I’m currently a student at a local state college with aspirations of a career in the medical field. As such, Anatomy & Physiology is a requisite course, and it damn well should be for medical hopefuls. This past week we studied the human eye, including intrinsic and extrinsic muscles, and all the ancillary parts associated. That got me thinking: there’s been a ton of cool scenes in movies involving eyes and eyeballs. So why not make a little list of my faves.
This list excludes Sauran, as he’s merely a flaming eyeball for all 10 hours of that series. Here’s the one’s that made it:
1. Splintered Eye – Zombie (1979)
Other than the underwater Zombie vs Shark fight, this is bar none the coolest scene in the flick. That piece of wood goes right into that poor woman’s eye at the hands of some friendly zombie. And, believe me, director Lucio Fulci doesn’t hold back on showing that splintered wood penetrate the cornea, iris, pupil, lens and retina at a much slower pace than I would care to see. You can almost see the aqeuous and viscous humor oozing out. If that shot doesn’t make your eye wimper and half-shut in fear, it’s already made out of glass.
2. Lip-reading, Maniacal Eye – 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)
If you’ve seen the movie, you know the scene I’m talking about. You watch this movie and think “How tough could a computer be to stop, even if it’s equipped with artificial intelligence? Just pull the plug”. What you’re not planning on is the computer being much smarter and craftier than you….and having the capability of reading your lips while you scheme to shut it down. Stanley Kubrick took an inanimate object, that being a red light in the basic shape of an eye, and making it one of the most feared movie villains of all time. I don’t even like looking at the damn thing. Let’s move on.
3. Pen in the Eye – Demolition Man (1993)
Here’s the problem with technological advances in the identification process. Wesley Snipes is trapped in a futuristic prison with some guards and the warden during his parole hearing. In true Wesley Snipes style, he handles the guards with relative ease, despite being incarcerated in a block of ice for 35 years. Next up is the warden. A simple task to defeat him, but how does he get out of the prison when the entire place is locked down and only responds to the retinal scan of prison employees? The old pen digging out the eyeball trick. If you look closely enough, you’ll notice he severed the optic nerve with a surgeon’s precision with only a fountain pen. Love action movies.
4. Obedience Training Eyes – A Clockwork Orange (1971)
There’s so many things I find uncomfortable about these scenes. Those clasps they used to hold his eyes open may have been suitable for a convicted murderer, but poor Malcolm McDowell had to sit there for God knows how many countless hours with those things dug into the soft tissue around his eyes. Supposedly he scratched his cornea filming these scenes, and I’m not exactly surprised. The other problem is that woman that keeps putting drops in his eyes to keep them moist. I know the purpose of the drops, but watch the frequency with which the drops are coating his eyes and try not to tear up. It’s like water-boarding your friggin’ eyes.
5. Eyes in the Darkness – Suspiria (1977)
That’s the last damn thing you want to see outside your window at night. Some poor girl is fleeing for her life, petrified of some evil following her, and finds shelter in a friend’s home. Once left alone in her room for the evening, she starts to freak out and panic. Gazing out the window, suddenly she sees those two demonic eyes open in the blackness of the night. The ensuing scene is pretty awesome, but those eyes are just damn creepy.
3-D Eyeball in Your Face – Friday the 13th Part 3 (1982)
Only really memorable for being an absolutely ridiculous method of killing someone: squeezing their head until their skull cracks, and naturally an eye pops out. Why would the eye pop out, you ask? Because the movie was shot in 3-D and it looks absurd when an eyeball flies at the audience. This scene will undoubtedly be recreated sometime very very soon with the recent infatuation with three dimensions once again. It failed once, I pray it fails again.