Everyone has that one cinematic brawl that sticks with them. They buy special edition Blu-rays to watch the glorious scenes in high definition, wear shirts sporting their favorite competitor, and even engage in debates with other fans about who they think would win if the engagement occurred in real life. With The Raid 2 coming out soon, what better time to look back on best fight scenes that genre films have to offer? Read on to see which conflicts make the list, and keep an eye out for The Raid 2, which is set to release on March 28th, 2014.
20. Friday the 13th Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan – Rooftop Scene
Although it may seem a little campy, Julius deserves a ton of credit for being one of the only people to stand up and fight Jason Voorhees, instead of just running away. Julius lands nearly all of his blows, hitting Jason hard in the face and chest, and nearly knocking him off of the roof. For a minute, it actually seems like Julius might win. But alas, when it comes time for Jason to take his “best shot”, he knocks poor Julius’ head clean off, and into a dumpster. Fight scenes from 1980s horror movies just don’t get any better than that.
19. Hatchet II – Marybeth Dunstan vs. Victor Crowley
Victor Crowley has taken everything from Mary Beth Dunstan. He murdered her brother, her father, and her love interest, but Marybeth isn’t going to give up so easily. In Adam Green’s sequel, Hatchet II, Tamara Feldman is replaced by a more appropriate actress, Danielle Harris, who brings the rage and fury to the Marybeth that she desperately needed. This is never more apparent than in the final wrangle between Marybeth and Victor, when she she fills up the old scar on his face with a shiny new wound, impaling Victor with his own hatchet. She then proceeds to raise the blade up, and brings it down again, over and over, with a mighty force and a wicked laugh, going mad with manic happiness as she exacts her revenge, swing by swing. Just as it seems that she has completed her long-awaited task, and she beings to walk away, Victor starts to twitch again. Marybeth returns with a shotgun, and blows what’s left of Victor’s body to bloody pieces. This crazed moment is one of the most shocking and gratifying in the history of cinematic vengeance, leaving the viewer just as dazed and satisfied as Marybeth.
18. Scream – Sidney vs. Stuart
When bodies start popping up in a small town, no one suspects that two teenage boys could be the culprits, especially not Sidney Prescott. When it is revealed that it’s Sidney’s boyfriend Billy and his best friend Stuart who are actually responsible, In the final act, Sidney puts up a fight any survivor girl would be proud of, especially because she is outnumbered and outmatched. After Sidney takes out Billy by stabbing him with an umbrella, she faces an even greater adversary, Stuart, and the two beat the living daylight out of each other. Stu knocks Sidney down, punches her in the face, knocks her into a table, then pins her down and maliciously flirts with her, but this is one prey he’ll never be able to conquer. Sidney defeats her attacker with quick-witted style, denying his offer, and smashing his head with the television, all in one swift movement.
17. Silence of the Lambs – Clarice Starling vs. Buffalo Bill
Clarice’s realizes the severity of her situation as soon as she sees Catherine Martin in the bottom of the well in Buffalo Bill’s basement, and the skin suit in his private quarters, but things intensify when Bill shuts off the lights. What’s even creepier about this showdown is the fact that the scene is mainly from Bill’s point of view, allowing the audience to watch how close he gets to Clarice, while she is left in complete darkness. Despite impossible odds, Clarice achieves success by obeying her strict training, and uses the sound of the cocking of Bill’s pistol like sonar to locate his presence, allowing her to fire seconds before he can pull his trigger. Unique direction and superb acting make this standoff one of the most pulse-poudning confrontations in all of horror.
16. Halloween – Michael Myers vs. Laurie Strode
Laurie is a good girl who just wanted to complete her babysitting duties on All Hallows Eve without a hitch. She doesn’t deserve to be stalked by a shadow of the night. Laurie is a down to earth, girl next door type who was thrown into a vicious night of terror, but that’s not going to stop her from fighting for her life. When a predator attacks her, she thinks of the children first, and ensures their safety. When Michael Myers antagonizes her, and holes her up in a closet she cunningly uses household objects to retaliate. Despite Michael’s petrifying presence in their final showdown, Laurie remains strong and employs her surroundings to her advantage. Although John Carpenter’s Halloween is technically not the first slasher movie, Jamie Lee Curtis’ performance as Laurie Strode solidified the survivor girl role for generations to come, and stayed alive in a brutal fight with tremendous odds.
15. Blade – Blade vs. Nest of Vampires
A man enters a pulsating night club with unrealistic expectations. He showboats and hits on every girl he passes, but the man soon realizes that rejection is the least of his worries tonight. Suddenly, the sprinkles above start raining down blood, and the crowd of happy faces morph into wicked pointy grins. As the man realizes that he’s surrounded by hungry vampires, he scampers toward the door, sure of the ill fate that lie seconds ahead. But out of the mob emerges a menacing leather clad figure; a shining beacon of hope amongst the vultures. The Day Walker is here, and he’s come for a fight. Blade eliminates hordes in seconds, as he shoots silver bullets into the heart of every vamp that dare charge him, immediately turning them into dust. Soon, a gang is sicced on Blade, but to no avail. Blade even pins the last guy up against the wall with silver stakes, and sets him on fire, just to leave in style. The first scene in Blade sets the quick-paced, fierce tone for the entire franchise, and it’s just incredibly fun to watch.
14. Evil Dead 2 – Ash vs. Deadite Hand
Throughout the Evil Dead franchise, Ash battles the toughest of opponents, taking down countless deadites with ease and suave one-liners, but perhaps his most challenging and hilarious fight was with his own hand. In Evil Dead 2, Ash’s hand becomes possessed by the spirit of the deadites, turning his own flesh and blood (literally) against him. The hand then torments Ash by smashing plates on his head, pounding his head on the kitchen counter, and even flipping Ash onto the ground. Just as the hand goes for another plate, it spots the large butcher knife lying nearby. The hand drags Ash’s unconscious body slowly toward the knife, inch by inch, and just as it gets close, Ash stabs his hand, nailing it to the floor. As the hand wails in pain, Ash drearily remarks, “Who’s laughing now?” In his loopy state, Ash finds the solution to his problem, or so he thinks. He grabs the chainsaw that’s laying nearby, and cuts off his own hand. However, that only gives the hand free reign, which it uses to run away, flicking Ash off in the process. Watching a crazed Ash shoot at his own hand is not only one of the funniest moments in horror history, but also, one of the most influential.
13. A Nightmare On Elm Street – Nancy Thompson vs. Freddy Krueger
After Freddy Krueger kills nearly all of Nancy Thompson’s friends, she goes on the offensive. Nancy researches everything from booby traps to improvised anti-personnel devices, and rigs her house in preparation for Fred’s arrival. Not only does Nancy stand up to Freddy, but she beats him at his own game by controlling her mind. This works out in her favor, seeing as how the man with finger knives uses the children’s fear as fuel for his fire. This brawl shows how with a little creativity and bravery, a weaker opponent can become victorious.
12. The Host – Monster vs. Family
An American scientist pours formaldehyde carelessly down the drain, creating a mutated monster that later emerges from the Han River to wreak havoc on the citizens of Seoul, South Korea. Park Gang-du, a man that lives off of the river, has never been a dependable figure that his family can be proud of, but when the monster grabs his daughter and takes off, he’ll prove that he’ll stop at nothing to retrieve her. In the final skirmish, the Park family pulls together in a courageous attempt to kill the creature and save their lost family member. Each person pitches in, Nam-joo with her archery skills, Nam-il with his crafty molotov cocktails, Gang-du’s relentless determination, and even their father’s help, Hee-bong, an elderly man, the family throws their hat in the ring, and put up a miraculous, heartfelt fight that demands viewing.
11. Drag Me To Hell – Mrs. Ganush vs. Christine Brown
It’s no surprise that director Sam Raimi, creator of the king himself, Ash Williams, is capable of making a brutal, down and dirty fight sequence, with lots of sickening moments to boot. Christine Brown is a loan officer who just evicted an old woman, even after the Mrs. Ganush got down on her knees and begged for another chance in the middle of the bank. Christine’s in line to get a promotion, and with her coworker Stu looking to land the same title, she needs every advantage she can get. However, as if denying a senior a loan weren’t humiliating enough, Christine finds Mrs. Ganush waiting patiently in Christine’s car, like a lion preparing to pounce. As the two duke it out in the car, every moment is filled with disgusting and badass glory, from Christine stapling Mrs. Ganush’s eyelid shut, to Mrs. Ganush gnawing on Christine’s chin with her slimy gums, to Christine stabbing Mrs. Ganush in the throat with a ruler. However, despite Christine’s good hits, it is Mrs. Ganush who wins the end, as she curses Christine to spend eternity in the fiery pits of hell.
10. You’re Next – Erin vs. Tiger Mask
There are many moments in this gory slasher when Erin displays her impressive survivalist skills, but her first fight in the movie against the tiger masked-assailaint is definitely one of the most memorable. After her assailant smashes through the window, he swings his sledgehammer at Erin, barely missing her as she rolls out of the way. From her position on the ground, Erin kicks the man between the legs hard, and then uses his refractory period to regain the upper hand. She grabs a meat tenderizer and bludgeons the villain to death, hitting him over and over in the back of the head as another two members of the family look on in fear. As Erin sarcastically thanks the male bystander for his help, it becomes clear that the most dangerous person in the house might actually be her, much to the relief of her greatly outmatched hosts.
9. Mutant Girls Squad – Rin vs. Everyone
On her sixteenth birthday, Rin begins displaying some rather odd body changes. Where other girls might experience puberty for the first time, Rin discovers that she comes from a long line of mutants, and has a special treasure, which is her arm turning into a a bullet-proof claw that quickly decimates all who provoke her. Sadly, the moment that her father begins to explain their heritage, her family is attacked by an extermination squad, and both of her parents are killed. Furious, the beast within is awakened in Rin, and she sets out on a rampage that terminates nearly every person in town. As she slices her way through the area, she leaves a trail of bodies behind, including a plethora of people in an electrifying one shot take of her savage spree down an alley, ending with a heart-ripping finale.
8. The Descent – Sarah vs. Crawler
A female crawler notices Sarah, and attacks her and chases her down the cave. Whilst trying to escape, Sarah accidentally runs into a lake of blood, and is completely immersed in the crimson liquid. She carefully pokes her head up above the surface, and quietly makes her way to the nearest rock. The crawler spots her once again, and begins attacking her again. Sarah strains ruthlessly between reaching for a nearby bone and trying to keep the beast off of her. She eventually grabs her weapon, and stabs the crawler right in the eye. In this frightening duel the viewer sees Sarah transform from an impotent grieving widow, to an animalistic warrior woman hellbent on revenge.
7. Zombie – Shark vs. Zombie
Lucio Fulci’s Zombie, also known as Zombi, Zombi2, etc., has some of the most haunting sequences in all of horror history. There’s the up-close-and-personal eye-gouging scene, and the worm-riddled zombie rising from the grave, but perhaps the most talked about moment in the entire film is the shark vs. zombie fight. Not only did it introduce the idea that zombies could walk underwater without a problem because they’re already dead, but it sparked debates for decades as to which side would really win if pegged against the other.
6. They Live – Alley Scene
When the world is being overrun with aliens, and the only way to view the otherworldly is through a special pair of sunglasses, Nada needs someone to understand his enhanced vision. After stumbling into the glasses himself, Nada now knows that many of the people in the world are actually extra terrestrials in disguise, and subliminal messages are hidden in the advertisements that crowd the streets. Because the only way to seem the world in its true form is by wearing these unique glasses, Nada tries to explain his discovery to his newfound friend Frank, and instructs him to wear the glasses. After Frank refuses, the two start boxing, and the entire fight lasts an astounding five minutes and twenty seconds. Apparently, the original fight scene was only scripted to last about twenty seconds, but Roddy Piper and Keith David agreed to have a real quarrel, and only pretended to hit each other in the face and groin area. Director John Carpenter was so elated by this decision, he kept the entire sequence in the film.
5. Jaws – Brody vs. Shark
Police chief Brody has done everything in his power to rid the Amity community of the great white shark’s presence, but to no avail. He’s pleaded with Mayor Larry Vaughn to shut down the beach, and warned the townsfolk about the threat of a shark attack, but now he’s taken it upon himself to travel out to the middle of the ocean to try to kill the beast himself, along with his crew, Quint and Hooper. It appears that luck is on their side when they shoot the shark with a harpoon gun, tying barrels to the giant creature to keep it above water, and begin drawing it toward the shoreline, but it turns out that this mission won’t be solved so easily. After Quint destroys the boat’s engine by driving too fast, the crew stands helpless to watch as the shark begins ripping their vessel apart. In the end, it’s up to Brody to save the day. As the boat begins sinking, Brody comes face to face with the shark, and throws a gas tank into it’s jaws. Brody then climbs to the tallest point atop the mast, aims his gun at the shark while he charges, and tries to shoot the tank in its mouth. With a triumphant “Smile, you son of a bitch!” Brody hits his target, sending thousands of pieces of shark flying into the air. As Brody cries out with happiness, it’s hard to smile with glee along with him.
4. Battle Royale – Mitsuko Souma vs. Kazuo Kiriyama
In the future, a economically bankrupt Japan forces school children to fight to the death in a matter of three days, with only one child left alive at the end. Despite the fact that Mitsuko has been a merciless killing machine since the battle with her classmates began, she still manages to garner a little sympathy in her struggle with Kiriyama. Mitsuko is tired of being a “loser”, and will take out as many people as possible to prove that she is the victor. It is this motive that keeps her standing after Kiriyama attacks her, ignoring her countless bullet wounds. With this attitude, Mitsuko encompasses a soldier’s mentality, and signifies one of the greatest crusades in all of cinema history.
3. I Saw the Devil – Taxi Scene
Three men. One taxi. Several stab wounds. In Kim Jee-woon’s I Saw the Devil, a serial killer by the name of Kyung-chul exploits and slaughters several women. It seems that Kyung-chul is unstoppable, but he meets his match in an unexpected car clash with two other murderers. While hitchhiking, Kyung-chul grabs the attention of a passing taxi, and reluctantly climbs in. He knows that something’s up when he sees that the photo of the taxi driver on the dashboard doesn’t match the man who’s driving the car, or the suspicious looking fellow in the backseat. He softly comments on the men’s bad luck, and without a moment’s hesitation, draws a knife from his pocket and plunges it into the driver’s throat. As the camera circles the fighting men whilst miraculously staying inside of the vehicle, this distinct view shows all angles of the knife fight, while Kyung-chul takes down both contenders rapidly, stabbing each man over and over. The car finally crashes, with Kyung-chul the only survivor in a heap of crushed metal and blood.
2. The Raid – Rama and Andi vs. Mad Dog
A S.W.A.T. team is sent to a ragged tenement to retrieve the mob boss who resides at the top of the building. It was supposed to be a simple in and out mission, but they soon become trapped, when their target orders his gang to take out the police before they reach his quarters. From then on, it’s a full on war that grows more daunting with every floor. One of the last remaining members, Rama, has a brother on the inside, whom he finds being tortured by one of the other criminals named Mad Dog. Rama enters the room where his brother is being beaten, and without a word, Mad Dog sets him free. The three of them know what has to happen next. Mad Dog walks to the center of the room, and takes his stance between the two brothers. He would enjoy this. This fight scene is so intense that despite the fact that Rama and Andi outnumber their opponent, it still seems like Mad Dog has the advantage, especially after seeing his brutal assault on Jaka earlier in the film. Gareth Evans shows that he knows how to beautifully coordinate and shoot a fight sequence, as the two brothers work together in shocking blows, like when Rama swung Mad Dog to the side, and Andi kicks him in the stomach, sending him flying across the room, or when Andi saves his brother from a stomach kick by grabbing Mad Dog’s leg in mid air and pulling him backward. What’s so terrific about this event is literally every second of this seven minute long battle is filled with gut-wrenching, highly imaginative action. I can’t wait to see what’s in store for The Raid 2.
1. Oldboy – Hallway Scene
After being imprisoned for fifteen years without a charge, Oh Dae-Su is released into the world, and told that he has five days to figure out why he was locked up in the first place. Oh Dae-Su returns to his privatized prison to gather information, and vent a little of his frustration on the guards who housed his torment for so many years. What follows is a nearly three minute long one-shot take match between Oh Dae-Su and about fifteen other guys. Armed with only his hammer, Oh Dae-Su slowly and strategically strides down the hallway, knocking guys back one by one. He loses the momentum for a moment or two, and as the men enclose on him, it appears that our hero won’t make it out alive. But then, just as fast as he went down, Oh Dae-Su surfaces above the mob, grabs the hammer he dropped, and starts swinging again. This fight is unique not only for its incredible oner, but its rough depiction of a realistic brawl where the tides change and the victor is not clear until the end.