Top 5 Horror-Comedies of the Golden Age

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Comedy and horror have been kissing cousins since the early days of cinema. Moments of humor have been the go-to safety valve that horror filmmakers have used consistently to relieve audience tension and to provide a break from the suspense and terror of the moment. Over time, the approach may have changed, but the general idea has remained remarkably consistent from the early days of cinema to today. The dark humor of The Bride of Frankenstein, for instance, eventually evolved into movies like An American Werewolf in London,The Evil Dead 2, and Re-Animator: horror movies first but with a wildly comic spin at the same time. Early full-throated horror satires like The Cat and the Canary and the Abbott and Costello Meet… films eventually became modern classics like Young Frankenstein and What We Do in the Shadows.

It should be no surprise, then, that a separate and distinct subgenre would eventually evolve, fusing the horror film with the movie comedy, and for a brief, glorious period more than sixty years ago, the horror-comedy enjoyed a run of excellence the produced a string of enduring classics…

Click here to read Madison Film Guy’s full FROM THE TOMB column–TOP 5 HORROR-COMEDIES OF THE GOLDEN AGE–at Horrornews.net!

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Lon Chaney, Jr.’s Trifecta of Terror

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During the Golden Age of Horror, Universal Studios was the undisputed king of horror cinema, and its Big Three monsters—Dracula, Frankenstein’s monster, and the Wolf Man—remain definitive horror icons nearly a century later. Not coincidentally, the three actors most associated with those iconic Universal monsters—Bela Lugosi, Boris Karloff, and Lon Chaney, Jr., respectively—also remain the biggest names in classic horror decades upon decades after their final films.

Of those Big Three horror legends, though, Karloff and Lugosi have always enjoyed slightly elevated standing over Lon Chaney, Jr., who—despite a truly prolific career—has always been considered somewhat of a little brother among the Big Three…

Click here to read Madison Film Guy’s full April 2017 FROM THE TOMB column–LON CHANEY, JR.’S TRIFECTA OF TERROR–at Horrornews.net!

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Arbor Demon

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At some point, it’s really fair to ask: why would anyone ever go camping ever again? It’s dirty. There’s no bathroom. Not a single Dunkin Donuts anywhere in sight. Forget showering in the morning. The bugs can crawl right into your mouth mid-snore. Oh, and on top of it all, there is all manner of criminal and creature waiting to murder you in the dark of the night.

It might be a werewolf interrupting your moonlit sexcapades. It might be a masked stalker chasing you through the mud and the murk. It might be feral pack of homicidal hillbillies ready to feast on your flesh. Bigfoot. Clowns. Predator aliens. Bats. Piranha. Or sometimes—just sometimes—there might be a kooky, crazy Arbor Demon waiting for you in the woods….

Click here to read Madison Film Guy’s FULL review of ARBOR DEMON at Horrornews.net!

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The Red Man

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Certain filmmakers wear the incoherence of their films like a badge of honor, from relatively mainstream directors like David Lynch and Darren Aronofsky to experimental filmmakers across every genre. When you have a track record of excellence or undeniable potential, you get a pass. When you don’t, not so much. Or, as Crash Davis said so well to his rookie pitcher in Bull Durham, “If you win twenty in the show, you can let the fungus grow back [on your shower shoes] and the press will think you’re colorful. Until you win twenty in the show, however, it means you are a slob.”

It is unclear yet if writer/director Jimmie Gonzalez will make it to the proverbial show just yet, but the relative incoherence of his rookie effort The Red Man somewhat undermines what otherwise is a very solid effort by both Gonzalez and his team.

Click here to read Madison Film Guy’s FULL review of THE RED MAN at Horrornews.net!

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Spectral

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The cool thing about science fiction—whether it be timeless literature, matinee classics, or episodic series delivered through popular streaming services—is that there’s almost always more there than meets the eye. Damn the budget, the star power, the pedigree, and—yes—even the quality, science fiction is usually about ideas. Even the bad ones generally have something to say.

The 2016 release Spectral is no different…

Click here to read Madison Film Guy’s FULL review of SPECTRAL at Horrornews.net!

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I Was a Teenage TV Terrorist

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I Was a Teenage TV Terrorist should come with a warning label. Well, several, actually. But for starters: any modern viewer would likely expect the 1985 film to naturally feel a bit dated some thirty-plus years after its original release, but the fact of the matter is that I Was a Teenage TV Terrorist feels out-of-time even for 1985…as if it were meant for another time and era. An affectionate homage? Perhaps. A modern satire playing on tropes from the past? OK, if you’re extremely generous. A simply terrible movie that misfires on nearly every cylinder? Absolutely.

Click here to read Madison Film Guy’s FULL review of I WAS A TEENAGE TV TERRORIST at Horrornews.net!

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Karloff vs. Lugosi: Clash of the Horror Titans

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After more than one hundred years of horror cinema, reasonable people still disagree about who is the greatest horror star of all time, but most arguments tend to boil down to Boris Karloff vs. Bela Lugosi. While the versatile and inimitable Karloff may have boasted the more robust and impactful career overall, the dark and mysterious Lugosi—despite a legacy that ultimately degenerated into self-parody and forgettable schlock—may have delivered the single most iconic horror performance of all time…

Click here to read Madison Film Guy’s full March 2017 FROM THE TOMB column–KARLOFF VS. LUGOSI: CLASH OF THE HORROR TITANS–at Horrornews.net!

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Feed the Devil

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The past year or so in horror cinema has not been particularly kind to indigenous peoples…not that the previous century in horror has done them so many favors, either. The recent cannibal opus The Green Inferno may well have been the stinking tip of the noxious iceberg, portraying a “lost” tribe of indigenous Amazonians as wild, murderous, flesh-eating savages. Apparently, not having access to modern conveniences like high-speed streaming services can turn an entire civilization of natives into cannibalistic killers, to which I suppose any of us who have ever experienced our own occasional internet outages can certainly attest…

Click here to read Madison Film Guy’s FULL review of FEED THE DEVIL at Horrornews.net!

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I Know You’re In There

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Just a little less than halfway into the movie, the central character looks into a home video camera—his full-frame face showing a small, bloody gash over his right eye—and says, as if he is revealing all the secrets of the universe, “As you can see, I’ve hit my head.”

And that’s about as subtle as it gets in the new horror/thriller I Know You’re in There….

Click here to read Madison Film Guy’s FULL review of I KNOW YOU’RE IN THERE at Horrornews.net!

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