The next Bloody Disgusting x Dark Star Pictures collaboration unleashes a gory neo-Giallo set at cinephiles’ most coveted space; the movie theater. In a delightfully macabre meta-twist, The Last Matinee (Al Morir La Matinee) slices its way to Digital HD and VOD platforms on August 24th (linktr.ee).
In The Last Matinee, the audience attending the last showing of a horror film in a small downtown cinema is terrorized by a murderer who begins to pick them off, one by one. The only person to notice that something strange is going on is the projectionist’s daughter.
Written and directed by Maxi Contenti (Muñeco viviente V, Neptunia), the film stars Luciana Grasso (El Secreto de Julia), Ricardo Islas (El Que No Corre Vuela, Bailiwick), Julieta Spinelli, Franco Duran and Pedro Duarte.
The slickly shot neo-Giallo pays its respects to the subgenre, both in cinematic references and in bloodletting. Those that love their horror bloody will find much to revel in here. The killer finds creative ways to unleash carnage. But to those with ommetaphobia or a significant aversion to eye trauma, beware: The Last Matinee brings the pain.
Here are eight of horror’s most memorable moments of eye trauma to help you prepare.
It only feels appropriate to begin with a Giallo with such a memorable moment of ocular torture that it was included on the cover art. Dario Argento’s Opera features a disturbing scene that sees Betty (Cristina Marsillach) bound and gagged as she’s forced to watch her boyfriend’s murder. The killer ensures that she observes by taping needles to her lower eyelids; if she blinks, it’s game over for her vision. Argento captures this intense moment with an unflinching gaze.
Asami Yamazaki (Eihi Shiina) takes surgical measures to ensure her lover Shigeharu Aoyama (Ryo Ishibashi) will never leave her in Takashi Miike’s memorable horror movie. After a slow build-up, she unleashes her pent-up fury by injecting him with a paralytic then wriggling needles into the tender space below his eyes with a gleeful “Kiri Kiri Kiri!” It’s terrifying.
In this horror spin on Superman, the superpowered child targets a waitress for expressing displeasure over the harm he caused her child. He waits until she’s alone in the diner where she works, causing surges in the electricity. When the waitress looks up to inspect a fluorescent overhead light, it shatters. Director David Yarovesky gives a closeup of the shard stuck in the waitress’s eye, followed by shaky hands that slowly pull it out. What makes this more cringe-inducing is the slurping, squishing sound that accompanies this moment.
Final Destination 5
The Final Destination series made an impressive show of wringing palpable tension out of elaborate deaths, often rooted in the most mundane tasks. In other words, it’s not just the suspense that makes this series memorable, but the way it builds on reality-based fears. Case in point; this petrifying death exploits anxieties about laser eye surgery. Here, a device straps the patient’s eyes wide open, leaving her vulnerable to a laser run amok.
The “Venus Fly Trap” in Saw II induces sympathy pains. A man wakes up to find his head strapped in a deadly trap. His right eye his bloodied and swollen from a surgically implanted key behind it- the very key to his freedom. The man must use a scalpel to cut the key out and free himself before the timer runs out or the trap snaps closed on his skull. The ticking clock adds intensity, but the closeups of the blade to the cornea heightens the stress. Of all the tests that the Jigsaw killer administers, cutting out your eye to save yourself ranks high among the most panic-inducing.
Black Christmas (2006)
Billy has a fixation on eyeballs in this gore-filled remake. When it comes to eye trauma, you can take your pick for any number of squeamish moments of eye-gouging horror. He begins by targeting his sister Agnes, viciously claiming her eye. Later, he even goes so far as to drag a victim by emptied eye sockets after ripping out her eyes. And they’re hardly the only two that suffer severe eye trauma.
Un Chien Andalou
Luis Buñuel and Salvador Dali’s 1928 film only runs sixteen minutes in length, but it packs a potent punch with surreal imagery. The most horrific scene sees a man take a straight razor to a woman’s eye as she looks straight ahead. The camera cuts to an image of the moon, then to a closeup of an eye getting sliced open. It’s gruesome, arguably more so knowing that Buñuel used a calf’s eye to achieve the effect. Nearly a century later, this ocular laceration sticks with you.
Lucio Fulci horror movies could dominate this list. Choose any of them, and chances are high they’d feature a brutal moment of ocular evisceration. The Beyond, The New York Ripper, Demonia, and more. But it’s the unforgettable imagery from Zombie of a woman struggling against a much stronger foe, the undead, as it pulls her head toward a large splinter of wood that makes the cut here. It’s a slow impaling of the eye, and her helpless look of fear as she’s forced to stare down her own death is brutal.
Discover what ocular horrors await when The Last Matinee releases on Digital HD and VOD platforms August 24th.