12 Most Spectacular Villain Deaths - Mania.com

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12 Most Spectacular Villain Deaths

An explosion of evil movie goo

By William Pichkan     March 02, 2010

12 Most Spectacular Villain Deaths
© Mania/Bob Trate


Watching villains get their comeuppance in films is often very pleasurable.. The more violent, degrading, messy, and justifying, the better. Some famous, some gruesome, some awesomely silly, they all conjure up glee within the viewer's depraved psychological pleasures in the Id's sense of vengeance. 

12.Cohaagen Total Recall

What Happens To Him: Stuck in a different atmosphere without oxygen to breath, Cohaagen slowly asphyxiates to death, with whatever air that was in him to begin with decompressing out... leaving him a bubbly, veiny state, complete with eyes and tongue popping out of his head.
Why It's On The List: Nasty! A fitting word to describe this death. Cheesy dummy/make-up effects aside. That shit looks agonizing.    Sickening... Awesome!! Next!!

11.Bennett - Commando

What Happens To Him: After already being electrocuted (yawn), Bennett threatens to shoot Ahnold between the bawlz. Ahnold, however, easily breaks off a solid steel pipe, and throws it like a javelin through Bennett's chain mail shirt, his torso, and half an inch of solid steel to a steam heater/duct/generator/whatever. We're then treated to the awesome shot of Bennett strung up on said heater/whatever with steam rising out of the other, open end of the pipe.
Why It's On The List: Another villain to get it from Ahnold, with a spectacular visual. Sure, Bennett's former circular innards should block the steam escaping out the other end... but mere technicalities. One can imagine how incredibly painful the burning heat must've felt... along with the stabbing pain and missing circle of chest of course. 
Honorable Mention: The Actor playing Bennett, Vernon Wells', other cool deaths in The Road Warrior, and Innerspace. He's an unsung villain in creative gruesome deaths. It was tempting to make 11 a three-way tie.

10.Frank Nitti - The Untouchables

What Happens To Him: Thrown off the roof of a tall building, and lands through the roof of the car.
Why It's On The List: The painful landing, typically stylized filmmaking from De Palma and Costner's well said parting words to give Nitti something to think about make this one a winner! In real life Frank Nitti was usually behind a desk, rumored to give orders to subordinates to do the violence for him. De Palma amped him up about 100percent and made him a slimy, Untouchable's murdering menace, and gave him a justifiable death in return. 
Honorable Mention: Milo, The Last Boy Scout. Falling into helicopter blades is a cool, messy way to go too, but just misses the cut since it's easier to sit through The Untouchables to get to Nitti's death, as opposed to sitting through “The Last Boy Scout” to get to Milo's.

9.Brandt - Equilibrium

What Happens To Him: Brandt, in so many words, gets his face sliced off.
Why It's On The List: Great way to go. It's always nice to see an inventive and awesomely violent death shot with elegance and cleanliness. The camera doesn't give us the juicy innards details. Instead we're treated, first, by the “Fist of the North Star” like pause, where the villain is unaffected for a brief moment, then the artistic silhouette of Brandt's face accommodatingly sliding off his head for the viewer's pleasure. No blood, no graphic shots of brain, but still a cool and violent visual. A death-craving germaphobe's dream!

8.Gollum - The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King

What Happens To Him: Falls down a volcano into the burning hot magma down below and promptly melts.
Why It's On The List: Another classic falling death, which adds another popular means of demise in our list, melting. In the book, we only read Gollum's final “My Precious” as he falls, without any details in the landing. Peter Jackson had no intention of denying movie goers those details, and it was the right decision. Seeing Gollum's/Smeagol's addiction and devotion to keep the ring out of the lava as long as possible, despite the pain he must've been feeling, is the final somber note to the tragic character. Sure, you can make the case that Smeagol wasn't a villain...but Gollum was! 

7.Reinhardt - Blade II

What Happens To Him: Similar to the sequence in Equilibrium, the hero, in this case Blade, puts away all the worthless minions in his way before getting to said villain in question, and slices him to pieces. This time, with Reinhardt being cut straight up the middle of his torso. 
Why It's On The List: We get a wonderful, detailed look at the anatomy of Reinhardt, in halves anyway. Plus, while more graphic then Brandt's death, there isn't much of a bloody mess to clean up yet again, for Reinhardt dries up to ash like any good dead vampire; any decent fan will clean that up in a jiffy.

6.Yellow Bastard - Sin City

What Happens To Him: First things first, he gets a knife in the sternum, which naturally must've hurt in itself, but that's for starters. Now comes the fun stuff; Yellow Bastard's second acquired equipment slowly ripped off. Then his head is continuously bashed in until there's nothing left but bits, pieces and a yellow blood spot.
Why It's On The List: Yeesh... Painful Painful Painful. There probably wasn't a man not cringing while Bastard's nuts were ripped off. That part alone gets this death on this list, but the head bashing afterwards is a nice continuation of a spectacular villain death. Naturally, he was dead after hit to the head five or six or so, but still, it's the principle of the thing. What a yellow, liquidy death. Superb!
Honorable Mention: Kevin from the same flick. But since Kevin had a “moral victory” in not giving Marv the satisfaction, it's off the list, although that was a doosy too. Jackie Boy's was also original, but not near the other two deaths.

5.Hans Gruber - Die Hard

What Happens To Him: First getting shot in the chest/stomach (yawn). Then dropped out of the window from high up the Nakatomi Building.
Why It's On The List: One of the best falling to their death scenes Ever!! First, because it's Alan Rickman, nuff said. Second, it isn't as violent or as messy as the others on this list, but it's execution is brilliant: the angle, the slow motion, the music, Rickman's face during the descent, it's all wonderfully balanced.   You really want to know what's in Gruber's head as he's falling (besides the initial “Oh shit!”). Seeing the fall in real time from Reginald VelJohnson's point of view, and hearing the impact is the icing.   Deputy Police Chief Dwayne T. Robinson almost puts a buzz kill on the whole thing by hoping that it isn't a hostage, but thankfully the scene is too awesome to be buzz killed.
*Watch It...In Reverse!

4.Antonowsky - Robocop

Why It's On The List: Gets exposed and drenched to a high quality of acid, and becomes a walking freak for the rest of his days... or at least until he's hit by a car and killed.
Why It's On The List: Paul Verhoeven's most referenced death, which is saying a lot.   So satisfyingly hilarious to see him become a melting, gooey freak, looking like John Merrick or a Toxic Avenger. His remains splattered on the windshield after being hit by the car is a wonderfully gooey and wet mess. Lovely, lovely! 

3.Thunder - Big Trouble in Little China

What Happens To Him: The site of his master dead is too much to bear, so in total aggression he blows himself up until he explodes.
Why It's On The List: The most popular moment in the entire film; the clip of it is even on its IMDB page. Disgusting, and humorous, what's not to love? The moment is incredibly entertaining, it practically demands the audiences’ attention in its aggressive execution. A nice extra touch, aside from the dummy bubbly/balloon skin, bulging eyes, and shooting steam, is the green blood/organs that splatter all over the place after the pop.

2.Mola Ram - Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom

What Happens To Him: Mola falls down a cliff, hitting and scraping the edge while he lands into a river of waiting and feasting crocodiles.
Why It's On The List: Another classic falling death! A wonderful collective moment of following Mola down in regular time, and the brief scraping against the cliff for some extra measures of pain. Finally, and most importantly, the pleasure of seeing the crocodiles down below feasting on Mola and his clan is always fun to watch. The humor of the crocs rolling around in delight is a nice addition to the scene, as well as an extra metaphorical F.U. to Mola Rum and his minions. Chilled Mola brains!
*No straight through videos of it on YouTube, but here it is briefly in Lego form! 3:26-3:33


1.The Shark= Jaws

What Happens To It: Sheriff Brody sticks a pressurized air tank into the Shark's mouth, then promptly shoots it, blowing up the shark’s head to bits.
Why It's On The List: Sure, people love to point out how impossible it is to stick an oxygen tank into a sharks mouth (all the while praising other unrealistic deaths featured in this very same list). However, it's still one of the most relieving deaths of a villain in movie history. The audience shares Sheriff Brody's frustration when he yells “Blow up!”, and just wants the damn thing dead already. Then, “Smile you son of a bi..” BOOM! The shark is fish sticks. Seeing the shark's carcass (and Quint's, technically) fly everywhere, is an incredible weight lifted. Only the after effects of eating too much Raisin Bran can equal the transition from frustrating anguish to joyous relief that the shark's death emotes. Seeing it's headless, blood flowing corpse sink down is an extra treat for the viewers. Another spot in the top two for Spielberg. Say what you will, he knows how to kill things.
*Best Quality on Youtube, sadly ;-/
Ah, how we enjoy watching bad guys fall? You should check out 8 Gratuitously Sadistic Guilty Pleasure Movie Moments. Guaranteed more of the movie violence we as a numb society can tolerate. If these movie deaths seem strange, then try  5 WTF Moments In Movies.

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Showing items 1 - 10 of 39
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egoist 3/2/2010 2:30:45 AM

Darth Maul comes to mind off the top of my head.

middlerealm 3/2/2010 3:14:49 AM

I thought the Emperor in Jedi might have made it. Maybe not spectacular by todays standards, but back in the day, it was awsome... all the force lightning, the big energy burst.

Here's another nasty one... Cyrus the Virus from Con Air... can't be too much fun having your head mushed like that... and he saw it coming too!

dbrock06 3/2/2010 3:48:34 AM

What about Nicholson as the Joker in the michael Keaton Batman movie? 

Dazzler 3/2/2010 4:30:05 AM

Green Goblin death is tops on my list. 


jppintar326 3/2/2010 4:38:22 AM

What about the shark in Jaws 2 (electocuted by a power line) or Wesley Snipes in Demolition Man (cryogenically frozen then beheaded)?  There were a lot of good villain deaths in Die Hard 2 (remember the machine in the luggage area or the icicle or blowing up all the villains at once on the plane).  There is also the surfboard beheading in Lethal Weapon 2 or the decompression chanmber in Licence to Kill (remember what to do with the money inside: "Launder it.") . The penguin pallbearers for Penguin in Batman Returns.  There are so many that I will forget at least one.

Darkknight2280 3/2/2010 4:40:53 AM

You should have included Arnolds line with Bennetts death "Let of some steam Bennett!" Sure that movie was full of famous Arnold one liners. I also line "Sully, remember when i said i'd kill you last? I lied"

Wiseguy 3/2/2010 4:53:20 AM

Viktor in Underworld was pretty damn good. When I first saw it I didn't even know what happened til half his face slides off

Marlow in 30 Days of Night, a fist through the skull

All the deaths in Kill Bill

middlerealm 3/2/2010 4:58:42 AM

Forgot about Snipes in Demolition Man... that was so cool.. (pun intended!) What about the T1000 in T2? May not be bloody, but was pretty stonking on the big screen. I kinda liked the 'ex-cop cop-killers' bit at end of Lethal Weapon 3 too, when Riggs shot through the bulldozer blade. Long Kiss Goodnight, when the bomb went of right under the bad guy... There are too many to remember em all

littlemikey979 3/2/2010 6:59:40 AM

"I dont think he gonna stop"....lol

What about in 13 Ghosts when the lawyer(i think he was the lawyer) gets cut in half by the glass door and we see his front side slide down. 

ElBaz13 3/2/2010 7:13:42 AM

Nothing beats Charles Venarius' (Christopher George) in Enter the Ninja.

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