Greatest Scariest
Movie Moments and Scenes


Greatest and Scariest Film Scenes
Title Screen
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.

Samantha's Self-Mutilation

D.A.R.Y.L. (1985)

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.

  • Joyce Richardson (Mary Beth Hurt)
  • Andy Richardson (Michael McKean)

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 (the TASCOM facility in Washington, D.C.), 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:

Baseball? Ice-cream preferences? Friendships? That's all right for America, but hardly what we need in the Department of Defense. The Joint Chiefs have made their decision in light of this report. Youth Lifeform Project as of now is terminated.

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. Daryl's escape in a USAF Lockheed Blackbird aircraft ended when the plane was self-destructed and the ejected Daryl 'drowned' in a lake. Although declared officially dead (and no longer a target by TASCOM), Daryl's electronic brain was reactivated and he was joyfully reunited with his parents.

Daryl - Experiment in Artificial Intelligence

"I'm Frightened"

"Youth Lifeform Project as Of Now Is Terminated"

Dawn of the Dead (1978, It./US)


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:

  • one resident's zombie head was explosively shot off
  • the flesh of the shoulder of another woman was ravenously bitten by a marauding zombie relative - her husband

Four survivors sought refuge in a deserted suburban Pittsburgh shopping mall: pregnant WGON-TV anchorwoman Francine (Gaylen Ross), her boyfriend - helicopter pilot/TV news-traffic reporter Stephen (David Emge), and two SWAT cops Roger DeMarco (Scott Reiniger) and Peter Washington (Ken Foree).

On their journey to the shopping mall, they refueled at a private airfield; in a hurriedly-abandoned airport chart office, black Philly PD SWAT team member Peter Washington 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.

There were many memorable scenes in which marauding, staggering, flesh-eating zombies engaged in relentless attacks upon them; there was biting social satire that equated zombies with consumers (as perky, goofy mall music played, zombies stumbled around on escalators, etc.).

Outside the 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.

Stephen's Death and Re-Animation as a Zombie

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.

Zombie Head Shot Off

Unexpected Shoulder Bite

Assault of Two Zombie Children at Airfield

Zombie Attack on SWAT cop Roger at a Truck

Mall Zombies

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 Luis 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:

  • a stake through the chin and exiting the top of the head of a male zombie
  • a stake through the eye of a screaming female zombie
  • an exploding canister of propane gas shot out of the hands of another zombie
Zombie Deaths

The Biting of Luis by Zombified Neighbor Girl Vivian

Luis' Attack on Wife Ana
(Sarah Polley)

The Zombie Child Birth

Dead Alive (1992, NZ) (aka Braindead)


This over-the-top, disgusting, bloody and gory R-rated Peter Jackson horror-comedy zombie film, his third feature film following Bad Taste (1987, NZ) and Meet the Feebles (1989, NZ), was indisputably the goriest, grossest, and bloodiest (and funniest) film ever made. Its low-budget production (at $3 million) grossed only $242,623 - a major box-office disaster. Full of bad taste and cartoonish splatterings, some of the slapstick cult horror film's gory parts were often banned, edited, or censored. Its morbid gore and blood was reminiscent of Re-Animator (1985) and Evil Dead 2: Dead by Dawn (1987).

The deranged film's tagline was:

"Some things won't stay down...even after they die."

The film set up its premise in a pre-titles prologue - on Sumatra's Skull Island in 1957, zoo animal explorer Stewart McAlden (Bill Ralston) and his assistant were attacked by spear-throwing, face-painted natives, for trying to remove a rare Sumatran Rat-Monkey in a cage from the island. The dangerous creation was a rabid, hybrid organism (part monkey and part rat) that resulted from the rape of tree monkeys on Sumatra's Skull Island by ravenous, plague-carrying rats. During a rapid flight from the natives, Stewart became the first human to be infected by multiple rat-monkey bites, with bite marks on his right hand, left arm, and also scratch marks on his forehead. His fearful guides amputated his two appendages before it was eventually decided to slice off his head with a machete, to prevent the spread. Animated blood splattered as his head was chopped off, leading into the title credits. Stewart's captured rat-monkey was flown in a crate to a zoo in the New Zealand town of Wellington.

Multiple Amputations and Decapitation of Explorer Stewart

Shy bachelor, and clumsy, dweebish mama's boy Lionel Cosgrove (Timothy Balme) lived with his oppressive Mum Vera Elizabeth Cosgrove (Elizabeth Moody) in Wellington, NZ, in a multi-story Victorian mansion set on a hillside. The domineering and overbearing Vera developed an instant dislike for Lionel's growing romance with his first girlfriend - a sweet young grocery store clerk named Paquita María Sánchez (Diana Peñalver), a local Spanish shopkeeper's (Silvio Famularo) daughter.

During their first date at the zoo, Lionel experienced a haunting, long-held memoriy of his father's death when he was attempting to rescue young Lionel from drowning at the beach. They watched in horror when inside the monkey cage, the nasty, vicious and super-rare, infected rat-monkey (SIMIAN RATICUS) dismembered another monkey's appendage and cannibalized it. The attending zoo keeper described the rat-monkey's origins: "Story goes, these great big rats come scuttling off the slave ships and raped all the little tree monkeys. You know, the natives use 'em in black magic rituals. Don't ask me how, probably suck the blood of virgins, eh, eh?"

When Vera jealously followed them to the zoo to spy on the couple from afar, she slipped and fell up against the monkey cage, and was attacked and bitten in the left-arm by the rat-monkey: "Look at this! It bit me. I've been savaged! And my dress!" She angrily squashed its head with one of her high-heeled stiletto shoes to kill it. Lionel's date with Paquita was ruined, and she was disappointed that Lionel chose to devote himself to his Mum rather than her, although they made up that evening and Paquita strongly believed that he was her chosen one: "There will be one romance, and it shall last forever" - they slept together, although there were omens of death, dark forces, fear, danger and destruction foreseen by Paquita's grandmother (Davina Whitehouse) for the future. [Later, the grandmother presented Lionel with a necklace/pendant in the shape of a pointed cross to wear, to protect him with "the power of the White Knight."]

Rat-Monkey Incident at the Zoo

That same evening and into the next day, Vera began to show signs of physical deterioration, slurred speech, pus leakage on her arm and pulsating infection, face-skin peeling, zombification, a ravenous appetite for live flesh, and increased decrepitness.

In the outrageous custard-eating lunch scene with Vera's friends, the Mathesons, over for lunch to represent the Wellington Ladies Welfare League, Vera accidentally squirted pus from her arm bandage into Mr. Matheson's (Lewis Rowe) bowl of porridge-pudding dessert, as he was noting aptly while taking a spoonful with his eyes closed: "Damn fine custard, rich and creamy, just the way I like it!" When her rotting right ear (with a pearl earring) fell off into her own custard pudding dish, Vera disgustingly ate it with the mush. The nauseated Mrs. Nora Matheson (Glenis Levestam) excused herself from the table to run off and barf before the couple fled.

Rotting and Deteriorating Vera Cosgrove
The Porridge/Custard Pus and Ear Eating Scene

Shortly later, Vera's desire for meat compelled her to eat Paquita's dog in her bedroom. Paquita exclaimed to Lionel: "Your mother ate my dog!" He responded with understatement: "Not all of it."

The Remains of Paquita's Dog Consumed by Vera (Paquita: "Your mother ate my dog!")

Vera seemed to succumb to her condition, after which she reanimated as a murderous zombie (Elizabeth Brimilcombe) and killed her attending nurse Mrs. Emma McTavish (Brenda Kendall) by attacking her face from behind, thereby infecting her as well. To prevent Vera and the Nurse from any more harm and from infecting others, Lionel pushed the two zombies into the basement and locked the door. He kept their confinement and condition a secret from Paquita. He then injected them with a sedative (animal tranquilizer) obtained from a veterinary office. Shortly later, Vera escaped from her imprisonment by busting through the door, but was hit by a passing tram in front of Paquita's store. Her body was propelled through the door and landed at Lionel's feet. He again tranquilized her with a shot of sedative to her nostril to subdue her.

Lionel arranged for his mother's memorial service (led by Father Jon McGruder (Stuart Devenie)), funeral and burial in a church graveyard. Lionel's greedy and eagerly opportunistic uncle Les Kalkon (Ian Watkin) suspected that his sister Vera was deceased and arrived to attend the service - and to dispute the "inheritance" of the Cosgrove estate after her death. The despicable Les also attempted to come onto Paquita. During the service as the Father intoned: "Lionel, despite being deprived of his father at an early age, was blessed with an abundance of mother love," Lionel was with his mother's coffin in a back room. He approached her still-alive body in her coffin to tranquilize her and to prevent her from assaulting the mourners, when she burst out of the coffin and tried to strangle him. He crashed through the wall into the church service, disrupting the proceedings. The Father shockingly observed Lionel hugging his mother's corpse: "Well I've seen some displays of grief in my day, but nothing quite like that."

After the service, in the middle of the night in the cemetery, Lionel was digging up his mother's grave when he was attacked and robbed by a foursome of punk delinquents, one of whom - Thomas Jacob "Void" Randell (Jed Brophy) - was urinating on Vera's gravesite (Lionel: "That's my mother you're pissing on"). Vera soon caused a zombie outbreak when she burst out of her grave, grabbed Void by the groin and disintegrated him and one his buddies, tranforming them into zombies. The alerted Father McGruder, actually a Kung-Fu Priest, attacked the two newly-enlivened zombies ("This calls for divine intervention...I kick arse for the Lord") and kicked the head off of one of them, but it landed on his shoulder and he was bitten and also became 'undead.' Lionel was forced to continue to keep the sedated zombies: Vera, Void, the Father, and the Nurse in his home's locked and concealed basement, feeding them mush laced with tranquilizers.

During an unexpected visit, Les overheard the Father and Mrs. McTavish having loud sexual intercourse in the dining room behind closed doors and suspected something kinky was happening: "Ahhh, so you found your dad's old stag movies, hey?... Is that the one with the donkey and the chambermaid?" But then he left without any further questions. As a result of their love-making, the Father and Mrs. McTavish produced a troublesome Baby Zombie Selwyn Matheson (Daniel Sabic) that was birthed almost immediately.

[Note: The zombie birth scene paid homage to the birth scene in It's Alive (1974), and was copied in Dawn of the Dead (2004).]

Lionel struggled in the park to take care of the aggressive, problematic baby. Shortly later, Les returned and discovered the zombies ("collection of stiffs") in the basement. He quickly blackmailed his nephew Lionel to relinquish his demands for the house and his inheritance, and then moved into Vera's luxurious mansion. Although Lionel objected, Les held an impromptu house-warming party to celebrate his acquisition of the Cosgrove property. Paquita entered the raucous house to find Lionel, and was sexually-assaulted by Les - she kicked him in the groin. Lionel came to her rescue when she was attacked in the basement, and they finally reconciled and got back together. She encouraged him to destroy the zombies. After all of them were injected, they were buried in the basement's soil.

As the two emerged from the basement, Les grabbed his nephew and threw him down the stairs into the locked cellar, where Lionel discovered to his horror that he had wrongly administered an animal stimulant (rather than poison) to the zombies in the basement - it only activated their condition. Paquita was again attacked by Les and this time dragged into a side room to be raped. She fought back while simultaneously, the 'family' of zombies burst out of the soil in the basement. Super-energized and super-strong, they emerged upstairs where they attacked the party guests in an extended sequence of complete chaos and mayhem.

During the climactic party scene, one flesh-eating living dead zombie removed a man's rib-cage, while another's face was pulled off, while another woman had her heart snatched from her chest. One man's legs were stripped of flesh. A fist was punched through the back of a woman's head and emerged out of her mouth. Even severed limbs (entrails and bowels) could continue to attack after being cut away. The regeneration or reanimation of dead guests who were transformed into new zombies intensified the havoc.

Attack on Party-Goers

Rib-Cage Removed

Face Ripped Off

Heart Snatched From Chest

Legs Stripped of Flesh

Punched In Back of the Neck Through Mouth

Attacking Entrails

Zombified Void chased after Lionel through a bathroom into the attic, even though his body was cut in half (and both parts moved separately). Even his intestines moved independently. He was able to eventually pull all his disparate parts together and launch one final attack, although Lionel escaped, but continued to be pursued

In the attic in an old wooden chest, Lionel discovered B/W photographs of his father with a mistress, and then found the skeletal rotting remains of his father.

The zombie baby struck Les in the groin with a severed leg, causing Les to pursue Selwyn into the basement where he discovered Lionel's mother Vera unearthing herself from the soil. She grabbed him in the groin and then obliterated Les by pulling him up, thereby stretching his lengthy spinal cord and head from his body (seen in a silhouetted shadow), as Baby Selwyn chuckled.

Most of the horde of zombies were finally massacred in the infamous and climactic zombie slaughter scene when dweebish Lionel strapped a running rotary-blade lawnmower (with the blades facing outwards) 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. Paquita was able to destroy Les' zombified head by after spitting in his face by grabbing the attached spinal cord, swinging it around, and pounding it into a table-top counter.

One of the most grisly images was of Baby Selwyn emerging from inside the body of bespectacled Rita (Elizabeth Mulfaxe), who had been zombified earlier from a bite. The baby's hands appeared on both sides of her head and pulled her face apart. At the same time, zombie Mandy's (Tina Regtien) head (impaled on a lighted bulb) ignited, and Paquita added to the flames by opening the gas valve nozzle to set the house ablaze.

Vera's Grotesque Transformation Into a Naked, Disfigured Zombie

Vera was now transformed into a gigantic, grotesque, bloated, naked, over-estrogenized, fertile monster with a distorted huge head and pendulous breasts. She appeared and pursued Paquita and Lionel to the rooftop (through a fireplace chimney) where she cornered them during a final stand-off, while the house was becoming engulfed in flames.

Lionel confronted his mother about the reason for his father's demise, admitting that as a child, he had witnessed Vera drowning his father and his mistress in the bathtub:

"You don’t scare me, Mum! All my life, you told me nothing but lies! That stuff about Dad? None of that was true! You drowned them both, Mum! Dad and that blonde woman, you caught them together and you killed them, didn’t you?!"

She had lied to him about the beach-drowning accident. Enraged, she opened up a cavity in her stomach and swallowed up Lionel by stuffing him back into her womb, to be with her forever. She enveloped him inside her opened-up body, declaring: "No-one will ever love you like your mother!...Such a good boy!"

She also tried to kill Paquita, who screamed in horror while dangling and hanging from the rooftop. Lionel retaliated by rebirthing himself - cutting his way out of her giant, blood-gushing womb with the sharp necklace (a pendant-cross) he had been given by Paquita's grandmother. He emerged from her bloody placenta, as Vera fell back into the burning house's roof while fire officials arrived.

Vera's Opened-Up Womb - Sealing Lionel Inside

Lionel Gushing Out After Cutting Through With Pendant

Lionel Reborn From Vera's Bloody Placenta

Covered in bloody gore, Lionel and Paquita kissed, embraced and walked away, together at last.

Paquita María Sánchez (Diana Peñalver)

Lionel Cosgrove (Timothy Balme)

Mum Vera Cosgrove (Elizabeth Moody)

Vera's Infected Arm Bite

Re-Animated Vera's Murder of Nurse Mrs. Emma McTavish (Brenda Kendall) From Behind

In Cellar, Zombie Vera Injected with Animal Tranquilizer Sedative

Lionel Tranquilizing Vera in Her Coffin at Funeral

Void Pissing on Vera's Cemetery Grave

Zombified Vera's Attack on Hoodlums in Cemetery

The Father Bitten by Decapitated Zombie Head During Cemetery Fight

Lionel's Uncle Les Kalkon (Ian Watkin)

Zombie Baby Selwyn

Skeletal Remains of Lionel's Father in Attic

Baby Selwyn Using Severed Leg as Weapon

Lionel: "Party's Over"

Rotary-Blade Lawnmower Scene - Lionel's Retaliation

Decapitated Zombies

Severed Head Stuffed in Blender

Les' Zombified Head on an Extended Spinal Cord

Paquita Destroying Les' Head

Baby Selwin Within Rita

The Aftermath of Bloody Mower-Massacre - Paquita and Lionel Hug

On the Rooftop: Lionel to His Mum: "You don't scare me, Mum!"

Lionel's Flashback to His Mum's Act of Murder That He Witnessed

Ending Image: A Kiss Between Paquita and Lionel

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). The Sheriff 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.

Johnny's Final Vision: "It's Over. You're Finished"

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.

Car Accident Victim - Johnny Smith

The Gruesome Death of Serial Killer Frank Dodd

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 -

Now you've seen how bad things can get and how quick they can get that way. Well, they can get a whole lot worse! So we're not going to fight anymore! We're going to pull together and we're going to find a way to get outta here! First, we're gonna seal off this --

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.

Russell Franklin (Samuel L. Jackson)

Giant Shark Attack

Deliverance (1972)


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:

Mountain Man: Now, let's you just drop them pants.
Bobby: Drop?
Mountain Man: Just take 'em right off.
Bobby: I-I mean, what's this all about?
Toothless Man: Don't say anything, just do it.
Mountain Man: Just drop 'em, boy! (To Ed - at knifepoint) You ever had your balls cut off, you f--kin' ape?
Bobby: Lord.
Mountain Man: Look at there, that's sharp. I bet it'd shave a hair.
Toothless Man: Why don't ya try it and see?
Bobby: Lord, lord. Deliver us from all.
Toothless Man (To Bobby): Pull off that little ol' bitty shirt there, too. (To Mountain Man) Did he bleed?
Mountain Man: He bled. (To Bobby) Them panties, take 'em off. (After attacking him) Get up, boy. Come on, get on up there.
Bobby: No, no, no. Oh, no. No. Don't.
Mountain Man: Hey boy. You look just like a hog.
Bobby: Don't, don't.
Mountain Man: Just like a hog. Come here, piggy, piggy, piggy. (Holding Bobby's nose as he straddled him from behind) Come on, piggy, come on, piggy, come on, piggy, give me a ride, a ride. Hey, boy. Get up and give me a ride.
Bobby: All right.
Mountain Man: Get up and give me a ride, boy.
Bobby: All right. All right.
Mountain Man: Get up! Get up there!
Bobby: All right. (His underwear was pulled off) Oh no, no!
Mountain Man: Looks like we got us a sow here, instead of a boar.
Bobby: Don't. Don't.
Mountain Man: What's the matter, boy? I bet you can squeal. I bet you can squeal like a pig. Let's squeal. Squeal now. Squeal. (Bobby's ear was pulled)
Bobby: Wheeeeeeeeeeeeeee!
Mountain Man: Squeal. Squeal louder. Louder. Louder, louder. Louder! Louder! Louder! Get down now, boy. There, get them britches down. That's that. You can do better than that, boy. You can do better than that. Come on, squeal. Squeal.

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.

Rape Sequence

Film's Nightmarish Epilogue - Floating Hand

Demons (1985, It.) (aka Dèmoni)


This mid-1980s gory Italian horror film with a heavy-metal soundtrack 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 nervously exiting from a subway into an almost abandoned station in West Berlin, Germany, one late morning, as she heard ominous footsteps.

Creepy Silver Metal-Masked Guy At Top of Subway Station Escalator

Cheryl Startled by Mute Stranger

Offer of a Free Movie Ticket

At the top of an escalator, she was handed a free movie ticket for the 6 pm show at the Metropol movie-house by a creepy, black-garbed, silent, silver metal-masked man (Michele Soavi credited as Man in Black), who then as she watched went on to pass out more free tickets to passers-by. Cheryl ran up to the man and asked for a second ticket for her friend. They were invitation-only complimentary passes to a grand reopening of the recently-renovated Metropol movie-house. With her university friend Kathy (Paola Cozzo), Cheryl skipped class to attend the showing of a horror film in the cathedral-like building. After the lights to the Metropol were lit up, In the lobby was a prop display of a helmeted figure atop a red motorcycle, dressed in chain-mail meshed armor, holding a silver mask and wielding a sword.

Other random individuals who were invited to the showing in the theater included (in order):

  • husband Frank (Stelio Candelli) and wife Ruth (Nicole Tessier) - an elderly, married bickering couple on their anniversary
  • Hannah (Fiore Argento) and Tommy (Guido Baldi), a couple of young lovers
  • George (Urbano Barberini) and Ken (Karl Zinny), two clean-cut, preppy-dressed college kids, who helped Kathy with a jammed soda-can vending machine
  • Werner (Alex Serra) - a blind man (with dark glasses) led by his young daughter and guide Liz (Enrica Maria Scrivano) and Liz's Lover (Claudio Spadaro)
  • Tony (Bobby Rhodes), a black, bald Pimp with a white suit, bald head, sideburns and Fu Manchu mustache, accompanied by his two favorite hookers: Rosemary (Geretta Geretta) and Carmen (Fabiola Toledo)

In the lobby of the theatre where the prop silver demon-mask was on prominent display, the patrons entered and presented their tickets to the red-haired ticket-taker usherette Ingrid (Nicoletta Elmi). Without asking permission, Rosemary tried on the mask: ("How do I look?" - she asked Carmen and Tony) and bloodily cut her lower right cheek when she removed it.

The movie that was projected was a horror film - a movie within the movie. Four teen-aged college students (two couples: Edith, Bob, Nancy and Jerry) rode on two motorbikes after dark to a gothic-looking castle, where legend held that the body of 16th century fortune-telling prophet Nostradamus was somewhere buried. They noticed a stone inscription that read: "They will make cemeteries their cathedrals, and tombs your cities." According to one of the teens, Nostradamus had predicted "the coming of the demons" - something that hadn't yet happened according to another teen, but still might ("Not yet, there's still time").

After the teens climbed down into a deep graveyard crypt and surveyed the tombs, they found one stone tomb marked with Nostradamus' name, but instead of finding a corpse inside after removing the lid, they found a book written by him and a stone mask (similar to the one in the theater lobby). In the book, it stated: "Demons are instruments of evil," and also warned "Whoever wears it becomes a demon and an instrument of evil...He will spread pestilence and contaminate the world." The mask scratched the left cheek of Jerry (also Michele Soavi, the Man in Black) who unwisely tried it on, one of the four students in the movie. [Note: The cheek scratch was covered up by the half-mask worn by the same character - the Silver Metal-Masked Guy wearing black - in the Subway Station with free tickets.] His cheek began to bleed uncontrollably, and then he knifed Bob in the abdomen, and then began stabbing the other girls beginning with Edith.

Movie Within a Movie

Bob Looking at Nostradamus Book

Stone Mask

Stone Mask Worn by Jerry

Left Cheek Scratch on Jerry

Similarly at the same time (mirroring what was happening on-screen - a fulfillment of the prophecy of Nostradamus), the cut on Rosemary's cheek from her mask injury began to bleed and throb. During a trip to the yellow-colored women's restroom to take care of her wound, the pus-filled abscess grew, exploded, and she soon became a bloodthirsty green-drooling demon with red eyes, fangs, and vampire-shaped nails. Rosemary attacked and seriously injured her friend Carmen who came looking for her, by scratching her neck and face.

In retreat as she fled to hide, Carmen approached the back of the stage, sliced through the back of the canvas movie screen (as a knife also appeared on the screen), and collapsed on the front stage. She become demonic while at the same time, the possessed and scratched Jerry in the movie turned on all of his friends with a knife and slaughtered them. Kathy told Cheryl: "It's happening just like in the movie!"

Meanwhile, Rosemary attacked Liz and her lover (who were making out in a curtained-off area) who had deserted Werner in the audience. Rosemary hanged Liz' lover (and threw his body off the balcony) and scratched Liz' face, infecting her. During Carmen's demonic transformation, she spewed greenish puke, her eyes turned red, and her fingernails turned into sharp claws. In one close-up, her teeth popped out to be replaced by fangs, and a grotesque tongue grew. Soon after, Frank had his throat ripped apart by Carmen, and Werner had his eyes torn out by Rosemary. Carla's scalp was also torn off by Rosemary, before she revived herself as a demon.

Carmen''s Lethal Attack on Frank's Throat
Rosemary Ripping Out Blind Man Werner's Eyes

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 but realized that they were trapped. Gore included scalpings and beheadings, fingers blown off, eye-gougings, slashings, impalings, and disembowelings.

As the infection spread and the movie progressed, the slime-spewing demons Carmen and Rosemary (somehow spurred on by the film or the theater itself, as Cheryl theorized: "The movie's to blame for all this!"), pursued members of the movie-going audience in a series of gory, blood-splattering scenes. They were transformed into demons and attacked others - spreading the bloody mayhem.

Tony the Pimp agreed and proposed that they stop the movie: "Because of that scratch, she became a demon. An instrument of evil, like they said in the damn movie, you heard 'em. Right? We got to stop it. Believe me, we got to stop the movie!" A small group, including Tony, Kathy, Cheryl, George and Ken, proceeded to the projection booth to destroy the self-running projectors and stop the movie.

Afterwards in the balcony, the group heard the bloodied and blinded Werner explain: "It's not the movie. It's the theatre. It's this theatre that kills. It has killed my Liz. My little girl. The whole place is cursed!" Tony the Pimp boasted: "They ain't gonna get me, that's for sure!" but then had his leg bitten by a zombie, and then had his head bitten by Liz' demonified lover - the hanged man - as they both dangled from a rope over the balcony. The lovers-couple Hannah and Tommy also became infected.

After swallowing some demonic blood, Kathy transformed into demonic form, and in one incredible scene, a nasty black male demon burst from Kathy's back and attacked Ken.

George came to the rescue with a lobby display sword and finished off Ken, and then rode a motorcycle prop from the lobby into the theater to slice, stab, decapitate and hack up dozens of the demons with the katana, including four punks who were driving around the city earlier (and literally snorting COKE), and when confronted by police for driving in a stolen car, they snuck into the theatre - Ripper (Lino Salemme), Hot Dog (Giuseppe Maro Cruciane), Baby Pig (Peter Pitsch) and Nina (Bettina Ciampolini).

A rescue helicopter also crashed through the theater's ceiling and figured into the spiraling action as George and Cheryl escaped and made it to the street, but found the outside world was also overrun by zombie demons and the entire area of Berlin with millions of people had become infected. After being picked up by armed survivors in a Jeep and driving out of the city, Cheryl became infected and was shot-gunned down by Kirk - one of the guys in the Jeep, and her body was left by the side of the road. By film's end, the only surviving audience member was George.

Pretty University Music Student Cheryl (Natasha Hovey) on Subway During Title Credits

Cheryl's University Friend Kathy (Paola Cozzo)

In Lobby of Metropol, a Prop Display Figure Wearing Chain-Mail Armor and Holding a Sword and Silver Mask, Riding a Red Motorcycle

Rosemary Trying on the Demonic Silver Mask in Theater Lobby

Two Preppy College Kids: George and Ken, Interested in Cheryl and Kathy

(l to r): Rosemary, Tony the Pimp, Carmen

Rosemary's Exploding Cheek Wound in Theater Rest Room

Carmen Turning Possessed After Being Attacked by Rosemary in the Face and Neck

Carmen's Grotesque Demonic Transformation

The Growth of Fangs in Carmen's Mouth As Her Teeth Fell Out

Chaos in the Movie Theater

Exits Bricked Over

The Descent (2005, UK)


Neil Marshall's claustrophobic horror thriller told about a group of six, extremely-athletic female spelunkers (six unknown actresses) including:

  • Sarah Carter (Shauna MacDonald), Scottish protagonist
  • Juno Kaplan (Natalie Mendoza), macho expedition leader
  • Sam (MyAnna Buring)
  • Rebecca (Saskia Mulder)
  • Beth O'Brien (Alex Reid)
  • Holly (Nora-Jane Noone)

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."

Beth's Accidental Life-Threatening Injury After Juno Fought Off a Creature

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.

Sarah's Killing (Stabbing in the Eye with a Bone) an Attacking Female Creature in a Bloody Pool

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.

Sarah Driving Off - Overwhelmed

Vision of Juno in Car - Sarah's Traumatic Scream

Only an Hallucination - Sarah Back in the Cave

Her Daughter Jessica's Birthday Cake

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, 12 year-old 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.

Pale Faced Orphan Ghost Santi

Large Eye in Keyhole

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 dubbed the orgiastic "rape of Christ" sequence. The sexually-hysterical nuns acted as if they were possessed, due to threats of execution from one of the church's accusers. The crazed nuns displayed full-frontal nudity, and masturbated with (or raped) a large-sized crucifix or effigy of Jesus that they pulled down from the wall.

Other notorious scenes included:

  • The public exorcism of the wicked, sexually-repressed and obsessed, and deformed (hunch-backed) Sister Jeanne des Anges (Vanessa Redgrave) after she confessed to depraved witch-hunter Father Pierre Barre (Michael Gothard) during an intense questioning session. She was threatened with "eternal damnation." She claimed she "had a vision. I saw a man walking across the waters of a lake. I dried his person with my hair (laughter). I had a great knowledge of love which persisted throughout my prayers, and could not rid my mind of this man for several days." Because there was a mist, she said she couldn't identify the man. She said that the man with six other creatures took a group of "beloved sisters" into the chapel where they formed themselves into "an obscene altar and were worshipped." During a naked embrace, she said that they ascended into heaven. Sister Jeanne was subjected to a medical examination using grotesque metal instruments, to seek more truth. With bloody hands and lascivious smiles, the examiners concluded: "There's been hanky-panky."

    Father Barre insisted that the Beast had to be exorcised from her body, and he put her in a choke hold. On the altar, she was injected with a hot-liquid enema, as her legs were forcibly spread wide open. She blamed her possession on the priest - Father Grandier.

  • The frenzied scene of the climactic torture / burning at the stake of the promiscuous, defiant rebel priest Father Grandier (Oliver Reed). Grandier was forced to crawl to the funeral pyre set up for his execution. Meanwhile, the crazed, self-righteous priests shouted out: "Confess! Confess! Beg forgiveness." Grandier responded:

    "Forgive me for defending your city so badly....I have finished confessing. Give me the kiss of peace and let me die...I am about to meet the God who is my witness. And I have spoken the truth."

    As his pyre was lit, the hysterical priest cried: "May your body be consumed by eternal fire" - Grandier's body was licked by flames without the benefit of being strangled first.

Father Grandier Tried and Then Burned at the Stake

A scene at the end of the film was mostly edited out - of Sister Jeanne being handed the charred thighbone of Grandier after his execution - a "souvenir." There was no doubt what she would use it for - as a dildo for masturbatory purposes.

Crazed Nuns Assaulting Large Statue of Christ

Deformed (Hunch-backed) Sister Jeanne des Anges

Witch-hunter Father Pierre Barre's (Michael Gothard) Exorcism of Sister Jeanne des Anges

The Charred Thighbone of Grandier

Greatest Scariest Movie Moments and Scenes
(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

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