Every now and then, a brave (or an admittedly controversial) director will shoot a particularly taboo scene. The type of scene other directors would be too afraid to touch. The type of scene that makes a whole audience shift in their seats at the same time, squirming with collective discomfort. The type of scene that makes you look at the person you are watching the movie with as if to silently ask: Did you just see that? Sometimes, the scene is based around a somewhat surreal act of sex or even an act of extreme violence. Other times, it is something so absurd and out there, no viewer even knows what to make of it. From little kids randomly dying, to naked actors beating the crap out of each other, I have seen it all and decided to make a quick list of some of the most memorable and shocking moments in mainstream movies that I have seen.
EASTERN PROMISES: Viggo Mortenson and the naked fight in the sauna
Look at it!
This list could easily be comprised of only David Cronenberg films. He works in a sub-genre of film he calls ‘body horror’, and there are examples of taboos in every movie he makes. From weird, fleshy video game systems you plug in to yourself, to men who derive pleasure from having sex with scars or wounds, David does not shy away from making people squirm. Eastern Promises took this to new levels by having a naked, four minute fight scene in a Russian Sauna featuring none other than Viggo Mortenson, of Lord of the Rings fame.
The really kicker here (pun intended) is the fact that the fight scene really is not that remarkable, outside of the fact that it is full of naked men. Actually, it is pretty bad in execution and awkward as hell to watch, so I think that may make it a doublefail. Oh, I guess being a doublefail makes it somewhat remarkable, but for all the wrong reasons. Another lesson I learned in watching this film is that naked men should NEVER jump kick. You might have just learned it too, based on that photo there. This movie just barely beat out the Borat wrestling scene for the amount of discomfort it can summon in the viewer.
TEETH. The movie about the vagina that grows teeth. The WHOLE movie
Relax, it’s just the trailer.
The movie Teeth came out in 2007. And for the few of us who saw it, thinking it might be a funny little dark comedy, we were ruined for life. Well, not really. But it did make us slightly nauseous.
Teeth is a movie based around an old urban legend about a woman who is wronged and grows sharp teeth out her vah jay jay. It is a teen, anti-sex movie that uses sex to sell its anti-sex message, but sells said message with brutal violence instead. In some ways, the violence used to spread this anti-sex message is far more damaging and is far worse than any faux cinema sex could be.
I could tell you specific parts of the film and why it is here, but the whole film deserves a spot here, so use your imagination. I will tell you the mildest example of one of the many escalating scenes, though. A doctor loses his finger during an examination. Yes, it is like that. Now realize later in the film there are teen sex scenes. Now imagine how those scenes end up. Yes, it is that messed up.
MY GIRL: Macaulay Culkin gets stung to death by bees without warning (in a kids movie!)
God, I hope those tissues are being used for what I think their being used for.
I tell people who know nothing about movies to watch this flick, just so they can get mad at me afterwards, and it works every time. How does it work, you ask? Well, Macaulay Culkin gets stung by bees and dies.
I still find it shocking they kill off the bigger of the two actors in this movie. Well, not only that, but they kill a kid. And they do it in a Summer time, coming-of-age comedy and in a movie that didn’t seem to hint anywhere that a kid was going to die. Yeah, it pissed a lot of people off and I am pretty sure Kleenex stock went up 3 points that month.
I know it is a cruel thing to do to an audience, but it is also sort of brilliant. Macaulay Culkin dies after getting stung by bees in front of his little lady love. No epi-pen to save him. All we get is a shot of his little nerd glasses, falling to the forest floor, surrounded by bees. A shot that would later haunt a whole generation of people who thought they were seeing the next great, feel-good movie of the summer.
If the director of this movie, Howard Zieff, ever decides to write an autobiography, it better be called: Hey, remember that time I killed Macaulay Culkin with bees and traumatized a whole generation? Or else he has failed at book naming. I am sorry, but I HAD to find this scene on Youtube and post it here. I mean, he kicks the hive. He kind of deserved it, right?
PAN’S LABYRINTH: Face Smashapalooza!
Hey Mom, we should watch Pan’s Labyrinth together! It is like the classic Wizard of Oz and Wonderland tales of yesteryear about an unhappy young girl who escapes into a world of fantasy and OH MY GOD, DID THAT NAZI JUST SMASH THAT INNOCENT GUY’S FACE IN WITH THE BUTT OF HIS GUN AND DID THEY JUST SHOW IT IN DETAIL????!!!! Oh my God Mom, I am so sorry! I didn’t think it would be like this, really. Wait, where are you going? Watch this clip at your own risk, because this is violence portrayed on a freakishly realistic level.
The CHANGE UP. Pregnant booty call
This photo is NOT from The Change Up. I just thought it would be fun to confuse people.
Ok, so this movie sucked.
I am a huge Jason Bateman fan, but Ryan Reynolds has what I like to call the Silent Hill touch. Everything he touches turns to ash, rust and shit. Even Bateman could not save this floating stinker. It did give us one scene that will be remembered long after seeing it, though.
The scene in question is the one where Ryan Reynolds is begging Jason Bateman (it is actually Bateman begging Reynolds because they switched bodies, but I willingly digress) to meet up with his weekly screw while they are in each other’s bodies, so he doesn’t lose her after all the work he has put in. Bateman half-heartedly agrees, and then the taboo happens.
While Bateman is waiting, the weekly screw shows up in a long trench coat and high heels. She yells something wonderfully inappropriate and strips off her coat, revealing she is about eight and a half months pregnant. She then continues to try to mount the Reynolds character (who Bateman is actually inside of). All the while, being blissfully unaware there has been a body switch. (Who is ever really aware of a body switch, actually?)
The scene comes out of left field and is one surprisingly taboo moment in a movie otherwise filled with cliché’s and tropes. He doesn’t actually bed the preggo, which is good, because he seems as repulsed by the prospect as we, the viewers are, at the prospect of having to watch it. Though I could not find a good clip of said scene on Youtube, this “Lorno” scene will have to do for now. Just as awkward a scenario, I would imagine.
PINK FLAMINGOS: Divine eating actual doggy doo scene
Divine should have been the final boss in Skyrim.
Some people push boundaries to try and test the limits of art, but at times, director John Waters just tries to push the boundaries to see if he can make people pay money to throw up. In the case of the movie Pink Flamingos, it seemed to work. Actually, you know what? No! I won’t even talk about this. I refuse. I don’t even want to be the one responsible for bringing this scene of pure depravity into anyone else’s life. Just know it is all-real, and all life-ruining.
Do not watch.
You can never unsee it.
You just have to trust me. I really could have hated John Waters as a result of this scene, but I forgave him eventually because the movie Cry Baby with Johnny Depp was kind of awesome.
*There will be no scene here. Look elsewhere for scatplay, you perverts.