Dead Alive (1992)
Also known as Braindead, Dead Alive is one of director Peter Jackson’s first films. Years before he would make a name for himself with The Lord of the Rings trilogy and The Hobbit trilogy, Jackson directed what is heralded as the bloodiest horror movie ever made, using more than 1,000 gallons of fake movie blood. It’s also loaded with silliness and slapstick comedy from beginning to end — just be sure you have a strong stomach for gore before sitting down to watch.
Army of Darkness (1992)
Each movie in the original Evil Dead trilogy includes elements of both horror and comedy, but as the movies progress, the balance shifts heavily from fright to humor. It’s arguable which is funnier — Evil Dead II or Army of Darkness — but my money is on Army of Darkness for its nonstop catchphrases and “Three Stooges”-inspired physical comedy.
Shaun of the Dead (2004)
In parodying classic zombie films, Simon Pegg and Edgar Wright created a classic in and of itself. The film mocks many tropes in zombie films, but also stars a well-rounded cast of characters and has plenty of tension, drama, and old-fashioned jump scares to go along with the satire.
Return of the Living Dead (1985)
Before Shaun of the Dead we had Return of the Living Dead. While less of a send-up of classic zombie films than “Shaun,” but rather a zombie movie heavy on black humor, the film is hilarious, creepy, and features a solid punk rock soundtrack. It’s also known for introducing the concept of zombies eating brains, and not just flesh.
Night of the Creeps (1986)
In Night of the Creeps, parasitic aliens enter human bodies, implant themselves in the brain, and turn their hosts into zombies. This is also the premise of excellent 2006 horror-comedy film Slither. But Night of the Creeps has Tom Atkins and his mustache, so it wins.
What did we miss? What are your favorite horror-comedies?