iPlayer Radio What's New?

Mindblowing Moments

Friday 5 April 2013, 11:46

Mark Kermode Mark Kermode

David Cronenberg's landmark horror movie Scanners is out on BluRay for the first time. It contains one of the most astounding sequences in cinema - what are your mindblowing moments in film?

In order to see this content you need to have both Javascript enabled and Flash Installed. Visit BBC Webwise for full instructions. If you're reading via RSS, you'll need to visit the blog to access this content

Related content

Crowning Cronenberg

Scare stories

Comments

Jump to comments pagination
 
  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 1.

    What about recently in Kill List? The hammer scene was quite a 'blimey Charlie' moment. We don't forget these scene, whether they are surreal or just plain violent.

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 2.

    The head being pulled off in Day Of The Dead; horrific, darkly comic, weird yet surprisingly realistic.

    On a seperate note I don't know why Mark is always slagging off The Omen. How is it "deeply flawed"? It's regarded as a classic for good reason on its own merits. And why are you always comparing it to The Exorcist? They both have satanic overtones but are very different beasts. Just because Omen was made in Exorcist's shadow doesn't mean it deserves to be criticised whenever it's mentioned. It's a much better film than you give it credit for.

    Sorry, carry on...

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 3.

    Having seen Alien for the very first time not that long ago (I'm only 19, I have an excuse!), the chest-burster scene genuinely left me stunned and for about 5 minutes my jaw hung open as the scene played out. An extraordinary moment.

    I'm quite squemish so violent scenes tend to stand out for me if well done and don't simply upset me or make me feel sick. Aside from aforementioned Alien, the only moment in a film that I can immediately think of that has left me stunned was towards the end of Cabin in the Woods, when the lift opens and carnage ensues in that one room. I howled with laughter because it was so extraordinary gory and bizarre. A different reaction, but it was definitely (to use my generations vocabulary) a 'What the F***' moment.

    To me, such a drastic change of tone from tension to an explosion of horror is probably the main reason for these 'mindblowing moments', and we can respond in many ways - silence and awe, or laughter at the sudden change.

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 4.

    There are a number of fantastically gruey moments in Peter Jackson's horror comedy Braindead. The one that has particularly stayed with me is the lawnmower massacre scene, but there are many others!

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 5.

    In The Cronenberg adaptation of The Fly, I still remember the Blimey Charlie moment when Jeff Goldblum broke the guy's arm in the arm-wrestle. Even the digestive vomiting didn't top that for me. I was very young at the time. But I was even younger when Spielberg melted, imploded and exploded the Nazis and Belloq at the end of Raiders. In a PG. Blimey Charlie.

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 6.

    That moment when Mark Kermode said "Blimey Charlie". Weird.

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 7.

    Dare I remind the good Dr. of Gaspar Noe's 'Enter the Void?' Scratch that; Gaspar Noe's entire filmography. However, I'm sure very few films have broken down cinematic boundaries in quite the way 'ETV' did. The whole film was worthy of the tag 'mind-blowing' yet certain sequences (which I won't go into for obvious reasons) are unmatched in terms of surrealistic, trippy intensity.

    This post reminds me of a comment from John Landis (I think it was him) talking about on-screen shocks. Watching a Hitchcock film, you can feel yourself being manipulated, taken carefully in one direction then masterfully twisted the opposite. Watching Wes Craven's 'The Last House on the Left,' any similar comfort disappears - the moment in which you realise you're in the hands of a maniac. Craven could be leading you anywhere and there's nothing you can do about it.

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 8.

    One truly shocking moment that immediately comes to mind is one scene in "License to Kill" where Sanchez seals Milton Krest in the pressure chamber full of money; which Sanchez slowly increases the pressure before rapidly depressurising it by cutting the main valve with an axe, causing Krest's head to explode. Even 007 looks visibly shocked by this. And just when you think it couldn't get more shocking, one of Sanchez's men says "What about the money?" and Sanchez says "Launder it." It's remains the only line in a Bond film that made me nervously laugh.

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 9.

    My mindblowing moment would have to be the ending of Rosemary's Baby. I watched it recently and I was amazed that even ten years after I first saw it, the finale is pure terror. There is no gore, no special effects, its all left unshown and that is where your imagination has to go into overdrive. Horror of the mind, now that is what I call a mindblowing moment.

    Another mindblowing moment would have to be the first fifteen minutes of Suspiria, not in the same league as some of the films mentioned by Dr. K but one of the very few horror films that plays for cheap shocks by the use of grand operatic excess. The music, the imagery, and the over the top screaming gives the audience such a big jolt that plot and logic is forgotten and the imagery and scares take over and because they're so well done, Suspiria is one of the very very few films to get away with it.

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 10.

    response to #5 Jon Deane
    You're right, can't believe I forgot about Raiders, one of my favourite films of all time. I saw it at the IMAX a few months ago that ending still blows you away. And the fact that its a PG.

    #8 SaTay
    I agree, License To Kill certainly is shocking, and not only the moment when Milton Krest blows up in the pressure chamber, the whole film is mindblowing.

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 11.

    The one that always comes to mind for me has to be the fire extinguisher to head pummeling from Gaspar Noé's Irreversible, the first viewing of this scene left a whole room of people stunning into silence for a full ten minutes, even now after a few vewings it still pacts a punch.

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 12.

    Great post as always Mark and an interesting subject.

    In not being a massive horror film fan I don't have a great number of visual mind blowing elements in my repitoire. However when you mentioned Un Chien Andalou (1929) it instantly reminded me of Bunuel's most surrealist moments in his body of work, including the dinner scene in which the guests sit around the table on toilet seats from The Phantom of Liberty (1974). In fact this was so visually striking that I burst out laughing for about 5 minutes afterward. I was purely laughing at the surrealism; I couldn't believe a director could take it that far. The Phantom of Liberty is one of my favourite films and knits in with Bunuel's prior Un Chien Andalou due to the fact that they both have no plot (beginning, middle or end) and are full of surrealist moments. Watch it!

    I also want to make reference to a mind blowing moment which struck me in terms of an unexpected change to narrative. In the Coen Brothers Burn After Reading (2008) Brad Pitt who we presume is our lead protagonist gets killed of approx. half an hour into the film. Moments such as this are most memorable to me in film, alongside surrealism.

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 13.

    One of the few genuinely jaw-dropping sequences I can remember was the first time I saw Martyrs (the middle section where some discoveries are made and the reasons behind things are revealed). I knew very little about it at the time, just that is was French and pretty intense, but it was pretty hard to get my head around what I was actually watching. Love the film, but now everything else seems pretty tame in comparison!

  • rate this
    +3

    Comment number 14.

    The scene that sticks out to me is from Pan's Labyrinth, where Captain Vidal kills a man with a wine bottle. The camera doesn't back off, you see repeated blow after repeated blow as the face is smashed in. Leaving you properly shocked and realising that this isn't a normal fantasy film.

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 15.

    I remember I had to rewatch the ending of "Tetsuo: The Iron Man" three times before I accepted the reality of what happened as (SPOILER ALERT) the movie's dueling foes ultimately merge into one another, fall in love and agree to use their love to end the world as they "drive" off, revealing their combination to have taken the shape of a large metal penis.

    I still don't quite know what that ending means but I haven't forgotten it.

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 16.

    Takashi Miike seems to thrive on such moments (to the point of desensitizing the viewer perhaps?), but the standout for me is undoubtedly the birth scene in Gozu.

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 17.

    There's an abundance of mindblowing moments in Eraserhead, but what struck me as the Blimey Charlie moment wasn't the dinner scene, nor the eraser sequence, but the sequence in which Henry's head falls off to reveal his baby's head. The combination of its echoed crying and the surrealism of the setting still makes me a bit anxious. The whole film is a Blimey Charlie moment, though...

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 18.

    Two very low-key examples: the moment in 'Los olvidados' when the boy throws an egg at the camera, and when Roman Polanski slaps that boy in the park in 'The Tenant'.

    A horror scene that still blows me away is resurrected Frank coming up from the floorboards in 'Hellraiser'. Good effects and great music.

    Lastly, the Japanese movie 'Uzumaki' contains many unsettling images with a high 'Blimey Charlie' factor.

  • rate this
    +4

    Comment number 19.

    Sadako coming out of the TV.

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 20.

    Not quite as OTT as most of these, but there's "that moment" in Caché; I vividly remember the reaction of myself (and everyone else around me) in the cinema at that point.

 

Page 1 of 13

This entry is now closed for comments

Share this page

More Posts

Previous
Kristin's In The House

Tuesday 2 April 2013, 17:40

Next
Dead Ahead

Tuesday 9 April 2013, 10:44

About this Blog

Outspoken, opinionated and never lost for words, Mark is the UK's leading film critic.

This twice-weekly video blog is the place where he airs his personal views on the things that most fire him up about cinema - and invites you to give your own opinions.

Blog Updates

Stay updated with the latest posts from the blog.

Subscribe using:

What are feeds?