"My own brother, a god damn, shit-sucking vampire!"
Jeremy: For the month of June, we were all about exploring the funny bone of the horror genre, the horror comedy. While neither of us are anywhere near seeing all this sub-genre has to offer, we wanted to create a current top five list, with a couple runner-ups, to rank up some of our favorites thus far. As with any sort of list, there will be some controversy, and you very likely have a widely different view of where these films should rank. One such view we'd love to hear in the comments below! Our ranking is based from worst to best, with no order given to the runner up films. Each of our choices have been ranked based off of personal preference, perceived entertainment value, and re-watchibility. As well, we've not consulted any critic or audience ranking in the making of this feature. It's all fresh and ready to rock. With all that being said, lets kick things off in heavy fucking fashion with....
#5: Deathgasm (2015):
"Two teenage boys unwittingly summon an ancient evil entity known as The Blind One by delving into black magic while trying to escape their mundane lives."
Sara: Up first, and ranking in at number five is one of my ultimate go-tos when we can't think of anything to watch: Deathgasm (i.e. it is on while I type this) I first watched this glorious bastard of a film at my friend's house two years ago, we were scrolling through Netflix when she threw it on, and I had to actually stop playing Pokemon Go! because I was too enamored with the movie. I am not too proud to admit that I am guilty as all hell for being on my phone while I am supposed to be watching something, but this movie had my eyes glued to the TV. Main protagonist Brodie is such a relatable character, he is a metal-head nerd, just trying his best to get through his boring high school days. He is criticized for being a metal-head, he attempts to make friends with his fellow geeky classmates, and tries a little too hard to be accepted by the only other metal head in school, Zakk. Everyone either had, or knows someone who had a similar experience in high school-I mean, you're not really living your teenage years up to their fullest potential if your not getting shunned for liking something that isn't completely mainstream, amiright? I immediately wanted to be his friend. I even rooted for him when he decided to join a band with the town asshole, Zakk, knowing full well that nothing good would come from it. So when Brodie and Zakk accidentally awaken a demon and turn everyone in the town into raving demons, I knew my boy Brodie would do anything in his metal-loving heart to save the day-because that's what underdogs do.
This movie is not only adorably quirky, but completely hilarious in the most obnoxious ways. There is the nerdy guy-going for the popular girl trope, there are some fantastic, gory death scenes, such as a brutal death by a giant, black dildo, and there is metal. So. Much. Metal. I highly recommend pairing this film with The Devil's Candy (2017) for an epic night of high voltage metal and terror.
#4: Shaun of the Dead (2004):
"A man decides to turn his moribund life around by winning back his ex-girlfriend, reconciling his relationship with his mother, and dealing with an entire community that has returned from the dead to eat the living."
Sara: Here we have yet another brilliant British film involving a lovable underdog, lots of melodrama, and of course, an entire community of people trying to kill them. Shaun of the Dead came to theaters right after I finished high school (hooray for dating myself), and it was during the time that I had taken a break from horror movies. In fact, I believe the last horror movie I had seen in theaters was 28 Days Later (2002) - I am probably lying, I have a shit memory- and I think that was the straw that broke the camel's back when it came to zombie movies for me. Shaun of the Dead was the perfect break for me-especially when I too was bumbling around adulthood, trying to figure out if my Mc Job salary could afford to buy this movie at full price when it came out on DVD (I did, because it is that great), so once again, the main characters were a little relateble.
Despite my lack of interest in zombie movies, I did love the angle they went for how the zombies behaved here. The slow moving type of classics like Dawn of the Dead. The zombies even succeed in going pretty much unnoticed by our "heroes" until well into the second act, mostly the majority of the cast is completely inept, but then again, that's also the charm of this film, lazy people vs. lazy zombies. That, and the melodrama going on between our main protagonist, Shaun and him trying to get his life together, causes him to make horrible decision after horrible decision, with hilarity ensuing. As for my recommendation, with so many returning characters here from the British TV show, Spaced, you'd definitely be doing yourself a service checking that one out.
#3: Evil Dead II (1987):
"The lone survivor of an onslaught of flesh-possessing spirits holes up in a cabin with a group of strangers while the demons continue their attack."
Thought this was going to be #1, did you? While perhaps the most influential of the films we've chosen here (Deathgasm has a plethora of references to it alone), we've both had less of a soft spot for what we consider an inferior sequel to its original film. Not to say this isn't an amazing, gory and hilarious horror comedy, hell it's funnier than Army of Darkness to me (the most comedic of the trilogy). But gratuitous gore is what pays the bills baby, and the classic original takes the cake there. Here, we have a different kind of beast. This was the film that introduced us to the Ash Williams character we know today. A far cry from the resourceful but cowardly character from the first Evil Dead, we now find a man who is fed up with this shit and is ready to kick some serious deadite ass. Evil Dead II gave us the classic "Groovy" line, Evil Ash, the chainsaw for an arm, and of course, the more overtly comedic aspects to the series that would continue to this day (sans the 2013 remake). The sequels greatest accomplishment is its perfect blend of gross out moments mixed with Campbell's perfect body comedy, influenced by slapstick comedy acts, such as The Three Stooges. Not to mention director Sam Raimi's improved directing skills fully utilized here, especially concerning scenes where the POV of the camera is acting as an approaching demon. As far as the deadites go, I wasn't crazy about the designs in this one compared to any other film in the series. But, if nothing else, I could watch Ash chainsaw the head off of the possessed Henrietta before delivering the famous retort, "Swallow this.", any day of the week.
Evil Dead II is a very easy film to pair with just about anything, but i'm going to have to go with another Sam Raimi horror comedy, Drag Me to Hell (2009). Something of a spiritual successor to the Evil Dead franchise, Drag Me to Hell hits that same perfect blend of horror and comedy as Evil Dead II, but for a more modern age. And that ending? Shit had me in the same boat as Ash at the end of Evil Dead II, screaming a bloody "Noooooo!" to the skies.
#2: Dead Alive (1992):
"A young man's mother is bitten by a Sumatran rat-monkey. She gets sick and dies, at which time she comes back to life, killing and eating dogs, nurses, friends, and neighbors."
Jeremy: Tired of seeing the word "dead" in all of our choices yet? I said it once in our recap for the B Horror Movie Night of it, and i'll say it again: This movie will always be far too fucking underrated. Perhaps the most famous "damn, I should check this movie out based off the VHS box art alone" movie of all time (alongside maybe Jack Frost for that holographic nightmare fuel cover), hardly anyone seems to have followed that advice until Lord of the Rings came out and Peter Jackson was all of a sudden considered great. But here's the thing, he always fucking was, and here's some blood-soaked proof of it. Billed as the goriest film ever made, a claim that may or may not still hold to this day, Dead Alive is so full of memorable moments that I find myself telling a first time viewer, "Oh you're going to love this scene, it's probably my favorite in the whole damn thing!", except i'm saying that every five minutes. I'd go so far as to say Dead Alive is even more quotable than any of the Evil Dead films, not to mention a far more hilarious movie that relies less on body comedy (although there is plenty) and more on perfectly timed dialogue. You try matching up Ash's "Groovy" scene with Lionel's "Partys over" lawnmower massacre and tell me which should have ended up being more iconic. Not to mention that, for whatever reason, this is one of the few horror films i've seen where I actually gave a shit about the growing romance between the lead characters. Shit, made my heart grow three sizes just yesterday.
This might have some of my favorite practical effects ever put to the screen, and the more films that seek to further evolve practical effects these days, as apposed to relying on overt use of CGI, the more I want to believe i'll find a movie that surpasses it in that department. As for my pairing with Dead Alive? I'm going to go with Dead Snow (2009). It's another movie with dead in the title, it's Nazi zombies in the snow, and it's fucking awesome. Plus, it's got those sweet, sweet practical effects all over the place.
#1: The Lost Boys (1987):
Jeremy: Perhaps the choice to put this at number one would be seen by no one except truly ardent fans of this film, but when deciding which horror comedy both Sara and I could agree we consistently have the most fun watching, we found ourselves choosing The Lost Boys with little debate. From the moment I saw this vampire classic so many years ago, it has always been on my, admittedly small, list of films that I could literally put on at anytime, for any reason. Background noise? Movie to help me fall asleep? Movie that I would bring to any party? Movie that's great for any scenario when you're looking for something more light hearted, with just the right amount of horror? This stupidly 80's movie has got me covered. With a kickass soundtrack, over the top performances, and a town I always wish I lived in, The Lost Boy has bias written all over it for me. It's a movie I grew up with, that time has not hardened my view on. So it's bound to be placed a little higher than someone who didn't go through that experience. Ultimately, there's not a whole lot else I can say, it's just fucking cool okay.
Sara: I did not have the privilege of seeing this movie all the way through until last year, I know, I know, but it instantly became a favorite. I was born in the eighties, I grew up on 80's horror and 90's slasher films, so this movie just reeked with nostalgia for me. I lived at video rental stores, my dad took us to buy comics often, and of course, I still to this day have mad love for vampires. This movie is the perfect blend of romantic comedy, horror, and drama. Most importantly, Richard Gilmore is in it, along with a shitload of mullets. As Jeremy mentioned, the soundtrack is amazing, and it is the perfect film for a night in with some Chinese takeout. Also, if Cry Little Sister doesn't get stuck in your head after watching this film, you're doing it wrong. Also, also, Marilyn Manson totally just did an amazing cover of this song *swoon*
Sara: In no particular order we have some honorable mentions to throw out: Death Becomes Her (1992) where we see Goldie Hawn and Meryl Streep achieve immortality and have a frenemy battle of epic porportions. Idle Hands (1999) where Devon Sawa's hand becomes possessed and kills people (I know it sounds lame as pants, but I actually struggled hard with taking this one off our top five). Lastly, Return of the Living Dead (1985) Where two idiots release a deadly gas into a community, resulting in zombies. This one is bad, but it is good-bad.
Jeremy: Before this month I had seen neither Death Becomes Her or Idle Hands, and while I preferred the former, I thought both of these films deserved to place as runner ups - they were far better than I initially expected to be honest. And of course, Return of the Living Dead is one of the greatest zombie films of all time so you know I struggled hard not placing that into the top five.
That's it for us! What do you guys think? Have a film we missed? Do our taste in movies suck ass? Let us know your thoughts!