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.)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.)
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.)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.”
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.