CoF Presents: 10 Comedies You Haven’t Seen (But Should)

June 24th, 2012 by Graham McMorrow

10-comedies

Some movies will always make me laugh, but let’s face it; the same movies might make others yawn. Comedy is tricky business, the hardest genre to pull off from script to screen.  I’ve put together a list of 10 underrated or dismissed comedies that deserve a first chance or even a second chance at recognition.  Humor is subjective, but gives these flicks a chance and I promise you will enjoy yourself.

Take a look at the list and let me know what you think and what your list might look like.

1. Big Nothing (2006)

big-nothing
A frustrated, unemployed teacher joining forces with a scammer and his girlfriend in a blackmailing scheme.
Director: Jean-Baptiste Andrea
Writers: Billy Asher, Jean-Baptiste Andrea
Stars: David Schwimmer, Simon Pegg
I found Big Nothing after looking for another Simon Pegg fix having just seen Shaun of the Dead. This is a mean-spirited comedy that fits in well with a few others on this list, it’s hilarious. David Schwimmer breaks free of his Friends character playing alongside Pegg, the both work together perfectly.

2. The Burbs (1989)

the-burbs

An overstressed suburbanite and his paramilitaric neighbor struggle to prove their paranoid theory that the new family in town is a front for a cannibalistic cult.
Director: Joe Dante
Writers: Dana Olsen
StarsTom Hanks, Bruce Dern and Carrie Fisher
The Burbs is a movie you will have to go along with or all will be lost.  It’s a farce sure, but it actually says a lot about our friends and suburbanites we often call “characters”.  It’s one of my favorite summer movies too; it captures that backyard feel few movies do.  I love Tom Hanks in comedies don’t you?

3. Clifford (1994)

clifford

Clifford is a ten-year-old troublemaker, who puts not only his parents through hell, but also his uncle with whom his parents have discarded him to.

Director: Paul Flaherty
Writers: Jay Dee Rock, Bobby von Hayes
Stars: Martin Short, Charles Grodin and Mary Steenburgen

Clifford is another movie you should go in with an open mind, here is Martin Short playing a ten-year-old boy mind you, so just go with it.  The best part of it all is that Charles Grodin seems to be the only sane person that soon realized Clifford is trouble.  He is the voice of the audience really calling out the absurdity of it all, his reactions are priceless.  Short gives a great comedic performance as usual, he’s always had great timing but here he really shines.


4.Drop Dead Fred (1991)

drop-dead-fred

A young woman finds her already unstable life rocked by the presence of a rambunctious imaginary friend from childhood.

Director: Ate de Jong
Writers: Elizabeth Livingston, Carlos Davis
Stars: Phoebe Cates, Rik Mayall

Drop Dead Fred will make you laugh, that’s really all you want isn’t it?  It’s a case against taking life too seriously and keeping in touch with your younger self.  The jokes can be silly, slapstick, and sometimes very raunchy. *The clip below contains strong language*


5. The Girl Next Door (2004)

girl-next-door

A teenager’s dreams come true when a former porn star moves in next door and they fall in love.

Director: Luke Greenfield
Writers: David Wagner, Brent Goldberg, Stuart Blumberg
Stars: Emile Hirsch, Elisha Cuthbert

The Girl Next Door is one of the most underrated comedies of the last decade, I mean it.  This movie is very well written, smart and funny.  The cast does a terrific job namely Emile Hirsch and Timothy Olyphant.  It’s unpredictable fun that spits in the face of other teen comedies with its original plot and surprises.  I love this movie more with every viewing.


6. The Kentucky Fried Movie (1977)

kentucky-fried

Series of short, highly irreverent, and quite often tasteless skits.

Director: John Landis
Writers: David Zucker, Jerry Zucker, Jim Abrahams
Stars: Evan C. Kim, Bong Soo Han and Bill Bixby

Oh how I wish they still made movies like this.  The team behind Kentucky Fried Movie was David Zucker, Jim Abrahams and Jerry Zucker, who would go on to write and direct Airplane!, Top Secret! and the Police Squad! television series and its film spinoffs, The Naked Gun films – talk about credibility.  The sketches can range from 4 seconds (11 O’Clock News) to a full 30 minutes (A Fistful of Yen), but you will never be bored.  It’s an underground favorite and is considered one of the groundbreaking films of the spoof and mockumentary genres of filmmaking.  *The clip below contains strong language*


7. Penn & Teller Get Killed (1989)

pen-teller

Penn & Teller enjoy playing jokes on each other. When Penn says on an interview show that he wishes he has someone threatening his life so that he “wouldn’t sweat the small stuff,” each of them begins a series of pranks on the other to suggest a real threat. Then they find that a real psychopath is interested in them.

Director:Arthur Penn
Writers: Penn Jillette, Teller
Stars: Penn Jillette, Teller

I was young when I first watched Penn & Teller Get Killed, but I still remember how I felt then and how I feel now watching it again.  It almost seems to take place in a different world, the world of Penn and Teller.  If you’re a fan of their stage work then you know that they can be oddballs.  The film is layered with jokes that are not always there to make you laugh, but think for awhile and then appreciate the joke.  They don’t let you in on every joke, but if you want to be part of it you can be.


8. Repossessed (1990)

Repossessed

It’s been some time since Father Jebedaiah Mayii exorcised the devil from little Nancy Aglet, but now Nancy has grown up and has a family, the demon returns and repossesses Nancy.

Director: Bob Logan
Writer: Bob Logan
Stars: Linda Blair, Ned Beatty, Leslie Nielsen

My VHS copy of Repossessed is nearing its end sadly; I will have to find it on DVD soon.  Of all the movies on the list it’s probably the one I’ve revisited the most.  After Leslie Nielsen past away, many of us took solace in the fact that he left behind a great library of comedies including this spoof of The Exorcist.

repossessed

9. Serial Mom (1994)

serial-mom

A sweet mother takes a little too much at heart for the defence of her family.

Director: John Waters
Writer: John Waters
Stars: Kathleen Turner, Sam Waterston and Ricki Lake

There is so much to appreciate when it comes to Serial Mom, my favorite John Waters movie.  It’s never received much credit (most comedies like this don’t) for its portrayal of suburbia, the media and not to mention Kathleen Turner’s over-the-top performance.  *The clip below contains strong language*


10. Very Bad Things (1998)

very-bad-things

A prostitute is killed during a bachelor party and the attendees turn on each other as the wedding approaches.

Director: Peter Berg
Writer: Peter Berg
Stars: Christian Slater, Daniel Stern and Cameron Diaz

I once told my 8th grade English teacher that I had just watched this movie and how much I enjoyed it.  His reply was priceless: “Well I guess that’s why they have movie ratings”.  He was right, I had no business watching this movie at such a young age, not because it’s full of nudity, foul language and disturbing images, but because I wouldn’t appreciate it until several viewings later when I was older and had a more distinguished taste for vulgarity.

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