly a brilliant film…but we mustn’t forget that Sam Raimi has produced some great films in his time such as the Evil Dead series and Drag Me To Hell. A rather dark comedy horror this film does not receive as much credit and attention from genre fans as it really ought to. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Drag_Me_to_Hell)

 

Honourable Mentions

 

I’m still not entirely sure whether Teeth is meant to be a comedy horror or wether it’s semi-serious. Regardless, the main plot concept – of a toothed vagina whose owner severs the penises of men she dislikes – is hilarious enough in itself…and a tad grim.

 

I couldn’t really make a list like this one without mentioning the ‘creature feature’ sub-genre. Such films as Mega Shark vs. Giant Octopus and Piranha (amongst many, many others) may be far from the best films ever made but will always provide you with a good hour and a half of fun.

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