Dear Bloodshot Betties and Felonious Fellows,
Since this Halloween AMC, Chiller, and SYFY insist on showing shitty movies like “Leprechaun in the Hood” and “Jack Frost” to celebrate Halloween, I feel it necessary to revamp(ire) things and remind myself why this is my favorite time of year. So sit back with your favorite cup of blood and throw another dog…uh, I mean, log on the fire and join with me as I count down my top 10 favorite scariest moments in movie history that eventually led me to the deliciously decadent state of morbid that I exist in today.
I shall base my opinions on three things. 1. Did it change one’s behavior? 2. Did it give nightmares? 3. Did it cause a psychological reaction such as sweating, anxiety, rapid pulse or repulsion?
10. Gage’s gag order “Pet Sematary” Something is wrong with this little kid (other than the fact that he is dead). When a toddler that is small enough to hide under the bed is carrying around a scalpel breaks into your home, don’t fucking wear house shoes! In the worst creepy voice, he even tried to Louis “Come play with me daddy! First I played with Jud, and then I played with mommy. We had an awful good time. Now I want to play wiff yewww” (Insert chills running up and down my spine here).
9. Nutso Nanny “The Omen” I have known some crazy chicks that will do anything for their man, but the nanny in the Omen takes the cake. The scene is set up as this lavish birthday celebration for Damien complete with pony rides and clowns. What could go wrong? Then, there she is…“Look at me Damien. It’s all for you!” she confesses just before taking a swan dive off the roof of the mansion with a noose around her neck. That’s DEADication!
8. Old lady boobies vs. creepy twins “The Shining” I’m tossed. When a naked chick gets out of the tub and seductively walks to me and embraces me in a kiss but morphs into something about the age of the Plymouth rock… would that screw me up more than bloody identical twins whispering “Come play with us”. Either way, I’m not that hard up for sex or friends.
7. The reveal “Phantom of the Opera” By today’s standards, this scene is moderately tame, but at the time the horrendous face that was exposed when Christine pulls of Erik’s mask sent people into fainting spells. “The Man of 1000 Faces” Lon Chaney did his own make up for Universal Pictures first true horror film. Using black makeup to enlarge his nostrils and to give his eyes a hollow skull-like appearance; he pulled his nose up with fine wire to deform his face. Gene Simmons admitted to Rue Morgue magazine that a still frame image of Lon Chaney from this film was the inspiration to his “Demon” stage make up.
6. Ralphie Glick’s Return “Salem’s Lot” I did not sleep by the window for three months, and I had fucking nightmares (no really, I did) that Ralphie was levitating up to my window of my already creepy make shift bedroom in my mother’s apartment. Closing the blinds and moving crap into the window sill didn’t alleviate the problem either. Seriously, dead kids need to stay dead and not ask to come back to borrow my GI JOEs. This is bullshit! I had to start sleeping under my bed. I figured if Ralphie couldn’t see me, he would just go away. I still believe this today at work with my coworkers.
5. Chrisse Watkin’s swim “Jaws” – I’m not sure this falls into the horror section but this is my article and I’m going to count it because it made me not want to go swimming for two summers. We all knew that predators lived in the ocean, but when you are six and the deep end of the pool is 12 feet deep, it might as well have been the ocean and the sharks were going to get into the pool. Hey that would’ve made a great sequel!
4. Pizza cutter daughter “Don’t Go to Sleep” This made for television movie kicked my ass when I was six. Why in the hell would any parent stick their kid in front of the TV and say “Here, watch this.” That little bitch Jennifer (who happen to be about my age at the time I saw this) runs a pizza cutter up the wall as she climbs the stairs to kill her parents. Now I freak out today every time I go to Chuck E Cheese. FML
3. Hitchhiker Hijinks “The Texas Chainsaw Massacre” Being from Texas one thing you are taught at an early age is never, Never, NEVER pick up a fucking hitchhiker. This scene may be the very reason why. Edwin Neal who played the crazed hitchhiker who later turns out to be Leatherface’s brother states that based inspiration for the kook on a crazy relative of his. (And you thought your family was bad). I was already screaming at my TV to “Throw the fucker out!” of the speeding van when he started taking random pictures of everyone. But when he gets upset and opens a knife to cut himself and Franklin…fuck it; I’ll throw myself out the van. He can have it.
2. The shower scene “Psycho” – This scene to me does not scare me, but artistically, I can see what it has done for horror film kill scenes. Remember that this had never been seen before. This is the mother that started it all. So much thought went into the scene from getting the reaction right to how viscous the “chocolate” blood was as it mixed with the water as it went down the drain. This scene screwed up a whole generation of movie goers as to not ever taking a shower again. Lesson to be learned here…take a bath with someone else. (It is the definition of “good clean fun”).
1. Regan meets Father Karras “The Exorcist” – Seriously, if you say that The Exorcist did not scare you, then I say you’re a liar! I’ve seen this movie countless times in every version released and I still freak myself every time. Regan scared the shit (or piss in her case) out of the best of us and continues to do so today. Being released in the middle of the “satanic panic” in 1973, the film used squealing pigs in the background noise, and realistic responses of fear and disgust. The actors were not told what to expect in the scenes such as the director slapping them on camera, random gunshots on set to get a reaction, and the director telling Jason Miller “Don’t worry, the pea soup will only hit your chest” to capture his disgusted look. There is a story that one viewer fainted from anxiety in the movie theater and fell out of his seat, fracturing his jaw on the chair in front of him. He sued the theater and Warner Bro and won an undisclosed amount. That wouldn’t go over too well today with court reform. However it does go to show that a movie that is not about blood and guts can be frightening for years after the release.
If you didn’t see the one scene from your favorite slasher flick from the Nightmare on Elm Street, Friday the 13th, Scream, or Halloween series…stop and ask yourself why. There might be a reason for that. Chances are they were either inspired by the movies above, or I was desensitized by then by the movies above. Nothing against them, I was raised on them too. But I highly recommend that you stop and ask yourself why you find certain things scary. The answers might…scare you!
Rest in Pieces,
Renfield Rasputin prefers the pine box to cremation, and Godzilla to King Kong.