Horror comedy is a tough genre of movie to pull off correctly. You can’t sway two heavily to either horror or comedy sides, and you need to make sure that whatever horror tropes you’re lampooning doesn’t come across as patronizing to horror fans. You also need to make sure that you aren’t spoofing the subject-du-jour, and if you are, make sure you do it well lest you get your movie lumped in with money grubbing satirists or become a parody of yourself. Most meta-slasher or slasher parody films nowadays are just rehashes of Wes Craven’s 1996 masterpiece, Scream. A couple movies put fun little spins on the formula, but for the most part, they’re becoming as repetitive as slasher flicks did back in the ’80s and ’90s.
Las Brujas de Zugarramurdi or, it’s catchier English title, Witching & Bitching, is a comedy(?) horror(?) action adventure film from Spanish director Álex de la Iglesia. This movie seems to spoof old occult and witch movies from the ’70s, but it definitely takes some pages from Robert Rodriguez and Sam Raimi’s books as well. The movie is about a couple of guys, José (Hugo Silva) and Tony (Mario Casas) who stick up a gold buying store with José’s elementary school aged kid, Sergio (Gabriel Delgado). In their getaway they team up with Manuel, a down on his luck taxi driver who decides he’d much prefer to be a gold thief than a cabbie. Police and José’s wife are in pursuit, but before they can catch them, José and his crew run into a coven of witches. Things get out of hand incredibly quickly, and hilarity(?) ensues. (more…)
I’m a big fan of slasher movies. My all time favorite horror movie is The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, and my favorite horror franchise is far and away the Friday The 13th series. I’ve spent countless hours devouring B and C list slasher movies, as well as diving in to the satire-slashers of the last 20 or so years (Scream, The Final Girls, and Behind the Mask: The Rise of Leslie Vernon come to mind). The one slasher villain that has never fully captured my attention is Michael Myers of the Halloween franchise. I’m a really big fan of the original 1978 Halloween (I have a huge movie boner for John Carpenter, but let’s be honest, who doesn’t?), and I enjoyed Halloween II: Halloween Harder, so I figured I would finally get around to continuing my pursuit of The Shape and get down to watching Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers.
Yes, despite there being ten of these movies, this one is the Return of Michael Myers. I guess it’s like how the fourth and ninth Friday the 13th movies are titled The Final Chapter and The Final Friday respectively, when neither of those are actually the final movie in the series. Slasher franchises are not the pinnacle of forethought and planning. For those of you who don’t know: Halloween III: Season of the Witch was considered a huge disappointment for most Halloween fans, as it didn’t include Michael Myers, so when 1988 rolled around and it was time to pump out the first Halloween movie not to involve John Carpenter in the slightest, you can bet your bottom dollar that the studios made damn sure that everybody was certain that our friend Mr. Myers was showing up in this flick. I mean, how else would they fill those theater seats? Certainly not by making a great movie, that’s for sure. (more…)