Best Film
Deaths Scenes


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

The Adventures of Baron Munchausen (1988, UK)

This UK adventure fantasy-drama from director Terry Gilliam was the third film in a trilogy, following Time Bandits (1981) and Brazil (1985). In the tale, a theatre production was being held to 18th century theatre-goers in a war-torn European city under siege by the Turks, about the fantastic exploits of German aristocrat Baron Münchhausen.

Suddenly, a man stepped forward, claiming he was the elderly Baron Karl Frederich Hieronymous von Munchausen (John Neville) - a character known for telling tall stories and embellishing the facts. He asserted that he wanted to tell the 'real' story of his life and travels - seen in flashback.

The film ended with his own shooting "death" or assassination by city official "The Right Ordinary Horatio Jackson" (Jonathan Pryce) during a victory parade.

His life's soul was taken by the Grim Reaper 'doctor,' and then the Baron's body was lowered into a grave.

The twist was that the Baron's fabricated tale was also a made-up "story within a story" - and his death was only for theatrical purposes. It was the final scene of another tall-tale staged story the fabulist was telling the audience as he appeared back on stage:

And that was only one of the many occasions on which I met my death, an experience which I don't hesitate strongly to recommend!

Sally Salt (Sarah Polley) - the young daughter of the theater company's leader, remarked incredulously: "It wasn't just a story, was it?"

In the finale, the Baron rode off onto a faraway hillside on his horse Bucephalus, saluted the town, and then cryptically disappeared.

The "Death" of the Baron

Sally Salt (Sarah Polley): "It wasn't just a story, was it?"

Baron Riding Off

The Blob (1988)

In this remake of the original 1958 film with Steve McQueen, George Ruit (Clayton Landey), a diner kitchen worker-handyman, attempted to unclog a sink drain.

When suctioning the drain with a small toilet plunger didn't work, George stuck his left hand deep down into the drain's piping. He noticed some slimy substance on his fingers ("What is this?").

Suddenly, spray came out of the drain hole and his entire head was grabbed by an amoeba-like, amorphous pseudopod.

It sucked him, face first, into the drain, as his legs were upended and he was kicking into the air above the sink.

Screams from a shocked waitress brought others into the kitchen to view the horror. The pipe under the sink bulged as he was squeezed through the small opening and disappeared.

George Grabbed by the Blob From Inside Sink

Head First Into Drain

Die Hard (1988)

# 4

In this action thriller, the first of the franchise, German terrorist bad-guy Hans Gruber (Alan Rickman) was the mastermind behind the robbery of the 40 story high-rise Nakatomi Plaza Towers in Los Angeles. He led a group of heavily-armed terrorists who invaded the company's Christmas Eve Party, and attempted to steal $640 million in negotiable bearer bank bonds inside the building's vault.

There was an exciting and climactic confrontation between bloodied off-duty policeman John McClane (Bruce Willis) and Gruber in the high-rise. With a hidden gun taped to his back, McClane shot Gruber in the shoulder - the bullet also shot and cracked through the window behind him.

The injured Gruber stumbled backwards and crashed through the broken pane of glass while holding onto Holly Gennero/McClane's (Bonnie Bedelia) arm and metal watchband, nearly dragging her with him.

McClane rushed forward and grabbed her, released or unclasped the band, and watched as Gruber, still threatening with a gun in his right hand, unforgettably fell to his death 30 stories below.

Deputy Police Chief Dwayne T. Robinson (Paul Gleason) watched and commented from the ground below:

Oh, I hope that's not a hostage.

Evil Dead Trap (1988, Jp.) (aka Shiryo No Wana)

This slasher/gore Japanese horror film, directed by Toshiharu Ikeda,

The story was about a young, late-night tabloid TV program host named Nami Tsuchiya (Miyuki Ono) and her team of co-workers who investigated the source of a mysterious snuff video she had received in the mail. A tied-up, tortured woman chained to a wall was sliced up with a knife and had her eyeball gouged out. Three of Nami's colleagues and another male went on a search for the murder's location:

  • Masako (Aya Katsuragi)
  • Rya (Eriko Nakagawa) - lassoed and strangled with a razor sharp wire around her neck
  • Rei (Hitomi Kobayashi) - impaled by three separate large steel blades that emerged from the floor and wall
  • Kondô (Masahiko Abe), a nerdy, male assistant - decapitated off-screen

They came upon a large gated, and abandoned factory warehouse, which they discovered was full of lethal booby traps devised by a raincoat-clad, masked maniac. The tensest scene featured a very ingenious, imaginative, elaborate and creative Saw-like death sequence.

Female victim Masako was bound and gagged in front of a deadly booby-trap contraption: a steel wire was attached to a doorknob and then to the trigger of a cross-bow. The target of the cross-bow was Masako.

When the door was opened by Nami who was attempting to rescue her, the device was activated. However, the arrow barely missed Masako's head on her right side.

But as Nami advanced into the room, there was a second booby-trap: a trip-wire at shin height.

She set off another wire which sent a large machete blade swinging down into the left side of Masako's head.

Nami ultimately discovered that the killer was Hideki (voice of Mari Shimizu), a small, fetus-like man conjoined to his fully grown, naive twin-brother.

Rei Impaled

Booby-Trap Trigger Mechanism

Female Victim Masako

Arrow Missed

Blade Struck Masako's Head

A Short Film About Killing (1988, Pol.) (aka Krótki Film o Zabijaniu)

# 35

This was the fifth part ("Thou Shalt Not Kill") of Krzysztof Kieslowski's 10-part Decalogue - each episode was based on one of the Ten Commandments. The film (with sepia tones and the use of filters to create dark edges) was intended as an indictment of capital punishment, and it succeeded in having an effect upon the legal system in Poland.

The senseless, unprovoked and violent murder (a lengthy drawn-out scene lasting about seven minutes, similar to the excruciating death scene in Hitchcock's Torn Curtain (1966)), was committed by taciturn 20 year-old loner Lazar Jacek (Miroslaw Baka). He randomly and brutally garrotted an unlikeable, middle-aged taxi driver named Rekowski (Jan Tesarz). On a muddy country road, the passenger strained as he used a rope to strangle the driver from the backseat.

The camera lingered on the victim, who grabbed his throat and attempted to break free as he was suffocating. His right bare foot also twitched from its shoe. He was able to honk the horn to signal help from others, but a horse in a field was the sole observer.

After tying his rope around the seat's head-rest, Jacek then entered through the passenger side of the car to beat the taxi driver and prevent him from signaling for help. He also watched as the driver struggled to dislodge the rope around his neck, and then mercilessly beat him in the head. The man's bloody head was wrapped with a blanket, before his limp body was dragged from the car down a hill to the side of a marsh.

At water's edge, Jacek noticed his victim was still alive. He retrieved a large heavy boulder and after a moment's hesitation, smashed it down on the driver's head to silence him forever.

Attempted Strangulation from Backseat of Taxi

Head Smashing With Boulder

Who Framed Roger Rabbit (1988)

In the finale of the live-action/animated comedy film, corrupt and villainous Judge Doom (Christopher Lloyd) was flattened into a black-shaped pancake by a steamroller, but there were no blood and guts. The edges of the black figure curled up with a creak and the whole flattened figure peeled itself off the floor and wobbled to its feet. Eddie Valiant (Bob Hoskins) exclaimed:

"Holy smoke, he's a Toon!"

The corrupted adult Toon staggered over to a nearby oxygen tank, stuck the oxygen valve in his mouth and re-inflated himself. His prosthetic eyeballs popped out and he glared back at Eddie with evil, hideously red Toon eyes. Paralyzed, Eddie recognized the murderer of his brother Teddy when Doom talked in a high-pitched squeak:

"Remember me, Eddie? When I killed your brother, I talked just like this."

[Note: Doom was also responsible for the deaths of Marvin Acme (Stubby Kaye), and betrayed R.K. Maroon (Alan Tilvern) - the head of "Maroon Cartoon" Studios.]

Doom was propelled on his yellow shoe slinky-springs toward Valiant, and then he reactivated the Cloverleaf Industries' Dipmobile. The Dip sprayer was intended to extinguish the lives of all the Toons.

As he and Eddie struggled some more, the Dip spray went wild as it got closer and closer to Roger Rabbit and Jessica still hanging from a hook in the direct path of the spray. With his fist transformed into a Toon Anvil, Doom punched Eddie with a bone-crushing blow. Then he threatened Eddie with his fist in the shape of a Toon Buzz-Saw and glared with wild Toon eyes. With a last ditch effort and every inch of remaining strength, Eddie reached for an Acme Gag Knockout Mallet (the one that the detectives played with during the murder investigation), pointed it toward the release lever on the Dip truck, and pulled the trigger.

The boxing glove accordioned out of the mallet, punched the release lever, and activated the Dip spray gun - sending a gushing flood of Dip onto Judge Doom. The floor of the factory was completely covered in deadly greenish Dip. The evil Toon melted and dissolved in his own Dip in excruciating pain [a scene that was a direct reference to the Wicked Witch's death in The Wizard of Oz (1939)]. As he disappeared into the Dip, he cried: "I'm melting, melting."

Judge Doom's Melting Death by Dip Machine

The pressurized spray of Dip was also poised to strike the two Toons, but the spray on the cannon suddenly died and the pressure meter on the Dipmobile tank dropped. The Dip spray dried up in a harmless dribble - the tank was EMPTY after dousing Doom.

Lieutenant Santino (Richard LeParmentier) was told about how Doom was the triple murderer, and he responded with his epitaph: "That's what I call some seriously-disturbed Toon."

Judge Doom Flattened By Steamroller

Judge Doom Revealed to Be a Toon (and a Murderer)

Greatest Movie Death Scenes
(chronological by film title)
Intro | 1915-1929 | 1930-1933 | 1934-1938 | 1939 | 1940-1942 | 1943-1945 | 1946-1947 | 1948-1949
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