There Should Be An Oscar For… Best Comedy Death
As part of Awards Season at hmv, each week we’ll be taking a look at some of those all-important movie moments that never get a mention when it comes to the Oscars: Best Plot Twist, Funniest Sex Scene, Best Car Chase etc.
So, since these will never win an Oscar in their own right, we’ve decided to make up some awards of our own…
This week we literally stare death in the face…and laugh. Now, don’t get us wrong – there’s nothing funny whatsoever about death. But for every rule, there’s an exception, and in this case the exception is Hollywood. We pick 5 of the best (and worst) contenders from cinematic history to see who should have been handed a golden statuette for Best Comedy Death.
The Lost Boys
First up is this classic death scene from Joel Schumacher’s 1987 vampire film The Lost Boys. Starring Corey Haim, Kiefer Sutherland and Corey Feldman, the film tells of two boys who move to a new town swamped with bikers and plagued by a spate of mysterious disappearances. The boys become convinced that vampires are behind the disappearances and set out to hunt them down, culminating in this hilarious scene in which one of the vampires meets his end. We’re not sure if it’s the arrow through the heart, the electrocution or the exploding head that finishes him off, but if you were going to pick a way to die, you could do worse than ‘death by stereo’.
Big Trouble in Little China
One of our favourite cheesy movies from the 1980s, Big Trouble in Little China also features one of the funniest death scenes ever. Starring Kurt Russell and Kim Cattrall, the film sees a trucker named Jack Burton (Russell) become embroiled in a centuries-old mystical battle in Chinatown, where he must defeat an evil sorcerer named Lo Pan. But it’s one of Lo Pan’s henchman that we’re interested in, calling himself Thunder. When Thunder learns of Lo Pan’s death, he quite literally explodes. As for why or how, your guess is as good as ours, it isn’t ever really explained in the dialogue. We’ll put this one down to ‘movie physics’, but when a death scene is this ridiculous, who cares?
Hard Ticket To Hawaii
Best known as a writer and director for the NFL’s Monday Night Football, Andy Sidaris later turned his hand to directing films. Kind of like a 1980s Russ Meyer, his films are big on guns, boobs and beaches, with titles like Malibu Express and Fit to Kill.
Hard Ticket to Hawaii is not, it has to be said, one of the best films you’ll ever see, with a plot so flimsy it’s not really worth explaining (other than to say that it features a killer snake contaminated with toxic waste), but it does feature a couple of the funniest death scenes ever, including one with a Frisbee. However, we’ve chosen this other one for your viewing pleasure. If there was an Oscar for ‘gratuitous use of a bazooka’, this would win it, hands down.
Turkish filmmaker Orhan Aksoy was 48 when this film was released, which is old enough to know better, frankly. If you type ‘worst death scene ever’ into a search engine, chances are this will be somewhere near the top of your results. Definitely one for the ‘so bad it’s good’ category, we could go on about everything that’s wrong with this scene all day, but it’s probably best just to witness it for yourselves. Enjoy.
Now there are lots of films in which people die in explosions and we could have picked any number of them that are so over-the-top they’re actually funny, but for sheer stupidity, this just had to go on our list of nominees. Zoolander is still our favourite Ben Stiller movie, thanks in part to this hilarious scene where his friends enjoy a water fight. Except that isn’t water…
And The Winner Is…
Come on, it’s Karate Girl, obviously. We don’t know if Aksoy just never worked out how to use slow motion in the edit, or whether he just thought this would look better, but we’re glad he did what he did. You will notice there is literally no correlation between a bullet being fired and a wound appearing on the victim’s body. None. It never won any awards, but for making us laugh so hard it really deserves something, so take a bow, Orhan Aksoy, the award is all yours.