10 Most Quotable Horror Movie One-Liners

Yeah, we can't believe that iconic line you love from that movie didn't make the cut either.
Best Horror Movie One Liners

5. “Cat dead, details later.”

Empire Pictures

Linguists and scholars have commonly cited “cellar door” as the most beautiful phrase in the English language, and while they might be right, there’s another phrase I love hearing even more: “Cat dead, details later.” This line from Re-Animator comes up during a pretty serious discussion about a twice-reanimated feline, one in which Bruce Abbott’s Dan and Barbara Crampton’s Megan interrogate burgeoning mad scientist Herbert West (Jeffrey Combs) and ask why the bad doctor didn’t bother to leave a note about the situation.

“What would a note say, Dan?” Herbert asks. “Cat dead, details later?” He’s not wrong, but it’s a laugh-out-loud funny line that proves early on exactly how dryly comedic Re-Animator’s gross-out horror will get before the movie’s over. The Stuart Gordon classic does a lot well, from its great practical effects to its increasingly gonzo gore, but “cat dead, details later” exemplifies one of its most unique traits – the special brand of humor that Pauline Kael’s review called “subterranean.” (Val)

4. “Groovy.”

Paramount Pictures

How, on God’s green earth, do you punctuate a montage where your heroically-chinned lone-survivor crafts a chainsaw prosthetic hand to fend off the titular evil dead? Well, if you’re a really big-brained genius, after your comic-book panel style quick-cuts, your hero saws off the tip of his shotgun with his new hand (which is, again, a chainsaw), the music builds, the camera pans up, and Ash Williams (Bruce Campbell) says what we’re all thinking: “groovy.” In his infinite wisdom, Sam Raimi even left a pause afterward so that audiences could hoot and holler appropriately. It’s a sequence so nice he did it twice, repeating the magic in Army of Darkness. It’s laconic. It’s iconic. Everything you want in a one-liner. (Meg)

3. “You gotta be fucking kidding.”

Universal Pictures

Critics at the time be damned, there’s no denying that John Carpenter‘s The Thing is an absolute masterpiece of genre cinema. It’s a grim, oppressive tale of paranoia and alien domination, but Carpenter, writer Bill Lancaster, and a game cast ensure that moments of humanity and even levity shine through the carnage. The film is filled with stellar set-pieces featuring Rob Bottin’s still stunning practical effects, but the centerpiece arguably kicks off with an attempt at resuscitation, seeing a chest cavity collapse before “biting” off the doctor’s hands. Pasta flails from the open torso, an alien growth is blasted with a flamethrower, and the victim’s head loudly stretches and separates from the body — before sprouting legs leg a spider and scampering towards the door. Palmer (David Clennon) sees it and says what everyone, including viewers, are thinking after this entirely wild experience. (Rob)

2. “You’re gonna need a bigger boat.”

Universal Pictures

“You’re gonna need a bigger boat.” It’s all about Roy Scheider. Of course, we get that most excellent jump-scare when big bad Bruce pops up from the ocean while Brody’s chumming that shit. Scheider springs to his feet, fingers intact, and slowly walks backward into the Orca‘s cabin. His cigarette never leaves his lips; he needs that thing. And out comes the line. It gets a laugh while never betraying the deadly seriousness of their situation. Robert Shaw‘s Quint immediately clocks the dread in Brody’s tremble, and out he walks, his doom sealed in his confidence. When watched without a crowd, it’s incredible how quiet the sequence is handled. John Williams‘ score only kicks in after the shark comes up, adding to the surprise. Williams plays soft strings beneath the one-liner. Bruce’s “duunnn dunnn… duuuunnnn duun …” theme will return later. For now, the only feeling Steven Spielberg is communicating is, “You’re screwed, friends.” Might as well have a chuckle. (Brad)

1. “I kick ass for the lord!”

Trimark Pictures

It’s understandable if you’re staring in disbelief and wondering how a line from Peter Jackson‘s Dead Alive beat out an utterly iconic bit from Steven Spielberg’s Jaws. I did the same when the votes came in, but at the same time? I ain’t mad about it. I find myself saying both of these lines in daily life, but it’s this one that sees me toss in an incredibly accurate accent while saying it. Plus, even thinking of the scene in question brings a smile to my face. A zombie attacks a group of ruffians in a cemetery, and the noise wakes up a pajama-clad priest with a bad temper. You think he’s going to be easy pickings, but no — this padre knows karate. Rapid-fire kicks and bloody dismemberment follows, and you’re reminded once again that this is a masterpiece… that still hasn’t gotten an official Blu-ray release. (Rob)

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Rob Hunter: Rob Hunter has been writing for Film School Rejects since before you were born, which is weird seeing as he's so damn young. He's our Chief Film Critic and Associate Editor and lists 'Broadcast News' as his favorite film of all time. Feel free to say hi if you see him on Twitter @FakeRobHunter.