Dummies for dummies…

With the World Horror Convention only a week away I got thinking about the scariest scene ever in a movie.  Now, I know that this is purely subjective and that we each react to things differently. 

You may, for example, consider Kathy Bates nude scene in About Schmidt as the most terrifying thing you have ever seen, or perhaps it was John Travolta’s performance in Battlefield Earth.

For me there are several scenes that come to mind, the elevator sequence in The Eye is one, the dragging footfalls of the monster approaching in Frankenstein or the alien bursting from John Hurt’s chest in Alien are two more.

However, what really gives me the screaming willies are ventriloquist’s dummies.  I find these little wooden men scarier than a room full of barbershop singers, and creepier than those small children who stare silently at you in shopping malls.

Living dummies are a classic horror film motif, up there with mummies, vampires and the living dead. 

I was traumatized at an early age when I watched the classic British ghost story anthology Dead of Night.  In the final episode a ventriloquist’s dummy named Hugo comes to life and strangles Michael Redgrave.  Ever since watching the film I have had a morbid fear of ventriloquists and their little wooden friends.

And let’s face it ventriloquism is a disturbing hobby to begin with.  I suspect that most ventriloquists are borderline schizophrenic.  Sure they claim it’s all “just an act“, but I think that they have sinister motives.

Did you know that a disproportionate number of ventriloquists are left handed?  Or that many claim to have eaten human flesh in some bizarre ventriloquism initiation ritual?

Of course we are all different and you may consider ventriloquist dummies are harmless amusement.  And that’s just what they want you to think…

Any of you have thoughts on the scariest scene ever in a movie?  Send them along, or just click on the comments button below and share them with the rest of us.


5 Responses to “Dummies for dummies…”

  1. Don Hutchison says:

    Edgar Bergen and Charlie McCarthy… Oooh, scary!!!!

  2. Peter McGarvey says:

    Don, Edgar’s daughter Candice scares me even more…

  3. Jim says:

    This brings back memories of watching Sir Graves Ghastly on Saturday afternoons…

  4. Lee says:

    Personally, the only “Horror” movies I really enjoy are what can be categorized as Physchological Thrillers; “The Others”, “Sixth Sense”, “Amercian Haunting” (really bothered me), “The Haunting”, and of course one you might not consider even a Thriller; “The Village”. I do enjoy a good Horror flick but as long as it does not include all that blood! Worth mentioning…how about the original “Dracula” in B/W…now that’s a classic!

  5. Peter McGarvey says:

    I saw American Haunting about a month ago. I was familiar with the story it is based on the Bell Witch in Tennessee. They altered the legend somewhat and added the subplot about incest.

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