Tuesday, 31 July 2012

The Most Ridiculous Scenes Ever...in Classic Films!

Introduction-Killer Joe is Awesome (4/5)!!

I sat in awe this month as I witnessed the director of The Exorcist (1973) gallantly proving that the lunacy of old is far from behind him with his appalling new gem Killer Joe (2012). The film takes the familiar hitman meets scorned wife narrative to hideous, transcendent new heights. Watching rom-com favourite Matthew McConaughey place a piece of fried chicken on his crotch and force a married woman to suck it in front of her husband (SERIOUSLY) got me thinking: how far do filmmakers go to make an impression? This medium, the best positioned medium to offend and disturb, has had it's fair share of priceless crazy moments.

What is your favourite crazy/wacky/disturbing scene??

Here are some masterpieces that ventured into the downright appalling...

The Shining (1980)- Bear-Lovin'

It is one of the most baffling shots of cinema history, it's ludicrous nature causing many to laugh out loud in sheer incredulity. The clip really speaks for itself:
Sprinting through The Overlook Hotel to defend her son from his father, Wendy Torrance comes across...and there's no better way to say this...a ghost in a bear suit performing oral sex on another ghost. As bizarre as this is, however, the explanation can be found- and it is even more disturbing.
Consider this...

It now makes sense; terrifying sense.

During a scene in which a doctor's visit reveals that Jack Torrance has been violent with his son, Danny, Danny lies on a bear that is strikingly similar in appearance to the outfit in the infamous "bear-job" (I just made that up!) scene. The implication? Jack Torrance has sexually abused his son Danny.

*pauses to let reader be chilled to the bone *

Dead Man's Shoes (2004)- one bad acid trip...

"Snub me for a BAFTA, will ya?!"

Shane Meadow's' caustic revenge fable Dead Man's Shoes is not exactly abundant in compromise. For as one's family is concerned, cruelty must not be forgiven. So, how about feeding the perpetrators acid in their tea, isolating one of them, showing him one of his friends hacked up in a suitcase, then stab him as he weeps over the grotesque sight? Job done.
The fact that the body in the case goes unseen makes it particularly chilling.

Monty Python and the Holy Grail (1974) -The Black Knight fails to rise!

It's hard, in the age of South Park and torture porn horrors, to imagine the waves it made in 1974 to see the Monty Python crew take such glee in human suffering. This masterpiece of human barbarism begins when John Cleese's The Black Knight attempts to prevent  Graham Chapman's King Arthur from crossing through the woodlands. A fight ensues, the Black Knight loses a limb. Does it end there? Nope, the proud knight is too insane for surrender...leading to the classic line "it's just a flesh wound."
And, so, we witness a man slowly hacked into a human stub-and he's not feeling too bad about it either! Will this scene ever be beaten? No? Well then, we'll call it a draw...

Electrocuting an Elepehant (1903)-Electrocuting a real elephant!

Okay, so with a running time of a whopping one minute this is hardly a film. But, I ask you, what can be more insane than audiences actually paying to see a one minute short depicting an actual elephant execution?! Thomas Edison was one of the father's of cinema, and once stated that does not "allow himself to be discouraged under any circumstances." Well, if being known as an emblem of elephant euthanasia doesn't discourage you, nothing will.
Apparently the elephant was violent and unruly. So, I guess this is a death penalty argument?!

See for yourself @    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bowA1xUZpmA

Fargo (1996)- "Hi ho hi ho, to the wood chipper we go.."

In truth, it's quite hard to put into words just how ludicrous this scene is. Sure, the Coens had already given us baby kidnapping and Mad Man Munt, but let's be honest-THIS IS STEVE BUSCEMI IN A WOODCHIPPER. That's his foot in the first picture (above), and, yes, those are his bloody remains in the second!
The best thing about all of this is that, next to perhaps No Country for Old Men (2007), Fargo is generally hailed as the Coen brothers' masterpiece. Poetry, sheer poetry.

Deliverence (1972)-That Scene!

We all know the one I am talking about...
"He's got a purrdy mouth"
"Boy, you look just like a hog"
"You gonna do some praying for me, boy. And you better pray good." Yes, these are the eloquent words of cinematic brilliance.
Perhaps the best indictment of the American macho myth ever depicted in cinema, this horrifying male rape scene is but the centerpiece in a film in which mid western men brave the wilderness and find only darkness.

The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974)-Leatherface sure can move

Let's face it, the only true way to end The Texas Chainsawe Massacre is with absurdity.
*SPOILERS* Having hung people from meat-hooks and partaken in some of cinema's most gripping chase sequences, it is perhaps the last actions of Leatherface on film that serve to disturb the most. Having missed Marilyn Burns' Sally by a whisker as she flees onto the back of a pick-up truck, Leatherface chooses simply to wield his chainsaw about in the form of a phsychotic dance. It is pointless, defiant, and typical of the film that it finishes-cinema's most bizarre ending?

This speaks more than words ever could.

White Heat (1949)- "On top of the world!"

*SPOILERS* Another fine entry into the weird endings canon. This one is a metaphor; an insane metaphor. It is also the perfect way to bid farewell to the classic James Cagney crook character that dominated the vintage noir period.
Like Clint Eastwood in Gran Torino (2008), Cagney decided to end his action heyday by going out on his shield. Surrounded by police while atop an explosive tank, Cagney's Cody Jarett starts to see the funny side. Bellowing up at the sky (towards his dead mother) ye yells "I made it, Ma! I'm on top of the world!" The cheery fellow then shoots the tank- blowing himself into smithereens.
Now, we see the funny side too.

The Silence of the Lambs (1991)- Buffalo Bill: the dance coach

To see a man as a killer is one thing, but to see the pathological self-hate that drove him to kill is much more frightening. Following the revelation that Bill is a woman trapped in a man's body, we eventually bear witness to one of cinema's creepiest and most memorable scenes. I dub it the "Man-Gina Dance"
To see the man conceal his penis as he prances around his basement in a dress declaring "Would you f**k  me? I'd f**k me!" Who said this film couldn't do subtlety?!

and, finally, the winner...

The Exorcist (1973)- Crucifix materbation

We really dont need the close-up...

Did you really think it would be anything else?
Here it is, perhaps the ultimate case of hair-raising, graphic, gut-wrenching excess in film. It is, indeed, arguably the most horrifyingly uncomfortable moment in any horror film. The Exorcist author William Peter Blatty has often said that the scene was born out of the need to make it plausible that an atheist actress would seek an exorcism for her young daughter.
Well, when Satan inspires the hand of a young girl to violently masterbate with a crucifix then, well, I think you can safely declare "plauibility established! Go exorcise that little girl!"

What a job.

Honourable mention: Five Easy Pieces toast
                                 Se7en head in a box
                                 Metropolis church gargoyles
                                 Fight Club "his name is Robert Paulson.."

Note: Videodrome (1983) could not be uncluded as every scene merits inclusion on the list.


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