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Top 10 Gruesome And Iconic Deaths In Film

John Hurt Alien

To celebrate the release of Kill Keith on DVD now we have scoured the murky world of cinematic deaths to bring you a top 10 list of the most memorable deaths in film; be they gruesome, iconic, or downright ridiculous…

10) Ashley and Ashlyn – Final Destination 3

We all know the risks of sun bedding; leathery skin and terminal illness, but when Death has a score to settle neither of these should be of great concern. In the wake of a catastrophic rollercoaster accident and lucky to be alive, Ashley and Ashlyn of Final Destination 3 take an ill-advised trip to the tanning salon. Inevitable incineration ensues; Death 1 – Tanorexics 0.

9) Wicked Witch of the West – Wizard of Oz

Begging the question “how far will a woman go to get her hands on a new pair of shoes?”, the Wicked Witch of the West defies all expectations in her quest for Dorothy’s rosy red duds. Thwarted at the last by a well-placed pale of water, the dying screams of “I’m melting!” are the roots of many a childhood nightmare.

8. Phillip – Nightmare on Elm Street 3

Choosing just one of the enumerable deaths from the Nightmare on Elm Street franchise is a tall order but we’ll stick our necks out and name the death of Philip in film 3 as its denouement. Strung up like a marionette by his own tendons, Phillip is walked to the edge of the roof of the psychiatric hospital at which he is a patient. Once on the roof, Phillip’s “strings” are cut and he’s left to plummet to his death. Gruesome but effective.

7) Scanners

We like exploding heads as much as the next guy, and no film pulls off the spectacular gore of a head explosion quite like Scanners. Accomplished by filling a latex head with dog food and rabbit livers, and shooting it from behind with a 12-gauge shotgun, the illusion of skull bone and brain matter spraying out at 360°is mesmerizing. Anybody for a 2012 re-release in 3D?

6) Joe Pasquale – Kill Keith

Much maligned in recent years, Joe Pasquale probably didn’t foresee his comic comeback as a bolshie, monkey suited self-parody. Fresh from the set of a breakfast cereal advert, Pasquale meets his maker when an unknown assassin places a box of the very cereal Joe is advertising over his head, twisting, allowing the hidden razor blades do their damage. The irony is delicious!

5) Marion Crane – Psycho

If there ever was a more iconic death in cinema we challenge you to show us. Constantly parodied in pop-culture, the murder of Marion Crane in Alfred Hitchcock’s 1960 ‘Psycho’ is indisputably one of the most recognizable moments ever committed to film.

4) Nazis – Raiders of the Lost Ark

Nobody likes a Nazi, especially not a Nazi (or two) hell bent on stealing the Ark of the Covenant. Such a shame then that the Nazis of Raiders of the Lost Ark, consumed by a burning greed for biblical artifacts, failed to read the supernatural small print. It’s hard to enjoy holy relics when spiritual demons are stripping your face of its flesh.

3) Donald Gennaro – Jurassic Park

Never turn down the opportunity to use a toilet – “you never know when you’ll see the next one” – more often than not this is a rule to live by. Unless, of course, you’re Donald Gennaro, in which case the toilet is the last place you want to be. Death in a port-a-loo may not be the most glamorous way to go, but becoming a tyrannosaurus’s entrée is cinematic gold.

2) Chrissie Watkins – Jaws

Have you ever thought how much more fun life would be if you had a personal soundtrack? Something jolly for a sunny day? Something melancholy for when you’re feeling blue? John Williams’ score for Jaws when a man-eating shark is on the loose? We’re betting Chrissie Watkins wishes she did.

1) Kane – Alien

Somebody should have warned John Hurt et al not to count their chickens before they’d hatched. Having made a remarkable recovery after a parasitic alien attached itself to his face, Kane (John Hurt) and the rest of the Nostromo crew breathed a sigh of relief only to have that relief shattered quicker that you can say “jack-in-the-box” when the aforementioned aliens offspring explodes through Kane’s chest. Lethal and messy.

Kill Keith is out NOW on DVD.

Alton started BRWC as a bit of fun, and has grown into what you see today, and he can only apologise. Some of the films he loves are Rear Window, Superman 2, The Man With The Two Brains, Clockwise, Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind, Trading Places, Stir Crazy and Punch-Drunk Love.

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    • Sledge

      Merci x

  • WTF?! Nothing at all mentioned from the Sleepaway Camp Series, Friday The 13th, OR Human Centipede????

    • Sledge

      Great suggestions!

  • Dem

    Despite anyone’s opinion of the movie, the elevator scene from the first Resident Evil should be on here. Really gruesome way to die, and I think about it Everytime I ride an elevator

    • Sledge

      Great shout!

  • phoolee

    I’m a huge Jaws fan, but Chrissy’s death was not gruesome. It was scary, but not gory. Murphy’s torture and death in Robocop was one of the most horrific things ever put on film.

    • Sledge

      Ah yes, Robocop! And Short Circuit 2! WOW

  • Phreaq

    I have an issue with the Oz reference. Assume for a moment your sister is murdered, and the killer is sporting here shoes like a rock star. Would you not want vengeance? Dorthy was in the wrong, not the witch

  • Jason

    The death of that little Cajun man (Eduard ‘Del’ Delacroix) by electric chair from The Green Mile, when that evil guard Percy doesn’t wet the sponge and causes the man to burn alive in the chair instead of dying quickly should have made the list!

  • Ernie

    I’d have to say in sheer gruesomness Final Destination takes the cake.. Between the Death
    Plan reveal deaths and the actual deaths when Death Collects it’s simply unimagineable the
    level in which many of the people die in the move series and tthe number killed has topped
    the Movie Deaths at well over 700