As the world of cinema has proven time and time again, eye gouges are never going to go out of style. Putting a thumb/pencil/screwdriver/etc. through a human being’s eyeball is pretty much the number one way to gross out your audience (and make them irrationally cup their own eye as a reflexive means of protection).
With that being said, below are fifteen brutal instances of cinematic eye removal – and sadly, none of the victims could SEE it coming. Sorry.
15. The Birds (1963)
The Movie: While Alfred Hitchcock’s The Birds sounds like it should have been a B-Movie, the film was in fact a massive hit on the big screens. The plot itself is a pretty simple Nature Versus Man story; birds attack a town and violently kill a lot of people, without very good reason.
The Scene: One of the scariest scenes in the film is when one of the characters Lydia (Jessica Tandy) goes to visit a farmer to talk about the bizarre behavior of his chickens. Lydia enters the house which is silent; she spends two suspenseful minutes walking through the building which appears deserted. She reaches the farmer’s bedroom and enters. The camera pans over a chaotic scene, and a dead bird stuck in the window. And then BAM; audiences are hit with a shot of the farmer, who is dead, cut up by a bird attack – and his eyes have been pecked out quite gruesomely.
14. Zombie 2 (1979)
The Movie: After a New York harbor patrolman is murdered at the hands of a flesh-hungry ghoul aboard an abandoned yacht, Anne (Tisa Farrow) – the daughter of the ship’s missing owner – teams up with a newspaper reporter (Ian McCulloch) for a private investigation. Clues eventually lead them to a Caribbean island where the dead refuse to stay dead. A voodoo curse is at work, and a battle with the bloodthirsty zombies must be joined.
The Scene: Lucio Fulci’s undead splatter classic is replete with scenes where the walking dead eat the living with the cleanliness and manners of an unruly 5-year-old boy slurping spaghetti and marinara sauce – but there’s one choice moment that will always stick out the most. The victim in question is the beautiful Paola (Olga Karlatos), who’s just stepped out of the shower and barricaded herself indoors to keep away from those pesky corpses. Standing too close to one of the room’s entrances, she unwittingly allows a zombie to break through the wooden door, grab her by the hair, and slowly, tortuously pull her eye into a pointy spike. Now that’s what you call an eyesore.
13. Blade Runner (1982)
The Movie: Beyond ambiguous, Ridley Scott’s Blade Runner is a peek at a strange future where lifelike humanoid robots, known as “replicants,” roam the planet virtually indistinguishable from actual humans. So when these replicants look and act so real, who’s to say that they aren’t?
The Scene: There’s a ton of eyeball imagery in this film – so it’s fitting that when replicant Roy Batty (Rutger Hauer) decides to exact fatal vengeance on his father Tyrell (outfitted with a pair of spectacles that would do Harry Potter proud), it’s with a very graphic thumbs-through-the-eyeballs gouge.
12. Child’s Play 2 (1990)
The Movie: In an attempt to save their reputation, the manufacturers of the notorious Chucky reconstruct the killer doll, to prove to the public that nothing was wrong with it in the first place. In doing so, they also bring the soul of serial killer Charles Lee Ray back to life. Naturally, mayhem ensues.
The Scene: And the award for the worst night watchmen of all time goes to this guy. He’s got plenty of cameras in front of him. There have been two kids and a doll running around the factory that he works at for some time before we’re even made aware of this guy’s existence. He only takes notice when he gets an alert for faulty equipment. Turns out it’s the equipment that does him in. Chucky knocks him onto the assembly line and there he meets his demise. Two doll eyes lower down, stabbing through his own and pushing them inward. It’s easily the grossest scene in the film but also one of the most memorable.
11. Splatter: Naked Blood (1996)
The Movie: Eiji is a 17 year-old boy genius. He has created a new painkiller which works by transforming the sensations of pain into pleasure. He names his wonder drug “MySon” and feels it is time to test his creation on human subjects. Luckily for him, his mother, who works at the local hospital, is currently testing an anti-pregnancy drug on three women – so Eiji secretly introduces his painkiller into this experiment and plans to covertly study the effects.
The Scene: One of the women – an unashamedly gluttonous food-lover – reacts to the drug by sticking her hand in boiling hot water for the joy of it and then eating her own fingers. She also cuts off her own nipple to eat before she ultimately sticks a fork into her eyeball and devours that as well.