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 Sixteen – Boom, headshot!
The road trip in The Mist (2007)
Well, yeah. You should have seen Frank Darabont’s instant classic by now. What’s wrong with you?
At the end of the film David Drayton (Thomas Jane) has made it out of the most hellish situation imaginable- a small-town supermarket that’s packed with Christians. He was trapped there with his son and dozens of other townsfolk after a mist descended upon the town… a mist that came with strange, impossible creatures that killed everyone who ventured into it. Despite many deaths and increasing insanity from the besieged religious fanatics David, his son, and three other folks manage to make it to his truck and escape. They drive for what seems like days, only making a pit stop at David’s home to find his wife already dead. They drive past crashed cars and abandoned buildings. They see nothing but death and a world that’s changed from everything familiar and sane. They’re forced to stop in front of a Lovecraftian creature so massive that it’s impossible to see how tall it is.
Finally the truck runs out of gas and slowly sputters to a stop… and then they start to hear monstrous sounds in the distance. They all turn to the only thing that can possibly help them right now- a revolver, with only four bullets left for the five passengers. From all the horrors they’ve experienced, it’s the sane way out. David loads the gun as his son wakes up and looks at him, confused.
We’re placed outside the car and forced to watch as four gunshots light it up. And then the screaming starts. David is covered in blood and heads outside, screaming for the creatures to hurry up and take him. And then he sees what was really making the sound after all…. the army, cleaning up the place, torching all the creatures and clearing the mist as they make their way down the road. It’s one of the great cinematic suckerpunches, and one of the few movie adaptations that’s improved on the story it was based on.
Pain of Death: LOW. One shot, one kill is all it takes for each.
Emotional Loss: HIGH. The man has just lost everything for nothing… and his wails will stick with you forever.
Will There Be a Closed Casket Funeral: Not likely.
The Caretaker in Phantasm (1979)
Young Mike Pearson (A. Michael Baldwin) is snooping around a funeral home, hiding away from an evil-hatted caretaker in coffins and other great hide and seek spots. He suspects that The Tall Man (Angus Scrimm) who resides there has had something to do with all the strange deaths in town, and he’s right… but he doesn’t have any idea of what he’s stumbling upon.
Finally making his way to the mausoleum he nearly gets his head taken off by a flying silver sphere that comes zooming out nowhere. His thirteen-year-old reflexes enable him to dive to the floor and barely miss it, but when he gets grabbed from behind by the caretaker it looks like he’s going to be having an even worse day.
Mike sees the sphere making its way back for another pass and bites his attacker’s arm, managing to wriggle out of his grasp just in the nick of time, and the caretaker stands there stupefied as the sphere (now with two spikey prongs extended from it!) slams right into his head.
Just as he gets hit a little drill extends from the middle, wasting no time in getting to work in scrambling his brains. It drills straight into his head and after only a little bit of spillage this human juicer starts pouring out some nice, thick red stuff from the back end.
Mike escapes as the man collapses to the floor after spraying out an ungodly amount of blood all over the nice marble, only to be chased around by Angus Scrimm.
Pain of Death: HIGH. The shock of getting hit in the face with balls was probably enough to dampen the pain a little, but it’s got to hurt.
Emotional Loss: NONE.
He just tried to strangle a kid for trespassing, and was taking care of the bad guys!
Will There Be a Closed Casket Funeral: Doubtful that they can embalm him, seeing as he’s already lost about 2,000 liters of blood.
Insult To Injury: That’s not a beer he’s spilled there…
Today’s installment written by Alex Riviello.