I once read in Video Watchdog, “If the eyes are the window to the soul, then Lucio Fulci is the ultimate voyeur”. This is perhaps the most concise description of Fulci’s eyeball torture mastery. Not only are eyes the most expressive part of our body, they are also the most delicate and unprotected. It didn’t take long for exploitation and horror filmmakers to see (ha!) that ocular damage was a great way to make audiences squirm, and when done right, it’s damn near unrelenting. Here’s just a few of the best eyeball scenes in the genre.
5. Friday the 13th Part 3 (1982): Poor Rick, he really got his when Jason squeezed his head so tight those baby blues just shot right out! In 3-D no less, this remains one of the most shocking scenes in the series.
4. HellBent (2004): Ah, it’s about time that a glass eye configured into a slasher flick, and HellBent did it beautifully. There’s a great moment when knife comes to eye and it’s as jarring and stylish as any horror flick of recent years.
3. Halloween (1978): Laurie has had it! I mean, seriously had it. She gives Michael a little sumthin’ sumthin’ when he finds her hiding in the closet. No wire hangers, please!
2. Opera (1987): Zoinks! No actual eyeball impalement, but those crazy needles taped to Betty’s eyes are squirm worthy! She forced to watch friends murdered or risk ripping her eyelids to shreds! Dang, she needs those!
1. Zombi (1979): Nobody does it better than Fulci and his infamous eyeball puncture scene is the stuff legends are made of. This movie is a must for fans of gross out cinema.
Honorable Mentions (Mostly of the Non-Slasher Kind):
Evil Dead 2 (1987): Bobbie Jo got a little taste of having a third eye in this totally gross and wonderfully hilarious scene from a groundbreaking film.
Flash Gordon (1980): Ugh! When Klytus (Peter Wyngarde) gets a ghoulishly gross comeuppance featuring oozing eyes, a nightmarish scene is born.
Friday the 13th Part III (again!) (1982): Vera can’t get a break. First she’s saddled on a blind date with Shelly, then she’s hounded by a biker gang and finally gets a harpoon shot in her eye. This was not a great trip for her, I presume.
Kill Bill 2 (2004): Man o’ man, Daryl Hannah’s famous eye-popping scene had me not only squirming in my seat, it still makes me woozy to this day! Great, unpredictable stuff from Tarantino, a new master of shock.
Single White Female (1992): Steven Weber is a bit of a louse in this pix, but it certainly doesn’t mean he should get the pointy end of a stiletto in his eye. Oh well, I didn’t actually feel that bad about it…