10 Hilariously Abrupt Movie Endings
One of the most difficult aspects of writing a story is its ending. Be it movies, video games, or even novels, writers often face quite a monumental task in creating an ending that wraps up their story in a way that doesn’t leave a bad taste in their audience’s mouths.
But sometimes these stories just kinda end. No questions answered, no time to reconcile, nothing. Usually this is pretty funny whether it was on purpose or not.
‘Blood Debts’ (1985)
Bloodguilt is an 80s action movie that looks more like it was made in the 70s. This movie never really took off, mostly because it was awful. Fortunately, there is one redeeming quality: the scandalous ending.
The film’s ending is so absurd that it even went viral on YouTube, as a video titled “The Proper Way to End Your Film.” The clip shows the main character after being shot by the villain. Fortunately, the main character has a trick up his sleeve. And by ‘trick’ he means ‘flare gun’. He uses the flare gun to blast the bad guy to smithereens. Normally, movies would have a few minutes at the end to lead the audience to a soft landing. But not Bloodguilt. Rather than some sort of falling action or aftermath, the movie freezes as the villain explodes and a text block appears announcing what happened to the hero after the events of the movie. Then the credits roll.
‘Monty Python and the Holy Grail’ (1975)
Monty Python and the Holy Grail is a British comedy film about King Arthur (Graham Chapman) and his knights of Camelot in search of (who could have guessed?) the Holy Grail. Early on in the film, these knights of Camelot murder an innocent historian for no apparent reason, while the old fellow is filming a documentary.
This, of course, leads to a police investigation, which can be seen in several cutaways over the course of the film. Towards the end, the remaining knights find the Holy Grail in a guarded castle. They prepare for battle, summoning a huge army that appears out of nowhere, but the battle is abruptly cut short before the main attack can begin. King Arthur’s karma eventually catches up with him, and he and his knights are arrested by the police, and the camera is turned off when an officer intercepts the cameraman.
‘Second Look’ (1992)
second look is a faith-based film from the 1990s that flew pretty far under the radar when it was first released. It’s a relatively cheap movie about a boy named Danny (David AR Wit) who begins to question his faith when he reaches adolescence. The film is certainly not set up as a comedy. Although the ending is quite funny, even if the filmmakers probably didn’t mean it.
At the end of the film, Danny has decided that he does want to be a Christian, and he announces this by turning to his friend Scotty (John Jimerson) and uttering the incredibly vague, but hilarious line, “Hey, Scotty… Jesus, man!” The film then uses the clichéd still image and uplifting music that seemingly every teen movie from the 90s has. The end, like Bloodguiltwent viral on YouTube for exactly the same reasons: they’re both so unintentionally funny.
‘The Devil Within’ (2012)
The Devil Inside is a pretty awful found footage horror film that is ostensibly based on a true story of demonic possession, namely the case of Isabella Rossi (Fernanda Andrade). It’s your standard mediocre horror movie with cheap jumpscares, languid pacing and not a whole lot of interesting stuff happening. That is, until the end.
Besides being a bit funny, the ending is also a bit insulting to the viewers because it’s pretty lazy. The film ends when the main characters have a car accident, after which the screen goes black. A website link appears from the black screen, which apparently serves as an information center for those wanting more information about Rossi’s property. The best part? The website doesn’t even exist anymore. Wow wow.
‘Birdemic: shock and terror’ (2010)
Birdemic: shock and terror gained quite a cult following thanks to the internet. The main reason is due to the nonsensical storyline, wooden dialogue, and ridiculously bad CGI. The plot centers on a group of survivors roaming a world under attack by thousands of acid-spitting, dive-bombing, explosive birds. No explanation is given as to why the birds behave this way.
The ending is quite simple. The survivors struggle to fend off the birds, but suddenly the birds decide they’ve had enough and begin to fly off over the sea. Again, without any explanation. Then the credits roll as the survivors stare at the horizon. It’s almost as if the filmmakers forgot to write an ending and quickly cobbled it together and added it afterwards.
‘The Castle’ (1997)
There is a joke in the above Monty Python movie in which the characters find an inscription on a cave wall that ends with an “aaargh”, and they assume whoever wrote it must have died before finishing it. It turns out that’s exactly what happened in this 1997 Austrian TV movie, based on a novel by Franz Kafka.
Kafka tragically died before he could finish the book. Several film versions of his work have been made, but filmmaker Michael Hanneke wanted to stay as true to the original as possible. Which means that both the book and the movie just end in the middle of a scene. However, the film went an extra millimeter to put up a block of text explaining that Kafka was no longer writing. It’s a brief moment of unexpected gallows humor in such a serious story.
‘The Muppets’ (2011)
The Muppets are for many a timeless source of harmless comedy featuring a huge cast of wacky characters with outrageous personalities. The 2011 film introduced a new storyline in which The Muppets decide to return to the entertainment business and host a reunion show to save their old studio from being demolished by an evil oil tycoon named Tex Richman (Chris Cooper).
During the show, several things go wrong, including Gonzo (Dave Goelz) where his arm gets caught in a bowling ball as he tries to throw it, causing his arm to get stuck in a state of constant spinning. Donations for the show pour in, but sadly it’s not enough to save the studio, and the Muppets gloomily head for the exit to perform one last musical number. During the song after the credits, Tex Richman starts beaming at his win. At the same time, Gonzo lets go of his fingers, and the bowling ball hurtles toward Richman, sending him flying. The film then shows a short newspaper clipping that shows that Richman decided to let the Muppets have the studio after all, and that this decision was certainly not the result of a head injury caused by a particular flying bowling ball. It might not be the exact ending of the movie, but it’s a pretty abrupt conclusion to the main plot of the movie.
‘The Simpsons Movie’ (2007)
The Simpsons movie looks a lot like the classic episodes of the TV series: hilarious and heartfelt at the same time. One of the funniest moments in the movie is when Homer (Dan Castellaneta) and Bart (Nancy Cartwright) are trying to re-shingle their roof. Homer tries to drive a nail, which of course leads to him accidentally injuring himself.
The final scene of the film (or the alternate ending in some versions) pays tribute to the scene from earlier. The day is saved, the family is reunited, and everything emotional is out of the way. It’s time for Homer and Bart to rebuild their house. When it comes time to shingle the roof, Homer successfully hits the nail… in his own leg. He stands up triumphant, only to realize he’s stuck a nail in his leg, and oh, look at it, it’s For real hurts. He then runs around like a headless chicken, shredding all the clapboards before falling off the roof. Cut to black and roll credits.
‘The Italian Job’ (1969)
Perhaps the film’s most famous abrupt ending comes from the British crime comedy film The Italian job. The film revolves around a gold robbery, all portrayed in a fairly funny way. Starring Michael Caine as the main character of the film, Charlie Croker, it goes relatively well until the end.
The film ends with a literal cliffhanger as the van in which the robbers carry the gold drives down a winding mountain road and inevitably teeters on the edge. The gold is at one end, slowly sliding away from the raiders as Croker desperately tries to save it. He then says he has an idea, but the audience never gets to see what it is, because the movie ends there and there. The filmmakers practically trolled their entire audience with this.
‘Some like it’ (1959)
Another classic crime comedy film, this time directed by Billy Wilderthe story of Some love it when it’s hot two criminals who disguise themselves as women to escape the police. One of these men on the run is Jerry (Jack Lemmon), who, under the alias of “Daphne,” begins to attract the attention of an aging million named Osgood (Joe E. Brown).
During the hilarious setbacks, Jerry eventually convinces Osgood to take him on his yacht. During the boat trip there, Jerry exhaustively takes off his wig and reveals that he’s actually been a man all along. For most people, this would open a whole new can of worms. It should at least set up some sort of falling action. Thankfully Osgood isn’t most people, and just shrugs and says, “Well, nobody’s perfect.” Almost as if he knew all along. The words “The End” then appear on the screen and the credits roll.
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