Brush back your hair and roll on your juiciest chapstick - it's time to open wide and say die!
By: Jimbo X
In the movies, kissing usually has two concrete, symbolic meanings. On one hand, it is meant to depict adoration, adulation or affection - like when a father gently smooches his daughter's forehead, or when a lovelorn teenager finally moves in for that first pop kiss with the girl he has had a crush on since pre-school. Alternately, it is also used to symbolize passion and sexual desire - with torrid, tongue-loaded snogs often standing in for sexual intercourse scenes in films with ratings beneath the R-threshold, and gratuitous girl-on-girl tonsil rugby matches designed to stir up the libidos of the movie-going masses (and to mask the fact that the movie doesn't really have that interesting and engrossing of a script, naturally.)
But in horror films, however, locking lips often has a very, very different symbolic AND contextual meaning. Rather than visual aides meant to indicate love, romance or horniness, a lot of times horror movie smooches are indeed canonical acts of violence (sometimes intended to cause mortal injury) OR have fairly disgusting overtones meant to throw the viewer for a loop. And over the years, I assure you there have been PLENTY of genre flick kisses that causing viewers to recoil in shock, disgust and terror.
With that wonderful All Hallow's Eve magic in the air, why don't we take a reverential look back at 10 of the most memorable mouth to mouth moments in the history of the horror film, and see just how disgusting, perverse and unpleasant the intersection of amor and gore can get?
Why not swap spit with a woman with a dozen bloody puncture wounds on her face?
Black Sunday (1960)
The Italian gothic horror flick is renowned for being one of the first visually graphic horror films - indeed, by the 10 minute mark, we already get to witness a woman accused of witchcraft have a spiked metal mask nailed to her face, with blood gushing out by the buckets. A little bit later on, we get another pretty good gross-out scene, when a woman possessed by the spirit of the murdered witch from however many centuries ago decides to mind control a poor gentleman by goading him into a gruesome smooch, complete with bloody pus dripping out of her still-leaking face holes. Even in black and white, it's pretty goddamn nasty, and as such, makes for an excellent first stop on our round-up of frightening first base encounters and monstrous make out sessions at the movies.
Naked lesbo bee-woman kisses are the best kind of kisses
Invasion of the Bee Girls (1973)
If you never got around to catching Invasion of the Bee Girls, you really missed out on one of the best unsung, camp-classics of the Watergate era. The premise here is fairly straight forward: in a relatively small California hamlet, this alien insectoid evil lab researcher mutant is abducting bored, frumpy housewives and injecting them with nuclear honey or something along those lines that turn them into killer wasp sex maniacs that literally ball their husbands to death. Yes, it is unadulterated Roger Corman-style cheese, through and through, but it's also one of the better acted and scripted drive-in genre offerings of the decade. Next to the scene where this one dude strangles his still-humanoid wife with a pair of underwear because he thinks she's a intergalactic black widow, the highlight of Invasion has to be the scene where it is revealed how our evil Martian bee woman antagonist transforms the towns-women into lethal sex insects: after soaping up their nude bodies with wax and irradiating them in a walk-in refrigerator, she concludes the treatment with a lingering sapphic smooch, which for some reason, causes all of the other bee-women to drop their drawers and go into full-on nympho-mode.
Now that's what I call a wet one...
Pretty much every movie David Cronenberg has made has explored the "intersectionality" of sex, disease and human psychosis. Alas, no Cronenberg work has addressed the thematic crossover as bluntly as his first major feature film foray, the hyper-gory, hyper-sexualized Shivers - which, believe it or not, was a Canadian taxpayer subsidized project! The premise of the film (also known as They Came from Within and the almost comically-straightforward The Parasite Murders) is simple. There's this really upscale Canadian apartment complex, filled with all sorts of boring people. Well, one day, a bunch of genetically engineered parasites are let loose, and one by one, the mutant creatures infect the complex inhabitants, slowly but surely turning them into deranged, murderous sex maniacs. While there are several memorable mouth-to-mouth moments in the film - there is a part where a father and daughter duo start making out, and a GREAT lesbian lip lock featuring all-time genre hottie Barbara Steele - but the most epic in the whole movie? That has to be the grand finale, where our hero Roger St. Luc finds himself trapped in a swimming pool, where a gaggle of sex mutants hold him still so his recently infected romantic interest can pass the mega-STD on to him through a mega-melodramatic, slow-motion smooch.
Talk about being tongue-tied!
A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: The Dream Warriors (1987)
I've said it time and time again - not only is the third Elm Street far and away the best Freddy Krueger movie ever, as far as I am concerned, it is the ONLY Freddy Krueger movie. Between the rockin' Dokken tunes, the hilariously over-the-top Grand Guignol kills (the kid having has veins yanked out and turned into marionette strings may very well be the grisliest Freddy murder in the entire Elm Street filmography) and 100 percent more Patricia Arquette than any other Fred K. flick, Dream Warriors simply provides you with everything you could possibly want out of a late 1980s Hollywood horror offering. And add to that already impressive resume one of the best visual tricks in the film series - a sequence in which psychiatric clinic mute Joey (complete with his sweet mullet) winds up getting seduced in dream land by a huge-hootered nurse - which, unfortunately for our troubled teen, is actually America's favorite hideously scarred child molester in disguise. And yeah, the subsequent French kissing session with Freddy ends about as well as you'd imagine, with Joey and Fred's tongues literally fusing into one fleshy umbilical cord - itself, a prelude to Krueger's unwitting victim being slow-roasted over hellfire while tied to a bed with demonic linguas.
The first Ghoulies - despite being marketed with one of the greatest theatrical posters in the history of cinema - was a pretty boring movie. I mean, the part where the chick strangled a dude with her ten-foot-long tongue was pretty cool, but beyond that? What a snooze fest. Thankfully, the 1988 sequel is a vast improvement, giving us what is fundamentally Gremlins taking over a white trash carnival and wreaking havoc for an hour and 30 minutes. While there are quite a few memorable scenes in Ghoulies II - the part where a preacher is melted in a vat of toxic waste conveniently just laying out in the open, the part where the titular creatures cause the Ferris wheel to spin off its hinges and, of course, the iconic sequence in which one of the little claymation buggers takes a chunk out of a dude's bunghole while he drops a load at the toilet - easily the best gag in the movies occurs when two painfully '80s teenage lovers amble on in to the haunted house attraction and start making out, only to have their second base aspirations foiled by a particularly nasty monster with a penchant for puking super-adhesive vomit in people's faces. From sucking face to having their faces stuck together - kinda' poetic, ain't it?
Incest-chi-mo-werewolf-possession smooches for everybody!
For the most part, The Kiss is a fairly forgettable movie, save a couple of scenes where Joanna Pacula drops her top and shows off her Adrienne Barbeau/Jamie Lee Curtis in-their-prime-quality garbanzos. All in all, it's not a total loss, and the film does indeed have some inspired moments, like the part where a valley girls gets eaten alive by an escalator (one of my greatest irrational fears, actually), and the grand finale, where Pacula in she-bitch demon form runs around trying to barf a weasel into Meredith Salenger's mouth before she gets her innards scrambled with a set of electric hedge trimmers. The big gross-out scene, however, occurs within the first 15 minutes of the movie: in a flashback sequence, we travel back to the Congo in the early 20th century, where we learn the hideous secret of Pacula's werewolf zombie succubus powers: a demonic fur-ball homunuculus passed down to her through a bloody open mouth kiss from her own aunt. And you thought those whiskery, lipstick-smearing smooches from your mama or daddy's sister were disgusting!
A two-for-one special from movie-dom's favorited de-skinned she-demon!
We briefly touched upon the second Hellraiser movie a few years ago, but I reckon it's a flick well worth discussing again. Although Pinhead is clearly the face of the franchise, Clive Barker's original idea was to have Julia - the bitchy Brit who slew men so she could resurrect her fleshless ex-boyfriend - become the series' chief antagonist. While Doug Bradley's Cenobite is no doubt an iconic horror creation, it's a bit of a downer that Clare Higgins never got her opportunity to join the pantheon of cinema slasher heroes - especially considering how awesome she was in Hellbound. Indeed, the actress once described by Joe Bob Briggs as the only woman in the history of film to remain sexy despite having all her skin ripped off was central to perhaps the two ickiest moments in the first (and best) Hellraiser sequel. First, there's the scene where she seduces a mental institution doctor into wrapping her bloody bones up like a mummy and thanks him with a gooey open mouth kiss (the director's cut version is even more graphic - you can actually see the doctor finger her a little while they make out.) And just when you think nothing can outdo that gruesome galocher, director Tony Randel (that's right, Clive Barker didn't helm Hellbound) ups the ante by giving us a downright stomach-churning scene in which Julia steals her stepdaughter's boyfriend and literally sucks every liquid in his body out of his mouth until he's nothing more than a goopy, green, pockmarked husk of meat in a Members Only jacket. Granted, his demise looks quite painful, but on the bright side? At least he can say he got to lock lips with Ma Costa from The Golden Compass before he croaked, no?
A touching mother-son moment...
There are terrible tag lines, and then there was the atrocious pun-tastic marketing blurb for Sleepwalkers - "the first Stephen King story written expressly for the scream." A rather unremarkable early '90s popcorn-horror offering, there really isn't a whole lot that stands out in the film - I mean, yeah, Otho from Beetlejuice does get his hand cut off and there is pretty funny part where one of the characters gets killed with a piece of corn on the cob, but beyond that? Eh, it's all a blur. In fact, the most memorable thing about the entire picture happens within the first 15 minutes, when mother and son tandem Brian Krause and Alice Krige (yes, the Borg Queen herself) start slow dancing ... then kissing each other on the lips ... then open-mouth kissing ... before hurriedly running upstairs for some weird-o electro cat-werewolf incest sex. Yeah, I could give you some contextual explanation about how they are basically feral incubuses and succubuses who need the life force of virgins to survive and that by humping each other they recharge their supernatural juju or some such mess, but does that really help to take away any of the "ick" factor?
Yet another reminder that it's probably not the best idea to play tonsil hockey with a mysterious, vacuum-mouthed woman hanging out in an abandoned mortuary all by herself
Night of the Demons 3 (1997)
Long-time readers of The Internet Is In America are no doubt familiar with the vaunted Night of the Demons series. Indeed, all four installments have pretty memorable scenes involving demonic mouths doing spooky and icky things to people (who can forget the fat punk guy having his tongue gnawed off in the 1988 original, or Shannon Elizabeth swapping spit - and evil spirits - with that huge-jugged blonde girl while skank dancing to Type O Negative in the 2009 remake?) Alas, probably the most visceral demonic lip lock came in the series' much-maligned third entry (which, wouldn't you know it, we covered in-depth a few years ago.) You don't really need too much set-up here - the redhead Fry from Futurama-looking dork has been tasked with keeping an eye on the soul-swallowing succubus Angela (in the form of a chunky but still really hot 30-something goth), who seduces him by sucking the bullets out of his handgun. This being a horror movie, instead of thinking to himself "you know, maybe it's not a good idea to play uvula lacrosse with a woman with oral muscles so strong she can slurp ammunition out of a chamber," he lets Angela lay her very blood red lips on him. Unwisely, he takes her up on her offer to "open wide and give me some tongue," and as a result? Well, if you've ever seen Species, I think the outcome ought to be predicable from at least a good two or three miles away.
A forgettable movie with an unforgettable - and completely pointless - girl-on-girl snoggin'
I wasn't a really big fan of Jennifer's Body by any stretch of the imagination. Maybe it was the fact that I HATED Diablo Cody's "snappy banter" dialogue or I found the story unimaginative and the CGI effects unremarkable. Or maybe it was all of those furtive kinda-sorta-but-not-really feminist undercurrents or the halfhearted references to a million-billion genre classics from the 1980s or all of that wacky subplot stuff involving the evil metal band. Regardless, the film will forever be immortalized in the pantheon of fan-service, self-reflexive horror classics, simply because of one thing: without question the most gratuitous lesbian smooch in the history of mainstream Hollywood film. For absolutely no reason whatsoever, the filmmaker springs a scene on us in which Megan Fox - now in full-fledged invincible boy-eating zombie form - waltzes on in to Amanda Seyfried's bedroom and seduces her with an astoundingly up-close, tongue and spit soaked snog that puts the practice French kiss scene from Cruel Intentions to shame. I mean, yeah, I guess it does get the point across that maybe Jennifer and Needy had some sort of romantic relationship in the past that is never directly addressed in the film diegetically as well as the lengths Jennifer would go to set her best friend up as patsy later on the story, but let's get real - the main reason this "big lipped alligator" moment was included was to give the film a little sensationalist opening weekend beachhead. And no matter your sexuality, you've got to admit - watching April O'Neil and Cosette from Les Mis play uvula rugby is a pretty nice visual ... even with the presence of 10-foot-tall toe thumbs on the silver screen.