Comedy horror is a literary and film genre that combines elements of comedy and horror fiction. Comedy horror has been described as able to be categorized under three types: "black comedy, parody and spoof." It often crosses over with the black comedy genre. Comedy horror can also parody or subtly spoof horror clichés as its main source of humour or use those elements to take a story in a different direction, for example in The Cabin in the Woods or Tucker & Dale vs. Evil.
Author Bruce G. Hallenbeck cites the short story "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow" by Washington Irving as "the first great comedy horror story". The story made readers "laugh one moment and scream the next", and its premise was based on mischief typically found during the holiday Halloween.
Horror and comedy have been associated with each other since the early days of horror novels. Shortly after the publication of Frankenstein, comedic parodies appeared. Edgar Allan Poe put humor and horror on the same continuum, and many nineteenth century authors used black humor in their horror stories. Author Robert Bloch called them "opposite sides of the same coin".
In comedy horror film, gallows humor is a common element. While comedy horror films provide scares for audiences, they also provide something that dramatic horror films do not: "the permission to laugh at your fears, to whistle past the cinematic graveyard and feel secure in the knowledge that the monsters can't get you".
In the era of silent film, the source material for early comedy horror films came from stage performances instead of literature. One example, The Ghost Breaker (1914), was based on a 1909 play, though the film's horror elements were more interesting to the audience than the comedy elements. In the United States following the trauma of World War I, film audiences sought to see horror on screen but tempered with humor. The "pioneering" comedy horror film was One Exciting Night (1922), written, directed, and produced by D. W. Griffith, who noticed the stage success of the genre and foresaw a cinematic translation. While the film included blackface performances, Griffith also included footage of a hurricane for a climactic storm. As an early experiment, the various genres were not well-balanced with horror and comedy, and later films improved the balance and took more sophisticated approaches. Charles Bramesco of Vulture.com identifies Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein as the first commercially successful comedy horror film. Its success legitimized the genre and established it as commercially viable.
Buffy the Vampire Slayer is a 1992 American comedy horror film directed by Fran Rubel Kuzui and starring Kristy Swanson, Donald Sutherland, Paul Reubens, Rutger Hauer, Luke Perry, and Hilary Swank. It follows a Valley girl cheerleader named Buffy who learns that it is her fate to hunt vampires. It was a moderate success at the box office but received mixed reception from critics. The film was taken in a different direction from the one its writer Joss Whedon intended, and five years later, he created the darker and acclaimed TV series of the same name.Cast a Deadly Spell
Cast a Deadly Spell (1991) is a comedy horror detective film with Fred Ward, Julianne Moore, David Warner and Clancy Brown. It was directed by Martin Campbell, produced by Gale Anne Hurd, and written by Joseph Dougherty. The original music score was composed by Curt Sobel.Crazy Knights
Crazy Knights is a 1944 American comedy horror film directed by William Beaudine and starring Billy Gilbert, Shemp Howard and Max Rosenbloom.Dracula and Son
Dracula and Son (French: Dracula père et fils) is a 1976 French comedy and horror film directed and written by Edouard Molinaro. The film is about a vampire father and son.Fracchia contro Dracula
Fracchia contro Dracula (also known as Who Is Afraid Of Dracula? and Fracchia Vs. Dracula) is a 1985 Italian horror-comedy film directed by Neri Parenti.Ghost Chasers
Ghost Chasers is a 1951 comedy film starring The Bowery Boys. The film was released on April 29, 1951 by Monogram Pictures and is the twenty-second film in the series.Hells Angels (manga)
Hells Angels is a Japanese manga series by Sin'Ichi Hiromoto. It was adapted into an anime film which premiered at the 2008 Tokyo International Film Festival.List of comedy horror films
This is a chronological list of comedy horror films.Monster Mash (1995 film)
Monster Mash (also known as Monster Mash: The Movie and Frankenstein Sings) is a horror-themed musical film, based on the Bobby "Boris" Pickett song "Monster Mash" and the 1967 stage musical, I'm Sorry the Bridge is Out, You'll Have to Spend the Night, also by Pickett and Sheldon Allman. It stars Pickett himself as Dr. Frankenstein, was produced and distributed by Prism Pictures, and originally released to cinemas in November 14, 1995.Monster Mash (2000 film)
Monster Mash is a 2000 Italian-American direct-to-video animated musical comedy horror film based on the stories of Frankenstein, the Wolfman, and Count Dracula.Scary Movie
Scary Movie is a 2000 American slasher comedy film directed by Keenen Ivory Wayans. The film is a parody of the horror, slasher, and mystery film genres. Several mid- and late-'90s films and TV shows are spoofed, and the script is primarily based on the '90s hit horror films Scream (1996) and I Know What You Did Last Summer (1997).
The first in the Scary Movie film series, it was followed by four sequels: Scary Movie 2 (2001), Scary Movie 3 (2003), Scary Movie 4 (2006), and Scary Movie 5 (2013).Despite a mixed critical reception, the film received positive reviews from audiences and has since attracted a large cult following, and was a box office success, grossing $278 million worldwide on a $19 million budget.Son of Dracula (1974 film)
Son of Dracula is a British musical film directed by Freddie Francis and starring Harry Nilsson and Ringo Starr. It was produced by Starr and released in 1974 by Apple Films. It is also the title of a Harry Nilsson album released in conjunction with the movie.The Addams Family (2019 film)
The Addams Family is an upcoming American 3D computer-animated comedy horror film based on the comics of the same name by Charles Addams. The film is directed by Conrad Vernon and Greg Tiernan, and will feature the voices of Oscar Isaac, Charlize Theron, Chloë Grace Moretz, Finn Wolfhard, Nick Kroll, Bette Midler, and Allison Janney.
It is set to be released in the United States by United Artists Releasing on October 11, 2019.The Black Cat (1941 film)
The Black Cat is a 1941 film loosely based on the short story by Edgar Allan Poe. The comedy/horror film was directed by Albert S. Rogell, starring Basil Rathbone and featuring supporting performances by Bela Lugosi and Alan Ladd in small roles. (Lugosi also starred with Boris Karloff in a 1934 film with the same title.)The Lost Boys
The Lost Boys is a 1987 American horror comedy film directed by Joel Schumacher, starring Jason Patric, Corey Haim, Kiefer Sutherland, Jami Gertz, Corey Feldman, Dianne Wiest, Edward Herrmann, Alex Winter, Jamison Newlander, and Barnard Hughes.
The film is about two brothers who move to California to a fictional beach town called "Santa Carla", and end up fighting a gang of young vampires. The title is a reference to the Lost Boys in J. M. Barrie's stories about Peter Pan and Neverland, who, like the vampires, never grow up. Most of the film was shot in Santa Cruz, California.
The film has spawned a franchise with two sequels (Lost Boys: The Tribe and Lost Boys: The Thirst), two comic book series and a future television series.Vampira (1974 film)
Vampira (also known as Old Dracula) is a 1974 British comedy horror film directed by Clive Donner and starring David Niven and Teresa Graves. It spoofs the vampire genre. Following the success of Young Frankenstein, Vampira was re-titled Old Dracula for release in the United States in an attempt to cash in on its success.Zora the Vampire
Zora the Vampire (Italian: Zora la Vampira) is a 2000 Italian horror-comedy film written and directed by Manetti Bros.. It is loosely based on the eponymous comic character.
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