|Movie Title/Year and Brief Scene Description|
The Dark Hours (2005, Can.)
Director Paul Fox's effective, low-budget psychological thriller followed the increasingly hallucinatory actions of psychiatrist Samantha Goodman (Kate Greenhouse). She was a counselor for the criminally disturbed and insane in a prison in Canada, but was also suffering from an inoperable brain tumor. Recent cat-scans revealed that the tumor, after remaining stable for two years, was now growing. She was medicating herself with shots (in a rashy spot on her upper thigh) of an unapproved drug, and seemed to be having blackouts and other mental hallucinations. She was definitely losing her grip on reality.
During a weekend break at a rural cabin in the snow with her writer-husband David (Gordon Currie) and her pretty younger sister Melody (Iris Graham), she shared morbid news with them about her worsening condition. Then, she locked herself in the bathroom, where she overdosed with another injected dose of medication in the film's conclusion. During her final half-hour of life, she engaged in delusional mind games with herself (and other projections of her subconscious in the form of two menacing visitors). One challenge was to prove to herself that she wasn't crazy or in a dream, and could still feel pain.
In the film's most squirm-inducing scene, she sat at a table and convinced herself to cut off her little finger (the film was rated R for this scene of self-mutilation) with a pair of pliers. She twisted and turned the cutters until her pliable pinky eventually was bloodily sheared off.
D.A.R.Y.L. was a sci-fi drama, from Australian director Simon Winder, about a super-intelligent, 10 year-old, precocious android boy (Barret Oliver) named Daryl (Data Analysing Robot Youth Lifeform). The mysterious and miraculous boy possessed a computer brain and an organic body - he was created as a government experiment in artificial intelligence (AI).
After he was freed by sympathetic scientist Dr. Mulligan (Richard Hammatt), amnesiac Daryl lived with adoptive foster parents, a childless couple named the Richardsons, for awhile. With them, he learned human socialization skills and traits, and some new emotional responses. When Daryl's whereabouts were discovered, he was returned to the top-secret government facility where he was created, to be examined by military scientists.
In the disquieting, disturbing scene, Daryl was wired up for tests and exams on a table and scans were completed, to see why he was "malfunctioning." Daryl betrayed his true nature as a human that was capable of showing emotions (fear and anxiety) when he conveyed the computer-printed words on a monitor: "I'M FRIGHTENED." When the words were read, the tests were cancelled by Dr. Jeffrey Stewart (Josef Sommer) ("No tests, okay?").
However, other scientists and the military judged the D.A.R.Y.L. experiment to be a failure - Daryl was only considered to be a faulty, malfunctioning, and "expensive piece of hardware." A decision was made by the evil military establishment to terminate the project - which meant destroying Daryl, their human-acting robot. As one general put it:
Instead, the military chiefs wished to create an "adult version" of the D.A.R.Y.L. prototype ("a fearless, technically-skilled, devastating soldier"): "D.A.R.Y.L. goes to the scrapyard."
In the film's exciting conclusion, Dr. Stewart was mortally wounded during an attempt to free Daryl and return him to his foster parents.
This gore-filled epic-length sequel was written and directed by George A. Romero, but without any of the characters from the original film, Night of the Living Dead (1968). Confusion and pandemonium abounded due to conflicting reports of attacks of reanimated zombies.
A knowledgeable doctor was interviewed as he warned about the hopeless situation, blaming the dire circumstances upon emotional reactions of the citizenry. He explained: "Every dead body that is not exterminated becomes one of them. It gets up and kills. The people it kills get up and kill...They kill for one reason. They kill for food. They eat their victims."
In one of the film's earliest scenes, a SWAT team in a ghetto tenement building in Philadelphia violently forced the resistant residents to leave their apartments and give up their dead loved ones:
At a private airfield in the hurriedly-abandoned airport chart office, black Philly PD SWAT team member Peter Washington (Ken Foree) was also unexpectedly assaulted by two zombie children (Donna and Mike Savini) who emerged from a closet, but he tossed them off and shot them.
Outside a Pittsburgh-area mall, a careless SWAT cop Roger DeMarco (Scott Reiniger) was retrieving his forgotten knapsack from the cab of a truck when he was helping to ferry semi-trailer trucks from a loading dock to the mall to block the entrances. Roger was surrounded by zombies and bitten in the left forearm and left calf.
And in the film's climax, TV news helicopter pilot/traffic reporter Stephen Andrews (David Emge) fled into a mall elevator, and was shot in the arm by fleeing bikers. When he attempted to climb up above the elevator and enter into the elevator shaft, the elevator door opened and several zombies lumbered into the car, clawing at his legs and pulling him out of the hatch.
During this chilling zombie attack, he was bitten in the leg and began to bleed profusely, as more of them attacked, and he was again bitten in the neck. He valiantly defended himself, but soon bled to death in the elevator. He was revealed to be a reanimated zombie when the doors reopened, to join the army of undead who now had infiltrated into every mall store.
Dawn of the Dead (2004)
The film was a 'reimagined' 2004 remake by Zack Snyder (it was his feature-film debut) of the original Dawn of the Dead (1978) by director George A. Romero - see above. The central premise of the original film was retained - a zombie apocalypse. Survivors were trapped in the local mega Crossroads Shopping Mall (in Everett, Wisconsin), besieged by undead, flesh-eating zombies (much swifter moving) - diseased predators. As before, zombification was passed on through zombie bites.
During one of its earlier scary scenes, one of the last surviving humans in a suburban Wisconsin town, a nurse named Ana Clark (Sarah Polley), survived an attack and bloody neck bite by zombified neighbor girl Vivian (Hannah Lochner) inside their house. Her husband Luis (Louis Ferreira) had already been left a zombie by the child. Ana narrowly escaped from her undead husband through the bathroom window, when he burst through the door to attack and eat her.
One of the film's most horrifying scenes was the one in which infected undead mother Luda (Inna Korobkina), the wife of petty criminal Andre (Mekhi Phifer), was bitten by one of the zombie security guards in the mall. Later, she gave birth while tied to a bed in the mall's children's store - her bare belly displayed unnatural movements and then a zombie baby was born. Norma (Jayne Eastwood) soon shot the mother, and the zombie baby was also killed.
There were also multiple zombie deaths, including such gruesome details:
The Biting of Luis
Luis' Attack on Ana
The Zombie Child Birth
Dead Alive (1992, NZ) (aka Braindead)
This over-the-top bloody and gory Peter Jackson horror-comedy zombie film, his second feature film, was indisputably the goriest, grossest, and bloodiest film ever made.
Full of bad taste and cartoonish splatterings, the slapstick cult horror film included an outrageous custard-eating scene. Rotting body parts from zombified, ravenous Mum Vera Cosgrove (Elizabeth Moody) squirted pus into a bowl of porridge-pudding. When her right ear fell off, it was disgustingly eaten with the mush.
Also, in the housewarming dinner party scene held by shy mama's boy Lionel Cosgrove's (Timothy Balme) greedy uncle Les (Ian Watkin) to celebrate his "inheritance" of the Cosgrove estate, the guests were attacked by zombies. The assault was led by Les' sister and other zombies who burst out of their locked basement prison. One zombie punched his fist through the back of a woman's head and it emerged out of her mouth.
Most of the zombies were finally massacred in the infamous and climactic zombie slaughter scene when dweebish and shy mama's boy Lionel Cosgrove strapped a running rotary-blade lawnmower to his chest ("Party's over!") in the room full of party-crashing zombies - he sent buckets of blood, stringy intestines, spinal cords and body parts flying everywhere. After one pass through the zombies, he turned and grinded through them a second time. One decapitated head (with glasses) was chewed up in a blender.
Lionel's mother Vera was transformed into a grotesque monster with pendulous breasts - she stuffed Lionel back into her womb, and then he rebirthed himself by cutting himself out of her blood-gushing womb.
Rotary-Blade Lawnmower Scene
The Dead Zone (1983)
Another Stephen King novel (in 1979) was the basis for this supernatural horror-thriller film directed by David Cronenberg. The story told about Johnny Smith (Christopher Walken), a psychic schoolteacher of English who awakened from a five-year coma after a traumatic and horrific car accident. On a rainy night, his small VW bug crashed into a milk-tanker dislodged from a truck. He found that he had the newfound ability (or "gift") to foretell the future of a person through physical contact - touch, and he even believed he could change the future.
Catastrophic events in the future were seen when he shook hands with aspiring and ruthless US Senate candidate Greg Stillson (Martin Sheen) - who had married his previous fiancee Sarah Bracknell (Brooke Adams) and had a child. Johnny foresaw President Stillson in the future precipitating a WWIII holocaust after a nuclear attack on Russia.
In the film's most gruesome, disturbing and ritualistic suicide scene, black raincoat-clad serial killer Frank Dodd (Nicholas Campbell), the Deputy Sheriff actually, was sought by Sheriff Bannerman (Tom Skerritt) who was guided and aided by psychic Johnny Smith to solve some grisly murders. In desperation when trapped in a bathroom, Frank methodically prepared to commit suicide by falling on a strategically-placed open pair of scissors attached to the bathtub with tape - mouth-first. To save audiences from the gore, the actual moment of impact was off-screen. Only the twitching after-effects were shown when Smith and the Sheriff burst through the door.
The film ended with Johnny heroically planning to assassinate Stillson during a rally because of his premonitions of disaster - the politician protected himself by holding up his own baby as a human shield. Johnny was wounded in the chest by a security guard and fell from a balcony. When the angered Stillson came up to him and grabbed him ("Who are you, you son of a bitch? Who sent you?"), Johnny foresaw another conclusion. [A Newsweek magazine cover story was titled: No Future For Stillson - with a picture of the politician putting his baby in the line of fire.] He saw Stillson's own suicide due to his ruined reputation. Johnny smiled as he whispered: "It's over. You're finished," and shortly thereafter died in Sarah's arms.
Deep Blue Sea (1999)
In this science-fiction thriller by Renny Harlin, research was being conducted on mako sharks, to alter their DNA and make them more intelligent - and of course, deadlier and swifter.
Chimera Pharmaceuticals' corporate financier Russell Franklin (Samuel L. Jackson), with a goatee and glasses, arrived at the research facility to witness demonstrations of major test results. He delivered a stirring "let's pull together" motivational speech to the group that was working on a super-intelligent shark program in a top-secret, deep-sea island location called Aquatica.
He spoke about a previous brush with death that he had experienced during a mountaineering-avalanche disaster (where there were seven survivors and only five made it out alive, due to inhumane cannibalism). In the middle of his rousing exhortations for survival -
he experienced an unlikely, extremely startling demise. He was abruptly grabbed by an enormous, genetically-engineered, angry killer mako shark (a combination of CGI and animatronics) that erupted out of the water behind him, chewed him and then tore his body in half. The sharks' plan was to flood the facility so that they could escape into open waters and breed.
British director John Boorman's gripping, absorbing action-adventure film told about four suburban Atlanta businessmen friends who encountered disaster in a summer weekend's river-canoeing trip.
At shot-gun-point in the woods, in a nightmarish and frightening sequence, a sexually-perverted, gay rustic hillbilly (Bill McKinney) viciously targeted and humiliated Bobby Trippe (Ned Beatty in his film debut) - a chubby-faced insurance salesman - viewing him as a defenseless intruder into his territory.
Strapped against a tree, his partner Ed Gentry (Jon Voight) helplessly watched in horror as the Toothless Man terrorized Bobby. He forced the overweight, middle-class salesman to first strip down to his underwear. After a degrading roll around in the dirt and up a steep, leaf-strewn hillside while fondling and groping his prey. The mountain man/rapist made Bobby squeal like a female sow before sodomizing him:
The final frightening image of the entire film was of Ed, snapping awake next to his wife from a vivid nightmare of his journey. He was fearfully haunted by a white, bony hand (of the Mountain Man that was murdered by Lewis (Burt Reynolds)) rising above the surface of the water of the newly-flooded wilderness. The man's stiff, outstretched hand - pointing nowhere - served as a signpost. Ed laid back in his wife's arms - unable to rest and experience 'deliverance' from his recurring nightmare of their experience with extreme violence.
Demons (1985, It.) (aka Dèmoni)
This mid-1980s gory Italian horror film was set in a movie theatre (with the familiar concept of a "movie within a movie"). The Italian production was directed by Lamberto Bava, and produced and co-written by Dario Argento.
The cult classic opened with Cheryl (Natasha Hovey), a pretty music-major college student in an almost abandoned subway station in Berlin, Germany, being offered free movie tickets by a creepy, black-robed, silver-masked guy (Michele Soavi). They were free invitation-only passes to a grand reopening of the renovated Metropol movie-house. With her friend Kathy (Paola Cozzo), the two attended the showing of a horror film in the cathedral-like building. Other individuals at the showing included:
The movie that was projected was a horror film - the movie within a movie. Four teen-aged students in a graveyard crypt found a book written by 16th century fortune-teller Nostradamus in a tomb and a silver mask (similar to the one in the theatre lobby). They were warned - whoever wears the mask becomes a demon. The mask scratched the face of one of the students (Michele Soavi), causing him to turn on his friends with a knife and murder them.
Similarly, Rosemary received a bloody cut on her cheek after she tried on the silver mask in the lobby. During a trip to the yellow-colored women's restroom, the pus-filled wound grew, exploded, and she soon became a bloodthirsty demon with red eyes, fangs, and vampire-shaped nails. In one close-up during the many demon transformations, teeth popped out to be replaced by fangs, and grotesque tongues grew. As the show progressed, movie patrons were attacked. In flight, Carmen came from behind the canvas movie screen, pursued by the slime-spewing demons (as the infection spread) at the start of a series of gory, blood-splattering scenes.
Bravo's scariest scene(s) involved the ever-present scratching and ripping apart of flesh and throats by claws and fangs, as the trapped audience members vainly fled to the bricked-over exits to escape. Gore included scalpings and beheadings, fingers blown off, eye-gougings, slashings, impalings, and disembowelings. In one incredible scene, a nasty black male demon burst from Kathy's back. Lobby display swords, a motorcycle and a rescue helicopter figured into the spiraling action as George and Cheryl escaped, but found the outside world also overrun by zombie demons. By film's end, the only surviving audience member was George.
The Descent (2005, UK)
Neil Marshall's claustrophobic horror thriller told about a group of six, extremely-athletic female spelunkers (six unknown actresses) including:
The group were trapped deep underground in the dark in an Appalachian cavern after a cave-in. They realized that they were in the wrong place - not Boreham Caverns but an unknown and unmapped section ("We're in the wrong f--kin' cave!"). Juno admitted to everyone: "It hasn't got a name. It's a new system. I wanted us all to discover it. No one's ever been down here before." The six were very concerned that there wouldn't be a way out of the chamber.
The first intimation of horror was a quick appearance of a hairless, pale creature in the distance drinking water. The horrors were revealed to be predatory, sharp-toothed, whitish, carnivorous humanoid underground beasts called "crawlers" in the thick darkness, who attacked them relentlessly in the maze-like, entrapping lair. Sarah explained: "They're totally blind, and judging from what we've seen, I'd say they use sound to hunt with - like a bat. And they've evolved perfectly to live down (here) in the dark."
Holly was the first to have her throat ripped out by one of the crawlers. Juno was viciously attacked, and after knifing the creature with her pick-axe, she quickly turned around fearing another creature behind her. Horrified, she realized that she had swung her pick-axe and accidentally speared Beth in the neck. Later, Beth begged to be mercy-killed by Sarah, and her head was bashed in with a large rock. After she had killed one of the younger creatures, the beast's mother (with visible breasts) attacked Sarah and together they fell into a bloody pool. To protect herself, Sarah reached for a jagged bone and stabbed the creature in the eye - killing it.
Sam and Rebecca were the next two victims of the creatures - Sam had her throat ripped while attempting to climb across a rocky roof to safety, and Rebecca was cannibalized alive when her stomach was chomped. Sarah and Juno were left to battle four of the creatures and a second wave of attackers. They were successful, although there was a confrontation between the two (Sarah believed that Juno had purposely harmed Beth), and Juno was injured by Sarah's pick-axe.
In the ending, the wounded Juno died (off-screen) when she was surrounded by the creatures, but Sarah survived after escaping and falling unconscious down a chute. When she awoke, she crawled up a long pile of skeletal bones into daylight, where she emerged from the ground, took a deep breath of air, and then ran hysterically through the woods to her vehicle and drove away.
After she stopped by the side of the road to puke, Sarah turned and saw Juno (with a blood-streaked face) in the passenger seat - Sarah screamed - and then the trauma of the vision caused her to awaken underground, where she realized that her escape was only an hallucination.
In one final vision, she imagined her tragically-killed daughter Jessica's birthday (and a candle-covered birthday cake) as she stared into her torch's flame (her daughter spoke: "Mummy?"), and the camera drew backward into the darkness as her flame began to dim. She had imagined that the flickering flames of her torch were the candles on the cake. The sounds of creatures threatening to attack were heard. The credits played atop a black and white group photo of the six cave-explorers.
[In the North American release, the film ended a minute earlier, at the point where Sarah saw Juno. The UK version was considered too dark for American audiences and was modified.]
Juno - Lost!
The First Creature Attacks
Holly's Throat Bitten and Ripped Out by a Crawler
Sarah's Escape to Daylight
and a Vehicle?
B/W Photo of Six
The Devil's Backbone (2001, Sp.) (aka El Espinazo del Diablo)
This off-beat Gothic ghost murder-mystery (from director Guillermo del Toro) was set during the ongoing Spanish Civil War in 1938.
It contained imagery of a seldom-seen dead boy ("the one who sighs") named Santi (Junio Valverde) - a pale-faced orphan who (in flashback) was brutally beaten and drowned in an orphanage.
The murdered boy was a sad ghostly figure who haunted the place - he appeared with milky eyes, left wet footprints and had watery blood flowing from a gash in his head.
The boy predicted doom and warned of an upcoming catastrophe ("many of you will die"). He was associated with a scary, deep water tank or pool in the orphanage's damp basement.
The film boasted a haunting soundtrack (with gurgling, a ghoul's cries and sighs, and the screech of mechanical gears).
In one scary sequence, orphaned Carlos (Fernando Tielve) descended into the basement where the ghoulish Santi was hiding. Carlos was tapped on the shoulder from behind.
In another shocking scene, while the camera looked through a keyhole lock in a door as Carlos hid in a closet, the ghostly boy's large eye suddenly appeared in the field of view.
The Devils (1971, UK)
This sadomasochistic story filmed by director Ken Russell was adapted from Aldous Huxley's "The Devils of Loudon." The contentious film was frightening and effective. It included numerous scenes of orgiastic and crazed, nude, head-shaved nuns and other equally scary nightmarish scenes of 17th century French life. The most controversial scene was one of nuns sexually assaulting and desecrating a large statue of Christ.
Other notorious scenes included:
(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