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20 Horror Movies That Are Unintentionally Hilarious

01 May 2014 | Features, Film Lists | by Ross Smythe

plan-9-from-outer-space-1958

Films that deal with the supernatural can be categorized under two broad heads. The first are the horror movies that are ‘good’ in the conventional sense. You will be reluctant to watch them in the dark, and would prefer having someone else in the room while watching these flicks.

The other is the ‘so bad that they’re good’ category – which comprise of films that, instead of being scary, turn out to be laugh-rides. Such unintentionally funny horror movies generally don’t do well at the box-office, but over time, tend to assume cult status among film connoisseurs. We here present some such sub-standard gems:

Nicolas Cage developed a tendency to sign too many films in the mid and late 2000s – as a result of which we got to see such ‘wannabe horror gems’ like ‘The Wicker Man (2008) and ‘Ghost Rider: Spirit Of Vengeance’ (2012). While ‘The Blair Witch Project’ (1999) has several genuinely scary moments, you can’t help but smile when a sack of teeth is discovered halfway through the film.

Horror movies are churned out in large numbers every year in Hollywood, and directors/scriptwriters need to think up novel concepts to make their film stand out. Unfortunately, they overdo this often, leading to unintentionally funny films like these.

 

20. Food Of The Gods (1976)

Food Of The Gods (1976)

After birds and frogs and turkey – come huge rats! Make no mistake, if such killer rats indeed came calling, the smiles would vanish from our faces.

However, with the chances of that occurring being practically nil – all that remains is Pamela Franklin and Marjoe Gartner trying their level best to save their island from rodents, which, sadly, look sick and bloated, instead of fearsome. The movie bagged a Golden Turkey Award, and it was nothing more than what it deserved.

 

19. It’s Alive (1974)

the-baby-it-s-alive

Cute kids make truly spooky evil characters in horror movies (think ‘Damien’ from the first ‘The Omen’ film). In ‘It’s Alive’, we have a just-born baby, which happens to be a mutant, wreaking havoc on everything and everyone around it.

The point at which the baby chooses the skylight as its escape route would be when you start laughing, and the way it happily moves along stinky sewers to kill people is unbelievably hilarious. You would feel that there is no reason to be afraid of this eerie toddler – one tight slap would solve the problem right away!

 

18. ThanksKilling (2009)

ThanksKilling (2009)

Oh Dear Lord, the big fat Thanksgiving turkey is alive, cursed, and is scheming to murder of innocent students! When the plump turkey wakes up (horrible special effects), you will double up with laughter at the way it rolls its eyes and desperately tries to appear evil. To give credit where its due, ‘ThanksKilling’ was promoted as a horror-comedy film. The only issue was – it was full-on comedy, and scares were scarce!

 

17. Killer Klowns From Outer Space (1988)

Killer Klowns From Outer Space (1988)

You can’t expect a film with a name like this to scare you – but The Chiodo Brothers try their best, and fail remarkably, to do so. It has remained a mystery why clowns were spelt with a ‘K’ in the title – unless, of course, it indicated (in some way) that the clowns were actually aliens.

It is fun to see the little creatures with painted faces trying to bump off and feed on unsuspecting humans. Watch it any time of the day – you won’t feel an iota of fear. Films like ‘Poltergeist’ and ‘It’ aced the ‘scary clowns’ theme, while this one remains worth an occasional chuckle.

 

16. Shark in Venice (2008)

shark-in-venice

We’ll just gloss over the fact that this movie was not even shot in Venice (the location was Bulgaria, in case you were interested). A wooden Stephen Baldwin sets out with the ‘plenty-of-oomph-and-little-else’ Vanessa Johansson to look for his lost daddy.

During their adventure, killer sharks – with teeth sharp enough to bite through gondolas – attack them, the Italian mafia makes a (God knows why!) appearance, and there is a treasure hunt thrown in the mix too. ‘Shark in Venice’ adds a whole new dimension to the term ‘hackneyed’ and fully justifies its current position as one of the lousiest horror movies – ever.

 

15. The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Next Generation (1994)

The Texas Chainsaw Massacre The Next Generation (1994)

Don’t be duped by the title, since nobody gets killed by a chainsaw in the movie. All that director Kim Henkel tried to do with this trite horror/slasher flick was to cash in upon a successful franchise – and he managed to considerably ruin its reputation in the process.

Remember the dreaded ‘Leatherface’ from the earlier films? Well, he becomes a cross-dresser in this abysmal film. We are not complaining though – for ghosts are rarely portrayed as laughing stocks like this!

 

14. The Happening (2008)

the-happening-2

M. Night shyamalan lost his mojo after ‘The Village’, and ‘The Happening’ revealed the first signs of his downward spiral. The laboured pace of the narrative ruined whatever promise the storyline had – and even at a runtime of 90 minutes, the movie can bore you to death (don’t take that literally!).

In the movie, Mark Wahlberg chats with his plastic garden plant, John Leguizamo speaks in a strange accent, and there are no plot twists at the end (which used to be the signature touch in Shyamalan’s earlier works). The movie makes you laugh – because hey, everyone loves to see how bad a director, who was earlier considered a genius, has become!

 

13. Frogs (1972)

Frogs (1972)

Alfred Hitchcock made ‘Birds’, and everyone sat up and took notice. Partly inspired by that, and partly to generate awareness about our dear ol’ environment, George McCowan made ‘Frogs’. Once again, everyone took notice – for such a source of unintended mirth and convoluted story does not come along everyday.

Unless Sam Elliot’s toned body gets you all hot under the collar – there is no way you will take any part of this movie seriously. If environment is abused, one day it will wreak vengeance – fair enough – but why was only the Crockett family targeted? No one found that out, and it’s not worth trying to find logic in this amphibian-induced mayhem either.

 

12. The Island Of Dr. Moreau (1996)

The Island Of Dr. Moreau (1996)

H.G. Wells’ story, Van Kilmer and Marlon Brando sharing screen space – how can such a movie be anything but a must-watch? Well, it is – but probably not in the way that the makers intended.

Marlon Brando probably understood what a turkey this film was turning out to be halfway through the shooting, and, understandably, sleepwalks through his role (at least he bagged a Razzie award for his efforts). The director has to be thanked for bringing in the pygmy motif too – that adds an additional chuckle to this already sorry excuse of a horror movie.

 

11. Rock n Roll Nightmare (1987)

Rock n Roll Nightmare (1987)

Neither the punchline – ‘When the band starts to rock, heads start to roll’ makes any sense, nor does the movie itself. The only good thing about this musicians-turned-demons movie was that it did not have a theatrical release – thereby enabling viewers to enjoy the unintended laughs from the comforts of their home.

‘John Triton’, the lead singer, is the only person who can overturn the curse and save everyone. Half an hour into the movie, you would just like to see everyone die though. Quietly.

 

 

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  • missannthrope

    You seem to be unaware of the fact that “Killer Klowns From Outer Space” was meant to be a comedy.

    • Ross Smythe

      It was, absolutely. What we have pointed out is that it was not funny in the way it was meant to be – and turned out unintentionally hilarious.

      • I Am Tyler Durden

        I agree with Miss, everything was intentional. I saw it upon its original release and today I might chuckle at the poorness of some of the effects shots (flying car) but otherwise it was hilarious in every way they intended it to be. However, I do accept that humour is subjective.

      • Greasy

        no. to be quite frank, you are talking absolute bollocks.
        several of these films are meant to be funny in exactly the way you found them to be funny.
        the original texas chainsaw movies in particular have been overtly comical since number 2, and next generation is the most obviously deliberately funny of the lot.
        surely you could’ve found someone who knows just a little bit about horror and comedy to generate this bit of clickbait.

      • John Richardson

        Errr, that’s a stretch … your text under the Killer Klowns picture doesn’t explain that at all.

        And by the way, the comma in “fail remarkably, to do so” is unnecessary. Back to school with you.

      • Jamie

        Killer Klowns is a cult classic exactly because it was funny in a way that it was meant to be.

    • John Richardson

      As is “ThanksKilling”. Don’t quit your day job, Ross Smythe, unless it involves writing.

  • Ted Wolf

    Basket case was supposed to be funny as well. Burial Ground is also unintentionally AWESOME!!

  • Earych

    Kudos for including Burial Ground. From bargain basement zombie costumes and gratuitous nudity to uncomfortable incestuous moments with an adult posing as a child, Burial Ground has it all.
    While on the subject, I also recommend Night of the Zombies. Another of the Italian zombie movies and in some ways its even worse. It uses documentary clips to make the thing look authentic and is obsessed with puking.

  • Chuck Afterburner

    You suck

  • PAS

    basket case is intentionally hilarious and intentionally awesome

  • Jill Sandwich
  • Um…Nightmare on Elm Street? Most of its sequels?

    • Bat-Dave

      No.

  • Allister Cooper

    Pet Sematry 2, XD! Clancy Brown at his funniest!

  • Jules F. Melo Borges

    ‘Killer Klowns…’, Child’s Play 2-6 and The Thing With Two Heads were supposed to be funny.
    While ‘The Dentist’ is mostly serious, Brian Yuzna usual sense of humor is there, hidden.
    Basket Case is also not so dead serious.

  • Bat-Dave

    An inconsistent list. Several of these movies are funny, just the way the filmmakers intended them to be. I would say Killer Clowns…, Childs play 2-6, The Dentist and the Hellraiser movies is self-conscious fun!

  • HorrorFreak

    You must be pretty sadistic to laugh at that scene in The Blair Witch Project. I don’t know too many people who would find humor in someone having their teeth and tongue brutally removed leaving behind a bloody mess.

  • Jay Cee

    Wow. Stick to what you do with technology. You have no idea about horror flicks. At least half of these flicks are satires or overt horror comedies.