They say laughter is the best medicine, but no matter how good the medicine is, if it's delivered with a rusty hypodermic needle by a disreputable Tijuanan doctor who smells vaguely of pennies and soup mix, it probably isn't going to do you any good at all. Here we pay tribute to those chuckles and chortles that suck all the joy out of the world.
The cackling madman of Final Fantasy VI has one of the most famous laughs in video game history, which is pretty impressive considering how little voice acting was possible in the 16 bit era. Whenever that sound file went off, it was like the auto-save feature today in that it meant that shit was definitely about to go down.
Ah, Bill Bailey, shine on you crazy cubic zirconium. We don't know what turned the finest front man of the late '80s and early '90s into neurosis museum, but the effects can clearly be heard while he laughs maniacally in the bridge of "Get in the Ring."
For our money, nothing was creepier than The Neverending Story. Don't believe the hype about it being a family fantasy epic. The whole thing was simply an exercise in scarring children for life, and watching it as an adult, you realize that Bastian is deeply disturbed even before he gets sucked into the book. The Nothing's agent Gmork gets top billing as the most frightening thing in the whole movie, as he chuckles his way through a final nihilistic confrontation with Atreyu.
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Flight of Dragons is a classic cartoon that we can't wait to share with the Kid With One F once she's old enough to grasp it. Ommadon is the film's villain, a wizard determined to destroy the world of science in the name of maintaining magic's power. James Earl Jones topped his voice performance as Darth Vader here, and we don't care who says different.
We don't really suffer from bozophobia, but when we asked people about the creepiest laughs, this was basically the only response we got. So here you go.
Heath Ledger may have the Oscar, but Nicholson has him beat in the creepy laugh department. To this day we still want to know what's in the freakin' laughing bag they show after he falls from the church.
Clip too freakin' disturbing to embed, view it here.
Lest you think only men make this kind of a list, we chose Eihi Shiina's character from Audition to represent the fairer sex. Specifically, we're thinking of her girlish chuckle during the torture scene as she gleefully uses a piece of wire to saw off a man's foot. It's so...genuine.
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Much of the finale of the acclaimed TV show Twin Peaks takes place in the Black Lodge, a realm of great spiritual power, also of dwarfs, jazz and red curtains. Whether you're talking about the mirth of Dale Cooper's doppelganger, Bob, Leland Palmer or Windham Earle, pretty much every inhabitant of the lodge has the chuckles of the damned.
No one has ever missed the boat like Nintendo when they didn't make it possible to "accidentally" shoot this fucker who mocks your failure in Duck Hunt.