I’ve been inspired by all the great writing going on lately in the blog to get some more content on here myself. My first is a short list of my favorite freezing deaths from cinema. Death by freezing is not really a horror trope, but it is pretty awesome. I especially enjoy a good freezing and then exploding.
Time Cop – Timecop is a 1994 Universal Pictures film, I saw it in the theater. It stars Jean-Claude Van Damme and the amazing Ron Silver. It spawned a TV series, a comic series and a sequel no one saw. I like Van Damme films and I like time travel films. This awesome freeze death is the one that comes to mind for me immediately. Jean-Claude Van Damme has a fight with a henchman and proceeds to kick him into some liquid nitrogen freezing his whole right arm, Van Damme then kicks the arm really badass and completely shatters it, and kicks him over the railing, where he falls to his death. His one liner at the end is what keeps this kill from being on the top. “Have a nice day.” It just doesn’t fit. Maybe, “Don’t go to pieces over this, buddy.” OR “Have a nice trip.”.
Demolition Man – 1993’s Demolition Man staring Sly Stallone and Wesley Snipes for me is one of the most accurate and prophetic portraits of the near future in the last 20 years. In this future criminals are cryogenically frozen and rehabilitated via mental suggestion. Also, everyone’s been pacified and have become pussys and they listen to hot dog commercials instead of music. when Simon PhoenX (Wesley Snipes), a psychopath and relic of our violent past is thawed out and escapes, the future pussy cops are ill-equipped to deal with the threat. With no choice, they bring John Spartan (Sylvester Stallone) out of suspended animation.
Wesley Snipes’ Phoenix got an icy death when he was exposed to cryogenic power source and had his face shattered with a sturdy double-kick. Stallone even managed a nice “heads up” as he knocked his head off, smashing it on the ground. I don’t think they’ll be thawing Phoenix out a second time. Or telling us how to use the Three Seashells.
The Abominable Dr. Phibes – There are just some actors in film that give terrific performances all the time. They’re always believable and impressive. But then, even beyond that, there are some actors who’re just made to play a role! For me, that’s Vincent Price in the Abominable Dr. Phibes. It’s impossible to imagine this mad murderer being played by anyone else. Price is Dr. Phibes and he makes the most of his role here. This film is a fascinating and entertaining festival of murder, revenge, and Art Deco set design.
Phibes makes the list here because of Dr. Hedgepath (David Hutcheson). As he drives down a road, he notices a nice car parked off to the side, with the voluptuous Vulnavia (Virginia North) standing next the car looking helpless. He stops to offer her some assistance, when actually he was just hoping to score some tail. That’s when Dr. Phibes strikes. Hedgepath is locked inside the cab of his car, and Phibes hooks up some crazy machine that pumps snow into the car ultimately freezing Dr. Hedgepath to death.
Goldeneye – Back in 1995, Pierce Brosnan was James Bond. In this outing James Bond teams up with the lone survivor of a destroyed Russian research center to stop the hijacking of a nuclear space weapon by a fellow agent believed to be dead. Alan Cumming plays Boris Grishenko a traitorous Russian hacker programmer dude who’s catch phrase “I am invincible” is ripe for a glorious death.
This film was memorable for me because it was the first time I noticed Famke Janssen existing and started my nerd crush on her. Also, this is one of many films in which San Bean dies so that’s always entertaining. However, hot ladies and kill-able action stars aside, we have a great freeze death in Goldeneye.
After an epic explosion, Boris is left miraculously unscathed. Standing up he proclaims “I am invincible!” only to have some tankers of liquid nitrogen explode behind him unleashing a torrent of the super coolant. After the commotion, we’re greeted with a statuesque and frozen Boris, still in his triumphant pose!
The Shining – The Shining is, without doubt, one of Stanley Kubrick’s undisputed masterpieces and a true classic in horror cinema. It is a film that, over the course of the years, has managed to scare the living shit out of its audiences. The film is an adaptation of Stepehen King’s original novel, written in the late ’70s, and although the film is not very loyal to the book, it still stands as a thing of its own. I must admit that I didn’t see the film when it came out, mostly because I was like 2 years old. It however become a vhs favorite of mine.
The freezing death is actually Jack himself. In the film, Jack hears Danny scream, and chases his son to a hedge maze outside the hotel. Danny walks backwards in his own footprints to mislead Jack, then jumps to a side path and slips out of the maze. While Wendy and Danny escape the hotel, Jack gets lost trying to pick up Danny’s tracks, sits down to rest for a moment, and quickly freezes to death. It’s a shocking end and it’s creepy as fuck.
Jason X – Not only is this my favorite Friday the 13th film, but it also has the best freezing death ever. Jason, who was cryogenically frozen, is thawed in the year FUTURE! He then continues to do what he does, just kill people for no reason. The scientist or doctor, or whatever she is supposed to be is known as Adrienne in the film, and she’s the first to die from the space crew. She is played by Katherine Heigl look-alike Kristi Angus, who is also known for White Chicks and also some SyFy channel movies. So the scene is setup when Jason wakes up, finds random hot scientist woman and then proceeds to submerge her face in a handy vat of liquid nitrogen. She obviously protests, and even manages a screen while in the coolant. Check out the full scene!