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 Twenty - Jesus Christ!
Jack Nicholson in One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest (1975)
Randle Patrick McMurphy (Jack Nicholson) is a man accused of statutory rape and sent to prison. He doesn’t like the idea of serving hard labor and decides to act insane (a stretch for Nicholson) to get himself transferred into a mental institution. He hates what he sees there- the other patients are treated as less than human, drugged and humiliated and bound to a horrifically boring daily routine. He brings light to their world and shows them the joys of life, like poker, fishing and hookers.
And like most good things in this world, he has to be destroyed. After trying to strangle the demonic Nurse Ratched for her involvement in fellow patient Billy Bibbit’s suicide McMurphy is sent away to shock therapy, and when that doesn’t work he gets the ol’ icepick up the eye socket. His big friend Chief sees McMurphy laying in his bed lobotomized and knows he wouldn’t have wanted to be this way, and suffocates him with a pillow before taking off through the window.
McMurphy is the Christ figure here. It’s more apparent in the novel where he has 12 “disciples”, asks for a crown of thorns and gets electroshock therapy on a cross-shaped table, but it still works in the film. He cures the sick and brings hope to everyone in the mental institution, and his teachings are carried on in the card games and in Chief’s desire to help others. Bibbit is Judas, terrified by his betrayal of McMurphy and forced into taking his own life.
Course, Christ never tried to strangle a woman to death (that we know of) but it only makes McMurphy more of a mythical figure that we can get behind.
Pain of Death: LOW. He kicks a bit but it’s more the body’s natural reaction to getting smothered.
Emotional Loss: UNGODLY. You feel like running away with Chief after watching this beautiful man get destroyed for no reason.
Will There Be a Closed Casket Funeral: The majority of the damage was inside his head, so… sure.
Jim Caviezel in The Passion of the Christ (2004)
“This is not my idea of a good friday!”
The Passion of the Christ, as a film, is a disaster. As a handy Christian guide to terrify kids for life with a portrayal of how much Christ supposedly suffered it works perfectly, but as a film it does not. Any other movie that relies on your own knowledge of events before seeing it would have gotten torn apart like Jesus; and as it provides only the flimsiest of backstories before getting right in on the torture of this apparently innocent man there seems to be no way you could possibly call it a decent film.
What it does work tremendously as, however, is the most brutal of torture porns. That’s right, gorehounds will love seeing Jesus getting beaten, whipped, and generally flayed throughout the majority of this long-ass film’s running time. The irony here is that many parents who would have balked at the idea of bringing their kids to see something like Martyrs or I Spit On Your Grave took them to see something far more graphic.
It’s all beatings and screaming and the usual horror movie fluff and things don’t really get to be that much fun until the laughing,
mocking soldiers pull out the cat-of-nine tails. Then the flesh comes
ripping off with CGI precision fairly quickly.
You ever want to see a man get beaten in slow motion which comic book villains cackle madly? Here you go! Want to see weeping relatives and friends look on as their loved one is torn to pieces? This is the film for you! Ever wonder what Christ’s ribcage looked like? Venture no further!
You want a rib or a thigh?
Pain of Death: HIGH. The whole damn movie is him being tortured to death.
Emotional Loss: NONE. He’s coming back in a few days, after all! Oh, you poor son of God! You have it so hard! Boo hoo!
Will There Be a Closed Casket Funeral: He gets his own private cave.
Insult To Injury: We celebrate his death every year by eating chocolate eggs in memory of a pagan fertility ritual. And he never did get to bang Monica Bellucci.
Today’s installment written by Alex Riviello.
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