Not Your Typical Movie: Halloween Comedies

Oct 27, 2022

Lots of people equate Halloween with ghosts, goblins and frights. So many movies are made that want to scare the daylights out of you in any way possible. One of the most beloved scary movie franchises is even titled Halloween. However, there are some of us that aren’t really keen on killings and jump scares. Who said that it had to be a rule that Halloween was just for horror? For us that walk a different path, I offer up some of my favorite Halloween comedies for your viewing pleasure.

The Monster Squad – 1987

Monster Squad Movie Poster

What happens when five of the most recognized monsters come into your town and cause havoc? You call the Monster Squad! A small town is threatened when Count Dracula comes to complete a task that will bring pure evil into our world forever. He recruits the Wolfman, the Mummy, the Gillman and Frankenstein’s monster to complete this task. But a small group of young, monster-obsessed kids accidently learn of this and decide they are the only ones to stop them.

A relatively fun movie, it touches on the usual troupe of the monsters vs. humans conflict. Having the heroes be a group of kids is a little different, even for the 1980s. With a cast of relative unknowns (and a pre-Wonder Years Jason Hervey), the cast does a really good job in conveying the story. The overall story is a little formulaic (threat, solution, resolution battle) though it is still enjoyable. After watching it again recently, the movie still holds up without really feeling dated except for the visual effects. It is light-hearted, a little silly, and gives you mild frights without excessive gore.

Monster Squad can be currently found digitally and on Paramount+

Once Bitten – 1985

How’s a 400 year old vampire to find a virgin in the 1980s to keep her youthful appearance? Find a pre-everything Jim Carrey. 1985’s Once Bitten is the absolute staple of Halloween comedies. The Countess, played by Lauren Hutton, needs to drink of a virgin three times to keep her eternal beauty. She sends her trusted companion Sebastian (Cleavon Little) to Los Angeles and finds gullible, horny Mark Kendall (Carrey). And a whole slew of very sexually awkward hilarity ensues.

This movie seemed to always be playing on one of the pay channels back in the 80s. It is lighthearted, funny, and got a little of the spooky side of things. We get to see just a glimpse of Jim Carrey’s comedic prowess in this role. Hutton and Little amp up the sexuality and comedy respectfully and the rest of the ensemble work very well together. It was definitely a little different take on the vampire tropes and gave our mortal girlfriend a little more power than your typical film. It was actually made with a simple yet good plot and it didn’t feel hokey or too over the top. Still enjoyable all these years later.

Once Bitten can be currently found digitally and free from Freevee

Transylvania 6-5000 – 1985

A video of a forest area and an old chapel. Two men are looking at it until they are attacked by something they believe is Frankenstein. When a tabloid gets ahold of this video, what do they do? Of course, they send two reporters to investigate it. Welcome to the premise of the goofy Halloween comedy Transylvania 6-5000!

This film goes on the adventure with Jack (Jeff Goldblum) and Gil (Ed Begley Jr.) as they go to the mysterious country and look into things. They met many exotic personas from the mayor (Jeffrey Jones) and the servants in his castle resort, Fejos, Radu and Lupi (hilariously played by Michael Richards, John Byner and Carol Kane). This little town has some other interesting secrets, besides Fejos’ odd fascination with smelling things. If you want to find out if they find the monster and more, you need to check out this movie.

This mid-80s film had a ridiculously major cast of actors, from Goldblum to Kane to Jones. It also featured Geena Davis, Donald Gibb of Revenge of the Nerds fame, and Norman Fell. This movie is over the top silly and couldn’t be more representative of the time. The writer and director, Rudy De Luca, has played several roles in Mel Brooks films and also showed up in a cameo. There is a lot of nostalgia watching this movie and seeing these actors fool around. It is totally campy and definitely worth it if you’re looking for some silly laughs.

Transylvania 6-5000 can be found digitally and free from Freevee