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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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WTF Films

Artfully Off

Celebrity All-Star by Sisters Weekend is available now on IFC's Comedy Crib.

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Sisters Weekend isn’t like other comedy groups. It’s filmmaking collaboration between besties Angelo Balassone, Michael Fails and Kat Tadesco, self-described lace-front addicts with great legs who write, direct, design and produce video sketches and cinematic shorts that are so surreally hilarious that they defy categorization. One such short film, Celebrity All-Star, is the newest addition to IFC’s Comedy Crib. Here’s what they had to say about it in a very personal email interview…

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IFC: How would you describe Celebrity All-Star to a fancy network executive you just met in an elevator?

Celebrity All-Star is a short film about an overworked reality TV coordinator struggling to save her one night off after the cast of C-List celebrities she wrangles gets locked out of their hotel rooms.

IFC: How would you describe Celebrity All-Star to a drunk friend of a friend you met in a bar?

Sisters Weekend: It’s this short we made for IFC where a talent coordinator named Karen babysits a bunch of weird c-list celebs who are stuck in a hotel bar. It’s everyone you hate from reality TV under one roof – and that roof leaks because it’s a 2-star hotel. There’s a magician, sexy cowboys, and a guy wearing a belt that sucks up his farts.

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IFC: What was the genesis of Celebrity All-Star?

Celebrity All-Star was born from our love of embarrassing celebrities. We love a good c-lister in need of a paycheck! We were really interested in the canned politeness people give off when forced to mingle with strangers. The backstory we created is that the cast of this reality show called “Celebrity All-Star” is in the middle of a mandatory round of “get to know each other” drinks in the hotel bar when the room keys stop working. Shows like Celebrity Ghost Hunters and of course The Surreal Life were of inspo, but we thought it
was funny to keep it really vague what kind of show they’re on, and just focus on everyone’s diva antics after the cameras stop rolling.

IFC: Every celebrity in Celebrity All-Star seems familiar. What real-life pop personalities did you look to for inspiration?

Sisters Weekend: Anyone who is trying to plug their branded merch that no one asked for. We love low-rent celebrity. We did, however, directly reference Kylie Jenner’s turd-raison lip color for our fictional teen celebutante Gibby Kyle (played by Mary Houlihan).

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IFC: Celebrity seems disgusting yet desirable. What’s your POV? Do you crave it, hate it, or both?

Sisters Weekend: A lot of people chase fame. If you’re practical, you’ll likely switch to chasing success and if you’re smart, you’ll hopefully switch to chasing happiness. But also, “We need money. We need hits. Hits bring money, money bring power, power bring fame, fame change the game,” Young Thug.

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IFC: Who are your comedy idols?

Sisters Weekend: Mike grew up renting “Monty Python” tapes from the library and staying up late to watch 2000’s SNL, Kat was super into Andy Kaufman and “Kids In The Hall” in high school, and Angelo was heavily influenced by “Strangers With Candy” and Anna Faris in the Scary Movie franchise, so, our comedy heroes mesh from all over. But, also we idolize a lot of the people we work with in NY-  Lorelei Ramirez, Erin Markey, Mary Houlihan, who are all in the film, Amy Zimmer, Ana Fabrega, Patti Harrison, Sam Taggart. Geniuses! All of Em!

IFC: What’s your favorite moment from the film?

Sisters Weekend: I mean…seeing Mary Houlihan scream at an insane Pomeranian on an iPad is pretty great.

See Sisters Weekend right now on IFC’s Comedy Crib

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Reality? Check.

Baroness For Life

Baroness von Sketch Show is available for immediate consumption.

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Baroness von Sketch Show is snowballing as people have taken note of its subtle and not-so-subtle skewering of everyday life. The New York Times, W Magazine, and Vogue have heaped on the praise, but IFC had a few more probing questions…

IFC: To varying degrees, your sketches are simply scripted examples of things that actually happen. What makes real life so messed up?

Aurora: Hubris, Ego and Selfish Desires and lack of empathy.

Carolyn: That we’re trapped together in the 3rd Dimension.

Jenn: 1. Other people 2. Other people’s problems 3. Probably something I did.

IFC: A lot of people I know have watched this show and realized, “Dear god, that’s me.” or “Dear god, that’s true.” Why do people have their blinders on?

Aurora: Because most people when you’re in the middle of a situation, you don’t have the perspective to step back and see yourself because you’re caught up in the moment. That’s the job of comedians is to step back and have a self-awareness about these things, not only saying “You’re doing this,” but also, “You’re not the only one doing this.” It’s a delicate balance of making people feel uncomfortable and comforting them at the same time.

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IFC: Unlike a lot of popular sketch comedy, your sketches often focus more on group dynamics vs iconic individual characters. Why do you think that is and why is it important?

Meredith: We consider the show to be more based around human dynamics, not so much characters. If anything we’re more attracted to the energy created by people interacting.

Jenn: So much of life is spent trying to work it out with other people, whether it’s at work, at home, trying to commute to work, or even on Facebook it’s pretty hard to escape the group.

IFC: Are there any comedians out there that you feel are just nailing it?

Aurora: I love Key and Peele. I know that their show is done and I’m in denial about it, but they are amazing because there were many times that I would imagine that Keegan Michael Key was in the scene while writing. If I could picture him saying it, I knew it would work. I also kind of have a crush on Jordan Peele and his performance in Big Mouth. Maya Rudolph also just makes everything amazing. Her puberty demon on Big Mouth is flawless. She did an ad for 7th generation tampons that my son, my husband and myself were singing around the house for weeks. If I could even get anything close to her career, I would be happy. I’m also back in love with Rick and Morty. I don’t know if I have a crush on Justin Roiland, I just really love Rick (maybe even more than Morty). I don’t have a crush on Jerry, the dad, but I have a crush on Chris Parnell because he’s so good at being Jerry.

Jenn: I LOVE ISSA RAE!

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IFC: If you could go back in time and cast yourselves in any sitcom, which would it be and how would it change?

Carolyn: I’d go back in time and cast us in The Partridge Family.  We’d make an excellent family band. We’d have a laugh, break into song and wear ruffled blouses with velvet jackets.  And of course travel to all our gigs on a Mondrian bus. I feel really confident about this choice.

Meredith: Electric Mayhem from The Muppet Show. It wouldn’t change, they were simply perfect, except… maybe a few more vaginas in the band.

Binge the entire first and second seasons of Baroness von Sketch Show now on IFC.com and the IFC app.

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G.I. Jeez

Stomach Bugs and Prom Dates

E.Coli High is in your gut and on IFC's Comedy Crib.

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Brothers-in-law Kevin Barker and Ben Miller have just made the mother of all Comedy Crib series, in the sense that their Comedy Crib series is a big deal and features a hot mom. Animated, funny, and full of horrible bacteria, the series juxtaposes timeless teen dilemmas and gut-busting GI infections to create a bite-sized narrative that’s both sketchy and captivating. The two sat down, possibly in the same house, to answer some questions for us about the series. Let’s dig in….

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IFC: How would you describe E.Coli High to a fancy network executive you just met in an elevator?

BEN: Hi ummm uhh hi ok well its like umm (gets really nervous and blows it)…

KB: It’s like the Super Bowl meets the Oscars.

IFC: How would you describe E.Coli High to a drunk friend of a friend you met in a bar?

BEN: Oh wow, she’s really cute isn’t she? I’d definitely blow that too.

KB: It’s a cartoon that is happening inside your stomach RIGHT NOW, that’s why you feel like you need to throw up.

IFC: What was the genesis of E.Coli High?

KB: I had the idea for years, and when Ben (my brother-in-law, who is a special needs teacher in Philly) began drawing hilarious comics, I recruited him to design characters, animate the series, and do some writing. I’m glad I did, because Ben rules!

BEN: Kevin told me about it in a park and I was like yeah that’s a pretty good idea, but I was just being nice. I thought it was dumb at the time.

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IFC: What makes going to proms and dating moms such timeless and oddly-relatable subject matter?

BEN: Since the dawn of time everyone has had at least one friend with a hot mom. It is physically impossible to not at least make a comment about that hot mom.

KB: Who among us hasn’t dated their friend’s mom and levitated tables at a prom?

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

BEN: There’s a lot of content now. I don’t think anyone will even notice, but it’d be cool if they did.

KB: A show about talking food poisoning bacteria is basically the same as just watching the news these days TBH.

Watch E.Coli High below and discover more NYTVF selections from years past on IFC’s Comedy Crib.

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