Horror comedy

Editor’s note: With FSR favorite ParaNorman opening today, we thought it was only appropriate to re-post our very special set visit from the film, originally posted on May 21, 2012. I recently visited a nondescript building outside Portland, Oregon that would feel right at home in any corporate office park in America. Nothing about the bland, uninteresting exterior even hinted at what to expect beyond the front doors. There’s no sign outside to tell you where you are. No iconic sculptures alluding to what they do inside. Nothing at all that even hints at the harmonious blend of magic and technology within. But make no mistake, what LAIKA Studios is hiding inside those four generic-looking walls is nothing short of a revolution in film production…a revolution 115 years in the making. LAIKA is the studio behind 2009’s critical and commercial hit, Coraline, a film that utilized creepy but beautiful stop-motion puppetry to tell Neil Gaiman’s dark childhood fable. Their follow-up feature is an original work called ParaNorman. It’s an Amblin-like tale of a small New England town, a very special boy who can see and talk with the dead, and a zombie uprising that threatens to destroy them all. And yes, it’s a comedy. Keep reading for a peek behind the scenes of LAIKA Studios’ upcoming production, ParaNorman, and their secret, high-tech weapon…Rapid Prototype 3D printers.

read more...

The Best Short Films

Why Watch? For those who have seen too many moments in horror movies where a key-fumbling young woman (isn’t it almost always a woman?) gets hacked to pieces in a parking lot, Stephen Vitale has got the perfect horror comedy antidote. It’s got the jump scares down, but it also beats a tired trope (one that the entirety of Human Centipede 2 was build on) to death. What will it cost you? Only 4 minutes. Skip work. Watch more short films.

read more...

Austin Cinematic Limits

In what felt like a modern reinterpretation of a Samuel Beckett play, the cast, crew and friends of Saturday Morning Massacre (the Scooby Doo-channeling indie horror flick) wandered the streets of downtown Los Angeles early Sunday morning in search of a bar in which to celebrate the success of their world premiere screening at the 2012 Los Angeles Film Festival. It was an absurdly repetitious loop of our crowd of fifty or so entering seemingly open drinking establishments only to be informed that we just missed last call. Considering that our fruitless quest began at around 1:00 am, it did not seem all that unreasonable an expectation for us to believe that we could find a bar willing to sell fifty or so drinks to our thirsty group. After being turned away by five or six downtown bars, I decided to abandon the group and head home, but I can only assume that, like Godot and Guffman, Team SMM probably never got those drinks that they were searching for. That is not to say that their desire for celebration was unreasonable. Despite some synch issues with the projection (which were probably unnoticeable to a majority of the capacity audience), the screening went very well. Considering that SMM is a strange hybrid of comedy and horror, at times the audience did seem a little unsure about whether or not it was okay to laugh; but, most of the time the comedy got the exact reaction I would expect. Eventually, once the […]

read more...

Piranha 3DD

Piranha 3DD is the first 3D movie to have a day-and-date release – that is, a release to VOD and Facebook on the same day it hits theaters. According to The Hollywood Reporter, the bloody-watered buoyant-breasted horror comedy will be available VOD for 7 bucks (in standard and high def) and 8 bucks for 3D on the major platforms. It will also be featured on Facebook. The Weinstein Company‘s Dimension Films and Starz Digital Media are handling the distribution online, and Starz VP Mara Winokur is enthusiastic about the safety net involved, citing that it will be a success even if no one watches on Facebook. “The cost was low enough that if there are no views, but people saw the promotion and went to theaters or got it on DVD or elsewhere, it will be successful. It is a great marketing spend in itself. It is a holistic experiment,” she said.

read more...

The Coroner

Doghouse, which was called Zombie Harlem in Japan (I can’t tell if that’s better or worse), is a British horror-comedy that’s been resting in my Netflix queue for the better part of two years. One of those films that sounds interesting, but has an air of uncertain quality about it. The official synopsis goes a little something like this: a group of men head to a remote village to help their friend get over a divorce, only to find it overrun with women who hunger for flesh. Sounds titillating right? And by titillating, I mean it should have a lot of boobs in it, right? And carnage? And death? Correct! That’s what it sounds like. But that’s not what it is.

read more...

Why Watch? Sometimes short films are used to deliver a punchline, and when Lee Hardcastle is at the wheel, it’s a sure thing that he’ll steer the horror comedy truck right off the cliff and it’ll only take him 5 seconds to do it. The guy is damned good, and this short movie is definitely good for a (very) quick laugh. What will it cost? Only 5 seconds. Skip Work. You’ve Got Time For More Short Films.

read more...

Why Watch? In a world populated by terrifying horror movie monsters, you’ve got to organize who gets to kill on what nights, right? This short from Mark Blitch had me at the male porn star’s giggle and just kept the laughs coming. It admittedly gets into weird territory for the action, but, hey, why the hell not? This is what happens when horror gets interrupted by red tape, and the ridiculous results speak for themselves. What does it cost? Just 5 minutes of your time. Trust us. You have time for more short films.

read more...

Shuffle. Shuffle. Groan. Crawl. Shuffle. And commentary on all of it. It’s the Halloween season, so you know the zombie movies are out there in force. But we always like a few lot of laughs with our scares. What better movie to dish out both of those along with an ample helping of heart – figurative heart, as in emotion, not actual bloody hearts being tossed about, though we have that here, too – than Edgar Wright‘s Shaun of the Dead? What’s even better, Wright has brought along a familiar and jovial voice to help him recollect some of the fun and interesting times on set. Simon Pegg is helping out with the color commentary, that color being red more than likely. So it’s time to head on down to the Winchester – provided they have a DVD player – grab a pint and your best cricket bat, watch the ball go from bat to wicket – that’s a cricket reference just to show I know a thing or two. That’s two things. I’m out. – and hear what Edgar Wright and Simon Pegg have to say in this week’s Commentary Commentary. Shuffle. Crawl. Shuffle. Groan. Brains.

read more...

This week, on a very special episode of Reject Radio, we talk with director Jake Kasdan about the horror of getting Cameron Diaz all wet for Bad Teacher. Plus, The Innkeepers and House of the Devil director Ti West offers up his favorite scary movie, and we chat with a man who got a movie deal by posting on Reddit. Download This Episode

read more...

Get it! Because it’s about zombies! There’s no challenging that Zombieland dominated in every way possible. Word of a sequel was quick to surface, but that’s all it’s ever been. Movement hasn’t been swift, but now the concept that was first meant for television and then became a movie might become a television show once more. According to The Hollywood Reporter, writers Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick and producer Gavin Polone are developing a half hour comedy version of the movie for weekly consumption on Fox. This would add another notch to the trend of the undead hobbling around television. The Walking Dead was a door buster, and MTV has their own series that might head to a second season. What’s genius here is that it’s set up for comedy and for 22 minutes of story. With as tight as Reese and Wernick’s writing can be, there’s no doubt that they can jam a lot of bloody laughs into that amount of time. Now if they can only manage to get a solid make-up effects budget. Some might raise an eyebrow at the concept (and Fox’s involvement), but it’s incredibly cool to see anyone taking a chance on horror comedy on network TV. But if you were hoping for a movie instead, don’t worry! All television shows get promised a film version after they finish their run, and it always, always gets made.

read more...

Why Watch? This is just a bit of hellish fun. There’s no pretense to this short film. It’s a recipe stewed together to create something creepy, cobbled together from comedy and horror films of all kinds. The off-putting old toy? The busty blonde in her sleeping gear? The idiot going down to check a noise in the middle of the night? It’s no big surprise what happens here, but there’s something deeply satisfying about it all. It’s almost like writer/director Nick Everhart is slamming his fist down on the table with a smirk here to prove he knows how to construct a classic slasher with an absurd killer. What does it cost? Just 5 minutes of your time. Check out the trailer for Slash-In-The-Box for yourself:

read more...

Why Watch? It features the revenge of a household item we’ve been dumping our shit in for years. For the next week or so, we’ll be shining a spotlight on some of the short films from the ABCs of Death competition going on right now to find the 26th director for the upcoming horror anthology. Each entry starts with the letter T and has to pick a T-word to use in a deadly way. We’ve featured work from Lee Hardcastle before, and this new short has the same wicked charm and horror sensibility that manages to make you laugh while cringing. What does it cost? Just 4 minute of your time. Check out T is For Toilet for yourself:

read more...

Why Watch? Because the shopping carts won’t be pushed around anymore. From the first text that hits the screen explaining the statistics on blood-thirsty shopping carts, it’s clear that 1) the absurd is taken seriously here and 2) shopping carts are going to try to kill you and eat your flesh. The exposition is nil here, which is great, because all it really demands is the Night of the Living Dead feel matched with the stakes somehow being raised as a few people battle against rogue shopping carts. There might be a deeper meaning here about consumer culture or about the homeless or about treating your mother better or something, but I don’t care to look for it. This short film is hilarious and haunting enough as is. What does it cost? Just 7 minutes of your time. Check out Death Carts for yourself:

read more...

Why Watch? Because dry humor, zombies, lumps of clay, and Evil Dead go together surprisingly well. This short from Lee Hardcastle had its world debut at Cannes this year, and I would have given an undead right arm to be in the room when it played. Like yesterday’s zombie exploration, this is sweetly endearing for taking the abject horror of the genre and taming it with stop motion animation, tons of clay carnage, and a few simple jokes. Watch the short, and you’ll see Evil Dead all over it. What does it cost? Just 3 glorious minutes of your time. Check out A Zombie Claymation for yourself:

read more...

Why Watch? Because you were sold when you read the title. It’s refreshing to see a production take the prospect of a zombie musical seriously. The book here is filled with catchy, joyous songs about having to kill your mom after she’s turned and falling in love after the dead walk the earth. Production value is, frankly, higher than you might expect, and it’s got a distinctive Trey Parker-esque feel about it. It’s outlandish, over-the-top, and it shoves the absurdity of musicals into the insanity of running from brain-hungry hordes with delightful success. Longer than most shorts we post, but absolutely worth the investment. What does it cost? Just 32 glorious minutes of your time. Check out Rigamortis: A Zombie Love Story for yourself:

read more...

When it was announced that the newest film from eighteen-year-old director Emily Hagins, entitled My Sucky Teen Romance, was going to premiere at SxSW, I was ecstatic. Almost every member of our SXSW coverage team either lives or has previously lived in Austin and knows Emily personally. Hell, some of us even donated our time to assist in the movie’s completion. That made it slightly difficult to lend our voices to reviewing the film. So do we decline to review it? Do we expend no words on it at all? Yes…and no. There is a story here, and a damn good one at that, completely divorced from the film itself. Emily’s story. Hagins wrote her first feature-length film, Pathogen, at age 11.  The next year, she earned a grant from the Austin Film Society to produce Pathogen, effectively becoming the youngest recipient of that award. Her tireless dedication to making her first feature film, and the fact that she wasn’t even in high school yet, attracted the attention of a trio of documentary filmmakers who noticed Hagins’s casting call posted on a local website called Austinactors.net. They crafted their 2009 film Zombie Girl: The Movie around her efforts. Between 7th and 8th grade, when the biggest thing that happened to most of us was getting our first kiss at a skating party, she was hard at work on The Retelling, her second feature. And now, here at SXSW 2011, Hagins’s third film played to bright marquee lights and packed houses […]

read more...

Consider originality celebrated for the day. Michael Stephenson, director of Best Worst Movie, has got his next project underway, and it’s a dark comedy called Destroy that features a vampire hunter set loose in a world where he’s taking down innocent elderly men. Well, not completely innocent. Old men have seen some things, ya know? Luckily, our human-staking hero has an assistant to help him out. Fans of the Alamo Drafthouse will be interested to know that the script was written by lead programmer Zack Carlson alongside Bryan Connolly, but the concept is enough to get me excited. It’s comedic and horrible and new, and it sounds like Don Quixote transplanted onto the world of Universal monsters. Plus, it comes at the perfect time to act as an antidote to the vampire outbreak we’ve seen in theaters. Check out the concept art by Johnny Sampson here:

read more...

The Fright Night remake is still over a year away from release, but the first image of character design from the film has already been glimpsed. David Tennant (Dr. Who) stars as a popular Las Vegas magician called upon by some uppity teens to face off against pure evil in the form of Jerry the vampire (Colin Farrell). The role is an updated version of the TV horror host played by Roddy McDowell in the original film. Anton Yelchin, Imogen Poots, and Christopher Mintz-Plasse play the aforementioned uppity youngsters. The image below is of a three-story banner hanging in the lobby of a Hard Rock Hotel & Casino where the Fright Night magic show takes the stage. Behold the mystical stylings of Peter Vincent, Mindfreak!

read more...

If you don’t know what type of film Piranha 3D is simply based on the title, there’s no helping you. It’s solely interested in over-the-top fun. The kills Alexandre Aja puts on-screen makes its R-rating mind boggling. Aja doesn’t pull his punches (similar to his previous films), but here the difference is Aja going more for pure fun rather than bleak horror. Aja knows exactly what type of film he made. He was interested from the beginning in telling a comedic horror satire in the vein of the films he grew up on as a teen. Aja labels it as a “guilty pleasure” film, which many will agree with, but it’s something I question him on since one shouldn’t feel at all guilty for enjoying the epic bloodbath Aja has released. Here’s what Alexandre Aja had to say. Beware a few spoilers.

read more...

If the remake tossed out the classic monsters, which modern monsters would you like to see replace them?

read more...
NEXT PAGE  
Some movie websites serve the consumer. Some serve the industry. At Film School Rejects, we serve at the pleasure of the connoisseur. We provide the best reviews, interviews and features to millions of dedicated movie fans who know what they love and love what they know. Because we, like you, simply love the art of the moving picture.
Fantastic Fest 2014
6 Filmmaking Tips: James Gunn
Got a Tip? Send it here:
editors@filmschoolrejects.com
Publisher:
Neil Miller
Managing Editor:
Scott Beggs
Associate Editors:
Rob Hunter
Kate Erbland
Christopher Campbell
All Rights Reserved © 2006-2014 Reject Media, LLC | Privacy Policy | Design & Development by Face3