It’s weird how well horror and comedy go together. True horror fans get a gleeful joy watching their favorite villains in action, and that gleeful joy gets even stronger when those villains are seen having a good time themselves.
Because of this, there are a whole host of villains that are just as hilarious as they are frightening. To those unaccustomed with horror, it might seem bizarre to want to watch terrifying killers that also make you laugh, but those are also some of the most memorable.
10) Leslie Vernon
Leslie Vernon holds a special place on this list as he was a fully self-aware horror villain and slasher. Also, his film is unique as being part tongue in cheek horror movie and part mockumentary.
The movie and Leslie Vernon himself lean into this trope in spectacular fashion. He brings the viewer along for the ride on his journey to becoming a slasher like his idols Jason Voorhees and Michael Myers.
9) Jack Frost
There is a family-friendly movie called Jack Frost about a dad that came back to life as his kid’s snowman. This ain’t that. Same basic concept, mind you, except the snowman is a serial killer this time around. That premise alone is enough to make a horror fan giggle.
Jack doesn’t stop there, though. The character himself is sadistic in the best ways imaginable. Plus, there’s a sex scene involving a snowman that will probably ruin your childhood, and scar you for life.
8) Uncle Sam
Some of the greatest horror villains become iconic when they adopt an already existing moniker. In the case of Uncle Sam, that meant a psychopath soldier who came back to life and donned an Uncle Sam costume to kill people.
The premise alone is hilarious, but the visual of seeing an actual Uncle Sam committing murders only adds to the humor. He might not be the most well known horror villain on the list, but he certainly deserves a place just on imagery alone.
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7) Ice Cream Man
There’s something instantly sinister about adults in positions who interact with lots of children. An ice cream man is supposed to make them smile, so it’s pretty twisted to have somebody accomplish that job, while also killing.
In this situation, the ice cream man is as much a victim of his twisted mind as he is a perpetrator, but he revels in his job, making the smiles he creates along the way all the more scary. And of course, it all works thanks to the brilliant awkwardness of actor Clint Howard.
A great horror trope involves taking a seemingly innocent and childlike character, and turning them into vicious monsters. In the case of Leprechaun, it worked to such great effect that it became a fully-fledged franchise.
The reason the Leprechaun is so funny is that he retained the same sense of playful innocence that regular leprechauns are known for having – he simply used that playfulness to his advantage while he was killing people.
The scary thing about Pennywise is that he is an extremely powerful being that can shape-shift into pretty much anything, and yet, he decides to embody a silly clown who cracks jokes right before devouring victims. It makes fans wonder why he feels so comfortable in the form.
It’s actually terrifying that something so powerful can resort to humor. The strange thing is that he doesn’t exist in a comedy. His film is a straight horror, yet the fact that the humor is reserved for him alone makes him a very interesting character.
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There’s something terrifying about killers that truly enjoy what they do. Chucky enjoyed killing so much as a human that he would crack jokes while doing it. Under normal circumstances, that wouldn’t allow him a spot on the list, but the fact that he became stuck inside the body of a doll makes his situation all the more hilarious.
Of course, Chucky doesn’t find it so funny, but the fact that he continues to exercise his sense of humor while killing only ads to the hilarity of it all. Meanwhile, children everywhere are looking at their dolls with dreadful suspicion.
3) Freddy Krueger
The great transformation of Freddy Krueger is well known in horror circles. He started off as a truly menacing figure, only to become more humorous over time, topping out when he used his iconic glove to play video games with.
While some characters are known for being scary and silly at the same time, Freddy embodied one or the other, depending on the film. A large part of that can be attributed to both the cultural shift of horror, and Robert Englund completely embracing the role.
There’s something about tiny creatures that appeals to horror fans, and none have been as successful as the Gremlins. This is probably because they were ultimately born out of something so cute and innocent.
The great thing about Gremlins is that they are not inherently evil, per say. Rather, they are mischievous, hedonistic sociopaths always looking to cause trouble in hilarious ways. The problem is that they have no qualms about also murdering humans – and each other – in the process.
1) Killer Klowns from Outer Space
There are so many B-level horror comedies that utilize absolutely ridiculous concepts, but none has had the cultural impact and lasting as space alien clowns that murder people. Like so many others on the list, this movie succeeded by taking the image of a clown, which is normally reserved for humor, and used everything they’re known for to kill people, but it didn’t stop there.
The film takes it to another level by making these clowns aliens that truly revel in the motif. Stupid, silly and over-the-top? Definitely, but that’s part of the cult-level charm of the movie.