Torture’s bad, mmmmkay… probably. We’re not here to discuss politics of beating the piss out of prisoners or making them eat human feces, Saló style; we’re here to talk about its impact on some movies that turn the cringeyness knob up to 11. My guess is Dan Aquino was watching his choice when the idea came to him, because in a normal instance, he probably would’ve picked the disemboweling, etc. of Braveheart. And my guess is that he’s kicking himself for not thinking of it first.
Dan’s Pick – Casino Royale
Although it’s not a very long torture scene, what it lacks in length it more than makes up for it in cringe worthiness. Our debonair hunk of a hero James Bond is captured by the guy who now plays Hannibal Lector, and I’m assuming that this is the scene he brought with him for his audition for the role because it is just downright evil. He has Bond strapped to a chair naked with a hole cut out at the bottom exposing his twig and berries; he then proceeds to take a rope with a large knot at the end and plays the most twisted game of whack-a-mole with Bond’s nuts.
I am willing to wager that the first time anyone saw that scene they quickly covered their nether regions and winced in pain. That’s how horrible this scene was: it actually caused the audience pain. But always the smooth talker, Bond asks his torturer if he could help him with a scratch that he has down there and then remarks while laughing, “Now everyone’s going to know you died scratching my balls!”
Mark’s Pick –Reservoir Dogs
Torture scenes are by nature meant to make you feel uncomfortable. Unfortunately, the trend recently is to make them as cringe-inducing and gory as possible, which doesn’t always make them memorable. Forcing an audience to turn away from the screen — as many “torture porn” movies tend to do — does nothing to prove that the scene is essential to the movie; it’s the same as gratuitous nudity. The best choice as a director is to allow the moment to either tell an important part of the story or have an interesting wrinkle, which is why I chose the scene from Quentin Tarantino’s masterpiece, Reservoir Dogs.
You most likely remember this as the scene where Michael Madsen sings into a severed ear. Also, it is probably the most famous use of “Stuck in the Middle with You” in film history. The beauty of this scene is that it is the final act that cements Mr. Blonde as a psychopath and closes out his arc with a bang (pun completely intended). And no, this choice has nothing to do with the fact that I attempted to dress as Mr. Blonde for Halloween, but ended up looking more like a Blues Brother. Or Roy Orbison.
Anthony’s Pick – Audition
Crazytown must be located somewhere in the Far East, because between tentacle-based hentai and extreme revenge fantasy torture porn such as Audition and Chan-woo Park’s Revenge Trilogy, Asia is cooking with gas while everyone else is still trying to discover fire.
Audition starts simply enough: a wealthy businessman is tired of not getting his penis near vagina, so he does the only sane (relatively, seeing as how this is Japan) thing to do and decides to hold auditions for girls that might not be against giving his little emperor a mouth hug. But because a transaction like that doesn’t usually attract levelheaded, grounded women, he inevitably sticks his dick into crazy. After the old in-out, in-out, our friend kicks up his heels, but shit gets weird after that.
In Audition, revenge is a dish best served vomited into a bowl and fed to some amputee you keep in a bag. Why exactly is she seeking revenge? He has a son and a dead wife, so you know, she’s got to share him. Perfectly sane reasoning. It completely justifies drugging him, paralyzing him, sawing off his foot and whatever the fuck she wants, because she’s an independent woman and you can’t tell her what to do. *Z SNAP*
What’s the Most Brutal Torture Scene? Take our poll or comment with your own selection.