Antlers are a predominant image in the “Hannibal” television series. It is represented in connection to the Wendigo, a metaphor for Hannibal Lecter himself. The Wendigo is an antlered demonic cannibalistic spirit in Algonquian legend. There is also a mental disorder called the “Wendigo Psychosis” in which the main symptom is a strong craving for human flesh.
The antlers in Hannibal are then used to represent Hannibal’s cravings and killings. Dead bodies displayed on antlers is a consistent visual element which is very striking and even sadistically artistic.
Of course I was bombarded by the internet hype over the “True Detective” series and decided to give it a try. I couldn’t get past the first episode, I found it rather dull. But I found it interesting that the first dead body shown had antlers.
Of course since I wasn’t that enthusiastic about the show in the first place, I merely assumed they were ripping off “Hannibal.” “Hannibal” creator, Brian Fuller, addressed this in an interview at the Television Critics Association winter press tour:
“Anybody who saw Salem’s Lot in 1979 where James Mason impaled that guy on the antlers, it’s probably all coming from that traumatic experience in our childhoods, I imagine they probably saw the same thing that inspired, you know, the imagery in this show.”
via The Wrap
I haven’t watched Salem’s Lot but I will now! Here are some more examples of antlers used in horror:
More surreal than horror but David Lynch always counts…
Of course a horror movie about the Wendigo would have antlers. You can watch the full Wendigo film here:
Are there other examples of antlers used in horror movies and shows, or scenes of death by antlers?
By Scott Cole
Recently, some Bizarro Central staffers gave their picks for filling that Walking Dead-shaped hole in your heart. Inspired by that post, I wanted to recommend the outlandishly fun and very weird Japanese zombie film, Helldriver.
Directed by Yoshihiro Nishimura (Tokyo Gore Police, Vampire Girl vs. Frankenstein Girl), Helldriver is just one drop in the current wave of hyper-bizarre films coming out of Japan, but oh what a drop it is.
When a meteorite crashes, and the resulting cloud of ash devours the northern half of Japan, anyone caught outside without a gas mask becomes infected. An hour later, they rise from their comas, sprouting Y-shaped antlers from their foreheads (which, by the way, can be ground into a powder and sold as a dangerous, illegal narcotic), ready to attack and devour anyone in their way.
Before long, a wall is built across the center of the country, dividing the relatively safe southern portion of the nation from the infected menace in the north.
But not everyone agrees on how the situation should be handled. There are groups defending the rights of the infected, and others who want to destroy them. Politicians argue both sides of the issue. Eventually it’s decided that the infected must be eradicated for the good of the country, and a woman named Kika is charged with leading a group into the north to hunt down and destroy the Zombie Queen.
Luckily, Kika is armed with a chainsaw sword, which happens to be powered by her artificial heart (her real heart was stolen by her mother, a homicidal maniac whose own heart was taken out by a meteorite that crashed through her chest, starting this whole mess). Her mother also just so happens to be the Zombie Queen.
Among other things, you’ll see chainsaw fights, various mutations, a samurai pincushion, decapitated cannonball zombie heads, a pregnant woman who uses her unborn-and-still-attached zombie child as a projectile weapon, a car made from assorted body parts, and of course a tsunami of arterial bloodspray.
It goes without saying that Helldriver is deliriously absurd, and a whole lot of fun. But it also stands as one of the weirdest zombie films ever made (at least, so far). If you’re in the mood for the undead, but looking for something Romero never conceived of, give this one a shot.