Tucker & Dale vs. Evil Trailer

Eli Craig’s 2010 horror comedy subverts the whole “scary rednecks” trope with delightful results, casting Alan Tudyk and Tyler Labine as good ol’ boys mistaken for maniacs while simply trying to enjoy their newly acquired vacation cabin.

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3 / 12

The Cabin in the Woods

The Cabin in the Woods

The Cabin in the Woods (2012) - Official Trailer #2

Speaking of cabins—and tropes being subverted—Drew Goddard’s 2012 horror comedy starring a then-unknown Chris Hemsworth has a rip-roaring time imagining who’s really pulling the strings every time a group of teens fall victim to terrors in the backwoods.

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4 / 12

Scream

Scream

Scream | Official Trailer (HD) - Neve Campbell, Courteney Cox, Drew Barrymore | Miramax

The 1996 meta-slasher changed the genre forever, outright acknowledging that its characters—much like its appreciative audience—knew that slasher movies live and die by a set of well-defined rules. There’s a reason the series is still going strong in 2023; though it has certain elements of parody to it, the Scream franchise also always manages to be the very thing it’s satirizing, delivering genuine frights and gore with the best of ‘em.

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5 / 12

April Fool’s Day

April Fool’s Day

April Fool’s Day (1986) - Official Trailer

Because nothing says “good fun!” like inviting your friends to an isolated island and killing them off one by one—or at least pranking them into thinking that’s what you’re doing.

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6 / 12

Saturday the 14th

Saturday the 14th

Saturday The 14th (1981) - Official Trailer

Released in 1981, this goofy spoof borrows very minimally from the slasher genre: the title is a hat-tip to the previous year’s Friday the 13th and flings a knowing wink at horror’s fondness for tying its plots to specific calendar dates. Otherwise, it’s a romp about a family (headed by real-life couple Richard Benjamin and Paula Prentiss) that inherits a house that is a) haunted, and b) concealing an evil book that lurking vampires are obsessed with recovering.

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7 / 12

Attack of the Killer Tomatoes

Attack of the Killer Tomatoes

Attack of the Killer Tomatoes Trailer

Much like Saturday the 14th, the title suggests the yuk-yuks that await in this 1978 comedy. Ostensibly a riff on creature features and 1950s B-movies, Attack of the Killer Tomatoes also satirizes spy movies—all with a tone of awkwardly forced humor that’s helped it become a cult film in the intervening years. (The jaunty theme song— “They’ll beat you, bash you/Squish you, mash you/Chew you up for brunch/And finish you off for dinner or lunch!”—is an obvious bonus.)

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8 / 12

You Might Be the Killer

You Might Be the Killer

You Might Be The Killer - Official US Trailer

A Twitter conversation inspired this 2018 meta-horror tale about a guy (Fran Kranz, who’s also in Cabin in the Woods) who realizes he’s stuck inside of what appears to be a pretty classic “killer at a camp” scenario—so he phones a friend (Alyson Hannigan) for help. But is this a survival situation, or something else entirely? (Once again, the title offers a cheeky hint at what to expect.)

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9 / 12

One Cut of the Dead

One Cut of the Dead

“One Cut of the Dead” English subtitled Trailer

One Cut of the Dead has an absolute blast tricking the audience into thinking it’s one thing (a middling zombie flick) and then pulling back to reveal it’s actually about—well, not what you think. Joke’s on you... but it’s worth it when it’s this entertaining.

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10 / 12

National Lampoon’s Class Reunion

National Lampoon’s Class Reunion

National Lampoon’s Class Reunion (1982) Trailer

This John Hughes-scripted black comedy from the creators of the (far more successful) Animal House and Vacation came out in 1982 and is set at the 10-year reunion for, ahem, Lizzie Borden High School—a party compromised when guests start disappearing and the body count starts rising. Could it be the alumnus who went crazy after a senior prank gone wrong a decade ago? And why is rock legend Chuck Berry performing at this outrageously uncool shindig?

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11 / 12

Student Bodies

Student Bodies

Student Bodies (1981) - Trailer HD 1080p

Released in 1981, Student Bodies was the first true slasher parody, and it’s still the best—ruthlessly skewering tropes that had just become tropes, breaking the fourth wall, and finding any reason to yank the rug out from under the audience—all while indulging in random asides of absurd comedy. A true cult classic.

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