Chris Schulz 's Opinion

Chris Schulz is an entertainment feature writer for the New Zealand Herald.

Chris Schulz: Movie scenes that make you squirm

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Entertainment blogger Chris Schulz covers his eyes for some of the most squirm-inducing movie scenes he can think of.

Uma Thurman in the adrenaline shot scene from Pulp Fiction. Photo / YouTube
Uma Thurman in the adrenaline shot scene from Pulp Fiction. Photo / YouTube

If you haven't seen Prometheus yet, well, what the hell are you doing? Get up out of your chair, head to a cinema and plonk yourself down in a seat, pronto.

Sorted? Great. Now you won't be offended by any of the coming spoilers in this blog. In case you skipped that sentence, I'm going to warn you again: This blog contains spoilers.

Right. Whatever you think about Prometheus - and there sure are some wild theories out there about Ridley Scott's Alien prequel - there's one thing everyone can agree on: Do-it-yourself caesareans don't look like much fun.

I've seen Prometheus twice now, and that moment - when a pregnant Elizabeth Shaw (Noomi Rapace) jumps into a mechanised surgical unit and has a squealing alien foetus cut from her stomach - is, literally, stomach-churning.

I loved it. The second time, I smiled the whole way through it while the entire cinema sat around me gripping their armchair seats with white knuckles. Afterwards, my wide-eyed mate said: "That was a bit intense, eh?" Yes, bro, it was.

A report on Zimbio suggested there was very little CGI in that scene, which took Rapace two days to shoot.

And co-writer Damon Lindelof praised the level of gritty realism she bought to what he described as "an absurd sci-fi scenario".

But that's the great thing about Prometheus: It may not be the best Alien film made - you can, and I have, debated it's various merits and failings for weeks - but it has several moments of pure, unadulterated terror.

I love movies that have squirm-in-your-chair, hands over eyes, foetal-position moments. But there are some that, for some reason, always unsettle me, no matter how many times I watch them.

Here are five of my favourites:

1. There's a great scene in Peter Jackson's Braindead in which zombie body parts are being cut up with a chainsaw, flung into a kitchen and put through a blender. But the creepiest bit comes earlier in the film, during an otherwise ordinary meal around the table. Grandma's ear falls off, and then...

2. I can't find the clip to link to, but there's a scene at the beginning of Oliver Stone's JFK in which an undertaker sticks a gloved finger into the bullet wound of a greying body, then twists it around. It makes me shiver just thinking about it.

3. So Nicolas Winding Refn's 2011 movie Drive was a beautifully solemn crime caper with occasional outbursts of gruesome violence made all the more potent by the fact that Ryan Gosling's character hardly says a word. Instead, he lets his fists do the talking. I'm talking about that elevator scene, which I won't link to because it's brutally violent. You can read about how it came about here.

4. I have strong thoughts about Requiem For a Dream. Mostly about hoping to never see the damn thing again. It was the most depressing two hours of my life. But my office workmates reminded me about the scene in which Harry (Jared Leto) has his arm amputated after months of drug abuse. I hope that's the last time I hear about it.

5. Pulp Fiction remains my favourite film of all time. And you could pick any one of the horrific moments in Tarantino's epic crime drama to nominate for squirm-inducing awesomeness. Mine is when John Travolta's character has to deliver an adrenaline shot to Uma Thurman's heart. At least he didn't give her a foot massage.

* What are your favourite squirm-inducing moments? Post your comments below.

Chris Schulz

Chris Schulz is an entertainment feature writer for the New Zealand Herald.

A subscription to RTR Countdown magazine as a teenager kick started Chris’ inspiration to become an entertainment reporter. After finishing a grad-dip at journalism school, he discovered the magazine no longer existed. So he instead begged for a reviewing job at Rip It Up, then took over a local news website’s entertainment section in 2004 when no one else wanted to do it. It’s as much a surprise to him as it is to those around him that he’s been doing entertainment reporting ever since, utilising his diehard love of popular culture (specifically music, TV, movies and games). His career highlights including interviewing heroes like Billy Corgan and Trent Reznor, discussing the best sheep-docking techniques with Courtney Love, and breaking his nose during a Shihad concert. The last thing left on his entertainment reporting bucket list is to ride a rollercoaster with Dave Grohl, something he’s hoping to achieve in the next 12 months.

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