Continuing on from my Sci-Fi and Fantasy movie battle Top Fives, my next instalment is the evergreen genre of Horror! Not the most obvious place to look for battle scenes, which means some of my choices lean towards movies with combo-genres, such as sci-fi-horror and comedy-horror. But the continuing on-screen battle between good and evil, so integral to the genre, means there is often more choices than you might first think. I hope you enjoy watching the clips and please comment with your ideas!
5: Freddy vs. Jason (2003)
Freddy VS well, Jason, obviously
The much anticipated clash between horror’s most infamous suspected paedophile and its biggest hockey fan, may not have been the best movie in the world, but there was at least something very satisfying about seeing the two horror heavyweights clash on the big screen. After a shared total of seventeen movies, where would-be heroes had tried, and failed, to finally kill them off, I guess it made perfect sense to see what they can do against each other.
The scene is actually really entertaining, and I love the clash of fighting styles, like some weird Streetfighter-horror crossover. Voorhees is clearly portrayed as the immovable object, Kruger being pushed to use cunning and surroundings to swing the battle his way. I won’t give away any spoilers in case you have yet to press play! Its prestige in the genre, and the fact the last fight is probably the best thing about the movie, means Kruger vs Voorhees squeezes into my number five spot.
4: Ghostbusters (1984)
Doe…Ray…Egon!…and Winston!!! VS Godzilla’s lovable cousin
At number four is everybody’s favourite paranormal experts, battling it out on a rooftop in Central Park West with one of the most surreal villains in horror history. After Ray unintentionally manifests the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man, the Ghostbusters watch in horror as the giant irony crushes everything in its path, with a ridiculous, childish grin spread across its face.
The whole scene is actually a collection of gemtastic camera shots and inventive editing, the shot from the street looking up at the roasting of the marshmallow being one. After marching through the street like Godzilla, Stay Puft starts to climb the tower like King Kong, finally forcing our heroes to do the unforgivable….cross the streams. Such a classic scene in horror-comedy, which launches it into my next spot in the Top 5.
3: Aliens (1986)
Metal Gear Ripley VS Mothers for justice
One of the greatest one-on-one battles in modern movie history, Ripley’s defiance in the face of a seemingly unstoppable alien is the clash of two of the most iconic characters in sci-fi horror. Anyone that has seen the special edition, will know that Ripley’s instinctive maternal connection to Rebecca (sorry, Newt), which drives her to go against this beast, originates from the loss of her daughter through old age, whilst she wandered space in the Nostromo’s lifeboat The Narcissus after the first movie.
Angry and determined to protect the one she loves, Ripley dons the Power Loader (she has a class 2 rating), and squares up to the infamous monster. What follows is the greatest girl fight in history, with the whirring of the loader mixing with the spitting and gnarling of the Queen. But lets not forget, the Alien herself is arguably only acting in self defence against this bitch-in-a-can, whom recently torched most of her offspring! A fantastic battle, and one that is as scary as it is exciting, landing it the number three spot.
2: From Dusk Till Dawn (1996)
The Van Helsings VS Rodriguez’s imagination
If Rodriguez was slightly tied to Tarantino’s writing for most of From Dusk till Dawn, the final battle scene at the end, when all the inhabitants turn into crazed monsters, is where the Sin City director was really able to put his foot down. Gory, fun and full of action, all the characters turn into bad-ass Van Helsings in the blink of an eye. It is this almost archaic battle between good and evil that perhaps gives the film its cult status, as it moved from box office flop, to revered and loved through the years.
Any deceit or ambiguity behind those that dwell in this dusty bar, is fully removed for the final scene, where the monsters are their purely evil selves, forcing Clooney and Co to renew their faith and return to Bram Stoker’s treasure trove of crosses, holy water and just out and out faith. Both unique and traditional at the same time, this battle between ancient evil and mismatched anti-heroes makes my number two spot.
1: Jaws (1975)
The Brody Bunch VS A giant tuba
For my number one spot I have chosen a great battle scene from one of my favourite movies of all time: The final confrontation in Jaws between one man, completely out of his element in the middle of the sea in a sinking ship, against an ancient killing machine with no natural predators. Of course, in classic horror battle fashion, it takes human wit and intuition to finally take down the beast, as it snaps and terrorises our hero. As a viewer, the double danger of the shark and the water just adds to the tension, making it impossible to take your eyes from the screen.
Seemingly trapped and helpless and having lost his fellow shipmates, Brody battles just to stay alive at first, against this unusually aggressive Great White. It is scenes like this almost primeval struggle for survival, that made Spielberg undoubtedly the best blockbuster movie director of his generation. It only ever feels like you are in the moment with Brody, as he hangs on (quite literally) and finally turns the tables on this terrible foe. The tension that mounts before Roy Scheider delivers that final classic line is fantastic, ending my Top countdown with a great battle from one of the best ever horror films.
I hope you enjoyed my Top 5 Movie Battles: Horror! You will find my honourable mentions below and please comment with any that you feel should have been included.
Honourable Mentions: It (1990): Losers club vs Pennywise, Night of the Living Dead (1968): Humans vs zombies, The Thing (1982), Macready vs The Thing, Jeepers Creepers (2001): The Police vs The Creeper, Alien 3 (1992): Ripley and Co vs Alien, 30 Days of Night (2007): Humans vs Vampires