October 28, 2014

31 Days of Creepy Scenes, #4: Boom, Headshot #2

They've given us nightmares, given us chills, made us cringe, made us laugh, made us gag, and made us stare at the screen in awe: these are the scenes that pop into our minds when we think of great Horror Films, and we love them all.

*We recommend that if you've never seen these scenes before, that you experience them for the first time unspoiled in the movies that they come from, if you can. With that in mind, we'll try to be as spoiler-free as possible while discussing them; try, being the key word here.

There are plenty of Horror movies that offer great scenes where heads are blown off in grand fashion (Planet Terror, Dawn of the Dead, The New York Ripper, just about every zombie movie ever made, etc...), and yes, most of them defy logistic/ballistic reality, but they absolutely do make for some great WTF!?! movie moments.

We already highlighted a little girl getting getting her forehead removed via pistol In The Beyond (our #6 scene), but this headshot scene from Maniac (1980) is just as special to us.

Maniac is a nasty little movie which has always remained one of our favorites because of one reason; Joe Spinell; The Godfather I & II, Rocky I & II, Nighthawks... Spinell played some great roles in some CLASSIC movies, and thus he played a big part in our cinematic childhood. Not to mention that the guy's performance in this movie is inspired, to say the least.

Maniac is the story of a serial killer who scalps his female victims, all because he can't find true love... or something like that. As likable of a guy as Joe Spinell is, he also plays "insane" extremely well, and both of those qualities make his turn here, as the creepy maniac Frank Zito, a truly memorable one.

The scene in question here is the one in which Tom Savini (the all-time great makeup/FX guy) and some girl are parked near the Verranzano Bridge in Brooklyn, trying to get it on, when Frank shows up, shotgun in hand.

Yes, parts of that scene play a bit "80's cheesy" but its still effective as hell. It's interesting to note that the scene looks darker because it was lit entirely by the car's actual headlights, which may be a part of the reason that it is so effective. Back then, this scene was shocking. It still is.

If you love slasher flicks, then Maniac is one 80's classic that you have to see. It's far more sinister and disturbing than most of the slashers of that day were, and it's a nice change of pace from the standard "Masked killer stalks a bunch of bawdy teens on Arbor Day" fare. *Not that we don't love those too.


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