The most shocking, most underrated movies ever
Via USA Today’s Hip Clicks, here are two lists certain to start an argument among you and your fellow film buffs.
One is Premiere magazine’s list of the 25 most shocking moments in movie history. Most of the moments you’d expect are there, led by the big reveal in The Crying Game, though my pick for the most shocking moment ever (Janet Leigh’s murder in Psycho) comes in only at No. 4. Surely, the sliced eyeball in Un Chien Andalou (No. 10), the horse’s head in the bed in The Godfather (No. 14) and Divine’s doggie-doo dinner in Pink Flamingos (No. 16) deserve to be a lot higher as well. Also, the list is heavily weighted towards recent American movies (like The Sixth Sense, left); where’s the moment in the silent Phantom of the Opera where Lon Chaney’s mask is pulled off, or the last five minutes of The Vanishing (the original Dutch thriller, not the lame American remake)? It’s cool to see 1931’s The Public Enemy on the list, but at No. 2? The James Cagney death scene cited here isn’t even the most shocking, moment in this movie; that honor goes to the iconic moment earlier in the film where Cagney shoves a grapefruit into Mae Clarke’s face.
The second list is the Onion AV Club’s countdown of the most underrated films of the past decade. I’m not yet sold on The Brown Bunny, and both American Psycho and Office Space are both too beloved by large cults to count as underrated, but I’m happy to see on the list such films as The Underneath, Dead Man, Starship Troopers, and especially Josie and the Pussycats. (Yeah, you’re snickering, but it was a merciless anticorporate satire with some excellent tunes sung by Letters to Cleo’s Kay Hanley. Any movie that has Carson Daly playing himself as a Manchurian Candidate-style brainwashed killer has its heart in the right place.)
Watch the movies on this list back to back and you’ll see an alternate, subversive, underground history of the turn of the millennium.