All comedy is based on pain, and what better way to showcase that pain than to watch either a horrifying horror movie, or one that’s just downright horrible. Although there are many horror movies that send viewers into shock and terror, horror movies with a comedic touch can hold the opposite reaction and feel good for the mind.
A horror comedy allows one to laugh at fear and adversities, triumphing over evil. It’s these reasons why certain horror comedies become cult classics. It’s these reasons why certain horror comedies are studied for their deconstruction in horror movies. Most of these movies are cult classics while others are the opposite from classic. Some were intentionally made this way while others misfired and bought about a whole new meaning by accidentally being funny.
Hence, it became so bad that it’s good. However, all of these movie broke conventions, tipped the scales of sanity, and went to eleven as these movies are all over-the-top in some shape or form. By the way, here’s a fun drinking game. Every time the word, “Cabin in the Woods” is shown, take a shot.
1. Hausu (House)
Although House is labeled as a horror movie, it’s far from a horror movie. In fact, it’s not even a movie. It’s an enigma. By literal definition of anarchy, this movie introduces a series of surreal nonsense. A schoolgirl and six of her friends travel to her Aunt in a secluded home. Everything seems fine at first, however, characters start disappearing one by one, and it turns out that the Aunt, her cat, or the house itself is up to no good.
Director, Nobuhiko Obayashi, uses this movie as a playground for experimentation. Every scene has an inkling to be different, even when nothing much happening in the scene, story wise. The characters are named after their own characteristics. “Melody” likes to play the piano, “Kung Fu” knows kung fu, and “Mac” likes to eat.
The movie is filled to the brim with experimental filming techniques. There are moments that utilize matte paintings, iris opening and closing, stop motion, and jump cuts that lead to nowhere. The effects look extremely outdated, which adds to the charm of the movie as it takes you out of the experience all together.
There’s a song in the movie’s soundtrack, “Cherries Were Made for Eating,” that sounds like what Japanese people think what American music sounds like. The special effects looked both different and unique, yet at the same time it has this quality that makes it look like a kid did them. It’s a unique one of a kind movie that can never be replicated by anybody else.
2. Dead Alive
Before Peter Jackson raked in Oscar awards for the Lord of the Rings trilogy, he was a smaller director with a bloodier disposition. Dead Alive is the zombie movie that brings in slapstick humor and the most buckets of blood. It has been noted as one of the goriest movie of all time. The movie is so bloody, if donated, it can supply an entire war torn country.
Lionel, a mama’s boy, is in the burden of taking care of his mother who was recently bitten by a Sumatran Rat Monkey. While trying to woo a lovely girl, he must keep his increasingly sick mother a secret. But nothing is left secretive as the mother zombifies and starts killing more innocent people, stacking up the body count. The movie escalates to an exciting climax that’s both spectacular as well as bloody as hell. Lionel, now faced with a horde of zombies in the house, must take them down with whatever he can get his hands on.
The movie has many childish and comical moments; such as Lionel trying his best to take care of a zombie baby and Lionel almost being killed by reanimated intestines. Towards the end, the movie runs on slapstick humor. The zombies are taken out in various ways; such as blenders, hedge clippers, and even a lawn gnome. Dead Alive is infamous for the lawnmower scene where Lionel literally mows down a horde of zombies as they run head first into the lawnmower blades.
The staging and choreography of these actions are well planned out for the crudest effect. Not to mention, these zombies are not the Romero zombies that only require a headshot. Instead, they’re the type of zombies that’ll only die if they’re completely puréed and liquefied. This adds more to the comedy when it’s seemingly impossible to rid the reanimated corpses.
3. The Evil Dead II: Dead by Dawn
Sam Raimi shocked the world when he showed how a little cabin in the woods movie made everyone scared. Flash-forward a couple years later, Raimi shocked the world again when he showed how much the sequel made everyone laughed. Following up the previous Evil Dead, Ash now deals with the Necronomicon in a new and horrific way.
Instead of the demons possessing his friends one by one, Ash is the one who gets possessed by the evil spirits, and at one point is forced to amputate his own demonic hand. As the demons make him lose his mind, another group of people arrive, causing more mayhem to ensue.
This movie takes the best part of the first Evil Dead and turns it into a farce. Although still established in its horror roots, Evil Dead II is still a splatter fest, but it uses the graphic nature of the movie to instill slapstick humor. What makes this movie more enjoyable than the last is that it centers more on Ash as he loses his mental sanity and gains a chainsaw hand. Bruce Campbell’s performance as Ash is more recognized here.
Because he’s the last survivor, he’s has to solely run the entire movie, and there’s a great deal of time with him dealing with the deadites. His performance is even more accentuated in the sequel, Army of Darkness, where he essentially becomes a superhero spouting one-liners.
4. Troll 2
What’s often called the worst movie of all time, Troll 2 is a bafflingly project set to celluloid for many reasons. For one, the movie doesn’t even contain any trolls. Instead we are treated to a family being terrorized by goblins while stuck in the town of Nilbog. Get it? Because Nilbog is goblin spelled backwards? The movie has a ludicrous story and is without its standout moments. Nothing makes sense in this movie, and you feel bad for the actors as they try their best to establish logic in a story that has no logic.
Why do the vegetarian goblins focus so much of their energy on turning humans into plants when they can just eat plants? How exactly does punching someone in the groin turn them into a homo? If a convenient store holds only vegetarian products, why do they have milk? Such is life when many questions are left unanswered.
There are many bad movies that are simply unwatchable. Some are only good if you’re drunk even (The Room). However, Troll 2 is such a perfect bad movie because it is watchable. That’s why it’s often labeled the “Best Worst Movie.” It’s a movie that’s so different, so bizarre, and so without logic that it cannot be replicated. It’s a fun one of a kind experience.
There will never be another movie that deals with vegetarian goblins or a person with the acting chops of a vegetable shouting “They’re eating her! And then they’re going to eat me! Oh My God!”
Look up the word, imagination in the dictionary, and you will see Asylum as its antonym. If you’ve never been to the video rental store, Blockbuster, before, Asylum is a movie company that capitalizes on box office movies and makes a movie with a similar name to that. If there’s a Snakes on a Plane, there has to be a Snakes on a Train.
However, on rare occasions, they’ll make original movies. And these movies are always ridiculous in nature. Typically, their original movies consists of a giant shark versus another giant animal/robot. However, there is nothing that will ever top the genius of Sharknado.
A hurricane forms off of the coast of Los Angeles, pulling up thousands of sharks into the air. This results in tornadoes popping up all over town, carrying airborne sharks as they hurl themselves at hopeless victims on the ground. However, the hero of the movie by the name of Fin, will stop at nothing in taking down the Sharknado. He, along with his family and friends team up with a plan that might stop the Sharknado by throwing a bomb in the tornado?
Like most Asylum movies, Sharknado has no logic or reasoning behind what goes on in the movie. The movie is famous for numerously jumping the shark and literally jumping the shark. There are glaring mistakes in the movie that the filmmakers didn’t really care to address. One minute the inside of a house is flooded, but as soon as they go outside, everything is dry. Smelling gasoline while driving means the car is going to blow up.
Pouring gasoline in a swimming pool and lighting it on fire will cause the pool to blow up. You can survive being swallowed by a shark if you dive into it headfirst with a chainsaw. There are countless more of these moments in this and the other two Sharknado sequels. The mentality of Asylum is actually admirable in that this movie realizes that it’s ridiculous and they don’t make any attempt to hide it.
6. American Psycho
A satire on the American yuppie life, this movie centers on Patrick Bateman, a possibly more sadistic but richer version of Norman Bates, played by Christian Bale. If you think about it, Patrick Bateman is like the love child of the Joker and Bruce Wayne.
The movie follows the riches and spoils of Patrick. He has a successful job, an eccentric sex life, and he compares business cards with his colleagues. However, the movie also depicts the humble narrator as a sadistic serial killer. Patrick has axed off colleagues, killed a hooker with a chainsaw, and was going to feed a stray cat to an ATM machine.
The movie is filled with pornographic misogyny, disturbing moments, and the narcissistic vanity of wealthy success. But all of these horrible things make the movie all the more fun to watch. Christian Bale is the greatest strength in the movie as he is both charming and sadistic. He is just at the appropriate amount of over-the-top, yet when insanity is reached, he can unleash hell.
Yet, the best moment from his performance is when he looks like he’s about to burst while examining other business cards. There’s another scene where he keeps his calm with a colleague in his apartment. He makes small talk about Huey Lewis and the News’ song, “It’s Hip to be Square,” while prepping an ax and a rain coat. You can figure out what happens next.
7. Planet Terror
The ultimate love letter to schlocky Grindhouse movies, Robert Rodriguez’s contribution to the Grindhouse movie (2007) is a zombie movie, starring Rose McGowan as a stripper with a machine gun for a leg. This has the makings of everything great about Robert Rodriguez.
The movie has its fill of B-horror campiness with incredible action scenes, a cool colorful cast of characters, and Tom Savini gore that’s bloody and ridiculous. Logic of the movie is thrown out of the window, and the movie even has a missing reel in order to top its silliness. In fact, Quentin Tarantino makes a great cameo as a rapist who meets an unfortunate end.
It’s a B-movie that constantly reminds you that you’re watching a B-movie. Its inescapable cheesiness is relenting, never giving up and getting worse and worse as the movie progresses. The idea of a stripper with a machine gun for a leg basically sums up what is to be expected in this movie. It’s a literal exploitation of sex and violence, a trope found in Grindhouse movies.