I was talking to my students recently and we were discussing the similarities and differences among three cultures in terms of literature. We ventured off on a particular tangent about how comedies of old, Greek and Shakespearean in particular, were not so much funny stories as they were simply plotted with happy endings.
In fact-as the tangent took us further from the original discussion-comedy nowadays permeates nearly every genre, particularly on the television and in the movies. So much does this happen that even horror movies include more humor than ever, virtually creating a novel genre: comedic horror.
I explained to the students–from my pseudo-authoritative position as one who’s seen all the best horror flicks, and hundreds of horrid B-movie failures as well–that all the good horror movies have already been made. Figure, from the forties to the eighties of the twentieth century, all the best horror/slasher flicks have been so good (Dracula, Frankenstein, Rebecca, The Uninvited, The Haunting, Halloween, Friday the 13th, etc.) that here, in the twenty-first century, horror/slasher movies are imbued with a greater deal of humor than ever before.
The Scary Movie series and Hatchet and Scream, as well as countless others, have capitalized on the humorous side of the better flicks of previous decades.
Thinking from this perspective, I have devised a plan to keep yourself together by the end of one of these movies: a body bag!
Think about it. You go to a flick that costs an arm and a leg to get in. You give your other arm for a bucket of popcorn (that you have to carry into the theater with your teeth, some of which may fall out as a result of this dental carriage). During the movie, as the scary parts transpire, you scream or cry your heart out. The funny parts of the movie cause you to laugh your butt off, and by some stroke of luck, you get to see eye-popping shock scenes to complete the movie experience. By the end of the movie, all you have to do is collect your heart, limbs, butt, and anything else that fell off, and plop them inside the bag.
All set. No mess. Just a good night at the movies!
Tangent over, I resumed the discussion by boring their brains out with news that we’d be studying a historical drama, Henry V by William Shakespeare!.
So much for “no mess.”
Links to the movies: The Internet Movie Database (IMDb)
Halloweenmovies.com , The Scary Movie Series