It’s been a while since the last full team-based CHUD LIST. Too long. With the goal being to ease back into the swing of things and hopefully get us on track to a list a month, here’s the latest, BAD FOR US, WORSE FOR THEM. The concept is simple.
This isn’t a “Best Kills” list. We’ve done that and done it better than anyone ever could (though we’ll revisit that at some point to rewrite the history books). This is a list of forty deaths in cinema, twenty of which that have a profound affect on the viewer whether by the sheer tragedy of it, how emotionally impactful it is, or how it is a catalyst for a real descent in the progression of the story. The other twenty are deaths that go beyond the call of duty, not because they’re cool or really well executed FX, but because they are just knee-capping in their immediacy, brutality, or simple visceral impact. Kills that will probably leave a mark.
We could have done hundreds of these, but here’s twenty of each from the CHUD staff, delivered two a day for you until the list is done. Enjoy!
Day One – The Scorsese Gift Basket.
Martin Sheen in The Departed.
Martin Scorsese’s The Departed (Buy it from Amazon) is a film that gets better with each viewing and one that too many people have dismissed as just another piece of entertainment. Impeccably acted, gorgeously made, quotable as any film in recent memory, and as rewatchable as any film out there, it’s got so much to offer than I’ll put it on in the background just to remind me why I got into this retarded business in the first place. As good as it is, there’s not much warmth in it. It comes in tiny ebbs, whether it be an emotional connection between the fractured people in the film or a genuine moment of true chemistry between members of the uniformly perfect cast. The one true beacon of warmth comes in the form of Martin Sheen’s Captain Queenan. So of course he gets taken out and taken out HARD. He keeps our protagonist on mission, and dispenses tough love through the form of Mark Wahlberg. He’s tenacious and driven to defeat his adversary but not at the cost of his man being lost. He even lets his undercover disciple come over for a home-cooked meal. He’s one of the few clean cops in the film and he is rewarded by being beaten to a pulp and thrown off a building. That is enough to kill ANY Sheen, but because Mr. Scorsese likes to be a completist, Captain Queenan’s shattered form is driven over by a vehicle, JUST IN CASE a molecule may have survived the fall. The result is less Martin than we were prepared for when we bought tickets, not realizing that the marquee’s listing ‘MARTIN SHEEN IS THE DEPARTED‘ was literal as fuck.
Pain of Death: HIGH. He died three times before dying again.
Emotional Loss: HIGH. Father Figure, REMOVED.
Will There Be a Closed Casket Funeral: YES, thanks to modern science and duct tape.
Insult to Injury: He is driven over as the crooks drive away. Holy fuck he does not appreciate.
Joe Pesci in Casino.
“Malachai put you up to this, didn’t he?“
(Buy it from Amazon) is also a film that gets better with each viewing and one that too many
people have dismissed as just another Goodfellas. It definitely carries that torch, but has plenty of merit of its own. Joe Pesci’s death in the former film certainly puts it in contention for a spot on this list, but Scorsese saved the real brutality for this movie, possibly stemming from the knowledge Pesci was going to release a lounge music CD. Pesci’s criminal Nicky Santoro is many things, a romantic not being one of them. There are two anti-romantic scenes that begin with him shoving a woman’s head into his crotch for some suckings. IF ONLY THAT WORKED FOR ME. When Mr. Santoro is asked to pay the reaper his due [not for the haughty blowjobs], he is given a send-off that hurts to think about, let alone watch. First, his brother gets pulverized by a bat-wielding Frank Vincent (playing against type; he usually pulverizes with crowbars) while he is forced to watch. Then he gets the same treatment, and seeing and hearing aluminum on doughy flesh is vicious and extremely effective in making one ponder a life of straight and narrow. They are buried in a shallow grave in the cornstalks in the middle of nowhere, still somewhat pulsating. In their underwear (THE GREATEST INSULT). It’s a harrowing scene, one that still has a lot more visceral punch than The Untouchable‘s bat-smash and Inglourious Basterds‘ Eli Roth round-tripper.
Pain of Death: HIGH. PLENTIFUL. So much to go around.
Emotional Loss: MEDIUM. He wasn’t a sweet man.
Will There Be a Closed Casket Funeral: NO, His ‘funeral’ is in the desert, fucko!
Insult to Injury: The aluminum bat used in the murder is not an official USSSA bat.
Today’s installment written by Nick Nunziata
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