Jarv’s 10 Awesome Cinematic Deaths

What makes an awesome cinematic death? This is a question that has, no doubt, been pondered over the ages by sage individuals searching for the ultimate truth. And me. Therefore, I’m putting up a suggested list of veritably awesome demises- some are funny, some kick ass, and some just make me smile. Nevertheless, the below 10 (which is by no means set in stone) represents 10 of the most awesome final scenes ever put on screen.

So, with no further beating around the bush, let the carnage commence!

10. Hudson’s Game Over in Aliens

Private Hudson brings up the rear of this list, which, no doubt is where the man himself would have been happiest. He spends his entire time on-screen in Aliens crying and bitching like a pussy, until the moment comes when the Aliens break into the fortified area of the complex. Cometh the hour and all that, Hudson steps up blazing away screaming “you want some” as the horde of angry xenomorphs close in and eventually fuck him up royally. This makes the list for being a moment of terror driven bravery and a hugely entertaining one.

Game over, man, game fucking over.

9. Riding the Bomb in Dr. Strangelove

Endlessly parodied, this really is one of the definitive movie exits- the bomb drops and Major Kong sits atop it riding it like a rodeo cow. There’s nothing more really to say about this one.

8. You can kill the Reaper in Death Race.

Death Race is a fucking execrable film, yet another below 1 Chang candidate in Paul W.S. Anderson’s woeful career. A cavalcade of gross stupidity and obnoxious “action” it’s an assault on the cranium and about as much fun as sharing a prison cell with “Iron” Mike Tyson. Nevertheless, in a film as utterly shit as this one, this moment stands out for being actually amusing.

Driver Reaper is a colossal nobhead. He loses control of his car, and tips it over. For all intents and purposes he should be fucked. Nevertheless, he climbs out of the car and throws his arms in the air screaming “You can’t kill the Reaper” before Machine Gun Joe drives past and creams him all over the racetrack. Thereby proving that, actually, you can kill the Reaper stone fucking dead and leave him as a smear on the asphalt.

For sheer comedy and a really entertaining puncturing of misguided hubris, this is a standout demise.

7. Chomped on the Shitter in Jurassic Park

For a start, the victim here is a member of the legal profession. This automatically makes his death entertaining. Secondly, how rude is this large dinosaur? There the man is enjoying a quiet dump, when he’s rudely interrupted and chomped without even being allowed the chance to wipe.

Fucking hilarious.

6. Do it Rico! Starship Troopers

I’ve been using DO THE CUNT IRONSIDE as a running joke for ages, unfortunately in this instance Ironside is the cunt that gets done.

Starship Troopers is chock full of awesome deaths- the training incident, Watkins Hudson-esque exit, Flores getting toasted, Xander’s brain-to-bug-ectomy and so forth. It’s a ludicrously gung-ho movie and as such contains countless frankly awesome check-out scenes. However, for sheer badassery, nothing tops Ironside getting chomped in half by an insect attacking him from below and, in a display of purely ludicrous bravado, ordering Rico to pull the trigger on him.

A great death in a ridiculously entertaining film.

5. Ta-Daaaaa! The Joker’s magic trick in The Dark Knight.

Heath Ledger makes this film. Fact. His psychotic turn as arguably the greatest Comic Book villain is memorable on many levels, from his opening appearance in the bank heist, through to his laughing finale, this is a turn that rightly lives on beyond the actor.

Nevertheless, in a genuinely superb moment, Ledger strides into the mobster’s meet and performs a magic trick for the assembled goons. Said magic trick involves placing a pencil upright on a table and then driving a bodyguard’s head onto the pencil resulting in a pretty terminal case of lead poisoning.

Awesome. Arguably the finest moment in a good film.

4. Disarmed and done over in Deadly Prey.

Hehehehehe. Even writing this down makes me laugh. Deadly Prey is a ludicrously macho film about a “crack” (maybe ass-crack would be more appropriate) group of mercenaries hunting an elite veteran down in a forest near LA.

At the finale, Mike turns the tables and hunts the mercs down himself, eventually having to stand one on one with the toughest, baddest, biggest soldier in the film. So what does mike do? Tears the fucker’s arm off and then brilliantly beats him to death with the wet end.

Superb, a hilarious joining of ultraviolence, comedy, and justice as this motherfucker was really asking for it all film.

3. Why bother fighting when you’ve got a gun in Raiders of the Lost Ark.

Again, this is another awesome scene. The story I’ve heard is that Harrison Ford was actually ill during the filming of this section of the film and actually improvised the key moment.

Confronted with an angry Egyptian wielding two swords, Indiana Jones proves, once again, to be completely unflappable. As his assailant nears, he looks at him with mild disgust, draws his gun and blows the guy away.

Hilarious, and who hasn’t wanted this to happen in a film?

2. Motivational Speeches prove to be no deterrent to large hungry fish in Deep Blue Sea.

I love Deep Blue Sea. It’s a gloriously stupid film punctuated with moments of sheer brilliance. Honestly, “Shark wrangling”- I ask you, how is that not dumb?

Nevertheless, this is actually one of my favourite movie deaths of all time. Things are looking bad for our bedraggled crew of survivors, they’re holed up and falling out. So, now, clearly, is the time for Samuel L. Jackson to step up and give the story of how he survived an avalanche: “YOU THINK WATER MOVES FAST?”

The sharks, on the other hand, have no respect for stirring speeches like this one, and as his speech reaches it’s crescendo one particularly angry genetically modified fish pops out of the pool behind him and fucks him right up.

This is both surprising and downright hilarious, and is a worthy contender for this list. It always makes me grin, and as such, I do name it the second most Awesome movie death of all time.

1. David Warner loses his head in The Omen.

 This is a truly great film. However, there are several brilliant death scenes- the old priest being impaled, or the demented Nanny’s suicide leaping to mind. Nevertheless, David Warner’s check out, is, arguably, the most awesome movie death of all time.

Warner is trying to distance himself from the Antichrist, but unfortunately for him, Damien is well on to his antics. Therefore,  because he’s not known for handing out second chances, Damien uses his supernatural powers to arrange a car crash resulting in a sheet of plate glass sliding forward and taking Warner’s head clean off his shoulders.

Why is this the best? Well, simply because when the glass takes the head off, through sheer chance it spins a full 360 in the air before bouncing on the fucking surface. It’s endlessly cool, and can be watched over and over again.

This is a truly splendid death in a really first-rate film.


Well, I’m more than aware that I’ve omitted lots of candidates from this list, but it’s really more of a starting point for debate than anything else. Nevertheless, I would happily say that these 10 deaths represent some of the finest terminal moments in cinema.

It’s all good fun and many thanks to Droid for a lot of these suggestions.

Until next time,


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About Jarv

Workshy cynic, given to posting reams of nonsense on the internet and watching films that have inexplicably got a piss poor reputation.

27 responses to “Jarv’s 10 Awesome Cinematic Deaths”

  1. Droid says :

    Yeah, thats a good list. That Deadly Prey pic has me wondering when out next Drunken Cinema night is!

    Also… Where’s the propeller guy!?!?!?!

  2. Droid says :

    Much better title pic as well. I couldn’t really read the text before.

  3. koutchboom says :

    He’s not pooping in JP, his just hidden in the toilet. Also isn’t it MJ White who the Joker kills? I don’t remember.

    • Jarv says :

      He’s a bodyguard sent up to deal with him.

      And I was just using a cheap poop joke.

      • koutchboom says :

        Yeah I know I just know its one of those lame movie jokes/things people always remember wrong. I’d also like to add ummm Spoiler*** Jeremy Renner’s death from the town, that was well down, just how nice and fast and clean it was.

      • Jarv says :

        You really like JP don’t you?

        I was thinking of the end of Butch and Sundance as well.

      • koutchboom says :

        I just remember ALWAYS having this argument about it, even back when it first came out. I think thats when I first realized people are just going to see movies however they want to see them.

      • Droid says :

        I took it as a poop joke. I clearly remember the scene. The reason it works as well as it does is because it’s not just some guy taking a dump. But some spineless lawyer who abandons the kids to go hide in a shitter. Admittedly no one has ever said that they thought he was taking a shit, but I also don’t think I’ve ever had the discussion.

  4. koutchboom says :

    Also I think the “man, game over man, game over! ” isn’t as good as the hype thats grow out of that line.

  5. Spud McSpud says :

    I think you’d get a good 30 or so great death scenes from the first OMEN trilogy. Ignore 4, ignore the Godawful remake… but those first three are remarkable in their ingenuity and invention. I’d have gone for several from DAMIEN – OMEN II, including woman having eyes picked out by crows then meeting a speeding truck head-on; kid falls through ice in hockey game (giving me a lifelong fear of crossing frozen rivers or ponds ever since); kid gets killed by peircing psychic whining noise at the end (“But the Beast is risen, Mark! In ME!!”), and so on. Obviously THE FINAL CONFLICT has some choice deaths in it, but they’re all overshadowed by Neill’s bravura performance and some breathtaking blasphemy – all fun and games these days, but back in the more religious 70s, watching Neill spit bile about Christ and how he has “won NOTHING, Nazarene!” was quite a big deal, very shocking stuff.

    Loving the SLJ death in DEEP BLUE SEA, though – makes me laugh out loud every time!

  6. Bartleby says :

    Ha. Funny list. Love the Deadly Prey inclusion. I did one of these death lists but never published it. A completely different list, but it was more centered on horror movies.

    Funny you should mention Butch and Sundance. I just saw a movie where it was supposed that the death was a hoax, and Cassidy lived on into the early 1900s. Had Sam Sheppard in it. Blackthorn. Should have reivew up soon.

    Ive gottta believe that being ingested by The Blob (88) belongs on here somewhere.

    Jarv, did you get my most recvent email about the horror movie?

    • Jarv says :

      Got it.

      Haven’t looked at it because of the ongoing fiasco that is my life at the moment.

      Will reply later.

      • Toadkillerdog says :

        Man having his dick and balls tied together so he can’t piss then being forced to drink wine until he explodes. Man being buried up to neck as platform with blades on bottom and audience on top cuts head off. Both in caligula

      • koutchboom says :

        Yeah Caligula tops all, its probably the greatest movie ever made. ITS ALSO the reason I can never take any of those Showtime/HBO period shows serious.

      • Toadkillerdog says :

        Jarv, way back when i was a teen my buddies and i joked about beating one or the other to death by ripping off the other guys arm and beating him with wet part. Thank you for providing the movie that shows the ‘dream’ -ha!

  7. L Bronco says :

    Omen-death by elevator.

    7 Deadly ninja-The ninja has tacks in his mouth-spits them embedding the caltrops in a wood door-slams door in dudes face.

    Whole bunch outta Final Destination…

    Yep Omen/Caligula-whole lotta nuttiness in both those.

  8. Frank Marmoset says :

    Good list.

    Samuel L Jackson in Deep Blue Sea is my favourite of these. Ever since that film, I’ve always been a little disappointed when I see a character give a stirring, inspirational speech and they don’t get eaten by a shark. All inspirational speeches should end that way.

    • MORBIUS says :

      Frank, Pirahna 3D, where the woman floating on the inner tube gets ‘eatin out’ from below?

      Or the one that gets sliced diagonally with the cable and her upper torso slides away from the bottom half?

  9. MORBIUS says :

    Resident Evil, group trapped in a corridor, first laser beam decapitates a woman (you see the blood line and her head slowly slips away from her body), then a guy gets cut in half by another beam, and the last guy manages to pull himself above a beam only to see the inescapable array that makes mince-meat of him.

    And, as LB said, many of the Rube Goldberg contrived deaths in the Final Destination series.

  10. ThereWolf says :

    Every one a winner – except I haven’t seen the ‘Death Race’ one.

    Surely, though, surely Hurt’s ‘Alien’ demise has to be acknowledged in some manner…

    And I’ve always had a soft spot for Miguel Ferrer’s violent lack of decompression in ‘Deep Star Six’.

  11. Col. Tigh-Fighter says :

    How about people who go Pop/Splat due to violent decompression? A couple of nice ones in Outland, and a great one in License to Kill.

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