|BEING KIND OF A DRAMA QUEEN,
AREN'T YOU, SON?
Some of the scenes on this list are now so iconic that only those lucky enough to have seen the movies on opening night enjoyed their full impact. Other movies, both good and bad, contain that one scene which you couldn’t have predicted, no matter how jaded you are.
By the way...spoilers abound!
1. THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK - Sure, we all know Darth Vader is Luke Skywalker’s dad now. Imagine being there on opening night in 1980, like I was. Vader’s revelation hit the entire audience like a ton of bricks.
2. PSYCHO - The death of Marion Crane is a huge shock, because the film dupes us into thinking she’s the main character, only to kill her a third of the way through the movie.
3. PSYCHO - And how can we not include the climactic scene when we finally see who “mother” really is?
|THE SILENCE OF THE HAMS
5. THE USUAL SUSPECTS - Anyone who tells you they figured out who Keyser Soze was before the end of the film is likely lying their ass off to make themselves feel superior.
7. RETURN OF THE JEDI - The revelation which makes Luke realize he once sucked-face with his twin sister, and made Star Wars geeks worldwide go ‘eeew!’ This scene is also the main reason I don’t believe for one second that George Lucas had his entire saga planned-out from the get-go.
8. EXECUTIVE DECISION - At the time this was made, Steven Seagall was still a big action star, so the decision to kill him in the first 45 minutes was not only a big surprise, those of us who couldn’t stand Seagall perked up and collectively thought this may not be such a crappy movie after all. And it wasn’t.
9. LAW ABIDING CITIZEN - A passive judge is killed by an explosive cell phone. We’re lulled into thinking this is yet-another scene of expositional dialogue (which this movie has a lot of). We know the judge is a target and will most-likely die by the end of the film, but just not here in the comfort of her own office.
10. ZOMBIELAND - Bill Murray shows up...playing himself. I was lucky enough to check it out with no prior knowledge other than it was a horror comedy. So when Murray appeared, I laughed so hard my side hurt...and that was before he uttered a single line. This is one reason the internet kinda sucks, because most knew this scene is coming before we went to see it, though there is the added surprise when Murray is killed not-even ten minutes later.
|BACK THE FUCK OFF! I'M ACTING!
12. FROM DUSK TILL DAWN - The movie starts off with two sleazy criminals on the run with a family of hostages in-tow. Then, with no warning whatsoever, it stops on a dime and becomes a gory, splatstick fight for survival against bloodthirsty vampires. It’s as though the projectionist, while changing reels, spooled an entire different movie that had the exact same cast.
|HEY, THIS IS ICY HOT! YOU SAID IT WAS
14. CLOSE ENCOUNTERS OF THE THIRD KIND - The first time we get a good look at the alien ships, as they roar along a highway with cops in pursuit, was easily the most awesome and unexpected special effects scene any of us had ever seen up to that point (and, yes, this was after Star Wars). Even more amazing is the film topped that scene during the climax.
15. THE SHAWSHANK REDEMPTION - Anyone who didn’t read Stephen King’s novella had no idea that Andy had been planning his escape the entire time.
16. SAW - Of all the movies on this list, the twist ending is the most polarizing. Half thought it was a shocking revelation, half thought it was a tacked-on, far-fetched, easy way out (I’m one of the latter). Regardless, the ending was unexpected.
17. THE SIXTH SENSE - Though hard to imagine today, there was a brief time when director M. Night Shyamalan was a critical darling whose films were massively popular with anyone who never heard of The Twilight Zone. With The Sixth Sense, Shyamalan almost single-handedly brought back the twist ending, which was so clever it forced nearly everyone to watch the film again, just so they could look for subtle clues that were always right there in plain sight, but none of us caught the first time.
18. FIGHT CLUB - That moment when we learn the film’s narrator and Tyler Durden are actually the same guy, thus explaining the importance of nearly every previous scene in the entire film. How awesome was that?
19. THE MATRIX - How would you feel if you suddenly discovered your entire life never really happened, and you were just one of millions of incubated bodies kept alive to keep machines powered? That scene in the original Matrix was as shocking to viewers as it was to Neo himself.
|I'M ANGELINA JOLIE'S DAD. THAT'S KINDA
COOL, ISN'T IT?