Live, Laugh, Barf: 13 Horror Moments That Are Still Stuck in our Brain
Do you have the intestinal fortitude to even read about these sick movie scenes?
Why do we horror fans watch all of these disturbing movies? Because we’re sick. We’re twisted. We’re dead inside. Satan has all of his claws and even his pointy tail planted deep in our festering black hearts. Or maybe scary movies are just fun.
With that being said, enjoy this trip down bad-memory lane, where we revisit 13 unforgettable horror movie moments.
#1: Organic gut-to-table barf—City of the Living Dead (1980)
Does gore make you all rumbly in the tumbly? No, not hungry, creep—sick. Well, we dare you to watch this Lucio Fulci joint, where the ghost of a dead priest telekinetically forces a woman to barf up her guts. This all unfolds at an excruciatingly slow pace and it’s just . . . offal (tee-hee!).
#2: Nazi werewolf home invasion—An American Werewolf in London (1981)
When I was 9, I begged to see John Landis’s legendary werewolf movie in the theater, and Mom obliged. At the time, I was way into The Muppet Show. So, of course, this movie has a nightmare sequence where Nazi werewolves invade the home of noob-wolf David Kessler and slaughter his siblings as they enjoy The Muppet Show. I haven’t slept in 40 years.
#3: The monkey brain scene—Faces of Death (1978)
Before Reddit, we sickos looked to Faces of Death for footage of realistic death, dismemberment, and violent acts. In one scene, tourists gather around a table and bash a monkey on the head with little mallets; then they saw his poor little head open to eat his brain as a delicacy. It hurts to watch this. But, like much of Faces of Death (the first volume, anyway), it’s fake.
#4: Angela? More like Angelo—Sleepaway Camp (1983)
This slasher film’s ending is a suckerpunch. We learn that mild-mannered Angela—shown armed, bloody, nude, and standing over a severed head—is the killer and also actually male. Then the film cuts to an infuriating flashback explaining Angela’s anatomy. Finally, Sleepaway Camp ends on a slow zoom toward Angela’s crazy gaze and maniacal hissing, leaving us to ruminate on human cruelty and selfishness.
#5: Johnny? How ‘bout Janie?—I Spit on Your Grave (1978)
This revenge film has long, hard-to-watch scenes of sexual assault—that’s what you’ll want to forget. But you’ll also remember—and cheer—protagonist Jennifer Hills’ (Camille Keaton) poetic payback spree. She seduces and kills one rapist, Johnny, by turning him into Janie. And then, like an action hero walking away from an explosion, Hills locks Johnny in the bathroom to bleed out, muting his cries with loud classical music.
#6: The cake is a . . . die!—Creepshow (1982)
It’s Father’s Day. Bedelia Grantham (Viveca Lindfors), brain soaked in hard liquor, sits on her dad’s grave, airing her grievances. She killed the abusive old a-hole decades ago in a fit of rage, got away with it, and inherited his riches. Suddenly, her decomposed Pop “pops” out of the wormy soil, gurgling “I. . . waaaant . . . myyyy . . . cake,” and strangles Bedelia. PSA: Father’s Day is in June.
#7: Mom loses her head too—Hereditary (2018)
We don’t see Annie Graham discover her daughter’s headless body in the backseat of the family car. We hear it as we watch her older son, the impaired driver responsible for the accident, lie in bed knowing what he’s done. We eventually see the girl’s ant-covered head on the roadside (oof), but Annie’s anguished wailing is what’s indelible in our minds.
#8: Human corn dog—Cannibal Holocaust (1980)
We don’t see this actually happen in the film, but we see the aftermath. And just seeing an indigenous woman impaled on a 10-foot pole with the pole exiting her mouth is enough. It helps to know that the filmmakers used two separate poles and a bicycle seat to pull off the shot (it’s movie magic!)—but not that much.
#9: Everything—The Thing (1982)
The infamous dog scene is only the first in a litany of things you can’t unsee in John Carpenter’s The Thing. Is it the worst? Not if you’re a cat person. But Carpenter’s adaptation of John W. Campbell’s 1938 novella Who Goes There? is only getting started when the dog’s face blooms like a flower. So let’s just say that the entire film lives rent-free in your brain—forever.
#10: Quint tartare—Jaws (1975)
We’re all terrified of being eaten alive—and not just by gigantic sharks. That terror really ratchets up when Captain Quint, the mighty shark slayer, slides kicking and screaming down the deck of his shoulda-been-bigger boat, right into Jaws’s gaping maw. As the shark chomps away, we can’t unhear Quint’s groans and gurgles.
#11: Hang on a sec—The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (1974)
This Tobe Hooper classic is surprisingly light on gore. Oh, there’s some blood and plenty of home furnishings made with Real Human Leather®, but only one scene of snarling, gas-powered chop-chop—and it’s not graphic. That’s okay. When Leatherface hangs a shrieking woman on a meathook as calmly as Mr. Rogers hung up his cardigans, you’ll still be permanently scarred.
#12: Officer Blood Eagle—The Silence of the Lambs (1991)
When Hannibal Lecter is transferred to a temporary enclosure in Tennessee, you know the two cops left to monitor the devious cannibal are in for it. But nobody predicted that Lecter would perform the Viking blood-eagle ritual execution on one of them. We’re still wondering how Hannibal could string up a grown man all by himself.
#13: Zombie vs. Shark? Or Eyeball vs. Splinter?—Zombie (1979)
In Lucio Fulci’s extra creepy, extra gory spin on living-dead movies, a zombie battles a shark. ‘Nuff said? Yes and no. You’ll certainly never forget seeing a battle between these two lean, mean, eating machines. But you’ll have an equally tough time fending off flashbacks of the painfully long eyeball vs. giant door splinter scene.