Greatest Scariest
Movie Moments and Scenes

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Greatest and Scariest Film Scenes
Movie Title/Year and Brief Scene Description
Screenshots

Bambi (1942)

The traumatic and scary reality of death was introduced early to children in this Disney animated film. It was the memorable scene when hunter Man killed Bambi's mother (off-camera).

She had sensed a human presence -- and warned: "Bambi. Quick! The thicket!" There were gunshots as they both raced away.

She encouraged: "Faster! Faster, Bambi! Don't look back. Keep running! Keep running!"

As Bambi ran and ducked behind a snowbank - and made it to the protective thicket, there was a fateful gunshot. Bambi turned and exclaimed while panting: "We made it! We made it, Mother! We...", but his Mother was nowhere in sight.

Bambi emerged, asking and calling out: "Mother. Mother! Mother, where are you?!" He fruitlessly searched for her during a raging snowstorm, not knowing she had been killed by a human hunter.

After not finding her and hearing no response, the young fawn began to sob, and then gasped at the imposing sight of his stag father, the Great Prince of the Forest, who stated:

"Your mother can't be with you anymore."

A tear formed in Bambi's eye as he looked up, and was told: "Come. My son."

He followed, but looked back one last time in the direction of where his mother had been.




Battleship Potemkin (1925, USSR)

Director Sergei Eisenstein's propagandistic Russian silent film dramatized the 1905 mutiny of the crew of the Russian battleship Potemkin against their officers. Their uprising triggered a massive citizens' revolt in the city of Odessa against the Tsars.

The most impressive and terrifying sequence was the Odessa Staircase episode (a fictionalized account of what actually happened on June 14, 1905), in which Tsarist military soldiers (Cossacks) blatantly opened fire on citizens (rioters and innocent folk alike) at the famed steps.

During the massacre sequence, a mother pushing a baby carriage was shot and fell to the ground, leaving her young infant to careen down the steps in the buggy. It must have been a very scary scene for mid-1920s audiences.

[Note: It was later reprised in a number of films as homage to the classic scene, including director Coppola's The Godfather (1972), Terry Gilliam's Brazil (1985), DePalma's The Untouchables (1987), and comically in Naked Gun 33 1/3: The Final Insult (1994).]




The Untouchables (1987)

The Beyond (1981) (aka E Tu Vivrai Nel Terrore - L'Aldilà, or You Will Live in Terror or Seven Doors of Death)

#60

Director Lucio Fulci's graphic horror film was the second in his trilogy of Gates of Hell films. [The first and third films in the unofficial series were City of the Living Dead (1980, It.) (aka Gates of Hell) and House by the Cemetery (1981, It.).

It was set beneath a dilapidated New Orleans hotel, the Seven Doors Hotel, with an underground entrance to the hellish underworld and its violent demonic forces.

The scary supernatural film featured one of the more horrific eye-damage scenes of all time. [Note: Two years earlier, Fulci's film Zombie (1979) featured a similarly gruesome eye-gouging death sequence, making Fulci "the King of Ocular Mayhem."]

A grotesque zombie named Joe, the Plumber (Giovanni De Nava) rose from a dark substance in a bathtub, and grabbed Martha (Veronica Lazar) by the face. He backed her up to a wall, where the back of her skull was pushed into the blunt end of a nail. This caused her eyeball to entirely pop out of its socket. With an appropriately awful squishy sound-effect, the dislodged eye spewed blood, seen in closeup.




The Birds (1963)

#96

Hitchcock's thriller/masterpiece, his first film with Universal Studios, was the apocalyptic story of a northern California coastal town filled with an onslaught of seemingly unexplained, arbitrary and chaotic attacks of ordinary birds.

There were numerous scary scenes of crazed winged creatures attacking the inhabitants:

  • the discovery at a farm house of chaotic damage - bird feathers, two more dead birds, and a disordered bed. On the floor were two bloodied, bare feet sticking out from a pair of shredded pajama pants. In three jump shots that zoomed forward to his face, Dan Fawcett's lifeless body was seen propped in the corner of the room. Both of his bloody, darkened eye sockets were empty - plucked out during the bird attack.
  • the scene of the silent amassing of birds on a jungle-jim outside a school in the adjacent playground, while socialite Melanie Daniels (Tippi Hedren) calmly smoked a cigarette when waiting on a bench in front of a white fence. A chilling wind blew in the scene. In a cutaway shot, a single blackbird fluttered and settled on the children's playground jungle-jim behind her. After a change of perspective and a shot of an unawares Melanie lighting her cigarette, four blackbirds were perched on the apparatus. A fifth bird landed, and she looked over her left shoulder - in the wrong direction, but saw nothing. Afterwards, the birds seemed to steadily multiply like storm clouds, as Melanie looked twice more to her left without spotting them. Then, her eyes noticed a single bird flying across the sky - her gaze followed it toward the jungle gym, now covered by hundreds of birds, with dozens of others perched on a fence and structure behind - before she realized the threat.


  • the scene of the full-scale assault of birds upon fleeing school children heeding directions for an orderly fire-drill evacuation.The children quietly filed outside, where the semi-agitated birds were packed tightly together on the playground equipment. Hearing the sound of the children's feet frantically running on the pavement down the hill, the flock of birds flew after them - filling the sky by rising up behind the school. The whooshing, flapping sound of the crows intensified the awe and terror, as they descended on the screaming, fleeing children and pecked at their heads. One red-sweatered schoolgirl (Morgan Brittany) fell, shattered her eyeglasses (shown in close-up), and desperately called out for help.
  • in the town itself, Melanie and other patrons-spectators watched helplessly and passively from the window in the restaurant. She saw a bellicose traveling salesman [his car's license plate was DMN 078 - "demon"] lighting a cigar, and suspensefully anticipated his horrible fate: "Look at the gas. That man's lighting a cigar." When they slid open the window, their symphony of warning screams were misunderstood. He burned his fingers with the lighted match, dropped it in the path of flammable liquid, set off an explosion at his car, and was suddenly engulfed by flames. As everyone watched with fearful paralysis, the fire streaked back toward the service station and exploded in an inferno.
  • in the next sequence, a frantic scene of flames and flapping, screeching birds, Melanie sought shelter in a telephone booth where she was trapped and powerless in a mechanism of communication - like a bird in a cage. A brilliant overhead shot captured her terror-stricken position as she beat her arms around (bird-like) in the enclosure, with birds assaulting her from every direction. A man blinded by the birds (that attacked him as he drove his car) plowed into parked cars and it burst into flames. Firefighters arrived bringing firehoses - one out-of-control hose spewed water toward the booth enclosing Melanie and obscured her vision. Two horses pulling a wagon without a driver galloped and careened through the street. One individual with a bloodied face and birds attacking his face leaned against the outside of the booth where Melanie was entrapped. Two seagulls aimed for her - they smashed into and broke the glass on two sides of the booth.
  • in another claustrophobic scene in the upper floor of the Brenner house, Melanie looked up and saw a gaping hole in the roof - her own mouth widened and she gasped. She raised her flashlight and its wide beam illuminated hundreds of birds - almost erotically blinding her and paralyzing her with fear. As she defensively shielded her eyes and face with upraised arms and hands, the birds swooped down on her and began cutting into her flesh. Ineffectually, she reached for the doorknob to escape. The flashlight waved uselessly as a weapon against them. The overpowering, brutal attack, similar to the one in Hitchcock's infamous shower sequence in Psycho, intensified as, in anguish and pain, she breathed heavily and surrendered to their tearing and pecking. Her cool-green outfit was torn apart as she collapsed unconscious next to the door, exclaiming: "Is Cathy in the...?" Mitch Brenner (Rod Taylor) called out for her at the top of the stairs, but struggled to open the door, now blockaded by her body. Both his mother Lydia Brenner (Jessica Tandy) and Mitch fought off the birds as Mitch clawed for her arm and pulled her to safety. Melanie was left traumatized and bloody.
  • in the final haunting and ominous ending scene, hundreds of birds sat everywhere as the main characters eased out of the house and carefully drove away - without Hitchcock's typical "THE END." The Brenner home was infested with observant birds tyrannically claiming it, to imply an unending threat. The triumphant birds appeared to chatter and applaud their conquest.







The Black Cat (1934)

#68

This classic, enigmatically disturbing horror film from Universal Studios and expressionistic director Edgar G. Ulmer was Universal's top-grossing film of the year.

The visually intriguing, austere, landmark horror film - a tale of European post-war anguish and death, portrayed the age-old struggle between good and evil science, diabolically personified by Bela Lugosi and Boris Karloff - the lead stars.

In the end scene, Hjalmar Poelzig (Boris Karloff) was overpowered and then hung or suspended by his arms stretched upward, shackled to an embalming, torture rack where he was stripped of his robes and prepared for being skinned alive! At first, Dr. Vitus Werdegast (Bela Lugosi) sadistically ranted and raved with a mad, delirious gleam in his eyes, vengeful for earlier atrocities committed against him. He described what he was planning to do to the Satanist on Poelzig's own embalming rack:

Did you ever see an animal skinned, Hjalmar? Ha, ha, ha. That's what I'm going to do to you now - flay/tear the skin from your body...slowly...bit by bit!...

From a surgical table, Werdegast selected a scalpel for the operation. Slowly and bit by bit, the doctor sliced skin with a scalpel from Poelzig's face (the skinning was filmed as a dark shadow play in black images of manacled hands on the wall), asking sadistically:

How does it feel to hang on your own embalming rack, Hjalmar?




Black Christmas (1974, Canada) (aka Silent Night, Evil Night)

#87

Not to be confused with the 2006 remake. In this independent, low-budget Canadian horror film, an exploitative cult horror/slasher that predated the similar Halloween (1978), an ill-fated houseful of sorority sisters from Pi Kappa Sig in the college town of Bedford (at 6 Belmont Street) were just about to leave for the holiday season. Some of the characters included:

  • caustically-rude Barb Coard (pre-fame Margot Kidder)
  • sorority sister heroine Jess Bradford (Olivia Hussey), unexpectedly pregnant by boyfriend Peter Smythe (Keir Dullea) and planning an abortion
  • Phyllis "Phyl" Carlson (Andrea Martin)

A series of threatening, strange, creepy and sometimes obscene phone calls, placed by a deranged man hiding out in the attic, quickly escalated to murder. The voice called them "Pigs" and warned: "Let me lick your pretty pink c--t." Clare Harrison (Lynne Griffin) was the first murder victim (and considered the scariest moment of the film) - suffocated or asphyxiated with a plastic garment bag in her own room's closet. The killer carried her corpse up into the attic and positioned it in a rocking chair by the window - keeping the plastic cleaning bag over her head. A baby doll was placed in her lap and the psycho called her Agnes (the name of his sister?).

House mother Mrs. "Mac" MacHenry (Marian Waldman) was the next murder victim, by a curved crane hook swung into her neck. She was dragged up the trap door ladder into the attic by the impaling hook. Barb was bloodily stabbed numerous times with an ornamental glass unicorn (and its long spike) (while carolers were singing at the front door), and then Phyllis (murdered off-screen). Calls were traced, placing the Killer inside the house who was using Mrs. MacHenry's separate phone line.

From a crack in the door, Jess saw the Killer's eye watching her. She was confronted and pursued by the Killer through the house and into the basement - where she killed her upset (mentally-unstable), aspiring pianist/student boyfriend Peter with a fireplace poker, suspecting that he was the murderer (the film's 'red herring').

The film's final twist was that the killer was still in the attic - footsteps were heard as he climbed down the ladder from the trap door into the house, and the phone began to continuously ring during the final credits.






Black Sunday (1960) (aka La Maschera Del Demonio, or The Mask of the Demon)

#40

In the prologue of this Italian gothic horror film by Mario Bava (his credited directorial debut film), 17th century condemned witch Princess Asa Vajda (Barbara Steele) was first branded by her Grand Inquisition executioners with an S (The Mark of Satan) on her bare back. Then, she was condemned to be covered with the 'mask of the demon':

Cover her face with the mask of Satan. Nail it down! May the cleansing flames reduce her foul body to ashes so that the winds will obliterate all trace of her existence.

She responded to her accusers with a curse on her executioners (including her brother) and their progeny:

It is I who repudiate you and in the name of Satan, I place a curse upon you. Go ahead. Tie me down to the stake, but you will never escape my hunger nor that of Satan. (Thunder sounded) The unchained elements of the powers of darkness are lying in ambush...My revenge will strike down you and your cursed house and in the blood of your sons, and the sons of their sons, I will continue to live immortal. They will restore to me the life that you now rob from me. (The iron 'mask of steel' - lined with sharp spikes on the inside - was placed on her face) I shall return to torment and destroy throughout the night...

The executioner then sledge-hammered the mask down onto her face with a large wooden mallet, causing screams, blood-splattering and gushing blood through the eyeholes. The remainder of the film documented her revenge two centuries later when she returned resurrected from the dead to seek retribution on her brother's descendants.



Blade Runner (1982)

One of this popular science-fiction film's most unnerving scenes was the long-awaited encounter between a maker and his creation. It was the meeting between android NEXUS-6 replicant Roy Batty (Rutger Hauer) and creator Dr. Tyrell (Joe Turkel) - the confrontation was both pensive and violent.

Demonstrating his intelligence to the insensitive corporation head, Roy confessed that he wanted his life to be extended beyond the built-in four year span - he desired more joie de vivre. Tyrell tried to calm and soothe his manufactured human with a technical explanation of the limitations, and that the Tyrell Corporation could not accomplish Roy's wish: "To make an alteration in the evolvement of an organic life-system is fatal. The coding sequence cannot be revised once it's been established...You were made as well as we could make you."

Smugly, Tyrell thought Roy (compared to a light bulb) should be grateful for whatever life span he had been given: "The light that burns twice as bright burns half as long. And you have burned so very very brightly, Roy. Look at you. You're the prodigal son. You're quite a prize!" Roy then asked to be absolved for his sins: "I've done questionable things." Tyrell dismissed Roy's feelings of guilt, adding: "Also extraordinary things. Revel in your time!" Roy responded: "Nothing the god of biomechanics wouldn't let you in heaven for."

Roy, the "prodigal son", reverently touched Tyrell's cheek with one hand. He also placed his strong hands on both sides of Tyrell's face and kissed his replicant God - his 'father' Tyrell, passionately on the lips. [This was a reference to the Jesus/Judas betrayal in the New Testament, with a kiss.] Then with his powerful bare hands and a look of utter contempt and pathos, Roy suddenly crushed and caved in his maker's skull with superhuman strength and gouged his eyes (!) out as Tyrell screamed - with blood oozing out of his eye sockets. Tyrell's corpse fell to the floor.




The Blair Witch Project (1999)

#30

Two scenes were the scarefest's highlights in this coarsely-made, low-budget fake documentary about an urban legend (the Blair Witch). It told about three young documentary filmmakers in October of 1994 who disappeared in the woods near Burkittsville, Maryland:

  • Heather (Heather Donahue as herself) delivered a close-up, desperate, teary-eyed, video-taped confessional goodbye to her family and friends (fellow students Mike and Josh) in the dark Maryland backwoods - lit by her flashlight shining from the side. She was now feeling totally vulnerable and in danger:

    "I just want to apologize to Mike's mom, and Josh's mom, and my mom, and I'm sorry to everyone. I was very naive. (Scared and looking away from camera) I am so, so sorry for everything that has happened. Because in spite of what Mike says now, it is my fault because it was my project, and I insisted, I insisted on everything. I insisted that we weren't lost. I insisted that we keep going. I insisted that we walk south. Everything had to be my way, and this is where we've ended up. And it's all because of me that we're here now. Hungry, cold, and hunted. I love you mom and dad. I am so sorry. (hyperventilating and crying) What was that? I'm scared to close my eyes and I'm scared to open them. (more hyperventilating and sobbing) I'm gonna die out here."


  • the closing scene with the chase in the darkened woods by Heather and Michael (Michael Williams) for their missing friend Josh (Josh Leonard). They proceeded through the seemingly-abandoned house - past kiddie-handprints on the wall (the Blair Witch myth told about children killed many years earlier). The search came amidst Heather's screams and jerky hand-held camera shots. In the cellar, Heather saw Mike standing motionless facing a wall in a corner. Was he drugged, semi-conscious, or propped up dead, in order to distract the next victim?

The film's final ambiguous POV shot was accompanied by the sounds of "thwack", "thump", and "crash" as Heather's camcorder hit the ground (was she attacked and killed?).

The camera was broken, but was still running -- before the end credits appeared.





Blood and Black Lace (1964, It./Fr./Monaco) (aka Sei Donne per L'Assassino, or Six Women for the Murderer)

#85

One of the best (and earliest) of the Italian gallio films from director Mario Bava, with a stylistic dreamy feel, shadows, vivid colors, and lengthy stalking-killing sequences or set-pieces involving long buildups, brutal violence and often half-dressed females. It was a basic plot - a masked killer was stalking and killing (or slashing) beautiful models, but without the 'who-dun-it' angle emphasized.

A fashion house run by widowed Countess Cristina Como (Eva Bartok) was set in a gated mansion in a woodsy area. Red leather coat-wearing model Isabella (Francesca Ungaro) was stalked and strangled on her way to the salon after a night's date by a flesh-colored masked homicidal maniac (Bravo emphasized the dark and suspenseful, atmospheric feeling of dread before the killing). During the investigation led by Police Inspector Sylvester (Thomas Reiner), Isabella's diary became the center of focus. It allegedly contained a listing of all the various sordid crimes committed within the fashion salon, including cocaine drug-dealing, cheating, corruption, abortion, and blackmail. Subsequent murders were linked to a desperate search for the revealing diary.

The next victims included Nicole (Ariana Gorini) (killed by a medieval spiked or clawed glove thrust into her face with her eyes gouged out), Peggy (Mary Arden) (tortured with her face and hands burned by a red-hot furnace), and Greta (Lea Krugher) (smothered with a pillow). One of the suspects was Cristina's lover and greedy manager/assistant Max Marian (Cameron Mitchell), who admitted to killing Cristina's former husband (in a suspicious car accident). He had murdered Isabella - she knew of the crime and was blackmailing him. Max also murdered Nicole and Peggy in a frenzied search for Isabella's diary that revealed all.

To further complicate things, Cristina had murdered Greta to give Max an alibi. She also murdered model Tao-Li (Claude Dantes) (drowned in a bathtub, although made to look like a suicide afterwards with slit wrists), but as she exited, she fell from a second story window and mortally wounded herself. In the end, both Cristina and Max confronted each other - after shooting him, she also collapsed and presumably died next to him.








Blood Simple (1984)

#73

The Coen Brothers' complex neo-noir crime film featured an incredible set of excruciating-to-watch death scenes - the 15-minute cadaver disposal sequence, and the final stand-off in the film's conclusion.

Bartender Ray (John Getz) had extraordinary difficulty getting rid of the dead body of a Texas bar-roadhouse owner and Abby's (Frances McDormand) husband Julian Marty (Dan Hedaya). Ray had wrongly assumed that his lover Abby had killed her husband Marty. To protectively hide the corpse, he drove Marty's dead body to a remote rural field in the middle of the night, but suddenly realized that Marty was still alive, when he was found crawling away from the car! He resisted bashing him over the head with a shovel, but then buried the struggling-to-live Marty in a hole that he dug in a dirt field. He was slowly able to cover him up with dirt before sunrise.

Visser's Painful Death

During the concluding pursuit scene, disaffected wife Abby slammed a window down on loathsome, duplicitous private detective Loren Visser's (M. Emmet Walsh) wrist, crushing it on the sill in the next room. She then pinned his hand to the sill with a knife. While Visser's hand was writhing in pain, he had to crash through the wall and blindly grope for the knife handle to remove it.

She then shot Visser through a bathroom door as he continued to stalk her. She thought it was her husband Marty ("I'm not afraid of you, Marty," she said matter-of-factly). As Visser lay dying on the floor in the next room with a gunshot to the abdomen, he burst into laughter with the film's final line: "Well, ma'am, if I see him, I'll sure give him the message." He died with a view of the sink's dripping plumbing above him.



Blue Velvet (1986)

#84

Director David Lynch's bizarre and nightmarish film of the dark-side of life contained a pair of grotesque victim/voyeur/abuse scenes.

Hiding in her apartment's closet, clean-cut, innocent, small-town college student Jeffrey Beaumont (Kyle MacLachlan) voyeuristically watched nightclub singer Dorothy Valens (Isabella Rossellini) as she disrobed to a black bra, black panties, and red high-heeled shoes. She stripped naked in the rear bathroom, and then reached for her blue velvet robe from the closet. He heard a drawer open in the kitchen as she reached for a large knife, and then suddenly flung open the closet door where he was caught hiding. She threatened him at knife-point into intimidation and forced him to get on his knees. She cut his face with the knife blade, turned the tables on him, made him her voyeuristic prey, and forced him to undress in front of her, all the way down to his underwear and socks.

She pulled down his underpants to his knees, then began touching, fondling, and kissing (and fellating?) him, and forced him to remain motionless. She asked: "Do you like that?" and then asked a question combining domination, pain, power, pleasure, and humiliation: "Don't touch me or I'll kill you? Do you like talk like that?" Responding with nervous ecstasy, arousal, but defenseless fear, he was led to the couch to lie down where she straddled him and kissed him.

Three loud knocks at the door frightened Dorothy. Frantically fearing the man's arrival and with the knife gleaming above Jeffrey, she told him to head back into the closet. Jeffrey watched in horror, hiding behind a wardrobe closet door, as Dorothy was terrorized by her visitor - evil, psychotic, blackmailing, perverse and depraved villainous kidnapper Frank Booth (Dennis Hopper). He had cut off the ear of her tortured, kidnapped husband and was sexually blackmailing her.

The following scene was a disturbing, cruel, sadomasochistic, kinky scene. Demanding and condescending to her, Frank quickly established an abusive master/victim relationship over Dorothy as she accommodated his depraved preferences. The 'dark' scene was intercut with a frightened Jeffrey surreptitiously viewing the shadowy, broken images between the slats of the distasteful ordeal from his hiding place in the closet:

Frank: Spread your legs. Wider. Show it to me. (She slowly opened her legs wider and adjusted her robe, while Frank stared at her crotch and drank his bourbon.) Don't you f--kin' look at me!

Traumatized, Jeffrey watched Dorothy being tormented as foul-mouthed Frank's sexual slave/whore. He repeatedly demanded that she look away from him - denying her the sight of his 'dark' nature. [In a symbolic sense, Dorothy was "Mommy" and Frank was "Daddy" or "Baby."] The abusive scene was heightened when the leather black-dressed Frank reached for a portable, plastic gas-inhaling mechanism and mask on his belt. While he placed the mask over his mouth and nose, he snorted and inhaled (helium or nitrous oxide?) gas to heighten his sexual excitement, exhibiting infantile-regressive, animalistic/reproductive, and compulsive-addictive behavior. He debased her as a prostitute, mother figure, and copulatory partner in the natural world:

Frank: Mommy. (He moved toward her, kneeling in front of her.) Mommy. Mommy. Mommy.
Dorothy: Mommy loves you.
Frank: Baby wants to f--k. Get ready to f--k. You f--ker's f--ker. You f--ker. (He slugged her in the face.) Don't you f--kin' look at me!

After another gasp of gas, Frank begged and whined menacingly:

Baby wants blue velvet.

Dorothy stuffed part of her blue robe into his mouth to satisfy his obsession with textured fabrics. As he began to feel her breasts, he sucked, chewed, and bit the velvet cloth. Then he seized her and threw her down to the floor, spewing vulgar words. Frank removed a pair of scissors, menacingly snipping with them in mid-air above her face and body:

Don't f--kin' look at me. Don't f--kin' look at me. Don't you look at me. Daddy's coming. (He stuffed the end of her blue robe belt into her mouth and the other end into his own mouth.) Daddy's coming home. Don't you f--kin' look at me. Daddy's coming home...

And then after forcefully touching her genitals, he mounted her and started humping her with his unbuckled pants still on. He moved frenziedly faster and faster until climaxing in a brief and brutal f--k. After getting off of her, he slugged her again in the face, hideously threatening her again: "Don't you f--kin' look at me." Standing astride her on the floor before he left, he warned: "Stay alive baby. Do it for Van Gogh." Then he marched out of the apartment, shutting the door behind him and leaving her crumpled on the floor.







Bram Stoker's Dracula (1992)

Writer/director/producer Francis Ford Coppola's eroticized, visually-opulent and lavish R-rated film was based on the novel by Bram Stoker. Dracula was at first portrayed as a pasty-faced, bouffant-coiffed, satin-robed nobleman.

In one of its early scenes in Transylvania, young law-clerk/solicitor-agent Jonathan Harker (Keanu Reeves) was enticed and seduced by dark and brooding Dracula's (Gary Oldman) three surreal and alluring Brides of Dracula (Monica Bellucci, Michaela Bercu, and Florina Kendrick).

In Harker's bedroom as he was retiring for the night, one of the undead Brides emerged from under his bed (Bellucci) and proceeded to rise up (half-naked, bare-breasted) and stroke his inner thighs. When all the brides surfaced up through the mattress, he was surrounded by the ravenous creatures as they tore at his clothes, fed upon him (by licking him, and then biting down on his crotch with fanged teeth). They (called "devils of the pit") drained him of his blood to keep him weak.

They were interrupted by the sudden appearance of Dracula himself, who jealously and strongly cautioned:

"How dare you touch him! He belongs to me....Yes, I too can love. And I shall love again."

One of the Brides asked, "Are we to have nothing tonight?" Harker saw Dracula give his brides a young baby to feast upon, and he screamed in horror.





The Brood (1979)

#78

Writer/director David Cronenberg's Canadian horror film suffered from censorship of its climactic scene. Its tagline publicized its theme: The Ultimate Experience of Inner Terror. Cronenberg provided commentary on radical therapeutic solutions of the time period.

The repellent and repulsive film told of Somafree Institute psychotherapist Dr. Hal Raglan's (Oliver Reed) self-obsessed patient named Nola Carveth (Samantha Eggar). She autogenetically gave birth to homicidal strange, sexless, dwarf-like mutated children, to physically express her own internal suppressed rage (anger personified). The "brood" of children (without speech or genitalia) were the result of her psychoplasmic sessions with the doctor, and a physical manifestation of how she felt about her own custody battle.

During the last birth scene, both visceral and nauseating, Nola ripped open her own uterus (baby or egg sac) from an external psycho-plasmically induced womb (kept sitting on her lap) and then licked the bloody afterbirth off of her own monstrous baby.

She was then strangled during a struggle with ex-husband Frank (Art Hindle), while the brood attacked Nola's pale, terrified and catatonic daughter Candice (Cindy Hinds) as she hid in a closet - they broke through the door behind her. With the death of their psychic mother, however, the brood died off and Candice was saved.

The Brood's Attack Upon Candice

Equally scary was another earlier scene of the 'brood' murdering teacher Ruth Mayer (Susan Hogan) in front of her class.

The last ominous image of the film was a close-up sight of a raised, red sore (or wheal) growing on Candice's arm - she had undoubtedly inherited her mother's cursed abilities to manifest the pain inside or her.





Bug (2006)

#3

William Friedkin's intensely disturbing psychological thriller (some called it an extreme black comedy, or reminiscent of David Cronenberg's 'body horror' films) was very dark and bleak, although incredibly well-acted. It was based upon Tracy Letts's 2004 off-Broadway play, which basically starred two characters - very damaged individuals caught up in a love story. They were lost souls who became horrifically bonded, and eventually descended into utter madness in a rural motel apartment room:

  • coke-snorting, unstrung, jittery alcoholic wife and bar cocktail waitress Agnes White (Ashley Judd), from Oklahoma, with lesbian-gal pal R.C. (Lynn Collins)
  • psychologically-scarred, schizophrenic and recently-discharged (AWOL) Gulf War veteran and drifter, Peter Evans (Michael Shannon)

Agnes had been married to swaggering, abusive ex-con husband Jerry Goss (Harry Connick Jr.) just released from prison, and was trying to keep her distance from him. Peter reassured Agnes after meeting her: "I'm not an axe murderer... You're really beautiful." He was also sexually attracted to her: "I haven't been to bed with a woman in a long time...But I think I could go to bed with you!"

During Agnes' first love-making with Peter, the artsy cinematography lingered on the saliva-thread of a kiss, and provided a large closeup of her sweaty female breast. After they made love in her bed, he believed that he was becoming infested with bugs (he claimed there were "rogue aphids" in his bloodstream, and egg sacs under his skin). To rid the problem, he bought cans of bug spray and hung bug strips in the room.

Crazed Paranoia - Peter Extracting His Own Teeth

Eventually, in one of the film's more horrific, self-mutilation scenes, he extracted what he thought were infested teeth from his mouth with a pair of pliers or wrench - he claimed the bugs were hiding behind his fillings. One of his other fantasies was that a helicopter was hovering over the room, although it was just the ceiling fan. She was also crazed by the thought of her missing 6 year-old son Lloyd, who was last seen in a grocery store shopping cart a few years earlier.

Sharing their delusions, they both became violently paranoid and mad in a frenzy of delusional thinking, believing that Peter was an experimental drone, and Agnes was the mother queen bug.

Ridding Themselves of Contamination and Infection by Total Obliteration - Arson and Suicide

In the feverishly mad conclusion, they completely wrapped the blue-lit room (festooned with hanging ultraviolet bug-zapping lanterns) in tin-foil - Peter ranted about how he was part of a government/military conspiracy that had implanted every human born after 1982 with a computer chip - a microchip that would cause some of the test subjects to become killer zombies, like Timothy McVeigh. They decided to douse the entire room, and their naked bodies, with gasoline to prevent the spread of infection.

In the erotic and violent climax, the two desperate souls reciprocally told each other: "I love you" and then struck a match to cause an engulfing inferno in the room.



Agnes White (Ashley Judd) with Peter Evans (Michael Shannon) Finding Bugs in Bed - and Everywhere



Swirling into Madness

Greatest Scariest Movie Moments and Scenes
(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

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