MovieChat Forums > Fantastic Voyage (1966) Discussion > No love for Donald Pleasance's death sce...

No love for Donald Pleasance's death scene?


C'mon! Trapped in the observation bubble while that nasty squishy horror eats his head?! I had nightmares about that mess for weeks and I still cringe every time I see it. One for the ages. :)

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I know what you mean. I first saw this when I was about 13 years old and it left me feeling both shocked and even sorry for his character, though not as much as for David Hedison's character in THE FLY. The good thing was that every time a movie left me bummed out like that, I always consoled myself by thinking, "It's just a movie. He's just an actor so it's obvious he didn't really die. And chances are he probably watches his death scene on TV and laughs about it with his friends."

As it was in the beginning,
So shall it be in the end,
That bullsh*t is bullsh*t,
It just goes by different names.

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Yeah, I saw it when I was around 10 and it is different in tone to most of the film, even the antibody sequence, which I secretly enjoyed.

The sense of panic is quite viscreal, and then it engulfs his head as he's screaming.


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SHOCKING (to me anyways, especially since I saw it when I was about 9 years old !!). Strange coincidence :
the "THING" that eats him is strangely similar in appearance to the ID monster/cloud thing generated by Donald Pleasance himself in the MAN WITH THE POWER episode of the old OUTER LIMITS TV Show !

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It maybe could have been shot and edited to be more suspenseful and terrifying. Less could have been shown, or more could have been shown, with lots of gruesome ingestion.

But the idea of it is very scary and horrible, and I'm sure a slow and excruciatingly painful death. This is sort of the original "Lumpy eaten by Meat-Weasel" in King Kong (2005).

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What sells the death scene for me is how Pleasance knows exactly when to have his character panic, and how to convey it. At first he's clearly trying to keep his cool talking about how he can't get free, and then suddenly the panic happens in full: "GET ME OUT!!!" You can hear the terror in his voice. And this is timed with the impending cause of his death slowly and ominously moving in.

"Fluoride doesn't prevent tooth decay. It does render teeth detectable by spy satellite." -JL

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You neatly sum up why this scene struck me as grade-A nightmare fuel.

Memories of it came back to me soon afterward with "The Prisoner" and its sentry Rover - a big amorphous white orb, somehow sentient in ways unimaginable. The unfortunates who get caught and enveloped don't look like they're merely deprived of air, they're in genuine pain/terror that, unexplained, is that much worse to watch. (It's old news how the iconic Rover was created by necessity using a weather balloon when the intended device, a drone/tank thing, malfunctioned on set.)

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