King Kong falls from Empire State Building cancer-stricken Debra Winger dies in hospital Bonnie and Clyde riddled with bullets Walken loses Russian roulette in The Deer Hunter Titanic sinks and DiCaprio drowns Bambi’s mom shot by hunters Alec Guinness blows up The Bridge Over the River Kwai Susan Hayward gets the chair in I Want To Live! Nazis melt in Raiders of the Lost Ark dirty cop suffocates in corn silo in Witness Scarface goes out with a bang Wicked Witch melts Alan Rickman’s skyscraper plunge in Die Hard Cagney goes up in flames in White Heat Wallace Shawn’s wine poisoning in The Princess Bride Robocop criminal gets toxic waste bath David Warner’s decapitation in The Omen John Hurt’s bursting stomach in Alien telekinetic Carrie sends knives into her mom Travolta shoots backseat passenger in Pulp Fiction airbag accidentally deploys, killing Final Destination 2 girl Mr. Big expands and pops in Live and Let Die Psycho shower scene shark attack on female swimmer in Jaws opener Sonny Corleone gunned down at tollbooth Darth Vader strikes down Obi-Wan Kenobi Dr. Strangelove’s Slim Pickens rides nuclear bomb babes chase sexist off cliff in Python’s Meaning of Life Willem Dafoe’s fatal battlefield collapse in Platoon Tom Hanks shot on bridge in Saving Private Ryan Thelma and Louise drive car off edge of Grand Canyon Russell Crowe’s death match in Roman coliseum King Kong falls Bonnie and Clyde shot Bambi’s mom shot Hayward gets chair Nazis melt Wicked Witch melts Rickman’s fallShawn’s poisoning Hurt’s bursting stomach Travolta shoots passenger airbag in Final Destination 2 Psycho shower scene Vader kills Obi-Wan Pickens rides bomb Dafoe dies in battle Crowe stabbed Bonnie and Clyde shot Bambi’s mom shot Wicked Witch melts Rickman’s fall Hurt’s bursting stomach Psycho shower scene Vader kills Obi-Wan Crowe stabbed Bonnie and Clyde shot Rickman’s fall Psycho shower scene Vader kills Obi-Wan Bonnie and Clyde shot Psycho shower scene
Psycho shower scene
Ace Researcher
Matthew Shepatin's Bracket
Read Shepatin's
introductory essay.
Pretty boy freezes, entire female population weeps. Still, Leo’s death leaves you with a sinking feeling that you’ve been manipulated. Bambi wins because it treats the loss of a parent without condescending to kids. The emotional trauma of baby boomers is a small price to pay.
You know Bonnie and Clyde are not long for this world. But you expect the cops to stop shooting at their writhing bodies after the first hundred bullets. Rickman’s skyscraper plunge is a blue-screen moment of brilliance (we want the Rolex on his wrist) but no match for the brutality of that ambush. The last look between Beatty and Dunaway cinches it.
Travolta shooting Marvin in the backseat is one of Tarantino’s most ingenious killings. For a split second you see genuine regret, then it’s back to business. But Alien’s much parodied stomach explosion is wet-your-pants freaky. You’ll lose your stomach contents. Alien lives.
Modern filmmakers, take note. The secret to shocking an audience is not found in a bucket of blood. Hitchcock uses heart-pulsing music, 70 different camera setups, and more than 90 editing cuts to craft 45 seconds of unadulterated terror. Hitchcock proves that with game-winning shots or death, timing is everything.
Janet Leigh reportedly stopped taking showers after making Psycho. John Hurt, as far as I know, doesn’t freak out when indigestion comes on. The shower scene slices up the alien threat.
There are better Bond flicks than Live and Let Die, but not a more inventive demise than evil Mr. Big swallowing a compressed-air shark bullet that explodes. Satisfying but not as smart as knocking off a character via their own airbag.
Sonny comes to a bullet-riddled end at a tollbooth (is that Coppola “sampling” Bonnie and Clyde?). An old guy who simply allows his foe to strike him down is no match, right? But this is no ordinary senior. This is Obi-Wan Kenobi pulling off the ultimate Jedi mind trick: becoming more powerful after death.
A pair of Academy Award winners take aim at each other. Dafoe’s elegiac Christ-like collapse in 'Nam affirms that war is hell, but Crowe’s final victory after his fatal stabbing argues more forcefully that payback’s a bitch. Maximus moves on. Toga party!