The Scariest Scene in The Silence of the Lambs
Each Wednesday we present you an amazing scene from movie historical past you could bear in mind, you could not — after which we break it down for you.
It isn’t simple to overlook how creepy Jonathan Demme’s The Silence of the Lambs is. Nevertheless it’s simple to overlook how different it’s in its creepiness: the slithering Hannibal Lecter; the convict flicking his semen at Jodie Foster; even the fog simmering by means of the woods surrounding FBI HQ within the movie’s opening. It is all so completely unsettling.
All of it pales compared to the movie’s creepiest contact, Ted Levine’s serial killer Buffalo Invoice. Although the plot to homicide girls so as to vogue a “pores and skin swimsuit” was partly based mostly on the M.O. of Ed Gein, Buffalo Invoice’s sheer strangeness outstrips that of any serial killer shaken out of real-life crime dossiers. He is by no means weirder than within the scene close to the movie’s finish through which — head tucked into an extended blonde wig, genitals drawn by means of his legs, lipstick rigorously utilized — he dances (or form of quaveringly shimmies) to “Goodbye Horses” by one-hit marvel Q Lazarus, whereas muttering, “Would you fuck me? I would fuck me.”
The Silence of the Lambs drew criticism on the time for portraying Invoice’s transvestism as a type of psychopathy. But this bizarre conservative streak is exactly what makes the character, and the movie, so unnerving. From the aristocratic Dracula sucking the blood of the nouveau riche to the Oedipal archetype of Psycho’s Norman Bates to the stock-and-chop killers slaughtering sexually promiscuous teenagers within the ’80s slasher cycle, most horror movies provide what are basically regressive fantasies. It is the viewer’s confrontation with such nasty politics that usually works to shake them up greater than violence and splatter. In Buffalo Invoice’s bizarre cross-dressed dance scene, Jonathan Demme pushes Lambs absolutely into the area of horror, guaranteeing that his movie can be remembered as one of many scariest movies of all time, not simply as a reliable and chilling cat-and-mouse procedural.