When visiting the cineplex to see certain movies, bloodshed is to be expected. However, whether it be the sudden shock factor, the novelty of the scene, or its appearance in a non-horror genre, the gory moments in these movies were more than what was reasonably bargained for.
Okay, so this film was shot in black and white, meaning the ‘red’ is lacking its hue (we shan’t disclose that Alfred Hitchcock used chocolate sauce to achieve the desired look). But we thought about ‘bloodbaths’, and well, this scene takes place in a bath. So lots of poetic license to be had here, methinks. While the title of the movie is Psycho, we don’t meet Norman Bates until well into the film, and this, the pivotal murder of the movie, happens even later than that. As Marion shuts the bathroom door, steps into the bath and draws the curtain closed, an old woman (**spoiler alert** it’s Norman) pulls back the curtain and hacks Marion to death with a kitchen knife. Showers in baths with shower curtains have never been completely comfortable since.
It isn’t so much the scene where Carrie, in peak mastery of her telekinesis, sends kitchen knives and other sundry sharp household items flying through the air to crucify her monstrous mother against the door – that one is shocking – but more when that sympathy-stirring and unsuspecting titular anti-heroine, Carrie, stands naively on stage at her high school prom having been duplicitously crowned prom queen, finally glimpsing some semblance of happiness in her miserable world, has a bucket of pigs’ blood dumped onto her head from the rafters above. That is the scene that secures the film’s place on this list. Sodden in the red swine-juice, she slams the gymnasium doors shut, lights the place on fire, and walks out while everyone burns. Have a nice day.
Stanley Kubrick’s retelling of the Times Bestseller Steven King novel made, shall we say, sometimes tenuous use of the source material. King wasn’t pleased at the time, but the movie went on to be by far his most successful and enduring cinematic adaptation. The slow unraveling of Jack’s sanity (played by Jack Nicholson), as he climatically chases his wife around the remote hotel with an ax, gave us some of cinema’s most enduring moments. The haunting twin girls have been referenced again and again, but it’s the elevator scene that is the movie’s most chilling. As Wendy (Shelley Duval) runs frantically around the hotel searching for her son, blood pours out of the Regency elevators and becomes a crimson river that splashes up the walls.
A Nightmare On Elm Street
If you were born in the ‘70s or the early ‘80s, A Nightmare on Elm Street was the tweenage forbidden fruit. If you were lucky, you found a friend whose parents were more lax with R-rated things than yours, and you watched in abject horror/delight (probably from behind the sofa) as beautiful teens are mauled to shreds by the crater-faced Freddy Krueger and his five-bladed biker gloves. Desiccated in their dreams, but with real life consequences, the teens try to stay awake. But, as hapless hottie Glen (Johnny Depp) lies in bed with his blaring TV sat in his lap, he falls asleep and is promptly sucked into the center of his bed, and deluged back out again in a backwards waterfall of blood. Mom enters just in time to see the boy’s bloodless body launched back up from below. Screams. And scene.
While the other bloodbaths in this list are either supernatural, the product of war, or homage to martial arts movies, Casino stands apart in its stark portrayal of human violence. Based on a true story of Las Vegas mobsters, murders are sometimes about upstanding issues like honor and money. Joe Pesci’s character, Nicky, though, is something else entirely. A family man, he is disposed to stabbing people and slitting throats. In one scene, having tortured a man for two days, he tires of interrogation and cranks the vice on his victim’s head until his eyes pop out. The victim then gives up the info. Later, Nicky is made to watch as his brother is bludgeoned to death with baseball bats before the heavies set on him. They bury them together, still breathing. Karma, as they say, is a bitch.
Saving Private Ryan
When you go to a slasher movie, you’re ultimately asking for it – they promise you blood and they deliver. But there is some solace in that promise. When Saving Private Ryan brutalizes you with dismembered and disemboweled folk in the first fifteen minutes, it’s just unfair. ‘Disemboweled’ is an interesting word – there are ‘bowels’, and then I guess one is ‘emboweled’, like empowered, like, you have them. Then, you’re disemboweled, like you had them (the bowels), but, – awkward – now you do not. These are the thoughts I am occupying myself with to avoid actually picturing that poor soldier on the beach with his bowels beside him as another man runs past holding one severed arm with his intact one and everyone else around him is just generally blown to bits. Harrowing.
Kill Bill Vol. 1
After the father of her unborn child tries to kill her at her wedding, The Bride (Uma Thurman) is upset. Waking up from a coma four years later with no baby, she finds out her nurse has been selling her comatose body to men for sex, so… a killing spree. After dispatching assorted assailants, The Bride reaches Tokyo, where her first target, O-Ren (Lucy Liu) is waiting. She kills O-Ren’s razor- mace-wielding bodyguard, Gogo, and then in a moment of climactic magic, massacres the Crazy 88, a squad of elite martial artists. As she somersaults and cartwheels around the room with her samurai sword, she severs arms, hands, and heads that spew blood like hoses, and in one glorious moment, snatches a man’s eyeball straight from his face. Uma Thurman’s awesome.
Game of Thrones – Red Wedding
Never one to be bound by tiresome technicalities, we’ve included the Red Wedding, despite it not being a feature film. But, it is 52 mins long with a hefty production budget, so there. Technically, though, the episode is called The Rains of Castamere, and the Red Wedding was one mere scene. But again, technicalities. It was one of the bloodiest scenes of one of the bloodiest series in TV history. In true GOT style, the massacre does away with a number of fan favorites – notably matriarch Catelyn Stark and her son and heir, Rob Stark; but it is the murder of Rob’s pregnant wife Talisa Stark that is the shocker. Lothar Frey approaches her from behind and stabs her in the abdomen repeatedly, killing her and her unborn child too. Truly poor wedding etiquette.
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