Sex scenes are an inevitability in most horror films. Some of them are tactful, add something to the film, and tell the audience something about the characters involved. Some are racy, appear tacked on, and the audience wouldn’t know the difference if the scene were removed altogether. Regardless of how the scene plays out, it is statistically proven that audiences love sex... actually, I just made that up, but if there were a survey conducted, I fully expect that the results would be overwhelmingly in support of onscreen sex.
It goes beyond just seeing bare body parts, though. There's something about onscreen sex in a horror film that conjures memories of the horror and grindhouse films of yesteryear. But most importantly, we just love sex, and we love violence, and when the two are combined we can barely contain ourselves. The more gratuitous, the better. So, for your carnal enjoyment, we bring you some of the most gratuitous sex scenes ever to appear in horror cinema.
“I have come here to chew bubblegum and kick ass. And I’m all out of bubblegum.” Rowdy Roddy Piper turned in an unforgettable performance in They Live. The sex scene at the end, however, served really no purpose other than to showcase a pair of perky exposed breasts. If it has any other purpose beyond that, it's beyond us, but it serves its singular purpose quite well and is a fine ending to an epic movie.
Wrong Turn 4
The sex scene in Wrong Turn 4 looks like someone grabbed it from a Cinemax After Dark film. Those girls are going at it like the world is about to end. I mean, they are in to it! The movie as a whole, unfortunately, falls flat. The franchise has really struggled to put out a satisfying entry since the Joe Lynch helmed Wrong Turn 2, but fortunately that didn’t stop Wrong Turn 4 director Declan O’Brien from trying to appeal to the carnal nature of his audience.
Though it’s light years away from a beloved cult classic 1979 slasher Silent Scream still managed to deliver the goods... if by "goods" you mean outrageous, over-the-top sexcapades. Silent Scream brought viewers a voyeuristic look at a carnal rendezvous as a sex-starved pervert of a roommate listens to a young couple’s grunting and moaning through a hole in the air conditioning vent. The creeper just smiles and eavesdrops on an overly risqué bedroom scene that seems to go on forever. Apart from that, the film’s only other saving grace is a decent cast, featuring genre icons Yvonne De Carlo and Barbara Steele, and an almost bearable performance from The Boogens’ Rebecca Balding.
One of three high-profile werewolf films to come out in 1981, The Howling brought viewers a close-up look at the mating rituals of the lycanthrope, as we see a werewolf sex scene transpire by the flames of a roaring fire. Joe Dante is now probably better known for his family-friendly horror fare, but in his early days he didn’t shy away from the T&A... and we're glad that he didn’t, because we appreciate a bit of lycanthropic coitus with our full moon hijinks. The best part is that both of the parties involved begin to transform during the process, and in doing so make weird animalistic sex grunts that may also be partially attributed to the pair howling at the full moon.
Night of the Demons
Night of the Demons was gratuitous in its display of more than just sexual intercourse; there's plenty of over the top violence and some hardcore nudity that is not linked to the film’s sex scenes. For instance, we see Linnea Quigley insert a tube of lipstick into her nipple. Yep, you read that correctly. Also, there's stripper-esque dancing and up-skirt shots, and that’s barely scratching the surface. But in addition to all of that, this Kevin Tenney film also brings its audience several rather explicit sex scenes, one of which finds a young hormonal couple getting their swerve on inside a coffin. Unfortunately for the couple, both of them are killed off before either party is finished with their sexual rendezvous.
David Cronenberg's Videodrome is one of my all-time faves for a variety of reasons: the film is jam-packed with social commentary; it has a highly surreal, dreamlike quality; the FX are amazing, and so is the level of creativity with which they are executed. The sex in the film, while gratuitous, does serve to further the plot to some extent, and if it were cut from the picture, the remaining footage wouldn’t make a lot of sense. Since everything about the film is done to the extreme, it’s easy to understand Cronenberg's decision to go that route with this scene. He brings viewers a very R-rated look at Blondie singer Deborah Harry in the throes of explicit passion with James Woods. The two of them prove that, like the Divinyls song says, there is a fine line between pleasure and pain.
Dressed to Kill
The opening scene in Dressed to Kill is absolutely pushing the boundaries of an X rating. Though it’s primarily a solo scene, it’s still the most racy and gratuitous on our list, and shows full-on unsimulated autoerotic stimulation. Ultimately, it’s not surprising to see DePalma holding the top spot; he's never been one to hold back, or assume that less is more. It’s likely that the shower scene is a subtle homage to Psycho as DePalma has always paid tribute to Hitchcock in his various works, and there are several other Psycho references in the film as well.