When it comes to horror movies being funny it’s really a matter of how finely-tuned a person’s sense of humor is and what they’re bound to laugh at. Some people think horror is horror is horror, and so on. But there are those horror movies that are undeniably funny because they’re meant to be, not just because someone has a very sick and twisted sense of humor. There is a line though that separates funny and stupid and while some movies cross over repeatedly only to dial it down so that they won’t chase of viewers, some go for the gusto and tend to alienate audiences that just wanted to see a quality movie.
Thankfully, very few of those on this list have ever managed to do such a thing to the point that no one wants to watch them. Here are some of the funniest horror movies that have ever been released.
10. Attack of the Killer Tomatoes
There was no getting away from adding this one as it’s campy, it’s ridiculous, but the idea is such a novelty that leaving it out would have seemed like a sin against cinema. Yes it’s kind of a ridiculous premise, being attacked by killer tomatoes, but it’s something that had the advantage of being so hilariously stupid that it turned into a phenomenon that had its time and has been remembered by several people as a minor cult classic.
Remember the old monster and horror comics? This brought that idea to life with a few carefully, slapped-together stories that were actually quite fun and engaging if you could get past the few dull moments that built up to the horror. The second movie was even more comical on purpose, but this one delivered the chills and the comedy at the same time with a decided purpose that was fun to watch. It made a lot of people cringe even while they were laughing. And of course, Stephen King is there as well.
8. The Monster Squad
This is all about nostalgia really when you look at it. Those of us that grew up with this movie being one of our favorites likely forgot about it for a while during our teen years and later on. But now that it’s been dredged up out of the past it’s hard to ignore since it was a part of our childhood that we want to keep. Thinking that a bunch of kids could take on vicious monsters bent on destruction and mayhem is kind of a hard concept to accept at this point but this film was still fun largely because it was designed with kids in mind.
7. Shaun of the Dead
Zombie movies were hitting a definite peak around the time that this movie came out and the fact that Simon Pegg and Nick Frost got in on the act was pretty awesome. There are still arguments as to whether this film was worthy of mention or not but upon watching the whole thing you can’t deny that there are a lot of great moments. Something about the quality of the film and how it progresses makes it easy to get through the slower portions. And sorry, but the line “You’ve got red on you” after fighting off two zombies is just funny.
6. Idle Hands
You might want to argue about this one but don’t bother really, as it was a perfect teen movie when the market seemed to be in kind of a lull at the time. Devon Sawa and Seth Green were still pretty popular, in fact Green managed to reach new heights that a lot of people didn’t think he could accomplish, but in this film they kind of skirted the edge of popular vs. ridiculous. Yes there were plot holes big enough to drive a truck through and yes, it was pretty campy. But it was a teenage film, all it needed was gore and sex appeal and it became something that people had to watch.
5. Evil Dead 2
Dead by dawn! Remember how Evil Dead was actually a horror movie when it started out? The first one didn’t seem all that funny by comparison. But when this one really got going and you saw the scene above you got the feeling that yes, this was just hilarious. It was still dark and very twisted, but there was an air of comedy there that you couldn’t ignore any longer and it became easier to laugh along and just go with the ridiculousness.
It’s kind of hard to know if this was supposed to be a comedy/horror or a horror/comedy but it was still fun largely because of Michael Keaton. The ‘ghost with the most’ was the main character after all and he didn’t even get to be on screen that much. But the part he did play managed to kind of upstage the lead actors since he was so forceful in his delivery and managed to just be wild and crazy in response to Baldwin and Davis’ straight-laced act. Everyone did their part though and that’s what made it a great movie.
If you want to talk about movie that should have stopped at the first one and never been taken forward this is one of the many. Tremors is a cult classic and should have stayed that way since it was hard to really capture the magic that Fred Ward and Kevin Bacon had in the first one. The punchlines, the one-liners, and the attitude of it was so great that trying to pick it up again throughout a series of movies and a TV show was a huge mistake waiting to be made. I mean really, how do you top something like this?
Zombie movies have definitely left themselves open to ridicule and spoofs, but this one was pretty cool since it kept the horror aspect and the seriousness but injected enough comedy into it to be fun and engaging. Woody Harrelson is still a funny guy when he wants to be but can also play drama incredibly well. In a world where zombies have taken over and there’s precious few people still alive he’s definitely the guy you want on your side in this film.
1. Army of Darkness
So yes, Ash makes this list twice on account of the fact that, well, the Evil Dead series was pretty entertaining. Plus, Bruce Campbell is just a funny, engaging guy that knows how to play to the audience and can get the job done in the most amusing and professional way that leaves you wondering why he hasn’t been utilized in so many other ways on film. “This, is my BOOMSTICK!” Ah, classic.
There is a big difference between thinking a serious horror movie is funny and realizing that a funny horror movie can still be scary.