New Zealand’s Greatest Horror-Comedy Movies

Horror might not be the first thing that comes to mind when you think of filmmaking in New Zealand. The country has developed a reputation for fantasy epics including Lord of the Rings, due to it’s stunning natural landscapes making the perfect setting for this kind of films. However, the country has some stand out horror titles in it’s film history also – including some that you might not realise actually originated in New Zealand. Generous tax breaks from the New Zealand government for Hollywood-funded movies have made filmmaking in the country a  more viable option for many studios – with the chance of high profits more attainable than even the most generous casino games, such as real money pokies in LeoVegas online casino – since the mid-2000s.

However, New Zealand has brought a unique sense of humor and fun to the genre. So, let’s take a look at some of New Zealand’s most notable horror-comedy films.

Brain Dead (aka Dead Alive)

Speaking of Lord of the Rings, director Peter Jackson got his start in gory splatter movies – the most celebrated being Brain Dead (aka Dead Alive). Although not a major success when it was released 1992 – the story of Lionel and his mother; a rabid rat-monkey bite victim who turns locals into a zombie horde – has gained a cult following in recent years. Filling the screen with blood and gore – the film brought a sense of fun to the outrageously violent setup. It was praised for it’s special effects, achieved on a very modest budget but still managing to turn the stomachs of many viewers! The effects were achieved without CGI – using a range of models and puppets.

What We Do In The Shadows

Recent breakout hit What We Do In The Shadows has taken New Zealand horror cinema to the next level in terms of recognition. The horror-comedy received screening at festivals across the world, premiering at the Sundance Film Festival in January 2014. Made on a budget of $1.6 million, directors Jemaine Clement and Taika Waititi brought something new to the long-running vampire sub-genre. In the film, we see vampires struggling with aspect of modern life – like paying rent, keeping up with the chore wheel, trying to get into nightclubs and overcoming flatmate conflicts. The film was extremely well received, and even spawned a US remake in the form of a TV show.

Black Sheep 

New Zealand certainly seem to have a handle on horror-comedy. Directed by Jonathan King, Black Sheep tells the over the top, B-Movie inspired tale of killer sheep. Set on New Zealand farmland, viewers watch experiment in genetic engineering turn harmless sheep into bloodthirsty killers capable of causing humans to become bizarre mutants when bitten. Horror fans celebrated the strange film for using latex, rubber models and puppetry for much of the film’s effects – with the director even stepping in to provide the noises of the monstrous sheep.

The tagline for the film makes it’s heritage clear – “There are 40 million sheep in New Zealand… and they’re pissed off!” 

Of course, this is only a small selection of fantastic comedic horror movies to come out of New Zealand. Which are your favourites?