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October 25, 2005 8:52 AM   Subscribe

The 25 Most Shocking Moments In Film History. Poop eating. Involuntary ear amputation. Shocking revelations. But did they forget any? (Spoilers ahoy!)
posted by you just lost the game (144 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

 
Another Edward Norton might have made the list... Primal Fear had a pretty good shocker in it.
posted by mikeweeney at 9:01 AM on October 25, 2005


the first answer is a trick question, IMO.
posted by delmoi at 9:03 AM on October 25, 2005


oops, wrong thread.
posted by delmoi at 9:03 AM on October 25, 2005


Edward Norton movie, sheesh. Edward Norton could never be duplicated.

/fanboyism
posted by mikeweeney at 9:03 AM on October 25, 2005



Is it safe?
posted by fluffycreature at 9:04 AM on October 25, 2005


Ha, their printer-friendly version is 26 seperate html pages. You can only print one page at a time. Shockingly bad design. I am shocked! Shocked, I say!

Does anyone else besides me immediately click on the 'Printer-Friendly Version' and read articles that way?
posted by blue_beetle at 9:06 AM on October 25, 2005


"Chuck and Buck, fuck and suck"--now THAT was shocking.
posted by scratch at 9:08 AM on October 25, 2005


fluffycreature nailed it for me. For whatever reason, that was my first Olivier film, and he scared the do-wah-diddy out of me. I've been irrationally terrified of dentists and dentistry every since.
posted by WolfDaddy at 9:08 AM on October 25, 2005


I was really not ready to see the sad fate of Jennifer Jason Leigh's character in The Hitcher.
posted by alumshubby at 9:08 AM on October 25, 2005


Funny thing about the Godfather horse-head scene. I hadn't seen the film until this time last year, but, you know, I've read Far Side comics and knew exactly what was coming. I was all "yup, that's his horse's head down there."

At the big reveal, I was still blown off my feet. These days I sing the praises of that film to anyone who will listen, solely because what eventually became a pop-culture cliché is still creepy and gross and shocking.
posted by S.C. at 9:12 AM on October 25, 2005


It's been mentioned in the blue before, but Deep Blue Sea has a pretty good surprise moment in it, too.
posted by alumshubby at 9:13 AM on October 25, 2005


Oops...Deep Blue Sea....
posted by alumshubby at 9:14 AM on October 25, 2005


Whatever, if you couldn't tell that "she" was a dude from the beginning of the movie then you need to just go lock yourself back in the church, all that Northern Ireland bs was just a smokescreen.
posted by Pollomacho at 9:16 AM on October 25, 2005


Now Lucas has made all this fuss about the prequels and keeps going on about how young people will be able to see the saga through from the point of view of one person I'm not sure that Empire Strikes Back can count as a surprise anymore.

Regarding Planet of the Apes, I was surprised after seeing the film that people thought it was a big deal with the ending. It always seemed the most likely thing to me. I still like the film, just don't know why this is the big deal it's made out to be.

Sixth Sense: If it was a surprise then you are a chimp.
posted by biffa at 9:16 AM on October 25, 2005


It's been mentioned in the blue before, but Deep Blue Sea has a pretty good surprise moment in it, too.

While not a great movie by any stretch, I was impressed with the movie's ruthlessness towards its main characters.
posted by Cyrano at 9:19 AM on October 25, 2005


The most shocking moment on film for me was in There's Something About Mary when they actually show the franks and beans.
posted by Pollomacho at 9:20 AM on October 25, 2005


The visit to the hospital in The Third Man.
posted by PinkStainlessTail at 9:22 AM on October 25, 2005


They missed the scene in Street Trash where a group of winos are playing keep away with the other wino's penis.
posted by doctor_negative at 9:27 AM on October 25, 2005


What Cyrano said. I love Deep Blue Sea. Shlock filmmaking at its finest. It's fun to watch it with someone who hasn't seen it, tell them that only (X) of the characters survive the movie, and challenge them to guess which one(s). No-one ever gets it right.
posted by The Card Cheat at 9:28 AM on October 25, 2005


The final shot of Sleepaway Camp is etched in my memory forever.
posted by gurple at 9:29 AM on October 25, 2005


Regarding Planet of the Apes, I was surprised after seeing the film that people thought it was a big deal with the ending. It always seemed the most likely thing to me. I still like the film, just don't know why this is the big deal it's made out to be.
Had you known about the ending beforehand? It's become such a cliche these days, maybe it has lost the impact it had when it first came out (like Vader's revelation in The Empire Strikes Back).
posted by Sangermaine at 9:30 AM on October 25, 2005


Sixth Sense: If it was a surprise then you are a chimp.

I'm a double chimp then.

I watched the film in the theater when it came out and was quite surprised. I watched it several years later at home and was surprised again. My wife loves to tell this story as an illustration of my fading memory. sigh
posted by jdroth at 9:30 AM on October 25, 2005


Whatever, if you couldn't tell that "she" was a dude from the beginning of the movie then you need to just go lock yourself back in the church

I guess I need to just go lock myself back in the church.

Sixth Sense: If it was a surprise then you are a chimp.

I guess I am a chimp.
posted by pardonyou? at 9:31 AM on October 25, 2005



In Apolcalypse Now, when Capt. Willard (Martin Sheen) finds out what happened to Chef (Frederic Forrest).

In Meet Joe Black, shortly after the end of Brad Pitt's first scene with Claire Forlani.

Because I'm a military-history geek, the climactic moment of the big battle at the end of Saving Private Ryan, there's a deus ex machina that was shocking to me -- the US Army Air Force simply didn't fly CAS missions in World War II. Most people who saw the movie couldn't have cared less, but I was as surprised as if Confederate cavalry had charged or something.
posted by alumshubby at 9:33 AM on October 25, 2005


How about the little girl getting shot in the original Assault on Precinct 13... or the 9 minute rape scene in Irréversible... or the bizarre oral sex in Re-Animator... or the rape scene in Blue Velvet...
posted by JT at 9:37 AM on October 25, 2005


I'm glad they got Audition in there, but Audition's only shocking because the first hour or so is a slow romantic comedy. Some of Takashi Miike's other movies are so vile (Ichi the Killer, Visitor Q) they make Audition look like Finding Nemo. Also, Dead or Alive has one of the most unexpected shock endings I've ever seen.

Note: Forgive the lack of links, I don't know how to put links in posts.
posted by Ndwright at 9:44 AM on October 25, 2005


And while I'm reeling from the blatant anachronism in Saving Private Ryan, on my way out of the theater, I see the lobby card with a tagline that's got yet another shocker:

"In the Last Great Invasion of the Last Great War..."

Huh?

Market Garden, anyone?

Okinawa, maybe?
posted by alumshubby at 9:46 AM on October 25, 2005


Or the ending of The Village, which was so unshocking I was shocked that M. Night Shyamalan had the gall to write and direct it. Roger Ebert said it best:

It's a crummy secret, about one step up the ladder of narrative originality from It Was All a Dream. It's so witless, in fact, that when we do discover the secret, we want to rewind the film so we don't know the secret anymore.

And then keep on rewinding, and rewinding, until we're back at the beginning, and can get up from our seats and walk backward out of the theater and go down the up escalator and watch the money spring from the cash register into our pockets.

posted by The Card Cheat at 9:46 AM on October 25, 2005


Oh, the slapping scene in Chinatown.
posted by PinkStainlessTail at 9:47 AM on October 25, 2005


No Peter Greenway, Jeunet and Caro, or Lars Von Tier in the list.

But when Julie Andrews, everyone’s favorite G-rated cinematic child care professional (The Sound of Music, Mary Poppins) bares her breasts, it’s scandalous.

Does anyone else get the idea that this "list" may be tied into some advertising money? Perhaps looking ahead to some DVD gift sales?
posted by KirkJobSluder at 9:51 AM on October 25, 2005


Oh, the slapping scene in Chinatown.

Not the shooting scene in Chinatown?
posted by Acey at 9:54 AM on October 25, 2005


Happiness. The last scene. You know. With the kid and the dog and the... yeah, you know.
posted by recurve at 9:57 AM on October 25, 2005


The end of Se7en?
posted by pardonyou? at 9:58 AM on October 25, 2005


Kirk, yeah - some of those are weak. Fonda as a bad guy. *shock* Uh, yeah, it's called acting, we're hip to it. Thanks.

And I'm a 6th Sense chimp too. ook ook.
posted by phearlez at 10:02 AM on October 25, 2005


I was shocked by the encounter in the kitchen between Sgt. Jack Vincennes (Kevin Spacey) and Capt. Dudley Smith (James Cromwell ) in L.A. Confidential.
posted by kirkaracha at 10:04 AM on October 25, 2005


I'm always surprised by the twist ending or the big reveal in a good movie. I don't want to see it coming; if I see it coming it means the movie has not fulfilled its end of the bargain. So I suppose I'm a chimp locked in a church. Or something. But I'm happier there.
posted by goatdog at 10:05 AM on October 25, 2005


The opening of Blade in the dance club when the sprinklers turn on. Fleeting moment and probably dorky reference but it made my jaw drop.

But then so did Mr. Slave taking Paris Hilson up his anus.

Also with Audition: what she feeds her captor.

If you want to talk telly, end of season one of 24.
posted by ao4047 at 10:05 AM on October 25, 2005


How about the nanny hanging herself in The Omen?
posted by pardonyou? at 10:06 AM on October 25, 2005


Surprising in its absence from the list is the last shot in Citizen Kane.
posted by alumshubby at 10:06 AM on October 25, 2005


Had you known about the ending beforehand? It's become such a cliche these days, maybe it has lost the impact it had when it first came out (like Vader's revelation in The Empire Strikes Back).

I didn't know it before I saw the film (it was when I was a kid so the internet hadn't had the chance to spoil it for me). I think I just assumed that there was so much earth stuff (e.g. humans gorillas, rifles) around so it must be an earth of the future. I didn't consciously think that, like you might if you were trying to spot a twist, I just had that as my default assumption.

Market Garden, anyone?

Maybe they didn't think that was so great?
posted by biffa at 10:13 AM on October 25, 2005


Way up on my list is the surprise toward the end of "Saw". I never saw (NPI) it coming.
posted by waltb555 at 10:14 AM on October 25, 2005


For me it will always be The Piano, the scene at the chopping stump: Omigod, he's gonna, he's gonna, he's gonna ... Uhfuck, that's even worse.
posted by donpedro at 10:17 AM on October 25, 2005


Maybe they didn't think that was so great?

More likely they never saw the movie.
posted by alumshubby at 10:17 AM on October 25, 2005


I'm always surprised by the twist ending or the big reveal in a good movie. I don't want to see it coming; if I see it coming it means the movie has not fulfilled its end of the bargain. So I suppose I'm a chimp locked in a church. Or something. But I'm happier there.

Sometimes I am surprised, sometimes not. If it's a good twist I'm either happy to have spotted it or pleased to have been taken in. If it's a shit twist however then there is no satisfaction either way. This can go either way, after sixth sense I felt robbed after all the hype because I felt it was transparent and that there should have been more. But I'd also be unhappy with some crappy mystery where some minor character gets fingered as the baddie in the last reel for some ludicrously twisted reason that has little or no relevance to the rest of the film. (Agatha Christie I'm looking at you - and your film making ilk).
posted by biffa at 10:19 AM on October 25, 2005


Glad to see that Don't Look Now is in that list. I would recommend everyone who has not seen it see it very soon, before anyone spoils it for you, and certainly before the - ack! - Hollywood remake is released.

Speaking of Donald Sutherland, how about his turn in Invasion of the Body Snatchers? When I first saw that, the despair I felt at the end was so strong, I'm not sure it still isn't with me.

I would also add Oldboy to the list. If this works for you, it really works. Again, the less you know, the better.
posted by stinkycheese at 10:19 AM on October 25, 2005


SPOILERS!!!

Please tell me someone else was suprised by the ending to Runaway Bride!! Come on, are you serious? It just seemed like Maggie would never find a man she could love forever! And now that I think about it, they really were perfect for each other! Which is why that movie is just so good!

But to say that I was expecting those two completely opposite people to fall in love - well, that would be a big fat lie!
posted by billysumday at 10:19 AM on October 25, 2005


They missed out the end of Heaven.

More of a "why the fuck did I rent this" shock though.
posted by fire&wings at 10:23 AM on October 25, 2005


The ending of See the Sea was the most shocked I'd been, and I kind of knew that it would happen too, but it was totally ruthless in the way it was deployed.
posted by I Foody at 10:30 AM on October 25, 2005


The cameo by William Foxley in The Battle of Britain. Here's more about the movie and his part in it.
posted by alumshubby at 10:32 AM on October 25, 2005


Kathy Bates getting into the jaccuzzi in About Schmidt.

I'm still having nightmares.
posted by bondcliff at 10:35 AM on October 25, 2005


re: Audition. Self-propelled bags are freaky enough but what makes this even more startling is that up until now, Audition has been a romantic drama.

Did anyone go in to that film not knowing it was horror?
posted by cillit bang at 10:36 AM on October 25, 2005


For me, the gut-busting scene in Alien was certainly disgusting, but I didn't find it surprising. It was about 15 minutes later, when they're using the radar to try and spot the thing in the ship. One of the guys goes down a ladder, and just then Sigourney Weaver says: "It's right on top of you!". He turns the light around, and the freaking thing fills the screen, it's so huge. I don't think I've ever screamed more like a little girl.
posted by thanotopsis at 10:37 AM on October 25, 2005


Kathy Bates getting into the jaccuzzi in About Schmidt.

I'm still having nightmares.


Eh. I'd hit it.
posted by jonmc at 10:41 AM on October 25, 2005


Richard Widmark pushing a wheelchair-bound nun down a flight of stairs in Kiss of Death was pretty shocking. (Widmark was brilliant in that role).

I would also say the central plot point of Spanking the Monkey is more shocking than the Usual Suspects any day of the week. (I never understood the love for that movie...put me right to sleep).

Speaking of Donald Sutherland, how about his turn in Invasion of the Body Snatchers? When I first saw that, the despair I felt at the end was so strong, I'm not sure it still isn't with me.

Heh, I agree completely.

I also find the amount of pop-ups on that site rather shocking. Indeed!
posted by Otis at 10:42 AM on October 25, 2005


Didn't Chloe Sevigny go down on Vincent Gallo in "Brown Bunny"? That was pretty surprising...I mean...the guy hasn't showered in at least ten years.
posted by nevercalm at 10:43 AM on October 25, 2005


They picked the wrong scene in The Shining. The scene where Scatman Crothers, apparently the hero coming to save the day, walks in the hotel and Jack Nicholson appears out of nowhere... now, that's one of the greatest "oh-shit" moments in cinema history.

Count me among the Sixth Sense chimps. As for The Village, I figured out the twist about half an hour into the movie, but I was impressed with the justification for it. Unfortunately, that was the only thing that impressed me about that sad waste of celluloid.
posted by Faint of Butt at 10:49 AM on October 25, 2005


We already knew the shark was big—just look at the poster, for crying out loud. Even so, when Spielberg finally showed all 25 feet of his prize fish, it was scary enough to keep America out of the water that summer.

Oh come on, that thing looked so fake that when it popped out of the water and gave Brody a big happy grin, I laughed.

The finger chopping scene The Piano was truly horrific. I had actually expected that movie to be about an arranged marriage that worked out eventually, and then the movie just ground me up and spit me back out on my couch.
posted by orange swan at 10:50 AM on October 25, 2005


What about the french fry scene in The Hitcher?
posted by jonmc at 10:52 AM on October 25, 2005


Happiness. The scene of the shooting in the park.

Happiness. Phil Seymour Hoffman gluing postcards to his wall with his man batter.

Happiness. The ending, like recurve said.

Silence of the Lambs, the other man batter incident.

Saw, the ending.

Welcome to the Dollhouse, "I'm gonna watch you shit."
posted by bardic at 11:22 AM on October 25, 2005


The ending of Happiness damn near made me throw up. I can't recall any other movie having that effect on me.

Oh, and Night of the Living Dead, when the little girl in the basement is found mowing down on her mother.
posted by orange swan at 11:32 AM on October 25, 2005


Ooh, just thought of another one. Anybody see Layer Cake? That certainly had a shocking ending...
posted by mikeweeney at 11:45 AM on October 25, 2005


While it's not my favorite movie, I really thought the brain eating scene in Hannibal would have won the film a spot on this list.
posted by Clay201 at 11:47 AM on October 25, 2005


Two British classics.

The end of the first act of Sleuth. The setup to the twist is amazing.

The Wicker Man.
posted by KirkJobSluder at 11:47 AM on October 25, 2005


There's a gangster movie where one of the characters gets his hand stabbed through on a restaurant counter/table with a pencil or fork, I don't remember. Not the Godfather, at least, I don't think. Which is it, anyone remembers?

It may not be super shocking but it's seared in my memory. If I don't recall wrong the mood before is not really hostile and the stabber is sort of pretending not to care and smiling and all and then ZAP! there goes the other guy's hand.

(I always get that image mixed up with the pencil stabbing in Sam Raimi's The Evil Dead. I hate pencils!)
posted by funambulist at 11:50 AM on October 25, 2005


This is fun. Here’s a few more shocking endings. Even if you can see them coming, they still take your breath away when they get there:

Holy Mountain
Vanishing Point
The Seventh Continent

Thinking about this some more, it seems to me that many of the 1970s ‘counter-cultural’ films had really shocking endings wherein the protagonist would be just on the verge of Finding Out The Truth or Getting The Girl or whatever, and then – whammo! – they get the rug pulled out from under them big-time just before the credits roll.

You can even make a game of it – I did Donald Sutherland in my last post, but what about Warren Beatty?

McCabe & Mrs. Miller
The Parallax View

It’s fun. Give it a try!
posted by stinkycheese at 11:53 AM on October 25, 2005


funambulist: Yep, that's Luca Brasi in the first "Godfather" that gets the hand stab (just before being garroted). As far as endings go, I'd say the second film has the edge.
posted by stinkycheese at 11:56 AM on October 25, 2005


How about the curb scene in American HIstory X? I still can't watch that one again.
posted by allen.spaulding at 12:00 PM on October 25, 2005


Oh, and the butter scene in Last Tango in Paris. Or Marlon Brando making those noises.
posted by allen.spaulding at 12:00 PM on October 25, 2005


Spoorloos (The Vanishing)

I found this deeply disturbing.
posted by JeffL at 12:02 PM on October 25, 2005


I'd throw some of Mike Leigh's films into the mix (numerous shocks in Naked and the moment where Brenda Blethyn remembers someone in the cafe in Secrets & Lies).

The night stick scene from the underrated Crimes of Passion.

The end of Brazil.

Highly amusing (and unapologetically trashy) twists can be found in Wild Things.
posted by ed at 12:11 PM on October 25, 2005


How about the ending of "Joe" with Peter Boyle as a blue collar rednecked nightmare out among the hippies looking for his runaway daughter.
posted by waltb555 at 12:14 PM on October 25, 2005


I just realised this thread isn't on shocking endings at all, but on shocking moments - a totally different kettle of fish. I've seen such threads on many different sites, being somewhat of a fan of the disturbing or shocking. Fark did one a few months ago, blah blah blah, but the best ones I've seen overall would have to be in the IMDB's chatgroups, either Cult or Horror.

Every once in awhile, someone will post a question along the lines of "what are some shocking/disturbing movies?" and the inevitable list of titles will commence. We've largely stayed away from such stand-bys ("Salo", "I Spit On Your Grave", etc.) in this thread, but if anyone's interested, here is a particularly thorough listing of shocking films.

For whatever reason, the Germans and the Japanese have largely got this area of film sewn up.
posted by stinkycheese at 12:14 PM on October 25, 2005


Did anyone go in to [Audition] not knowing it was horror?

Yeah, my 70-year-old stepmother who's a conservatory-trained pianist. Doh!

There's a gangster movie where one of the characters gets his hand stabbed through on a restaurant counter/table with a pencil or fork, I don't remember. Not the Godfather, at least, I don't think. Which is it, anyone remembers?

In Taxi Driver, Bickle knifes a gangsterish bad guy through the palm, but he doesn't pin the hand to a table, it's in midair.
posted by scratch at 12:15 PM on October 25, 2005


Sixth Sense: If it was a surprise then you are a chimp.

Oh come on! The movie bent over backwards to prevent people guessing the twist. I watched it twice - the first time the ending was a complete surprise, the second time to see if I missed any clues - and I didn't. The hints are only obvious when you know the ending.

The people who "guessed" the ending are either lying out of their ass or read reviews or got some other hints (e.g. someone told them: "There's a huge twist in this movie").
posted by bobbyelliott at 12:15 PM on October 25, 2005


The Miracle Mile (1988) did it for me. I watched it without knowing a damn thing about it and got completely freaked.
Which is probably the best.
Unlike, say, Phone Booth.


I was also shocked when Dark Helmet revealed to Lone Starr he was father's brother's nephew's cousin's former roommate.
posted by Smedleyman at 12:20 PM on October 25, 2005


How about the kiss between Michael Caine and Christopher Reeve in Deathtrap? As a sheltered ten year-old sneaking in an R-rated movie at a friend's house, that one certainly threw me for a loop back in the day.
posted by gigawhat? at 12:23 PM on October 25, 2005


I'll second Oldboy. See it, pls.
posted by mr.marx at 12:30 PM on October 25, 2005


The people who "guessed" the ending are either lying out of their ass or read reviews or got some other hints (e.g. someone told them: "There's a huge twist in this movie").

I think a certain number of people assumed that he died when he got shot, then when he reappeared assumed he was a ghost.
posted by agropyron at 12:30 PM on October 25, 2005


"There's a gangster movie where one of the characters gets his hand stabbed through on a restaurant counter/table with a pencil or fork."
posted by funambulist at 11:50 AM PST on October 25 [!]

Yup. That is the Godfather.
Luca Brasi gets stabbed through the hand to pin it to the bar, another guy grabs his other hand and yet another guy garrotes him.

Very calm scene at first. Luca says “Bene, bene” because the Don said he should go and pretend he was receptive to being recruited.
posted by Smedleyman at 12:31 PM on October 25, 2005


The shit eating scene in Pink Flamingos may be the final gross out in the movie, but it's not the grossest thing in the movie...
Think live action goatse.
posted by Balisong at 12:32 PM on October 25, 2005


How to know you're having a bad date:


When your partner starts saying "tiki tiki tiki tiki" in a high pitched voice.

(See finale of Audition)
posted by lalochezia at 12:41 PM on October 25, 2005


When I read the mention of American History X my teeth started to hurt. I think of that movie almost every day as I walk around the city and step onto curbs.

The other movie I think about almost every day, though the revelation wasn't a shock to me, is Chuck and Buck. I quote that line almost every day because I have a bottle of Chuck and Buck bubbles in my medicine cabinet. A goody from the movie screening that I haven't used or given away.
posted by asianvikinggirl at 12:42 PM on October 25, 2005


Also missing from the list: The scene where Snape kills Dumbledore.

Wait, that movie isn't out yet. Sorry.

I saw The Blair Witch Project in the theater when it first came out, and I remember the chills running up my spine still hadn't stopped by the time I got home. Hate if you must, haters, but I got caught up in the story and the image of the guy standing against the wall and facing away from the camera still gives me the willies.
posted by emelenjr at 12:43 PM on October 25, 2005


Think live action goatse.

The true identity of the "Singing Asshole" is a well-kept secret, but rumor has it that he's still living and working somewhere here in Baltimore.
posted by Faint of Butt at 12:43 PM on October 25, 2005


I hadn't heard there was a surprise ending to Sixth Sense, and I hadn't read the reviews, but I knew right away that Willis was dead. I mean, c'mon--the kid sees dead people, and there's this guy hanging around all the time. It was so obvious to me that I couldn't figure out what everyone else was talking about when they referred to the surprise ending.
posted by MrMoonPie at 12:53 PM on October 25, 2005


Obviously it's hard to compete with a singing asshole, but the giant lobster raping Divine in "Multiple Maniacs" just about broke my brain the first time I saw it. I literally couldn't believe what I was seeing.
posted by stinkycheese at 12:58 PM on October 25, 2005


I think a certain number of people assumed that he died when he got shot, then when he reappeared assumed he was a ghost.

So I presume that whenever anyone is shot in a movie and you see them in hospital recovering and then they get out of hospital but are still in pain (watch the movie again) then you assume they are dead?
posted by bobbyelliott at 12:58 PM on October 25, 2005


Two things:

1. I went into Audition knowing nothing about it and was quite disturbed and delighted by what went down. Then I saw Takashi Miike's other films and realized that this was par for the course for the guy.

2. I predicted the Sixth Sense ending when I saw it weeks before its release and, in fact, was not very impressed with the film (nor M. Night's work as a whole, which is often without a certain implicitness). But then I also predicted Keyser Soze's identity early on. This is the result of being exposed to a good deal of films and literature growing up, and becoming quite aware of narrative artifices. But both films, I think, fall into a specific type of that draw attention to their twists and plotting (e.g., the early restaurant scene in The Sixth Sense, in which the wife's behavior was so painfully obvious that I immediately clued in on the likely possibility that the Bruce Willis character did not exist), rather than making a concentrated effort to make the viewer unaware of the story, using emotion to hide the skeleton (and thus making the viewer unaware of forthcoming narrative developments).
posted by ed at 1:06 PM on October 25, 2005


I was also shocked when Dark Helmet revealed to Lone Starr he was father's brother's nephew's cousin's former roommate.

So, what does that make us?

I only watched "Kids" once (in the theater when it came out), but that was plenty. That movie was horrific, despite unintelligible dialog.
posted by Armen Tanzarian at 1:20 PM on October 25, 2005


Threads. The bit where the stupid stupid people in power actually. drop. the bomb. And basically every scene in the movie after that one, as it quite effectively crystallised all of my fears of growing up in the 80's.

Tokyo Fist. The end, where the boxing audience are given exactly what they really wanted to see: bloodsport. Also the scene where Tajuki knocks Tsuda out of his apartment. Rarely have I even seen that much rage in one person's face and body.

The last scene in Aguirre: The Wrath of God.

On preview: stinkycheese: ...but the giant lobster raping Divine in "Multiple Maniacs" just about broke my brain the first time I saw it. What part? The huge raping lobster, or the fact that anything would even want to have sex with Divine as portrayed in that movie? Ever?
posted by Zack_Replica at 1:28 PM on October 25, 2005


Yeah, Oldboy. Sticks with you. But not a date movie, that one.
posted by furiousthought at 1:29 PM on October 25, 2005


Ha ha Zack_Replica. Good call on Threads BTW. That movie was horr-i-fy-ing. Somebody else further up called out Miracle Mile & that was another one that bummed me out for an extended period of time. Never saw it coming quite like it did.
posted by stinkycheese at 1:31 PM on October 25, 2005


Ooh, I just remembered another one! Kingdom of the Spiders with William Shatner. Probably because I was a little kid, but that ending sent shivers up my spine.
posted by stinkycheese at 1:35 PM on October 25, 2005


The octopus scene in Oldboy for shock. Of course the resolution of the mystery is good too, but that's probably what was being referred to above.
posted by dances_with_sneetches at 1:36 PM on October 25, 2005


I mentioned Oldboy initially because of the ending. Yes, there were some parts that make you grimace, such as the octopus eating, but it's the ending that clear knocked the wind out of me.
posted by stinkycheese at 1:39 PM on October 25, 2005


1. Wait Until Dark, when Alan Arkin, thought dead, leaps out at Audrey Hepburn

2. Invasion of the Body Snatchers (original, 1956), when Kevin McCarthy returns to the cave and looks into Dana Wynter's eyes, and suddenly realizes she's become one of them.
posted by QuietDesperation at 1:42 PM on October 25, 2005


I was 1/2 joking, 1/2 serious on the Divine thing - or at least that what was going through my mind when I saw that scene. You know, just an all-over body-shudder *eeeuuurrrgh*. Then, I believe we were in the middle of a John Waters marathon. I remember seeing The Day After, and then Threads, and Threads has always stuck with me. So bleak.

I had the volume turned down as I was totally freaked by the movie and thought that it'd help (I was... 12?), so when The Shatner said "My God..." I thought he'd said "They're gone!" I didn't see what the big deal was until a friend told me what it was supposed to be. Talk about anticlimactic endings. ow.

Also I haven't seen Oldboy yet... seems from the comments it really is time to remedy that.
posted by Zack_Replica at 1:51 PM on October 25, 2005


I gotta go, but this has been a lot of fun.

To anyone seeing Oldboy, it is extremely important that you go in as 'clean' as possible. Don't read up on it, just see it. This is a movie that spoliers would really, uh, spoil.

In fact, I wouldn't even read the rest of this thread just in case some jackass says too much.
posted by stinkycheese at 1:56 PM on October 25, 2005


i know it makes me a fanboy because i've talked about firefly in other threads, but as a fan of the series, Joss Whedon did some things that shocked the hell out of me in Serenity. i felt like i was shell shocked for about a day after seeing it.
posted by quin at 2:07 PM on October 25, 2005


Hmmm. Naturally, my second paragraph was in reference to Kingdom of the Spiders, and not to nothing at all. :)
posted by Zack_Replica at 2:08 PM on October 25, 2005


Was anybody else surprised when Laura Elena Harring and Naomi Watts took off their clothes and started making out like hungry wolves in Mulholland Drive? Because that, um, surprised me. The movie went from Nancy Drew to Chained Heat in less than a minute.
posted by palinode at 2:23 PM on October 25, 2005


What about the Zombie DJ at the end of Zombie 3?
posted by david wester at 2:46 PM on October 25, 2005


Oh yeah, the end of Oldboy, where the villain reveals she's not only a man, but dead and also the hero's father!

Just kidding. Go see it, it's incredible.
posted by Ndwright at 2:48 PM on October 25, 2005


Uma coming out of her o.d. in Pulp Fiction. I jumped out of my seat for that.
posted by sixpack at 3:00 PM on October 25, 2005


Having had no hint of what I was going to see, the last five minutes of Dead or Alive hit the audience I was with, that we were sitting there, stunned, like rabbits hit with shovels, while the credits rolled.
posted by jscott at 3:01 PM on October 25, 2005


Wow, that almost reads like a zen koan or a riddle.
posted by jscott at 3:01 PM on October 25, 2005


Except for the rabbit/shovel thing.
posted by jscott at 3:02 PM on October 25, 2005


I saw The Day of the Triffids when I was 7 or 8 and part of me has never recovered from the scene on the airplane-- the passengers and the pilot have rendered blind (like the rest of the world's population) from the pretty meteor shower the night before... and the stewardess (that's what they called them back in the day) is feeling her way down the aisle, trying to calmly reassure the passengers that they were all going to be just fine. It was just this random scene in the movie, we never saw the people on the plane again, you were just left with the knowledge of what was going to happen... and that determinedly cheerful voice. Oh god, I'm feeling a bit queasy just thinking about it.
posted by jokeefe at 3:44 PM on October 25, 2005


Oh, and has anyone here seen Fat Girl? Jesus, the last five minutes of that movie had me reeling in shock for the rest of the night, if not the next few days.
posted by jokeefe at 3:46 PM on October 25, 2005


Dead or Alive, huh? This motion picture contains explicit portrayals of violence; sex; violent sex; sexual violence; clowns and violent scenes of violent excess.

Whoah.

Clowns.
posted by jokeefe at 3:48 PM on October 25, 2005


Spoorloos (The Vanishing)

I found this deeply disturbing.



Me too. The ending (from the original Dutch version only, not the limp US remake) kept me awake for quite a few nights.

And that scene in The Ring, you know, this one ...
posted by essexjan at 4:16 PM on October 25, 2005


The only movie that has surprised me twice hasn't been mentioned: Dirty Rotten Scoundrels.
posted by ewagoner at 4:22 PM on October 25, 2005


What a fun thread!
There's that exploding head about, what? 3 minutes? into Glory that made me spill my drink. And Jack Palance's less-than-compassionate treatment of the dying man in Panic in the Streets is pretty alarming too.
I second Smedleyman on Miracle Mile. I saw that movie on a date, and the rest of the night was just a train wreck for it.
posted by maryh at 4:37 PM on October 25, 2005


"Dead or Alive hit the audience I was with, that we were sitting there, stunned, like rabbits hit with shovels, while the credits rolled."
posted by jscott at 3:01 PM PST on October 25 [!]


From IMDB:
"This motion picture contains explicit portrayals of violence; sex; violent sex; sexual violence; clowns and violent scenes of violent excess, which are definitely not suitable for all audiences. "


Kick ass! I gotta see this. I'm a big violence, sex, violent sex, sexual violence, and violent scenes of violent excess afficianado.


The clowns, not so much.
posted by Smedleyman at 4:38 PM on October 25, 2005


From the blurb about Deliverance: Few fears tear deeper into the fragile fabric of being a man than this: getting anally raped by a hillbilly in the woods.

1. I think they could end the sentence at "raped" and it would still be accurate. Who would possibly say, "Anal rape? That's not so bad... BUT OH GOD NO, NOT BY A HILLBILLY IN THE WOODS!!"
2. This is feared by both men AND women, likely.
3. Whoever chose to put "tear deeper into the fragile" and "anal rape" in the same sentence like that is just twisted.
posted by jennyb at 5:34 PM on October 25, 2005


For whatever reason, the Germans and the Japanese have largely got this area of film sewn up.

Amen to that.

While several of my favorite Japanese horror movies have been mentioned, I haven't seen a reference to Funny Games. It has more than its share of shocking moments.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 5:47 PM on October 25, 2005


Clockwork Orange: the Singing in the Rain rape scene predated the singing/dancing sadism that distinguished Reservoir Dogs by 20 years.

120 Days in Sodom: Everything. I once brought it to a punk house party, and I might as well have brought The Last Temptation of Christ over to my grandmas house! When punk-rockers are disgusted, you deserve the top ten, my friend.

Pink Flamingos: Agreed.

Irreversible: The longest single-shot rape scene on film, with one of the most beautiful actresses of all time. Not to mention one of the more disturbing murders.

Dead Alive: Not simply the campy ultra-schlock, but the realization many years later that this was the same director behind The Lord of the Rings. Its like listening to Orson Wells trying to direct that frozen pees commercial: the immaculate juxtaposition of high-art and risible trash.
posted by dgaicun at 6:14 PM on October 25, 2005


You're insane if you think "The Lord of the Rings" is high art.

And "Dead Alive" is considerably better than frozen pee.
posted by jimmy at 6:33 PM on October 25, 2005


the immaculate juxtaposition of high-art and risible trash.

Not the movie mind you, which is anything but high-art, but the confusing moment of realization that Peter Jackson was responsible for both.
posted by dgaicun at 6:35 PM on October 25, 2005


The early parasite scenes in Dreamcatcher were totally unanticipated... can't remember squirming so much in a cinema seat. i liked it.
posted by elphTeq at 6:36 PM on October 25, 2005


The Radio Man in Private Ryan got me good. Ugh. Horrible.

Since someone else breached the TV topic, I'll add the ending of the pilot episode of The Shield. Whoa!
posted by Scoo at 6:38 PM on October 25, 2005


You're insane if you think "The Lord of the Rings" is high art.

De gustibus non disputandum, really, and I'm not really even a fan at all, but the critical consensus is very much otherwise. So, if anything, for that reason alone.
posted by dgaicun at 6:59 PM on October 25, 2005


While we're on the subject of Takashi Miike, I simply must insert a shout out for The Happiness of the Katakuris.

In the opening scene, a young woman is about to eat a bowl of soup - except a demon pops out of the soup, reaches into her mouth, and rips out her uvula. Then she looks at it in horror and exclaims "My uvula!"

Oh, that scene is done in claymation.

And rest of the movie has nothing to do with that scene and is, in fact, a feel-good musical comedy about a family sticking together through a horrible string of bad luck. (which just happen to involve a series of gruesome deaths)

It is truly one of the best movies I've seen in years. And it doesn't stop being surprising and entertaining and grin-inducing pretty much up to the last minute of the movie.
posted by InnocentBystander at 7:51 PM on October 25, 2005


While we're on the subject of Takashi Miike, I simply must insert a shout out for The Happiness of the Katakuris.

In the opening scene, a young woman is about to eat a bowl of soup - except a demon pops out of the soup, reaches into her mouth, and rips out her uvula. Then she looks at it in horror and exclaims "My uvula!"

Oh, that scene is done in claymation.

And rest of the movie has nothing to do with that scene and is, in fact, a feel-good musical comedy about a family sticking together through a horrible string of bad luck. (which just happen to involve a series of gruesome deaths)

It is truly one of the best movies I've seen in years. And it doesn't stop being surprising and entertaining and grin-inducing pretty much up to the last minute of the movie.
posted by InnocentBystander at 7:51 PM on October 25, 2005


I'm going to admit my age here, but Rear Window got me because... well, it was exactly opposite what all the Rear Window parodies I'd seen led me to believe would happen. Vertigo was REALLY good, too.

I figured out 6th sense because I knew there was a twist. It was blatant. I did not figure out the end to Unbreakable, though that was not much of a shock.

I keep a copy of Deliverance on top of my toilet, dogeared to the "good part" so guests have something to read when they come to visit. I used to have the scene cued up in my DVD player, too. Glad to see that it was not omitted this time. I was really pissed when they came out with the list of the top 10 most memorable movie lines of all time and "Now let's you just drop them pants" was not on it.
posted by Eideteker at 9:04 PM on October 25, 2005


I was scared by the Ring, but that was more because it was like BE SHOCKED here is a high-pitched tone and we're going to flash something grotesque for a quarter of a second. Like, ok, you took psych 101 and know how to trigger physiological arousal. I like psychological shock, not physiological shock.
posted by Eideteker at 9:06 PM on October 25, 2005


Also this question sort of becomes a paradox if we consider Japanese movies. I mean the apocalyptic overlord ejaculations and demon penis genocides of Urotsukidoji: The Legend of the Overfiend should be classical shocking moments, but in a culture where these ideas have been genre-fied, are they truly even shocking?

Not to blow your mind with Twilight Zone uber-profundity, but in world where all entertainment was lesbian school girls, bestial rape and pedophilic torture would the '25 most shocking moments' be things like 'not sadomasochism'? 'Not rape'? Like maybe the unreal orderly asexuality of Gilligan's Island and Smurf Village would be disquieting to a whole other magnitude. I can just see myself being deeply unsettled by the fact that Gilligan didn't transform into a ten-dicked Werebeast to exact terrible punishment on the menfolk and claim the island's womanly spoils.

Neutered situation comedies are the hentai of my bizzaro-verse.
posted by dgaicun at 9:08 PM on October 25, 2005


I'm surprised no one has mentioned Requiem for a Dream. Just about every other scene in that movie shocked me.

There is also a pretty shocking scene in Sin City, when Marv finds his partially eaten parole officer.
posted by epimorph at 9:21 PM on October 25, 2005


I found Welcome to the Dollhouse and Blair Witch shocking... in much the same way I found, say, Generation X, or the more recent Canadian cartoon show Station X shocking -- I'm just surprised that people would base plots around characters that are so completely devoid of any interesting or redeeming qualities.

Halfway through Blair Witch I began to wonder what the f*ck was taking the witch so damn long to kill the girl and thus put *me* out of *my* misery.
posted by clevershark at 9:23 PM on October 25, 2005


Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer. Pretty much the whole movie.
posted by dirigibleman at 9:24 PM on October 25, 2005


As one of the few films with a shock beginning, the first few minutes of Goodfellas packed quite a wallo.

"As far back as I can remember, I've always wanted to be a gangster." Indeed.

And I'll add my 'ook!' vote for The Sixth Sense, too.
posted by mazola at 9:30 PM on October 25, 2005


Russ Meyer's Supervixens has a bathtub murder scene (cop kills the girl) which is shocking in its brutality. It's been a while since I saw that film, and I distinctly remember feeling uncomfortable right around the point where he starts stomping her to death. With both feet.
posted by clevershark at 9:31 PM on October 25, 2005


Man Bites Dog was also a brutal movie of course. Not all that unexpected, until that scene where the film crew starts to get in on the raping and the killing.
posted by clevershark at 9:32 PM on October 25, 2005


So I presume that whenever anyone is shot in a movie and you see them in hospital recovering and then they get out of hospital but are still in pain (watch the movie again) then you assume they are dead?

I'll give benefit of the doubt to this chap, since it reminds me of my high school teacher's disappointed reaction when I said that I had figured out what was going to happen at the end of the lottery. Thing is, I had read Shirley Jackson before, and I knew that something fucked up was going to happen. But ook for me, too.

But yeah, M. Night sucks (uh, Signs). And after all this, I'm definitely going to see Oldboy. And I'm going in clean.
posted by dreamsign at 10:39 PM on October 25, 2005


How about when The Bride plucks out the eye of Elle Driver in "Kill Bill, volume 2?" Didn't see that coming (heh).
posted by davidmsc at 6:38 AM on October 26, 2005


I was unnerved by the makeout scene in Mulholland Dr as well. I might even say shocked. I was shocked at Betty's interest in Rita. It was the first thing that clued me in that there was something very, very wrong with Betty.
posted by Elsbet at 9:13 AM on October 26, 2005


Oh, and Night of the Living Dead, when the little girl in the basement is found mowing down on her mother.

The ending to that one was quite the shocker the first time I saw it.
posted by Anders Levant at 9:16 AM on October 26, 2005


The problem with seeing tens of thousands of movies in your lifetime is that it's hard to get surprised any more. If I'm going to see a movie with a "surprise twist," I don't want to know anything about it. I don't want to know that there's a twist, or a surprise, or "just wait till the end, man!"... NOTHING, GODDAMMIT. Otherwise I'll have it figured out in ten minutes and spend the ensuing hour being annoyed.

[Re: Alien] It was about 15 minutes later, when they're using the radar to try and spot the thing in the ship.

Have to agree with you. The "gut busting" scene in Alien was just a "Boo!" setup... it's not hard to get an audience to jump out of their seats. What's much more fun is impending doom; the proximity detector beeps were a brilliant ploy: they slowly built the tension up and then past the breaking point because eventually the Alien is right there, except, wait... it's not! Then... AAGH!

I'm a big fan of The Thing. The opening shot (the dog running through the icefield) is a fabulous setup, and the whole movie is like some fucked-up Antarctic game of Clue meets Alien.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 9:49 AM on October 26, 2005


An anti shocker scene was Misery, as I had read the book first. I was so excited to see his leg get chopped off, and then the blowtorch, but wait, that's no ax, that's a mallet, where's the f@#$% blowt...WTF?!!! I've robbed I tell you!
Still a good movie.
posted by MrMulan at 9:51 AM on October 26, 2005


Howard the Duck. Pretty much the whole thing.
Shocking that some people keep getting work in Hollywood.
posted by Smedleyman at 10:46 AM on October 26, 2005


MrMulan, William Goldman, the screenwriter on Misery tells in this book how he fought to use the axe but was overruled and eventually came to the conclusion that this was rightly so, and that the sledgehammer was the better choice.
posted by biffa at 11:23 AM on October 26, 2005


Thanks biffa, I'm going to loan it out from my library.
posted by MrMulan at 12:07 PM on October 26, 2005


Eat it 'til you choke, you sick, twisted fuck!
posted by stinkycheese at 12:18 PM on October 26, 2005


I'm so glad they listed that moment from Audition. My girlfriend and I shrieked like five-year olds. *shudder*
posted by honeydew at 10:07 PM on October 26, 2005


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