And now, for something completely different…
SPOILER ALERT: If you have not seen these movies, please be aware that a few important plot points will be mentioned. If you plan on watching the movies, and don’t like to know ahead of time what is going to happen, read at your own risk.
Top 10 Weirdest Ways to Die (In the Movies)
I was recently watching Prince Caspian, the second of the Chronicles of Narnia movies. Towards the end of the movie, one of the bad guys meets his doom by being swallowed by a water monster. I don’t mean a Loch Ness-type monster that lives in the water. No, he was eaten by a monster that was water: a giant human-shaped tower of water that eats the man whole and, presumably, kills him via drowning. That’s odd, I though. To quote Bill Murray’s character in Ghostbusters, “That’s something you don’t see every day.”
It got me thinking about some of the really weird movie deaths I’ve seen, and wondering what qualifies as the weirdest way to die. Without being bound by reality, and with the incentive and challenge of coming up with things audiences have not seen before, there are plenty of off-the-wall, hard-to-believe, and downright weird character “deaths” in Hollywood.
Here is my personal top 10. I ruled out anything from straight-up horror movies, partly because I haven’t seen that many of them, but mostly because they are all about death and often owe their existence to topping each other in the absurd death category. I also could only draw from movies I have personally seen, so let me know if there is something that is glaringly missing from the list. The list is ranked, roughly and completely arbitrarily, on how unlikely it would be for someone to die in this way in real life. Oh, and “being swallowed by a giant water monster” doesn’t even make it into the top 10.
#10: Beheaded by a flying rabbit
Movie: Monty Python and the Holy Grail
Happened to: Sir Bors of Camelot
Made the list because: It’s not just that the agent of death is a small, furry, cuddly, white herbivore. It’s that this small, furry, cuddly, white herbivore will literally bite your head clean off.
Bonus: Soon afterwards, an animated monster dies because the Flying Circus animator has a heart attack, and then Sir Gallahad is flung into the Gorge of Eternal Peril for not knowing the answer to the question, “what is your favorite color?”
Movie: Mystery Men
Happened to: Captain Amazing (and, later, Casanova Frankenstein)
Made the list because: What is a psychofraculator? According to Dr. Heller in the movie: “It creates a cloud of radically-fluctuating free-deviant chaotrons which penetrate the synaptic relays. It’s concatenated with a synchronous transport switch that creates a virtual tributary. It’s focused onto a biobolic reflector and what happens is that hallucinations become reality and the brain is literally fried from within.” Allrighty then.
Bonus: Other weird weapons (most non-lethal) in the movie: a sharpened pinkie fingernail, forks, a self-levitating bowling ball with a human skull inside, flatulence, shovels, hair spray, an electro-nuclear magnet, a clothes shrinker, blame thrower, canned tornadoes, and Janeane Garofalo.
#8: Shot through heart by chicken arrow
Movie: Hot Shots! Part Deux
Happened to: some Iraqi
Made the list because: Well, you know, impaled by a live chicken and all that.
#7: Eaten by a T-Rex while sitting on the toilet
Movie: Jurassic Park
Happened to: The lawyer
Made the list because: It’s a pretty rare occurrence, considering that Tyrannosaurs do not currently exist, and even if they did, they tend not to be potty trained.
#6: Drowned by a carbon copy of yourself (dozens of times)
Movie: The Prestige
Happened to: Robert Angier
Made the list because: Sure, it is a very unfortunate fact that people killing themselves is not entirely unusual. Usually, though, a person can only successfully do so once, and it is considered suicide, not murder. Thanks to a machine that breaks several laws of physics, Angier is able to Xerox himself, killing off what would appear to be the original copy each time.
Bonus: If you did have a machine that created a perfect physical copy of whatever you put into it, while keeping the original, wouldn’t you just throw some money in there, or some gold, or pretty much anything that wouldn’t involve a 50% chance of death? Clearly, this is one movie death that would never happen in real life, period.
Continued in part 2.