Sometimes there’s nothing more satisfying than seeing one of our heroes, or even just a regular guy, get pushed so far they absolutely snap. It reminds us that we’re not alone on the occasions that we’re full of rage and want to lash out. That’s why the movies are great! We can watch people do it for us so we don’t have to go to jail or actually hurt anyone!
Sony Screen Gems’ Straw Dogs, a remake of Sam Peckinpah’s 1971 classic, arrives in theaters September 16. To say Dustin Hoffman ‘loses it’ in the original Straw Dogs would be an understatement, so if the remake is anything like it – and it probably is – expect James Marsden to have some seriously crazy blood on his hands by the time he leaves that country cottage.
In the reboot, “David and Amy Sumner (James Marsden and Kate Bosworth), a Hollywood screenwriter and his actress wife, return to her small hometown in the deep South to prepare the family home for sale after her father’s death. Once there, tensions build in their marriage and old conflicts re-emerge with the locals, including Amy’s ex-boyfriend Charlie (Alexander Skarsgård), leading to a violent confrontation.”
Hit the jump for PART TWO of our Straw Dogs sponsored compilation of people losing their cool on film!5. THE TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE (1974)
Tobe Hooper’s original The Texas Chainsaw Massacre puts Marilyn Burns’ Sally through the ringer in such an extraordinary way that you’re almost laughing with her by the end of the film. Her friends have been meathooked, bludgeoned and chainsawed. She was just almost the meal of honor at the communal family dinner. By the time she jumps into the back of the pickup truck at 2:30 through this clip and begins laughing maniacally, she’s clearly snapped. Either that or she’s super stoked to finally be rid of Franklin, her annoying wheelchair-bound brother. If that guy had lived he would have set the disabled rights movement back at least 10 years.
4. VAMPIRE’S KISS (1988)
It’s honestly pretty tempting just to fill up this whole column with Nic Cage clips, but I resist nonetheless. In this clip from Vampire’s Kiss Cage’s Peter Loew is blowing off steam in a way that only Cage can. But he’s got a point. If you’re not in the proper state of mind to pay attention to an extremely simple task – stay the hell away from the filing cabinet! It really is as easy as “A,B,C…”
3. IN THE MOUTH OF MADNESS (1994)
Through the course of John Carpenter’s In The Mouth Of Madness Sam Neill’s John Trent charts a trajectory that turns the assertive pragmatist into certifiable looney (along with anyone who reads the new Sutter Cane book) by the end of the film. I can’t really blame him after his trip to Hobb’s End. The guy on the bicycle alone would have broken me. Watch here as Trent settles down at the end of the world to watch a movie starring… himself.
2. FALLING DOWN (1993)
In Joel Schumacher’s thriller Falling Down Michael Douglas’ D-FENS has had enough of those daily life (and Los Angeles) absurdities that build on top of each other throughout the day, conspiring to make things as difficult as humanly possible. It probably doesn’t help that he’s the kind of guy who was laid off months ago but still carries his briefcase around as though he’s going to work. Still, I defy you not to relate to his plight when he is denied breakfast (and given a burger that doesn’t qualify as food) only moments after the breakfast shift ends. Surely Whammy Burger has a couple ham and cheese “Womlettes” left in the back. When I saw this scene in the theater back in 1993 it was the first time I knew I wasn’t alone in the universe.
1. THE SHINING (1980)
Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining in an entire movie dedicated to the loss of sanity, sobriety and the ethics behind not murdering your family with an axe (or “correcting them”). This clip is a long one and I toyed with the idea of just including the final two minutes on the staircase, but there are two things in this version that really sell Jack Torrance’s descent into madness. The first one is ‘that sentence’ typed over and over and over again. The second is the way he mocks and toys with his wife during the moments before he announces his intent to kill her. Jack Torrance is the worldwide king of losing his sh*t, irreparably and forever.
BONUS: PUNCH-DRUNK LOVE (2002)
Not a horror (or even thriller) film by any stretch of the imagination. But you still have to give Adam Sandler’s Barry Egan meltdown bonus points for threatening to kill his own sister via pay phone in Hawaii.