16 Gory Death Scenes (and One Honorable Mention)
I always get nostalgic around Halloween time and think about all the fantastic, gory genre films I’ve seen over the course of my 40 years. Well this year is no different except that I started thinking about the GREATEST death scenes I’ve seen. My mind was flooded with thousands of grotesque and disturbing images (I should really see someone about that). So after I sorted through what I consider the best of the best, I compiled my list. Whenever possible I posted a video of said death scene, but for some I had to settle for pictures. In some cases (like the MASKHEAD entry below) you’ll see that I couldn’t find either the video or the pic of the scene. Why? Because it’s so fucked up and disturbing that no one dares put it up on the internet!!
Enjoy the list (these are in no particular order), and I wanna hear what you favorite horror death scenes are.
1. Intestinal Vomit Scene (CITY OF THE LIVING DEAD)
You’re guaranteed one thing in every Fulci horror flick: There’s at least 3-4 extremely violent death scenes. After thinking about all his great offerings I settled on this one. From the 1st time I saw this scene it was burned in my mind forever. Viva l’ Fulci!!
2. Lawn Mower Scene (DEAD ALIVE)
Again; tons of great death scenes in this flick. But when Lionel Cosgrove picks up the running lawn mower and hacks his way through the crowd of zombies, well I didn’t know whether to be horrified or laugh my ass off. So I did both.
3. Bed Puree Scene (A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET, 1984)
Not just one of my favorite death scenes, but the best death scene in any ELM STREET flick. When ole Johnny Depp closes his eyes I bet he never knew what awaited him!!
4. Silver Sphere Chops Up Priest (PHANTASM 2)
Another great flick that has a high solid body count, great story, and great gore. I’m surprised we haven’t seen some version of the silver sphere on late night TV that can do everything from crush ice to make salsa (sorry for the watermark right in the middle of the following video).
5. Helicopter Haircut (DAWN OF THE DEAD, 1978)
Lots of great gore in the original DAWN, but the zombie standing on the boxes getting the top of his head sliced off is just a classic.
6. Captain Rhodes Torn Apart (DAY OF THE DEAD, 1985)
Let’s face it; Captain Rhodes is not a nice man. Ok, ok; he’s a fucking prick asshole and we all know what happens to the “prick asshole” in zombie films … they die horribly. Well Rhodes is no exception. But even in death this douche bag needs to get the final words in (“Choke on ‘em”). He died as he lived … a total asshole.
7. Death by 2×4 Strap-On Dildo (MASKHEAD)
If you don’t understand what this scene is about, then break down the above title. A woman dies by getting railed with a strap-on made out of a 2×4 wooden board. As you’ll notice I couldn’t find a video or picture of the death scene. That’s probably a good thing. No one needs to see that (except me of course).
8. Sissors Scene (INSIDE)
Possibly the most intense, brutal, never-lets-up horror film in that last 2 decades!! The blood starts flowing almost from the 1st frame and doesn’t let up until Le Femme gets what she wants …. by using a pair of scissors. And I’m sure you all know what she’s after. Again I couldn’t find a picture or video showing this event. Go buy this very important and amazing horror flick if you haven’t already.
9. Opening Beach and Hospital Scene (DEAD & BURIED)
Not only does this have a great twist at the end that works; not only does this have Robert Englund in it; not only does this have a ton of graphic death scenes in it … but it have a particularly nasty opening scene where a visitor comes to Plotter’s Bluff. He meets a sexy lil vixen on the beach and then gets the stuffing beat out of him and beat with crowbars and shovels. THEN he’s tied up, dosed in gasoline, and then lit on fire. But the poor bastard lives only to have burns on like 98% of his body. And guess who his nurse is in the hospital? Yup; the vixen from the beach. Here’s looking at you kid.
10. Human Beef Jerky Scene (TRAILER PARK OF TERROR)
This was a really fun horror flick with great makeup and special f/x, a great story, and a great overall feel. Then suddenly we get to this scene where one of the locals demonstrates how he makes beef jerky … using another human being. The scene was way more brutal and nasty and disturbing than anything else in the flick, and that’s why it’s stuck in my head and made this list. Sorry no video, but see this flick; it’s worth your time.
11. Wire Tether (Ghost Ship)
I know, I know. What the fuck is this flick doing on my list? Now come on; we all know the movie as a whole really fucking blows … I mean it sucks out loud. Its so shitty that I’m surprised Janeane Garofalo wasn’t in it!! But let’s face it; the scene with the wire cutting through a crowded dance floor was worth sitting through this steaming pile (and let’s not forget about the implied forced pedophilia). It’s a shame the rest of the movie didn’t keep up the energy from this scene.
12. Splinter in the Eye (ZOMBI)
I don’t think this scene needs any explanation. This is Fulci’s 2nd showing on this list and we all know why!!
13. Blood Pressure Test Scene (DAWN OF THE DEAD, 1978)
Perhaps the dumbest death scene on this list but I absolutely love it. In the midst of a horde of flesh eating, hungry zombies attacking, Pedro decides to sit down and check his blood pressure. It’s so random and ridiculous that this scene has always stuck in my mind. If you wanna fast forward, the “blood pressure test” starts at the 2:47 mark on this clip.
14. Head Exploding Scene (SCANNERS)
Again; I’m sure this one needs no introduction. Enjoy.
15. Open Wide Scene (HATCHET)
When I first saw this scene (hell, the entire movie) my jaw dropped and I knew immediately that I had found a modern day classic and a huge genre talent in Adam Green. Aahhh Victor Crowley … may your blood lust never die down.
16. Cheeky Face-Off Scene (LAID TO REST)
This is another modern day classic film that spawned another huge genre talent (Robert Hall). Lots of great gory death scenes, but this one is my favorite from this flick, and one of my all time favs PERIOD.
SPECIAL MENTION: Skinned Alive Scene (MARTYRS)
This, as you all know, is my favorite horror film from the past 20 years. Easily. The scene where Anna is strapped into the contraption and flipped over is just a brutal scene. We’re still not sure what’s gonna happen. Then the guy sticks the knife into her and we see her gasp in pain. We watch as he slices up her back. The look on Anna’s face is one of both pure pain and shock from that pain. Mercifully the scene fades.
This gets a “special mention” because Anna, even after being skinned alive, DOESN’T FUCKING DIE. That’s right; she lives after BEING SKINNED ALIVE. Oh my fucking god. And because this list is about the greatest DEATH scenes, Anna doesn’t technically qualify. Below is a montage of gore scenes from MARTYRS. If you wanna skip to the “skinned alive” scene, go to the 6:48 mark.
Extra Bonus: DAY OF THE DEAD Outtake:
I don’t remember this scene happening exactly like this!!