The road to hell, they say, is paved with good intentions. As for the road to serious moviedom, we think you’ll find it peppered with potholes that are far funnier than the filmmakers and actors could have possibly intended.
The mood of many a tragic drama and terrifying horror has been ruined when the audience burst into laughter…
1. Meet Joe Black – Death kicks the bucket
It’s the poignant (and not very good) tale of a romance between a woman and the Grim Reaper disguised in the body of dead Brad Pitt. But it’s marred by Pitt’s death, in which a CGI dummy flops around like a fish on a hook after he is hit not once, but twice by speeding cars.
2. Titanic – Propeller man
What is the most memorable part of James Cameron’s epic? The romance between Rose and Jack? Billy Zane’s impossible smarminess? The iceberg.
No, it’s the guy who falls to his doom, smackin’ the propellor blade and spinning over and over and over and over before he hits the water. Shouldn’t laugh, really.
3. Les Misérables – Javert goes splat
There’s nothing inherently funny about Russell Crowe’s character Javert’s suicide in Les Mis (we’re not monsters), but the unfortunate ‘splat’ sound effect as his crotch meets that concrete protuberance gets a laugh every time.
4. Revenge of the Sith – NOOOOOOO
The Star Wars prequel trilogy has a lot to be sorry for, and for the most part it’s no laughing matter whatsoever. But Vader’s completely out of character cry of self-pity at what is the climax of those three films might be the most ill-considered moment in seven hours of ill-considered storytelling. LOL.
5. Tough Guys Don’t Dance – Oh God, oh man
Legend has it that Ryan O’Neal was pretty resentful of his director Norman Mailer for leaving this in the movie (later, the moment spawned a host of internet memes). But the actor’s wooden, Golden Raspberry-nominated delivery is enhanced beautifully with the addition of melodramatic music and the sick-making spinning of the camera. This is a real team effort.
6. Taffin – Maybe YOU shouldn’t be living heeeeere
Pierce Brosnan isn’t known for being a hugely OTT actor. Maybe it’s because he got it all out of his system in this one, garbled burst. It later achieved fame thanks to Adam Buxton and Joe Cornish’s loving (?) celebration of it on their XFM radio show.
(This Taffin trailer is also unintentionally hilarious. It’s an ’80s thing.)
7. Armageddon – Bruce Willis’ lonely tear
Real men don’t cry. But there is one exception – when saying a last farewell to your daughter pre-Noble Sacrifice, it is permitted to shed a single tear. Just one, mind – don’t be getting all sissy on us.
(An Armageddon preview that was unwisely shown at Cannes famously had the audience hooting with laughter. Bruce Willis was not amused and scolded the audience, though we’re not sure if he shed another tear.)
8. The Happening – Run away!
M Night Shyamalan’s The Happening is arguably an accidental comedy masterpiece from start to end, but special mention has to go to the scene in which Mark Wahlberg (convincing the hell out of us as a science teacher) runs away from the wind.
9. Twilight – Stinky
We are to believe that Edward is so attracted to Bella that he can’t handle her sweet, sweet human scent. Either that, or he has serious issues with diarrhoea. You decide.
10. The Bourne Identity – Quick exit
When faced with interrogation by Jason Bourne, murderous goon Castel choose death by running straight through a window and somersaulting into oblivion. Titanic’s propeller guy would approve.