31 Lists of Horror: The Halloween 24-Hour Movie Marathon (Part Four)

We’ve had a good time thus far—I have, anyway—slapping togeth­er a top-notch full-day marathon of hor­ror films. Part one set us up with clas­sic hor­ror films. Part two hor­ri­fied us with ecto­plas­mic mon­ster mash­es. Part three warped our brains beyond repair with mind-melt­ing sci-fi/hor­ror!

Now, for the fourth and final quar­ter of the Night of the Beasts—covering the hours of 3am to 9am (Nov. 1)—let us suc­cumb to the gig­gles, with three fan­tas­ti­cal­ly fun­ny hor­ror come­dies (or as I like to call them, horme­dies).

October 27, 2017

Gory Bledalot’s 24-Hour Horror Movie Marathon (Part Four)

3am-9am, November 1 — The Comedy Cwarter!

Com­e­dy and hor­ror go togeth­er like peanut but­ter and jel­ly. Gory, blood-red jel­ly. Since we’re no doubt exhaust­ed by now, we’re in the prime posi­tion to laugh our ever-lov­ing ass­es off.

All set then? Here we go!

Tucker and Dale vs Evil (2010, dir. Eli Craig — 89 min.)

There we were mind­ing our own busi­ness, just doing chores around the house, when kids start­ed killing them­selves all over my prop­er­ty.”

A large part of suc­cess­ful com­e­dy is the sub­vert­ing of expec­ta­tions. Thus we have Tuck­er and Dale, two osten­si­bly immoral red­necks dead set on ter­ror­iz­ing a group of good-look­ing co-eds. Or that’s what the co-eds believe. What fol­lows is an often hys­ter­i­cal rever­sal of the hill­bil­ly hor­ror tropes found in The Hills Have Eyes and Wrong Turn, with Tuck­er and Dale prov­ing them­selves two of the sweet­est char­ac­ters in mod­ern hor­ror his­to­ry. Seri­ous­ly, stars Alan Tudyk and Tyler Labine have an effort­less, delight­ful chem­istry, and the moviemak­ers take great plea­sure in putting the inno­cent duo through the emo­tion­al wringer as the co-eds try to off them in ter­ri­bly grue­some ways (and killing them­selves in the process). It’s all ridicu­lous, all hor­rif­ic, and all sorts of right.

Quote: “I should have known if a guy like me talked to a girl like you, some­body would end up dead.”

Return of the Living Dead (1985, dir. Dan O’Bannon — 91 min.)

This guy scream­ing in here; you’re sure it’s a dead cadav­er?”

Night of the Liv­ing Dead is arguably the most influ­en­tial hor­ror movie ever. It lit­er­al­ly changed the land­scape of hor­ror, and since then, no movie (or zom­bie movie) has come close to top­ping it. So Dan O’Bannon wise­ly decid­ed to not to even try, instead opt­ing to use George Romero’s film as a launch pad for one of the strangest hor­ror come­dies of the 1980s (or ever, for that mat­ter). Pre­tend­ing that NotLD was some­how based on fact, O’Bannon glee­ful­ly releas­es a horde of the undead on a pletho­ra of dimwit­ted inno­cents and that turns the con­cept of “zom­bie movie” on its head while at the same time suc­cess­ful­ly rewrit­ing the mythos. Unlike Romero’s, these zom­bies are aren’t sim­ply sham­bling corpses. These zom­bies are proac­tive. They think, they talk, and above all, they want your brains. Sor­ry: they want your Brrraains! And you’d bet­ter believe they’ll get them.

Quote: “Are you say­ing we’re dead?” “Well, let’s not jump to con­clu­sions.”

Evil Dead II: Dead by Dawn (1987, dir. Sam Raimi — 84 min.)

We just cut up our girl­friend with a chain­saw. Does that sound “fine”?

You sim­ply can­not have a hor­ror movie marathon with­out Bruce Camp­bell being some­where in the mix. And you sim­ply can­not talk about hor­ror come­dies with­out Bruce Camp­bell being some­where in the mix. Don’t blame me, it’s the law. And while a met­ric tonne of his out­put is, to put it mild­ly, “awful,” the b-movie mas­ter­piece that is Evil Dead II earns Camp­bell a per­ma­nent place in the pan­theon of great comedic per­for­mances. The Evil Dead is straight-up hor­ror, but Sam Rai­mi put his comedic stamp all over its sequel. Make no mis­take, Evil Dead II is a hor­ror movie, with buck­ets of blood to prove it. Yet as the hap­less Ash fights to sur­vive his night in the haunt­ed woods, an off­beat sen­si­bil­i­ty begins to over­take the hor­ror, as if Rai­mi real­ized just how ridicu­lous most hor­ror movies are. He them embraces the insan­i­ty with a verve nev­er since equalled. As Jack Black says in High Fideli­ty: “It’s a bril­liant film. It’s so fun­ny, and vio­lent, and the sound­track kicks f***ing ass.”

Quote: “Groovy.”

Reasonable Substitutes

Can’t find a copy of the above? Con­sid­er the fol­low­ing as rea­son­ably hys­ter­i­cal alter­na­tives:

And so ends our marathon. Con­grat­u­la­tions, you are a hor­ror movie super­star.

Now, go clean your­self up, and get to work. You’re prob­a­bly late already.

Vis­it Part One here.

Vis­it Part Two here.

Vis­it Part Three here.

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