Horror comes in many forms, but one of my favorite forms is the funny horror. RM's and my son has Down Syndrome; he is an amazing man who shares our love of horror . On weekends he always wants to watch "funny scary" movies. Funny Scary movies are an art form in and of themselves. It is not an easy balance to get the horror and the humor all in one. I am not talking about the fun of schlocky horror - those can be funny, but it is not intentional although they must be a lot of fun to make. I am talking about horror that is meant to be funny as well.
Take the movie Shaun of The Dead - it combines all that is great in horror and humor, providing you like dry British humor, which we do. This has got to be one of my favorite movies. It has it all. Humor, Horror, Love, Matricide, Sacrifice...It pays homage to other films as well. One scene, in particular, is definitely a homage to Reservoir Dogs with each person holding a broken bottle to the neck of the next person, but done with humor. Simon Pegg is brilliant in this as is Nick Frost and it even has Peter Serafinowicz who went on to play the Tick hilariously well in the Amazon Prime series. The calm way Simon Pegg's character just casually walks by the most horrific events because he isn't aware of what is going on - how many of us go through our daily routines in that "routine fog" . You know those times you get to work, like you have a hundred times before, and don't remember anything after turning off your alarm this morning? Those. How much do we miss because we are in that fog? Of course Shaun of the Dead takes it to the extreme, but that is what is funny. Would we notice on our daily commute if a zombie were eating one of our neighbors? Maybe Mr. Martin is just hugging Ms. Martin. Who knows!
A few weeks ago, my son wanted to watch a zombie movie, but I couldn't find any that we hadn't already seen, so I recommended Tucker and Dale Vs. Evil - A hilarious movie that riffs on movies such as the Hills Have Eyes (yes, the link is for the 1977 version, not the 2006 version because it was a much better movie and it had the Wonder Dog in it) and Deliverance and a bit of Friday the 13th movies. The perception is of teens going into the woods and being preyed on by evil hillbillies, but it isn't the case at all. It is all a massive misunderstanding, and again done very well. If you can laugh over some kid diving head first into a wood chipper, you know the humor is done well. It helps that it like Shaun of the Dead has a great cast - the amazing Alan Tudyk as Tucker and Tyler Labine as Dale - the hicks who are just trying to fix up their new vacation home, and run into one comedy of error after another leading to the teens basically ending up killing themselves off. My son loved it.
One can never go wrong when looking for funny horror than to go with awesome Bruce Campbell who brought us The Evil Dead. Let's face it, Bruce Campbell makes everything better. The movie would have been just another cheesy horror movie without Bruce Campbell's portrayal of the cocky Ash. Look at the bad remake - they tried to do it serious, and it was a mess while the original is pure fun movie. A haunted cabin, a mysterious basement, some audio tapes that give The Ring a run for its money on evil media. I understand it was not meant to be funny, but it turned out that way, and it was a better movie for it. It was also made on a shoestring budget. Evil Dead II: Dead by Dawn while technically a sequel, was really a remake of the original but with a bigger budget. While it was still a fun movie, it can touch the original.
Of course we can't forget Army of Darkness, where Ash travels though time and in trying to return to his own time, ends up releasing the evil dead when he misreads the Necronomicon- Claatu Varata Necktie...cough, cough. Ash returns more cocky than ever! And now with his Boom Stick, and he saves the day, wins the girl (Groovy Baby), and returns to tell his tale to his star struck co-workers!
So go watch some wickedly funny horror. And remember: Shop Smart, Shop S-Mart!
- The One With the Hump (You've got red on you!)