‘ABCs of Death 2′ Director Chris Nash on His Favorite Movie Death Scene
[Today we present a guest blog from Chris Nash, director of "Z is for Zygote," arguably the most twisted and gruesome short in the anthology film 'ABCs of Death 2', as well as a supercut of the greatest movie deaths from all 26 of the directors. We recently interviewed Nash and today he's stopped by to talk about his favorite movie death scene in movie history.]
Few death scenes have resonated with me as much as the final scene in Bruce McDonald’s punk rock mock-doc, 'Hard Core Logo.' It's not graphic, gory, or over-the-top -- but within the context of the film it's perfect.
Let me spoil it for you…
The film follows disbanded Canadian punkers Hard Core Logo as their alpha frontman, Joe Dick, convinces them to embark on a five-city tour after a successful reunion/benefit show for their punk rock hero, Bucky Haight (who had his legs shot off by a couple drunks in a hunting accident).
Joe Dick lives by an unwavering code of punk ethics. He’ll never sell out. He’ll never sign to a label. His word is his bond. His band is his family.
But the reunion quickly falls apart: Joe learns his guitarist, Billy Tallent, is on the verge of being taken in by a popular grunge band, Jenifur; after driving for hours they arrive at venues only to be greeted by locked doors; and to top it off, their bass player stops taking his psychotropic medication.
All of Joe’s troubles come to a head when the band visits the farmhouse of their idol, Bucky Haight. Bucky greets them at the door and they immediately discover his legs are still intact, leading Joe to admit to the camera he lied about the whole thing and used the benefit money to fund the tour. As the band is leaving the following day, Bucky tells Joe he knows what happened with the benefit show and disowns him.
Not knowing any other option, Joe plows through.
The pressure continues to mount on their final performance. After learning Billy has decided to join Jenifur, Joe announces, “Not only is this the end of our hugely successful reunion tour, it’s also the end of Billy Tallent’s fucking life,” and peppers Billy with a sucker-punch to the jaw. They fight in front of everyone until the crowd pulls them apart. Joe stares at Billy with venom, disappointment, and -- most of all -- confusion. And for the first time Billy can’t help but see the pathetic man clinging to a teenage dream standing in front him. Knowing things will never change with the band, Billy just laughs and walks out of the club. Joe knows he’s not coming back.
The film ends with Joe sitting behind the club pouring a drink for himself and the documentary crew. Nobody else is waiting there for him. No fans. No family. No band mates. Joe and the crew clink glasses as he makes a quick toast, tosses back the drink, pulls a pistol from his coat, and fires it into his temple. The camera struggles to follow Joe’s body as it collapses on the sidewalk, and the film ends with an out-of-focus freeze-frame on his face, as blood flows from his exit wound. And with that, punk is dead.
Hugh Dillon, who is more known now for his TV work on 'Flashpoint' and 'The Killing,' was (at the time) primarily known for being the lead singer of Canadian punk(ish) rock band The Headstones. This was his first lead role and he is completely absorbing as Joe Dick. You hate the guy but you can’t help but admire him. You want him to win. In the back of your mind you respect the fuck out of what this guy is doing and hope he’ll finally get the recognition he deserves; all of which makes his death scene more tragic.
If you haven’t seen the film, don’t think I’ve spoiled it for you by giving you the ending. I’ve seen this film countless times and the ending never loses its impact.
And the music is fucking fantastic as well.
'ABCs of Death 2' is available OnDemand now and opens in theaters on October 31.