Best Dark Comedy Movies Of All Time – What is black comedy? Have you ever watched a movie or TV show and wondered how the characters could make jokes about violence, disease, or war? This is what we call black comedy.
She goes by many names. Dark humor. hanging joke. Dark comedy. All these have the same meaning. And in this blog, you’ll learn the history of black humor and see some examples, so you can see if you want to include this type of humor in your next project. Let’s go inside.
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Since there is a story to tell, there is dark humor. However, the definition of official black humor has only been around for less than a century. Before we delve into some examples from the Pythons and Stanley Kubrick, let’s quickly define black comedy.
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Black comedy is a comedy genre that pokes fun at topics that are usually taboo. It is also called dark comedy or dark humor. Whatever you call it, the goal is to entertain by presenting something shocking and unexpected. Although it is generally used for shock value only, it can also be used to provoke serious thought and discussion about topics that people may not otherwise want to talk about.
Black comedy takes humanity’s worst impulses and throws a pie in their face. Some works use gallows humor as a way to shed light on an important topic, while others simply try to make you laugh in ridiculous situations. Take this scene from Monty Python’s Life of Brian, where a group of crucifixes sing, “Always look on the bright side of life.”
From ancient Greece to modern times, we’ll look at some examples of dark humor so you can see how the greats put dark comedy to good use, like this scene from JoJo Rabbit where the “Heil Hitler” salute becomes indescribably hilarious.
What is black comedy and how did it begin? The term did not technically originate until 1935 when Surrealist theorist André Breton was interpreting the work of Jonathan Swift. Swift is perhaps best known for his essay,
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, which ironically suggests that the Irish can solve their economic problems by selling their children as food to the rich.
Entered the market. Edward Albee, Thomas Pynchon and J.P. It was a novel with short pieces written by Donlevy. It was the first anthology devoted entirely to the black comedy genre.
Dark humor in film can practically be traced back to its arrival, it has become wildly popular over the past 20 years, culminating in Parasite, a dark comedy thriller, winning Best Picture at the Oscars.
. The film is an allegory on class struggle and the trappings of capitalism. And in the first half of the film, it plays like a straight black comedy. Then the genre changes to a dark thriller, as we dissect in this video essay.
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Masterfully uses dark humor, let’s watch the peach montage. The Kim family exploits the housekeeper’s peach allergy so they can remove her from her role and install Mom as Parks’ new maid.
The montage has comedic undertones, but still, you can’t ignore that their goal is to completely ruin this woman’s life. But they act like any other job, Ki-woo ends up training his father on how to play his part. You can read this section below and be sure to use screenwriting software to write your own black comedy script.
This is more than a funny moment. This shows how insensitive the Kims are to this woman who comes from the same financial background as them. The joke exemplifies the film’s theme of how lower class people will tear each other apart to get a few scraps.
Their success in this endeavor has dark consequences for Moon-kwang, as the Kims will discover later in the film.
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Gallows humor can do more than emphasize the film’s themes. It can also destroy expectations for laughs from the audience. Watch the climactic scene from Deadpool.
Colossus gives Deadpool a typical superhero movie speech about what it means to be a hero. The sweeping orchestral score is supposed to be a crucial turning point in Wade’s character arc. But of course, it isn’t. Even looking at the script alone, the build-up pays off perfectly.
Deadpool just shoots Ajax in the head, completely spoiling Colossus’ speech. The whole movie subverts our expectations by showing what superhero movies usually do and then do the opposite. This moment is no different.
Usually, the hero (attempts) to save the villain, but not Deadpool. Not only is it a funny joke, which is perfectly complemented by Colossus’ reversal immediately afterwards, but it’s also true to Deadpool’s character and the overall irreverent tone throughout the film.
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Set the standard for what black comedy can achieve. The film is a Cold War satire that comes straight out of the middle of the conflict between the United States and the Soviet Union. The film is based on a serious book, but the screenwriters found humor in all the drama.
It encapsulates everything the film has to say about the Cold War. Dr. Strangelove suggests that these males may live underground with “highly stimulating” females. It’s a comedic approach to a serious situation — that’s black comedy defined.
Political corruption, nuclear war and the insanity of those subjects come full circle in the film. The government does not care about saving the average citizen. As the world burns around them, they are only concerned for themselves, as seen in the screenplay section below.
The ending of this film has been analyzed relentlessly. A montage of bombs exploding to the tune of “We’ll Meet Again” combines soothing imagery with a light-hearted song.
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Although there are many ways to interpret the ending, it may be a way to make the serious topics of war and nuclear destruction more palatable to the audience. The Cold War was a strange time for many people and this movie made the audience laugh. I don’t know what the government is doing. We’re all gonna die so let’s dance to Vera Lynn’s song.
Are you interested in watching more movies that adhere to the classic black comedy definition? We have compiled a long list of the best black comedy movies and TV shows that you can check out. However, there are some other movies that are not included in that list that are still worth watching.
Two young men trying to convince people that a dead man is still alive. It’s a morbid subject, but the film is as wacky as it gets.
Team America: The World Police take anything sacred and completely flush it down the toilet. In one sequence, the protagonist receives a lecture with some colorful language, followed by an extended scene of vomiting lasting almost a minute.
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Sometimes the darkness is toned down while the ridiculousness is heightened. Take this scene from the 1988 film A Fish Called Wanda, where the killer runs over an old lady’s dog and flattens it in the street. The dog is dead, it’s sad, but the cartoonish effects lighten the load a bit.
Black comedy may not be for the faint of heart. But it is an effective way to give your film a different tone. Look at how other filmmakers have tackled the genre, so you know how to balance darkness and humor.
Do you like to laugh at taboo topics? Want to learn how to incorporate such a comedic tone into your own films? Then you’ll want to check out the best black comedy movies and shows. These movies touch on every sensitive subject under the sun, so test your limits and see what makes you laugh. Sometimes, the funniest things are the ones we shouldn’t laugh at. Maybe we’re laughing, deep down, at the absurdity of a moment or idea, or at the insult of a situation we can’t believe. But that’s why movies that incorporate or fully embrace dark comedy can be some of the best—it gives viewers a way to recognize, understand, and even agree with some of these things.
On a joke, the whole context changes. Instead of feeling obligated to condemn behavior that is unacceptable, we can recognize the eccentricity of actions, behaviors, or events and laugh at them.
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Some examples of dark humor are naturally going to go further than others. Sacha Baron Cohen, for example, is apt to make such an argument
The character is a dark comedy; This character uses the audience who knows he is not honest to reveal many of the darkness in the world. Other examples can be more violent, like someone being shot in the face “accidentally” in a crime movie, or someone taking off a belt to tie a noose only to have their pants fall to the floor. There are different layers and different layers to dark comedy, but either way, you’re going to need some thick skin to appreciate it.
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