Vampires are commonly associated with characteristics such as isolation, creepiness, and aloofness, making “funny” an unlikely adjective to describe them. However, this conventional image of vampires has also spawned a sub-genre that blends humor with horror, resulting in hilarious yet eerie parodies. Vampire horror comedies thrive on the fusion of two contrasting worlds, blending the creepiness of traditional vampire tales with a comedic twist, thereby reducing the scare factor and increasing the comedic elements.
If you find yourself tired of conventional vampire movies or in the mood for a light-hearted parody that prioritizes humor over logic, the following list of 10 vampire horror comedies is sure to pique your interest. These films will not only give you the right amount of spookiness but also keep you laughing out loud from start to finish.
10 Vampire’s Kiss (1988)
You may not know the film, but you’ve definitely seen the meme. Released in 1988, Vampire’s Kiss had a lukewarm reception, but over the years, has had a cultural resurgence spearheaded by Nicolas Cage’s wide-eyed meme. And it’s well-deserved, as Vampire Kiss depicts Nicolas Cage’s over-the-top antics, creating a string of gags and funny shenanigans throughout the film.
Revolving around a corporate employee, Peter Loew (Cage), that wants to make money and sleep with women, Loew gets bitten by a vampire during a sexual encounter, only to start believing he’s going to turn into one soon. What ensues next is comic chaos as Loew starts behaving like a vampire without actually turning into one.
9 Once Bitten (1985)
An easy-going stock-standard ’80s horror comedy that leverages the tropes of the vampire genre to land its childish jokes on sexuality and the desperation of the virgin male to get laid, Once Bitten is all rather silly, but nonetheless a fun film to watch. Powered by Jim Carrey’s charm and Lauren Hutton’s gothic sex appeal, Once Bitten should definitely be on your watch list if you’re a Jim Carrey fan or a fan of the vampire comedy genre, or both.
8 Bloodsucking Bastards (2015)
Brian O’Connell’s film is cut from the same fabric as Shaun of the Dead, taking place in a world full of corporate drones while being high in the brotherly camaraderie quotient. Set in an office that’s completely desaturated from life and happiness, the film follows Evan (Fran Kranz) and his pal, Tim (Joey Kern), as they’re introduced to their new boss (Pedro Pascal), who seems to be something else than he lets on to be. Soon, the office turns into a vampire’s den, with fewer lights, cooler temperatures, and more humans turning into vampires.
7 Day Shift (2022)
J. J. Perry’s Day Shift is perfect movie night material that’s high on laughs and low on logic. Led by an incredibly charming Jamie Foxx and a wimpy Dave Franco, Perry’s film combines the acrobatics of a bona fide action film, with the comic sensibilities of a buddy cop movie. Despite walking on the conventional tropes of fatherhood and a sense of providing for one’s family, Day Shift has some heartfelt moments of humor, action, and drama.
6 Buffy the Vampire Slayer (1992)
Often eclipsed by the TV series of the same name, Buffy the Vampire Slayer laid the foundational groundwork for the show to be based on. The film stars a goofy Kristy Swanson in the titular role, as she’s approached by a mysterious man informing her that she’s destined to be a vampire hunter. Swapping the pom-poms for wooden stakes, Buffy then undergoes rigorous training, transforming from a bimbo to a beast.
5 Fright Night (1985)
Fright Night’s merit lies in its actual sequences of horror, not for the sake of parodying the genre, but petrifying the audience. Add to that some sensible writing that attempts to rectify the conventional tropes often associated with the genre, and you get a frightful film that revolves around a kid’s concern that his next-door neighbor is a vampire.
As the vampire becomes more careless about hiding his identity, Charley Brewster becomes increasingly frustrated about his earnest pleas falling on dead ears, causing a funny yet frightening cycle of creep and chaos.
4 The Lost Boys (1987)
The Lost Boys is a criminally underrated film that follows a rowdy motorcycle gang, whose main focus is to stay young forever. Joel Schumacher’s film provides a refreshing take on the genre, as it focuses on younger, more youthful vampires rather than the old and weary ones. Stepping away from conventional norms like dark castles and rural settings, The Lost Boys integrates vampires into modern-day living, causing the fans to lust after their lives without the bloodshed, of course.
3 Renfield (2023)
Rather than focussing on a creepy version of Dracula by himself, Renfield throws light on the dark creature’s bittersweet relationship with his servant, Renfield. Unfortunately for Renfield, working for Dracula isn’t a typical job where you can hand in your resignation and walk away into freedom. Playing on this tug-of-war between master and slave, vampire and human, Renfield is a delightful combination of action and horror interspersed with some genuinely funny moments, making it one of the best horror comedies of recent years.
2 Dark Shadows (2012)
Featuring Tim Burton’s signature quirk, Dark Shadows provides a retro take on the vampire genre, as Burton adapted the film from the famous show of the ’60s. Despite not being his best collaboration with Johnny Depp, the film is a joyride for Goth fans, as it follows Barnabas Collins (Johnny Depp), whose cursed by a love-scorned witch, Angelique (Eva Green), turning him into a vampire and burying him alive. Barnabas awakens two centuries later, now scorned himself, thirsty for blood and revenge.
1 What We Do in the Shadows (2014)
Scoring high on belly laughs and low on frightful moments, Jermaine Clement and Taika Waititi’s film is a self-aware parody, from vampires to documentaries, and everything in between.
What We Do in the Shadows is a potent ensemble of comic geniuses, with all the main characters getting an equal share of comedy and range. Playing out as a documentary about the lives of vampire roommates, What We Do in the Shadowsworks on tropes that are relatable to the common man with an additional angle of vampiric problems.