|Movie Title/Year and Brief Scene Description|
Kill Bill, Vol. 2 (2004)
The scariest scene in this
second installment of Quentin Tarantino's crime thriller was of
the live burial of the revenge-seeking Bride (Uma Thurman) by Bill's
(David Carradine) degenerate brother Budd (Michael Madsen).
During part of the burial, the Bride was able to switch on a flashlight, although much of the horror of the scene was in the dark, as she realized she was about to die. However, she positioned the flashlight so she could see, released the tight bindings, and punched her way through the side of the coffin - recalling her training by martial arts master Pai Mei (Gordon Liu), and crawled through the dirt to the surface, where she gasped for air.
In the next scene, the Bride's next target, Elle Driver (Daryl Hannah) congratulated Budd on 'killing' the Bride: "That's a pretty f--ked up way to die."
A few of the scenes in the original film were considered too horrific so they were censored from early prints (but later restored) - they included:
One of the film's most thrilling and scary sequences was in the climax atop of the Empire State Building, where Ann Darrow (Fay Wray) was held in the giant hand of the Beast while dangling in mid-air, as he was shot at by biplanes.
This fourth film of the Dead series, a comeback zombie film for director George A. Romero, posited the apocalyptic collapse of human society. It was a symbolic 'haves & have-nots' class-struggle story with prototypical characters. The masses of poverty-stricken, exploited residents in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania were forced to live in the empty, embattled streets. Although protected by mercenaries, society was overrun by recently-dead zombies or undead "walkers" nicknamed "stenches" who were "practicing to be alive."
Meanwhile, the elite lived in a fortified walled-off city known as Fiddler's Green, bordered on three sides by rivers and lorded over by Paul Kaufman (Dennis Hopper), a rich and powerful feudal overlord and opportunistic super-capitalist.
Although it was an unsubtle film, it presented the idea that the zombies, led by smartly-evolved and more advanced "Big Daddy" (Eugene Clark), could become revolutionaries. They could be trained to shoot guns, use tools as weapons, and besiege the corrupt city. They were portrayed as more human than the humans: "They're just looking for a place to go."
It opened with the subtitle: "SOME TIME AGO" - under the credits, radio reports (voice-over) were heard describing the apocalyptic collapse of human society and its consequences (society overrun by zombies), accompanied by jerky, black and white images.
The well-organized horde of hundreds of zombies were led by zombified gas station attendant "Big Daddy" who demonstrated to his fellow zombies, in the film's most terrifying scene, that they could cross the river into the city without drowning by walking on the riverbed bottom under the water.
The zombies crashed through the front doors of the insular, high-rise Fiddler's Green skyscraper of the wealthy, and invaded the walled and fortified mall area, while scheming coward Paul Kaufman attempted to escape with his money.
The Last House on the Left (1972)
This taboo-breaking and often revolting 'snuff'-type film from Wes Craven featured the long ordeal of two teenaged girls:
They were searching for pot when kidnapped by a sadistic group of escaped convicts led by Krug (David Hess).
In one disturbing scene after they were taken to a woodsy area, blue-wearing Phyllis was forced to urinate with her clothes on ("Piss (in) your pants...Do it!"). The camera panned down, showing her wettened blue-jeans. Then, they was stripped naked and forced to have oral sex with each other ("Make them make it with each other!"). The girls went ahead, rationalizing: "lt's just you and me here. Nobody else. Just you and me, okay?"
Phyllis made a run for it, but was cornered, stabbed in the back by Fred "Weasel" Podowski (Fred Lincoln) and then dis-emboweled (after repeated stabbings) and butchered, after which psychopathic, sadistic gang member Sadie (Jeramie Rain) reached in and pulled out her gooey intestines to examine them. Phyllis' hand and half of her forearm were amputated.
Red-wearing Mari was next - she had Krug's name carved into her upper chest and was then brutally raped (as he drooled onto her face). She vomited and then walked dazedly into a nearby pond to half-submerge and cleanse herself. Krug shot and killed her there, and she floated on the water's surface.
Later in an act of vengeful oral castration, Mrs. Collingwood (Cynthia Carr) - one of the girls' mothers - fellated gang member "Weasel" (who had his hands tied behind his back), and then viciously bit off his penis as he was climaxing.
The Last King of Scotland (2006, UK/Germ.)
An awful torture-death scene - demonstrating one of the many brutal actions of Ugandan dictator Idi Amin (Forest Whitaker):
Leave Her to Heaven (1945)
In this Technicolored film noir thriller by director John M. Stahl, one of the film's most chilling scenes was performed by the archetypal femme fatale:
She deliberately let her husband's younger paraplegic brother Danny (Darryl Hickman), her own brother-in-law, tire and drown while swimming in a Maine lake - as she sat passively in a nearby rowboat.
The Leopard Man (1943)
In Jacques Tourneur's and RKO's noirish, and shadowy horror-thriller, the low-budget effort was taglined and described as one of the first serial killer films: "Women Alone the Victims of Strange, Savage Killer!" It was the third of Tourneur's horror films produced by Val Lewton, following Cat People (1942) and I Walked With a Zombie (1943).
The story was set in a Mexican border town in New Mexico, where a rented tame black leopard was acquired from Indian sideshow performer and traveling zoo owner Charlie How-Come (aka The Leopard Man) (Abner Biberman). The animal was used as a PR stunt in a nightclub act by manager/publicist Jerry Manning's (Dennis O'Keefe) girlfriend Kiki Walker (Jean Brooks). After Kiki made a startling entrance with the black cat, her exotic, castanet-flamenco-dancer rival Clo-Clo (Margo) unwittingly spooked the leashed animal with her castanets during her performance and it fled.
The most terrifying, upsetting and truly frightening night stalking sequence of teenaged neighbor Teresa Delgado (Margaret Landry) began when she was sent out by her impatient and scolding mother to buy corn-meal for her father's meal of tortillas, even though an escaped leopard was reported on the loose. With the nearest store closed, she had to cross town and enter a dusty arroyo (with the wind tossing around a tumbleweed) to another shop where the shopkeeper noted: "Now I remember the little girl who was afraid of the dark" - she responded: "I'm not afraid, what could happen to me?"
As Teresa returned home with the bundle of cornmeal grasped to her body, she heard the sound of dripping water, saw two gleaming eyes under a railway trestle, and was startled by the noise of a speeding train that roared above her (with a screaming whistle).
And then she saw the snarling, growling leopard (viewed in close-up) that began chasing after her. When she raced to the door of her home, her exasperated mother kept the door locked on her (and the lock jammed) as she desperately pounded on it and begged to be let in:
The mother thought that she was faking a lethal leopard attack as an excuse for returning home late (her death was off-screen with blood-curdling screams, and a slow flow of blood seeping under the door).
Director Richard Donner's first film in the action-crime film franchise starred Mel Gibson as Sgt. Martin Riggs, a 37-year old LAPD Narcotics cop with suicidal tendencies (harmful to himself and to others). He had recently suffered the accidental car death of his 31 year-old wife Victoria Lynn after 11 years of marriage.
Riggs was taken as a hostage by albino villain Mr. Joshua (Gary Busey) and his Chinese henchman Endo (Al Leong). During a shower electrocution torture scene, Riggs was strung-up half-naked, doused in water, and prodded in his bare torso with an electric sponge attached to a car battery.
During the torture, the bad guys demanded to know what the cops knew about a heroin drug "shipment."
Lost Highway (1997)
This intriguing, non-linear David Lynch psychological thriller, with film-noirish characteristics, was extremely enigmatic. It was enhanced with an Angelo Badalamenti-Trent Reznor soundtrack.
It told about a hip LA couple:
In the scariest and eeriest scene, a Mystery Man (Robert Blake), a no-eyebrowed, creepy, evil individual with white makeup and a puffy, pasty face, came up to Fred at a party and announced that they had met before - at Fred's house: "We've met before, haven't we?...At your house, don't you remember?" And then he added:
He claimed that he was standing in Fred's house, miles away, at that very moment. Fred was freaked out: "That's f--king crazy." The Mystery Man pulled out his phone, handed it to Fred, and challenged him: "Call me. Dial your number. Go ahead." When Fred dialed his home, the man answered: "I told you I was here."
Fred was quietly astounded: "How'd you do that?" He was urged to ask on the phone. He continued: "How'd you get inside my house?" The man answered: "You invited me. It is not my custom to go where I'm not wanted." When Fred asked: "Who are you?" both the man in front of him and the man on the phone answered, in unison, with an ominous laugh and smile.
The voice on the phone then instructed: "Give me back my phone." The strange conversation ended with the Mystery Man's last words before turning and walking away:
To Fred: "We've Met Before, Haven't We?"
(alphabetical by film title, illustrated)
Intro | #s-A | B | C-1 | C-2 | D-1 | D-2 | E | F | G | H
I-J | K-L | M | N-O | P | Q-R | S-1 | S-2 | S-3 | T | U-Z