So I hear about this new movie where a pair of sisters start a company to clean up murders scenes. I’m thinking, hey, this is sweet, we’ll get a psychological drama about some chicks that mop up blood and throw discarded body parts into a five-gallon pickle bucket, and — of course — one of the girls will turn out to be the twisted serial killer responsible for the gruesome murders in the first place. Pass the popcorn, sounds like good times.
Then, sadly, I discover the name of the movie is “Sunshine Cleaners.” Hmm … not a very horror-esque title. It stars Amy Adams (Doubt, Enchanted ) Emily Blunt ( Little Miss Sunshine ). Hmm … not exactly bastions of bloody films. Then I read the IMDB synopsis: “In order to raise the tuition to send her young son to private school,
a mom starts an unusual business — a biohazard removal/crime scene
clean-up service — with her unreliable sister.” Dammit. A chick-flick? Oh for crying out loud. What started as a great premise turned into a total loss. I ain’t payin’ $11 to see people talk about their emotions for 90 frickin’ minutes.
But that near-miss with Sunshine Cleaners got me to thinking — what are the messiest horror movie clean-up scenes of all time? In a genre dominated by blood and body parts, it takes some reflection to find the goriest crime scenes.
watch the clip
An early effort by Lord of the Rings
director Peter Jackson, mere words cannot describe the mess that is
the entryway to this delightful movie. An army of Sunshine Cleaners
would need three weeks to find all the body parts flung about with more
abandon than zoo monkeys hurling poo after processing an afternoon’s
outing to Golden Corral. Seriously, this scene is a piece of slippery, sliding, horror-comedy
Dreamcatcher (2003): Bloody Toilet Scene – watch the clip
we all know there is something very, very wrong with Stephen King.
Admittedly, as a horror novelist, the dude is my idol and for one very
specific reason: When a normal person’s conscience looks at a
disturbing scene and says “Oh, I can’t go there,” King packs a ham
sandwich and some Twinkies then buys the express bus ticket to that
place. And in Dreamcatcher, “that place” is the Number-Two
Production Machine. That’s right, the pooper. Who wants to clean up the
john after this bloody-squirt mess?
Evil Dead II (1987): The Shed – watch the clip
Seriously, Bruce Campbell, can’t you pick up after yourself a
little? I know you like your tool shed, your power tools and your
projects, but dammit — other people have to use the place too, you
know? I mean, body parts, blood, brains, decomposing flesh, that’s bad
enough as it is, but the lightbulb? What kind of a horror kegger were you throwing to get blood on the freakin’ lightbulb? What are you, a frat boy of doom?
Hellraiser (1987): Frank’s Attic – watch the clip
Frank is helluva guy. He really cares about his sister-in-law and his
niece, and has a thing for expensive Rubix-cube rip-offs. What could
possibly go wrong with such a friendly domestic setup? Pinhead, that’s
what. As Frank meets his rather nasty demise, one has to ask the
obvious question: Who’s going to tidy up that attic? And it only gets
worse in the sequel, where the old wood floor soaks up more blood than
Dracula on a weekend bender.
Nightmare on Elm Street (1984): Ceiling Paint – watch the clip
Johnny Depp back in the day, the easiest death scene he’s ever done and
yet, damn you, Wes Craven, you rock like a cattle car full of Dokken
(catch my subtle “Dream Warrior” reference?). Sunshine Cleaners will need power washers and stepladders to rinse off that eruption of blood that was once Depp.
Se7en (1995): Spaghetti Brunch – sorry, couldn’t find a clip
Ah, gluttony. Let’s see, force-feed some
fat dude spaghetti until he’s damn near bursting, then give him a good
kick in the belly. Said spaghetti erupts out of said fat dude’s gut,
spilling all over the floor along with semi-important bits of anatomy.
Let that fester for a little while, and you’ve got carpet stains even
Billy Mays’ most efficient cleaning products can’t touch.
The Shining (1980): Blood elevator – watch the clip
this flick is also based on a Stephen King novel, credit for the
“blood elevator” has to go to director Stanley Kubrick. In my opinion,
this is the greatest horror movie trailer of all time. Just watch. You
sit there, thinking, “This is cheese, is anything going to happen?” and
just when you’re ready to click off and check out something else, the
elevator opens. Who’s going to mop up that mess? Even a full case of
Bounty, the quicker picker-upper, isn’t going to dry out that floor.
Clean-Up on Aisle Seven …
you have it, seven disinfecting challenges that could turn a chick
flick into something actually worth watching. Did I miss any? Leave
your favorite scenes in the comments, and until next week, be it dirty
socks or severed heads, remember to pick up after yourself.
New York Times bestselling author Scott Sigler writes tales of hard-science horror, then gives them away as free audiobooks at www.scottsigler.com. His new novel, Contagious,
hit bookstores on December 30 and is currently available. If you don’t agree with what Scott says in this blog, please
email him firstname.lastname@example.org. Please include all relevant personal
information, such as your address and what times you are not home, so
Scott can come visit and show you his world famous “Chicken Scissors.”