All right, folks. Today’s survey is modeled loosely off of the Guys Choice Awards on Spike, except that instead of every other award being for Hottest Girl in a Horror Film or Hottest Girl with a Shotgun or Hottest Girl with One Arm, mine will have questions more like, “Best Tom Cruise Movie Where He’s (Not Literally) Haunted By His Dead Father.”
Please answer in the comments. Feel free to explain/argue/make diagrams as needed.
1. BEST USE OF A CHICKEN:
Killer Arrow (Hot Shots! Part Deux)
Sacrifical Bucket (Major League)
On one hand, Topper Harley uses the chicken in Hot Shots! Part Deux to kill a guy, which may be one of the most ridiculous/bad-ass things ever seen on screen. I mean, the chicken is shot into a dude’s chest where it then, wait for it, lays a freaking egg. Chicks dig guys who take out villains with killer arrow chickens.
On the other hand, when Pedro wants to sacrifice a whole chicken to ensure the team’s victory in the last game of the pennant (thus keeping everyone on the team in the majors instead of back in the minor league/penal system/retirement/etc.) Tom Berenger gets this awesome substitute: a bucket of KFC. Sure, the KFC doesn’t kill anyone, not in the short-term, anyway, but the Indians do win, and I’d say that’s pretty damn impressive.
2. BEST UGLY CRY:
I always thought that Mark Hamil as Luke Skywalker perfected the ugly cry. I mean, every time we watch Empire Strikes Back, Mek and I have to screw up our faces in the most grotesque manner possible and go, “That’s not true! That’s impossible!” I mean, Luke does not cry pretty. I kind of laugh at him whenever I watch this classic moment:
But I also recently watched First Blood, and Sylvester Stallone is a slurring, ugly mess in the middle of John Rambo’s breakdown. The emotion is there; you feel it, but good Lord, the man looks and talks like he’s having a stroke. Here’s that scene, although he doesn’t really start crying until about a minute in:
3. Best Stephen King Villain—Miniseries
Randall Flagg (The Stand)
Clearly, I’m a huge fan of Pennywise (and, really, Tim Curry in general) but I watched It too late in life to be traumatized by anything except the butchering of my favorite character, Richie. That being said, Tim Curry as Pennywise is one creepy motherfucker, and had I watched it as a child, I’m sure I would have acquired coulrophobia along with all the rest of the kids in my and my sister’s generation. Pennywise is the eater of worlds . . . and of children. In other words, not your friend.
But Jamey Sheridan as Randall Flagg is pretty awesome too. I mean, who doesn’t like a villain who wears a smiley face button on his jean jacket? Clearly, he’s going to be fun. And in his spare time, he gathers all the naughty people left in the world, crucifies anyone who he doesn’t much care for, and often turns into a crow and watches people ominously. Plus, he’s pretty much impossible to take out. I mean, you kind of had to nuke Vegas to do it.
4. Best Movie Where A Parent Dies And The Protagonist Learns The Meaning Of Life
In Garden State, Zach Braff is a struggling actor in soulless LA, making a living by waiting tables in a Vietnamese restaurant. Also, he’s on lithium. Then, his mom dies, and he goes back to his childhood home for the first time in nine years. Thankfully after meeting up with a lot of old, crazy friends, listening to The Shins, and falling in love with the quirky, beautiful Natalie Portman, he’s able to discover that you can’t wait for life to start; it’s going to go on without you. Also: stop taking lithium.
Now, in Elizabethown: Orlando Bloom is this hotshot prodigy whose dream shoe idea has lost his soulless company a shitload of money. Considering that he’s about to be a very public, epic failure, he goes home to kill himself in the most inventive way known to man . . . but stops when he finds out that his father has died. Thankfully, after meeting up with his crazy, Southern family, listening to Jeff Buckley, and falling in love with the quirky, beautiful Kirsten Dunst, he’s able to discover that life is a series of successes and failures and that he shouldn’t kill himself via knife-wielding-exercise-bike, no matter how creative it is.
Have fun with that one.
5. Best Sex Scene That’s Just . . . Wrong . . . And Wrong on SO Many Levels
The Head Gives Some Head
Well, hell . . . there’s just no way to sugarcoat this. Okay.
In The Evil Dead, an evil tree literally violates a woman with one of its branches. Yeah. It’s a tree that rapes women. You thought the Whomping Willow was bad. (Also, sorry: I couldn’t find a great picture. You just get a happy tree.)
And then, in Re-Animator, a decapitated zombie head performs oral sex on the bound, naked, and otherwise helpless heroine.
. . . let’s just move on, shall we?
6. Best Tom Cruise Movie Where He’s (Not Literally) Haunted By His Dead Father
A Few Good Men
In Top Gun, Maverick must overcome the ghost of his father’s mistakes . . . what if he chokes the way his dad supposedly choked? What if he gets a man killed while he’s up in the air? Oh, the angst! Oh, the rebellion! Oh, the Kenny Loggins!
In A Few Good Men, Tom Cruise’s dead father haunts him too, not in the sky but in the courtroom. Can Lt. Daniel Kaffee overcome the odds, Jack Nicholson, and his super daddy angst to save two men from being court-martialed and/or arrested for murder?
7. Best Squick Romance
Margot and Richie
(The Royal Tenenbaums)
Look, it’s a significant feat when a movie’s great script and/or acting allows the audience to root for a love story that, simultaneously, makes them feel mildly dirty and uncomfortable.
In Harold and Maude, that love story is between a young man and a very old woman. And don’t get me wrong; it’s a great movie, but a 79 year old woman and a 20 year old guy? This isn’t just the normal double-standard. This is actually weirder than Harrison Ford and Calista Flockhart.
But is age creepier than almost-incest? In The Royal Tenenbaums, Margot and Richie are raised as siblings . . . they aren’t actually related by blood, as Margot is adopted, and their story is surprisingly sweet, and you actually do want them to get together, but . . . incest! Incest!
8. Best Jesus Inspired Death Pose
Of course, we all know that Hannibal Lecter is one of the best film villains of all time, and the scene where he kills the two guards and then listens to classical music with blood all over his face is, obviously, the most amazing thing ever. He only adds on to the awesome when he hangs one of the guards up on the bars, arms spread out like Jesus, waiting to be found.
But Piper Laurie is no slouch, either, and her scary-religious “parenting” methods sure as hell have me trying to hide behind my pillow. Which, of course, makes it all the more fitting when Carrie kills her by telekinetically impaling her with kitchen knives, leaving her body hanging in a Jesus-esque fashion.
9. Best Traumatizing Mommy Killing In An Animated Film
Nemo’s Mom (Finding Nemo)
We all know about Bambi’s mom (the, er, shot heard around the world, at least in the mind of millions of children who were traumatized by this film). Didn’t like Daddy’s hunting cabin so much after that, did you, kids? I hate this fucking movie.
Then again, maybe Bambi’s mom is not quite as shocking as the first five minutes of Finding Nemo, where Daddy and Mommy Fish are so cute and adorable and perfect with their loving relationship and their witty banter . . . right up until Mommy Fish is suddenly EATEN. She’s EATEN, for Christ’s sake.
Kids movies suck.
10. Best Ability To Make Kick-Ass, Weaponized Lemonade Out Of An Amputated Limb Lemon
Ash’s Chainsaw Hand (Evil Dead 2)
Cherry’s Shotgun Leg (Planet Terror)
Of course, Ash’s chainsaw hand is a classic, and Bruce Campbell kills many an undead and evil thing by slicing and dicing it back to Hell. It is, in a word, groovy. Also: probably easier to run with than, say, a shotgun leg.
But Cherry Darling maneuvers pretty well on that shotgun leg, and she does have the advantage of range that a chainsaw doesn’t give you. Plus, she’s unlikely to ever accidentally shoot herself with her shotgun. The same cannot be said for anyone using a chainsaw in a film.
Okay, that’s it! Once again, leave your choices in the comments section. I’m planning on leaving this survey up for a week, maybe two, and assuming I get more than two responses to it, I’ll tally the votes and post them here for your viewing pleasure.