The countdown of horror comedies continues with…

(1960, Roger Corman)

Everyone remembers Jack Nicholson’s giggling dental freak, but there’s plenty more dark goofiness where that came from. Considering the close resemblance to A Bucket of Blood, one can’t blame Dick Miller for turning down the role of Seymour in favor of a carnation-munching supporting role – and we can only be grateful that Jonathan Haze was called on to replace him as one of the all-time great movie nebbishes. Shot like a TV sitcom in just two days and filled with quirky character actors and $1.98 special effects, the off-kilter charm and wonky hipster humor make this no-budget foray into horror comedy a one-of-a-kind experience.

Deathless Prose:

“No novocaine. It dulls the senses.”

October 30, 2011 · Posted in Legends  

The countdown of horror comedies continues with…

(1959, Roger Corman)

The precursor (and template) for Corman’s more famous Little Shop of Horrors, this tale of a schlemiel who murders his way to popularity is a sly and scrappy satire of beat culture that feels more authentic than any of Hollywood’s bigger-budgeted takes on the beret-and-coffeehouse scene. Another day in the shooting schedule and another 15 bucks in the budget could have made it genuinely great…but with the wonderful Dick Miller on hand as Walter Paisley and Julian Burton stealing every scene as a pretentious beat poet, asking for true greatness seems almost selfish.

Deathless Prose:

“Life is an obscure hobo, bumming a ride on the omnibus of art.”

October 26, 2011 · Posted in Legends  

Halloween’s on its way, and so are the usual marathons of vampires, stitched-together corpses and overachieving serial killers. For those who can’t take their gore seriously, check back daily for a countdown (in no particular order) of some of the deliberately funniest, drollest or just plain goofiest horror flicks of our acquaintance – comedies that combine laughs with a genuinely scary moment or two.

(1963, Roger Corman)

Yes, a lot of the comedy’s strained, and young romantic lead Jack Nicholson is years away from his glory days, but the film’s powerhouse trio of horror vets (Boris Karloff, Vincent Price and Peter Lorre) carry the day with tongues firmly in cheek. There are even a couple of chilling moments amidst all the silliness, and – best of all – Lorre gets to strut his stuff as a seedy magician who appears for a good chunk of the film in a preposterous bird suit.

Deathless Prose:

“Milk. How vomitable.”

October 17, 2011 · Posted in Legends