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Viral v vintage: Greatest movie screams ever?

(PR)

(PR)

A cover of a Queen song using only movie screams and footage of an old man shaking it up on the dance floor are among our round-up of viral videos of the week. But how do they fare against archive classics?

Queen cover v Wilhelm scream

With its snappy beat and a driving bassline intact, Queen’s Another One Bites the Dust has been reworked by YouTuber Ryan Mitchell – using screams instead of words. Mitchell has pulled together a series of famous shrieks from blockbusters and arthouse films. With appearances from Donald Sutherland in Don’t Look Now, Psycho’s Janet Leigh and Macauley Culkin in Home Alone, it’s a catchy compilation of terror.

In Hollywood, however, one scream rules them all, and this compilation shows just how often a particular scream recorded in 1951 appears in movies. ‘The Wilhelm scream’ regularly accompanies on-screen shooting, explosions and falls from great heights. The stock sound effect has become an in-joke among sound designers, and crops up in hundreds of films. Blogger Joseph Demme, who compiled this clip, has listed all the movies referenced – beginning with the effect’s first appearance in Distant Drums.

Wedding dancer v Sammy Davis Jr

An elderly man throws away his canes and tears up the dance floor in this clip, which has had more than a million shares since it was posted on Facebook by Edgard Eleuterio Daza from Peru on 18 July. With some notable moves including the shoulder shrug and a variation on the robot, he ruffles what hair he has and is joined by two ladies, all with a plastic bag dangling from his belt.

Just three months before he died from throat cancer in 1990, Sammy Davis Jr took to the stage and proved he still had it with a tap number showcasing the moves he’d performed as a child. He dances alongside Gregory Hines in this clip from a celebration of his 60th year in show business (Davis Jr can be seen from four minutes in). He returns to his seat to a standing ovation.

Boyhood mashups v the Up series

Boyhood meets Dawn of the Planet of the Apes in this mash-up celebrating an “ape that made cinematic history”. Showing a chimp called Cesar drawing with crayons, learning to use a fork, and plotting the end of humanity, it features the whimsical song of the Boyhood trailer and manages to evoke Linklater’s particular brand of melancholy. Slate soon followed it up with a clip that shows Harry Potter growing up on screen.

The trailer for Michael Apted’s 56 Up shows scenes from the groundbreaking TV series recorded over the past 40 years. The landmark TV documentary series has followed the lives of 14 British children since 1964, when they were seven years old, and was praised by the film critic Roger Ebert as “the noblest project in cinema history”; he included the project in his top ten films of all time, and wrote that the films “penetrate to the central mystery of life”.

Bus stop bust up v Buster Keaton

A man in London appears to fight a bus stop sign while intoxicated, in a clip that was uploaded in 2013 but has gone viral this week. Breaking out some comedy boxing moves, he ducks and dives around the sign before throwing some punches and falling back onto a roadwork barrier. His mime skills – worthy of the silent movie greats – drew admiration from onlookers.

Buster Keaton shows how to mime a fight in this scene from his 1926 film Battling Butler. It takes him a minute just to get in the boxing ring, and he is knocked out a second after the match begins; taking some tips from the referee, he bats away punches to the head and chest in a series of moves choreographed with clockwork precision.

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