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Horror Comedy Pastiche


CaveGirl
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For those who like the combination of horror with comedy, there are very few better than Polanski's "Dance of the Vampires" or as it is called in the US, "The Fearless Vampire Killers".
 

TCM will be showing it this weekend late Sunday nite [check schedule].

Though not all directors know how to combine the laughs with the chills, when done properly both elements seem to create a tension that aids both sides. Scares become scarier and laughs more abundant. Why, I don't know perhaps due to being always in a state of flux for the viewer.

 

I also think "Abbot and Costello Meet Frankenstein" is a great example. Any others you can think of will be appreciated.

 

Here's the synopsis for the Polanski film, which definitely does not do it justice. Some scenes are quite eerie and very memorable!
 

 

 

  FEARLESS VAMPIRE KILLERS, THE (1966)  

A bumbling professor tracks vampires in the wilds of Eastern Europe.

DirRoman Polanski Cast:  Jack MacGowran , Roman Polanski , Alfie Bass .

C-107 mins, CC, Letterbox Format

 

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Horror comedies are a particular favorite of mine. I love the "Old Dark House" style of kooky characters trapped in a big mansion with hidden passages and a masked killer or two lurking about. Some of my absolute favorites in the genre are newer, though, such as Evil Dead 2, which took off from where the mostly serious original left off and took things so over the top that it became one of the best horror comedies ever, before making things completely absurd in the third film Army of Darkness. Almost all of the great horror films have touches of dark humor, from the old Universals, to grislier fare like the original Texas Chainsaw Massacre.

 

An American Werewolf in London, The Howling, Fright Night, Re-Animator, House, Night of the Creeps, Dead Alive (Braindead), Cemetery Man, Shaun of the Dead, Zombieland,  and Cabin in the Woods are all very entertaining horror films with a strong dose of comedy.

 

But probably my all-time favorite horror comedy is 1985's Return of the Living Dead. Gloriously slimy monster effects mixed with eclectic characters brought to life by a wide assortment of veteran character actors and newcomers, all with a knowing wink to zombie films that came before, and a very sharp wit that reveals more humor the more you see it. After a chemical leak at a medical supply warehouse causes the dead to return to life in a nearby cemetery, a group of punk rock kids have to team up with the warehouse workers and an undertaker to fend off the zombie menace. These zombies run, talk, and have a specific dietary preference: brains. The notion of zombies wanting human brains started with this film, not the earlier Romero films as is often thought. The effects are terrific, the soundtrack is memorable, and the actors all do a great job, especially Clu Gulager as the overly macho warehouse owner, James Karen as one of his employees, and Don Calfa as the deadpan undertaker. Linnea Quigley also earned a cult following with her role as Trash, one of the punk kids who spends 90% of the film only wearing legwarmers. Highly recommended, but with the warning that there's a lot of language, gore, and naked Trash.

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One of my favorites is: The Ghost Breakers (1940).

 

Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein (1948)

Abbott and Costello Meet the Killer, Boris Karloff (1949)

Abbott and Costello Meet the Invisible Man (1951)

Abbott and Costello Meet Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1953)

Abbott and Costello Meet the Mummy (1955)

 

 

House (1977)

Kondom des Grauens (1996)

The Cat and the Canary (1939)

The Black Cat (1941)

Basket Case (1982)

 

Viy (1967)

The Raven (1963)

The Phantom of the Operetta (1960)

Zombies on Broadway (1945)

Sex and the Single Vampire (1970)

 

Bloodsucking Freaks (1976)

Carry on Screaming! (1966)

The Comedy of Terrors (1963)

The Ghost Train (1941)

Night of the Comet (1984)

 

Poultrygeist: Night of the Chicken Dead (2006)

Poultry in Motion: Truth Is Stranger Than Chicken (2008)

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Three of my favorites, all of which take slams at Vincent Price's critics, film and Broadway (Google "Darling of the Day").

 

"The Abominable Doctor Phibes" (1971)

 

"Dr. Phibes Rises Again" (1973)

 

"Theatre of Blood" (1973)

 

All are fun, IMHO; TOB Is rather gory (fake blood and other stuff that may be upsetting).  JMO.  

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Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein (1948)

Abbott and Costello Meet the Killer, Boris Karloff (1949)

Abbott and Costello Meet the Invisible Man (1951)

Abbott and Costello Meet Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1953)

Abbott and Costello Meet the Mummy (1955)

 

This is about the strongest level of "horror" movie my stomach can handle. :)

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I love the Abbott and Costello films.

 

I am a fan of Young Frankenstein.

 

I also enjoyed the movie love at First Bite.

Seems odd up until now nobody mentioned them. ( the second and third up there....)

 

And as many of the early '50's through the late '70's serious horror efforts are laughable anyway, the need to ask for INTENDED horror "send-ups" is essential  B)

 

Sepiatone

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