Saturday, May 22, 2010

Young Frankenstein is the favorite comedy horror film

While there is a day remaining on the poll for best comedy horror film, the mercy rule is being invoked. Young Frankenstein was chosen by 83% of the people who stated a preference, while the second place films were only on 27% of the ballots. The people have spoken.

Young Frankenstein is one of my favorite Mel Brooks films, along with The Producers and Blazing Saddles. As a Highlight Reel™, I would say it is my favorite work of Marty Feldman and Cloris Leachman, and the funniest work for Peter Boyle and Gene Hackman, but the rest of the cast have several movies I like at least as much. Both Gene Wilder and Madeline Kahn are good in other Mel Brooks' film and in movies by other directors. Teri Garr is good in Tootsie and I like Kenneth Mars' work in The Producers and What's Up, Doc?

I say this more as an observation that a criticism, but Mel Brooks does not always strike when the iron is hot, even in the movies of his I like. Young Frankenstein is a parody made in the 1970s about horror films as they were made in the 1930s. Blazing Saddles makes fun of westerns long after the genre has lost steam. Even Spaceballs came out four years after the last film of the Star Wars trilogy was released.

I voted for more than one movie on the list, including Young Frankenstein, but I would like to put in a good word for Shaun of the Dead, which I misspelled in the list as Sean of the Dead. It is making fun of horror films as the genre exists today, not as a tribute to films decades past. Shaun actually has horror aspects to it, gore and death and the like, and it is also very funny.

I do not think the voters made a mistake favoring Young Frankenstein. I can still remember multiple scenes from the movie that make me laugh. My point here is that Simon Pegg and Nick Frost are one of my favorite comedy duos, most especially in Shaun of the Dead and their cop film parody Hot Fuzz.


susan s. said...

Did you ever see Eating Raul? How would you classify that?

Lockwood said...

I agree with respect to Brooks... I feel like Young Frankenstein and Blazing Saddles are more exceptions than standard. Much as I love Sci Fi and parodies, after the opening scene of Spaceballs (we brake for no one), I don't think I laughed again during that movie.

I need to watch Hot Fuzz; I quite enjoyed Shaun of the Dead.

susan s. said...

I think Brooks loves to extend scenes way beyond the joke. . . the very opening of Spaceballs when the viewing of the Deathstar and the theme of Jaws is so long it's boring, and of course the "fart scene" in Blazing Saddles. His whole thing about that scene was to make up for all the horse operas where cowboys came in from the herd to have a meal and ate nothing but beans and not even the horses were farting. Everyone who has been near horses and cowboys knows they are always farting. But I go on too long, just like Brooks. . .

Matty Boy said...

Susan S.: Eating Raoul is definitely a dark comedy, maybe a horror comedy. Now that you mention it, I realize I completely forgot The Rocky Horror Picture Show. I don't think it would have beaten Young Frankenstein, but it had a chance to finish second.

As for the fart scene, I laughed incessantly during that scene, and Slim Pickens gets a great punchline. Maybe it's a guy thing.

Lockwood: Yeah, Spaceballs was done after Brooks had lost the touch. I think Young Frankenstein is his last good film, but I did enjoy the changes he made to The Producers to make it into a play.