Anyone that knows me knows my absolute distaste of CGI, I miss the days when effects were grafted with good old latex, sweat, fake blood and of course sticky tape! Of course there is a need for CGI but I don’t see it when it comes to putting grotesque, cringe worthy, absolutely brutal gore images onto screen. Hopefully you will find my top 10 of some enjoyment, if you’re like me and like your horror movies with awesome gore, step this way;
10 – Flower of Flesh and Blood This is the second installment in the Guinea Pig series and by far the most popular, released in 1985 the movie is said to be based on a real snuff movie, which was sent to the director Hideshi Hino by a crazed fan. What also added to the controversy of the film, actor Charlie Sheen watched a portion of the film and mistook it for an actual snuff movie, and went to the MPAA and they went to the freaking FBI.
The director then had to prove in court that it was just actually a movie and no-one had died and explained the special F-X. Now that is when you know you are doing a good job at tricking the audience, when you have to actually prove it is fake.
9 – Dead Alive (Braindead) Back in 1992 a little known director named Peter Jackson from New Zealand brought fourth such an epic horror/comedy which instantly said “Evil Dead” all over it. Anyone that can come up with a creature called a “Sumatran” a rat-monkey, which according to legend in the film, a tree monkey on Skull Island was raped by a plague of rats hence, the “Sumatran”.
Well that Set’s up the whole movie and what we get is just slapstick, horror/comedy with some awesome gore effects. What do you get when you cross a lawnmower with some infected zombie people? Outright freaking carnage!!
8 – Day of the Dead Back in 1985 George A. Romero brought fourth the thirdinstalment in his “Dead” legacy, this time the film centres around a group of people in Fort Myers, Florida. this is the first time we get to see one of the zombie’s in captivity named “Bub” we get to understand the “Zombie” more as “Bub” can remember past items, for e.g. Toothbrush, Razor’s, Telephone and even a book (Stephen King’s Salem’s Lot) “Bub” is a legend in my book!
Anyway the moment in Day of the Dead is when Rhodes has actually been shot severely by “Bub” and then runs into a pack of zombies, (“Bub” gives Rhodes a military style salute) this is when Rhodes meets his demise, by being torn in half but not before Rhodes can shout out these words “CHOKE ON ‘EM!” as he watches the zombies munch on his intestines!
7 – Cutting Moments Back in 1997 a short film surfaced which was written, directed and produced by Douglas Buck. The 25 minute short centres around a couple Sarah and Patrick, who have kept there emotions isolated and to themselves, also away from there son Joey. Well things turn, to the unthinkable and they start mutilating each other to express there feelings in a gory and very sad ending, in which i actually hardly ever cry but i just felt, that pain they must have been through together. To do that to yourself to feel alive really hit home.
I’ll let this scene do the talking. (***WARNING GRAPHIC CONTENT***) but the climax of the movie involves garden sheers, but you’ll just have to watch the movie for that.
6 – The Fly (Remake) David Cronenberg’sversion of the 1958 film of the same name, is such a beautiful, romantic love story, but with Cronenberg’stwist. Well for those of you who don’t know Seth Brundle(Jeff Goldblum) builds a teleportationdevice “Telepods” the only thing is something goes wrong, a fly gets in the pod with Brundle, and the film slowly reveals brundletransformation, into a human-fly cross breed.
All the time having a relationship with Veronica Quaife(Geena Davis) she watches as Brundlehorrifically transforms. There are some gruesome bit’s involving an inside out baboon, brutal arm wrestling scene, a horrific regurgitation scene and the ongoing transformation. let me tell you the F-X team kicked freaking ass!
5 – The Thing (remake) In 1982 John Carpenter brought us the more faithful adaptation of the Novel “Who Goes There?” by John W. Campbell Jr. which inspired the original 1951 film The Thing From Another World. Let me tell you Kurt Russell put on an outstanding performance playing R.J. MacReadyand when the team find out what the Norwegians really found down here, things start getting a little crazy. The stand out moment for me is when Norris (Charles Hallahan) has a heart attack and Cooper (Richard Dysart) attempts to receive him with the defibrillator, only to have his chest cave in and teeth appear on his chest cavity and violently rip off Cooper’s arms.
This is when all hell breaks loose, some strange spider-head (is that a word?) comes out of his chest, then Cooper’s head detaches itself, from his body! The Thing is a gore-tastic ride of strange creatures and wonderful effects which should never been remade!.
4 - Hellraiser In 1987 Clive Barker who wrote the novel The HellboundHeart, brought his novel to life, and it is a twisted roller coaster of a ride with vivid imagery and that voice! Doug Bradley’s voice as Pinhead is powerful, i remember watching this when i was about 8 years old with my dad and it scared the freaking crap out of me!
The scene that stays with me is at the beginning, when Larry (Andrew Robinson) cuts his hand on that rusty nail, and he goes upstairs into the room where Frank (Sean Chapman) was killed before, and Frank’s blood drips onto the floor boards and mysteriously disappears. Then later we see the Resurrection of Frank, and this freaked me out when this creature starts forming together, you see all the blood and veins come together. Really excellent F-X work and that sealed the deal for me, if i didn’t get a crept in my bedroom i wouldn’t sleep, i didn’t want that coming through my floor boards I must say i love the improvised “Jesus Wept” Scene fantastic!!
3 – Alien Back in 1979 RidleyScott brought us Dan O’ Bannon’sscreen play to life, Alien follows a team returning from a planet called Thedusheading towards Earth, only they don’t make it they land on a Planetoidand derelict alien space craft, where they find the remains of what appears to ribs of a creature exploded outward from the inside. While here Kane (John Hurt) has a creature attach itself to his face, which later on detaches from his face, by itself.
The crew unaware of what horrors are about to unfold, something bursts out of Kane’s chest and scared the **** out of me, let alone the crew and it still looks awesome today, 30 years ago can you believe it!
2 – Fright Night In 1985 Tom Holland brought us this absolute gem, the story follows Charley Brewster (William Ragsdale) who has a new neighbour Jerry Dandridge(Chris Sarandon) move next door to him and Charley being an avid fan of horror movies believes something isn’t right, he notices prostitutes turning up at Jerry’s house only later to hear the screams of the women.
Charley believes he is a vampire but no-one believes him so he enlists help from TV personality on his favourite show “Fright Night” Peter Vincent (RoddyMcDowall) to help rid of his vampire neighbour.
The scene I love is where “Evil” Ed Thompson (Stephen Geoffreys) who has been turned into a vampire, then he turns into wolf, only to be impaled by Peter Vincent, but it is absolutely amazing as you see he transform from a wolf, to a vampire back to his teenage self, but in a very painful way and you can see the pain on both Vincent and “Evil” Ed’s face, absolute classic!
1 – An American Werewolf in London John Landisbought us this horror/comedy back in 1981 and I have never seen a better transformation scene EVER! The film begins with two Americans on a back packing holiday in England, David (David Naughton) and Jack (Griffin Dunne) after a tense stop off at a local pub (Slaughtered Lamb), they venture out into the moors too be attacked by a werewolf Jack is left dead and David is taken to hospital.
This is where David has disturbing and vivid dreams and hallucinations one including Nazi werewolves! Later in the movie we witness David’s brutal transformation and I can feel every bit of pain he is going through, it is so vivid and painful to watch, yet I am left in awe.
So that’s my top 10 pre-CGI moments in horror, this is my salute to all the men and women that put there blood, sweat, tears and what ever else they could find to bring these awesome effects to our screens. Honorable mentions are, Scanners , Nightmare on Elm Street, Robocop, Demons, From Beyond and Cannibal Holocaust. There are many many more but I need to stop, please share with me either your own personal top 10 or simply add some others in the comments below, would love to hear from you!