ONTD Halloween Original™: 20 Horror Comedies




Elvira: Mistress of the Dark © 1988 New World Pictures

"Life is a comedy to those who think, a tragedy to those who feel."
- Jean Racine

Laughter can be the best medicine. It can keep one sane when everything else is falling apart. It can be the coping mechanism for whatever or whomever hurts you.

Then there are horror movies,which are intended to bring out our most fervent fears. So the injection of humor is a divisive strategy. Some prefer their horror to be traditional and straightforward. Others don't mind some comedy mixed in for whatever reason (i.e., diffuse the scares). So here are just twenty very randomly selected horror comedies worth seeking out for a laugh or two. Yes, Cabin in the Woods, Scream, Shaun of the Dead, The Evil Dead, etc. aren't here, but check out these other movies, too.


THE RETURN OF THE LIVING DEAD
1985
Directed by Dan O'Bannon




When a dangerous chemical is unleashed from a medical supply warehouse, the local dead begin to rise as hungry zombies.

Long before Shaun of the Dead made zombies funny, The Return of the Living Dead was doing the same exact thing while still serving some thrills. The first in this franchise is arguably the best, but the second and third are solid in their own ways, too. The fourth and fifth are negligible.


WAXWORK
1988
Directed by Anthony Hickox




A group of students are invited to a mysterious wax museum in town, not realizing what's in store for them once they enter.

If you crave camp and plentiful practical makeup and special effects, then please hunt down the underrated horror comedy Waxwork.


ELVIRA: MISTRESS OF THE DARK
1988
Directed by James Signorelli




A famous horror host inherits not only a mansion in a conservative, small town but also the trouble that comes with a magical tome passed down through her family.

Mistress of the Dark is one of the most self-indulgent star vehicles to ever thrust itself upon the public. And we should be grateful for that. Cassandra Peterson hams it up as the titular character who is never too scared to recite jokes that poke fun at her exaggerated appearance and demeanor. The movie also has some witchy antics, music montages, and a brief yet satisfying 'final girl" lite conclusion.


INCIDENT AT LOCH NESS
2004
Directed by Zak Penn




When renowned director Werner Herzog and his crew film an on-site documentary about the Loch Ness Monster, they learn there's truth to the myth.

This mockumentary about a documentary gone horribly awry is criminally overlooked. It is dryly funny most of the time, but then there are moments of dread as the film crew is attacked by the mysterious creature haunting Loch Ness.


STITCHES
2012
Directed by Conor McMahon




A wretched clown comes back from the dead to haunt those that caused his death years ago.

You would think something like Stitches is going to be wholly terrible. Not entirely. It has quite a lot of merit for something so low caliber. The humor, mostly of the slapstick variety, is aided by some effective special effects.


STUDENT BODIES
1981
Directed by Mickey Rose, Michael Ritchie




High school students are being picked off by an inept serial killer known as The Breather.

Long before the Scary Movie franchise, there was a little known 1981 comedy that parodied the slasher genre. The humor here isn't timeless, but there are some funny moments in an otherwise goofy movie.


MURDER PARTY
2007
Directed by Jeremy Saulnier




A man accepts a random invite to a Halloween party not realizing the hosts are looking to kill anyone who attends.

It may be hard to believe the director of this also directed the critically acclaimed Blue Ruin and the favorable Green Room. This low-budget splatter film is cheaply shot yet it has some comedic value. There really is nothing amazing about Murder Party, but there is some mild fun to be had.


HELLO MURDERER
2010
Directed by Dong-wook Kim




An incompetent detective and an unemployed man both try to catch a serial killer that commits his crimes in a specific area every rainy Thursday.

If you can't stand the romantic melodrama of a lot of South Korea movies and TV dramas, then seek out this horror/thriller comedy also known as Happy Killers. It's a refreshing change of pace. And you know that one hilarious reaction GIF? It's from this movie.


FREAKS OF NATURE
2015
Directed by Robbie Pickering




Aliens suddenly invade a small town where humans coexist with vampires & zombies.

This movie completely flopped in theaters, but those who did see it seem to like it. And what's not to like in this horror comedy? A committed cast of familiar faces dole out some quirky and self-deprecating one liners while trying to survive what is essentially an apocalypse.


THE FINAL GIRLS
2015
Directed by Todd Strauss-Schulson




Along with her friends, a young woman is somehow transported into the world of an '80s slasher that stars her late mother.

The PG-13 rating may deter some potential new viewers, but reconsider as this is one of the better horror comedies in recent years. It doesn't try to outdo Scream, which was another cheeky horror movie about slashers. The Final Girls calls out the tropes while trying to maintain its own identity. The finale is surprisingly touching, too.


THE COTTAGE
2008
Directed by Paul Andrew Williams




Everything goes wrong during a ransom. Two brothers soon find themselves at the mercy of a sadistic farmer while hiding out in a countryside cottage.

The British really know how to make a horror comedy as The Cottage is proof of that. It blends horror and humor so well it's actually quite frightening.


BEHIND THE MASK: THE RISE OF LESLIE VERNON
2006
Directed by Scott Glosserman




In hopes of making a name for himself, a serial killer fashioning himself after other horror legends gives a documentary crew full access to his life.

If you enjoy slashers - good and bad - you should really give this mockumentary a try. It points out the problems with the genre as well as the cliches fans love to hate. There is also a twist near the end that you may see coming a mile away.


BLACK SHEEP
2006
Directed by Jonathan King




Genetic engineering in New Zealand leads to the creation of carnivorous sheep with voracious appetites for human flesh.

Fans of Braindead and creature features should hunt down this imported splatter comedy about killer sheep.


THE BABYSITTER
2017
Directed by McG




A 12-year old decides to stay up one night to see what his babysitter does after he goes to bed. He'll wish he never did.

The creator of the The O.C. delivers an asinine horror comedy that's a good waste of 80-something minutes. Nothing deep or amazing. Yet plenty of chuckles and guffaw worthy moments. The young protagonist in the movie may be a bit too stupid at times, but hey, everything else pretty much works.


TUCKER & DALE VS EVIL
2010
Directed by Eli Craig




Two likable yet not the smartest men are mistaken for murderers as a group of college students start to die around them.

Some good laughs are to be found in this affable horror-com. Tucker vs Dale is great for group viewings.


LAKE PLACID
1999
Directed by Steve Miner




A group of unlikely heroes tries to apprehend a giant killer crocodile preying on locals in a Maine lake.

Critics panned this croc flick back in 1999, but Lake Placid is hardly the worst B-movie out there. The biting sarcastic humor and obnoxious characters could be deterrents, though.


BETTER WATCH OUT
2006
Directed by Chris Peckover




A babysitter and her charge protect themselves as someone breaks into the house.

The plot sounds familiar, but there's a twist in Better Watch Out (previously called Safe Neighborhood) that changes everything. Fans of dark comedy might like this one.


HOUSEBOUND
2014
Directed by Gerard Johnstone




While under house arrest at her childhood home, a woman suspects something evil is lurking about.

This New Zealand comedy is both invigorating and hilarious. There's no reason to remake this.


WHAT WE DO IN THE SHADOWS
2014
Directed by Jermaine Clement, Taika Waititi




Vampires struggle to fit in with modern society.

This New Zealand mockumentary about vampires manages to succeed by featurng memorable characters and some most welcome dry humor.


BRAIN DAMAGE
1988
Directed by Frank Henenlotter




A man becomes addicted to a bizarre creature that attaches to his brain stem. In return for indescribable euphoria, the man has to feed the creature human victims.

Brain Damage isn't what would be considered comedic because of the dialogue. The humor lies within the execution, which is campy in the way that only '80s horror movies can do so perfectly.



Poll #2086264 How would you describe your sense of humor?

How would you describe your general sense of humor?

Sarcastic
18(17.1%)
Dry
12(11.4%)
Mean
3(2.9%)
Observational/topical
10(9.5%)
Slapstick/physical
0(0.0%)
Self-deprecating
4(3.8%)
Silly
4(3.8%)
Witty
5(4.8%)
Dark
4(3.8%)
It varies
45(42.9%)

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FFA QUESTION
What made you laugh the hardest you've ever laughed in your life so far?




- There will be only one winner. Past winners can play, too. You can even donate your prize to someone else. I don't care.
- I'll post an online jigsaw puzzle made from a horror movie poster. The first user to assemble the puzzle - with proof - wins that round.
- The user with the most wins wins overall. There will be 10 puzzles total.
- To prove you completed the puzzle, screencap it and upload the image to a site like Imageupload. You can just respond with the direct link to the image as proof.
- If you need to use a spoiler cut for whatever reason, here's the code:


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