Tip of the Scalpel
"They're coming to get you, Barbra. There's one of them now!" And with those words, it began. The zombie apocalypse, whether it's in Pennsylvania, Atlanta, or anywhere else in the world, originated in the Evans City Cemetery 30 miles north of Pittsburgh in Night of the Living Dead when Bill Hinzman shuffled into frame.
"I used to work there. My brother did, too. My grandfather, too. My family's always been in meat!" I learned something about you this week, dear readers. Like myself, you really love The Texas Chain Saw Massacre. And rightfully so. When it didn't show up on Dread Central's Top 10 Groundbreaking Films list, I heard from you. Now I'm not here to argue why it wasn't on the list or why it should have been; I'm just here to celebrate the awesomeness of the film. That's right - this week's Doctor Gash's Tip of the Scalpel honor goes to The Texas Chain Saw Massacre in all its glory.
"The film which you are about to see is an account of the tragedy which befell a group of five youths, in particular Sally Hardesty and her invalid brother, Franklin. It is all the more tragic in that they were young. But, had they lived very, very long lives, they could not have expected, nor would they have wished to see, as much of the mad and macabre as they were to see that day. For them an idyllic summer afternoon drive became a nightmare. The events of that day were to lead to the discovery of one of the most bizarre crimes in the annals of American history: The Texas Chain Saw Massacre."
"To avoid fainting, keep repeating: It's only a movie ... only a movie ... only a movie ..." Of course this was the infamous tagline that accompanied the directorial debut of the man who would become one of the most successful directors the genre has ever seen. Wes Craven helped to mold modern-day horror with his early work, then reinvigorated it when needed the most.
"This is my boomstick!" Bruce Campbell was already a full-fledged horror icon before reciting that unforgettable line from Army of Darkness, but this put the cherry on top. "Boomstick" was Campbell's "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band", his "(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction", his "Stairway to Heaven".
"So many pretty parts and no pretty wholes." That basically sums up the motivation behind the title character of Lucky McKee's 2002 breakout film, May. And there was no bigger reason that the film and director found success than the unforgettable star of the film, and the newest Doctor Gash's Tip of the Scalpel honoree, Angela Bettis.
"The Human Centipede will look like My Little Pony compared to Part 2." It's comments like these and a brash, absolutely no-holds barred filmmaking attitude, along with a marketing brilliance that rivals PT Barnum, that have earned Tom Six the latest Doctor Gash's Tip of the Scalpel honor.
"Derek Mears is the nicest man in horror." The above quote was said directly to me by Nick Principe (Laid to Rest, Chromeskull: Laid to Rest 2) at Rock and Shock about his fellow twin tower, Derek Mears ... but we'll get back to that.
"Welcome to my nightmare." Alice Cooper had a big impact on the impressionable mind of the young Doctor Gash. One of my earliest, yet most personality molding television memories as a child was watching the infamous Alice Cooper episode of "The Muppet Show," which aired on March 28, 1978.
"Not bad for a human." Do you recognize that voice on the Verizon Droid commercials? That is the voice of a badass. That is the voice of Lance Henriksen. And "Not bad for a human" is not only one of the more memorable lines ever delivered by the man, whose career has spanned a veritable library of film, it's also the name of his biography. And a full biography it is.
"You've got the body…I've got the brains." That was the scene that did it for me. We've all got our favorite Freddy Krueger moment ... Nancy in the bathtub, Johnny Depp getting sucked into the bed, the cockroach transformation scene or even "Welcome to prime time, bitch!". But the one that stuck with me was Krueger peeling back the top of his head, revealing a pulsing brain, while reciting that line to a screaming Jesse in A Nightmare on Elm Street Part 2: Freddy's Revenge.
Who the hell is Kane Hodder? I distinctly remember saying those exact words. Picture it, a young, 14-year-old Doctor Gash. Here I was, not even an intern yet, preparing for a visit to my hometown cinema, The Community Theater, to see Jason Voorhees' newest offering, Friday the 13th Part VII: The New Blood.
The Tip of the Scalpel tribute is awarded to individuals who have impressed the genre community with their contributions to the world of horror. Our first honor goes to Bill Moseley.