30 Movie Death Scenes That Are So Wrong They're Right

Photo: New World/Everett Collection.
Some cinematic death scenes are so emotional and tragic, you can't help but cry. Some involve profound final words or images of a life well spent. Some involve violence that torments you for days.

Then there are those other death scenes. The ones where the victim takes half an hour to die so he or she can sing a little ditty or deliver a soliloquy. The ones where the screams and body spasms are just too much. The ones where John Travolta and Nic Cage are involved.

We don't mean to laugh in the face of death, but it really can't be helped as far as these films are concerned. Brace yourself for scenery-chewing, over-acting, exploding bodies, and villains who just won't go toward the light. Click on...if you daaaaaare!
1 of 31
Video: Erier Film.
Bülent Kayabaş, Karateci Kiz (Karate Girl) (1973)
Famed for including the worst death scene of all time, this 1973 Turkish film features a very vocal villain who just won't die.
Advertisement
2 of 31
Video: Courtesy United Artists.
Yaphet Kotto, Live and Let Die (1973)
To paraphrase the theory of Chekov's gun, if you show a shark-gun pellet that causes objects to inflate and explode in the first act, it will probably be force-fed into the villain's mouth in the following one.
3 of 31
Video: Courtesy Paramount Pictures.
Ronald Lacey & Paul Freeman, Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981)
We haven't gone near an open flame since. Also, why don't the eyeglasses melt?
4 of 31
Video: Courtesy Cannon Films/MGM/UA.
Christopher George, Enter the Ninja (1981)
"Wow, that really hurt! Why meeeeeeeeee?" Fin.
5 of 31
Video: Courtesy 20th Century Fox.
Carter Wong, Big Trouble in Little China (1986)
Apparently, it is possible to become so enraged that you explode. We don't recommend it.
6 of 31
Video: Courtesy Warner Bros.
Veronica Cartwright, The Witches of Eastwick (1987)
Technically, this scene doesn't show an actual death, but Felicia's frantic, cherry-stained vomiting and resulting murder by fire poker has been burned into our brains.
Advertisement
7 of 31
Video: Courtesy Orion Pictures.
Peter Weller, RoboCop (1987)
Oh, the screams. Oh, the countless bullets that tear up Murphy's body before Boddicker finally decides to end his (and our) misery.
8 of 31
Video: Courtesy Paramount Pictures.
Billy Drago, The Untouchables (1987)
And the Oscar for Best Vertical Breaststroke goes to Billy Drago. Seriously, what a swan dive.
9 of 31
Video: Courtesy Malibu Bay Films.
Russ Howell, Hard Ticket to Hawaii (1987)
Everything about this scene is completely wrong. So why can't we look away?
10 of 31
Video: Courtesy 20th Century Fox.
Alexander Godunov, Die Hard (1988)
Hans Gruber's slo-mo free fall is a strong contender, but Karl's death by shooting (by Carl Winslow, no less) at the end of the film really takes the cake for two reasons: 1) The arm shudder, and 2) The fact that we all thought he died ages ago.
11 of 31
Video: Courtesy Paramount Pictures.
Ricardo Montalban, The Naked Gun (1988)
Sinister slapstick humor at its finest. No, he won't be alright.
Advertisement
12 of 31
Video: Courtesy Buena Vista Pictures.
Christopher Lloyd, Who Framed Roger Rabbit (1988)
Maybe we should all just stay far away from steam rollers, okay?
13 of 31
Video: Courtesy New World Pictures.
Kim Walker, Heathers (1988)
Sorry, but you can't have "Corn Nuts" as your last words and not expect us to giggle. Heather Chandler's iconic death starts around the 27-minute mark.
14 of 31
Video: Courtesy Paramount Pictures.
Julian Glover, Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (1989)
"He chose...poorly" is the understatement of the century. Greedy Walter Donovan ages about 100 years after drinking from a faux Holy Grail, which is pretty much exactly how we feel after doing a shot of sambuca.
15 of 31
Video: Courtesy Paramount Pictures.
Sofia Coppola, The Godfather Part III (1990)
This one's actually pretty sad, but still evidence that Sofia's acting career was short-lived for a reason.
16 of 31
Video: Courtesy Warner Bros.
Alan Rickman, Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves (1991)
Oh my god, die already, Sheriff of Nottingham! Alan Rickman really hams it up in this one, giving us a death scene that's both hilarious and painfully drawn out.
Advertisement
17 of 31
Video: Courtesy Warner Bros.
Geraldine McEwan, Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves (1991)
Rickman wasn't the only Robin Hood star who felt like chewing some scenery. The beyond-creepy Mortianna comes back from the (presumed) dead just long enough to get kebabed by Morgan Freeman.
18 of 31
Video: Courtesy 20th Century Fox.
Paul Reubens, Buffy the Vampire Slayer (1992)
Some vampires just take a really, really long time to die.
19 of 31
Video: Courtesy Universal Pictures.
Meryl Streep, Death Becomes Her (1992)
The scenes in this black comedy are purposely campy, but Meryl's first death scene is just soooo over-the-top. Yes, it's a long staircase, but it's hardly the Spanish Steps. Why does it take her so long to reach the bottom?
20 of 31
Video: Courtesy Paramount Pictures.
William Shatner, Star Trek Generations (1994)
Captain Kirk has a lot to get off his chest, literally and metaphorically.
21 of 31
Video: Courtesy TriStar Pictures.
Henry Thomas, Legends of the Fall (1994)
Poor Henry Thomas. Between this and Gangs of New York, he really is saddled with the most melodramatic death scenes.
Advertisement
22 of 31
Video: Courtesy Paramount Pictures.
John Travolta, Face/Off (1997)
It says a lot when you're the hammiest actor in a scene opposite Nic Cage, but Travolta nailed it with his OTT deathbed crooning.
23 of 31
Video: Courtesy Columbia Pictures.
Jon Voight, Anaconda (1997)
Voight's extremely irritating Paul Serone gets killed by an anaconda about three times while Jennifer Lopez and Ice Cube look on in horror. What a cinematic classic.
24 of 31
Video: Courtesy Universal Pictures.
Elizabeth Hoffman, Dante's Peak (1997)
Is Grandma Ruth's voluntary plunge into an acid lake heroic, or just plain foolish?
25 of 31
Video: Courtesy Warner Bros.
Samuel L. Jackson, Deep Blue Sea (1999)
You'll scream, you'll laugh, you'll glance behind your back every single time you have some important shit to say.
26 of 31
Video: Courtesy Chloe Productions/TPW Films.
Tommy Wiseau, The Room (2003)
Poor Johnny. Lisa really does tear him apart.
Advertisement
27 of 31
Video: Courtesy Warner Bros.
Carrie-Anne Moss, The Matrix Revolutions (2003)
Wrap it up, Trinity. Wrap. It. Up.
28 of 31
Video: Courtesy Warner Bros.
Marion Cotillard, The Dark Knight Rises (2012)
Proof that you can have an Oscar and still ham it up.
29 of 31
Video: Courtesy Entertainment One.
Nicolas Cage, Outcast (2014)
Nic Cage: Takes a lickin' and keeps on tickin'.
30 of 31
Video: Courtesy Universal Pictures.
Katie McGrath, Jurassic World (2015)
Zara is a bit snotty, sure, but she definitely doesn't deserve the gratuitous death that sees her being swooped up, repeatedly dunked, and swallowed by some asshole dinosaurs.
31 of 31
Like this post? There's more. Get tons of entertainment news, celebrity updates, and cat videos on the Refinery29 Entertainment Facebook page. Like us on Facebook — we'll see you there!
Advertisement