September 26, 2011 at 07:58 PM EDT

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Like a fat man lying down on a wide wall, the horror-comedy is a notoriously difficult thing to pull off. But that didn’t stop debut director Eli Craig making Tucker and Dale vs. Evil, a humorous twist on the crazed hillbilly genre which opens in theatres this Friday (and is currently available on VOD).

We asked Craig to list his top five movies which combine things-that-go-bump-in-the-night with things-that-make-him-laugh-until-he pukes.


Ghostbusters is the greatest comedy-horror movie of all-time. I was seven or eight when I saw that and it was as frightening as anything I had seen. But it has that heart of gold that I think is hard to find in comedies these days. There’s a lot of satirical comedy, a lot of comedy with a sort of bitter edge to it. But I’m a big fan of that sweet kind of comedy.”

Shaun of the Dead

“They broke new ground, redefined horror-comedy. That was the first movie that took the broadness out of it and played the reality.”

Young Frankenstein

“Gene Wilder has always been brilliant to me and I just love Mel Brooks. I like that it’s such a broad comedy set in the horror context. I don’t see that done much. A lot of the horror-comedies I see are just horrific gore, sort of winking at the camera about how gory this is, but aren’t as great at one-liners. I like there to be real punchy jokes in a movie. And Young Frankenstein really carries itself as a comedy.”

Evil Dead 2

Evil Dead 2 is so creative and Bruce Campbell brought such a light to that movie. That movie definitely winks to the audience but it does so in a way that’s just cool. At college we watched it a ton and a lot of the energy of it, the excitement of it, just rubbed off on me.”

The Frighteners

“I’ve got to throw in The Frighteners because I think Peter Jackson [who directed it] is awesome. I like some of his earlier stuff — Brain Dead, Bad Taste —but the Frighteners had a better balance to me and Michael J. Fox is great. I think it’s Peter Jackson’s forgotten movie.”

You can read more about Tucker and Dale Vs. Evil in the current issue of EW and you can check out the film’s trailer below.

Read more:

Comic-Con 2011: Director Eli Craig talks about his horror-comedy ‘Tucker and Dale Vs. Evil’

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