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.
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 Two – Nazis being Nazis.
Adam Goldberg in Saving Private Ryan.
Everybody dies at the end of Saving Private Ryan [Buy it from CHUD!] (spoiler? Where you been, son?); Spielberg’s WWII epic concludes with a veritable bloodbath where each of our favorite characters, who have traveled so far just to save one guy, bites the dust in tragic moment after tragic moment. But there’s one death that really sticks with you, one that really hurts, is Mellish’s demise at the hands (and specifically the knife) of a German douchebag extraordinaire. Mellish and Willy get into a real hand to hand brawl – hell, sometimes it’s hand to teeth as they bite at each other in a desperate attempt to maintain the advantage. Rolling back and forth over a throat-shot soldier, these two are locked in the kind of personal battle we rarely see in modern war films, where foes are killed at a hundred yards.
But in the end Mellish can’t hold off the Kraut, and in an excruciating scene Otto turns Mellish’s own knife against him, slowly pushing it into the GI’s chest, cooing at him in Hunspeak. Mellish does something so natural and so real that you can’t help but feel the moment yourself, because you suspect this is what you would do – he implores the German to stop and explain what he just said, all but calling for a time out. There’s a schoolyard innocence to Mellish’s last ditch effort to stay alive, but it’s no use and the knife sinks right into his chest. The last thing Mellish sees is the face of his killer in kissing distance, the last thing he hears is a foreign language he’ll never get translated.
Pain of Death: MEDIUM. The real pain is in the fierce fight for survival.
Emotional Loss: MEDIUM WELL. Mellish isn’t the best character in the squad, but his up close and personal death is one that you feel deeply inside yourself; it’s impossible not to imagine yourself pinned beneath that German. Except in a bad way this time, not like the time you were in Dusseldorf and paid that guy 100 Euro.
Will There Be a Closed Casket Funeral: NO, as Adam Goldberg’s baby fresh features remain mostly intact.
Insult to Injury: The Kraut waltzes right past that coward Upham, not even paying for killing our Mellish.
Antonio David Lyons in American History X.
It’s tempting to list Tony Kaye here; his problems with Edward Norton on this film are the stuff of legend. But the reality is that it’s not actor/director tension that has put American History X [Buy it from CHUD!] in the history x books – it’s the brutal curb stomping of a young black man dished out by our neo-Nazi hero, Derek Vinyard. When three black kids steal Derek’s truck, he comes out guns blazing, wearing nothing but his Doc Martins, boxer shorts and Nazi tattoos. While the truck speeds off, Derek finds a wounded carjacker and drags him to the curb. “Nigger, you just fucked with the wrong bull,” he says, ordering the kid to bite the curb. The camera comes in for an incredibly tight shot on the kid’s teeth against that gravelly curb, and you’re already feeling this in the pit of your stomach. As Edward Furlong runs out of the house to stop his brother (the character chose a poor time to run in slomo, I’d say), Norton’s skinhead smashes his boot against the black kid’s dreadhead, destroying it. It looks something like this:
Pain of Death: HIGH. Sure, it’s fast, but holy SHIT that has gotta hurt.
Emotional Loss: LOW. The kid’s not exactly a choirboy, but man, nobody deserves to go out like that.
Will There Be a Closed Casket Funeral: YES, unless his gang nickname was Sloppy Joe, in which case his face finally lives up to it.
Insult to Injury: Norton’s character spits on the corpse before being arrested. As he’s arrested, he gives Furlong a waggle with his eyebrows, as if to say ‘Your career is about to be as dead as this guy.’
Today’s installment written by Devin Faraci
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