My Top 5 Castration Scenes

Um, yeah, so how’s that for a topic? Figured I haven’t done a Top 5 list for quite some time and, thanks to a rather bizarre film discussion with a friend, decided to do one on the most effective junk-removal scenes I’ve witnessed. So without further adieu, here’s five film sequences that make knees slam shut every time (and I’m probably stating the obvious, but spoilers ahead).

5. THE LAST HOUSE ON THE LEFT

I’m a little hesitant to include this one, as the table-turning castration has become the go-to cliche in rape-revenge films (and that a similar, more obvious entry follows), but the scene in Wes Craven’s crude but effective shocker in which Cynthia Carr chomps off Fred J. Lincoln’s weasel is too perfectly over-the-top to ignore. Like many an efficient exploitation sequence, it’s gratuitous and a tad illogical, but the sick-giddy anticipation that arises–amongst other things, heh-heh–before Carr takes her vengeance makes this one a memorable moment.

(Scene in question begins around the 2:23 mark.)

4. THE WORLD ACCORDING TO GARP

Who says losing your dick can’t be funny? (Someone who’s lost his dick, I guess.) In George Roy Hill’s adaptation of the John Irving novel, Robin Williams pulls his car into his driveway as his wife (Mary Beth Hurt) is fellating her young-stud lover in his own ride. Enraged, Williams guns the accelerator and rear-ends the lovebirds, resulting (we’ll learn later) in the oral removal of her boyfriend’s johnson. It’s a moment of bracing dark humor, but it comes with a price–namely, the death of Williams’ son during the collision.

(And yes, I’m fully aware that the first two entries revolve around teeth-related castration. No issues here, I swear, just that I find a pair of chompers on dickmeat supremely effective. Ever bite your tongue?)

3. STREET TRASH

Another willy-removal played for laughs, this time broad, slapstick ones. Director Jim Muro takes a detour in his saga of flesh-melting hootch and the degenerate Skid Row denizens that consume it to stage a quick game of keep-away with a freshly-severed penis. It’s just one of the many off-color flourishes that make his only directorial effort to date so damned enjoyable.

2. HARD CANDY

The centerpiece in David Slade’s Red-Riding-Hood-online thriller involves presumed underage flirt Ellen Page permanently fixing Internet pedophile Patrick Wilson with a little at-home surgery. It’s a tense, stomach-churning sequence, made no less effective by the fact it’s a cold-hearted ruse, that Slade milks for maximum impact.

1. I SPIT ON YOUR GRAVE (1978)

Here it is, the big daddy of castration scenes in the big daddy of rape-revenge films. Camille Keaton exacting retribution from the ringleader of her gang-rape remains the most powerful, sickening, and debilitating scene I’ve ever laid eyes upon. It’s the only sequence on this list–and, with the exception of the final act of Ruggero Deodato’s CANNIBAL HOLOCAUST, the only scene I’ve ever watched–that retains its knee-weakening strength on repeat viewings (if anything, it gets more powerful, as we know exactly what’s about to transpire). And maybe it doesn’t make logical sense–why would Eron Tabor willingly dip into a bathtub with a woman he helped violate beyond belief?–but it makes perfect thematic sense in SPIT’s “men want sex at any cost” ethos. But what really drives this scene beyond the pale is its unflinching lingering on the violence’s aftermath and Tabor’s balls-out (heh-heh, sorry) delivery.

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