Looking Glass

PLOT SUMMARY

A couple buy a desert motel where they find that strange, mysterious events occur.

More Information: IMDb

Looking GlassActress: Jacque Gray
Strangled and Suffocated With: Gloved Hands
Result: Fatal

Jessica Phillips (Jacque Gray) has just finished a kinky makeout session with another woman in a roadside motel.  Still wearing a light grey pullover, she gets off the bed and checks herself out in a mirror hanging on the opposite wall.  As she’s doing so, a masked assailant surprises her from behind and clamps his gloved hand over her mouth.  He then drags her back toward the bed and throws her on top of it.  We got a really nice shot of her feet kicking as the killer secures his position on top of her and starts choking her with his other hand.  With the one hand still covering her mouth, he pinches her nose shut as well, effectively choking and suffocating her at the same time.  A beautifully tense struggle ensues during which we get an excellent closeup of her terrified expression as she tries to pull his tries to pull his hand away.  Nearly 10 seconds later, he removes that hand revealing her agape mouth and finishes her off with his other hand still choking her.  After she’s dead, limb play fans get to briefly see the killer deftly remove her body from the bed and drag it to the bathroom by her wrists.  Foot fetishists who like dirty soles are treated with an extended close-up of her feet as she’s dragged away.

Edits

There are a few cuts to Nicolas Cage fucking his character’s wife who’s played by Robin Tunney.  Their lovemaking is intercut with the attack.  I removed them all.

Thoughts

One of my favorite types of fantasy asphyxia is hand-over-mouth (HOM) suffocation, especially when gloves are used.  In addition to looking more intimidating than bare hands, gloves help sell the effect of a HOM suffocation by increasing the surface area that covers the nose and mouth, thereby sealing off any open spaces between fingers that the character might use as air pockets.

This is only the second time I’ve ever seen the other hand used to choke the character at the same time and I fucking loved it.  The first time was in an episode the original TV series, Hawaii Five-0.  Sadly, I’ve never been able to track down the episode it’s in.  As for Looking Glass, I only wish we’d gotten a shot of Jacque’s feet going limp as her character died.  Brilliant scene otherwise, and a fantastic performance by Jacque.

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Copycat

PLOT SUMMARY

Sigourney Weaver plays a psychiatrist who specializes in serial killers. She suffers from agoraphobia and her only link to the outside world is her computer. A serial killer who copies the methods of famous serial killers (hence the title) threatens her on-line. Holly Hunter plays a cop who is on the trail of the killer. Together they try to identify him and, hopefully, despatch him.

More Information:IMDb

Actress: Sigourney Weaver
Hanged With: Steel Cable
Result: Non-Fatal

This is the first of two hangings in the film. After giving a presentation on criminal psychology, she’s escorted to the bathroom where she prepares to do her business. Unbeknownst to her, one of the members of her audience is hiding in a nearby stall. Her police escort doesn’t notice him and leaves Sigourney to herself. We then see the killer remove the women’s’ shoes he was wearing to avoid detection and starts stringing a steel cable over a section of pipe above the stall Sigourney’s in. Then, just as Sigourney’s about to take her seat, the killer drops the noose around her neck and quickly pulls down on the other end to tighten it. Sigourney caught completely by surprise, can only react as she’s swiftly pulled up off the floor. The killer then fastens his end of the cable to the stall he’s in, leaving Sigourney to struggle against the noose while trying to maintain what footing she has left on the toilet seat.

Hearing the commotion, the cop standing guard cautiously enters the bathroom.  Upon seeing Sigourney strung up, he pulls his weapon and starts checking the stalls.  Soon, he’s also taken by surprise as the killer raises a knife to his throat.  After debating whether to shoot or stab him, the killer does both and then wipes his knife off.  The clip ends with a shot of the guard’s partner running toward the bathroom.

Edits

None needed.

Thoughts

As a fan of lift-up, lasso-style hangings, this scene was right up my alley when I first saw the movie in ’95.  I only wish it had involved a throw-away character to treat us with a great death scene.  In 2012, it was eclipsed by a death scene in a French flick called Blind Man.

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Honourable Woman, The S01E08: “The Pairing Knife”

PLOT SUMMARY

Centers on Nessa Stein, a woman who inherits her father’s arms business and finds herself in a international maelstrom when as she continues to promote the reconciliation between Israelis and Palestinians.

More Information: IMDb

Actress: Eve Best
Hanged With: Rope
Result: Fatal

The Honourable Woman is a BBC drama that concluded an 8-episode run of its first season in August 2014.  This scene is at the tail end of the last episode.

Eve Best stars as Monica Chatwin, an assassin who’s attempt to kill Ness Stein (Maggie Gyllenhaal) is thwarted.  As a result of her failure, Eve is taken out with an absolutely fantastic board hanging by a group of masked men who quietly get her into position while she sleeps.  During the struggle, we’re treated to excellent shots of her feet as she kicks the board, and the little twitches they make before going limp are exquisite.

Edits

None needed.

Thoughts

Words cannot express how fucking genius I think this method is.  It is so completely far removed from any conceivable idea I’ve ever had for the kind of hanging I would want to see that I am compelled to bask in its creative glory.  What’s more, there are no camera cuts.

Hanging fans, if you’re as tired of traditional drop-hangings as I am, and also feel that nooses are overrated, you do not want to pass on this.

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Blind Man

PLOT SUMMARY

A police inspector must solve two grisly murders. The problem is that his only suspect is a blind man.

More Information: IMDb

Actress: Elsa Kikoïne
Hanged With: Wire
Result: Fatal

Elsa Kikoïne plays a Cultural Liaison and contact for a General in the French military who’s been selling weapons to Pakistan. Something went wrong during a recent exchange, so the General has recruited a former combat pilot, who went blind after a crash, to serve as a Hitman to take out everyone involved. Elsa is his first contract.

Her murder is the opening scene in the movie. It starts with her and her bodyguard arriving at her apartment on a rainy night. After getting out of the car, she asks him to come up because she’s afraid. He reluctantly agrees. When they enter, he casually examines the first floor, and then goes upstairs where he checks the closet. He notices the light won’t come on, but thinks nothing of it, and goes back downstairs. He then tells her there’s no one in the apartment. She offers him a drink, and he politely declines. A brief pause later, and he leaves. She locks the door behind him. As she proceeds back into her living room, she’s lassoed from above with a wire, and lifted a few inches off the floor.

During the struggle, the movie cuts between her, and the bodyguard waiting for the elevator outside the door. He hears glass shatter inside her apartment the moment she’s attacked, and returns to the door to listen for any other commotion, but can’t hear anything above the din of the elevator. We’re treated to several terrific shots of her stiletto-clad feet kicking, and equally impressive headshots as she gasps for air, trying in vain to get her fingers between the wire and her neck. Her death ends with one last kick of her feet as they come to rest. The bodyguard is then shown leaving the building. The clip ends with a nice shot of Elsa’s death stare and the wire used to hang her with now draped loosely over her head and laying on the ground next to her.

Edits

After Elsa’s attacked, there are a few cuts to her bodyguard waiting for the service elevator to come back up.  I removed them all.

Thoughts

This scene is something I’ve fantasized about for as long as I can remember. It has everything I’ve ever imagined about this type of scenario.

  • Well-dressed, professional woman
  • Surprise attack from above by unseen killer
  • Thin wire used so she can’t pull herself up
  • Reaction shot right before she’s pulled up off the floor
  • Hands clawing at the wire around her neck throughout the attack.
  • Plenty of heel-clad foot shots
  • It’s fatal!

It’s as if the filmmakers read my mind and shot exactly the kind hanging I’ve dreamed of all my life.

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Turbulence

PLOT SUMMARY

Ryan Weaver romances beautiful women before he kills them. Ryan is arrested, convicted, and is part of a Christmas Eve transfer of prisoners on a transcontinental 747 commercial flight. Other airlines at JFK may have holiday passengers waiting on stand-by, but this jumbo jet takes off with a lot of empty seats. Ryan and another prisoner overpower and kill their guards. The few civilian passengers are herded into a “pantry” on the plane and are not seen again until the end of the movie. Ryan eliminates the other prisoners and all the crew members except Teri Halloran. The remainder of the movie follows a “cat-and-mouse” game between Ryan and Teri on the 747.

More Information: IMDb

Actress: Catherine Hicks
Strangled With: Bare Hands
Result: Fatal

The clip opens with Ray locking the passengers and flight crew behind a door and returning his attention to Maggie He starts profiling her as a means to verbally taunt her before challenging her to kill him with an ice pick she spies on a nearby food cart. Realizing her peril, she charges toward Ray but is caught off guard when he grabs her throat and shoves her against a wall outside the plane’s bathroom. He sternly chokes her while keeping her subdued against the wall. She struggles fiercely against him, but can’t escape his extremely tight grip. He then decides to open the bathroom door – while keeping a grip on her throat with his other hand – and pushes her inside and against the bathroom wall, effectively cornering her in a final death grip. Realizing she’s overpowered, she slowly, reluctantly succumbs to his intent to kill her. He steals a smooch on her cheek as she slides to the floor, still wheezing from his death grip. A couple of nice pantyhose-clad foot shots later, and she’s dead.

Edits

None needed.

Thoughts

This is one of the most intense choke scenes I’ve ever seen. Catherine did a superb job looking terrified. My only beef is that the director missed a prime opportunity for a foot shot or two as Ray’s character repeatedly lifts Catherine against the support beam outside the bathroom during the initial attack.

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Hunter S02E08: “Million Dollar Misunderstanding”

PLOT SUMMARY

An armoured car robbery goes awry when the gang leader kills his partner and the car with the money in the trunk is stolen.

More Information: IMDb

Actress: Stephanie Kramer
Drowned In: Bathtub
Result: Non-Fatal

After “interviewing” a suspect in a case, Hunter and McCall decide to call it a night. The scene starts with Hunter dropping McCall off at her house.

The camera follows McCall around as she prepares a bath and changes into her bath robe. The scene then cuts to Hunter arriving at his house, discovers it’s been ransacked and tries to phone McCall (edited out). Cut back to McCall’s house, and we see a masked man taking her phone off the hook just before it rings. Meanwhile, after checking the bath water, McCall hears a noise coming from her living room and goes to check, but sees no one around. When she turns back toward the bathroom, the man grabs her from the side and starts asking where the money is. McCall insists she doesn’t know what he’s talking about, so he decides to help jog her memory by nearly drowning her in her bathtub. During the struggle, we’re treated to a few really nice foot shots as she tries pushing against the floor. Realizing he’s going to kill her if she doesn’t say something, he agrees to show him where the money is. She then grabs what looks like a knitting needle and stabs him in the shoulder with it. With him injured, she makes a run for her front door and is greeted by Hunter, who’s anticipated she may be in trouble and has come to check on her. They both duck behind the doorway as the man tries to shoot them and hits a picture instead. The clip fades to black after Hunter makes she McCall is alright and she tells him to go get the guy.

Edits

There’s one cut to Hunter during this scene.  I removed it.

Thoughts

Damn good scene. The foot shots are especially nice. I remember the crush I had on Stephanie when I watched this series. Amazingly, I have no memory of this episode.

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Friday the 13th: Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan

PLOT SUMMARY

A passing boat bound for New York pulls Jason Voorhees along for the ride. Look out New York, here comes hell in a hockey mask.

More Information: IMDb

Actress: Kelly Hu
Strangled With: Bare Hands
Result: Fatal

Kelly Hu is trying to get away from Jason and takes refuge in the dance room. Jason suddenly appears, and she begins frantically looking for an escape. Then, he appears to vanish. The camera follows her rapid look around the room. One final pivot, and it’s too late. Jason’s upon her and quickly grabs her throat. Now, I don’t know you, but when I’m watching a movie in which someone’s about to get killed, I often scan the set piece for anything the director might’ve decided to use to kill the character with, all the while getting my hopes up for an asphyxia-related death. When Jason grabbed Kelly’s throat, all I could think was, “Lift her up! Please lift her up!” as if trying to will how the scene played out. Sure enough, up she went, right up against the ceiling. The scene proved to be the best murder I’d ever seen in the entire franchise. She doesn’t die too quickly or too slowly either.  Kelly’s performance was spot on. We even get to see her feet leave the floor, kick a bit, and finally come to rest. Once she’s dead, Jason just tosses her corpse onto the floor. How cool is that!

Edits

I thought the build-up to the point where Jason finally attacks Kelly was needlessly long, so I edited the clip to start just seconds beforehand.

Thoughts

This movie should’ve been titled Jason Takes a Boat En Route to Manhattan because 3/4 of the movie takes place on a boat… en route… to Manhattan. I remember seeing the trailer the first time and thinking, “Ooh… socialites asphyxiated in evening gowns! Yummy!!” That’s what I was hoping for, anyway… alas, such was not to be. Dammit!  Thankfully, this scene made up for an otherwise shattered dream of Jason snuffing out New York’s rich and beautiful. 

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Don’t Answer the Phone

PLOT SUMMARY

A deeply disturbed photographer and Vietnam veteran, named Kirk Smith, terrorizes Los Angeles by going around strangling lingerie-clad young women in their homes while taunting Lindsay Gale, a young psychologist, by calling her on a radio call-in show to describe his sexual hang-ups and misogynistic ways, while a local police detective, Lt. McCable, is always two steps behind in trying to catch the psycho.

More Information: IMDb

Actress: Dale Kalberg
Strangled With: Stocking
Result: Fatal

This is the opening scene and the first strangling in the film. The clip starts with the nurse arriving home. We see her undressing from what looks to be the killer’s pov from down the hall, hiding in the dark. The camera then cuts to the kitchen where she’s on the phone with her mother, oblivious to the fate that awaits her the moment she hangs up. As their conversation comes to an end, Nicholas makes his appearance, casually walking up behind her. When she hangs up, he makes his move. He grabs her by the throat, gives her a good left hook across the face to knock her into submission, and then carries her screaming into the dining room. There, he plops her on top of the dining room table where he fights for the upper hand. Finally, he manages to wrap a stocking around her neck and begins strangling her. During the climax, we’re treated to a full shot of the attack where we get to see her legs kick as her final struggles end in a nice, slow death. The scene ends with Nicholas ripping her bra apart to expose her breasts.

Edits

None needed

Thoughts

I absolutely love scenarios involving nurses. There’s just something about a woman who’s made a career out of helping cure the sick get snuffed.  Growing up in the 70’s, seeing them in a pair of white stockings and period-style uniform helps.  😉

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Actress: Pamela Jean Bryant and Gail Jensen
Strangled With: Bare Hands, Stocking
Result: Both Fatal

There are four on-screen asphyxia-related deaths in this flick, but I’ve only ever really liked three of them.  The last two are featured in this scene.

Kirk is masquerading as a photographer again, and talks his way into the home of two very attractive young ladies.  Kirk has brought a portfolio of his work along with him.  Pamela greets hiim at the door, he introduces himself, and pretends to make a phone call while she’s looking through his portfolio.  As she turns the pages, the photographs become more disturbing, until finally she’s shocked enough to decide she’s not interested in being photographed. Kirk takes offense at this and… ahem… forces her to… change her mind. 😉 The result turns fatal for Pamela as she winds up topless on the couch, struggling against him in a futile attempt to breathe. Kirk maintains the upper hand and slowly chokes the life out of her.

As he’s finishing off Pamela, her roommate, Gail, walks in on them both, wearing nothing but panties. Unfortunately, her death is somewhat uneventful. She grabs a table lamp and smashes it on Kirk’s back in an equally futile attempt to save Pamela  only to wind up grabbed and carried into the dining room where Kirk plops here onto a chair and promptly starts choking her as well.  During the struggle, he manages to slip a stocking around her neck and finishes her off as well. She dies slouched on the floor against the chair. Considering how weak the murder looked, I’m inclined to believe she died more from shock than strangulation. Ah, well…

Edits

None needed

Thoughts

We are long overdue for another exploitation flick…

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Absolute Deception

PLOT SUMMARY

A widowed reporter recruits the help of a federal agent to investigate her late husband’s secrets, but the two become the target of unknown attackers.

More Information: IMDb

Actress: Kelly Atkinson
Drowned In: Outdoor Pool
Result: Fatal

Description

The scene opens with Kelly Atkinson asleep in bed, wearing blue lingerie when she’s awakened by a strange noise.  She gets up to investigate and finds the lights aren’t working.  As she steps into her living room, she’s grabbed from behind and briefly escapes.  The bad guy’s partner blocks her attempt to flee, and together they manage to subdue her.

The both pick her up by her torso and legs and carry her outside to her pool where forcefully submerge her.  Unable to free herself from their collective grip, she quickly drowns.  The scene fades to black on a shot of her lifeless face.

Edits

None Needed

Thoughts

Beautifully done drowning.  I’ve never seen anything like it.  We’re even treated to a brief shot of her feet coming to rest while one of the guys keeps hold of her legs.

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Boy, The

PLOT SUMMARY

An American nanny is shocked that her new English family’s boy is actually a life-sized doll. After she violates a list of strict rules, disturbing events make her believe that the doll is really alive.

More Information: IMDb

Actress: Lauren Cohan
Strangled With: Bare Hands
Result: Non-Fatal

After discovering the truth behind the house, Lauren continues playing along to keep herself alive until she can escape, but now she’s taking care of the man instead of the doll.  While tucking him into bed, he motions his desire to kiss her, and won’t take no for an answer.  As she does so, she takes advantage of the opportunity to stab him with what looks like an ice pick or maybe a screwdriver.  He violently throws her back against the wall, rolls out of bed, and starts choking her.  During the struggle, he lifts her several inches off the floor.  Lauren notices whatever she stabbed him with is still in his stomach, and pushes it in further.  The pain forces the man to let go of her, and they both collapse.  The clip ends there.

Edits

None needed.

Thoughts

I wasn’t familiar with Lauren until her debut on The Walking Dead.  My interest in this movie was partly driven by the opportunity to see her on the big screen, and she did not disappoint.  I’m a sucker for a good ghost story and possessed dolls.  This movie did pretty well living up its marketing hype, right up to the point where the doll Lauren is duped into caring for is revealed to have been manipulated by a real, full-grown, masked man who’s been living in the walls of the house for most of his life.  My mind instantly started racing back through all of the ridiculously implausible moments when the doll was supposed to have appeared to move when Lauren wasn’t looking, without the man making a sound or alerting her to his presence.  That’s when I lost interest.  Lauren and this scene are its only redeeming qualities.

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