I remember the first time I saw The Evil Dead. My sister had seen it the night before at a slumber party (because slumber parties were all the rage in the 80’s), and came home with the VHS telling me it was the scariest movie she’d ever seen. Being the sceptic that I am, and was as an 8-year-old boy back then, I told her she was full of shit. At which point my Mom stuck a bar of soap in my mouth. So I pushed my skepticism aside and sat down to watch it.
Oh look – five kids in an old cabin. Scotty tells everyone to “Party down!!”. Hey, they found an old tape recorder in the basement with some creepy guy talking about demons and junk like that. Uh oh – a girl just got raped by some trees. And then…….the possession of Cheryl is revealed:
Yikes! This is the moment when I was all in on The Evil Dead. I know, I should been all in at the tree raping, but it was Cheryl’s possession reveal that gave me the creeps – so it wins. The levitation and the voice with her head rolling around back and forth challenged my nerves, but it was actually the somewhat cheesy makeup effects that did it for me. Probably those white eyes. Which are an understandable side effect after being taken against your will by demonic tree branches I guess. Note to self by the way: Don’t leave any unattended pencils lying around if a possessed body collapses near me.
You know who would really be the life of your holiday party this year? Billy from 1974’s classic slasher, Black Christmas! He would definitely have you covered if you needed the following: some plastic bags for whatever reason, an obscene phone call that emphasizes the word ‘cunt’, and a creepy peeping eyeball.
Speaking of creepy – not many movies creep me out more than Bob Clark’s, Black Christmas. A definite pioneer in the slasher genre, it manages to make your skin crawl just off of the opening sequence alone. But the scene with Billy’s aforementioned creepy eye takes the creepy cake for sure. So let’s all watch together as Jess (Olivia Hussey) runs frantically through the house and encounters Billy and his eerie peeping peeper.
I know, I know. The ending scene to The Ring in 2002 has been talked about to death, and in it’s own right it’s a pretty creepy scene – especially for a mainstream horror remake. But let’s talk about the original Japanese 1998 version called Ringu for a minute.
I remember getting a bootleg DVD copy of Ringu off Ebay back in 1999. This would catapult my Japanese horror obsession that would later include Audition, Shutter, and Ichi The Killer to name a few. I remember watching Ringu for the first time late at night while eating a bag of Cheetos. Don’t ask me how the hell I remember the Cheeto part, but they must have been memorable for me to. I was pretty creeped out throughout the whole movie, and then the ending came…….
My biggest gripe with the ending of the remake version is the obvious CGI that’s involved when Samara is coming out of the TV at Noah. Still creepy as a whole, but definitely not as creepy as the original. And while the remake focuses more on Samara’s decaying, waterlogged body – the original seen above focuses on her missing fingernails while she’s crawling on the floor. Fingernail damage in movies always fucks me up. I also love the more subtle ending of the scene from the original with Samara peeking her eye out of her hair instead of showing her whole face. Sometimes less is more. I’m glad I did this post by the way because it makes me want to revisit my Japanese horror collection. Looks like A Tale Of Two Sisters is getting dusted off the shelf this weekend!
Creepy doll? Check. Creepy mask? Check. Typical stupid 80’s horror movie decisions? Double check. Welcome to my recurring feature called Give Me The Creeps, where I tell you what scenes from horror movies make me sleep with a nightlight on.
In my opinion, daylight horror movie killings are always creepier than if they’re at night. And one of the best and most effective scenes that accomplishes the daylight atmosphere is from the 1983 underrated slasher flick, Curtains. If you’ve seen it, then you know what’s coming. If you haven’t, you might rethink going on an ice skating excursion this winter.
The thing that’s brilliant about this scene other than the fact that it takes place in broad daylight, is just how well it’s set up. Sure there’s some cheesy 80’s music to start with, but once Christie finds that creepy ass doll in the snow – you know it’s about to be on. The killer’s ‘old hag’ mask is one of the creepiest ever in my opinion, and the slow motion skating/stalking more than puts my nerves on edge. Gotta love that grunting that the killer does too when he or she (I won’t tell if you haven’t seen the movie) is swinging that sickle back and forth. This is arguably the best scene from Curtains, but you should definitely check out the whole movie if you haven’t. Synapse Films just released it on Blu-ray, so there’s no excuse not to!
Quick! What’s the creepiest mechanical doll ever? Tick tock, tick tock. What’s your answer? No, I’m sorry, but Vicki The Robot from the TV show Small Wonder doesn’t count. The correct answer is: the mechanical doll from Dario Argento’s classic giallo, Deep Red! And yes, the first time I saw that movie, I kind of had a love/hate thing going on with that creepy ass thing. All the more reason that I’m showing it some love on this edition of Give Me The Creeps. Not familiar with the mechanical porcelain terror that I’m speaking of? Take a look below in the clip:
Oh yeah. I should have also mentioned that there was a pretty gnarly teeth bashing scene in there, as well as some groovy over-the-top soundtrack music from the band Goblin. Only sweetens the deal if you ask me. The focus is on that random mechanical doll in the cute little tuxedo though. As he trollops towards Professor Giordani giggling like a school boy, you can’t help but be a bit terrified. And even though that particular doll is only on screen for about 25 seconds total (and that includes his lifeless porcelain broken body on the floor), it’s a scene and image that is synonymous with the movie Deep Red. This is classic Argento, and being that we can’t seem to find classic Argento anymore, we need to relish in moments like this from his previous films. So here’s a salute to that little mechanical doll in the cute tuxedo who likes to giggle a lot…….you single-handedly managed to Give Me The Creeps.
*It’s not the amount of head you have, it’s how you use it*