Forward by: Dan Martin
Hey guys its OCTOBER and that means its Halloween all month! At least to us here on Comic's Corner it is. We are big low budget fans here at our core staff but realize not many people have seen some of the crap we are willing to subject ourselves to. So in the spirit of the holidays, I asked fellow Comedian David Erik Finn to do some research into the comedic factor of Horror movies and give his opinions on it. David was brave, not being a fan of the genre he wasn't afraid to expose himself... to the films, sickos! I will be dropping in links and pictures to titillate the horror fan and educate the willing. Enjoy the crap! Let's make some art!
Check out what happens below when an average film goer is subjected to the underground. No Oscars, no awards, just hard work and dedicated film making.
A Comical Essay by: David Erik Finn
'Tis the season of horror-n-such, as we head towards All Hallows Eve. But, can it also be the season of comedy? Sure, there are enough funny Christmas movies to fill Santa's sack, and if you look behind the menorah and beside your Dreidel you might find either of the humorous Hanukkah DVDs, but what about funny Halloween/horror films?
Perhaps the merriment of the Christmas holidays makes a fun/funny theme easier to create and generally more palatable to paying audiences, and though issues of true trauma in life may inspire some dark sarcastic humor they generally fail at providing us with lighthearted hilarity.
Still, though killer clowns and megalomania-cal dwarf-elves provide surface level snickers, the cornucopia of good funny horror stories is as difficult to find as palatable sweet and sour Irish hors d'oeurves.
The first time that I can remember openly laughing at the presence of something horrible on the silver screen was with Pulp Fiction in surprise reaction after Marvin's brains were accidentally strewn about the '74 Chevy Nova (driven by Jules) due to Vincent’s haphazard holding of his gun. Granted, it was not a horror film, but the notion that 'something so plainly gruesome could be funny' has stuck with me ever since that viewing. And thinking on it a bit more, it was the only time I laughed at something so macabre. Thank you, Quentin Tarantino.
So, for me, generally, truly terrible things aren't funny. But that doesn't mean that a horror film must be devoid of funny stuff. I remember humor pervaded American Werewolf in London where the undead/ghost friend of the main character would say sarcastic quips while further decomposing in each following scene along with a soundtrack fastened to “full moon” imagery (I find inherent irony can be humorous). It was the second horror film that I recall seeing as legitimately funny (the first was the slapstick comedy Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein (I was six years old)). But that's about it. Oh, and I thought the penis gun used in From Dawn 'til Dusk was a funny prop (though Quentin did use it in another one of his films). This, nonetheless, is the point in the discussion where I draw a blank using personal insight and am forced to go to the search bar to find more...
OK. I'm back.
Apparently I have lead a sheltered existence; there are a bunch of horror/comedies that predate the moment when Ms. Finn gave forth unto the world her first male child... Really, she did –she put me up for adoption immediately thereafter. But since this is not a therapy session, back to 'comedy and horror.'
Scanning through the titles and learning about the actors/directors/producers it is gleaned that most of the funny horror flicks are low-budget B movies with C-grade comedy. From the 60s and earlier there is Bucket of Blood and Scared Stiff and a couple other Abbot and Costello Meet “[some scary character]” films. [EDITORS NOTE: Here is a fun top ten list for Halloween Comedies.]
Most of the more modern films (and by that I mean in color) are not very good. I base that comment not from a point of personal knowledge (as much is lacking) but from the overwhelming lack of Oscar nominations with which they have been deluged. Admittedly, I did see Dark Shadows and This is the End. Wait; did I just permit you, the reader, to know that? I'll edit it out later...
Do I really need to discuss the parody/spoof films like Stan Helsing and Scary Movie (1-5)? Yes. I do, but I won't. Instead I'm going to torrent Zombie Strippers... I'll get back to you when I'm done.
Uhm... Zombie Strippers... OK... I have an idea: NO. [EDITORS NOTE: Click title for trailer. Its a fun B-Cast, for us its a hard YES]
Guys, this movie should only be watched with a girlfriend who you can't figure out how to breakup with. (Hint: tell her that you are dying to see the sequel(s).) Gals, watch this movie with a date if you want him/her to think you are a total freak –and then you'll probably have a tough time getting rid of them when the times comes if she/he has actually watched the whole thing and is the type of person who could not be torn away from reading the final credits. But let us (and by “us” I mean “me”) discuss the humor in it.
Real porn stars acting in a zombie movie... that is the funny. Well, kinda. It's a strange idea and that is the entirety of the funny part. There was nothing in it that inspired even a chuckle. And I'm now concerned that I didn't even get a chubby watching Jenna Jameson pole dancing. WTF?
Look, I am not an expert... in anything. My opinions are just those of a fat guy with an increasing waistline who's been through the ringer emotionally (since I can't fit through it physically) and has been too edumacated for his own good (I really do have a juris doctorate). I'm kinda funny –sometimes on purpose. But right now, I have to be boringly honest with all y'all: I'm not into gore movies; I find them too disturbing. That some writer has the capacity to instill moments of humor in them –for comic relief– can be a good thing as it may keep an entire audience from entering into a orgy of coronary failure based on being in either a state of perpetual suspense or having to cope with technicolor mutilation. Humor has its place in a horror movie as much as in any other genre. It's just that the humor seems to suck in most horror films today.
My complaint about humor in the majority of horror flicks is that it is often realized only through cheap gags and sophomoric puns, thus appearing to be merely an afterthought.
That said, let's write a true comic horror (not that I know how). Then, we can go to O’Toole's Schezuan Beef House for appetizers –I'm buyin'.