Best Film
Deaths Scenes


Greatest Movie Death Scenes
Title Screen
Film Title/Year and Description

Fargo (1996)

In the Coen Brothers' dark crime film, two dim-witted, small-time criminals were involved in the plot to kidnap the wife of a Twin Cities car salesman named Jerry Lundegaard (William H. Macy), but their plan went quickly awry. Carl Showalter (Steve Buscemi) and his buddy/partner Gaer Grimsrud (Peter Stormare) were forced to kill a number of innocent people along the way in Brainerd, Minnesota, including witnesses, a cop, the father-in-law Wade (Harve Presnell), and even the kidnapped wife Jean Lundegaard (Kristin Rudrud).

Shot in the face while picking up the ransom money, Carl's plan was to quickly split $80,000 with his partner, and then drive off in their Ciera, but he didn't anticipate that Grimsrud wanted to "split" the value of the car as well. Greedy beyond belief - and stupid too, Carl began bickering with the silent, single-minded giant about the Ciera. As Carl walked off from their hideout cabin toward the car to leave, Grimsrud attacked him from behind, like the proverbial Paul Bunyan, with an axe swung overhead into Carl's neck.

Investigating the case and on patrol in the area, Chief of Police Marge Gunderson (Frances McDormand) spotted the Ciera in front of the cabin. As she walked through the snow toward the cabin, she heard a loud humming and grinding sound of a power-driven tool emanating from behind the cabin - and it grew louder as she got closer. With her gun drawn, she came upon a man with his back to the camera - a red swatch of color was being sprayed onto the slushy white snow next to a power tool that groaned and roared.

At a closer distance, she realized the grotesque fact that the plaid-shirted man wearing a hat with earflaps (Grimsrud) was feeding a man's body parts (Carl's leg with a white sock) into a wood-chipper. Above the sputtering of the machine as he strained to push one leg further in with a log, he heard her call out: "Police!" He turned, stared at her with a grimace, tossed the log at her, and fled toward the lake. She trained her gun at him, fired and missed, and then struck him in the leg. He fell to the snowy surface, grasping at his wounded leg.

As she drove her mute and motionless prisoner away in the back seat, Gridsum displayed no reaction to Marge's emotional contemplations about the entire fiasco. Uncomprehending and truly perplexed, she lectured him and scoffed at the kidnappers' senseless and greedy motivations ("for a little bit of money") that would lead to violence and murder:

So that was Mrs. Lundegaard on the floor in there. And I guess that was your accomplice in the wood chipper. And those three people in Brainerd. And for what? For a little bit of money. There's more to life than a little money, you know. Don't you know that? And here ya are, and it's a beautiful day. Well, I just don't understand it.

From Dusk Till Dawn (1996)

Director Robert Rodriguez' movie began as an action-crime film and ended up as a vampire horror film.

Deranged murderer, bank robber and psychopathic rapist Richie Gecko (screenwriter Quentin Tarantino) and his more level-headed brother Seth (George Clooney), wanted by the FBI, fled to Mexico after hijacking an RV driven by widowed pastor Jacob Fuller (Harvey Keitel) with his family of two children.

Richie died in a Mexican trucker nightclub (called the "Titty Twister"). His death occurred when exotic, maroon bikini-clad dancer Santanico Pandemonium (Salma Hayek), the strip club's star performer, morphed into a vampirish creature when she became lustfully excited by the sight of blood dripping from his injured hand.

Santanico Pandemonium Morphing into an Undead Vampire

She jumped on his back, and used her fangs to bite into his neck. Later, when she held down Seth Gecko with her foot, she was killed when he shot down a metal chandelier above her to impale her.

All of the other dancers, band members, and employees were also revealed to be vicious, blood-sucking vampires.

After he fell to the ground and bled to death, Richie was briefly resurrected as a zombie. He had to be killed permanently by his brother with a wooden table-leg stake (or pool cue) thrust into his heart.

The Rock (1996)

In this suspenseful action film by director Michael Bay, the last remaining, traitorous renegade Marine Captain Frye (Gregory Sporleder) died on Alcatraz Island (known as "The Rock").

During hand-to-hand combat, Frye was fighting against and strangling FBI chemical weapons expert Dr. Stanley Goodspeed (Nicolas Cage).

Goodspeed pushed a round green sphere of deadly VX nerve gas into Frye's mouth, and then punched him in the jaw ("Take that, you f--k!").

The jab insured that the orb was broken open - with horrific results as he both choked, frothed and foamed at the mouth, and was poisoned at the same time, as his skin bubbled and melted off.

(William Shakespeare's) Romeo + Juliet (1996)

Australian writer/director Baz Luhrmann's hip, retro-futuristic version of Shakespeare's tragic play told about star-crossed lovers from different families:

  • Juliet Capulet (17 year-old Claire Danes)
  • Romeo Montague (Leonardo DiCaprio)

The dramatic tragedy featured a flamboyant modernizing with gang warfare between the Montague and Capulet Boys, guns, MTV-style editing and filming, a rock soundtrack, the crucial balcony scene followed by a plunge into a swimming pool for the couple, and other updatings.

In the climactic double-suicide scene at film's end, the lovely Juliet regained consciousness on a flower-strewn altar lit by 2,000 candles just as Romeo was poisoning himself. He thought she was dead in the Capulet vault, although her death by poison was only faked. She noticed his small poison vial and remarked: "What's here? Poison? Drunk all, and left no friendly drop to help me after?" Hoping to taste a drop of two of poison from his lips, she kissed him before he expired.

She sobbed, her cries echoing in the immense chamber.

Juliet's Death

She noticed Romeo's semi-automatic hand-gun, picked it up, and cocked its trigger. She placed the gun barrel to the left side of her head and pulled the trigger - to be together with Romeo and join him forever. The scene ended with a montage of their loving relationship seen earlier.

Romeo's Death

Scream (1996)

# 7

Director Wes Craven's slasher film opened as all-American girl, sweatered Casey Becker (Drew Barrymore in a cameo) was alone preparing Jiffy Pop pop-corn to watch a video at home when she received an initially playful phone call. She was asked a trivia question: what was her favorite scary movie? - and she replied Halloween (1978). Shortly afterwards, the repeated terrifying calls turned obscene, threatening and ugly:

No, you listen, you little bitch! You hang up on me again, I'll gut you like a fish, understand?...Can you handle that... Blondie?

When she rushed around to lock all the doors, and demanded to know what the caller wanted, the caller simply replied: "To see what your insides look like." When the doorbell rang and she said: "Who's there?" the caller reminded her: "You should never say 'Who's there?' Don't you watch scary movies? It's a death wish."

She then threatened that her boyfriend would be arriving soon: "He's big and he plays football, and he'll kick the s--t out of you!" She was instructed to turn on the patio lights, where she saw her bruised boyfriend Steve (Kevin Patrick Walls) tied up and gagged with duct tape across his mouth.

During a game of "movie trivia," the phone-caller asked two questions:

"Name the killer in Halloween?" (She answered correctly)
"Name the killer in Friday the 13th?" (She answered incorrectly. Her answer: "Jason")

She was corrected with the proper answer: " should know Jason's mother, Mrs. Voorhees, was the original killer. Jason didn't show up until the sequel. I'm afraid that was a wrong answer." Her boyfriend was killed for her wrong answer.

Outside, Casey was chased across the lawn by Ghostface (wearing a Halloween costume), stabbed in the upper chest, choked, startlingly murdered on her front porch with a few more fatal stab wounds, and then hung from the front yard's tree for her parents to view.

Casey's Stabbing and Hanging Death

Scream (1996)

Also in the teen slasher film was the scene of the murder of busty and feisty Tatum Riley (Rose McGowan) during a party when she went to the garage refrigerator for beer ("beer wench").

She was locked in the garage when the squeaky kitchen door slowly swung shut behind her. The spooked cat exited through the garage door's cat flap. Then, the lights went out, and when she knocked on the door and called out: "Hey, s--t-heads!", no one answered.

She activated the remote garage door opener, but the door stopped half-way up, reversed direction and closed before she could get out. Tatum spun around to see the ghost-faced killer confronting her at the kitchen door. She asked the costumed figure: "Is that you, Randy?" He shook his head negatively from side to side. When there was silence, she joked: "Cute. And what movie is this from? I SPIT ON YOUR GARAGE! Lose the outfit. If Sidney sees it, she'll flip." She then asked: "Oh, you wanna play psycho-killer? Can I be the helpless victim?" The figure nodded. She continued: "Okay, let's see. 'No, please don't kill me, Mr. Ghostface. I want to be in the sequel.'" She tried to sidestep Ghostface, but he blocked her and wouldn't let her pass - as she forcefully said: "Cut, Casper, that's a wrap." He drew a sharp knife and sliced into her left forearm. She staggered backwards, fled, and bashed the killer in the face with the top freezer door.

She threw beer bottles at the figure, then raced for the cat door. She dove to the floor and wedged her upper body through, including her head, shoulders, and torso, but then became stuck halfway through. The figure reached for the garage opener switch and activated it. As the door began to rise open, she kicked and jerked wildly as the door took her upward. Her arms and legs kicked frantically as she tried to free herself, but it continued to carry her up.

Tatum's Garage Door Crushing

Her neck was snapped and head was crushed when the garage door reached the rafters.

Scream (1996)

In the film's conclusion, the psychopathic killer Ghostface was revealed as two teens (using a voice-changing device):

  • Billy Loomis (Skeet Ulrich), the psychotic boyfriend of heroine Sidney Prescott (Neve Campbell)
  • Stuart "Stu" Macher (Matthew Lillard), Billy's flunky best friend

When Stu tackled and wrestled Sidney, he held her down while claiming: "I always had a thing for ya, Sid." To retaliate, she bit his hand and grabbed a vase from a TV cabinet and smashed it over his head. She then toppled a heavy TV set (suitably playing Halloween (1978)) onto him, mocking him: "In your dreams!" The television both crushed him and electrocuted him as his body convulsively jerked in spasms.

In another room, wounded film buff Randy Meeks (Jamie Kennedy) regained consciousness and joked that he was still alive due to his virginal status ("I thought I'd never be so happy to be a virgin"). Suddenly, a bloodied and unconscious Billy also revived, punched Randy in the face, and lunged at Sidney.

He attempted to strangle her to death, like he had murdered her mother a year earlier ("Say hello to your mother!"). As he raised his knife to kill her, tabloid TV newswoman Gale Weathers (Courtney Cox) shot him and he was presumed dead.

As the three survivors staggered to their feet and looked down at his body, Randy cautioned:

Careful, this is the moment when the supposedly dead killer comes back to life for one last scare.

Billy predictably came to life, but Sidney decisively and vengefully shot him in the forehead. Sidney added: "Not in my movie."

Billy's Death

Stuart's Death

Star Trek: First Contact (1996)

This was the 8th feature film in the long-running franchise-series, and the first without the stars from the original. The film's plot surrounded the efforts of the USS Enterprise's crew to save their future (after time-traveling back to the 21st century) from the threat of conquering cybernetic Borg forces

In the film's conclusion, the Borg Queen (Alice Krige) confronted the USS Enterprise Captain Jean-Luc Picard (Patrick Stewart). He had previously been a cybernetic Borg six years earlier, but had escaped assimilation.

She told him: "You were very close, you and I...Welcome home, Locutus." He offered himself in exchange for captured android Lt. Cmdr. Data's (Brent Spiner) freedom ("I will take my place at your side"), but the android refused to leave ("I do not wish to go"). When commanded by the Queen, Data deactivated the self-destruct sequence, entered encryption codes (to allow her to control the vessel), and then aimed the Enterprise's quantum torpedoes at the Phoenix during its historic warp-drive flight (just before it activated warp speed) -- but the missiles missed their target.

The loyal android had deceived the Borg Queen - Data ironically warned her: "Resistance is futile" (the Borg's catchphrase) and then killed her with flesh-eating vapor-gas from a smashed coolant tube.

When she fell into the corrosive gas, it liquefied her organic parts on contact, rendering her into a twitching, lifeless skull and spinal cord. The remainder of the Borgs under her command were also neutralized when she perished.

Picard went over to her metal-skeletal remains, pulled off the upper part of her skull and spinal cord, and snapped her spinal cord with his bare hands (causing the flickering red lights to be extinguished).

Greatest Movie Death Scenes
(chronological by film title)
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