We love horror movies for their unexpected jolts -- kinda like how the biggest laughs in comedy also arise from the unexpected. It stands to reason, then, that some of the most entertaining movies combine the two. Here are some horror comedies…or are they comedy horrors? that'll keep you squirming AND giggling. -- By Stacie Hougland
Evil Dead II: Dead By Dawn (1987)
The horrifying: a continous point-of-view shot from the point of view of something running its victim down in the dark woods. The hilarious: Bruce Campbell getting attacked by the hand he has severed from his own arm, which he stabs with his other hand saying “Uh-huh, that’s right. Who’s laughing now!” Call it a sequel, call it a remake, call it horror/comedy perfection.
Shaun of the Dead (2004)
The brainchild of Brit director Edgar Wright and actor Simon Pegg, this rom-zom-com pays homage to every undead flick you can think of, from Romero’s 'Dawn of the Dead' series to '28 Days Later.' A London slacker abruptly finds motivation when zombies take over the city. Holed up in a bar, he must save his loved ones while chowing on fried pork rinds, trading wisecracks with his loser roommate and whacking the ambulatory dead with his cricket bat.
Tucker & Dale vs. Evil (2011)
Quite possibly a perfect example of a horror comedy, this pokes fun at the genre while providing plenty of death and dismemberment. Tyler Labine and Alan Tudyk ('Firefly') are the titular endearing, well-meaning hillbillies who encounter some obnoxious college kids in the back woods--mishaps and slapstick splatter ensues.
Survival and Twinkies are at stake, literally, in this post-apocalyptic road-kill comedy that sends four humans, all with their own agendas, on a trip to "the promised land" of California and a final zombie showdown at an amusement park that isn't amusing in the way they'd like.
An American Werewolf in London (1981)
John Landis’ horror comedy has stood the test of time better than other films of its ilk. This lycanthropic nail-biter about two backpackers featured groundbreaking and fantastic effects for its time, and skillfully blended comedy with horrific frights without resorting to camp.
Black Sheep (2006)
Violence of the lambs, indeed. A mad scientist’s genetic experiment goes baa-aad, turning docile sheep into woolly bullies who go for the jugular. You know what you’re in for when the first victim is felled by what looks like a mutant Lamb Chop.
George Romero and Stephen King teamed up for this five-part film that weaves each short story with comic renderings to capture the look and feel of schlocky old horror comic tales. Each segment combines camp with some pretty good jolts, and most everyone gets what they deserve in varying stages of nastiness.
Highway to Hell (1991)
We can't figure out why this weird and wacky gem hasn't been released on DVD yet, but fingers crossed. Chad Lowe and Kristy Swanson star as a couple eloping in Las Vegas. On the way, Kristy is kidnapped by a cop from Hell and taken to a bizarro underworld to marry Satan instead. Cool sightings: Lita Ford as a crazy hitchhiker, Gilbert Gottfried as Hitler, and Ben Stiller in one of his earliest roles.
The Cabin in the Woods (2012)
Joss Whedon and Drew Goddard's postmodern take on the genre spun it around, flipped it on its head, and then cut it in half. It's smart, witty, shocking, satirical and most (best) of all, really really bloody.
Dead Alive (1993)
This entry from Peter Jackson, arguably one of the goriest films ever made, will have you laughing as you suppress the urge to upchuck. Its debauched slapstick works with the sundry decapitations, severed limbs and flayed insides. A gross-out scene with a lawnmower has to be seen to be believed, mostly because there is SO much blood that it is impossible to take seriously.
Drag Me to Hell (2009)
After 'Spider-Man,' Sam Raimi viciously returned to his horror roots with this revenge morality tale that sees a gypsy woman extract vengeance on a young woman who foreclosed on her house. Even in horror comedy, there are no happy endings....
Seed of Chucky (2004)
The star of this fifth installment of the 'Child’s Play' series isn’t the killer ventriloquist dummy but Jennifer Tilly, who brilliantly sends up her va-va-voom image and delivers such self-referential lines as, "I'm an Oscar nominee and now I'm ****ing a puppet!" with masochistic glee.
John Dies at the End (2013)
One of the strangest horror comedies to come along in years that isn't for everyone, it has a monster made out of meat, severed body parts, alternate universes, zombies, Rasta prophets and Paul Giamatti. It's the kind of movie that makes you wish they still had drive-ins.
Quite likely the first horror movie more women wanted to see than men, this body horror comedy plays on the myth of "vagina dentata"--in ways that'll make you have you watching between your fingers. High schooler Dawn (Jess Weixler) has taken a vow of chastity that backfires terribly, and you can pretty much guess how.
Kevin Bacon and Fred Ward play a couple of handymen living out in the desert, where not much happens on a regular day...until GIANT HUMAN-DEVOURING WORMS EMERGE FROM THE SAND. Even as a campy B-movie, this one stands the test of time.
Jeffrey Combs stars as a med student convinced he can revive the dead—unfortunately, he hasn’t worked out all the bugs. David Gale is the university’s brain surgery specialist, and together they conduct secret experiments involving talking heads, severed limbs, feral cats and a bad toupee.
Dead Snow (2009)
What happens when a group of Norwegian kids hit the slopes for Easter break? Nazi zombies attack them, whaddya expect! Do you care much about the victims? No. Is it fun to watch them get picked off in ways each gorier than the last? That's a resounding heil yeah!