Welcome to New Zealand! Enjoy some kiwi (the fruit, not the bird), the polite and peaceful people, and watch one of many great horror-comedy films created by the locals. New Zealand is home to beautiful locations and known to most movie-goers as the place where Middle-Earth exists. But the land slightly above the land down under has a peculiar sense of humor and horror that combines into some fantastic films.
Dead Alive (Braindead) – 1992
Long after Dawn of the Dead’s subtle humor, but long before Shaun of the Dead’s subversive style, there was Dead Alive from none other than Peter “Lord of the Rings” Jackson. A zombie virus infects Lionel Cosgrove’s mom, and he does everything he can to keep it a secret. Unfortunately, the secret gets out with gloriously gory results. Dead Alive (known as Braindead outside the U.S.) is horror-comedy at its best and features plenty of gruesome scenes that’ll keep the effects-hungry viewer happy.
Black Sheep – 2006
Genetic experiments turn the sheep of a farm into disease-spreading were-creatures. That’s right; it’s werewolves meets sheep! As ridiculous as it sounds it’s even more ridiculous to watch. Black Sheep is beautifully shot with cinematography from Richard Bluck. The writing and directing are sharp. The effects are handled by none other than Weta. The overall film is too fun to pass up.
Housebound – 2014
Kylie Bucknell (Morgana O’Reilly) is sentenced to house arrest for trying to rob an ATM. Unfortunately, the house she’s bound to belong to her mother and step-father. Soon after moving in Kylie encounters creepy teddy bears, ghosts, and more. Housebound is bonkers in hilarious ways that need to be seen to be believed. It’s funny, scary, and even has a subtle layer of complexity if you’re into that sort of thing.
What We Do In The Shadows – 2014
It took way too long for the arrival of a horror-comedy like What We Do In The Shadows. The film follows four centuries-old vampires who aren’t exactly up to speed on a lot of modern day trends. Jemaine Clement (Flight of the Conchords) and Taika Waititi (Hunt for the Wilderpeople) wrote and directed this fun flick that includes so much more than just vampires.
Deathgasm – 2015
Heavy metal + demonic apocalypse = one hilarious movie rollercoaster ride. Deathgasm tells the story of two metalhead friends who start a mediocre band and make the best of their equally mediocre lives. One day the pair find sheet music from one of their favorite bands. After playing the song, they unleash a demonic apocalypse. Hilarity ensues as does a story of friendship and love. The single best scene in the film includes A LOT of dildos.
Horror-Comedy Honorable Mention:
The Frighteners – 1996
Before Peter Jackson ran off to live in a hobbit home and forget all other types of film, he was the king of horror-comedy. The Frighteners stars Michael J. Fox as a Frank Bannister, an architect who loses his wife in a tragic car accident. After the accident, Frank is able to speak with ghosts and uses the ability to make money. Jackson’s direction and the effects from Weta keep the ride going even while the comedy and characterizations are inconsistent.