There’s really no such thing as pleasant renewal when it comes to metamorphosis in a horror movie – only flesh falling off to expose whatever nightmare lurks beneath. It’s not unlike puberty, actually.
Since we’re almost hitting the dark lord’s birthday, I thought we could celebrate by remembering some of the most nauseating horror movie transformations ever mashed onto the screen…
10. Ash Splits In Two in Army Of Darkness
The deadite spirits have always had a thing for screwing with reflections – but who would have thought to smash your reflection, let it extract itself out as a tiny you, and then swallow it like a pill? Not that Ash did any of that on purpose, but thanks to his actions we now know a handy little way to make an evil clone of yourself.
Plus, the splitting process, while kind of disturbing to take part in, seems relatively pain-free if you don’t count all the Three Stooges antics your other self might inflict.
9. The Woman In Room 237 in The Shining
I’m pretty proud to say that this sequence is tied with the beginning of It as the first ever horror movie moment to engrain deep illogical fears in my childhood. It’s why I’ll never fully be bale to ever trust clowns or naked women.
Interestingly enough, both of the actresses involved in that scene never did a movie before or after. The younger of the two, Lia Beldam, was a model who was originally going to be in the ballroom scene while the old lady apparently did it as a favor. In an interview with Beldam she reveals, to no Kubrick fan’s surprise, that the brief scene took a whole week to shoot.
8. Frank’s Restoration in Hellraiser
Besides those triangle peg boards you get at family restaurants, this film features what has to be the most disappointing handheld puzzle game ever. Imagine if you spent like, a whole day trying to figure it out. You finally give up and go online and find the answer and then BAM – hook torture. Way more disappointing than most of the stuff you find in those plastic vending machine eggs.
This whole movie seems to run on some kind of grotesque logic where even guy’s resurrection has to involve a skeletal rise from goop and multiple blood sucking homicides. And that’s how we get to watch this Frank fellow come back to life, like the ending of Raiders of the Lost Ark in reverse.
7. David’s Transformation in An American Werewolf In London
Turning into a werewolf is probably the most reasonable explanation for going from quietly reading to naked screaming in less than 30 seconds. Had he just kept standing there bare-assed and yelping about his burning skin that would have been far more disturbing.
That would be Rick Baker as the dude you want to thank for kicking CGI in the balls with this stunning transformation. Baker has a bit of a knack for hairiness as he also did the transformation in Michael Jackson’s Thriller, the film Wolf, Harry and the Hendersons, and of course Escape For LA where I assume he worked on Kurt Russell’s manly stubble.