Monday, February 23, 2009

Another Horror Movie Pet Peeve ....

I made a post a long while back about all of the little things inherent in many horror movies out there that bug the hell out of me and after just watching Toolbox Murders (2003) again and being reminded of one of my least favorite things a horror filmmaker can do, i'd like to add it to the list. Most of the things on that above list are admittedly things that make horror movies what they are and thus should be looked past when watching one, but this one, along with bad CGI, really makes me cringe in my seat. And I actually am a fan of Toolbox Murders so don't take this as me bashing the overall film!

What is this pet peeve I am talking about?

When someone gets their head cut off and then their eyes or mouth continue to move around a bit after the decapitation. That fucking annoys me to no end. It's not creepy, it's not cool, it just looks fucking lame. (It is however acceptable if the head in question belongs to a zombie or if the movie is called The Brain That Wouldn't Die!)

And yes, I am well aware that there are documented (or at least alleged) cases of such things happening in real life. It is said that the eyes and mouths of decapitated heads have shown signs of movement several seconds after a beheading. Allegedly, the human brain has enough oxygen stored for metabolism to persist for about 7 seconds after the head is cut off. So yes, it is in fact theoretically possible. But that doesn't change the fact that it just looks totally stupid when it happens in a horror movie. I may be the only one that feels this way and I realize that by stating that it's not such an unbelievable thing i'm kinda defeating my own argument, but this is just the way I feel. I'm sure there's lot of things that could conceivably happen but nevertheless would look lame on film.

I cite scenes from the afformentioned Toolbox Murders (hard to see because of the lighting), Dario Argento's Trauma (which is just totally ridiculous no matter which way you cut it), and the House of Wax remake (which also suffers from poor CGI) to back up my argument .....



AM I THE ONLY ONE?!

22 comments:

Cins said...

My only question is, how to you speak without vocal cords? Wouldn't they have been severed?

Wings said...

Maybe because it makes the fake, decapitated head look even faker? If that makes sense...

They should just not show the face.

Odd timing, as I just finished watching "Hatchet" and had no problem with the beheading in that flick, maybe because you don't have to look at the face later.

I WAS taken a bit out of the movie at the older woman's death tho...

Johnny said...

Cins - One would think so! That scene is just so ridiculous, much moreso than the others.

Wings - Don't get me wrong, I love a beheading and I don't mind seeing the face of the beheaded afterwards, I just don't want to see any movement of eyes and/or mouth! I'm a huge fan of Hatchet by the way.

trixareforjen said...

;]

trixareforjen said...

I knew that one scene bothered you when we watched this! In my opinion I thought alot of the special effects were very unbeleivable (unrealistic) but they didnt annoy me. I appreciate the diversity of the special effects in the different horror movies and I think sometimes theyre done so cheesy and unrealistically for a comedy relief type of effect. I enjoyed the movie though. The killer was extremely creepy when they show his jaw inhinged from side to side and when he is climbing up the center of that creepy triangular staircase. I liked the movie overall. It did indeed make us paranoid. ;]

Bjornabo said...

I have just watched Jason Goes To Hell, so in my opionion none of these scenes (perhaps except the "talking one") looks THAT bad.. :-)

But as you say, it is annoying.

Johnny said...

I haven't seen Jason Goes To Hell in quite a while (and i'm okay with that!). Is there a scene in there where something like this happens or are you just saying that movie is so shitty that shitty scenes in general don't look as shitty as they should? lol

Bjornabo said...

I am saying that after seeing Jason Goes To Hell EVERYTHING else looks good, an by that i mean REALLY GOOD.

I`ve had a Friday Marathon the last 2 days, and Jason Goes T Hell really was a waste of time in my opinion. There is only about 13 minuttes of Jason in a movie called Jason Goes To Hell, how is that possible? That is like making a Rocky Movie where Rocky stands in the crowd cheering for the star of the movie.In two word: Just stupid. I`m not saying that Jason X and Freddy Vs. Jason was good movies, but thank god they did not end the series with Jason Goes To Hell.

But i`m with you on this, when a head is removed from a body, ALL face-movements is a NO NO.

Johnny said...

I too had a Friday marathon a couple weeks back, which stopped after Manhattan. Never liked Goes To Hell and like you say, Jason's not even in it, so what's the point? He may not technically be in Part 5, but you can just pretend that Roy is him (which I do!) Never really cared for 7-10 all that much either.

And to throw another "it's like" into the mix, naming a movie Jason Goes To Hell and not having Jason in it is like naming a movie Jason Takes Manhattan and having only 10 minutes of the end of the movie take place in Manhattan! O wait ..... ;)

Johnny 666 said...

Well, it certainly pissed me off in Trauma, having severed heads whispering the identity of their killers to the cops minutes after they have been decapitated could only make sense to Argento... How about in Day of the Dead? When that dude gets his head yanked off by the zombies and it continues to wiggle its jaw? I dug it personally.

quanthor said...

What about the decapitated Freddy head which winks at the end of 'Freddy vs Jason'? lol

Johnny said...

Johnny - Didn't mind that one at all, I thought that looked pretty badass actually. His face was moving around AS his head was getting ripped off, so it didn't come off as cheesy.

Quanthor - Add another to the list of exceptions! Freddy's allowed to do such things as he's really not real anyway! =)

Live for films said...

Does my head in as well.

Bar said...

Honestly, never ever had a problem with this. It's a little pedantic, I think.

Oh, and also, Jason Goes To Hell rocks. The unrated version is crimson from head to toe. Try to get over the lack of Jason and you'll see it kicks ass.

It's not like you don't have 11 other films wherein to get your Jason fix.

Johnny said...

It's not so much the lack of Jason, I just don't like the movie. Halloween 3 had no Myers and I loved it and I always tell people to look past the fact that it has no Myers. Is it lame that Jason's not in Jason Goes To Hell? Very. But I could still like the movie regardless. I just don't .....

Pedantic. Good word. But i'm not sure it's the right one for this situation. It's just something I personally do not like to see in movies. Pedantic would be saying something like i'm bothered by tiny little continuity errors in horror movies.

Bar said...

Look, fair enough, I guess. I just find it a little weird. I think it can be a really cool effect.

My favourite is in Blade 2, when the reaper gets the top part of his head sliced off, and then the rest of his body gets blown to shit by the UV light. Then there's a lingering shot of the top part of his head with the eyeball rolling around frantically.

But I guess that's different coz it's basically a vampire. Still, I like crazy shit like in that Trauma clip you posted (never actually seen it before, so I can't comment on the way it affects the tone of the film). It's just that sort of whacked out goodness that I can really dig though.

But, i mean, if we're just talking about eyes blinking and moving, I don't really see what bothers you about it so much. Is it just the lacklustre special effects? Would you be okay with it if it looked totally realistic?

Johnny said...

I just don't like it! End of story! You don't have to agree with me! We all have our different little things that bother us, and this is merely one of mine, sir.

Bar said...

Hey now, back up there pilgrim. No need to get all uppity.

Just making conversation, s'all.

Being at work is boring.

Johnny said...

And I appreciate the conversation, but just accept my thoughts on the topic lol. My apologies if I came off like a prick, it just seemed like you were trying to push my buttons. That being said, I still hope to hear more from ya in the future! =)

Johnny said...

One last thing ....

I totally encourage you to post your own thoughts on anything I say and whether you agree with or disagree with anything I say. That's what I want more than anything, in fact. So don't think i'm trying to restrict that. It just seemed like you were trying to change my opinion and were getting agitated because you didn't agree with my opinion. But please, by all means, feel free to state your opinions on anything I post.

Anonymous said...

I can't stand it when somebody gets a body part cut off but it stays in place for a minute, then falls off with that annoying sucking sound. What do you think?

Lena said...

I realize I'm about a year or two late w my response to this, but the comment about not being able to speak your killers name bc your vocal cords would be severed? That's true, they WOULD be severed, but if you're talking about the clip from trauma posted here, they aren't really speaking, jus kind of making noise w air from their throat, which can still be done. Im not sure how it works, but I know when someone has a hole in their throat put there to help w some kind of illness, if they plug up the hole they can make noise, its not really a voice, more like whispering, but you can be heard even if your vocal cords are severed.