In film, death doesn’t have to be as upsetting and depressing as it is in real life; as evident in dark comedy, parody and satirical films, death can be just as comical as the next punch line. Roobla presents five hilarious movie deaths, which obviously contain spoilers.

5. Dr. Strangelove Or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb (1964) – Major Kong’s Rodeo Nuke

At the end of Stanley Kubrick’s intelligently sarcastic satire of the Cold War, eccentric pilot Major Kong attempts to repair a nuclear bomb; during his efforts the bomb is released and he plummets whilst straddling it. However, the patriotic cowboy revels in his position and cheers as he rides the bomb as if it were a rodeo bull. A hilarious commentary on the patriotism of Americans.

4. Total Recall (1990) – Cohaagen Meets 95% Carbon Dioxide

In Paul Verhoeven’s unexpectedly comical sci-fi film, the villainous Cohaagen is ejected from the safety of the human colony and into the deadly Martian atmosphere where he chokes, splutters and boils; his eyes pop out, his face becomes bright red and he wriggles in pain until his timely death. The comedy is owed to the special effects and make up which provide a totally ridiculous and hilarious presentation of human decompression.

3. Burn After Reading (2008) – Clooney No-Scopes Pitt

In the Coen Brothers’s underrated black comedy, Chad (Brad Pitt) makes the mistake of snooping around the increasingly paranoid Harry’s (George Clooney) house. The two eventually meet and by instinct, US. Marshal Harry shoots Chad right in the head. It’s hilarious because it’s unexpected; the Coen’s give Pitt’s character an important role and then kill him off in a split second. In addition, Clooney plays moronic and paranoid perfectly, which you can’t help but laugh at.

2. Django Unchained (2012) – Goodbye Miss Lara

Tarantino caused plenty of controversy with his gruesome but comical Western about slavery in south of the United States. At the end, Django returns to the Candie plantation with a vengeance, he tells a group of female slaves to say goodbye to the evil Calvin Candie’s sister, he shoots and she flies back with great speed. It’s a totally unrealistic act, purely used for comical effect, but it works, and it is hilarious – what better way to get rid of a horrible, slavery-enabling woman than to have her flung across a room with a shotgun wound?   

1. Fargo (1996) – Carl Meets Wood Chipper

Kidnapper Carl (Steve Buscemi) initially receives a shot gun shell to the cheek in the Coen Brothers’s masterpiece, but it’s the disposal of his body by his partner in crime that provokes the laughs. Heavily pregnant cop Frances McDormand walks in on a gruesome scene: remains hidden under a plastic sheet, blood stained snow and Gaear trying to force Carl’s foot down a woodchipper. Everything in this scene contributes to its hilarity; it’s facial expressions, the image of Buscemi’s white sock sticking out of the wood chipper and Graears initial ignorance to McDormand. Joel and Ethan Coen are experts at turning gore into comedy.

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