Five Forgotten Gems – Horror Comedies

Hand in hand with the human fascination with death comes the desire to defang it – to make it bearable and understandable. And yet, horror comedies are perilously difficult to pull off with much success, often veering toward one or the other or coming off with a unpleasantly leering tone (looking at you, Thankskilling). In a world where we’ve all shrugged our shoulders and said, “sure, saying we’re all watching Sharknado ironically is good enough,” I thought it might be nice to take a look at some films that melded comedy and horror with love, effort, and actual worthwhile effect.

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Unsung Brilliance – The Rise of Leslie Vernon

Or as I like to call it, “the better (far better, so much superior) Cabin in the Woods.”

Yeah, that’s right. And I’m not taking it back, either

Made on a shoestring budget, released in 2006 to the festival circuit and then quietly shuffled into a small DVD release, Behind the Mask: The Rise of Leslie Vernon is the crème of the modern cult film crop. It’s inches from falling flat on its face in every direction (some sets were scouted in the middle of shooting, the reliance on The Famous Cameos is an eternal temptation for mugging, and the whole thing falls apart if the two leads don’t work), which makes the lean, brilliant efficacy of the film all the more breathtaking. By all rights it deserves to be the crown jewel of the meta-horror subgenre, and a top contender in horror comedy. Let me show you why.

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