This one is pretty hard to quantify, so here are my caveats. For starters, I'm discounting horror movies or any of that torture porn crap. I've never been a fan and never will be. If you're centering your whole movie around torture porn, there's probably not much of a narrative and I'm certain it's nothing that could be considered film. It's all about getting freaked out or witnessing something that's "so wrong." Talkin 'bout my generation …
Anyways, here are 20 horrific moments (maybe even a little more) in some wonderful films. Naturally, the mastery of this started with Hitchcock, who passed the baton to Kubrick, then to Scorsese and then to Tarantino, so you'll find many of their moments here.
20. Anton Chigurh and his Air Gun – No Country For Old Men
When he pulls over that one guy to take his car, you feel the full brunt of it. I didn't mention the Coen Bros. above because they're known for a lot more than violence, but it is something else they excel at.
19. Black Mamba 1, Bud 0 – Kill Bill Vol. 2
Of all the mayhem going on in the Kill Bill movies, the one that doesn't involve a Samurai sword is probably the worst (well, except for that one dude who gets split in half). In fact, I have to adjust …
19. Guy Who Gets Split in Half – Kill Bill Vol. 1
18. Whatever Happened to Zed – Pulp Fiction
To keep the Tarantino talk going, what ever happened to "Mr. Soon to be living the rest of his life in agonizing pain" is probably worse than anyone else on this list, but either fortunately or unfortunately, it's not shown so I can't rank it too high.
17. Bowling Pin Beat Down – There Will Be Blood
What the hell was Eli thinking going back to Daniel years later? Did he get tired of having unprotected sex in
16. A Shark Attack – Jaws
Could you imagine how much more gruesome this movie would have been if Spielberg had been able to get his mechanical shark working the way he wanted it to?
15. Singin' In the Rain – A Clockwork
I'm ranking this one because it's a trailblazer. Ultra-violence wasn't really part of cinema back then, at least this extreme. It may be a bit tame by today's standards but you have to give points to the ones who've been there before.
14. Melting Faces – Raiders of the Lost
On VCR's, you could rewind it and see their faces come back on.
13. JFK Blown Away, What Else do I have to Say? – JFK
The actual footage of his head coming apart is god awful. The difference between this one and the rest of these is well, this actually happened.
12. Stuck In the Middle With You – Reservoir Dogs
Mr. Blonde doing his little routine that involves and ear cutting and gasoline is bad enough. When you tack on Mr. Orange bleeding to death the entire movie, it's almost unwatchable, but it's still suuuuuuuuuuuch a great film.
11. For the Animals – The Godfather, Apocalypse Now, Fatal Attraction
Here you gave gruesome deaths of a horse, cow and bunny rabbit. They're all quite brutal. The worst has to be the cow slashing in Apocalypse Now. For all the beheadings and what not in that movie, it comes down to that cow slashing that's too much for me. I can handle everything else.
10. The Shock Value of Scarface – Scarface
When this movie was remade in 1982, it didn't bring too much to the table except for Al Pacino talking in a funny accent and being one of the most miserable people on earth. It also brought good death scenes. "Chainsaw to the Head" is probably the worst of the bunch, but I'm also a fan of "Hung from a Helicopter."
9. The Deadly Sins – Seven
I haven't seen Seven in many years now as I'm way overdue for a viewing. As with any serial killer movie, you're going to have some gruesome deaths, and two I remember from this one (aside from Gwenyth Paltrow's head in a box) are the murders for Sloth and Gluttony. Evil. Pure evil. Kevin Spacey's kind of a dick sometimes.
8. Jesus – Passion of the Christ
Let's face it. Mel Gibson only made this film to see how much torture he could inflict on Jesus. The result: Jesus takes a beating.
7. Riddled With Bullets Scenes
I prefer Sonny Corleone death over Bonnie and
Clyde's, but all three of them met with too many bullets
to be indentified. Sonny's is better
because there's more people shooting at him and he doesn't have a counterpart
that takes half of the bullets for him.
6. The Shower Scene – Psycho
This is the original "Great Death" scene. Again, like many old violent scenes it's really tame by today's standards, and this movie would be much less watchable if we actually saw the knife go into the girl a million times kinda like what the Goodfellas do to Jimmy Batts (just missed the cut), but it's the first classic, so it deserves to rank highly.
Lecter – Silence
of the Lambs Hannibal
The one that comes to mind is him taking the faces off of the two cops watching him. His mere existence is quite grotesque so he has to rank highly.
4. Out of the Park – Inglorious Basterds
Watching the Bear Jew rap that German soldier on his noggin is very hard. Not even the scalpings or Nazi emblem carvings in this movie match the repeated beating of the Bear Jew. Yes, I turn around sometimes when that scene comes on. That's pretty much how you can tell if a scene is really violent. If the head turns, that's powerful.
3. Head in Vice – Casino
This may not turn the head like other moments do, but you have to love the mafia creativity of putting someone's head in a vice, even if they're only protecting Charlie M.
2. The Wood Chipper – Fargo
What's great about this scene is every time I watch
I get excited for
it. It's the opposite of a head turning
scene, yet, still more horrific than most.
For some disturbing reason I love seeing Buscemi's legs sticking out of
that thing. This would be #1 accept for
the fact that I've seen … Fargo
1. Teeth on Curb – American History X