'Orphan Black': Vote for the best bit of body horror

Ethan Alter
Senior Writer, Yahoo Entertainment

Attention Clone Clubbers: The series finale of Orphan Black airs Saturday, Aug. 12, on BBC America. All this week, we’re celebrating (and mourning) the impending end of our favorite clone saga, and we can’t do it without your help! Check back every day to vote for your favorite scenes, characters, and clones in a variety of categories.

What is it with Canadians and body horror? Our good neighbor to the north is home to one of contemporary cinema’s premier purveyors of nightmare-inducing scenes of bodily mutilation, David Cronenberg. And a Cronenbergian touch — which has unnerved audiences in such films as The Fly and Dead Ringers — has manifested itself regularly throughout Orphan Black’s five-season run. “It’s definitely territory that Cronenberg explored,” co-creator (and proud Canuck) Graeme Manson admitted to Indiewire in 2014. While we don’t know if the director is a card-carrying member of the Clone Club, we imagine that if and when he chooses to binge-watch Orphan Black, he’ll be pleased — and maybe even a little grossed out — with its brand of body horror. Which scene gave you the dry heaves? Vote for one of the five options below.

Photo: BBC America

Helena Cuts Off Olivier’s Tail (Season 1, Episode 7, “Parts Developed in an Unusual Manner”)
“Unusual” is one way to describe the idea of implanting a tail on your own butt. But let’s give long-deceased Neolution flunky Olivier Duval some credit for letting his freak flag fly. Too bad that Helena didn’t appreciate the whimsy of putting a tail where none should be: She chopped that sucker off and then took it with her on the dance floor.

Photo: BBC America

Sarah Stabs Rachel in the Eye with a Pencil (bing, “By Means Which Have Never Yet Been Tried”)
When it comes to which body part tends to make people skittish, the eyes have it. The thought of anyone or anything puncturing, popping, or otherwise penetrating our peepers is enough to make most of us curl up in a ball on the floor. But Sarah didn’t think twice about employing an eye attack as a means to flee Rachel’s clutches. Transforming an ordinary fire extinguisher into a projectile-launcher, she shot a pencil directly into her nemesis’s left eye in an ingenious, and disgusting, escape.

Photo: BBC America

Sarah Visits the Dentist (Season 4, Episode 3, “The Stigmata of Progress”)
Is it safe? Not even a little bit. In the creepiest dentist appointment since Dustin Hoffman paid a visit to Laurence Olivier in Marathon Man, Sarah had invasive mouth surgery to get rid of a “maggot bot” implanted on the inside of her cheek. The hygienist’s cheerful disposition as she warned her patient how the slightest movement would cause “a burst of tendrils” to release a fatal dose of poison only made us more nervous about booking our six-month dental checkup.

Photo: BBC America

The Nightmare Baby (Season 4, Episode 5, “Human Raw Material”)
The Neolution-backed Bright Born billed itself as a place where childless couples can create the baby of their dreams through genetic modification. But Cosima’s trip into the bowels of Bright Born revealed that these infants were often far from picture-perfect cherubs. In the O.R. for one such delivery, she witnessed a screaming woman giving birth to a gasping, noseless baby that was quickly rushed out of the room, presumably to the incinerator.

Photo: BBC America

Rachel Performs Eye Surgery (Season 5, Episode 7, “Gag or Throttle”)
The first time Rachel lost her eye, it wasn’t by choice. Her second eye removal, on the other hand, was entirely voluntary. Realizing that the father of Neolution, P.T. Westmoreland aka John Patrick Mathieson, was using her recently installed cybereye to spy on her, Rachel cut into her own socket with the pointy end of a broken martini glass. She may not be the nicest clone, but there’s no question that she’s the toughest.

Orphan Black airs Saturdays at 10 p.m. on BBC America.

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