Sunday, January 23, 2011


It was just over a year ago that Andre Dumas of The Horror Digest and I compiled a list of iconic horror scenes that were especially frightening to my dear friend Andre.  You see, among her fear of sharks, she's also afraid of vomiting.  After a torturous and potentially therapeutic session of facing her fears, the tables were turned on yours truly.  So today, my Womanizers...Andre gets her revenge.  Any true DotW fanatic should know that my bugaboos are Lawn Gnomes, Leprosy, Clowns, and eye trauma.  Figuring it would be next to impossible or way too easy to do the other ones, we settled on creating a list of  
The Best Eye Trauma Scenes in Horror.


I always think of this immediately when I think about eye trauma. I can't imagine what it would feel like to get your eye plucked out of your head. Just the thought that someone or something could pull your eye ball out, and that those...eye...root things could snap off and then things would hurt really bad....yeah. Bad news. Also, Uma Thurman stepping on the eyeball does nothing to make me feel any better about this situation.

I'm never actually sure what this dude was doing to that Asian girl, but all I know is that there is a gnarly eye ball hanging out of that poor girl's head. Thanks to Paxton's quick thinking, his easy solution is to cut the eye ball off---resulting in a very sudden, unexpected and horribly gooey blob of....eye juice plopping out.

When I was a little one, this scene caused me a great deal of stress and unhappiness.  It's very unfortunate that birds have the easy ability to peck someone's eyes out, and it was very unfortunate that Alfred Hitchcock made an entire film about birds being crazy assholes.

I know I already brought this up in my list about needles, but duh it applies here as well. That squish squish noise in the eyeballs is very traumatizing. Would YOU like to have 5 little needles plunged into your eyeballs by a psycho like Asami? Didn't think so.

Did you ever take a class about psychology and learn about Phineas Gage? He was a railroad worker who in a freak accident had a large iron rod driven straight through his head and brain and he was okay after, just a little... different. This incident has been used when talking about t the unfortunate side effects of lobotomies. Lobotomies for some reason remain a creepy cornerstone of old mental institutions. In one of the creepiest scenes in Session 9, Warren from Empire Records finds Hank on the stairwell after he had been missing. Hank wears sunglasses and seems a little...different. It is not until later that we discover why Hank was acting all funny.... inpromptu lobotomy!  Seeing the orbitoclast being slowly pulled out of Hank's eye socket is one of the most traumatic things I have ever seen. Why did they make me look at that? Why? And yes I used the word orbitoclast. Jealous?

The Soska sister's Dead Hooker in a Trunk was one of the more entertaining and eye opening experiences in my indie horror watching career. A film that takes exploitation and runs with it and a film that is stuffed to the max with gore, gore and beautiful gore. One moment in particular however had me exclaiming with wonder, confusion and holy eye trauma madness. After the peak of the greatest scene in the film, Geek (played by Jen Soska) is standing in a parking garage when some dude with a baseball bat smashes her head---causing her eye ball to pop out.  I stopped trying to figure out how this scene was possible seconds after it happened because I realized it was just too fantastic to be talking logistics about. It is at once fantastic and extremely cringe inducing when you imagine such a thing happening to yourself.

This opening moment in Saw II may never have come to actual fruition but it's really the thought that counts. I will set the scene for you. Imagine you wake up and find yourself hooked up to one of Jigsaw's cute little death traps. You find out that he has hidden the key to your heinous trap somewhere on you....or shall I say in you. An x-ray is shown to give you a clue, showing that the key is implanted behind your eye. You now have to dig out the key with a scalpel or you DIE. Would you do it?  I gotta be honest here and say that if push should ever come to shove, I would be dead pretty quickly. I really don't care if it means I die--if I have to cut my own eye with a scalpel to free myself from some loony contraption that some loony created so that I could value my life better--I am peacing out of that world. No thanks. I'd rather take my chances with Satan.

This 16 minute surrealist short film from 1929 was produced in part by the master of Surrealism himself--Salvador Dali. In its early opening sequence a man sharpens a razor, next we see a close up of a woman's face being held by the man. Then without warning the man uses the razor to slice her eye ball open!  If you have ever held onto the belief that old silent films lacked the same kind of brutal gore that films today have---check this out for yourself. It's on Netflix Instant Watch and you won't be disappointed. It is to this day one of the sickest things I have ever seen--and it does not hold back one bit. The moment may be quick, but it's sure to stay with you for a very long time.

And of course how could we talk about eye trauma and leave off the most agonizing traumatic eye scene of them all? Even if you have only seen Zombie once and remember very little about it--you will remember this scene. You will remember it because it is the longest scene ever. Much in the Lucio Fulci style of things that make you want to pull your hair out as you wait anxiously for the big pay off---this giant splinter in the eye moment will have you yelling. Just get it over with Fulci, god.  It's gross, funny, horrifying and extremely trauma inducing for anyone who gets the least bit anxious from eye gore. It's the ultimate in eye trauma! And it's so horrible yet you just can't look away...kind of like how Paola is forced to look right at that giant splinter as it comes right for her eye...


As little Ralphie will tell you, there's nothing worse than a kid with broken glasses.  I see his argument and raise him a pair of glasses that have broken WHILE YOU'RE STILL WEARING THEM.  In the dreadful "remake" to the Stephen King classic, we see the long-lost half-sister of Carrie White being a vindictive little bitch, and forcing shards of glass to explode into someone's eyes.

Ashley J. Williams very well be the love of my life, but I'd be a huge flaming liar if I didn't admit that I squeal like a little girl every time he jumps on the basement latch and that eye goes flying into a screaming mouth.  It's the epitome of adding insult to injury.

Lucio Fulci really has some eye fetish.  I had to narrow it down between this one and New York Ripper and I can honestly say that my choice was made based on the fact I figured this image would be a lot easier to stomach than the other.  It's an eye falling out in a film where a woman has pale eyes. AKA...this film is my worst freaking nightmare.

You know, I thought Cannibal Holocaust was bad.  AND THEN I WATCHED THIS.  What seriously happened to the filmmakers as a child that caused them to create this?! Not to mention, this is the same movie that shows a woman being hung by her rack.  Uh...yeah.  There's something in this film for anyone with a bugaboo.

When I think the eye trauma can't get anymore traumatic, THEY HAVE TO BUST OUT THE SPOON.  It's one thing to show things getting shoved into the corneas, but it's an entirely different creature to show someone literally having their eyeball scooped out like tapioca pudding.  The real kicker?  This is one of the TWO options I could have done for this film.  Oh yeah, there's that whole shoving a needle the size of my forearm through the eye as well.

...she stabs herself in the eye with a pair of pinking shears and then puts the eyeball on her doll made from human body parts.  Enough said.

Ted Raimi can take a blow to the head with a meat pounder like a pro.  In what is possibly the most artistically creative use of CGI blood in a movie who's title sounds mysteriously like a gay porn, this "eye-popping" (thank you, I'll be here all week) scene made me scream like a little girl.  I was expecting his head to just bust open or his brain to fall out, but when his eye popped out of his head like a nerf gun...I freaking lost it.

Yes, there are movies outside of the horror genre.  Horror or not, this is by far the most notable eye trauma scene in the history of cinema.  Now, I'm Italian and I LOVE me some Rocky Balboa, but I literally have to leave the room when Mick cuts him open so he can see.  Hell no, hizzle no.



11 comment(s):

Unknown said...

There's a moment in the korean film The Butcher where the victim has her eyeballs scooped out, and I believe squished or eaten.

God I hate that movie.

Unknown said...

There's a moment in the korean film The Butcher where the victim has her eyeballs scooped out, and I believe squished or eaten.

God I hate that movie.

Strange Kid said...

Great list- I love that you included Rocky, B-J! I think the Evil Dead eye pop would have to take top honors in my book.

Anonymous said...

If it's any consolation, here's a bit of eye trauma you may like...

Anonymous said...

what about Equus? there's some heavy duty eye trauma in that movie.

Anonymous said...

Awesome, awesome list! Some great moments of eye trauma that I didn't even remember. It's suche a specific and gruesome category of gore. I laughed out loud when I saw that there is a movie whose title is "Dead Hooker in a Trunk," and I really want to see "May," after all I've heard about it.

It's not as graphic as most of these, but I love in "28 Days Later" when Cillian Murphy jams his thumbs into the soldier's eye sockets. That's badass.

brian said...

'The Call Her One Eye' (the original uncut version) should be #1 on any list. They used a real corpse!

Monster Scholar said...

Oedipus is the original master of eye trauma. Freud though that fear of losing one's eyes was a metaphor for fear of castration. He talks about it in the Uncanny.

jmcozzoli said...

Man, I kept squinting through this whole post. Yikes! That one from Hostel still makes me squirm.

Spike Ghost said...

i can't even start to say how afraid i am to watch Opera because of that kind of torture, i want to see it, but damn! ... That scene in May was so hard to look at, not only was it gross, but also heartbreaking... God i love that movie! <3 I never saw Zombi 2 but i saw that scene on youtube. Traumatic indeed

Spike Ghost said...

Also a teacher in college in our literature class made us watch that part of Un Chien Andalou and that part was unexpected and disturbing.

Related Posts with Thumbnails