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A Salute To The Head Explosion

Kris King Kris King
September 23rd, 2008 11:40am EDT
Deadly FriendWhen it comes to body parts that can explode, your head is ripe for the picking. Not only is it large and filled with goo, it perches atop of your shoulders begging for something to come along and smash it. Movie makers have known this fact for a long time. Nothing quite gets an audience going like a well placed exploding head. David Cronenberg's Scanners probably has the most oft-referenced scene, as it's one of the few mainstream horror films to give us a detailed and goopy exploding melon. Belloq's fate in Raiders of the Lost Ark even goes to show that Oscar winning directors aren't above cleaning off someone's shoulders. However, a lot of these tasty morsels of filmmaking fall through the cracks into the world of sci-fi and horror. Below you'll find just a few of the best head explosions that Hollywood has to offer. Fair warning, if you haven't guessed already, this article is laden with amazing instances of graphic violence, so viewer discretion advised.

Star Trek: The Next Generation - "Conspiracy" (1988)

"Oh ha ha, how could there be a head explosion in 'Star Trek,'" you may ask as you twiddle your moustache or sip your green tea latte (that's gross, by the way). After all, it was a syndicated show that tended to air before "Wheel of Fortune," how bad could it be?




Holy crap.

And here you thought that the ear boring bug scenes from Wrath of Khan were extreme. That's nothing compared to the "face melting, chest corroding, blow the head clean off your shoulders" phaser setting. This scene reeks of some sort of an odd blend between the end of Raiders and Alien, but watch that clip again. It doesn't matter why Lt. Commander Remmick's (*pauses to push glasses up nose*) neck turns into a balloon, it doesn't matter why he eats that giant gummy worm thing, and it doesn't matter why Riker looks dumb without his beard-someone's head blew up something fierce on prime time television.

Riki-Oh: The Story of Ricky (1991)

Amid all of the world's "Epic Retard Kung-fu" flicks (that's a technical name, mind you), Riki-Oh is probably the most notorious. One of the few true cult movies, Riki manages to elude public adoration despite being completely and utterly, dumbfoundingly stupid ridiculous. While the movie leaves you to drown in a torrent of bloodshed, one of it's best known scene is this bite sized head explosion:




It has everything you could ever need: unintelligible dialogue, super strength, and someone who can float. Still, even in terms of Youtube clips, this scene simply can't top the one where the hero punches a hole in the stomach of a 400 pound man while in the shower.


Galaxy of Terror (1981)

Produced by Roger Corman's New World Pictures, Galaxy of Terror stars Sid Haig of Devil's Rejects fame and a pre-Freddy Kruger Robert Englund. The film ranks highly as one of the most debaucherous horror movies of the 1980s. The film follows the small crew of a spacecraft as it passes by a mysterious pyramid that manifests their worst nightmares into reality. Unfortunately, since the movie's most controversial scene involves a female member of the crew's distressing (and naked) encounter with a giant worm, we can't show you just how low Galaxy of Terror sinks. But just because weirdo alien rape scenes go a bit too far for our standards, it doesn't mean we can't show you this woman's (Erin Moran) head get crushed:




Dawn of the Dead (1978)

George Romero's 1978 zombie opus Dawn of the Dead generates a lot of praise. Gore hounds will try to convince you that this movie actually qualifies as high minded cinema. Sure, it has its underlying critiques of consumerist American culture and the general decay in quality of life around the late 1970s, but quit fooling yourself. It's a two hour movie about shooting things in the head.




Admittedly, there's some Day in the Dead squeezed in this video as well. You can tell the Day of the Dead scenes because zombies don't just look like people who fell into a tank full of blue paint.

Deadly Friend (1986)

The following scene from Wes Craven's Deadly Friend, could be the best scene in any movie involving Anne Ramsey and a basketball.




You know, it just wouldn't work if the body didn't do it's little death dance after the explosion.

Maniac (1980)

You may recognize Ton Savini from playing bit parts in just about every horror movie ever made. The reason for this is that he's one of industry's premiere traditional special effect and make up artists. He's worked on classics like Friday the 13th, Dawn and Day of the Dead, and Creepshow. Without some of his work, modern horror simply would lack that special slime that makes them great. But that's enough about him, let's watch him get shot in the face in 1980's Maniac:




The best part of that scene, aside from the goofy blood splatter on the girl's face, is just how small the hole in the windshield is compared to Savini's utterly eviscerated cranium. If, however, that's how a shotgun blast works, please write an e-mail explaining just how you know that and send it to your local police department.

And Finally...

Now if all of that splattered brain matter and blood soaked carnage got to be a bit much, it's okay. These things can get exhausting, especially if you're sensitive to goofy movie gore. So just to cleanse your palette, enjoy a short cartoon about a lovable house cat:




Silly old' kitty cat wants his breakfast!

Kris King
Story by Kris King

Starpulse contributing writer


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