Join Date: Jun 2000
Location: Cincinnati, Ohio
Re: 100 Scariest Movie Scenes of All-Time
#70 THE EVIL DEAD (1981)
NO MEANS NO, EVEN IF YOU'RE A TREE!
My good ol' buddy Matt at X-Entertainment wrote a great review of THE EVIL DEAD that describes the tree rape scene better than I ever could! You can read the entire review here, but here's how he sees it!
This girl was the classic horror idiot. Assume you're in a log cabin, out in the woods in the middle of nowhere. You're already under the impression that death awaits. It's black outside. You hear a noise. What do you do? Go jump in bed with Ash and his girlfriend? Hide under the covers? Kill yourself? All three would be much, much better decisions than going outside. ****ing fool.
So yes, she goes outside. Not only does she go outside - she walks so far away from the house that nobody could hear her no matter how loud she screamed. To top this brilliant move, she starts making requests for whatever is out there to show itself. Cheryl , what were you gonna do if it did? 'A ha! I knew you were some devil spawn from Hell! GO ME!' C'mon! Sometimes it's more important to be alive than it is to be right. For Christ's sake, they just listened to the god damned audio book version of the ****ing Necronomicon! You don't listen to that and then go out for a stroll in the obviously haunted woods.
What happens next is classic. She starts getting attacked by branches. Evil branches, for those guessing. These aren't like those trees from the Inhumanoids...they've got sour intentions. But their intentions aren't to simply cut up poor Cheryl...they wanna make her baby.
AHH! Now that's pretty (expletive deleted) disturbing. Cheryl gets pleasured by the evil branches in cinema's first and I presume only case of rough sex between a girl and a tree. It's pretty eerie. I'm sure this was the film's way of making sure we got the tit-shot we've come to expect from horror flicks of the time, but if there ever was a scene that was an attention grabber - this was it. Nobody's going to get up for popcorn while a girl's getting raped by a tree. Not even with those subliminal popcorn messages they flick on and off.
Surprisingly, Cheryl escapes to the house, almost safe. Of course, now she's completely lost her mind, but that's pretty much a given progression of things after one has unsolicited sex with plant-life.
#69 ZOMBIE (1980)
IT'S ALL FUN AND GAMES
UNTIL SOMEONE GETS THEIR EYE PUT OUT
Wow, several of our Top 100 Scary Scenes have to do with eye trauma. There's just something so horrifying about injuring your eyeballs that makes it for a good easy scare. The horror comics in the 50s knew this and used the images frequently on covers of books like Tales From The Crypt to the extent that when the Comics Code Authority was created to make the funny books safer for kids, a clause was put in specifically prohibiting damage to eyes.
Lucio Fulci's Zombie has a particularly horrendous version of this act. A woman is hiding behind a door as an undead dude is trying to get at her. After he busts through the door, he grabs her by the hair and slowly drags her eyeball into a shard of wood sticking out.
Some felt this was a bizarre tribute to Sandy Duncan. But those people are mostly insane.
#68 FREAKS (1932)
ONE OF US! ONE OF US!
When Tod Browning directed Dracula in 1931, he was on top of the world, tremendously successful, and had a blank check to make whatever film he wanted. So he chose Freaks! Browning actually spent much of his youth working in a circus freakshow, as a contortionist then as a barker. So it was a natural to make a film that focused on his own wacky origins. Casting real circus freaks in the film, Browning's finished product was a horrific masterpiece. Unfortunately, the fickle audiences and critics of the time were completely repulsed by the film, who's subject matter was a bit too extreme for the average moviegoer. The film was a huge bomb. The studio even re-released it with a new title, Nature's Mistakes, in order to give it one more shot, but it didnt' work. From the unheard of success of Dracula, to the disaster of Freaks within 1 year, Browning was unable to direct any film of note for years that followed.
Anyway, the closing sequence of Freaks is incredibly creepy. A sexy and evil trapeze artist marries the midget Hans to get control of the carnival. At a party she gets drunk, humilates her new husband by openly flirting with the strongman. Another midget grabs a giant glass of champagne and proposes a toast, professing, "We accept her, ONE OF US!". The rest of the freaks begin chanting "ONE OF US!" and then make gobbling sounds. In the final scene, you see that they've enacted twisted revenge by performing a bizarre disfigurement that turns into half woman/half turkey.
#67 PRINCE OF DARKNESS (1987)
SATAN IN THE SHADOWS
With John Carpenter's more well known scare classics like Halloween and The Thing getting most of the notoriety, 1987's Prince of Darkness is often overlooked. Parts of the film are certainly mediocre, but there's a mind bending sequence where you see what may be Satan himself through some grainy static laced film footage that just does the spook job proper. With white noise drowning out the sound, a figure slowly emerges from a shadowy doorway in super grainy black and white footage, some sort of voice is heard, but it's barely audible. The whole scene looks exactly what it would look like if someone accidentally caught The Devil on a camcorder.
#66 THE TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE (1974)
THE HITCHHIKER LIKES HEAD-CHEESE
Horror movies teach a lot of common sense safety tips. Like if 5 miles before you get to a small town and a weird guy holding an eyeball tells you "there's nothing but evil ahead...GO BACK!", it's likely a good idea to listen to him. And as the original Texas Chainsaw Massacre demonstrated, DON'T PICK UP HITCHHIKERS! Especially if they look like psycho Nam vets with splotches on their face. Unfortunately, the young fools in TCM pick up "The Hithchicker" in their van, played wonderfully by Edwin Neal (pictured above). He seems just a little creepy at first, then asks the passengers if they like head cheese! He proceeds to talk about his hilarious job at the slaughterhouse, until he sets a small fire in the van and is promptly kicked out. The entire sequence is crazy as (expletive deleted), and sets the tone perfectly for the madness that is soon to follow.
#65 MARATHON MAN (1976)
A ROOT CANAL WITH NO NOVACAINE!
To many folks, going to the dentist's office is about the scariest thing imaginable. From the sound that hook thing makes when it's scraping against your teeth, to the high pitched pencil sharpener sounding buzz of the drill, it's a real-life horror factory. That's what makes this moment in Marathon Man so excruciatingly scary. Laurence Oliveer plays an ex Nazi who needs some information from Dustin Hoffman's character regarding diamonds in a safety deposit box.
According to the IMDB, the scene was actually shortened after test audiences were incredibly sickened by torture.
It's a good thing that the filmmaker's plans to make Olivier's character a Nazi Urologist were scrapped!
#64 POLTERGEIST (1982)
WHO STACKED THOSE CHAIRS?
In a film full of fantastically creepy special effects, one of Poltergeist's most unnerving moments comes from one of the more simpler scenes in the movie. Jo Beth Williams' character is in her kitchen when she feels a cold chill. She looks behind and sees that the chairs are all stacked on the table, instead of the floor where she last saw them. Who wouldn't scream their head off if that happened? Its a great early scene to introduce the notion that something's not quite right. To top it all off, the chairs were from IKEA, so it was even scarier!
#63 THE WIZARD OF OZ (1939)
Forget The Wicked Witch, the real scary part of The Wizard of Oz were those creepy ass Flying Monkeys! Nearly every kid who saw these things for the first time was terrified. Monkeys are already the children of Satan (See The King James Bible, CHEETAH 3:16), but when they have wings, they are DOUBLE EVIL. Here's an interview we did 3 years ago for our Top 100 Monsters feature.
Little is known about these evil creatures from THE WIZARD OF OZ, but let me tell you one thing. They're scarier than Hell! I was lucky enough to interview NIKKO, the head Flying Monkey from the 1939 classic film and ask why they are so damn freaky.
RETROCRUSH: How exactly did the first Flying Monkey come to be?
NIKKO: Either a monkey screwed a chicken, or a chicken screwed a monkey, we haven't quite figured it out yet.
RETROCRUSH: Well why did you hang out with THE WICKED WITCH, what did she ever do for you?
NIKKO: Are you kidding? She's hot. She had a crazy thing for monkeys with wings and we were more than willing to oblige. We worked for her in exchange for hot free witch lovin'.
RETROCRUSH: Yikes, that's disgusting.
NIKKO: Hey, who are you to judge? You're the one with the website full of dead celebrities.
RETROCRUSH: Uhh...okay. So what do you think about being #94 on the Top 100 Monsters list?
NIKKO: Oh wow...big (expletive deleted) honor. I'm a notch above MOTHRA and I'm more popular than some monsters on cereal from THE (expletive deleted) SEVENTIES.
RETROCRUSH: Well, it's not like you've had much work since that first movie.
NIKKO: Well that witch died so there's no much else for us to do, is there? What about us? I was offered a part in that HBO series OZ, but it involved a brutal shower rape scene that I wasn't really willing to do.
RETROCRUSH: Well thanks for your interview, and congratulations for making the list!
NIKKO: Whatever, I got to go find me a flying banana. Later.
#62 WHEN A STRANGER CALLS (1979)
"WE'VE TRACED THE CALLS...
THEY'RE COMING FROM INSIDE YOUR HOUSE!"
Long before SCREAM turned sadistic crank-calling the recipe for box office gold, Carol Kane played a babysitter in 1979's When a Stranger Calls who was tormented over the phone. What she thinks is a joke, turns scary as the caller asks about the kids and mentions other details that reveal he knows a lot more about her than a stranger should. After numerous calls to the police, they call her back with the classic warning, "We've traced the calls...they're coming from inside your house!" As ludicrous as that sounds, it makes for an incredibly suspenseful ending. Of course with today's technology, the caller ID would show that right away and the movie would have only been 5 minutes long.
They actually did a made for TV sequel to this called When A Stranger Calls Back in 1993. Thankfully, plans for future installments "When A Stranger Instant Messages You", "When A Stranger Calls Using 1-800-CALL-ATT", and "When Stranger Telemarkets You Even Though You're On The Do Not Call List" were scrapped.
#61 THE SHINING (1980)
FURRY FUN FREAKOUT
The Shining makes another dramatic entry on our 100 Scariest Scenes list with this mindbending incident. While Wendy runs down the hall, already terrified from the crazy **** she's already seen and experienced, she looks down the hall at an open hotel room door. You see a fat dude in a crazy bear costume apparently going down on a nicely dressed man who's lying down on the bed. The camera zooms in with the shot below giving the viewer one of the biggest "What the hell?" spooky moments that's ever appeared on film. What's even scarier is that in real life, there's a legion of folks who like to dress up as fuzzy beasts and (expletive deleted) each other called Furries. Hopefully Senator John McCain's "Anti-Furry Act" will be voted into law next year, so those demonspawn can be removed from the earth once and for all.
This is the Cal Ripkin Jr. of typos.
If you ask me to join your fantasy baseball league and I select Legolas in the first round, don't be angry at me. It's not my fault I've read up on the players and you haven't.