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
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
Day Ten – Suicide is fun, kids!
Rick Giovinazzo in Combat Shock
In this precursor to Jacob’s Ladder we follow poor Frankie, a New Yorker who came back from Vietnam seriously disturbed. The guy saw horrific things that will stick with him for the rest of his life, which is about the running time of this cult classic.
He spends his days trying to find work so he can feed his starving wife and kid, a little mutated thing born of the crap they dumped on him in Nam. His brother’s a heroin addict, hookers roam the streets, and his flashbacks keep interrupting his daily life. It’s not a pleasant life and to make things worse he lives in Staten Island. Truly, life mocks this man.
The tension in the film builds and it builds and it builds and then, when some drug dealers attempt to kill him and he fights back and shoots to death, he finally snaps.
He comes home, tells his wife he loves her, and shoots her in the stomach. But she doesn’t die. So he keeps shooting her as she chokes on her own blood and he screams about how it wasn’t supposed to be like this. Then he turns the gun on the baby. A bullet doesn’t immediately kill his mutant offspring either, so he brings the little dying bundle into the kitchen and stick him in the oven. He pours himself a glass of chunky, spoiled milk, sits down at the table and listens to the voices in his head taunting him until he can’t take it anymore and blows his brains out all over the kitchen wall.
It’s absolutely brutal, absolutely haunting, and the only way the nightmarish movie could have ended. The film was recently released in a awesome director’s cut, buy it from us here!
Pain of Death: MEDIUM. He dies pretty quickly as he slumps against the wall with blood pouring out of his head.
Emotional Loss: HIGH. The whole movie you’re hoping he pulls out of it, but you know he’s damned from frame one.
Will There Be A Closed Casket Funeral? NOPE. Judging from how poor he was, and that he has no surviving relatives, it’s doubtful he’ll get a real funeral at all.
Insult To Injury: The film was put out by Troma!
Helen Keeling in Jack-O
If there’s anything worse than suicide, it’s unintentional suicide.
Jack-O would be an utterly unremarkable and forgotten film- yet another Halloween ripoff that didn’t do anything new- if it didn’t happen to have the single greatest death in the history of film.
Hyperbole? Bullshit? Well, obviously, but it’s the sort of death that you’ll have to rewind a dozen times because it’s just so goddamn hysterical and unexpected.
The Watson couple is enjoying some toast at midnight when they hear a sound from outside- those damn neighborhood kids are throwing around their car’s hubcaps again! While Amanda goes off to make more toast with her wonky toaster near a slippery rug (ahem) her husband heads outside and ends up getting stabbed in the stomach by Jack-O. With a scythe. Someone needs to teach ol’ pumpkinhead the proper method of using a scythe.
She calls for her husband, unaware that he’d just been stabbed with the flat edge of a scythe, and goes outside to see him bleeding and dead with a goofy eyes open “I’m dead” look that he perfected at the local community theater. She sees the big pumpkin man and runs inside, turning off the light while leaving the door open (that’ll fool him!). She crawls into the kitchen and looks frantically for a weapon to defend herself with. She settles on-
She grabs it and immediately slips on the little rug in front of her sink and plants the knife in her toaster, electrocuting herself. As Sith Lightning courses through her body she screams and screams until she becomes a skeleton, which keeps screaming. And film was never the same.
Witness the glory yourself-
Pain Of Death: HIGH. Piranhas can’t skeletonize a body this quickly.
Emotional Loss: LOW. The only distraught person here is Jack-O, who slinks away all sad and robbed of his kill.
Will There Be a Closed Casket Funeral: No, but oddly enough she will pop out of her grave later on screaming something about it being Party Time.
Insult To Injury: All Jack-O wanted was some toast.
Today’s installment written by Alex Riviello.
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