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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Just like the title says, I'm looking for good movies, books, comics, TV shows, etc.
I have a very dry, dark, morbid sense of humour and I'm definitely not squeamish. Horror and gore are yes, fantasy(talking animals, anything Star Wars or LOTR ish) are definitely not yes.

To give a break down of some things I've liked.......



--FOR FILMS--

Something in the same vein as the RDJ Sherlock movies, especially Game of Shadows, would be excellent.

Others I've liked include The Illusionist, The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, Van Helsing(special effects on the last two are awful but hey... look how far technology has come). The Addams Family movies are very yes.

Moulin Rouge and Phantom of the Opera are both good but I'm hoping for something less flowery and more gritty. The Fall, Man in the Iron Mask and Count of Monte Cristo were enjoyable but lacked the dark vibes I'm looking for and weren't as witty as I want.

Interview With the Vampire, Suckerpunch, Sleepy Hollow, and Sweeney Todd were okay on darkness but also lacked the sort of gritty, dark wittiness I'm after. The Pirates of the Caribbean series are okay. The Tourist was okay.

Leon: The Professional and The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo(US version with Rooney Mara and Daniel Craig) are high on my list of things I like. Ichi the Killer, the Korean Hansel & Gretel that came out a while back, and the Three Extremes sets are also favourites.

Howl's Moving Castle and Spirited Away were good, Disney animated movies not so much my thing but for the sake of nostalgia I will revisit Aladdin, Jungle Book, or Peter Pan every once in a while.


--FOR TV SHOWS--

Big fan of Monty Python, very much enjoy Jeeves and Wooster. BBC Sherlock was fun. I loves Parks & Rec(partially because 85% of people meeting me for the first time make an April Ludgate comparison within the first 15 minutes).

House, Fringe, and the Addams Family series from the 60s are good. I don't watch much anime but Durarara, D Gray Man, and Kuroshitsuji were enjoyable. I also don't do much Kdrama but Master's Sun was cute.

I despise The Big Bang Theory with a burning passion. Dexter, The Walking Dead, Game of Thrones, and True Blood are also all on the list of definitely-nots. Doctor Who is a "maybe but probably no."


--FOR BOOKS--

Mo Hayder's Jack Caffery series is brilliant. The Millenium Trilogy is also good. I love my Sherlock Holmes collection, and Moriarty(Anthony Horowitz) was really fun. I read it randomly without knowing House of Silk was a thing so that one is on my to-do list as well. Messiah(Boris Starling) is high on my "next" list, as are The Necromancer(Jonathan Howard), Let the Right One In(John Lindqvist), and Gretel and the Dark(Eliza Granville). A Series of Unfortunate Events was fun.

Currently reading Anno Dracula(Kim Newman) and The Rook(Daniel O'Malley).

Lovecraft is a lot of fun and Tithe(Holly Black) was definitely enjoyable but that's about as close to fantasy as I can do.

I haven't ventured much into the world of comics but Fatale(Brubaker/Phillips) was fun and I def want to read The Fade Out but haven't gotten around to it yet. Horror manga is definitely something I enjoy.

Gillian Flynn's plots were cool and had a lot of potential but I hated the writing style too much to properly enjoy either.

I'm waiting really hard for The Crow Girl(Erik Axl Sund) to be available in the US.



Any suggestions?
 

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Morbid sense of humor, gore and wit? A horror comedy called Satan's Little Helper, it's got a cult following by people who are familiar with all the horror tropes, but I don't see any actual horror on your film list, so maybe not.

Bigot Hall is a little gem of a novella I suggest if you like Monty Python and the Addams Family.

Personally, I think that Wuthering Heights has some very witty and funny parts that probably only people with a dark sense of humor appreciate.
 

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Braindead is the greatest movie of all time


i'd forgotten all bout that movie, have to watch it again
saw it 20 years ago
evil dead 2 is pretty fucking awesome too

phantasm series and dead alive are mother fucking awesome
abc's of death 1 & 2
chillarama
attack of the killer tomato's 1 & 2
season of the witch
they live
freddy's dead the final nightmare
jason goes to hell
basket case
dawn,day,night of the living dead
the thing-john carpenters version
videodrome
the omen-1976 version
demon seed
 

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@zanah0dia:

You have excellent taste - or at least we like a lot of the same stuff! ;)

FILMS

  • The Ruling Class - in which Peter O'Toole plays a deranged aristocrat who thinks he's Christ.
  • Dr. Strangelove
  • The Loved One - black comedy of manners set in a California funeral parlour; based on the Evelyn Waugh novel (more on him below)
  • The Assassination Bureau
  • The Rise and Rise of Michael Rimmer - political comedy in which Peter O'Toole murders his way to the Prime Ministership (a common theme in British fiction!)
  • Whoops Apocalypse - brilliant Cold War spoof in which the world hurtles towards nuclear armageddon
  • Gremlins II (and Tex Avery cartoons) - does everything a well-behaved film ought not to do, with glee
  • The Wrong Box - based on the Stevenson novel (see below)

You like The Illusionist! Excellent; I much preferred it to The Prestige. In that line of faded cosmopolitanism, I'd suggest The Grand Budapest Hotel.

If you're after murderous black comedies, or comedies of cruelty: Kind Hearts and Coronets; What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?; Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?; The Lion in Winter; Theatre of Blood; Sleuth; and The Last of Sheila.
And although it's eighty years old: The Scarlet Empress.

You mentioned Moulin Rouge and Phantom of the Opera. If you want darker musicals, I'd recommend Cabaret (1930s Germany) and Chicago (jazz age USA).




TV SHOWS

I, Claudius: one of the best things the BBC ever did; Roman history as black comedy, with dialogue so good you could sing it. You should also read Robert Graves's original books, and Suetonius's scurrilous biographies of the twelve Caesars.

House of Cards: the original - which is funnier and crisper than the bloated American remake

The New Statesman / Believe Nothing (with Rik Mayall as A. B’Stard and A. Cnut, Tory politician and Quadruple Professor respectively)

Blackadder(if you haven't seen it already)

A Very Peculiar Practice

The League of Gentlemen


You mentioned liking Python; do you know Peter Cook's sketches?

Ripping Yarns - by Michael Palin & Terry Jones; variable, but the best episodes are the Agatha Christie story, the school story, and the parody of Jacobs' "Monkey's Paw"

Since you can enjoy television from the '60s: you'd probably enjoy The Avengers - not the comic book series, but a stylish, tongue in cheek, very witty op art spy series.

You said that Doctor Who was "maybe but probably no". Have you seen the old series? It's more intelligent and imaginative than the new series, and really might be the sort of thing you're after. I'd suggest "Ghost Light", and anything from Tom Baker's Gothic period ("The Brain of Morbius" or "The Seeds of Doom", maybe).

You also mentioned Anthony Horowitz; he wrote several episodes for the David Suchet Poirot. (Pre-1995 is best.)


BOOKS

There's an entire school of British authors who specialise in black comedies. These include:

Saki - Brilliant Edwardian short stories, all very short and polished; try "The Unrest-Cure", "Tobermory", "Sredni Vashtar", "The Schartz-Metterklume Method", or "The Open Window" for starters

Evelyn Waugh - especially Decline and Fall, Vile Bodies, Black Mischief and the much later Loved One. The later books become rather heavy and pompous, especially Brideshead Revisited, an embarrassingly snobbish (but critically adored) paean to the Catholic aristocracy.

Stella Gibbons - Cold Comfort Farm.

Roald Dahl - the children's books can be enjoyed by adults; the short stories for adults are excellent, with memorable stings in the tail.

Tom Sharpe - the master of savage British farce. Start with Riotous Assembly & Indecent Exposure, in which he satirises apartheid South Africa, complete with racist policemen, double-barrelled elephant guns, rubber fetishism, and exploding ostriches. Then try Blott on the Landscape, The Midden and The Throwback. Sharpe has the talent to make his readers laugh hysterically at scenes that are genuinely horrible.

You also mentioned that you liked Jeeves & Wooster, so you'd probably enjoy Wodehouse. Try The Code of the Woosters, Right Ho Jeeves, Heavy Weather or Hot Money. The Mr Mulliner short stories are also very clever; "The Unpleasantness at Bludleigh Court" has one of my favourite poems:
 

Good Gnus
(A Vignette in Verse)

When cares attack and life seems black,
How sweet it is to pot a yak,
Or puncture hares and grizzly bears,
And others I could mention;
But in my Animals "Who's Who"
No name stands higher than the Gnu;
And each new gnu that comes in view
Receives my prompt attention.

When Afric's sun is sinking low,
And shadows wander to and fro,
And everywhere there's in the air
A hush that's deep and solemn;
Then is the time good men and true
With View Halloo pursue the gnu;
(The safest spot to put your shot is through the spinal column).

To take the creature by surprise
We must adopt some rude disguise,
Although deceit is never sweet,
And falsehoods don't attract us;
So, as with gun in hand you wait,
Remember to impersonate
A tuft of grass, a mountain-pass,
A kopje or a cactus.

A brief suspense, and then at last
The waiting's o'er, the vigil past;
A careful aim.
A spurt of flame.
It's done.
You've pulled the trigger,
And one more gnu, so fair and frail,
Has handed in its dinner-pail;
(The females all are rather small,
The males are somewhat bigger).


Further back, there's Swift's "Modest Proposal" (in which he calmly advocates cannibalism as a solution to the Irish problem), Stevenson's Wrong Box (about a vanishing corpse and a tontine will), and W.S. Gilbert (whose operettas and poems are darker than you'd think, full of jokes about cannibalism, decapitation and being boiled alive in oil).

I'd also suggest Spike Milligan's Puckoon and Flann O'Brien's Third Policeman, classics of Irish comedy. O'Brien's book is more metaphysical, about a wooden-legged man writing a book about the insane philosopher De Selby, a murder, policemen and bicycles; Milligan's is a farce about a divided village, and opens with the Milligan (a sort of village idiot) arguing with the author about his legs. I'd also urge you to try The Goon Show, Milllgan's comedy series from the '50s, which is what inspired the Pythons, Peter Cook, Douglas Adams, etc.

And I see you like Jonathan Howard's Johannes Cabal series. Excellent! In that case, I'd recommend Mark Gatiss’s Lucifer Box novels (‘He was an American, so it seemed only fair to shoot him’); Jonathan Stroud’s Bartimaeus books (the funnier, more grand guignol cousin of Harry Potter); and Jasper Fforde. Robert Rankin, too, perhaps. (Glad to see Dan O'Malley's on the list; I know his mother.)

Have you read Gormenghast? It's "fantasy", but as far removed from Tolkienesque sword and sorcery as possible. It's set in a crumbling citadel governed by ritual, and is about a Machiavellian youth who murders his way to power. Definitely black comedy, with Peake refusing to distinguish between comedy and tragedy, and no magic.

Susanna Clarke's Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell, about two feuding magicians in an alternative Regency England.

You like Sherlock Holmes (movies and books)? Terrific! (And have you seen the Jeremy Brett Holmes series?) How much other detective fiction have you read? You'd probably also like G.K. Chesterton's Father Brown stories, which are even more ingenious, have a relish for the grotesque and the outré, and are wonderfully written, full of puns, paradoxes and philosophy, and impressionistic descriptions of light and landscapes.

John Dickson Carr. If you want genuinely baffling problems with misdirection and an imaginative solution that turns your assumptions on their head, combined with a supernatural atmosphere (people decapitated in locked rooms, stabbed to death in snowy streets with no footprints, vanishing in front of witnesses), a love of ghost stories, witchcraft and history, and uproarious comedy and complex plots, he’s your man.

I’d also recommend Gladys Mitchell’s Mrs Bradley detective stories; Mitchell was both an accomplished comic writer and had a taste for gore (severed heads, ears and limbs); Mrs. Bradley is a psychiatrist, witch and acquitted murderess.

You might also enjoy Michael Innes's Lament for a Maker (a phantasmagoria set in Scotland). H.C. Bailey's Mr. Fortune stories are superb, but he's an acquired taste.

And, while I think of it, Jorge Luis Borges; Umberto Eco; Italo Calvino; and Bulgakov's Master and Margarita.



And finally: music.
I realised that a lot of my favourite songs are witty ditties on such cheerful topics as cannibalism, incest, murder and STDs. Notably Tom Lehrer:


If you want wit and mordant humour, try Noel Coward; W.S. Gilbert in trenchant mood; and Stephen Sondheim’s “Little Priest” or “Chrysanthemum Tea” - with the lines “It’s a tangled situation / As your father would agree / And it mightn’t be so tangled / If you hadn’t had him strangled / But I fear that I stray, my Lord”.

And on that note, I'll sign off.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
@zanah0dia:

You have excellent taste - or at least we like a lot of the same stuff! ;)
This answer is amazing and beautiful. You've just supplied my entire summer's entertainment!

I like the Gremlins series(fun fact: Japan has LOADS of Gremlins merchandise... Pass cases, purses, stationery goods, mirrors... I spent far more than I should have on that...)

Chicago is also one I like!

Grand Budapest has been on my "to watch" list since it came out and recently started showing up on one of our movie channels so I'll hopefully be catching that soon.

My dad's a fan of the older Doctor Who series as well so if I do end up watching it'll most likely be that version! I've heard a lot about the recent one but it doesn't appeal to me... My dad's also a fan of the Poirot series you mentioned, House of Cards, Blackadder, AND Jeremy Brett as Sherlock. He recently figured out all his favourite old shows are up on Youtube so we've spent a decent amount of time the past few months watching the original Hitchhiker's Guide series, To the Manor Born, and others I can't recall.

Roald Dahl was always one of my favourite authors as a child. I've been meaning to revisit some of the ones I remember really liking but haven't gotten to yet. Also those Tom Lehrer videos were brilliant. I'll have to check out his other work as well.

As for everything else, congratulations on being the first reply to include pieces I don't already know! I'm definitely going to check these out!
 
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