Comedy-Horror Films

A Chronological History, 1914–2008


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About the Book

Fun and fright have long been partners in the cinema, dating back to the silent film era and progressing to the Scary Movie franchise and other recent releases. This guide takes a comprehensive look at the comedy-horror movie genre, from the earliest stabs at melding horror and hilarity during the nascent days of silent film, to its full-fledged development with The Bat in 1926, to the Abbott and Costello films pitting the comedy duo against Frankenstein’s Monster, the Mummy and other Universal Studio monsters, continuing to such recent cult hits as Shaun of the Dead and Black Sheep. Selected short films such as Tim Burton’s Frankenweenie are also covered. Photos and promotional posters, interviews with actors and a filmography are included.

About the Author(s)

Bruce G. Hallenbeck is a film director and contributing writer for such publications as Little Shoppe of Horrors, Cinefantastique, Femme Fatales, and many others. His films include The Drowned, Vampyre, Fangs and London After Midnight. He works at the New York State Library in Albany.

Bibliographic Details

Bruce G. Hallenbeck
Format: softcover (7 x 10)
Pages: 255
Bibliographic Info: 43 photos, filmography, appendices, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2009
pISBN: 978-0-7864-3332-2
eISBN: 978-0-7864-5378-8
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments      vi
Preface      1
Introduction      3

1. The Silents: Unheard Punchlines and Subtitled Screams      5
2. The Thirties: Old Dark Houses and Gorilla Suits      15
3. The Forties: Killer Zombies and Comedy Teams      28
4. The Fifties: Elderly Monsters and Black Humor      52
5. The Sixties: Gothic Castles and Cleavage Galore      63
6. The Seventies: Naked Vampires and Young Frankensteins      88
7. The Eighties: American Werewolves and Toxic Avengers      118
8. The Nineties: Screams and Cemetery Men      167
9. Comedy-Horror in the New Millennium      193

Afterword      208
Appendix A: A Chronological Checklist of Films      209
Appendix B: Selected Short Subjects      231
Bibliography      235
Index      237

Book Reviews & Awards

“commendable…comprehensive…a strong frame of reference…interesting information and insights…exceptional analysis…diversity of titles…any general fan of movies will benefit from this book, as will libraries and film research centers. It is most highly recommended”—Rogue Cinema; “a great fun filmbook and one of the best reads of 2009”—Little Shoppe of Horrors;“Hallenbeck knows his stuff, so the history lesson is engaging one for film fans”—; “a fun read…a cool book”—; “anyone studying film will find this book useful and any filmgoer who is a fan of the genre will enjoy it”—The Art Book; “essays are well-written”—Scarlet; “comprehensive…a historical and often humorous look at these great films…provides wonderful anecdotes…film buffs will want to add this book to their library”—The Gouverneur Times; “an unabashed love letter to a hybrid genre that has been hiding in plain sight since the earliest days of cinema…a breezily entertaining survey driven by the author’s abiding affection for the subject matter”—Peter Hanson, author of The Cinema of Generation X.