Don’t get us wrong: we love a good cinematic explosion or bout of slow-mo fisticuffs. What we don’t love is the same old lists of “best bits” again and again, so we’ve skipped over the obvious here: you don’t need us to tell you that The French Connection has one of the greatest car chases of all time, or that Erika Eleniak popping out of a cake in Under Siege is the best use of “surprise boobs in a naval hostage context” probably ever. That’s why we’ve chosen some less celebrated moments (apart from Raiders, because our love for that bit verges on the psychotic). Enjoy!
Best Head Shot
Dawn of the Dead
While the 2004 remake is a hoot, nothing beats the original DOTD for brain-splattered, intestine-draped critiques of consumer society (zombies in a mall—subtle!). In an early scene, racist cop Wooley loses his shit and starts shooting everyone in sight while raiding an apartment building, resulting in this gloriously gross point-blank discharge to the face.
Inside look: That’s a real shotgun hit. Unwilling to waste a fake head from an unused scene, makeup artist Tom Savini filled it with blood and blasted it.
If you dig this, Netflix these: Shaun of the Dead (funny zombies!), Day of the Dead (Walkman-wearing zombies!), and Dead Alive (monkey-raping plague-rat zombies!).
Best Opening Credits-
Raiders of the Lost Ark
Sure, the Bond movies are famous for their big openings, but Raiders outdid them all. In a ridiculously fun scene spoofed endlessly ever since (although never better than by The Simpsons), we meet Indiana Jones as he braves tarantulas, spring-loaded spikes, and bottomless pits to find the Chachapoyan Fertility Idol, only to wind up nearly getting crushed by a giant rolling boulder.
End result: Men everywhere suddenly wonder if they could pull off a fedora.
Inside look: The idea of the idol releasing the giant boulder was taken from a 1954 Scrooge McDuck comic that George Lucas had read, named The Seven Cities of Cibola.
Quotable line: SAPITO: "Throw me the idol, I throw you the whip!"
Best Man In A Rubber Suit - Ghostbusters
If there’s one giant monster we love more than Godzilla, it’s Mr. Stay Puft, Ghostbusters’ most iconic—and delicious—specter. Appearing at the movie’s climax as the vessel of Sumerian god Gozer, the tubby bastard was built and operated by visual-effects artist and foam sculptor Bill Bryan, who took directions mostly relayed to him by “a guy shouting as loud as he could.”
Inside look: The first suit built by Bryan sagged horribly, resulting in creases down the front of the creature that “resembled a vagina.” Unsurprisingly, he was forced to start again.
Quotable line: VENKMAN: We’ve been going about this all wrong. This Mr. Stay Puft’s OK! He’s a sailor, he’s in New York: We get this guy laid, we won’t have any trouble!
Best Bromance - Superbad
After a night filled with drunken disasters, high school buddies Seth and Evan express their mutual platonic love for each other in one of the most touchingly hilarious BFF moments ever seen in a dude movie. Boop!
Easter egg: The bros are named for writers Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg.
Quotable line: SETH: I just love you. I want to go to the rooftops and scream, “I love my best friend, Evan!”¿
EVAN: We should go up on the roof. SETH [whispering]: For sure.
Best Invitation for Ladies Present to Please Vacate the Premises- Robocop
As OCP executive Bob Morton (Miguel Ferrer) parties with two escorts and a cleavageful of cocaine, head bad guy Clarence Boddicker (Kurtwood Smith) kicks his way in and clears the room with his legendarily succinct, “Bitches, leave,” before crippling Morton and leaving him a live grenade to play with. It’s hard to believe that the badass Smith ended up as a sitcom dad on That ’70s Show.
Inside look: This wasn’t the first time Smith had killed Ferrer on-screen; he also did it in 1984’s Flashpoint.
Easter egg: The secretary Boddicker harasses when visiting Dick Jones is actually Smith’s real-life wife, Joan Pirkle.
Best Disemboweling - Machete
After a handy bit of expository dialogue about the human intestine being around 60 feet long (it’s actually closer to 30, fact fans!), Machete, cornered and under attack, slices open an opponent’s stomach, then grabs his small intestine and uses it as a bungee cord to leap out of a window and swing down to the floor below. ¡Dios mío!
Director’s commentary: “I was told that to make a successful movie, you have to do three things in it that the audience doesn’t expect. That intestine scene is one of them.” —Robert Rodriguez
If you dig this, Netflix these: Black Dynamite (funny, grainy, retro hand slicing) and Planet Terror (funny, grainy, retro ball slicing).
Best Three- Girls-on-One- Guy Action - Deathproof
After Zoë, Kim, and Abernathy chase down the crazed and wounded Stuntman Mike, they deliver an ass-kicking so enthusiastic that Mike’s unconscious body can’t even fall to the ground; instead, it just gets propelled from one fist to another.
Easter egg: Hood-riding stuntwoman Zoë Bell plays herself in the movie: She came to Quentin Tarantino’s attention when she doubled for Uma Thurman on Kill Bill.
Director’s commentary: “When Stuntman Mike turns into a crying bitch…that was Kurt [Russell]. It was implied in the script, but Kurt went the whole way, turning into the Cowardly Lion.”
Best Secret Signal - Team America: World Police
This one narrowly beats out Three Amigos’ “Kaw! Kaw! You two! Kaww! Lookupherelookupherelookuphere!” Undercover actor Gary has a special secret signal for alerting the rest of his covert ops team to danger: flailing his arms all around and screaming in panic. “One of the terrorists is trying to tell us something…”
Inside look: South Park dudes Trey Parker and Matt Stone originally planned the movie as a shot-for-shot remake of Michael Bay’s Armageddon, with puppets. (Guys, if you’re reading—please do this!)
CHRIS: "Surprise, cockfags!"
Best Beatdown- Office Space
One of the most savage and enthusiastic beatings of all time comes at the hands of disgruntled office workers Peter, Samir, and Michael, who drag their victim into a field and hammer away with a baseball bat until said victim’s insides rupture as the audience cheers and dreams of doing the same. Wait—did we mention that the victim is their permanently jammed office printer?
Inside look: The excruciating manager of Chotchkie’s restaurant in the movie is actually writer-director Mike Judge.
Easter egg: Peter lives in “Morningwood Apartments”—a reference to Judge’s most famous creations, Beavis and Butt-Head, who often talked about their “morning wood,” huh-huh-uhh-huhhuhuh.
Best Fight Against an Army of Miniature Selves Who Then Get Inside You and Become an Evil Siamese Twin Before Separating and Raising an Army of the Undead Against You and Kidnapping Your Medieval Girlfriend
Army of Darkness
Most hilarious moment in the third Evil Dead movie? When Ash (Bruce Campbell) fights off his evil doppelgänger, infamously responding to being called “little Goody Two- Shoes” by blasting him in the face with a shotgun. Watch this flick back-to-back with Evil Dead II for the best night in, like, ever.
Easter egg: Campbell did a tribute to this scene in a 1997 episode of Hercules: The Legendary Journeys, complete with the "little Goody Two-Shoes” dance.
Inside look: The studio found the original ending too grim and demanded a more heroic one. See them both on DVD.
Best Quip - They Live
In one of horror-schlock king John Carpenter’s most awesome movies, wrestler “Rowdy” Roddy Piper kicks off a gun battle with undercover aliens (our inner geek exploded when we typed that) with one of the greatest lines ever drawled: “I have come here to chew bubblegum and kick ass. And I’m all out of bubblegum.” Carnage, naturally, ensues.
Inside look: Piper apparently ad-libbed the line, having thought it up previously to use on his WWF interview segment, Piper’s Pit.
Easter egg: The alien troops’ communicator device is actually Egon’s PKE meter from Ghostbusters. The prop also shows up in the Hulk Hogan vehicle Suburban Commando.
Best House Party - Weird Science
There have been some awesome house parties in movies, but no other can boast a raid by mutant bikers, catatonic grandparents in the (suddenly blue) kitchen cupboard, a naked girl shooting out the chimney, and—of course—a nuclear missile bursting through the roof. That’s just the kind of thing that happens when you let two geeks try and make a woman with their computer in the ’80s, right?
Inside look: The piano-playing girl who gets her clothes sucked through the chimney was Kym Malin, Playboy’s Playmate of the Month for May 1982.
CHET: An accident? An accident? Do you realize it’s snowing in my room, goddamn it?
Best Shopping Trip - The Terminator
In Arnie’s signature performance, he gives an early indication of his stance on gun control by choosing to shoot the owner of the Alamo gun shop in the chest rather than wait 15 days for his handguns. In all fairness, though, the dude was totally out of phased plasma rifles in the 40-watt range. Update your stock, dummy!
Set visit: The Alamo is at 14329 Victory Boulevard in the San Fernando Valley— although nowadays it’s better known as car dealership KL Auto Center.
Inside look: Arnie speaks only 66 words in the entire movie; 21 of them are in this scene.
Best Nerdy Fuckup - Star Wars: Episode IV—A New Hope
We love Star Wars as much as the next guy (provided the next guy isn’t some nacho-stained fat dude at Comic-Con dressed as Jar Jar Binks), but the scene closest to our hearts will always be the poor Stormtrooper bashing his head on the door. If you missed it, watch the guy on the right forget to duck as the Stormtroopers bust into the droids’ hiding place during the trash compactor scene. Only Imperial Stormtroopers are so precise, indeed…
Inside look: In the 2004 DVD box- set release, a sound effect was added to make the moment—a favorite among fans—more obvious. BONK!
Easter egg: As a tribute to this mistake, Jango Fett bangs his head on the door of his ship while escaping from Obi-Wan Kenobi in Attack of the Clones.
Best (Alleged) Murderer in a Comedy - O.J. Simpson
For a former footballer with a penchant for stabbing, kidnapping, and armed robbery, the dude sure had a gift for slapstick. Nordberg’s first appearance in Naked Gun is still the standout, as “the Juice” follows up being shot with falling face-first into a cake and then plummeting off the side of a boat (standing in a bear trap on the way, naturally).
Inside look: O.J. won a Razzie Award (the reverse Oscars, where people are singled out for bad movies) for his role in Naked Gun 33¿, presumably due to his then-ongoing murder trial.
If you dig this, Netflix these: Love and Death (epic Russian-novel spoof), Top Secret! (Elvis-style spy- movie spoof), Spaceballs (greatest Star Wars spoof of all time).
Best Romantic Stroll on the Beach- Rocky III
If you thought there was smoldering passion on display in From Here to Eternity’s famous kiss in the surf, it’s still nothing compared to the unrestrained man love between Rocky and Apollo in Rocky III’s infamous montage. Matching tank tops, short shorts, and knee socks proudly on display, they frolic in the waves before having a big old manly cuddle. Hey, funboys, get a room!
Set visit: These scenes were filmed on Santa Monica beach. You can see the famous pier behind them at the start of the montage.
Easter egg: The movie’s other montage —depicting Rocky’s new celebrity status—uses genuine footage of Stallone appearing on The Muppet Show and attending the 1976 Academy Awards.
Best Closing Credits- The Hangover
After a whole movie of trying to figure out what the fuck had happened to the guys after a drunken night in Vegas, the brilliant final reveal is the discovery of the camera that documented every tooth-extracting, stripper-marrying, tiger-stealing moment.
Inside look: Zach Galifianakis claims that the graphic photo of his character, Alan, being blown by an old lady was one of the most embarrassing parts to shoot—even though they used a rubber penis.
Director’s commentary: “We lost a few crew members to the city. Vegas just leads to bad decisions. We literally would say, ‘Hey, where’s the electrician?’ ‘Oh, we’ve got a new guy.’ The wife had flown in and put him in rehab. Not literally the electrician, by the way—I’m making that up…”
Best Knowledge of Very Specific Offensive Racial Slurs- The Godfather
Corleone family consigliere Tom Hagen meets resistance from studio head—and later, recipient of a horse’s head—Jack Woltz: “Johnny Fontane will never get that movie! I don’t care how many dago-guinea-wop-greaseball-goombahs come out of the woodwork!” Hagen replies that he’s German-Irish, to be met with, “Well, let me tell you something, my kraut-mick friend…”
Set visit: Jack Woltz’s mansion is really the Beverly Hills Estate, at 1011 North Beverly Drive, L.A., once owned by William Randolph Hearst.
Director’s commentary: “I got complaints from animal lovers about the horse’s head. But we got it from a dog food company…It was killed to feed their puppies, not because of my movie.”
—Francis Ford Coppola
Best Assessment of the Situation - Aliens
You’re stranded on a desolate planet infested with deadly acid-blooded monsters that want to murder-face-rape you, and the planet itself is shortly to explode. Could you sum it up better than Bill Paxton’s hysterical Private Hudson? “That’s it, man, game over, man, game over! What the fuck are we gonna do now?”
Inside look: There are 25 F-bombs dropped in the movie, 18 of them courtesy of Hudson.
Easter egg: The set used for the alien queen’s nest was used again three years later—with a few changes—for the Axis Chemicals factory in Tim Burton’s Batman.
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