Genuine horror gold dust has emerged online today, as a video that was shot in 1980 captures Jack Nicholson as he prepares for one of the most iconic horror scenes ever recorded.
Comparable only to the shower scene in Psycho, the scene where Jack Torrance breaks through the bathroom door to get to Wendy is considered by millions - including myself - to be one of the scariest scenes ever in a horror movie. Not only was it scary as heck but it gave birth to one of the world's best ever catchphrases.
The Shining is a cult classic horror, based on the 1977 graphic novel by Stephen King. Jack Nicholson plays a recovering alcoholic called Jack Torrance who takes a job as a caretaker in an isolated hotel so he may concentrate on his writing career. He is accompanied by his son Danny and wife Wendy.
Things soon take a sinister turn when Jack starts to be seduced by the an evil entity that dwells within the hotel. Jack is soon driven into madness and sets about on a murderous rampage around the hotel.
Blood... a Lot of Blood!
In The Shining, there is also a lot of blood, and I mean a lot of blood. There is even a foreshadowing scene that young Danny sees in his mind's eye where blood cascades out of the elevators.
There are also a lot of ghosts in The Shining, including two of the scariest girl ghosts to ever grace the silver screen. These twins still give me nightmares to this day. Kubrick's inspired directing provided a steady build up to the crescendo, while we hear the solitary sound of Danny on his tricycle as we follow him around the winding corridors of the hotel.
Don't get me started on how freaked out we all got when Danny started chanting "REDRUM, REDRUM." Danny's gift allowed him to communicate with ghosts and sometimes we couldn't hear what was being said, all conversation was directed to his finger. That was terrifying!
Oh, and stay away from room 237..
In this amazing rare footage we see Jack Nicholson getting into character, as he is about to break through the bathroom door to get to Wendy.
We see Jack thoroughly psyching himself up into a murderous frenzy, he is seen pacing around the room repeating the words, "axe,murder, kill, axe, murderer, kill," and "crazy guy, crazy guy."
He picks up the axe and practices swinging it at the bed, again repeating the murderous phrases. Nicholson appears almost possessed in this footage but oh my gosh, it certainly translates into a killer scene!
I would also like to point out that Nicholson improvised the phrase "Here's Johnny." It was actually a line from the Tonight Show, which starred Johnny Carson.
I guess, to play a possessed axe murderer, you must become a possessed axe murderer. 35 years on and The Shining still remains one of the best horror movies out there. A fine film made great by an amazingly talented actor.
For our next Moviepilot Magazine, it's all about fear. So we're polling our readers to find out what terrifies them. You can help by answering the question below!