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Nightmare Fuel / Jesus Christ Superstar

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  • The Crucifixion and preceding torture in the 1973 version.
    • In a desperate attempt to pacify the angry mob, Pilate has Jesus whipped 39 times. The lighting and intensifying music add to the horror of the scene. In the 1973 movie, the flogging itself is nasty enough, but then there's the intense music that goes with it, and Pilate's voice counting out the lashes. He sounds almost elated. Then when we see him trying to compose himself, he has an expression that could be aroused or disgusted or both. Caiaphas and Anna's, who are largely to blame from this event, seem unnerved. Even Herod, who watches the flogging from a distance, and laughs at first, looks appalled by the end.
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    • During the crucifixion scene, Jesus is clearly in pain and delirious from blood loss. In some versions, he cries out "Where is my mother?".
    • The 2000 version has the look of realisation on Jesus' face when he is held down to the cross and sees one of the soldiers picking up a nail.
    • The brutality of the crucifixion having been foreshadowed during the 1973 movie's "Gethsemane", where the moment Jesus accepts his fate, there's a montage of zooms on images of his crucifixion as depicted in paintings across the years since.
    • What about the the scenes from the 39 lashes through the "Superstar" song all the way to the Crucifixion itself in the 2000 version? Even Pilate looks pretty disturbed.
  • The stage version includes a sequence so traumatizing that it's the visual/musical equivalent of swallowing an ice cube too fast. Immediately after performing the first half of "The Temple and Lepers," Jesus is accosted by a whole horde of lepers, cripples, and various other blighted folk. Pretty heart-rending in itself. But did I mention that they are covered in spider webs? That they're so wrapped in rags that you can't see their faces? And that they graphically describe all their injuries and infirmities in song? True, it's not Michael Jackson's Thriller, but it's pretty grotesque in itself. You can hardly blame Jesus when, in a What the Hell, Hero? moment, he screams: "HEAL YOURSELVES!!!"
    • Not forgetting that the song they're singing? It's the same tune as the merchants', only... different. And in 7/8 time, one of the most unsettling time signatures.
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    • The way that the crowd of sick people moves is also disturbing. They crawl and limp their way to Jesus, then surround him and frantically reach for him.
  • Judas' emotional breakdown after betraying Jesus is heart-wrenching. After screaming at God for using him to carry out a "bloody crime", he repeats "Murdered me!" over and over again before hanging himself.
    • The 2018 NBC version is extremely unsettling. Rather than going crazy and lashing out, Judas stumbles up a flight of stairs while repeatedly yelling out ''You have murdered me!!", while an ominous red light is cast on the wall behind him. Rather than showing him hanging (wise move, because the last thing they'd want is an actor hanging to death on live TV), as soon as he's off screen, the music abrubtly cuts out and so does the red light, leaving a bright light shining through an arch... and a ladder falling, leading the audience to assume the worst. The glitter that sprinkles down as the choir ominously chants "sooooo loooong Juuuudaaaasss..." doesn't make things better.
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    • In one stage production the actor accidentally hung himself for real during this scene.
  • In the 2018 NBC version, the Roman soldiers are covered from head to toe in black leather, making them look more like medieval torturers than military men.

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