Best Film
Deaths Scenes


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

A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors (1987)

Undead serial killer Freddy Krueger (Robert Englund) continued to stalk victims during their dreams, devising a variety of ingenious killings. In this third installment of the franchise, Freddy stepped out of a teen's dream and pulled him into his own frightening nightmare.

In the stomach-turning "puppet-marionette" death scene, Krueger transformed himself into one of the small puppets of his next target - troubled and haunted teen dreamer Phillip Anderson (Bradley Gregg), a patient in the Westin Hills Psychiatric Hospital (a rehabilitation center for troubled youth).

With his razor-sharp clawed hand, Freddy made four slices in his victim's hands and feet. Then as a puppet-master, he manipulated Phillip like a human marionette. He used the ripped out muscle tendons from the length of both of his hands and feet as the control chords.

During the nightmare, the adolescent was lifted from his bed by the sinews, and walked out of his room, apparently to look like he was sleep-walking, into the hallway (the boy's nickname was "The Walker"). He was led to a window in the bell tower.

Freddy, laughing maniacally as a giant puppet-master looming above the building, let Phillip teeter there on the edge of the tower's window ledge beneath him. With his sharp steel claw, Freddy then slashed through the bloody sinews, causing Phillip to frantically fall to his death from the tower, as the other teen patients screamed and witnessed his horrible demise.

Freddy Krueger With Sleeping Victim

"Puppet-Marionette" Death Scene

A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors (1987)

In "The Dick Cavett Show" television sequence, Dick Cavett (Himself) was interviewing guest Zsa Zsa Gabor (Herself), while disturbed and institutionalized teen Jennifer Caulfield (Penelope Sudrow) was watching and nodded off to sleep.

In her nightmarish dream, the show host was abruptly transformed into Freddy. Following his inquisitive request ("Can I ask you something?"), he slashed at Gabor with the exclamation: "Who gives a f--k what you think!?"

The picture turned to static and snow, and Jennifer walked toward the screen to adjust the static-rendered picture and change the channel, hearing "One, two, Freddy's coming for you..."

Suddenly, two arms (composed of wires or circuitry and TV parts) ripped through the sides of the wall-mounted TV, grabbed her by the shoulders, and picked her up.

As a bio-mechanoid creature, Freddy's plastic-shrouded head grew and stretched out of the top of the set, with a rabbit-ear antenna mounted on top.

He taunted the screaming teen:

This is it, Jennifer. your big break in TV. Welcome to Prime Time, Bitch!

He then brutally and forcefully rammed her head face-first into the screen, causing an explosion of glass and sparks.

No Way Out (1987)

In this suspenseful political thriller, the major twist was that Pentagon naval attache Lt. Cmdr. Tom Farrell (Kevin Costner), while innocent of murdering high-class mistress-escort Susan Atwell (Sean Young), was really a KGB sleeper agent named 'Yuri' who had infiltrated the Pentagon.

Farrell was gathering intelligence from Atwell (since she was also the mistress of Secretary of Defense David Brice (Gene Hackman)) when she shockingly turned up dead.

The murder was committed during a jealous rage by the suspicious Brice who brutally slapped Susan Atwell when questioning her about another lover, and accidentally killed her. When Brice struck her after she called him a "pig," she toppled backwards from her upstairs balcony onto a glass dining room table on the first floor.

Susan Atwell's Accidental Murder

In one of the last startling scenes in the Secretary's office, Brice's scheming, yet loyal aide Scott Pritchard (Will Patton) committed suicide (he shot himself in the head) when his superior shifted the blame from himself, and tried to make him the fall guy in the murder of Atwell. (Brice was planning to claim that Pritchard was jealous of his relationship with Susan, and therefore killed her).

Scott Pritchard's (Will Patton) Suicide

The Princess Bride (1987)

Director Rob Reiner's fantasy fairytale - a hybrid of romance and swashbuckling, there was the infamous wine-poisoning "battle-of-wits" death scene, between:

  • Vizzini (Wallace Shawn), a brilliant Sicilian kidnapper
  • Westley/Dread Pirate Robert (Cary Elwes), black-masked and garbed, originally a farmboy

In a death-defying game, Westley gave Vizzini a choice between drinking from two wine goblets (one of which was purportedly poisoned) - and the object was to cleverly outguess one's opponent. One of the cups purportedly contained a dissolved dose of an odorless, tasteless iocaine powder - "among the more deadly poisons known to man."

It was part of a contest to decide the fate of kidnapped and blindfolded Princess Bride/Buttercup (Robin Wright). Westley proposed:

All right. Where is the poison? The battle of wits has begun. It ends when you decide and we both drink and find out who is right and who is dead.

Although Vizzini sneakily switched the goblets, thinking he could fool Westley when his back was turned and looking away, it was in vain. At first Vizzini laughed about and explained his cleverness after drinking from what he thought was the safe goblet:

Let's drink. Me from my glass, and you from yours. (Both drank for their goblets.) You only think I guessed wrong! That's what's so funny! I switched glasses when your back was turned! Ha ha! You fool! You fell victim to one of the classic blunders! The most famous is: Never get involved in a land war in Asia, but only slightly less well known is this: Never go in against a Sicilian when death is on the line. (He laughed boisterously.)

Then, Vizzini suddenly fell dead and slumped to his right.

It was afterwards revealed that the black-garbed man had dosed both drinks (and he was immune to the killer powder anyway), as he told the Princess Bride:

They were both poisoned. I spent the last few years building up an immunity to iocaine powder.

The Princess Bride (1987)

There was a climactic swashbuckling duel - actually a crowd-pleasing revenge-killing, between:

  • Count Tyrone Rugen (Christopher Guest), nefarious, sadistic, and six-fingered
  • Inigo Montoya (Mandy Patinkin), a flamboyant Spanish swordmaster

After Inigo had subdued all of the Count's guards, he challenged the Count to a sword duel, by repeating his familiar phrase:

Hello. My name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father, prepare to die!

But the Count fled down the hallway.

During their final encounter as they bantered with each other, the Count noted that Inigo had "an over-developed sense of vengeance. It's going to get you into trouble some day."

Even when pierced with the Count's sword, the bloody, wounded and seemingly-defeated Inigo repeated his phrase a few times - and retaliated against Rugen. He told the Count as he held his sword-point at his throat and slashed both of his cheeks:

Offer me money!... Power, too! Promise me that!...Offer me everything I ask for!

When Rugen was subdued and replied: "All that I have and more. Please...Anything you want!", Inigo growled as he made a final thrust to fatally stab Rugen in the stomach, completing his life-long desired vengeance:

I want my father back, you son-of-a-bitch!

Revenge Against the Count

RoboCop (1987)

Director Paul Verhoeven's ultra-violent, sci-fi cyborg-cop action thriller was a sleeper hit, about the transformation of a police officer - after his death at the hands of drug dealers - into a heavily armed enforcement robot.

One of the most notable scenes in RoboCop was the early scene of a product demonstration of the robotic ED (Enforcement Droid Series 209) - 209 prototype. It was a giant, awkward, top-heavy, law enforcement robot for "urban pacification" - heralded as "a self-sufficient, law-enforcement robot" and "the hot military product for the next decade."

During the experimental demonstration (of a simulated arrest and disarming procedure) in the boardroom, ED-209 gave a warning when a gun was threateningly pointed at it by innocent opponent Kinney (Kevin/Ken Page):

Please put down your weapon. You have 20 seconds to comply.

But ED-209 malfunctioned, stepped forward, growled, and warned: "You now have 15 seconds to comply," even when the gun was surrendered. After a countdown, it killed the man with a violent volley of shots, claiming it was now authorized to use "physical force" according to Penal Code 1.13, Section 9.

Bob Morton (Miguel Ferrer) shouted for assistance to the hapless volunteer: "Somebody want to call a god-damn paramedic?"

The OCP's (Omni Consumer Products) head of the board, the Old Man (Dan O'Herlihy) was upset by the failed robot, and spoke harshly to OCP Senior President Dick Jones (Ronny Cox):

The Old Man: "Dick, I'm very disappointed."
Dick: "I'm sure it's only a glitch, a temporary setback."
The Old Man: "You call this a glitch!! (pause) We're scheduled to begin construction in 6 months. Your 'temporary setback' could cost us 50 million dollars in interest payments alone!"

Death by Malfunctioning ED-209

RoboCop (1987)

Good-guy Detroit Officer Alex J. Murphy (Peter Weller) - in the line of duty in the dystopic city - suffered a prolonged, horrifying torture/murder delivered by a drug gang that was led by Clarence Boddicker (Kurtwood Smith), in an abandoned steel mill.

When Murphy insulted Boddicker: "Buddy, I think you're slime," his gang laughed in unison. Boddicker responded: "See, I got this problem. Cops don't like me, so I don't like cops." Murphy's right arm was held down by Boddicker's foot, and his hand was mercilessly blown off with a shotgun - as the villain joked about the mutilation: "Well, give the man a hand." The sadistic gang leader then told his thugs: "He's all yours."

Then Murphy's entire arm was blasted away - followed by a non-stop volley of gunshots into his body by the sadistic group. Miraculously still alive, Boddicker executed Murphy with a blast to the head.

Cop Murphy's Brutal, Sadistic and Merciless Murder

Later in the film, the recently-deceased cop was transformed into a half-human, half-robot super-cop, known as RoboCop ("The Future of Law Enforcement").

Boddicker vs. Murphy

Right Hand Blown Off

Arm Blown Off

RoboCop (1987)


In the famed Melting Man death scene, bad guy Emil Antonowsky (Paul McCrane) drove a large truck-van directly at RoboCop ("Now, I've got ya"), but was tricked when the robotic police enforcer shot his windshield, spun away, and Emil crashed into a gigantic tank labeled ominously:


Acid Bath Dowsing and Body Splattering Death

From its back doors, the van spilled out gallons of toxic waste with the melting and liquifying driver. He gasped for breath as he crawled to his feet, noting his clawed hands and disintegrating flesh. He staggered around, moaning piteously: "Help me!"

His gory death occurred when he stepped in front of Clarence Boddicker's (Kurtwood Smith) speeding vehicle -- his body splattered explosively across the hood and windshield, obscuring the driver's view and causing him to crash upside-down.

Emil Antonowsky


Crash Into Toxic Waste Tank

The Untouchables (1987)

Brian De Palma's crime-gangster film, with a literate script from David Mamet, told about the efforts of an "Untouchable" unit of federal law-enforcement agents, led by Eliot Ness (Kevin Costner) in the late 1920s and early 1930s, to seek justice against illegal bootlegging and bring down notorious Chicago gang leader Al Capone.

In a tense formal dinner party scene, gangster Al Capone (Robert De Niro) gave a length motivational speech about teamwork (and his love of baseball) to his well-dressed, tuxedo-clad associates seated around a circular table, as he walked behind them and ominously wielded a baseball bat. He lectured them on how baseball was a team sport, not a one-man show:

Capone: A man becomes preeminent, he's expected to have enthusiasms. Enthusiasms... Enthusiasms...What are mine? What draws my admiration? What is that which gives me joy?...Baseball. (He held up a baseball bat) A man, a man stands alone at a plate. This is the time for what? For individual achievement. There he stands alone. But in the field, what? PART OF A TEAM.
All: Teamwork.
Capone: Looks, throws, catches, hustles, part of one big team. Bats himself the live-long day, Babe Ruth, Ty Cobb, and so on. (laughter) If his team don't field, what is he? You follow me? No one. A sunny day, the stands are full of fans. What does he have to say? 'I'm goin' out there for myself. But, I get nowhere unless the team wins.'

All the thugs responded: "Team!"

He then brutally bashed in the brains of one of his unsuspecting cohorts with a baseball bat, hitting him four times from behind.

The man slumped over dead onto the white tablecloth as blood drained from his head, and the camera pulled back in an overhead shot.

[Note: The murder was based upon a true incident that occurred on May 7, 1929. However, in real-life, there were three victims: Capone's hitmen Albert Anselmi, John Scalise and Joseph "Hop Toad" Giunta, who were plotting against their leader. Capone battered the men, and then gunmen shot them. A conflicting account of the legendary event claimed that Tony "Joe Batters" Accardo was the one who bludgeoned the traitors, although in real-life, Capone was known to personally attack people with a bat.]

Al Capone
(Robert De Niro)

Bashed With Baseball Bat

Greatest Movie Death Scenes
(chronological by film title)
Intro | 1915-1929 | 1930-1933 | 1934-1938 | 1939 | 1940-1942 | 1943-1945 | 1946-1947 | 1948-1949
1950-1952 | 1953-1955 | 1956-1957 | 1958-1959
1960-1961 | 1962-1963 | 1964-1966 | 1967-1968 | 1969-1970
1971 | 1972 | 1973 | 1974 | 1975 | 1976 | 1977-1978 | 1979
1980 | 1981 | 1982 | 1983 | 1984 | 1985 | 1986 | 1987 | 1987 | 1988 | 1989
1990 | 1991 | 1992 | 1993 | 1994 | 1994 | 1995 | 1995 | 1996 | 1997 | 1998 | 1998 | 1999
2000-2001 | 2002 | 2003 | 2004 | 2005 | 2006 | 2007 | 2008 | 2009 | 2010 | 2011

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