20. Zombie – Splinter To The Eye
NSFW: Extremely Close Gore
Lucio Fulci is awesome. He’s just one of the great all-time horror filmmakers because he had an excellent cinematic eye while also possessing a desire to gross everyone out. This scene comes in the middle of Zombie, a movie full of standout moments, and it is one of the most shocking couple of minutes in horror history. Many discredit Fulci as just another schlocky Italian horror director, but if there is proof that he was a genius, it lies in the deliberate nature of this scene. It is so slow that you don’t expect it to payoff, but Fulci doesn’t let us down.
19. Black Sunday – Execution
Somehow we have another entry by a famous Italian horror creator, Mario Bava, and it is the opening of probably his best film, Black Sunday. With a more classical approach, Bava was able to shoot the definitive witch film all the way back in 1960. Barbara Steele’s crazed eyes and emphatic performance still resonates to this day, especially in her execution scene. It is truly a scene without a flaw.
18. Carrie – Prom
Talking about the prom scene in Carrie seems unnecessary. Even if you haven’t seen Brian De Palma’s take on Stephen King’s international bestseller, you know this scene. It combines all the weird, stylistic touches seen throughout the picture (split-screens, overly-dramatic sound design, Sissy Spacek’s oddball performance) into one nutso sequence. When that pig’s blood falls onto our protagonist (antagonist? Surely after this stunt), it takes forever for the inevitable to happen. But when it does, these kids really get what is coming to them.
17. The Monster Squad – Frankenstein and Phoebe
I extended out this scene for the uninitiated, but if you haven’t seen The Monster Squad yet, do everyone a favor and make it your Halloween movie to watch this year. As far as kids movies go, this is my all-time favorite. No doubt about it, and it’s because it doesn’t hand-hold them. Some of the stuff that happens is downright scary and freaky, especially in this final scene in the town square. Starting with that awesome dolly shot of Dracula owning the police force and ending with an interaction that still makes me cry today (it’s totally true, ask my wife…and brother…and best friend…I cry a lot), this goes far beyond the standard adventure kids trope. Director Fred Dekker totally understood the terrifying and sad undertones of Shane Black’s screenplay, and he shot the shit out of it in the last five minutes or so. Also, Dracula’s approach to Phoebe is capped off with an undeniably creeptastic performance by Duncan Regehr.
16. Scream – Opening Scene
Oh man, do I love this scene. It is a treat for any horror fan out there, not only because it plays on all the tropes but because it does so in such a deliberate fashion. The opening of Scream is one of the few entries on the list that is bolstered by a solid marketing campaign. Expecting Drew Barrymore to be a larger part of the cast, the outcome of this scene shatters any expectations you had for the film. Also, it’s nice to know that my insane horror trivia knowledge could come in handy at some point.
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