Fires That Saved the Day: 10 Movie Fires That Used Their Powers For Good

A necessary burning to stop Judgement Day
A necessary burning to stop Judgement Day

There is one word that has been on everyone in Houston's collective lips (and Facebook postings) for the past three days - RAIN! The glorious pitter-patter of little drops is as beautiful as the hacked photos in Scarlett Johansson's phone. However, the drip-drip-drops we got over the weekend wasn't nearly enough to cure the city's dried-out lawns, dead trees and overall drought. While the raging fires that have been plaguing the Texas countryside are almost contained, 95 percent in some cases, the city is still on ember alert. On Friday, Mayor Parker signed an order to ban smoking in public parks, this was on top of the already in place "burn ban."

Art Attack is as pleased as everyone to know that the fires are under control and a hats off to the brave men and women who risked their lives to stop them. Fires are serious business, but do they always need to be so evil?

Not all fires are bad. What about when you have raw meat to cook? And who can forget heat? Light? S'mores? In terms of the movies, a fire is a special effect that needs no computer-generation (sometimes); they are always awe-inspiring. There are plenty of movies where fires use their powers for good - here are our top ten. In addition to fires being awesome, though, they also tend to be climactic and cathartic, so we're issuing spoiler alerts on this one. Even though if you don't know how Terminator 2 ends by now, you're probably not worth talking to. 10. Firestarter Little Drew Barrymore can turn a person into a torch just by thinking really hard. So, when a secret government agency kills her mom and tries to kidnap her for research purposes, she is within her right to set them ablaze.

9. What's Eating Gilbert Grape Johnny Depp's "Gilbert Grape" spends the entire movie moping about his life, his kid brother Arnie's mental condition and his morbidly obese mother. When his mother finally passes away, the family is told that a helicopter is going to have to airlift her 300-pound body out of the house. To give their mother one last sense of dignity and in homage to their new life, Gilbert and family burn their house, mom and all, to the ground.

8. Goodfellas

Fires That Saved the Day: 10 Movie Fires That Used Their Powers For Good

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Sonny convinces Paulie to go in on the restaurant business with him to keep the money rolling in and the cops rolling out. When Sonny runs out of cash to pay Paulie, it's time to cash in on the insurance money, or, as Ray Liotta's "Henry Hill" says, "You light a match."

7. Freddy Krueger In his backstory, Freddy Krueger was a child murderer, acquitted on a technicality. The parents of Springwood had had enough of his serial child-killing ways and ganged up and burned him alive. It sounds horrific, and now, he can come back and kill you in your dreams, so maybe it wasn't the best idea, but hey, we got one of the most iconic horror characters in history out of it.

 

6. The Seventh Seal The Seventh Seal is an Ingmar Bergman classic. It follows a medieval knight and his bizarre travels through the time of the black plague. Among other things, the knight witnesses the public burning of a witch. Whether she is an evil witch or not is up for debate, however, burning evil witches is always a good thing.

5. Superbad Two drunk cops, McLovin, a totaled police car. What else is there to do but burn this puppy to the ground? (After you shoot at it for a while, of course.)

4. Inglourious Basterds Tarantino rewrites World War II history with Inglourious Basterds. The movie follows a heavy build to the climactic burning of the French cinema premiering a highly anticipated Nazi propaganda film. The smoldering theater is that much more satisfying since Hitler happens to be inside and burnt to a crisp.

 

3. Dazed and Confused The gang in Richard Linklater's seminal film burned a lot of trees, but no one ever seemed that concerned about the repercussions.

2. Terminator 2: Judgement Day

Fires That Saved the Day: 10 Movie Fires That Used Their Powers For Good

In the final scene of T2, Arnold makes a robotic-heroic move and requests to be melted into a burning vat of metal. There has never been a more poetic and heartfelt thumbs-up in film history.

1. Lord of the Rings: Return of the King We waited and waited for hours, no, years, to see Frodo successfully burn the one ring that could destroy us all. In the very last moment, he has a change of heart but is snapped awake when the double-crossing Gollum bites his finger off. Gollum and the ring fall into the pit of fire. The flames of Mount Doom saved the day universe.


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