The 15 Most Shocking Moments in Film

uma thurmanFirst let me begin by stating the obvious, I haven’t seen every movie, and I will most definitely leave out several scenes that could easily fit this list.  Despite this, I still found myself capable of composing what I found to be quite a respectable number of films that the majority of us deem to be a number of adjectives ranging from appalling, to disgusting, to outrageous, to deplorable, to unforgivable…you get the point.  And so, after compiling a list of several candidates, it is safe to say that there have been more than enough scenes that we can recall ourselves wanting to look away from but we just could not (or had no problem doing so); the scenes that ran chills up and down our spines and rattled us for days, or for some, weeks or months.

I must warn you though, the content in the videos available below are extremely racy.  If you dare to watch, I am not responsible for your responses that follow…  So sit back and try to relax.

 

Warm-Up (If you can’t handle this, go no further):

 

 

 

15.  Kill Bill Vol. 1- The Bride v. Gogo and The Crazy 88’s

To begin with a bit of a lighter, campier clip, I give you a pissed off bride, baby-less and betrayed, on a seriously gory quest for vengeance.  For those who have seen Tarantino films before, this brutally, gruesome style isn’t too, too shocking, however as a QT admirer myself, I was pretty taken aback.  Once the stand-off with Gogo finishes up, you get about 3 seconds to breathe and Uma is right back at it cutting off limbs left and right.  The clip is a bit long and doesn’t even cover the full scene, but it’s well worth the time investment…

 

14.  Jaws- Quint’s Last Stand

Following the introduction of his Royal Bad-Assness running his nails down the chalkboard, who saw this coming?  And if you did…who thought it would only take a matter of a few bone-crunching bites?  Between Quint’s screams of desperation and the sound of Jaws’ teeth penetrating his bones, I’d say this clip very well qualifies to be on this list.

 

 

13.  127 Hours- 127th Hour

We all knew the story.  We all knew what the film was building up to.  The hour-plus build up however really made this scene that much more intense.  Hats off to Franco and everyone involved for making this incident exceptionally hard to watch.

 

 

12.  The Human Centipede- The Sewing

I don’t know what drove someone to make this movie, but they did and it’s one WTF after another.  Numerous unforgivable events take place in this totally grotesque, unpleasant film.  This is one of those clips I was referring to in the intro…watch at your own risk.

 

 

11.  Assault on Precinct 13- Vanilla Twist

The White Warlord (played by Frank Doubleday), disguised as an Ice Cream Man, supplies the audience with a few cold surprises (heh).  With no regard, Doubleday, straight-faced, guns down a poor little girl who only wanted what she ordered.  Needless to say, she gets her Vanilla Twist (ha.ha.).  Mind you, this scene almost earned Carpenter’s film an X-rating.

 

 

10.  Nil by Mouth- “What’s going on?”

Ray Winstone gives an enormous performance as Ray, a deranged, alcoholic who too often turns to violence.  In this scene, we can see Ray’s temper get the best of him and his family as he takes a turn for the absolute worst. Although the clip isn’t provided, the aftermath of this scene is fairly disturbing.  I’d say the scene below speaks for itself and is shocking to say the least.

 

 

9.  Deer Hunter- “One shot.”

Having completely lost his mind, Walken seals his fate in what ends up being his final game of Russian Roulette.  So many factors go into the shock-value of this scene; De Niro’s return for his dear friend, Walken’s eery, cold, grim expression, De Niro gets by, Walken…not so much.

 

 

8.  The Godfather- The Offer

It’s safe to say, don’t mess with the Corleone Family.  I think we learned from this scene that you’re much better off just taking the offer rather than refusing it.  As for those who choose to refuse, welp, as we can see here, they tend to learn the hard way.

 

 

7.  American History X- “Put your f**kin mouth on the curb!”

Ouch, babe.  Ed Norton completely takes brutality to an entirely other level here.  A simple gunshot to the head would’ve been nice.  But Norton’s character wants to make a statement; and he does this by disturbing the complete shit out of the audience.  Braces anyone?  My question though, why did he comply with Norton’s wishes?  Regardless, it happened.  Enjoy.

 

 

6.  Silence of the Lambs- The Tuck

Buffalo Bill.  What a guy, huh?  Has the decency to kidnap a girl and put her in a well, and then he’s ever so kind to treat the audience to the disturbing image of what I like refer to as, “the tuck”.  It’s the gift that keeps on giving.

 

 

5.  Misery- The Re-Alignment of James Caan

Why not stay awhile?  No, you say?  Well, do I have a surprise for you!  If Kathy Bates had not already convinced you in this film that her character was an absolute nut-job, this was most definitely the icing on the cake.  I know we’re taught to be empathetic, but I’m not sure if I could put myself in Caan’s shoes in this situation (last one, I promise).

 

 

4.  Requiem for a Dream- Marion & Co. 

Strung out and veering well off-course, Marion (played by Jennifer Connelly), goes to great heights to satisfy her addiction in this scene.  As Aronofksy presents the audience with one hard-to-watch scene after another, Marion’s breaking point is seemingly so real that it is almost too unbearable to watch.  With the aid of this scene and a few others, Requiem was released unrated in the U.S. and awarded an 18 certificate in the U.K.  Heed my warning; if you have not seen this film already, this clip is very graphic.

 

 

3.  The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo- “I’m a rapist pig”

Just when you thought Uma Thurman and the Corleone Family had set the bar, David Fincher presents, Lisbeth Salander (played by Rooney Mara).  Following an unwanted, sexual run-in with her social worker, Salander, bruised and battered, takes matters into her own hands and delivers an even more scarring and gruesome sexual experience. Revenge at its most explicit and finest.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(Clip to come)

2.  The Exorcist- “Let Jesus f**k you”

When I first saw this movie, I was young, innocent and my glory days were still ahead of me.  BUT, after witnessing this deeply disturbing scene, it took me until this sentence to completely overcome what transpired here.  Linda Blair (the possessed one) herself was not even fully aware of what she was doing and that was probably for the best.  Frightening performance, frightening movie.

 

 

1.  Audition- “Words cause lies, pain can be trusted.”

After not taking the advice of his friend, middle-aged widower, Shigeharu Aoyama, falls for the mysterious Asami Yamazaki.  As the two fall for one another, Asami mysteriously vanishes, only to turn up twisted and delusional.  The outcome results in a spot at the top of this list.

Word to the wise; do not go into this movie unprepared.

 

 

Like I said at the beginning, I’m sure there are plenty of scenes that you feel are suitable for this list.  Thus, I’d love for you to submit your suggestions and comments.  We want the people to be heard!

 

Notables: Meatspin sequence- Bruno; Lucy Liu scalped by Uma Thurman- Kill Bill Vol. 1; Appearance of the twins- The Shining; Meat Hook Scene- Texas Chainsaw Massacre; Ving Rhames Rape- Pulp Fiction

 

 

 

 

John Leahy

About John Leahy

A renegade writer with a mind of his own, John was born and raised in the mean streets of Norton, MA, just south of Bean Town. He's achieved various accolades throughout his short, semi-respectable life thus far and hopes to build on these. As of now, he's been considered a Celebrated Winner, Renaissance Man, Muffled Whistle Blower, Glorified Pizza Cook, Extinguished Fire Starter, Party of 3 and Guest of Two. To learn further about his antics, you can follow him at @johnjosephleahy on Twitter.

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10 Responses to The 15 Most Shocking Moments in Film

  1. Aaron Ledwith February 7, 2013 at 4:59 pm #

    Great article! I love the description of the silence of the lambs scene "the gift that keeps on giving" the other shocking scene I can think of comes from the omen when the chick jumps yelling "it's all for you Damien!"

  2. John Leahy February 7, 2013 at 7:21 pm #

    Alright! Aaron's got the right movie but the wrong scene. The scene when the runaway truck with the glass plate in the back slices the photog's head off!

    • Aaron Ledwith February 7, 2013 at 7:33 pm #

      I am a sucker for a good movie quote

  3. Winter Hannah-Ward February 12, 2013 at 2:09 pm #

    requiem for a dream really is an asinine torture porn parable. oooh, don't do drugs or you will end up like this. made to "teach" people with the mentality of a 4 year old.

  4. Winter Hannah-Ward February 12, 2013 at 2:09 pm #

    requiem for a dream really is an asinine torture porn parable. oooh, don't do drugs or you will end up like this. made to "teach" people with the mentality of a 4 year old.

  5. Hekthore Warro May 13, 2013 at 5:52 pm #

    how can you miss/ignore the empire strikes back's darth vader scene. you have to be living under a stone must of your life for not consider it.

    • JJ Leahy May 18, 2013 at 2:03 pm #

      you can call me the modern day Patrick Star my friend

  6. Iva Nikolova August 3, 2013 at 9:14 pm #

    thanks for the list!

  7. Sam Gianfala June 18, 2014 at 1:36 am #

    The brain scene from Hannibal should have been here, but amazing list. I agree with all the choices. The hobbling scene from "Misery" and torture scene in "Audition" would probably take my top spots.

  8. Kane Mancini August 13, 2014 at 2:18 am #

    Did anyone can remember the movie Ken Park (2002) or the end of Seven (1995)? I have many ideas which else could take the cake, for example several scenes from movie Shortbus (2006), mainly at the beginning, also couple of scenes from Saló, Or The 120 Days Of Sodom (1975). Enter The Void (2009) can be easily disturbing, but I think the most shocking movie scene is when the guy rapes Monica Belucci in Irrevérsible (2002).

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