In an ideal world, sports and horror movies should go together like spaghetti and meatballs (or lamb and tuna fish). Think about it; they’re just so damned dangerous. Think of all the swimming pools to drown in, fast cars to crash in, bats and clubs to bash with, spiked shoes to stomp with, and high boards to fall off. The possibilities are endless!
So, with that being said, join us in a celebration of some of horror’s greatest sporting related scenes:
10. Baseball Bat Zombie Bashing – The Battery (2012)
The Battery takes its moniker from the name given to the partnership between a pitcher and his catcher in baseball. Here, the term takes on a deeper meaning when our main protagonists – Ben and Mickey – are eventually introduced as survivors from a New England baseball team traveling through Connecticut just trying to survive each other… as well as the zombie outbreak happening all around them.
With the undead and baseball in the air, it’s only natural that these two elements should combine. And while we get several instances of alpha male Ben laying waste to zombies via baseball bat, it’s when Mickey gets his first zombie kill that’s the most memorable. Mickey is forced into the act by Ben and immediately freaks the hell out, finally snapping, unable to cope with a reality that he has almost seemed to not be facing.
9. The Diving Board From Hell – A Nightmare On Elm Street 5: The Dream Child (1989)
When Wes Craven first imagined the infamous dream-stalker Freddy Krueger, the ideas bouncing around in his head were equally sick and clever. While sleeping, people are at their most vulnerable, making it nearly impossible to stop Krueger from offing whomever he pleases in gory, imaginative ways. Furthermore, nobody can stay awake forever, so, eventually, whether it’s after a week or two months or longer, you’re going to enter Freddy’s domain. And the outcome won’t be ideal.
In NOES 5 Yvonne is the sassy take no crap girl who doesn’t believe in anything supernatural. She learns the truth the hard way. Specifically, Yvonne falls asleep while in the Springwood High School’s Pool area bathing in a jacuzzi. Her nightmare oversees her jump from a diving board as monstrous arms overtake the platform (via some with pretty impressive stop-motion animation). Surprisingly, she survives the ordeal.
8. Ripley’s Basketball Skills – Alien: Resurrection (1997)
There are some who believe that David Fincher’s flawed third entry in the Alien canon derailed the franchise at large, but others aren’t entirely convinced. It wasn’t until the fourth installment, Resurrection, where many really felt like the franchise had gone too far. The fact that we had Ripley rebirthing in the first place was ludicrous, but some were far more distraught at the sight of the movie’s basketball scene – a sport which Ripley uses to showcase her badass new skills.
We, on the other hand, love this scene. In it, Ripley is now a clone, a hybrid of herself and alien DNA she carried within her in Alien 3, a company freak. Released from lock up, she shoots baskets. Interrogated at the same time (“What are you?”) she silently walks off, flipping the basketball over her shoulder from thirty feet away, straight into the basket. Quite corny, but awesome nonetheless.
7. Werewolf Wrestling – Cursed (2005)
A brother and sister are forced to confront the fact that an animal that has attacked them after a car accident was actually a werewolf, and they are going to change unless they can track down the werewolf and kill it before they turn. But before all that, Jimmy (played by Jesse Eisenberg) is going to have a little bit of fun first.
Suffice it to say, Jimmy soon develops superhuman strength because of his misfortune – superhuman strength that he displays on the high school wrestling mat, naturally. He lays waste to the school’s bullies (or at least, the ones who have been bullying him) with no problem at all.
6. Gutted By A Literal Football Drill – Prom Night III: The Last Kiss (1990)
Meet Alex. Alex is a moron, with dreams far above his actual level of talent. Mistakenly believing that he’s bound for medical school, he’s also a minor figure on the football team. Soon enough, his mundane little existence becomes torn apart when Mary Lou takes a shine to him and decides to fix his life – and satisfy her bloodlust.
After the Prom Night series decided to abandon the slasher formula for some supernatural shenanigans, you could expect things to get a little silly, and this movie certainly doesn’t disappoint in that regard. The goofiest moment of the movie by far has to be when Alex meets the homophobic captain of the football team out on the field. Suddenly, Mary Lou appears fully suited up, pigskin in hand and throws a limp-wristed pass. The football inexplicably turns into a giant drill mid toss and eviscerates the captain. Not a Hail Mary; more like a flail Mary.
5. Ice Skate To The Face – Halloween H20: 20 Years Later (1998)
Jimmy (played by a young Joseph Gordon-Levitt) is a profoundly annoying teen that just won’t shut the hell up. He appears wearing hockey gear – perhaps some kind of Jason Voorhees in-joke – and agrees to search a neighbor’s house after a suspected break in.
In just a few short minutes he makes a few bad quips, swings around his hockey stick like a tough guy and generally grates on the nerves. If this was his intention then he did a great job, because it’s immensely satisfying when Jimmy is found with an ice skate buried in his face. With that, there’s a theory that Michael Myers was actually wearing the ice skate on his foot, and stomped it into his face. This probably isn’t true, but it sounds amazing though, right?
4. Gymnastic Neck Snap – Final Destination 5 (2011)
Having escaped a tragedy that killed a bunch of people and ruined what looked like a perfectly good bridge, Candice focuses on doing gymnastics. Through an elaborate scheme by Death that doesn’t involve her getting crushed by a creaky A/C vent or having her toe pricked by a rogue screw, Candice snaps her neck and a bunch of her bones when she fails to make a decent landing.
Good going, FD5, for building up that tension with the loose screw. For some reason, that little piece seemed more daunting than anything else in this strange scene. We’ve seen plenty of gross gymnast landings before via Youtube, with broken bones and lots of screaming, but Final Destination just has to push the limit and make her look like she was stuck in the trash compactor from Star Wars: A New Hope. And for that, Final Destination 5, we thank you.
3. Basketball Of Death – Deadly Friend (1986)
Sometimes, the effect of an improvised weapon is to be expected – something heavy is bound to leave a mark, anything sharp is likely to pierce, and inappropriate things are bound to be completely ineffective. That is unless you live in the world of Wes Craven’s ludicrous Deadly Friend, the bonkers sci-fi horror that sees the micro-chip of an occasionally autonomous robot implanted into the brain of a dying teenage girl, who then goes on a quest for vengeance, killing both the abusive father who almost killed the girl, and the reclusive neighbor who shot the robot on Halloween.
That second murder is the greatest part of the movie, as the robot-minded Samantha (played by Kristy Swanson) destroys the entire head of her victim with just one throw of a basketball. Her victim’s headless body, spurting blood, then continues to flail around the room like a chicken that just had its head chopped off. It’s glorious.
2. Pole Vault Spikes – Graduation Day (1981)
After a high school track runner, named Laura, suddenly dies from a heart attack after finishing a 30-second 200-meter race, a killer wearing a sweat suit and a fencing mask begins killing off her friends on the school track team one by one.
The death scenes in question are particularly boss (which, let’s be honest, is why we love these films). We see a rather humorous throat slashing gag where the blood splashes onto the camera, a girl gets stabbed by a fencing foil, a young man is stabbed in the gut with a javelin shoved through a football, a guy is practicing his pole vault when he falls on a bed of spikes and the list goes on. Though if we had to choose our favorite, it would have to be the pole vault scene. Sheesh, what a way to go.
1. One-Sided Boxing Match – Friday The 13th: Jason Takes Manhattan (1989)
When the original Friday The 13th was released in 1980 it changed the horror genre forever. Later, Jason Voorhees was brought into the mix and the sequels actually became better and more frightening. Sadly, after about four or five films, the number of scary and atmospheric death scenes dwindled to just a few per film as they were replaced with more action orientated situations that accentuated more screen time for Jason. This brings us to Julius Gaw’s hilariously over-the-top death in Friday The 13th Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan
As the film’s survivors are on the run from Jason in New York, Julius finds a pay phone to call the police. Though, Jason interrupts the call by breaking the phone booth glass. After becoming cornered he decides to confront Jason in a mono y mono boxing match for the ages. Although, it only lasted one action packed round, Julius landed numerous head and body shots before running out of gas. The conclusion? Well, Jason, with one lone punch, knocks Julius’ head clean off and into a dumpster. Always a crowd pleasing moment.
What are some of your favorite sports-themed horror movie scenes? Let us know in the comment section below.