In honor of Presidents’ Day, Washington’s Birthday and Lincoln’s birthday last month, we’ve collected the top 10 classic birthday-suit scenes from American movies with American themes — everything from “American Beauty” to “The Graduate.”
Film has never shied away from exploring the rich, complicated, and in some cases straight-up creepy connection between mother and child. While normal, lovely moms are all fine and good, some of the most fun moms to watch have been downright crazy–and all the more captivating because of it. In honor of Mother’s Day (Sun., May 11) we’ve picked our five favorite frightening maternal figures. Don’t neglect to send them a card on Mother’s Day.
1. Margaret White, Carrie (1976)
Sure, the cool-kid clique at Carrie’s high school do a number on the poor girl. But the groundwork of psychotic abuse already had been laid at home, where the shy girl’s Christian fundamentalist mother consistently berates her for “sinning.” A bucket of pig’s blood might have been the straw that breaks the camel’s back. But when Carrie rebels — and tears down her town in the process — its anger and resentment toward her mother that drives most of that rage.
It’s a popular trivia question meant to stump horror newbies: Who terrorized the horny counselors at Camp Crystal Lake long before Jason Voorhees donned his trademark hockey mask and wielded his trusty machete? The answer – his mother – is revealed in the original FRIDAY THE 13TH, which airs on Thursday at midnight on Sundance Channel.
Yes, Jason was yet another serial killer born from a long line of deranged and murderous mothers, but he’s hardly alone. The overprotective mum has reared her ugly head in many horror movies through the years, prompting us to pick our five favorite frightening maternal figures. Don’t neglect to send them a card on Mother’s Day.
In honor of the birth of our nation, we’re collecting the top 10 classic birthday-suit scenes from American movies with American themes. The fact that only a minority of them are healthy depictions of sex reflects our puritanical country’s fucked-up relationship with the topic. Feel free to light a sparkler and disrobe in patriotic solidarity — maybe you can make American sex a little more positive.
“They’re all gonna laugh at…who?”
There are some truly horrid things out there that just won’t die. One is the soon-to-be-remade (again!) CARRIE, Stephen King’s exceptionally underrated debut novel (if this were required reading in every American high school, there would probably be no ‘bullying crisis’) and the brilliant 1976 Brian de Palma screen adaptation with Sissy Spacek, masseur-loving John Travolta and Piper Laurie. Laurie, it’s worth noting, made the honorable mentions in our Top 10 Mothers In Legendary Films list for Mother’s Day—and come to think of it, she deserved her own maniacal place in the list itself for this Oscar-nominated role.
Alfred Hitchcock’s 1960 chiller-thriller PSYCHO still makes me crazy, in a good way. No, it’s not a perfect movie. The handling of the mystery solving isn’t nearly as passionate as the murder itself, and I always hated the way Norman and his mother talk in overlapping dialogue so you’re made to think he really must be hanging with a live woman.
But even BATTLESHIP POTEMKIN has a few low points—or so I hear. Gimmickry aside, PSYCHO jolted America into the ‘60s and we haven’t really been the same since. On the 50th anniversary of its release year, we can look back and see how profoundly the movie—dismissed by some lunatics as exploitive trash at the time—is a landmark in delicious arthouse perversion, a daring auteur curio which still manages to disturb and entertain.
There are a lot of top ten lists for “scariest movie of all time,” but from box office hits to oddball cult classics, there are some movies that turn up again and again. You’ll notice a few favorites are missing, namely HALLOWEEN (1978), which has great 70s kitsch value and hands down more naked boobs than any movie on this list, but as a movie, it’s really not all the frightening, right? And no, I didn’t forget THE EXORCIST (1973) either, but buckets of green puke are more gross than scary. You’ll notice, too, that there aren’t a lot of new scary movies, and that’s not because I don’t like them, but I think we should let them stand the test of time a bit before we start putting them on all-time lists.
10. WAIT UNTIL DARK (1967)
This oft-forgotten gem stars Audrey Hepburn as a blind woman terrorized by Alan Arkin and his gang of thugs who think she has a doll full of heroin. Bet you never thought a refrigerator light would save your life.
9. NOSFERATU (1922)
Greatest vampire movie of all time? Michael Myers stole all Nosferatu’s best moves in HALLOWEEN (the white face, the lurking) but the original is still the bone-chilling best.