So this article is kicking off the first of many lists to come in the upcoming weeks! I am sorry to start out our new weekly list section with such a morbid topic but it is one I have been putting together in my head for quite some time now. First off let me start with a disclaimer saying that these are my personal favorites and are deaths that have particularly stood out to me over the years. These are some of the most memorable, gruesome, gnarly, iconic and all out awesome death scenes ever filmed.
WARNING!!! FULL SPOILERS AHEAD!!! You have been warned.
10. Indiana Jones: Raiders of the Lost Ark – Face Melter
So upon my first viewing of Raiders I had absolutely no idea what to expect when they opened the Ark of the Covenant. If I remember correctly, there had been no demonstrations of magic or supernatural happenings up to that point so once that lid came off and heads started exploding it is safe to say I was surprised. While all three close ups are relatively awesome deaths, it’s Major Arnold Toht’s face melter that makes it into the ten slot. I feel like I don’t need to go into excessive detail here. I mean his face literally melts off. What else is there to say?
9. Jurassic Park – “Clever Girl”
Every time I hear anything about man being the most dangerous game I always think to myself “you clearly haven’t hunted a velociraptor before”. While not the flashiest death of all time it is just filmed so damned perfectly. Every time you watch this scene you always hear Dr. Grant’s voice in your head about how the attack doesn’t come from the front but from the side *whoosh* from the other two raptors you didn’t even know where there. The way this scene keeps your eyes (just like Muldoon’s) on the raptor in front of you and how that last shot pans from the front to the raptor just staring him in the face are what make this scene into my top ten. Plus Muldoon tops it off with some pretty sweet and pretty dang iconic last words.
8. Shaun of the Dead – David Gets Ripped Apart
Whenever I watch Shaun of the Dead I go the entire film wanting David (Dylan Morris’s character) to get bit so they finally ditch him and every time I hear that hammer click when he tries to shoot Shaun I just want him to get torn to smithereens. Fortunately I have never been disappointed because Edgar Wright does a perfect job getting rid of the character right at the peak of his despicableness. And he sends him out appropriately. Wright might be a king of comedy but he is also surprisingly awesome at gore, leading to one of the best done “ripped apart” death scenes ever. While it is almost disturbing how well done the tearing into David’s stomach and ripping out of his innards is the light-heartedness quickly returns with his legs getting ripped off by Shaun and Liz to conclude the gorey death.
7. Machete – Quick Getaway
So whether or not you have actually seen this movie there is a good chance you have at least heard about this scene. Danny Trejo provides us with one of the most over the top and ridiculously awesome kills of all time. For those who aren’t familiar with this scene, Machete literally cuts open a guy’s stomach, rips out part of his intestine, and then proceeds to jump through a window and rappel to safety with the still attached intestine. There’s not a whole lot else to say here. Check out the clip below!
6. Pulp Fiction – “Ah man, I shot Marvin in the face.”
So I know death isn’t funny but this scene cracks me up every single time. The speed at which this happens completely catches you off guard, you don’t even have time to think to yourself that Vega should be careful where he points that thing before Marvin’s brain is all over the window. Tarantino use violence so well in this film with this scene highlighting that fact. Hands down the most morbidly comic scene on the list.
5. Sin City – Marv Finally Dies
Marv is one tough guy. Throughout Sin City he gets shot countless times, diced up, and completely beat to snot. While you might expect him going out with more of a bang he goes out on the quieter side of things, in the electric chair. While it might be a bit quieter than expected he keeps on being that mean bad ass up until the last moments of his life. The reason this is on the list is for several reasons. First, that he is fearless and awesome in the moments prior to getting shocked. Second, the first shock isn’t enough to kill so spitting blood he manages to insult and antagonizes his executioners one last time. Damn that guy is tough.
4. Alien – Stomach Bursting Xenomorph
Everyone knew this had to make it onto this list. This is probably one of the most iconic deaths of all time. Every time I watch this I always see that first burst of blood and I think that wasn’t nearly as awesome as I remember that being. But then he keeps on convulsing and then it happens and it is always as glorious as I remember it being. The first Xenomorph bursts forth from his innards, this creature’s birth ironically meaning the demise of the rest of the crew. This is one of those scenes that I think we are all guilty of reenacting with out hands stuffed up our shirt. Xenomorphs are such perfect killing machines and they start out early, doing so in such a fantastically terrible way.
3. The Grey – Once More Into the Frey
To be completely honest I almost completely spaced on putting this on the list but I am very glad I remembered it. As we have talked about time and time again, The Grey is a fantastic movie which had a damn near perfect ending. While it is arguable that this isn’t even a death scene, the fact of the matter is this scene is incredible. While the actual cause of death is only incredible enough to make it third on the list the actual scene might be my favorite out of this entire list. While not particularly gruesome or over top (we actually don’t see anything happen at all) the emotional impact of this scene is incredible. I think it is safe to say Ottway is going to have a seat reserved at the head of the table in Valhalla.
2. Kill Bill – Five Point Palm Exploding Heart Technique
So the title of the movies is Kill Bill so you know once Bill gets killed its gotta be good and Tarantino being Tarantino made sure it was. Gosh Bill’s death was perfect! I always expect there to be more of a bang, some explosion or even just some noise but instead he walks away, not looking back, maintaining his dignity and suddenly as if struck by some invisible, silent lightning, he falls. And that music that accompanies the scene gives it that absolutely perfect style. So good. Tarantino is a master of stylish deaths and while Kill Bill Volume 1 & 2 are both chalked full of them, it only made sense settling on the best of the best.
1. Dr Strangelove – Riding the Bomb
Hands down, all time favorite death scene. Coming into this list I knew that no matter what this was going to be number one on the list. If I had to choose exactly how I left this world thats how it would be. So Major Kong is sitting on a nuke, trying to repair it when the doors open the it begins to drop. One of the things I love about this scene is that he immediately starts screaming. He isn’t screaming out of fear but out excitement from the thrill of his final ride, that last explosive, bucking bronco. What better way is there to approach your inevitable death or in his case the end of the world? Gandalf would proud of Kong because he is riding that bomb knowing that death is next big adventure. If Ottway is going to be at the head of the table in Valhalla than Major Kong is going to chilling with Odin co-ruling the place.
Jaws – Quint’s death
Kill Bill – Animated O-ren sniper kill
Ran- Taro’s wife’s death
X-Men: The Last Stand – Jean Grey obliterating Xavier
Zombieland – Bill Murray’s death
Inglorious Basterds – Beaten to death with a baseball bat
The Thing – The doctor who gets his hands ripped off by the chest mouth
Jurassic Park – Gennaro eaten by the T-Rex
So that concludes my Top Ten Movie Deaths list. What are some of your favorites? Let me know in the comments below!
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