There are a lot of great, memorable death scenes in movies. Some pack an emotional punch, others play key narrative roles, and still more are just plain awesome. This new video collects 26 of the most unforgettable, important, and straight up crazy film deaths, each chosen by a different director. Sci-fi is well represented on this list, with some of your favorite moments showing up, as well as a few surprising omissions.
This video is one of the coolest bits of promotion we’ve ever seen, coming from Drafthouse Films and Magnet Releasing to pump up the release of their horror anthology ABCs of Death 2. The concept is that 26 directors made 26 short films, each assigned a different letter of the alphabet. As you probably guessed, each filmmaker also got to choose their favorite cinematic death scene for inclusion in this video. That would be a tough one, there are so many to pick from, and what if someone beat you to the punch and named your favorite? You’re obviously going to be publicly judged on the basis of your selection.
There are some fantastic choices here that you’ll recognize immediately, though there are also many from movies you’ve never heard of and would have a difficult time tracking down. It’s hard not to love watching the T-800 get crushed at the end of Terminator and that red eye blinks out, when the chest burster rips out of John Hurt’s torso in Alien, and ED-209 malfunctioning and blasting that low-level executive to shreds in RoboCop. That last one certainly made an impression at my tenth birthday party, there were a few angry phone calls later that night. And who can forget the first time they saw the shark chomp down on Quint in Jaws?
We all have our favorite moments (Raiders of the Lost Ark), but like I said, there are a few choice cuts that I’m surprised didn’t make this list. For instance, no one went for the head exploding scene in Scanners. That was one of the first I thought of. No only does it have a dude’s head popping like an overripe pimple, but it gets extra points for including Michael Ironside. I’m also partial to the throat ripping scene in Road House, even though it’s not sci-fi in the slightest.
ABCs of Death 2 is available on VOD right now and will get a theatrical run starting, appropriately, on October 31. I’d say if you can identify all 26 movies you’d win a prize, but I don’t have anything to give you. Still, it would be an impressive feat.
What are your favorite movie deaths, sci-fi or otherwise? Let us know in the comments.