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Rick & Morty’s Grossest Joke Is Taken From An Obscure Horror Movie

Although Adult Swims Rick and Morty isnt afraid to get gross one of the anarchic animated comedys jokes saw the series take its gruesome dark humor too far and the show referenced an obscure dark French horror movie in the process. Rick and Morty is no stranger to boundary pushing humor. Ever since the show began life as the obscene web series The Animated Adventures of Doc and Mharti Rick and Morty has always been quick to sneak in jokes that straddle the line between good and bad taste.

Rick and Morty has also frequently thrown in a few gags that pole vault straight over the line into seriously tasteless territory. One such gag occurred in a season 5 episode that saw the Smith family killing dozens of alternate versions of themselves in a convoluted plot to work out whether they were real or duplicates. Oddly the Rick and Morty season 5 joke featured a reference to an obscure French horror movie although many fans were too busy gagging at its grossness to notice.One moment in season 5s Mortyplicity sees a clone of Rick skin the real Rick alive to give himself a more human appearance. Although the episode isnt as hated as season 4s Claw and Hoarder the image is more gory and explicit than anything that most episodes of Rick and Morty offer. Fortunately for Rick his attacker is stopped and killed before he dies although Rick does spend a few minutes flayed alive on a crucifix. This memorably shocking image is lifted from 2008s controversial horror Martyrs.

The reference might seem random but it doesnt come completely out of left field as the Rick and Morty episode echoes one theme of Martyrs. As countless Ricks and Mortys kill each other in an endless circular quest to work out which ones are clones and which are real the plot becomes reminiscent of Martyrs darker more self serious inquiries into where the lines between life and death and innocence and guilt lie. While the Rick and Morty episode remained relatively light hearted in terms of tone the gross gore was more than the likes of Bobs Burgers or The Simpsons would ever get away with. The Martyrs nod was a gruesome reminder of how much more creative freedom Adult Swim affords Rick and Morty compared to other networks animated sitcoms as well as a bracing surprise for viewers expecting a harmless episode.

The nod to director Pascal Laugiers New French Extremity movie was not the first time that Rick and Morty referenced an obscure horror release either. Although it was not as violent one Rick and Morty season 4 outing saw the series include a nod to the 1990 horror movie Jacobs Ladder as the show playfully implied the entire series was being imagined by Morty as he dissociated on the battlefield. Fortunately for fans this obscure Rick and Morty horror nod was not as bloody as the Martyrs reference. Jacobs Ladder was also not quite as little known as Laugiers controversial horror meaning more Rick and Morty fans were likely to recognize the earlier reference.

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