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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Grow TFU

Adulting Like You Mean It

Commuters makes its debut on IFC's Comedy Crib.

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Jared Warner, Nick Ciavarella, and Tim Dean were once a part of Murderfist, a group of comedy writers, actors, producers, parents, and reluctant adults. Together with InstaMiniSeries’s Nikki Borges, they’re making their IFC Comedy Crib debut with the refreshingly-honest and joyfully-hilarious Commuters. The webseries follows thirtysomethings Harris and Olivia as they brave the waters of true adulthood, and it’s right on point.

Jared, Nick, Nikki and Tim were kind enough to answer a few questions about Commuters for us. Here’s a snippet of that conversation…

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

Nick: Two 30-somethings leave the Brooklyn life behind, and move to the New Jersey suburbs in a forced attempt to “grow up.” But they soon find out they’ve got a long way to go to get to where they want to be.

IFC: How would you describe Commuters to a drunk friend of a friend you met in a bar?

Jared: It’s a show about how f*cking stupid people who think they are smart can be.

IFC: What’s your origin story? When did you all meet and how long have you been working together?

Jared: Nick, Tim, and I were all in the sketch group Murderfist since, what, like 2004? God. Anyway, Tim and Nick left the group to pursue other frivolous things, like children and careers, but we all enjoyed writing together and kept at it. We were always more interested in storytelling than sketch comedy lends itself to, which led to our webseries Jared Posts A Personal. That was a show about being in your 20s and embracing the chaos of being young in the city. Commuters is the counterpoint, i guess. Our director Adam worked at Borders (~THE PAST!!~) with Tim, came out to a Murderfist show once, and we’ve kept him imprisoned ever since.

IFC: What was the genesis of Commuters?

Tim: Jared had an idea for a series about the more realistic, less romantic aspects of being in a serious relationship.  I moved out of the city to the suburbs and Nick got engaged out in LA.   We sort of combined all of those facets and Commuters was the end result.

IFC: How would Harris describe Olivia?

Jared: Olivia is the smartest, coolest, hottest person in the world, and Harris can’t believe he gets to be with her, even though she does overreact to everything and has no chill. Like seriously, ease up. It doesn’t always have to be ‘a thing.’

IFC: How would Olivia describe Harris?

Nikki:  Harris is smart, confident with a dry sense of humor but he’s also kind of a major chicken shit…. Kind of like if Han Solo and Barney Rubble had a baby.

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

Nikki:  I think this is the most accurate portrayal of what a modern relationship looks like. Expectations for what your life is ‘supposed to look like’ are confusing and often a let down but when you’re married to your best friend, it’s going to be ok because you will always find a way to make each other laugh.

IFC: Is the exciting life of NYC twentysomethings a sweet dream from which we all must awake, or is it a nightmare that we don’t realize is happening until it’s over?

Tim: Now that i’ve spent time living in the suburbs, helping to raise a two year old, y’all city folk have no fucking clue how great you’ve got it.

Nikki: I think of it similar to how I think about college. There’s a time and age for it to be glorious but no one wants to hang out with that 7th year senior. Luckily, NYC is so multifaceted that you can still have an exciting life here but it doesn’t have to be just what the twentysomethings are doing (thank god).

Jared: New York City is a garbage fire.

See the whole season of Commuters right now on IFC’s Comedy Crib.

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C'mon Fellas

A Man Mansplains To Men

Why Baroness von Sketch Show is a must-see.

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Mansplaining is when a man takes it upon himself to explain something to a woman that she already knows. It happens a lot, but it’s not going to happen here. Ladies, go ahead and skip to the end of this post to watch a free episode of IFC’s latest addition, Baroness von Sketch Show.

However, if you’re a man, you might actually benefit from a good mansplanation. So take a knee, lean in, and absorb the following wisdom.

No Dicks

Baroness von Sketch Show is made entirely by women, therefore this show isn’t focused on men. Can you believe it? I know what you’re thinking: how will we know when to laugh if the jokes aren’t viewed through the dusty lens of the patriarchy? Where are the thinly veiled penis jokes? Am I a bad person? In order: you will, nowhere, and yes.

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Huge Balls

Did you know that there’s more to life than poop jokes, sex jokes, body part jokes? I mean, those things are all really good things, natch, and totally edgy. But Baroness von Sketch Show does something even edgier. It holds up a brutal funhouse mirror to our everyday life. This is a bulls**t world we made, fellas.

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Oh Canada

After you watch the Canadian powerhouses of Baroness von Sketch Show and think to yourself “Dear god, this is so real” and “I’ve gotta talk about this,” do yourself a favor and think a-boot your options: Refrain from sharing your sage wisdom with any woman anywhere (believe us, she gets it). Instead, tell a fellow bro and get the mansplaining out of your system while also spreading the word about a great show.

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Dudes, that’s the deal.
Women, start reading again here:


Check out the preview episode of Baroness von Sketch Show and watch the series premiere August 2 on IFC.

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Happy Tears

Binge Don’t Cringe

Catch up on episodes of Documentary Now! and Portlandia.

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Photo Credit: GIFs via GIPHY

A brain can only take so much.

Every five minutes, all day, every day, ludicrously stressful headlines push our mental limits as we struggle to adapt to a reality that seems increasingly less real. What’s a mind to do when simple denial just isn’t good enough anymore?

Radical suggestion: repeal and replace. And by that we mean take all the bad news that keeps you up at night, press pause, and substitute it with some genuine (not nervous, for a change) laughter. Here are some of the issues on our mind.

Gender Inequality

Feminist bookstore owners by day, still feminist bookstore owners by night, Toni and Candace show the male gaze who’s boss. Learn about their origin story (SPOILER: there’s an epic dance battle) and see what happens when their own brand of empowerment gets out of hand.

Healthcare

From Candace’s heart attack to the rise of the rawvolution, this Portlandia episode proves that healthcare is vital.

Peaceful Protests

Too many online petitions, too little time? Get WOKE with Fred and Carrie when they learn how to protest.

What Could Have Been

Can’t say the name “Clinton” without bursting into tears? Documentary Now!’s masterfully political “The Bunker” sheds a cozy new light on the house that Bill and Hill built. Just pretend you don’t know how the story really ends.

Fake News

A healthy way to break the high-drama news cycle is to switch over to “Dronez”, which has all the thrills of ubiquitous adventure journalism without any of the customary depression.

The more you watch, the better you feel. So get started on past episodes of Documentary Now! and Portlandia right now at IFC.com and the IFC app.

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