13 Reasons For Safety Goggles
Article By: Sean Abley
Beware the Ides of March... or so Julius Caesar is warned in Shakespeare's Julius Caesar. Well, we at Chiller have a different idea: "Beware the EYES of March!" Inspired by our delightful/terrible pun, we've come up with 13 moments of eye-popping horror that will certainly make you reconsider walking around without a pair of goggles on at all times.
1. Un Chien Andalou (1929)
Of course we have to start with this short film by Luis Buñuel and Salvador Dalì. Created to inspire disgust and outrage, Un Chien Andalou was unexpectedly a hit among the French establishment hungry for anything from the art crowd. The eyeball slicing looks real because it is real – Buñuel used a dead calf in the close up. There is a sequel of sorts, L'Age d'Or (1930) which is full of sex, caused riots in the theater, and was eventually banned. They don’t make ‘em like they used to…
2. Zombie (aka ZOMBI 2 aka ZOMBIE FLESH EATERS) (1979)
If you weren’t a film school student, this scene from Lucio Fulci’s gut-munching flick is probably the most famous eyeball-in-distress scene you can think of off the top of your head (see: Un Chien Andalou if you did go to film school.) And for good reason. Agonizingly slow, as Olga Karlatos is pulled toward a very convenient shard of wood, you just want to scream, “Why doesn’t she close her eye?!”
3. The Fourth Man (1983)
Despite Jamie Kennedy’s all-too-clever quip in Scream 2 naming Paul Verhoeven’s Showgirls the scariest movie he’s ever scene (he gets killed for that, thankfully) we think Verhoeven’s The Fourth Man is more terrifying by far. Yes, the castration dream sequence is cringe-inducing, but this pole through the eye socket comes in a pretty close second. And he’s not even texting!
4. Friday the 13th Part III (1982)
The “set ‘em up, knock ‘em down” formula sustained this franchise for ten stand alone films, a remake, and Freddy vs. Jason. Why change a good thing, right? Not much different to report here, but damn, that spear looks good in 3-D.
5. 28 Weeks Later (2007)
In this sequel to 28 Days Later (sadly, not the Sandra Bullock film of almost the same name), we find out some people are asymptomatic carriers of the Rage Virus that decimated England in the first film. Unfortunately this virus-discordant couple (Robert Carlyle and Catherine McCormack) finds that out the hard way.
6. Jeepers Creepers (2001)
The lore for this film is a little byzantine – every twenty-three springs a creature will hunt for twenty-three days for body parts to replace its own. We know this because a psychic tells us so. In any case, Justin Long (Drag Me to Hell) puts up a good fight, but not quite good enough in this spoilery clip.
7. "Torture" (1984)
When the Jacksons reunited for a short period in the 80s, “Torture” was one of the singles released of the album Victory. The problematic video shoot is legendary for several reasons, including Paula Abdul replacing Perri Lister as the choreographer midshoot, the complete absence of Jermaine and Michael from the video (the two lead vocalists on the song) and the use of a Madame Tussaud’s wax figure of Michael as a stand in. Keep your eyes peeled for some gooey eyeball shenanigans at the 1:45 mark.
8. Dead and Buried (1981)
Ronald Shusett’s (The Final Terror) film is notable for several reasons, including the fact that credited co-screenwriter Dan O’Bannon (Alien) disowned the film, accusing Shusett of adding his name to the project just to get it greenlit. Another notable aspect is this early appearance by the late Lisa Blount (Prince of Darkness, Needful Things) as the nurse. Blount would go on to win an Academy Award for Best Live Action Short Film (The Accountant) in 2001, and sadly die prematurely in 2010.
9. Damien: Omen II (1978)
The Omen (1976) was a huge success at a time when big studios were investing money on horror films with A-list talent and smart scripts. A sequel was inevitable, and while the cast is a little less A-list, and the script a little less smart, the film is definitely enjoyable for Lee Grant’s scenery-chewing performance, and the inventive kill scenes. In this clip, The Devil convinces crows and a semi-truck to work together to get rid of a pesky journalist (Elizabeth Shephard).
10. Opera (1987)
Opera was marketed with eye trauma on the poster (Google it), but there is more than just needles for eyelashes in this cruel backstage horror show. Director Dario Argento (Tenebrae) and Daria Nicolodi’s (Suspiria) relationship had ended by the time Opera was filmed, and if Nicolodi’s onscreen death is any indication, it ended poorly.
11. The Beyond (1981)
Thanks to the efforts of Bob Murawski, Quentin Tarantino (Django Unchained), and the late Sage Stallone (Chaos) in the late 90s, the genius of Lucio Fulci’s masterpiece can be seen uncut after years of truncated versions distributed world wide. Nominally about a haunted hotel, The Beyond is more about visceral reactions than strict narrative. There’s a lot to love in this violent, gorgeous film, and this scene is definitely in that category. Spiders + eyes + paralysis = the worst day ever. (Yes, we know the spiders look super fake, but that’s part of the fun.)
12. Don’t Look in the Basement (aka The Forgotten) (1973)
This mean little film starts with an axe murder and ends with six more in the last five minutes. In between is a lot of crazy courtesy of patients with nymphomania, schizophrenia, and extreme cases of general weirdness. Set in a remote Southern gothic-style sanitarium, Don’t Look in the Basement makes good use of its entire location, not just the basement. In this scene, one of the patients (Harryette Warren) gets and up close and personal look at a paper spindle.
13. Hostel (2005)
Although unfairly blamed for introducing torture porn to the horror genre (Texas Chainsaw Massacre did that quite nicely, thank you…), Hostel is basically just a series of torture set pieces strung together with a pamphlet’s worth of plot. Set in an alternate reality where rich people will gruesomely murder other human beings just because they can, Eli Roth’s $5,000,000 opus delivers the goods for a jam-packed ninety minutes. In this scene, Jennifer Lim pays the price for being in the wrong country at the wrong time.
Sean Abley writes the “Gay of the Dead” blog for Fangoria.com. His writing has appeared in Fangoria, The Advocate, Unzipped, and in his new book, Out In the Dark: Interviews with Gay Horror Filmmakers, Actors and Authors.