Audiences never tire of seeing dumb teens bite it on the big screen, which explains the release of the fourth Final Destination flick — in 3D, no less! Even with an extra dimension, this sequel will need to up the ante to outdo its predecessors (as they are diligently attempting to do in the death-by-escalator shot above). In the first movie, a girl gets hit by a bus. By the third, two girls are taken out by tanning beds. The increasingly ridiculous demises make it clear that no one cheats the grim reaper. But can they top these classic ten most over-the-top onscreen deaths? Needless to say — spoiler alert!
10. Glen Lantz, A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984)
Whereas the Final Destination teens’ problems begin after one kid’s premonition lets them all cheat death, in the Nightmare on Elm Street series, only poor Nancy (Heather Langenkamp) realizes that her friends are being stalked and killed in their dreams thanks to one Freddy Krueger. Knowing this doesn’t save her boyfriend (Johnny Depp) from Freddy, who sucks Glen into his bed, then expells his pulverized guts in a flume of gore that earns this one tenth place.
9. Shoot ‘em Up (2007)
Mr. Smith is a mysterious badass who cheats death over and over again, taking out evil-doers with efficient glee. He also likes carrots, and it turns out his favorite snack is just as deadly as he is. Smith dispatches baddies with a carrot twice in this live-action Bugs Bunny cartoon of a movie. One guy bites it thanks to a carrot to the eye, while another is offed when Smith uses a carrot to pull the trigger after injuring his hand. This balanced meal of murder places ninth.
8. Tim Messenger, Hot Fuzz (2007)
Nicholas Angel (Simon Pegg) arrives in the hamlet of Sandford and “accidental deaths” start piling up. One couple might have lost their heads in a car crash. A gas leak could have blown up the owner of a local McMansion. Harder to dismiss is the demise of local journalist Tim Messenger (Adam Buxton), who gets crushed by falling masonry in the middle of a church fair just before he can tip off the cops. The geyser of blood that spews from his neck rates this one an eight.
7. Heather Chandler, Heathers (1989)
Three Heathers — and one Veronica — rule their school, but Veronica (Winona Ryder) secretly hates the alpha Heather. Her new boyfriend J.D. (Christian Slater) is more than willing to help by slipping Heather a Drano cocktail that kills her most dramatically and then sends her dead body crashing through a glass table. Death by corrosive cleanser is bad, but Chandler’s dying words are what clinches seventh place: “Corn nuts!”
6. Damien Cockburn, Tropic Thunder (2008)
To get five prima donna actors to bring up their game, director Damien Cockburn (Steve Coogan) drops them in the middle of the jungle. Turning to leave, Cockburn steps on a landmine and gets blown to smithereens. The bloodbath is so extreme that the actors assume it’s a special effect — Ben Stiller even picks up the decapitated head and licks at the entrails. In a farcical take on big-budget war flicks, all of the deaths are going to be over-the-top. But this explosive exit earns Thunder the six spot.
5. Boss Tanaka, Kill Bill Vol. 1 (2003)
Particular respect must be paid to what happens when assassin O-Ren Ishii (Lucy Liu) takes care of business. When one man objects to her new role as head of the yakuza, she demonstrates the cutthroat tactics that helped her slash through the glass ceiling by running down the board-room table with a samurai sword and decapitating the guy without missing a beat. The gallons upon gallons of blood gushing out of his neck helps this one crack the top five.
4. Joe Black, Meet Joe Black (1998)
The element of surprise is essential when it comes to inventing deaths that shock jaded audiences. Meet Joe Black beats O-Ren’s sneak attack hands down. This nearly three-hour movie is mostly a drawn-out yawner, except, that is, for the early scene that earns the movie its fourth place slot: A woman flirts with a cute guy (Brad Pitt) who then gets hit by not one but two cars seconds later, sending his broken body airborne.
3. Ricky, Crank: High Voltage (2009)
It’s no surprise that this ridiculous sequel contains one
of the most extreme deaths imaginable. Turns out Ricky, the
foe that Chev Chelios (Jason Statham) thought he’d killed off in the first
movie, is now living as a decapitated head in an aquarium.
Chelios smashes the aquarium, yanks out the head, punts it into a swimming pool, and gives the audience the finger. Say what you want about the movie, but
this death easily earns its number three spot.
2. Toht, Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981)
The first Indiana Jones movie is the gold standard of gruesome demises. Remember the poison darts that kill the guide in the idol’s cave? Or the beefy Nazi who meets the business end of a plane propeller? But there’s really no arguing with the way that sinister Toht (Ronald Lacey) bites the dust. He’s so evil that when the Nazis unleash the vengeful Old Testament power of the Ark, his face melts clear off. The only thing that could possibly top that beloved scene is…
1. Todd, Brint, and Meekus, Zoolander (2001)
En route to picking up some orange mocha frappuccinos, Derek (Ben Stiller) and his buddies stop for gas and get into a slo-mo squeegee-water fight. Derek wanders off just as it escalates into a gleeful gasoline fight set to the tune of Wham!’s “Jitterbug,” and in short order someone lights up a smoke and the whole gang goes up in a fireball of hairgel and low IQs. As one of the most hilarious scenes in a pretty hilarious movie all around, Stiller and his posse catwalk into first place.