Fight Club created a string of controversy after its initial release in 1999. The movie's release date was postponed after the Columbine tragedy to allay any possible backlash from the explicit violence and encouragement of violence and terrorism for males to have a voice. The film, nonetheless, incited a firestorm of heated comments; ironically, the comments either vehemently praised or condemned the movie for both its content and cinematography. One critic notes, "Most viewers, in fact, felt that Fight Club was either wildly funny or morally reprehensible- (Crowdus). Very few critics, however, commented upon the comedic value of the movie. Despite the brutal violence and nihilist attitudes of the main characters, audiences nonetheless find themselves laughing during the film. Fight Club is a fine example of comedy, despite the violence and apocalyptic messages.
The best comedies incite an audience to laugh despite themselves. Intelligent, rational minded people are caught laughing at very disturbing scenes. In the movie Pulp Fiction, Vincent Vega and Jules Winnfield are left in a car filled with the brains of their young companion, Marvin, after an accidental shooting. The absurdity of the violent images shocks audiences into laughter. Though this is a grotesque scene with blood and/or brain chunks splattered all over the white interior of the car, inevitably the surprised audience finds themselves laughing "perhaps guiltily. If this scene were to actually occur, anyone witnessing it would be deeply disturbed and upset; he or she clearly would not be laughing. Somehow in the context of the movie, this grisly image of brain on car is rendered humorous. Death is not the only disturbing image that audiences convert to humor in this movie. In the scene in which Marcellus and Butch are kidnapped, bound, and prepared for sexual assault after attempting to murder each other, audiences perhaps laugh at a very serious and inappropriate situation.