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 Eighteen – In the Stihl of the Night…
Rollo Tomasi… LA Confidential (1997)
“You just put a hole in my mint condition Kevin Spacey.”
Kevin Spacey has been involved in two of the best notorious names in cinema in the past few decades. Keyser Söze’s a good one. Rollo Tomasi might be a better one. LA Confidential is a great movie, and the Spacey scene still gets me every time. The reptilian but good-intentioned Jack Vincennes (Kevin Spacey, duh) serves as a catalyst for the big finale in a death scene that is both affecting and a loss of innocence in some respects for the film’s audience. In the scene his character does the right thing and is punished for it, a gut-punch that not only hurts because it really trims the “good guy” group of characters to the bare minimum but served (at least for me) as the death knell of the nearly perfect and enigmatic portion of Spacey’s career. There was a time when the guy was as phenomenal and awe-inspiring as any actor I can remember and this was kind of the big punctuation mark in that career.
Rollo Tomasi… Rollo was a purse snatcher. My father ran into him off
duty. And he shot my father six times and got away clean. No one even
knew who he was. I just made the name up to give him some
personality… Rollo Tomasi’s the reason I became a cop. I wanted to
catch the guys who thought they could get away with it. It was supposed
to be about justice. Then somewhere along the way I lost sight of that.
Great dialogue, and a tragic betrayal. This is how film is supposed to move us. When Vincennes goes to Dudley (a great James Cromwerll) to put the pieces together, he gets more than he bargains for, and in turn so do we.
Pain of Death: MEDIUM. One shot, one kill is all it takes for each.
Emotional Loss: HIGH. As shady as Vincennes is, the allure of Spacey and the shading of the character make the loss suck the heart from the movie.
Will There Be a Closed Casket Funeral: Yep.
Pepe Serna: in Scarface (1983)
Side effects of chainsaw murder include swelling, lacerations, and a severe case of Peter Falk.
Pepe Serna will always be best known for delivering his dialogue in Clint Eastwood’s The Rookie with the subtlety of a nuclear war [“It’s not just a job, it’s a fucking ADVENTUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUURRRRRRRRRRRRE!”], but to some folks he’s also the guy who was the unwilling victim in Scarface‘s infamous chainsaw slaughter sequence. Being an associate has its downfall for Mr. Serna as Angel. Angel had big plans for his Hispanic future, but when Tony Montana’s [Al Pacino, preparing thousands of future THUGLIFE’rs a role model] dealings with the villainous drug dealer Hector go awry, Hector decides to chainsaw murder Angel. It’s still an effective scene and I remember there being rumors of a really vicious cut of the movie where we see chainsaw ripping meat away, but regardless… Angels’ sacrifice is palpable.
Too bad the sexy and sensual Stephen Bauer [playing “Manny”, seriously Hispanic] is too busy checking dames out outside or he’d had been able to step in and prevent the hewing of meat from Angel.
It’s one of those scenes that registers a lot more vividly in the memory than reality but there’s no way one can deny how brutal and visceral a good ol’ chainsaw murder works its way into your psyche.
Pain of Death: HIGH. There’s a certain numbness from that scene, where the character’s death is just a lesson to Pacino and treated with no value on its own. Makes it that much more rough.
Emotional Loss: LOW. I mean… he’s Pepe Serna!
Will There Be a Closed Casket Funeral: They can have six or seven tiny closed casket funerals!
Insult To Injury: Stephen Bauer was distracted by a broad or it could have been avoided.
Today’s installment written by Nick Nunziata.