Sunday, September 27, 2015

Top 10 Funny Halloween Movies



This is a list of funny horror movies. As odd as it may seem to put the words "funny" and "horror" together and as impossible as it may seem to mix the comedy and horror genres of films, a few directors have managed to do it very successfully (or, in some cases, they've just created such a bad horror film that it has become a comedy). Whether they meant for these films about the undead to be funny or not, these are some great films to watch around Halloween for those who don't like to be scared to the point where they're up all night terrified by the sound of a tree branch tapping their window:

Plan 9 from Outer Space
 
This definitely qualifies as a horror film that tried to be frightening but failed miserably. However, director Ed Wood did succeed in making what is often referred to as the worst movie of all time with his tale of aliens who use zombies and vampires to try to stop humans from creating a deadly bomb. Ed Wood definitely succeeded in creating a bomb of a film, but it has since become a cult classic. You've got to love the spliced-in archive footage of Bela Lugosi, the small part of horror host Vampira, and the horrible special effects and writing. It's just one of the few films ever made that's so bad it makes it fun to watch.

Abbott and Costello meet Frankenstein 

This is a favorite of many Abbott and Costello fans, and it's also great for those who love classic movie monsters. Abbott and Costello are up to their usual gags, but in this film, they have very unusual costars: Dracula, the Wolf Man, and Frankenstein's monster all make appearances with hilarious results. The film is very tame when it comes to the "horror" aspect, so it's great for family viewing. It's also a great choice if you're like me: you love Halloween, but hate horror films that focus so much on guts and gore. So if you enjoy the lighter, more fun side of the holiday, you'll definitely enjoy a film like this one.

Young Frankenstein
 
Here's another great gore-free comedy. This film is a spoof of the classic Frankenstein films from the 1930's, and it is definitely director Mel Brooks' masterpiece, often being acclaimed as one of the best comedies of all time. Brooks' staple star Gene Wilder is excellent as always, and the late, great Peter Boyle is the perfect Frankenstein monster. The all-star cast also includes many other amazing talents: Teri Garr, Cloris Leachman, Marty Feldman, Madeline Kahn, Kenneth Mars, and Gene Hackman. So if that list doesn't convince you it's great, well, watch the film.

Shaun of the Dead
 
This film is very gory, but also rather funny. It was a big hit in the U.K., and it became incredibly popular with American audiences, as well. The movie was released around the same time as the remake of 'Dawn of the Dead', but I really prefer my zombie film with a little bit of comic relief. What I also love about the film is that, in the end, zombies and humans manage to live together in a somewhat peaceful way. It may be a little bit of a cheesy ending, but at least it's unique.

Ghostbusters
 
You can't have list of funny movies about the undead without the Ghostbusters! This motley crew of proton-pack wielding ghost exterminators are some of America's greatest heroes because they go after dark forces that are definitely not easy to get rid of (and also rather messy; ghosts are a lot slimier than you would think). The Marshmallow Man is one of the greatest movie characters ever, and you've got to love all of the actors involved in this film who aren't "afraid of no ghosts": Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd, Harold Ramis, and Ernie Hudson. Oh yeah, Slimer definitely steals the show more than once. This movie is a fun family film, and it's definitely become a unique American classic ghost tale.

Beetlejuice
 
And this is another great American ghost tale. It centers on a ghostly couple that have just become members of the afterlife and are haunting their previous home when a couple and their daughter moves in and begins to redecorate the place with a horrible modern motif. This greatly annoys the ghosts, who call upon a "bio-exorcist" to rid their home of the pesky living. But Beetlejuice isn't about to pass up an opportunity to return to the land of the living and has his sights set on marrying the daughter of the living couple, and his methods of trying to scare the family out of the house are dangerous but ineffective. This is a very funny and original film, and one of many of Tim Burton's masterpieces about the undead.

Buffy the Vampire Slayer
 
I guess there just weren't enough films about preppy teen girl vampire slayers when this movie came out. Buffy is very cheesy, but it's a fun vampire flick that was original during its time. While this film was basically a teen comedy with a twist- the Valley girl cheerleader is a vampire slayer who is always saving her love interest and the big dance at the end of the film turns into a battle royale against a bunch of vampires- it was supposed to have a feel to it more like the popular television series that followed. But while the film is nowhere near as popular as the series, it did pave the way for future vampire slayer flicks and was ahead of its time when it comes to the teen vampire craze.

Scream
 
Scream was a bit of a spoof of the hundreds of teen horror flicks that have been made over the years. It was really supposed to be a dark comedy, but young fans took the film very seriously, and it is now known more for just being another great slasher flick. It does have its funny and frightening moments, but what has definitely stood the test of time with this film is the killer's screaming mask and black robe, now a very popular Halloween costume. This spoof was spoofed itself with the film 'Scary Movie', a funny, in-your-face farce that isn't afraid to go anywhere, and which, unfortunately, spawned a new type of film: incredibly bad spoofs of every genre of film that exists that rely on horrible gags and very bad pop culture jokes.

Evil Dead
 
This horror film (as well as the other two in the trilogy by Sam Raimi) has become a cult classic. It is definitely very, very bloody (it was hard to find a distributor of the film when it was first released), so if you don't like a lot of violence like me, you may not want to watch this film. It follows a bunch of college students that are staying at a cabin in the woods where they find the Book of the Dead and a tape of incantations from the book. They play the tape; it awakens a bunch of evil demons; and the students are all possessed one by one (one is even raped by a tree!). The part of the film that really makes it entertaining is that the characters are so annoying you almost want something horrible to happen to all of them, but the bad, gory special effects may be too much for some.

An American Werewolf in London
 
This is another bloody film that has a cult following and that's about college students. In the film, two college friends are wandering the moors of London when they are attacked by a werewolf. One of them dies, but returns from the grave in the form of a rotting corpse and tells his still-living friend that he is a werewolf and must commit suicide to prevent himself from killing more people. He doesn't do this, however, and goes on multiple killing sprees. It's just a modern spin on the classic tale of the Wolfman with a few funny moments, but if you aren't so into blood and gore, you can also try the film 'Teen Wolf' starring Michael J. Fox for a lighter, less-violent werewolf tale.

If you hate to be completely scared and freaked out like me, perhaps you can enjoy some of these movies with a funny bite to take the spooky edge of off the usual Halloween horror flick. After all, being scared is fun for a little while, but you really do need a few laughs to get out of that scared stiff state of mind.

[Image via Wikimedia]

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