Ever since Star Wars, the special effects industry has taken us to amazing new worlds and recharged our sense of wonder. It's also grossed us the frak out. Exploding heads, severed limbs, strange mutilations... Here are the 20 most disgusting special effects of all time. Warning: NSFW!
Warning: These are in no particular order. But the further down you scroll in the list, the more disgusting the effects generally get. And we couldn't resist making GIFs of some of these. Be warned!
That said, we decided to leave out some gore from non-supernatural or science fictional movies like the Saw films, Ichi the Killer, Salo or the 120 Days of Sodom, or Maniac. All the scenes below involve magic, mystical forces, aliens or weird science.
1) Hemlock Grove - Werewolf Transformation Scene — We also love the gory werewolf transformations in American Werewolf in London, The Wolfman and The Company of Wolves, but this one is just so intense, with the wolf just pushing out of his face.
2) John Carpenter's The Thing: The Defibrillation Scene — Including The Moment Below, But Also Everything That Comes Afterwards.
3) Videodrome: Max Renn hallucinates (or does he) that he puts a gun inside a slot that opens up in his stomach. Later, that gun comes in handy.
4) The Fly: Brundle's Jaw Comes Right Off (Plus Everything That Happens After That)
5) Alien: The "Chestburster" scene
6) RoboCop: Emil gets melted by toxic waste
7) The Terminator: The Terminator does surgery on his own eyeball.
8) Clive Barker's Hellraiser: Frank's Resurrection and the Rebirth of Skinless Frank. (Also a contender: Frank's final death scene, in which he gets ripped apart pretty graphically)
9) Society: The "Shunt," aka the Body-Melding Orgy Scene
10) Slither: On a similar note, the massively pregnant woman, and a few other revolting bits of body horror
11) Scanners: The Exploding Head!
12) Bad Taste, "The Bastards Have Landed" aka the Dinner Scene ("Lucky me! I've got a chunky bit.")
13) Dead Alive: The Lawnmower Scene (We also considered the dinner scene)
14) Nightmare on Elm St.: Johnny Depp gets liquefied
15) City of the Living Dead by Lucio Fulci: The Intestine Vomiting Scene
16) Zombi 2: The Eye-Gouging Scene
17) Evil Dead: The Tree Assault — here it is in the remake version. (Which also has some pretty insane gross-out scenes in the bathroom.)
18) Reanimator: The Severed Head Oral Sex Scene. Also, Beyond Reanimator has a duel to the death between a zombie rat and a zombie severed penis.
19) George Romero's Day of the Dead: The Death of Captain Rhodes. "Choke on 'em."
20) Faust - the Scariest "Expanding Breast" Scene Of All Time. This one is really, really, NSFW — but you can watch the clip here.
So... What did we leave out?
Additional reporting by Jason Shankel, Cheryl Eddy, Ed Grabianowski and Annalee Newitz.