REALLY black comedy

A lot of stuff advertised as black comedy is nothing of the sort, the label is meaningless and overused. What are some instances of REALLY black comedy you’ve seen?

Julien Donkey Boy film- A story about a deranged family, the sister is pregnant by her brother and proudly announces this fact to the astonishment of outsiders. Their father spends his days stumbling around a bedroom wearing a gas mask high on cough syrup. This is played straight enough it is disturbing rather than silly.

Moral Orel TV show- In the second season the show became a BLEAK meditation on abusive families, an entire episode was spent with an alcoholic father snarking on how much he hates his wife and kids.

Happiness film- In this film a pedophile father sodomizes his sons friend, when confronted he confesses to his son and when his son asks dejected why he has never molested him and his father says he would never do that, he jerks off thinking of his son instead. :eek:

Very Bad Things
Father of the Year
Bad Santa
Dark Star
Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned To Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb

grude/ I don’t know that I’d call that black humor—deranged and perverted maybe. To me it would be more something like this: “The building burned to a crisp!” “Yeah, but the bodies were only scorched.”

What are the elements of a Black Comedy? Judging from what’s been mentioned, I’d say:

–No happy ending
–Traditional morality is not upheld
–Cavalier attitude towards death and suffering

Tragedy with laughs. I’d add Duck Soup and A Thousand Clowns.

MAS*H (the movie)

Citizen Ruth, maybe?

Wesley Snipes and Eddie Murphy starring in a Tyler Perry movie.
Wait. . . that’s not what you meant by REALLY black, is it?

I’d go further and say that the tragic part has to be played straight and be affecting. If it’s Daffy Duck getting crisped to a cinder and still cracking wise, or smacking himself silly against trees going “Yoicks and away!”, there’s nothing to be cavalier about. If you laugh at a black joke - and I for one don’t - you have to know it’s wrong, but somehow, not care. There has to be that disconnect at the core - that flash of sociopathy.

The Marx Brothers weren’t black comedy. They were too verbal (well Groucho and Chico were), too zany, and they didn’t transgress anything their audiences really cared about - only caricatures of the bluenoses and stuffed shirts of the real world. And nobody thought Harpo was a threat to those girls he chased.

Klown, Bad Santa.

This might make me sound like a horrible person, but from the few episodes I have seen of Breaking Bad, there are lots of dark comedic moments. The two that most come to mind are

When one of the methheads wakes up still alive in the trailer, and is limping and gasping down the street trying to escape Walter who is slowly rolling after him in his van. I don’t know why I found this funny, I think it was just the utter absurdity of that moment. Walter was definitely after him, but in such a resigned and stupified way, and since Walter seemed so mild-mannered, the methhead’s (justifiable) terror of him just seemed ridiculous.

The other one is

‘‘So right now, what I need is for you to climb down out of my ass.’’

I haven’t been able to make it past the fourth or fifth episode of that show because it is just so horrifying, but I can’t deny it’s an excellent show with some very effective black humor.

If you haven’t seen Man Bites Dog you don’t know diddly squat about how dark comedy can get.

Kind Hearts and Coronets is about a cheerful serial killer. The British version is a bit darker than the US (edited) version.

Where’s Poppa?. I haven’t see it, but it clearly fits. Here’s a description:

Sometimes I wonder if black humor is inserted as Easter Eggs for us evil people to enjoy while the squares are having their recreational outrage. At the movie Affliction, we were glared at by the rest of the audience when we laughed at the scene where James Coburn makes his sons break up a frozen cord of firewood barehanded as he calls them weaklings. Or, watching the documentary Just Melvin, Just Evil, like everyone else I wondered why they didn’t just kill the child molester instead of interviewing him. But when his daughters/victims came to his funeral drunk and acted out, it was funny, dammit.

Chris Morris’s Jam is the only TV comedy series I’ve ever seen which was genuinely disturbing.

I still have a copy of that on VHS somewhere. I may have to dig that out; I haven’t watched it in quite a while.

Freeway with Reese Witherspoon And Kiefer Sutherland.

I don’t know if it’s dark enough for the OP, but Heathers is one of my favorite movies.

Freeway is pretty close to being my favorite movie.

*Holy shit! Look who got beat with the ugly stick. Is that you Bob? *

The Mad Men episode, “Commissions and Fees” got pretty dark:

[spoiler]Lane Pryce, an Englishman who’s never been happy in the US, has been fired for misdeeds brought on by financial woes. His wife, unaware of their financial situation, buys him a new Jaguar. Lane tries to kill himself by piping the exhaust into the Jag… but the notoriously unreliable English-manufactured car won’t start. So Lane hangs himself.

It was always painful to watch poor Lane pushed around by life, and his death may be the ultimate instance thereof.[/spoiler]

Freeway is awesome, and that line cracks me up every time. Her delivery is perfect.