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We kicked off Scaretober with some our favorite scary documentaries. It was heavy. We needed a laugh. This week is all about funny horror. Some entries are so bad they’re funny. Some are intentionally funny. Some are funny and scary and true. Come back next week for the new horror canon.

The Visit (2015)

Last week I proclaimed that The Nightmare is the scariest movie of 2015. That’s still true, but I’d also like to add that The Visit is the best horror comedy of 2015. Horror comedy is hard to do well because it’s difficult to hit that sweet spot between honest to god fear and genuine hilarity. Many movies swing too far in one particular direction, including some of the movies on this list (but they’re on here for other reasons, I would never lead you astray). The Visit does not do that. Even during its scariest scenes (and they are genuinely frightening), M Night Shyamalan is still breaking up the tension by trying (and succeeding) to make you laugh. Even if it is the panic induced kind of laughter. This works in Shyamalan’s favor in multiple ways, because not only is it a fresh breath in a year that has been dominated with pretty serious horror films, but the comedy and general weird tone distracts you from the twist (yes, there is a twist) until it’s way too late. It’s been a minute since I’ve heard an entire theater of people gasp in unison at an M Night Shyamalan film, but trust me, it is well deserved. -Kaylee Dugan

Resolution (2012)

I don’t want to tell you too much about Resolution because the less you know about the movie going into it the better it will work out for you. Just know that it is hilarious, almost kind of adorable (in a bromance way), and very very strange. While it won’t keep you up at night, the more the movie goes off the rails, the more off kilter and uncomfortable you’ll feel. It is the kind of movie you will continue to think about, not just because the ending is a little controversial, but because it is one of the most inventive horror movies to come out in the past couple of years. -Kaylee Dugan

Tucker & Dale vs. Evil (2010)

There are few horror comedies more delightful than Tucker & Dale vs. Evil. Despite the gore (and trust me, there is plenty of it), almost every scene is jovial and fun enough to make you smile. Tyler Labine and Alan Tudyk (who I will have a crush on forever because LOOK AT THAT JAWLINE) play two simple country boys who are just hanging out in the woods, fixing up their newly bought cabin, and generally bro-ing out, until a couple of teens come by and misconstrue their actions as creepy and… murdery. From that point on, everything goes so wrong it’s right. There is some seriously funny horror critique going on for those of us nerdy enough to care about that kind of stuff, but there’s also a lot of dumb funny jokes, all the gore you could ever want, and a romance so adorable it will warm anyone’s cold dead heart. -Kaylee Dugan

The Cabin in the Woods (2012)

The Cabin in the Woods isn’t really “funny” per se– it’s just smart and because of the nature of the movie verges into some pretty funny territory sometimes. If you haven’t seen it yet it’s one of the best recent horror films on the market. I don’t want to avoid giving too much away, as do most people when talking about Cabin in the Woods but I will say this — it’s funny because it’s a horror movie about how horrible and formulaic most horror movies are. Particularly after the moment where shit hits the fan (you’ll know that moment when you see it), this movie gets incredibly fun and funny as worlds converge, and a lot of the scenes that take place outside of the realm of the literal horror movie are totally hilarious. -Tam Sackman

Teeth (2007)

If you haven’t seen Teeth yet, ignore what you’ve ever heard and go watch it right now. I vividly remember it being whispered about when I was in high school (“Oh my god, have you seen Teeth? It’s soooo gross.”), so I was always under the impression it was a schlocky torture porn esque piece of trash, until very recently when I finally sat down and watched it. It’s a little schlocky and you will certainly see more detached penises then you’ve (probably?) ever seen in your entire life, but it’s also deeply funny and so disturbing. Weirdly enough the sound design is fantastic, so you vividly hear every tear, crunch, and squirt. Obviously, there’s quite a bit of sexualized violence, so if that’s not up your alley, I totally understand, but if you can stomach it. Teeth is a horror comedy in the truest sense of the word, it’s so horrifying you basically have to laugh. -Kaylee Dugan

Snoop Dogg’s Hood of Horror (2006)

This incredible masterpiece made its debut at the 2006 Cannes Film Festival and has apparently fallen off the face of the earth since. I saw Snoop Dogg’s Hood of Horror once in high school because my sister and I ordered it on demand. For some reason I can’t seem to find anyone with the same favorite horror movie as me. It’s fine. The film tells three stories, starting with how Devon (Snoop himself) became a Hound of Hell. I think that means he works for Satan, but from what I remember his duties in this position were never exactly clear. These shorter stories touch on gang violence, street art, racism, murder, and some other scary stuff. Even though Rotten Tomatoes gave the movie a generous 11% rating, I’ll say that checking it out is definitely worth your time for the #laughs. -Grace Cassidy

House of Wax (2005)

A movie that is funny because it is awful is 2005’s House of Wax, starring none other than the most underused, underrated actress/social experiment, Paris Hilton. I miss her dearly and hope she is doing alright, but I’m glad she (and former heartthrob, current dad Chad Michael Murray) left us with the gift that is House of Wax. The movie’s premise is that of all good horror movies– a bunch of hot young people are camping in the woods so that they can bang undisturbed but instead they find something MUCH MORE SINISTER *cymbal clash*. It’s an abandoned wax museum in a ghost town, so of course, they must check it out separately. Hot young people camping always ends up being fine! Evil twins definitely don’t try to turn them into preserved wax figures or anything like that. -Tam Sackman

Club Dread (2004)

Like many films on this list, Broken Lizard’s Club Dread is a spoof on bad horror films. Broken Lizard are the Super Troopers guys, and Club Dread was, I think, fairly characterized as a long-awaited follow up to that movie. It didn’t quite live up to its predecessor, but it’s far from unfunny and much better than Broken Lizard’s subsequent attempts–in The Slammin’ Salmon, for example–to recapture that magic. Club Dread pits a mystery serial killer against a group of island resort employees, all with somewhat ridiculous accents and job roles (e.g. a British tennis instructor, a vaguely Hispanic swimming instructor, a DJ, a masseuse with mystical powers) and it’s replete with slasher flick cliches of characters being gradually killed off and turning on one another. The highlight, though, is definitely Bill Paxton as Coconut Pete, a poor-man’s Jimmy Buffet (if there is such a thing), but who also lives in the same universe as the actual Jimmy Buffet, and we know this because during the film, someone requests that he play “Margaritaville.” (His miffed response: “Don’t you mean ‘Pina-Colada-burg?'”) -Tony Beasley

American Movie (1999)

American Movie is a documentary, and yet it is appropriately featured here, rather than last week, because it is owing to the horror genre and is hilarious. American Movie starts off as a movie about the making of a non-horror movie, but soon becomes a movie about making a horror movie so that the filmmakers will have enough money to resume production on the non-horror movie. This is very American. Its principal subject is Mark Borchardt, a Milwaukee native (Milwaukee is in America) who dares the IRS to put a lien on his Night of the Living Dead book in response to threats over back taxes. His sidekick is Mike Schank, a Metallica fan who can play “Fight Fire With Fire” on his acoustic guitar and who apparently survived being clinically braindead after a drug overdose. While American Movie could easily be a very sad movie about bad film making in cold weather, Borchardt makes it funny and uplifting. Borchardt believes that it’s his destiny to make a feature film. We root for him (again, American). The film that he actually edits and completes–Coven–is not so horrible that you laugh at him, but maybe only because you see what he had to work with and what he had to go through to finish it. Would I pay $15 for a copy of Coven? In the words of Mike Schank, “hell yeah, man.” -Tony Beasley

Scream (1996)

As a horror film wet blanket, there are few movies in the genre that are satisfying on repeat viewings. I don’t care for serial killers, zombies, vampires, or monsters. They don’t scare me. If it’s not somewhat realistic, I most likely do not care. The film that ushered in the modern era or horror worked because it mocked convention and was believable. Scream holds up. What it inspired does not. Oh well, that’s not film maker’s Wes Craven’s fault. The dozens of imitators didn’t quite understand what made this smart take on the dumb genre work. Nearly 20 years later, the tropes on the tropes are still true. The jokes are still funny. The fear is still believable. -Brandon Wetherbee

People Under the Stairs (1991)

We have a lot of feelings about Wes Craven at BYT, and they’re all positive because he is a beautiful human being who is sorely missed. One of my favorite Wes Craven films is The People Under the Stairs, in which a guy breaks into his horrible landlords house only to discover a bunch of weird kids living in the walls and, of course, under the stairs. To say it is a weird movie would be an understatement, but it was clearly something that was near and dear to Craven’s heart because he had plans to turn it into a TV show before he passed away a few months ago. While you could argue that The People Under the Stairs is more heartwarming and kind of creepy than scary and laugh out loud funny, it still manages to hit a few funny notes and some decent scares. It’s all worth it just to follow Roach, one of the main kids who lives under the stairs, because his face is terrifying yet you grow to love him to goddamned much. -Kaylee Dugan

Evil Dead 2 (1987)

Half sequel, half remake, whole masterpiece. The first Evil Dead movie is fantastic, but watching it is like being beaten over the head with a hammer. Thankfully, director Sam Raimi decided to do it again, but better–and he succeeded. Evil Dead 2 is vastly superior to its predecessor. It’s meticulously shot, features groundbreaking camera techniques and some of the best cinematography in a horror film. The quick-cut style editing style not only creates the sense of urgency required by a good horror film, it also makes the comedic moments more effective. Raimi nails the balance between comedy and horror, producing one of the most hilarious, yet visually disturbing movies ever made. And it’s not just the film’s technical aspects that deserve endless recognition—The cast is brilliant too. Bruce Campbell was little more than a shy, young amateur in 1980, when the first movie was being shot. By 1987 he had evolved into one of the most charismatic B-movie actors on the planet. He’s phenomenal and handles the contrasting tones like an absolute champ. -Norm Quarrinton

Gremlins (1984)

Gremlins is the first horror movie I fell in love with and it’s going to hold a spot in my heart forever. It’s also a genuinely good movie and anyone that tells you otherwise is a liar and a cheat. Sure, it may not be the scariest movie ever, but those evil gremlins have the creepiest goddamned laugh and they look weird as hell. It’s also probably one of the goofiest movies. Just watching the trailer is enough to make you laugh. If there is a young person in your life you want to slowly introduce to horror movies this is your best bet. -Kaylee Dugan

An American Werewolf in London (1981)

The 1981 horror classic An American Werewolf in London features the greatest and most terrifying transformation scene in the history of cinema, and there’s no doubt that it’s one of the best horror movies ever made. The film’s writer/director, John Landis, was primarily known for his comedy movies like National Lampoon’s Animal House and The Blues Brothers, so thankfully, when he decided to make a horror film, he had no intention of leaving his comedy roots behind. Instead, he teamed up with legendary make-up/special effects artist Rick Baker, and one of funniest horror movies of all time was born. DVD and Blu-Ray editions of the film also contain the critically acclaimed making-of documentary Beware the Moon: Remembering An American Werewolf in London, which is well worth a watch. -Norm Quarrinton

Bloodsucking Freaks (1976)

Have you heard of The Aristocrats? That shaggy dog joke where comedians try to outdo each other by coming up with a string of shocking taboo sex acts to set up the punchline “we’re the aristocrats”? Bloodsucking Freaks is like that, only 90 minutes long, with sex acts replaced with torture acts, and “we’re The Aristicrats!” replaced with a cannibal woman eating a severed penis in a hoagie. BSF is also, like The Aristocrats, gleefully unconcerned with how problematic its content is, and, just in case you were wondering, this movie about a dandy and his midget sidekick kidnapping young women for their nude Grand Guignol show which they finance through white slavery, is SUPER PROBLEMATIC and the worst possible film to Netflix and chill to (probably). It’s also hilarious and doesn’t get old, which is more than I can say for the aristocrats. -Weston Henry

If Footmen Tire You, What Will Horses Do? (1972)

By far the best entry into the 70’s Evangelical anti-communist horror film genre (yes, it’s a thing, and yes, they are all amazing). Written by and starring the Reverend Estus S Pirkle, If Footmen Tire You speculates, in gory detail, how, unless we become a more capital C Christian nation, Cuban Communists will violently overthrow the United States. It is, to put it lightly, a little dated. It’s also my favorite “bad” movie, and easily the closest in tone to a rant from your drunk relatives, which kinda makes it perfect for after Halloween but before Thanksgiving. Plus, it’s public domain so there’s like a million links to it on YouTube. -Weston Henry

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E7HytrGnnz8

A Bucket of Blood (1959)

At the dawn of mankind, an ancestor put paint to a cave wall, and the artist was formed. Soon after, another ancestor painted a dick over that painting, and the first hipster joke was made.

Hipster (or Beatnik, or hippie, or whatever young cultural types are called) jokes are old. Really old. Sorry, I have to bring this up because at first glance an hours worth of beatnik related humor sounds like it would be insufferable, but A Bucket of Blood is much more than its simple House of Wax but with beatniks premise would suggest. It’s funny, but not so much because its making fun of beatniks as it is a more universal craving for cultural cache and “coolness”. Make no mistake, the desire to be “hip” is just as much a rat race as the one to be rich, and Walter Paisley is the Willy Loman of what we in DC call the DIT scene, undone not by a thirst for vengeance or lust, but simply because he wants to belong. -Weston Henry

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