The earliest roots of the genre can be found in Jean Yarbrough's King of the Zombies (1941) and Gordon Douglas's Zombies on Broadway (1945), though both of these films dealt with Haitian-style zombies. While not comedies, George A. Romero's Dawn of the Dead (1978) and Day of the Dead (1985) featured several comedic scenes. An American Werewolf in London (1981) and the Return of the Living Dead series (1985) (especially the first two and the last of the series) can be considered some of the earliest examples of zombie-comedy using the modern zombie. Other early examples include Mr. Vampire, CHUD II: Bud the CHUD (1989), Braindead (1992), and Bio Zombie (1998).
Modern zombie comedies include Zombieland, Gregg Bishop's Dance of the Dead, and Edgar Wright's Shaun of the Dead (a self-dubbed Romantic Zombie Comedy, or RomZomCom). This movie made many in-jokes and references to George A. Romero's earlier Dead films, especially Dawn of the Dead.
Andrew Currie's Fido, Matthew Leutwyler's Dead & Breakfast, and Peter Jackson's Braindead are also examples of zombie comedies. Sam Raimi's Evil Dead II, although a more direct horror film, contains some lighthearted and dark comedy elements, and its sequel, Army of Darkness, is even more comedic. The Evil Dead series does not, however, feature any traditional-style zombies.
Other films that can be considered zombie comedies include:
Beyond Re-Animator is a 2003 Spanish-American horror film directed by Brian Yuzna and starring Jeffrey Combs, Jason Barry, Simón Andreu, Elsa Pataky, and Santiago Segura. It is the third and final installment of the Re-Animator film series.The film premiered on the Sci-Fi Channel, though it was produced independently and acquired by the channel only as a distributor; this showing was cut to a TV-PG rating. The subsequently released DVD was rated R, but there is a slightly longer unrated cut available in some countries. It also received a limited theatrical run in the U.S.Boo! A Madea Halloween
Tyler Perry's Boo! A Madea Halloween is a 2016 American comedy horror film directed, written, starring and co-produced by Tyler Perry. The idea for the film originated from a fictitious Madea Halloween movie that was mentioned in Chris Rock's 2014 film Top Five. It is the eighth in the Madea series and the second Madea film (the first is Madea's Witness Protection) to not be adapted from a stage play.
The film was released on October 21, 2016, by Lionsgate, received generally negative reviews, and grossed $74 million, making it the third-highest-grossing Madea film. A sequel, titled Boo 2! A Madea Halloween, was released on October 20, 2017.Braindead (film)
Braindead (also known as Dead Alive in North America) is a 1992 New Zealand splatstick zombie comedy film directed by Peter Jackson, produced by Jim Booth, and written by Jackson, along with Fran Walsh and Stephen Sinclair.
The film follows Lionel, a man living with his mother Vera in a Victorian mansion, who gets into trouble for his relationship with a Spanish shopkeeper's daughter, Paquita. When a rabid rat-monkey bites Vera, she gradually converts the residents of Newtown into a zombie horde.
Since its release, Braindead received positive reviews from critics. Although a bomb financially at the time of its release. It has received more attention since Jackson's success with The Lord of the Rings trilogy.Bride of Re-Animator
Bride of Re-Animator is a 1990 American horror film directed by Brian Yuzna and was written by Yuzna, Rick Fry and Woody Keith. H. P. Lovecraft wrote the original serialized story, titled Herbert West–Reanimator, from which the characters were derived. The plot roughly follows episodes "V. The Horror from the Shadows" and "VI. The Tomb-Legions" of the original. The film stars Bruce Abbott, Claude Earl Jones, Fabiana Udenio, David Gale, Kathleen Kinmont, and Jeffrey Combs.
Bride of Re-Animator is the sequel to the 1985 Stuart Gordon film Re-Animator and is followed by Yuzna's Beyond Re-Animator in 2003; all three films are part of the Re-Animator film series.Cockneys vs Zombies
Cockneys vs Zombies is a 2012 British zombie comedy film directed by Matthias Hoene and written by James Moran and Lucas Roche. The plot centres on a group of Cockneys who arm themselves to rescue their grandfather and his friends from their retirement home as a zombie apocalypse takes place in the East End of London.Corpse Bride
Corpse Bride (also known as Tim Burton's Corpse Bride) is a 2005 British-American stop-motion animated musical dark comedy film directed by Mike Johnson and Tim Burton with a screenplay by John August, Caroline Thompson and Pamela Pettler based on characters created by Burton and Carlos Grangel. The plot is set in a fictional Victorian era village in Europe. Johnny Depp leads the cast as the voice of Victor, while Helena Bonham Carter voices Emily, the titular bride. Corpse Bride is the third stop-motion feature film produced by Burton and the first directed by him (the previous two films, The Nightmare Before Christmas and James and the Giant Peach, were directed by Henry Selick). This is also the first stop-motion feature from Burton that was distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures. It was dedicated to executive producer Joe Ranft, who died in a car accident during production.
The film was a critical and commercial success and was nominated for the 78th Academy Awards for Best Animated Feature, but lost to Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit, which also starred Bonham Carter. It was shot with Canon EOS-1D Mark II digital SLRs, rather than the 35mm film cameras used for Burton's previous stop-motion film The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993).Fido (film)
Fido is a 2006 Canadian zombie comedy film directed by Andrew Currie and written by Robert Chomiak, Currie, and Dennis Heaton from an original story by Heaton. It was produced by Blake Corbet, Mary Anne Waterhouse, Trent Carlson and Kevin Eastwood of Anagram Pictures, and released in the United States by Lions Gate Entertainment.Juan of the Dead
Juan of the Dead (Spanish: Juan de los Muertos) is a 2010 zombie comedy film written and directed by Alejandro Brugués. in 2010. A Spanish-Cuban co-production between La Zanfoña Producciones (Spain) and Producciones de la 5ta Avenida (Cuba) involving the participation of the ICAIC, Canal Sur and Televisión Española, the film won the Goya Award for Best Spanish Language Foreign Film in 2012.King of the Zombies
King of the Zombies is a 1941 American zombie comedy film directed by Jean Yarbrough and stars Dick Purcell, Joan Woodbury, and Mantan Moreland. The film was produced by Monogram Pictures, and was typical of its B films churned out by the Pine-Thomas team. Along with flying scenes, the use of zany characters and slapstick efforts were juxtaposed with a spy and zombie story.Lego Scooby-Doo! Haunted Hollywood
Lego Scooby-Doo! Haunted Hollywood is a 2016 direct-to-DVD computer-animated comedy film. It is the twenty-sixth entry in the direct-to-video series of Scooby-Doo films, and the first based on the Scooby-Doo brand of Lego. The first trailer was released on February 23. The film came out on DVD, Blu-ray and digitally on May 10.Life After Beth
Life After Beth is a 2014 American zombie comedy film written and directed by Jeff Baena. The film stars Aubrey Plaza, Dane DeHaan, Molly Shannon, and John C. Reilly, with Anna Kendrick, Cheryl Hines, Paul Reiser, and Matthew Gray Gubler in supporting roles. The film premiered in competition at 2014 Sundance Film Festival on January 19, 2014, and was given a limited release on August 15, 2014. This was Garry Marshall's final film appearance.One Cut of the Dead
One Cut of the Dead (カメラを止めるな!, Kamera o Tomeru na!, transl. "Don't Stop the Camera!") is a 2017 Japanese zombie comedy film directed by Shinichiro Ueda. Made with a low budget of ¥3 million ($25,000) with a cast of unknown actors, the film opened in Japan in a small theatre for a six day run. Following its international success at its screening at the Udine Film Festival, the film began getting wider release, including a re-release in Japan. It grossed US $27,935,711 (¥3.12 billion) in Japan and $30.5 million worldwide, making box office history by earning over a thousand times its budget. The film also received universal critical acclaim, holding a 100% fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes.Return of the Moonwalker
Return of the Moonwalker is a 2011 feature-length comedy which parodies Michael Jackson with specific references to Michael Jackson's Thriller and other Michael Jackson music videos. It was directed by Mike Maria, who also co-wrote the screenplay with Mike Moreau.Scouts Guide to the Zombie Apocalypse
Scouts Guide to the Zombie Apocalypse is a 2015 American zombie comedy film directed by Christopher B. Landon and written by Landon, Carrie Evans, Emi Mochizuki and Lona Williams. The film stars Tye Sheridan, Logan Miller, Joey Morgan, Sarah Dumont and David Koechner. The film was released on October 30, 2015 by Paramount Pictures.Stalled
Stalled is a 2013 British zombie comedy film directed by Christian James. It stars Dan Palmer, who also wrote the screenplay, as a man confined to a bathroom stall after zombies attack. Produced by Richard Kerrigan and Daniel Pickering, the film's cast also includes Mark Holden and Antonia Bernath. It has been screened at several film festivals and was scheduled to be released on home video in 2014.The Dead Don't Die (2019 film)
The Dead Don't Die is a 2019 American zombie comedy film written and directed by Jim Jarmusch. It features an ensemble cast including Adam Driver, Bill Murray, Selena Gomez, Chloë Sevigny, Steve Buscemi, Austin Butler, RZA, Tilda Swinton, Tom Waits, Danny Glover, Caleb Landry Jones, Rosie Perez and Carol Kane, and follows a small town's police force as they combat a sudden zombie invasion.
It had its world premiere as the opening film at the Cannes Film Festival on May 14, 2019 and is scheduled to be theatrically released in the United States on June 14, 2019, by Focus Features.Warm Bodies (film)
Warm Bodies is a 2013 American paranormal romantic zombie comedy film based on Isaac Marion's novel of the same name. Directed and written by Jonathan Levine, the film stars Nicholas Hoult, Teresa Palmer, Analeigh Tipton, and John Malkovich.The film focuses on the development of the relationship between Julie (Palmer), a young woman, and "R" (Hoult), a zombie, and how their eventual romance develops throughout. The film is noted for displaying human characteristics in zombie characters, and for being told from a zombie's perspective.Zombie Strippers
Zombie Strippers is a 2008 American zombie comedy. The film was shot, edited, written, and directed by Jay Lee. The film, starring Robert Englund, Jenna Jameson, Penny Drake, and Roxy Saint, was distributed by Sony Pictures Home Entertainment.Zombies on Broadway
Zombies on Broadway (or Loonies on Broadway in the UK) is a 1945 American zombie comedy film directed by Gordon Douglas. It stars RKO's imitation Abbott and Costello Alan Carney and Wally Brown as a pair of men who are tasked with finding a real zombie for a zombie-themed nightclub. Sheldon Leonard, as a former mobster turned nightclub owner, and Bela Lugosi, as the mad scientist who created the zombies, also appear.
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