Posts Tagged ‘karen black’

I know this is old hat, but I’m on a horror movie kick right now (part of my Halloween preparation) and it’s a good question:

What’s the scariest MOMENT from a horror movie? What scene made you jump out of your seat or cover your eyes? Which moment from a scary movie haunts your sleep to this day?

One of the best comes from a movie I really didn’t like all that much. Thing is, I like creepy more than I like scary. Gore and guts and blood and monsters popping out from nowhere may give me chills or make me jump out of my seat, but it’s the creepy things that stay with me and keep me from turning the lights off at night. While I get immense enjoyment from great horror films like Dead Alive or Evil Dead, it’s movies like Session 9 and Event Horizon that stay with me long after the credits roll and give me nightmares.

I did not enjoy Blair Witch Project. I thought it was long and drawn out and really boring in too many parts.blairwitch2.jpg I struggled to stay awake for most of the movie. Yet the film has one redeeming feature. It contains what, in my eyes, is one of the creepiest moments on film. The ending, where Michael is standing completely still and facing the corner. It was so unsettling, so unnerving that it made sitting through that entire movie worth it. I can’t even explain to you why I found it so creepy or why I saw that scene when I closed my eyes for many nights after I saw the movie or why I still get chills when I think about it. I think it was the ambiguity, the absence of any explanation, the total unknowing feel about it that gave me the creeps.


‘Salem’s Lot – Oh, you know which scene. Face in the window. My sister used to try to scare me by going around to my bedroom window and scratching on it. That’s a good way to get yourself killed. By my hands.

Friday the 13th/Carrie – I put these two together because they are almost the same scene, different circumstances. Jason popping out of the water and Carrie’s hand coming out of the grave are really almost pedestrian in their simplicity. But something went right with these scenes where it went wrong for thousands of other movies. Because I know I screamed out loud both times. And I rarely do that.

Event Horizon – The woman with the black holes for eyes. This is an evil, evil, evil movie. The kind of movie that gets into your brain and makes your imagination turn on you.

Jaws – We’re gonna need a bigger boat. Yea, I’m gonna need a change of pants.

The Shining – This movie wasn’t nearly as scary as the book. That said, the scene where Danny is riding down the hallway and meets up with the twins haunted me for a few nights.

– Does anyone besides me even remember this movie? It was a trilogy of scary stories. The one with the severed hand crawling around seeking revenge on the husband gave me nightmares. I was only ten at the time. What the hell was my mother thinking taking me to see that? Eh, I should probably thank her.

The Fly (original) – Holy shit. I think this was the first movie scene tothefly2.jpg ever really freak me out. I must have been about six or seven when I watched this with my mother. She was a huge Vincent Price fan and would make us watch all his movies when they were on tv (I think this was one of those “horror week” things on the WPIX 4:00 movie). When you see the human face on that fly and hear the tiny, pathetic “Help me!” – that’s damn terrifying to a little kid. For weeks after I would look in spider webs for human flies, just in case anyone was looking for help.

Trilogy of Terror – Is there anything more terrifying than a made for tv Karen Black movie? Yes. It’s when Karen Black meets up with an evil tribal doll. I’ll let the pictures do it justice here (I wrote about it already here).

Yea, I’ll be sleeping with the light on tonight.

So those are just a few of my favorite/most terrifying moments from horror movies. Let’s hear about yours.

Here’s the 100 scariest scenes at Retrocrush, to get your memory going.

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Hey, it’s Friday the 13th! Which makes me think about frightening things. Well, not really, as I’m not scared of a day/number combination. I have a lot of weird fears, but this ain’t one of them. But it does make me think of horror movies. Or maybe it just gives me a reason to post my favorite scene from a scary movie.

Trilogy of Terror

I grew up on horror. chiller.jpg I was in maybe first grade when my Mom got me hooked on Dark Shadows and Vincent Price movies. Other kids gathered around the tv with their family on Sunday evenings to watch Wonderful World of Disney. We stayed up late together on Friday nights to watch Chiller Theater. I think watching so much horror from such an early age sort of desensitized me. As I got older I realized that, while I enjoyed scary movies as much as always, I just didn’t get that frightened. I didn’t jump when everyone else did or scream when everyone else did. What I mean is, the movies just didn’t scare me while I was in the theater. It wasn’t until I got home and was by myself in the dark that I turned into a pussy. But I bet a lot of you are the same way. I’m just admitting it.

So, I’ve seen a lot of horror movies in my time. Hundreds. Movies you have seen a thousand times. Movies you never heard of. Big budget crapfests. Indie crapfests. Foreign crapfests. Yea, most horror movies end up being crapfests. Just the way it is. The really great ones are far and few between. And lately, even the mediocre ones aren’t that many. The art of making a good horror movie seems to be lost (that’s another rant for another day). But, gore, blood, murder, ghosts, vampires, mindfucks, slashers, freaks, voodoo….you name it, I’ve seen it. And out of all of those movies, all of the genres of horror, all of the screams within, the one movie that left such an impression on me that I still freak out when I look at a picture from it was a made for tv movie.

Trilogy of Terror. Written by Richard Matheson. 1975. trilogy14.jpgThree different horror stories, all starring Karen Black. I can’t remember what the other two were about. I just remember the one. The tribal doll. That creepy, evil little doll with the knife and the leer.

For those that never saw this, short premise: Black buys a Zuni fetish doll for her boyfriend. Not for nothing, but if a date ever brought me something that looked like this, I’d think twice about where things were headed. But anyhow, she brings it home and gets ready for her date. She also has a fight with her overbearing mother on the phone. Setting the stage, there.

Somehow,the doll’s necklace falls off and it’s revealed that’s a big mistake. No necklace = live doll.

Let me tell you. What happens in the next ten minutes or so after Black realizes the doll is alive still gives me the chills, just thinking about.amelia2.jpg When she hears the pitter patter of little feet in the kitchen, you know. You want to say to her, get the hell out of the apartment, woman, that doll is gonna spear you! But the doll says, fuck this spear, I need me a knife. He finds a butcher knife. As he torments Black, he repeatedly stabs the knife into the floor. With that look on his face. Mind you, this thing is only like a foot tall, if that. And he moves real quick. And he has this ugly, snarling face of pure evil.

The light goes out in the living room. You hear a sound. He’s slashing at her. In the dark! He backs her into a closet and she traps him in a suitcase. And then you see the knife cutting a circle in the suitcase and the doll is out and back in action. Finally, Black traps the bastard in the oven, which has been on this whole time. He goes up in flames and stupid, stupid Karen Black, that dumb son of a bitch, she opens the oven door. Why? Did she want to stick a toothpick in him to see if he was done yet?

Well, no amount of my screaming at the tv for her not to do that would help. She opened the gates of hell when she opened the oven and the Zuni Spirit of Random Murder flew out of the oven and into Karen Black’s soul. I thought that was the end. That would have been cool. I could have gone to bed satisfied with that and not had too many bad dream moments because of it.

But, no. You hear a phone call. She’s calling her mom.

Yea mom, come on over. Sorry I think you’re a controlling whack job, mom. Come on over and we’ll do the hug thing, ok? Ok.

And then the camera moves to her. She’s crouched on the living room floor. She’s got….teeth. Fangs. She’s got a knife. And she’s repeatedly stabbing it into the floor.


Mom’s in for a big surprise when she gets there.

Hey, you can buy one of these dolls. I’ll be damned if I’m gonna put one of those hideous things in my house. Hell, I still can’t say Candyman five times into a mirror.

There are a lot of movie scenes that were, in retrospect, a lot scarier than that. There were some that played with my head, some that made me nearly pee my pants and some that gave me chills. The ending to The Thing. That scene in Salem’s Lot with the kid in the window. So many, I should probably make a list. But this is the one that stayed with me, that still shows up in my dreams once in a while.

(Retrocrush has my favorite list of scary movie moments)

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