Death can be messy. Whether it’s vomiting your intestinal track or splattering your brains across a bright white wall, you’re bound to make your mark. This is especially true in our beloved genre films, where death is often sudden, violent and bound to leave a big stain on the sidewalk. Sure, we’re all used to rooms being coated with gore, but a splattery death scene can still have us cheering in the aisles, covering our eyes, or reaching for the nearest vomit receptacle. It’s all in good fun, and it’s all in bad taste.
Inspired by the upcoming release of Ernesto Díaz Espinoza’s BRING ME THE HEAD OF THE MACHINE GUN WOMAN, let’s look at ten of the very messiest, goriest, and slimiest movie deaths.
10. ED-209 TURNS A JUNIOR EXECUTIVE
Most of us know that Paul Verhoeven’s original cut of the action classic ROBOCOP was slapped with the dreaded X rating, but it’s not because he packed in one too many shower scenes (the lech!). No, instead he decided to fill his cyborg police officer movie with copious amounts of stomach-churning gore. Never one to shy away from excess, the pièce de résistance was this scene – featuring Mr. Kinney – a young go-getter in the Security Concepts division of OCP – reaching a bloody demise at the turrets of Enforcement Droid, Series 209. Somehow, it all fits very well into a dubstep remix. Whoa, that’s messy!
9. RIKI-OH GRINDS UP THE WARDEN
RIKI-OH: THE STORY OF RICKY (1991)
Actually, about half of RIKI-OH would be appropriate fodder for a list like this. Remember the part where Oscar tries to choke Riki with his own intestines (“You’ve got a lot of guts, Oscar!”)? Or when Tarzan smashes the prisoners’ head into jelly? Good times! But things get particularly messy in the film’s climax, where the warden transforms into a rubbery monster and starts tossing Riki around the prison kitchen. It looks like it’s lights out for our hero, but then he remembers he’s a kung fu GOD and tosses the prick into a MEAT GRINDER. Who wants hamburgers? The answer better be everyone, because the room (and RIKI!) are soon coated in blood n’ guts! It’s enough to make you want smash the prison wall with your mighty fist and help all the prisoners escape.
8. MR. CREOSOTE HAS ONE MINT TOO MANY
MONTY PYTHON’S THE MEANING OF LIFE (1983)
“The only time I’ve ever had to look away, because I couldn’t bear to watch, was The Meaning Of Life, when that fat bastard keeps being sick.” – Quentin Tarantino Tarantino is referring to Monty Python member Terry Jones as the fantastically obese (and wonderfully named) Mr. Creosote, who overindulges at a swanky restaurant and proceeds to vomit on himself, the table, the staff and anything else that is within, uh, spitting distance. The other diners in the restaurant are understandably disgusted by the display, and proceed to vomit as well. It all culminates in Mr. Crosote being offered a wafer-thin mint, leading to a full body rupture and fountain of puke spewing forth from all witnesses. Yep. It’s pretty gross. And awfully messy.
7. CARTER WONG TAKES
LO PAN’S DEATH RATHER HARD
BIG TROUBLE IN LITTLE CHINA (1986)
Oh, sure, Carter Wong’s explosion in BIG TROUBLE IN LITTLE CHINA doesn’t quite make a mess like Mr. Creosote (at least, not that we can see), but there’s something awfully impressive about how (and why) it occurs. Seeing the corpse of his dead master, Wong (as THUNDER) proceeds to be overcome with grief and rage – and demonstrates his dishonor by.. inflating himself. Using some sort of ancient Chinese breath control, his body takes the shape of a giant Cabbage Patch doll, growing larger and larger (and more ridiculous) until POP! We don’t get to see much of the final result, but the collection of green bits that come pouring out into the hallway suggest a room that will require a serious clean-up.
6. THE BLOB MAKES A PHONE CALL
THE BLOB (1988)
There is so much gooey goodness in Chuck Russell’s underrated remake of 50s classic THE BLOB that it’s hard to decide which one is the messiest. After all, there’s few things more goopy than a massive, semi-sentient pile of purple slime. I’m going to go with a personal favorite, where a woman runs into a phone booth which slowly gets enveloped by the quivering alien mass. As she desperately attempts to make the call, she gets entirely surrounded – and gets to see a half digested(?) slimy corpse pass along the outside glass. She has just enough time to appreciate her fate before The Blob seeps in and – as the song goes: Beware of the blob, it creeps And leaps and glides and slides Across the floor Right through the door.
5. FRANK COTTON HAS HIS SOUL TORN APART
Clive Barker is a funny dude. But not “ha ha” funny. There’s never been another film quite like Barker’s 1987 adaptation of his novella “The Hellbound Heart”, which introduced us to a race of grotesque, ritually mutilated creatures called “Cenobites” led by the unforgettable Pinhead. These guys *LOVE* S&M, and nobody learns more about the convergence of pain and pleasure than Frank Cotton, here taking the form of his own brother Larry (played by Andrew Robinson). Frank gets captured by Pinhead and his crew and his skin is pierced with nasty looking hooks before putting him through some particularly nasty body suspension. Of course, that suspension can’t last forever and Frank has his entire body ripped to bits. Jesus wept!JA
4. JASON GOES TO HELL
JASON GOES TO HELL: THE FINAL FRIDAY (1993)
Ho-hum. Friday The 13th Part 9 begins as you might expect: With Jason Vorhees stalking a comely young lass as she makes her way through the cabins of Crystal Lake. Soon the chase is on, and the woman barely stays one step ahead of the machete wielding psycho as she leads him into a clearing. A huge number of flood lights switch on, and Jason is faced with something he’s never encountered before: a collection of FBI agents with machine guns! They pummel him with bullets, his body twitching from the attack, before being blown to smithereens! And BOY is it beautiful. Limbs and organs go flying, and we even get to see all the various bits and pieces again during a detailed autopsy. Sure, then there’s a bunch of hypnotism and body-switching that tends to get fans of the series steaming mad, but I adore this beautifully messy opening.
3. TOILET MELTDOWN
STREET TRASH (1987)
There are few films more enthusiastically messy than Jim Muro’s body-melt classic STREET TRASH, where some tainted liquor starts to melt down hobos into colorful neon slime. In this classic scene – immortalized on the film’s poster – we get to see the full power of the “viper”, turning a boozy drifter into a toilet full of colorful goo. It’s actually quite horrific; particularly when his legs snap off and viscous, rainbow-colored fluid starts squirting from every orifice. It might be self contained (and self cleaning!) but it’s definitely MESSY.
2. BRENDA’S HUNGRY
This one is a little difficult to explain. In James Gunn’s delightful horror/sci-fi throwback SLITHER, alien parasites infect a small town in Carolina. One of the most unfortunate victims is Brenda, who – once infected – becomes a massive (MASSIVE) incubator for thousands of the wriggling creatures. Think of it like the ALIEN chestburster, except instead of bursting a chest.. Well, you’ll see.
1. “PARTY’S OVER”
It’s a cheat, but it’s a good one. After the death and return of his mother (due to the ever-common Sumatran monkey bite), perpetually demeaned Lionel finds himself caring for an increasing number of zombies in his basement. When they escape during a party, things get violent. Really violent. Still the standard-bearer for splatter gags, Peter Jackson’s BRAINDEAD (aka DEAD/ALIVE) culminates in Lionel finding his mojo in the form of a gas-powered lawnmower and dozens of flesh-hungry undead. Blood, gore, offal, organs.. every inch of the house gets coated, until the participants find themselves literally slipping in the blood. It doesn’t get much messier than everyone – and everything – being coated in body parts and fluids.
Doug “Sweetback” Tilley
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