I had the same experience in the theater described on AFI 100 Years 100 Movies. People were outright screaming in terror in the auditorium during that scene.
Where in any "Flash Gordon" serial was there anything like the scene noted in "Alien?"
There were two movies I've ever seen which I thought were scary, one being Alien, and another called "The Devils" or "The Devils of Loudonne" which was taken straight from the pages of history books and involved little if any fiction at all.
The Devils was about the French inquisition.
Cant recall if ive posted this previosly but the bit in Jaws were a charcter has gone diving down to a sunken boat, and theres a bite hole in the wreck...then all of a sidden a yucky head pokes out of the hole.It still makes me jump.
The Devils of Loudon (learn to spell, why don't you) was a novel by Aldous Huxley. That's novel, as in based on actual fiction. The entire story of the supposed love of Grandier by Seour Jeanne, as well as the claim that he was pokin' a local girl, and therefore Soeur Jeanne accused him of witchcraft, is made up from whole cloth.
All that is true is that Loudon was a city which had avoided the religious wars, and that Richelieu decided a few witchcraft trials would be a handy way to condemn the city fathers, and get at the Huguenots. Beyond that, it was purely romantic fiction by Huxley. To claim that it ". . . was taken straight from the pages of history books and involved little if any fiction at all" is, quite simply, horseshit.
The Exorcist was a very scary movie. My daughter met Linda Blair a few months ago (my daughter works as a production assistant in Los Angeles). She told me that Linda Blair is a very nice person.
Honorable mention: Fargo, wood chipper scene.
By the way, how much Prozac had Linda taken that day?
Anyone remember the movie, Don't Look Now? I literally jumped out of my seat when I saw this midget turn and face Donald Sutherland.
Not a movie, but who remembers the Hitchcock episode of The Twilight Zone where the guy gets slightly ahead on the timeline and witnesses the building of reality? That was freaky...
It would be Psycho. The mother in the basement scene.
The scene at the end of Psycho, where the old lady in the chair turns around, and you see that she is a corpse.
That makes three of us for this scene.
Martin Balsam being attacked on the stairs was the one scene that always got to me, even over the shower scene. It's the way Anthony Perkins (in matron drag) comes out of the doorway and Balsam is stabbed, falling backward down the stairs. That typical Hitchcock zoom-in is breathtaking and blood curdling.
Interestingly, the scene in "The Exorcist" that bothered me the most was when Linda Blair was in the hospital being examined and a needle was stuck in her neck and blood began pulsing out - it was grounded in too much reality for me.
Also, in "The Thing" (new version) when they sliced the thumbs for the blood sample! Eeeew!
That was the most excruciatingly upsetting scene in "The Exorcist" and some film critics cite that as easily being left out of the movie. The turning head and the green vomit -- sorry, I could not really take that seriously. It's like many films, a flawed masterpiece.
Stray thought here....
In real life, the musculature needed to operate the kind of extensible tongue you see in the alien monsters would prevent anything from swallowing large and probably any size chunks of meat; he'd in all likelihood have to live by sipping flower necture like a hummingbird.