Best Film
Deaths Scenes


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

American History X (1998)

Director Tony Kaye's controversial drama told the story of two brothers living in Venice Beach, California, and the results of racial hatred, intolerance and violence:

  • Derek Vinyard (Edward Norton), a violent, prejudiced, racist, white-supremacist Neo-Nazi LA skinhead
  • Daniel "Danny" Vinyard (Edward Furlong), Derek's younger brother who aspired to be like his older brother

Derek followed the advice of older white supremacist mentor Cameron Alexander (Stacey Keach) in order to bring hate and evil terror to non-whites and other minorities in his beach neighborhood of Venice, California.

Although the film opened with Derek getting out of jail (after serving a three-year jail term for killing two car thieves) with changed ways of thinking and distasteful of his past, his skinhead teenaged brother, a young skinhead, idolized him and was becoming a neo-Nazi himself.

The film's flashbacks (in gritty monochromatic black and white) showed Derek's earlier corruption as he became a skinhead leader (with a shaved head, tattoos, and a goatee) who legitimized hate-filled violence.

In the intense film's most infamous brutal and painful-to-watch scene, the menacing, tattooed Derek assaulted two black gang members whom he caught breaking into the truck his dead father had left him. He shot and killed one man, and then wounded a second one. Acting righteously yet viciously, he forced the wounded black car thief Lawrence (Antonio David Lyons) to bite down on the sidewalk curb. He then stomped on the man's head to snap his neck in half - a bone-crunching act to teach him a "real lesson." After killing him, he spit on his body.

He was arrested for the two killings and sentenced to three years in prison for voluntary manslaughter. His younger brother watched in horror as Derek smiled and was taken away after committing the curb-stomping.

Stomped Mouth Into Sidewalk Curb

American History X (1998)

Ex-con and ex-Neo Nazi white supremacist Derek Vinyard (Edward Norton) cradled the bloodied body of his dead brother Danny (Edward Furlong) in his arms in a school bathroom, after he had been shot three times in front of a bank of urinals by another black student.

A reformed Derek realized that he had been unable to prevent his younger sibling from going down a similarly violent life path ("Oh God, what did I do?").

Danny provided the narration for the film's concluding voice-over, reading part of the conclusion of his paper for his "American History X" class, quoting in part from the conclusion of Abraham Lincoln's First Inaugural Address, as images of a Venice Beach sunset were shown:

So I guess this is where I tell you what I learned - my conclusion, right? Well, my conclusion is: Hate is baggage. Life's too short to be pissed off all the time. It's just not worth it. Derek says it's always good to end a paper with a quote. He says someone else has already said it best. So if you can't top it, steal from them and go out strong. So I picked a guy I thought you'd like.

'We are not enemies, but friends. We must not be enemies. Though passion may have strained, it must not break our bonds of affection. The mystic chords of memory will swell when again touched, as surely they will be, by the better angels of our nature.'

"We Must Not Be Enemies"

Venice Beach Sunset

Armageddon (1998)

Director Michael Bay's dramatic sci-fi action/adventure epic was a thrilling disaster film about efforts to prevent a huge asteroid from colliding with Earth (it was "a global killer - nothing would survive, not even bacteria").

An expert member of a deep-core drilling team, Harry Stamper (Bruce Willis) died a self-sacrificial death when he remained behind to manually trigger a nuclear bomb explosion within the threatening asteroid, to destroy it and save the world from extinction.

When the crew had randomly drawn straws to determine who would stay to press the button, Harry's buddy driller AJ Frost (Ben Affleck) was selected. But Harry took his place - he ripped out AJ's oxygen airhose and forced him back into the hatch/airlock of the shuttle. He told him to take care of his daughter Grace Stamper (Liv Tyler) after he returned to Earth in the Freedom space shuttle:

You go take care of my little girl now. That's your job. Always thought of you as a son. Always. But, I'd be damn proud to have you marry Grace.

In the shuttle at the last moment, AJ had confidence in his pal's ability to blow up the asteroid and divert it:

Harry'll do it. I know it...He doesn't know how to fail.

As he pushed the button, Harry closed his eyes (at the same time his daughter shut her eyes) and instantaneously experienced a last-second-of-life recollection of his daughter's life. The camera dove into the darkness of her retina and into the blackness of space for a few brief images of his daughter at various stages of her life - and merging with her, before he was selflessly blown to bits when the asteroid was detonated.

Harry Stamper's Montage Shared With His Daughter
at the Instant of His Death

Blade (1998)

This was the first film in the Blade series, a popular group of violent action-vampire movies, which starred Wesley Snipes as a human-vampire hybrid, based on the Marvel Comics hero. The visually-stylish, action-horror-thriller by director Stephen Norrington was a combination action film, horror film, and superhero fantasy film. Non-stop noisy action and violence, gun and swordplay, glossy production design, and special effects were the hallmarks of this trashy, gory vampire film. The two main combatants were:

  • Deacon Frost (Stephen Dorff), an arch enemy, punk biker-style vampire leader
  • Blade (Wesley Snipes) - African-American, a 'daywalker' - a superstrong, super-human, half-vampire, half-man vampire hunter (or "suckhead"), who had special powers due to his possession of vampire blood; martial arts-skilled Blade sought revenge against all blood-sucking vampires for the death of his vampire-bitten mother at the time of his birth.

The opening scene was set in the late 1990s in a secret, after-hours, throbbing and pulsing rave dance hall in Los Angeles, owned by vampire leader Frost. As the revelers partied and the music intensified, blood was sprayed out from the sprinklers above onto the people - most of whom were vampires. Blade (with a Grace Jones hairdo) made his fabulous first appearance - seen from ground level as the crowd parted in front of him - wearing a black leather trench coat, leather vest (black body armor), and black sunglasses. Blood-drenched vampires backed up but flared their teeth at him, as he raised his shotgun (with silver-filled shotgun shells) and blasted them into oblivion.

In the film's ending, a climactic sword and martial arts battle occurred in the Temple of Eternal Night between Blade and Deacon Frost. During the sword fight, Blade sliced Frost in half at the waist, but the two parts of his body rejoined and regenerated, as Frost explained: "You're too late, Blade," demonstrating that he couldn't be killed or maimed. Frost had already been transformed through a ritual into the invulnerable, omnipotent vampire Blood God La Magra, the ultimate god of the vampire race. His plan was to conquer the human race by triggering the Blood Tide, causing everyone in the world to become vampires.

Beginning of Climactic Sword Fight Between Blade and Frost - Frost Sliced in Half at Waist, but Then Reconstituted

Blade dislodged and caught his belt-clip of blue vials of anti-coagulant liquid EDTA serum, highly lethal for vampires, and then threw them, at lightning fast speed, at the seemingly-invincible body of La Magra. Five of the vials stuck into La Magra's body, puncturing and injecting into his skin, and coming into explosive contact with his vampire blood. With the overdose of EDTA, Frost would no longer be able to regenerate blood and body parts. Blade commented: "Some motherf--kers are always trying to ice-skate uphill."

Then, Blade threw a sixth vial into the air, and forcefully kicked it into La Magra's forehead. The vampire god experienced a fatal swelling and bloating death until he exploded, causing Blade to shield his face from the massive shower of gore splatter.

Entrance of Blade Into Rave Club in Los Angeles

Vampires Snarling with Teeth At Blade

Blade Blasting The Vampires With Shotgun

Blade's Vials With Lethal Anti-Coagulant on Belt-Clip

A Fatal Swelling and Bloating Death

Deep Rising (1998)

Director/writer Stephen Sommers' action-horror sci-fi monster film (originally titled Tentacles) was set in the South China Sea aboard the luxury liner Argonautica during its maiden voyage. It was a B-movie combination of Titanic (1997), Anaconda (1997) and Alien (1979).

The cruise ship was soon disabled after being plagued with various difficulties, including:

  • professional jewel thief/pickpocket Trillian St. James (Famke Janssen), a mysterious con-artist and saboteur who installed a virus on a CD-ROM to infect the ship's computerized navigation and communications systems
  • a collision with a large, unknown underwater object
  • a group of mercenary hijackers led by Hanover (Wes Studi) on a charter boat piloted by John Finnegan (Treat Williams)

The most serious problem was a giant, fanged, multi-tentacled, squid-like wormy sea creature that attacked the surviving crew. The deep sea worm stripped its prey of all body liquids before ejecting the carcass.

A mercenary named Billy (Clint Curtis), one unfortunate, half-dead and conscious victim of the sea monster experienced a very gory death. He was swallowed and half-digested or eaten (or "drunk") by the creature, then spit out, excreted or regurgitated before dying onto the floor.

For a few moments, he flexed his fingers on both of his dissolved, see-through hands.

Billy Regurgitated onto Floor From Belly of Monster

"Drunk" or Half-Digested

Meet Joe Black (1998)

Director Martin Brest's romantic fantasy-drama, a version of Death Takes a Holiday (1934), introduced the character of lawyer Joe Black (Brad Pitt) in a coffee shop. He was speaking to Susan Parrish, the pretty daughter of wealthy media mogul William Parrish (Anthony Hopkins). Although enamoured by him, she failed to get his name when they parted on the street.

While daydreaming at a busy intersection, Joe Black was first missed by a speeding red 4-door sedan, but then blindsided by a white van from the opposite direction. He was sent airborne in a somersault into the windshield of a yellow taxi-cab traveling in the opposite direction.

A Traffic Fatality From Two Different Directions

Handsome Joe Black

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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