There are not that many comedy movies for Halloween. Most Halloween movies are, as you probably know, gory slash-fests such as the Texas Chainsaw Massacre or the interminable (and intolerable) Friday the Thirteenth series or the equally overblown Nightmare On Elm Street series, or the Halloween series.
The first Halloween movie was good, even if it was obvious that the producers were setting up a sequel(s) at the end. Then the subsequent Halloween movies featuring Michael Myers were just more of the same thing retreaded and regurgitated.
These ten Halloween movies are mostly comedic, although a couple have a few scenes featuring special effects gore.
Here are my top ten Halloween comedies in chronological order with the oldest first:
This Mel Brooks Halloween comedy starred Gene Wilder, Teri Garr and the late Peter Boyle as the Frankenstein monster. Dr. Frankenstein is played by Wilder, who has one of the most famous lines in the film. When the good doctor raps on the door of what appears to be a haunted house, a lovely young lady (Teri Garr)in a very low cut dress answers the door. “What knockers!” Dr. Frankenstein exclaims as the echo of the door apparatus still sounds out. “Why, thank you” the young lady replies shyly.
The Rocky Horror Picture Show/1975
Care should be taken if there are young children around as there is quite a bit of adult content in this campy Halloween comedy classic. The gender-bending is not everyone’s cup of capaccino, but it’s all parody, so lighten up people!
Tim Curry stars as Dr. Frank N. Furter, the cross-dressing lord of the manor. Susan Sarandon is Janet Weiss, the innocent passerby, who along with her super-square fiance Brad, played by barry Bostwick, are stranded near the mansion due to car trouble. Boy are they in for a shock!
Singer Meatloaf is in a supporting role as Eddie, a bad boy biker. The cast is completed by a narrator with the obligatory british accent and a german professor, along with Riff Raff the butler and his lover/sister. this Halloween comedy is weird but funny as a film that bombed when first released , then thrived as a cult midnight movie classic for years. Let’s do the time warp again!
American Werewolf In London/1981
David Naughton and Griffin Dunne star as two young american college students hiking across Scotland, Ireland and the United Kingdom only to run into an unexpected problem. The pair are mauled by some sort of creature at night and Naughton is taken to a hospital in London, mistakenly thinking his friend was dead. He was, sort of.
In spite of the subject material, this John Landis directed Halloween film is funny such as a scene in which Naughton is naked in a park after having an episode. He takes a young boy’s balloons to cover up with. His mother asks: “what happened to your balloons?” The boy replies “they were stolen by a naked american man”.
Don’t go ’round tonight, ’cause it’s bound to take your life…
Three misfit parapsychology professors who are fired from their jobs at a college form a company to get rid of the ghosts who have suddenly taken over New York City. Dan Aykroyd, Bill Murray, Harold Ramis star as the trio, who are later joined by Ernie Hudson. Bill Murray is a scream as the womanizing Dr. Peter Venkman as are Aykroyd as Ray Stantz and Ramis as the anal-retentive Dr. Egon Spengler.
“Do you have any hobbies?” Spengler is asked by Annie Potts who plays Janine, the receptionist. “I collect moles, spores and fungus” Spengler deadpans. What a party animal! Murray’s character has the hots for Dana Barrett (Sigourney Weaver), a woman who has been seeing strange things coming oput of her fridge.
Murray is at his comedic best in the Mayor’s office debating with a stickler from the EPA, reminding His Honor that if he employs Ghostbusters he will have saved the lives of millions of registered voters. “Everything was fine until dickless here shut off the power” Aykroyd tells the Mayor. “Is that true?” the Mayor asks of Murray. “That’s right. This man has no dick” Venkman says of Walter Peck of the EPA. I ain’t afraid of no ghost!
This vampire movie for Halloween stars Jim Carrey in his first major movie role. Mark Kendall (Carrey) is chosen by a vampire Countess (Lauren Hutton) who needs the blood of a virgin to remain young. Kendall is a down on his luck high schooler who has yet “to score” as his two dorky friends constantly remind him. Carrey is funny as usual as is Cleavon Little as the Countess’ butler. Great theme song for this one also, Once Bitten by 3-Speed. Fun movie for Halloween.
The Lost Boys/1987
Two teenage boys move with their single mom to a strange coastal town in California where the boys and the mom move in with the their Grandpa, played by Barnard Hughes, who has a section in the refrigerator labeled “Old fart” that no one dares to touch.
I’m not normally into vampire movies, that vein was tapped out long ago, but this Halloween film is the exception. Funny even though it’s intense at times, I need to pull out my copy and watch this one again for Halloween myself.
Tom Hanks stars in the tale of a suburban man who prefers taking “staycations” around the house to going anywhere. As neighbors he has a moocher with a wild imagination (Rick Ducommon), a wild party animal teenager (Corey Feldman), an older single man who has only his small dog for a companion, a retired military man (Bruce Dern) who sees a conspiracy in nearly everything…and the new people, the strange Klopeks.
Imaginations go wild at the comings and goings of the bizarre Klopeks whose basement is lit up brightly at all hours of the night. Walter, the older man with the dog with the nasty habit of defecating on Bruce Dern’s immaculatly manicured lawn (the dog, not Walter). Walter suddenly disappears with his toupee left in the mail slot and his television left on. Dern, who tells time in military fashion, 0800 hours, etc and speaks exclusively in military jargon, thinks the man has met with foul play.
The odd assortment of neighbors sneak into the Klopek’s home, thinking that they have kidnapped or murdered Walter. At the end of this Halloween comedy, the Klopeks appear to be vindicated…until the trunk of their car pops open…This is a very funny film for Halloween or anytime.
Jeff Daniels stars as a doctor who moves out into the country, a small California town again, to escape the rat race only to find another menace, spiders, which he has a deathly fear of. Killer spiders take over the little burg until Daniels’ character and the local exterminator played by John Goodman decide to take action. Most of the humor is supplied by Goodman’s McClintock character.
So I Married An Axe Murderer/1993
Before Austin Powers, Mike Myers played this role in a film that makes a nice Halloween comedy. Myers marries Nancy Travis, who seems to have a deep dark secret in her past. In one of their first conversations Travis asks Myers what he looks for in a date. “I know I’m supposed to say a sense of humor, but actually it’s breast size” Myers says with a smile. It’s been awhile since I’ve seen this Halloween film, but Myers has a number of good lines as I recall.
This Halloween comedy brought to us by the Wayans brothers of In Living Color fame, spoofs nearly every slash film ever made with hilarious results. Halloween, Friday the 13th, Texas Chainsaw, I Know What You Did Last Summer, none of them are sacred cows as the Wayans brothers parody them all. I see dead people!