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The dozen funniest death scenes in otherwise serious movies (with video)

The dozen funniest death scenes in otherwise serious movies (with video) (photo)

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Sometimes, death is a laughing matter. Here are ten death scenes in movies that are definitely more comic than tragic, even if the film themselves are of a more serious-minded sort. And yes, of course we’ve included the Sam Jackson vs. Shark (Shark wins) in “Deep Blue Sea.”

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Shot in the Closet in “Burn After Reading” (2008)

One of the most unexpected (and shocking) death scenes in the history of cinema, poor Brad Pitt’s demise in the Coen Brothers’ underrated “Burn After Reading” is actually brought on by his “Ocean’s Eleven” pal, George Clooney. Fitness enthusiast Chad Feldheimer (Pitt) sneaks into the house of former CIA analyst Osborne Cox (John Malkovich) in the hopes of finding secret government files he can give to the Russian Embassy in exchange for lots of money and ends up hiding in the closet when Cox’s wife’s lover, Harry Pfarrer (Clooney), unexpectedly shows up. Harry then opens the closet and‚ well, just watch and see. Sure, Burn After Reading can most definitely be considered a comedy (it’s not exactly one of the Coen Brothers’ more “serious” movies), but having one of its main characters suddenly get shot in the head (as hilarious as it is) marked the film taking a turn into much darker and more sinister territory.


The Ballad of White Boy Bob in “Out of Sight” (1998)

George Clooney again, though this time he isn’t the cause of the death in question — or is he? If master criminal Jack Foley (Clooney) hadn’t been at the top of the staircase, then White Boy Bob (Keith Loneker) wouldn’t have had to ascend the staircase, and he wouldn’t have tripped, and‚ well, see for yourself. “Out of Sight” has the distinct honor of being the film that transitioned art house auteur Steven Soderbergh into the realm of big-time, big-budget Hollywood — this sexy crime thriller based on the novel by Elmore Leonard was his first of many collaborations with Clooney. Too bad White Boy Bob couldn’t come along for the ride.


Marvin Doesn’t Have an Opinion — or a Life — in “Pulp Fiction” (1994)

Poor Marvin. Well, at least we went out with someone talking to him about God and miracles, so maybe by default this final religious conversation guaranteed him a place in Heaven after Vincent (John Travolta) accidentally shoots him in the face. This, of course, makes a huge mess in the car, though Vincent and Jules (Samuel L. Jackson) manage to drive this bloody eyesore all the way to Toluca Lake, where they hide out with Jimmy (Quentin Tarantino) and wait for the Wolf (Harvey Keitel) to help them make it seem like this little incident never happened.


Sam Jackson vs. Shark (Shark wins) in “Deep Blue Sea” (1999)

The super-smart, super-fast shark in “Deep Blue Sea” doesn’t have any patience for a passionate Samuel L. Jackson monologue. Well, that’s not true — the beast lets Sam do his thing for a while, spewing forth his trademark authoritative, condescending, alpha-male histrionics as he tells the rest of the cast about his unfortunate avalanche experience, demanding they all get their shit together and concentrate on getting out of their current situation. Once Sam wraps the sermon and actually starts suggesting a specific course of action, though, the shark’s had enough and quickly silences the would-be team leader. Forever.


Wheezy Joe’s Tragic Confusion in “Intolerable Cruelty” (2003)

The Coen Brothers certainly know how to conjure a memorable — and rather hilarious — death scene. One of the more subversive moments in the otherwise completely disposable “Intolerable Cruelty” features the lumbering, asthmatic hit man, Wheezy Joe (Irwin Keyes), getting into a confusing scuffle with divorce attorney Miles Massey (George Clooney) in a dimly-lit house — amidst all of the hurly-burly, poor Joe mistakes his inhaler for a gun, and vice-versa — causing him to spray air in Clooney’s face and, well, you can probably imagine the second part. Nice touch with the broken window, by the way.



Bob the Dead Goon in “Batman” (1989)

Just as the Joker “kinda liked” one particular piece of art in the Gotham Museum and spared it from being defaced, we “kinda liked” the Clown Prince of Crime’s right-hand man, Bob (Tracey Walter). So we were “kinda saddened” when the Joker inexplicably blamed Bob for not being told that Batman had a Batwing and punished his number-one guy for this oversight by calmly and unexpectedly blowing him away with a single shot to the chest. “Gonna need a moment or two alone, boys,” says the Joker afterwards — yeah, so will we.


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Hard Out

Comedy From The Closet

Janice and Jeffrey Available Now On IFC's Comedy Crib

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She’s been referred to as “the love child of Amy Sedaris and Tracy Ullman,” and he’s a self-described “Italian who knows how to cook a great spaghetti alla carbonara.” They’re Mollie Merkel and Matteo Lane, prolific indie comedians who blended their robust creative juices to bring us the new Comedy Crib series Janice and Jeffrey. Mollie and Matteo took time to answer our probing questions about their series and themselves. Here’s a taste.

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IFC: How would you describe Janice and Jeffrey to a fancy network executive you met in an elevator?

Mollie & Matteo: Janice and Jeffrey is about a married couple experiencing intimacy issues but who don’t have a clue it’s because they are gay. Their oblivion makes them even more endearing.  Their total lack of awareness provides for a buffet of comedy.

IFC: What’s your origin story? How did you two people meet and how long have you been working together?

Mollie: We met at a dive bar in Wrigley Field Chicago. It was a show called Entertaining Julie… It was a cool variety scene with lots of talented people. I was doing Janice one night and Matteo was doing an impression of Liza Minnelli. We sort of just fell in love with each other’s… ACT! Matteo made the first move and told me how much he loved Janice and I drove home feeling like I just met someone really special.

IFC: How would Janice describe Jeffrey?

Mollie: “He can paint, cook homemade Bolognese, and sing Opera. Not to mention he has a great body. He makes me feel empowered and free. He doesn’t suffocate me with attention so our love has room to breath.”

IFC: How would Jeffrey describe Janice?

Matteo: “Like a Ford. Built to last.”

IFC: Why do you think the world is ready for this series?

Mollie & Matteo: Our current political world is mirroring and reflecting this belief that homosexuality is wrong. So what better time for satire. Everyone is so pro gay and equal rights, which is of course what we want, too. But no one is looking at middle America and people actually in the closet. No one is saying, hey this is really painful and tragic, and sitting with that. Having compassion but providing the desperate relief of laughter…This seemed like the healthiest, best way to “fight” the gay rights “fight”.

IFC: Hummus is hilarious. Why is it so funny?

Mollie: It just seems like something people take really seriously, which is funny to me. I started to see it in a lot of lesbians’ refrigerators at a time. It’s like observing a lesbian in a comfortable shoe. It’s a language we speak. Pass the Hummus. Turn on the Indigo Girls would ya?

See the whole season of Janice and Jeffrey right now on IFC’s Comedy Crib.

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Die Hard Dads

Inspiration For Die Hard Dads

Die Hard is on IFC all Father's Day Long

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Photo Credit: Everett Collection, GIPHY

Yippee ki-yay, everybody! It’s time to celebrate the those most literal of mother-effers: dads!

And just in case the title of this post left anything to the imagination, IFC is giving dads balls-to-the-wall ’80s treatment with a glorious marathon of action trailblazer Die Hard.

There are so many things we could say about Die Hard. We could talk about how it was comedian Bruce Willis’s first foray into action flicks, or Alan Rickman’s big screen debut. But dads don’t give a sh!t about that stuff.

No, dads just want to fantasize that they could be deathproof quip factory John McClane in their own mundane lives. So while you celebrate the fathers in your life, consider how John McClane would respond to these traditional “dad” moments…

Wedding Toasts

Dads always struggle to find the right words of welcome to extend to new family. John McClane, on the other hand, is the master of inclusivity.
Die Hard wedding

Using Public Restrooms

While nine out of ten dads would rather die than use a disgusting public bathroom, McClane isn’t bothered one bit. So long as he can fit a bloody foot in the sink, he’s G2G.
Die Hard restroom

Awkward Dancing

Because every dad needs a signature move.
Die Hard dance

Writing Thank You Notes

It can be hard for dads to express gratitude. Not only can McClane articulate his thanks, he makes it feel personal.
Die Hard thank you

Valentine’s Day

How would John McClane say “I heart you” in a way that ain’t cliche? The image speaks for itself.
Die Hard valentines

Shopping

The only thing most dads hate more than shopping is fielding eleventh-hour phone calls with additional items for the list. But does McClane throw a typical man-tantrum? Nope. He finds the words to express his feelings like a goddam adult.
Die Hard thank you

Last Minute Errands

John McClane knows when a fight isn’t worth fighting.
Die Hard errands

Sneaking Out Of The Office Early

What is this, high school? Make a real exit, dads.
Die Hard office

Think you or your dad could stand to be more like Bruce? Role model fodder abounds in the Die Hard marathon all Father’s Day long on IFC.

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Founding Farters

Know Your Nerd History

Revenge of the Nerds is on IFC.

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Photo Credit: Everett Collection, GIFs via Giphy

That we live in the heyday of nerds is no hot secret. Scientists are celebrities, musicians are robots and late night hosts can recite every word of the Silmarillion. It’s too easy to think that it’s always been this way. But the truth is we owe much to our nerd forebearers who toiled through the jock-filled ’80s so that we might take over the world.

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Our humble beginnings are perhaps best captured in iconic ’80s romp Revenge of the Nerds. Like the founding fathers of our Country, the titular nerds rose above their circumstances to culturally pave the way for every Colbert and deGrasse Tyson that we know and love today.

To make sure you’re in the know about our very important cultural roots, here’s a quick download of the vengeful nerds without whom our shameful stereotypes might never have evolved.

Lewis Skolnick

The George Washington of nerds whose unflappable optimism – even in the face of humiliating self-awareness – basically gave birth to the Geek Pride movement.

Gilbert Lowe

OK, this guy is wet blanket, but an important wet blanket. Think Aaron Burr to Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Hamilton. His glass-mostly-empty attitude is a galvanizing force for Lewis. Who knows if Lewis could have kept up his optimism without Lowe’s Debbie-Downer outlook?

Arnold Poindexter

A music nerd who, after a soft start (inside joke, you’ll get it later), came out of his shell and let his passion lead instead of his anxiety. If you played an instrument (specifically, electric violin), and you were a nerd, this was your patron saint.

Booger

A sex-loving, blunt-smoking, nose-picking guitar hero. If you don’t think he sounds like a classic nerd, you’re absolutely right. And that’s the whole point. Along with Lamar, he simultaneously expanded the definition of nerd and gave pre-existing nerds a twisted sort of cred by association.

Lamar Latrell

Black, gay, and a crazy good breakdancer. In other words, a total groundbreaker. He proved to the world that nerds don’t have a single mold, but are simply outcasts waiting for their moment.

Ogre

Exceedingly stupid, this dumbass was monumental because he (in a sequel) leaves the jocks to become a nerd. Totally unheard of back then. Now all jocks are basically nerds.

Well, there they are. Never forget that we stand on their shoulders.

Revenge of the Nerds is on IFC all month long.

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