There is one thing that all humans have in common – death. And in most cases, the fear of death is also a concern. Death is so scary because of the certainty of it happening to all of us, and the uncertainty of when it will happen. It may come quietly during the night in our old age, or it could come in the form of a downtown bus tomorrow. I personally believe there are assurances in death, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t freak me out a little when I really stop to think about it.
Many books, articles and discussions center around this topic. Movies have the unique opportunity to actually show us what it will or could look like.
Grumpy Old Men deals with two old characters who are sure of upcoming older age and death, and look at it in a pretty humorous way. They both agree that when their friend Chuck dies in his sleep of a heart attack, he was indeed lucky. If you haven’t seen the movie The Passion of the Christ, you’re missing basically the goriest, bloodiest, longest death scene captured on film. The purpose of this blog isn’t to discuss that film in particular, but to mention what I happen to believe are the worst ways to die as seen in the movies.
This list will not include snuff films (because I’ve never seen one) or scenes from slasher movies. I’ve never been a fan of the genre, and although I’m sure there are some terrible mutilation type deaths, I just don’t want to see them.
+ = OUCH
Icicle in the Eye In Die Hard 2, John McClane (Bruce Willis) pounds the nearest available weapon through an enemies eye as they wrestle on the frozen ground. That weapon just happens to be an icicle. If the victim had a chance to react, I’m sure it would be major brain freeze.
WoodChipper In the movie Rumble in The Bronx, one of the sort-of bad guys gets shoved head first through a wood chipper. For a pretty tame movie, this was a surprisingly violent twist. I’m sure its done more often in the movies, but it seems to be more of a mob type activity – less to clean up, good for torturing victims, gets rid of evidence. Would be painful (for a minute or two anyways) and terrifying.
Eaten by Sarlacc In the movie Return of the Jedi (still one of my favorites) the despicable Jabba the Hutt uses the Sarlacc pit as his favorite torture device. The following information comes from starwars.com:
Out in Tatooine‘s Dune Sea, lying at the base of the Great Pit of Carkoon, rests a gruesome creature known as the Sarlacc. The omnivorous, immobile beast is almost entirely concealed beneath the desert sands. Only its foul mouth extends to the surface, ringed with grasping tentacles ready to pull any prey unfortunate to fall into the shifting sands.
Because of the sarlacc’s inability to move, it has evolved an interesting digestive practice: it keeps its victims alive and digests them very slowly. C-3PO reminds us that the victims will digest over 1000 years! Ouch.
Light self on fire and jump off of Minas Tirith to death OK, so this is unlikely to happen to anybody else, but Denethor, the steward of Gondor (not the king, which has a lot to do with this story) lights himself on fire and jumps off a very high platform to his death. He is despairing the loss of his city, his son, and the line of stewards he represents. This would be painful, hopeless and tragic.
Impalement, Dismemberment, Dragging Through Dust Hector, the real hero of the movie Troy, and the story of The Odyssey, covers his weanie brother Paris’ butt and fights the much impressive Achilles. Brad Pitt is hateable as Achilles, but is a superb fighter. He comes to the doorstep of Troy with the following insult: “You will wander the underworld blind, deaf, and dumb, and all the dead will know, “This is Hector, the fool who thought he killed Achilles.” After Achilles does indeed kill Hector (after a pretty impressive fight), he drags him through the dust, back to his camp. King Priam needs to go disguised and beg for his son’s body back – pretty tragic really.
Hanged, Drawn and Quartered This is one sick death. Our friend William Wallace faced this terrible fate in the movie BraveHeart – portrayed by Mel Gibson. This torture is so gross, I thought I wouldn’t include the details here (a family friendly blog spot) but if you’re curious about the details, read them here.
Heart Pulled out, Lowered into Boiling Magma Indiana Jones witnesses a pretty gross death of a slave in an underground temple (of doom no less!). A weird priest pulls his still-beating heart out of his chest, and then the guy is lowered into the magma where he is incinerated. Apparently this was such a greusome scene it created a new category of ratings for movies PG-13.
Crucified, Thrown over Waterfall In the incredible movie The Mission, the film opens with the stunning image of a Jesuit priest sent over a waterfall to his death. The movie stars Robert DeNiro and Jeremy Irons. This is based on a true story I think, and these priests were dedicated!
Eaten by Anaconda, Regurgitated and Re-eaten My son Fischer is doing a school Power Point project on anacondas for his grade four language arts class. He tells me they are man-eaters! In the movie anaconda, John Voight is eaten by an anaconda, regurgitated (long enough for him to wink at Jennifer Lopez) and then re-swallowed. Gross!
Lethal Injection They still do this in parts of the United States. It’s hard to believe. In the movie Dead Man Walking, Sean Penn’s character is put to death by lethal injection for his part in two grisly murders. This movie changed my perspective on capital punishment. I used to agree with it. Susan Sarandon does an incredible job as a nun. Her last words to Penn are moving: I want the last face you see in this world to be the face of love, so you look at me when they do this thing. I’ll be the face of love for you”
Eaten by Tyrannasaurus while Dropping a Deuce In Jurassic Park (the original film and a tremendous one at that) the slimy lawyer leaves the children unattended in a truck and goes to sit on a toilet. The huge dinosaur eats him from right off of the can. This would be a terrible way to die, but at least it’d be quick. And at least you’d be on the pot when you needed to be.
If you have any additions to the list, please make sure to add them in the comment section.