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Punisher War Zone

Graphic Fiction

10 Most Extreme Comic Book Movies and TV Shows

Catch The Punisher this month on IFC.

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Photo Credit: Lions Gate/Courtesy Everett Collection

Comic books were once whitewashed tales of good and evil. Vanilla heroes would take down silly villains, and always save the day. Those days are long gone. Now, comics and graphic novels are filled with brutal violence, graphic sex, and some of the best writing and artwork around. Hollywood has started to notice, adapting more than the same three superheroes over and over again. With The Punisher airing this month on IFC (and AMC’s adaptation of Garth Ennis and Steve Dillon’s Preacher comics gaining buzz), we got to thinking: what other ultra-violent comics have successfully made the leap from the page to the screen? Be sure to put your splatter guard up before digging in, because this one is going to get bloody.

10. Kingsman: The Secret Service

Kingsmen
20th Century Fox

While the film adaptation of Kingsman: The Secret Service took a fair amount of liberties with the comic that inspired it, what remained was the playful tone mixed with unrelenting violence. Director Matthew Vaughn (Kick-Ass) was clearly inspired by the particular brand of lunacy creators Mark Millar and Dave Gibbons offered in the comic, crafting inspired bits of carnage like a church brawl that turns into an all-out orgy of brutality.


9. Daredevil

Daredevil
Marvel Television/Netflix

The show that launched Marvel’s brand on Netflix, Daredevil changed the game for TV adaptations of comic books. Inspired by Frank Miller’s darker, more Catholic take on the “Devil of Hell’s Kitchen,” the show mixes heavy themes with some of the best fight choreography the small screen has ever seen. Jessica Jones gets honorable mention for picking up the mantle and running with it, doubling down on the dark corners of this universe without ever losing its pop sensibilities.


8. Sin City

Sin City
Miramax

A “translation, not an adaptation” according to director Robert Rodriguez, this hit 2005 film used Frank Miller’s original comic artwork as a bible, recreating panels on the big screen with precise detail. With stark visuals and a plot that involved serial killers and talking severed heads, this graphic ode to film noir changed the game for comic book movies. Now lets all agree to forget that the 2014 sequel ever happened.


7. Punisher: War Zone

Punisher War Zone
Lionsgate Films

2008’s big screen Punisher outing isn’t the most famous Marvel movie, but it’s without a doubt the most violent. The filmmakers seem to take glee in trying to make each successive scene more brutal than the last. With Frank Castle literally punching through a bad guy’s head, and villain Jigsaw sewing his face back onto his skull, this movie doles out some serious punishment.


6. Kick-Ass

Kick Ass
Lionsgate

When Nic Cage spends a whole movie doing a second rate Adam West impression, and that’s only the second most bananas thing in your movie, you’ve hit the crazy comic adaptation motherload. While there are so many amazing details to pick apart here — from a great concept about a regular guy who decides to become a superhero, to a hero pretending to be gay to get the girl — it’s Chloe Grace Moretz as Hit-Girl, the pigtail wearing assassin who’s been trained to kill from birth, who steals the show.


5. Deadpool

Deadpool
20th Century Fox

Deadpool just blew up the movie world, becoming the highest grossing R-rated film in history. With its sarcastic lead, schoolboy humor and over-the-top violence, this was the movie for the 13-year-old inside of us all. Star Ryan Reynolds spent a decade trying to get it made, and with a potty-mouthed sequel being fast-tracked, it looks like everyone can just pretend that whole Green Lantern thing never happened.


4. Oldboy

Old Boy
Tartan Films

The story of a man trapped in a room by unknown captors for 15 years and the hunt for vengeance once he’s released, this 2003 Japanese film is the definition of hardcore. Roger Ebert called it a “powerful film not because of what it depicts, but because of the depths of the human heart which it strips bare.” And boy does it strip it bare, with righteous violence and a sick sensibility that saw lead Min-sik Choi, a Buddhist and vegetarian, eating a live octopus in one scene. When director Chan-wook Park was asked if he felt sorry for his star, he said he felt sorry for the octopus.


3. The Walking Dead

The Walking Dead
AMC

The Walking Dead was a cult comic with a dedicated following when the AMC adaptation premiered in 2010. Since then, the story of Sheriff Rick Grimes and his makeshift family of zombie killing survivalists has become a sensation. No one would have guessed that this brutally violent, unrelentingly bleak look at humanity at its darkest moment would become the number one show on TV, but that’s just what its done. With ratings network TV would kill for, and its own spin-off to boot, this bloody blockbuster looks like it will be creeping out our Sunday nights for years to come.


2. Tales From the Crypt

Tales from the crypt
HBO

With a love of puns and a face only a mortician could love, the Cryptkeeper presided over one of the most ridiculously horrific series in the history of television. Like The Twilight Zone‘s creepy cousin, this adaptation of the legendary EC Comics title always took delight in presenting high camp and blood-soaked horror with a dark twist. A “who’s who” of ’90s stars, from Jon Lovitz to Corey Feldman, popped in over the years to tell stories about ghouls, ghosts and zombies, and the oversexed, egotistical humans who fell prey to them.


1. Ichi The Killer

Ichi the Killer
Media Blasters

We’re not even sure “extreme” does this movie justice. Based on the manga of the same name, Ichi the Killer follows a mutilated man who is manipulated into killing rival street gangs, and just about everyone else. Full of insanely brutal violence, and a sadistic streak that teeters between cinematic and just plain sick, this movie has been banned in several countries.

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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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GIFs via Giphy

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.

via GIPHY

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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