The key ingredient of any good action movie is an awesome death for the main villain. Getting comeuppance for all the shit they’ve put our hero through over the course of the movie is usually the highlight of the movie and we’re giving our picks for the ten most elaborate, gruesome and unusual deaths of villains in action movie history.
10. Bennett in Commando
Method of Death: Steam pipe through the chest
We have to kick things off with Bennett and his steam pipe through the chest. After a knockdown, drag out brawl with John Matrix, Bennett is ready to end the battle with his uzi until Matrix, using his god like strength, rips a steam pipe off the wall, throws it with the velocity of a missile, and impales Bennett with it.
9. Random gunner in Rambo
Method of Death: .50 Calibur mounted machine gun
Rambo is getting up there in age but he still manages to decapitate one of the evil soliders with his homemade machete and proceeds to turn another of the grunts into hamburger meat with a good solid minute of continuous .50 cal machine gun fire.
8. Senator McComb in Timecop
Method of Death: Combining with his past self
The rules of time travel were pretty fast and loose in Timecop but the one unbreakable rule was to not touch your past self because “the same matter cannot occupy the same space”. A roundhouse kick by Timecop officer Max Walker shows corrupt Senator McComb what happens when that rule is violated; you’re alternate selves combine and turn into a disgusting puddle of goo.
7. Captain Frye in The Rock
Method of Death: Swallowing a globe of VX Gas
It’s interesting that main villain, General Hummel, is killed off about 10 minutes before the final villain, the sadistic Captain Frye is killed by Dr. Stanley Goodspeed by forcing him to swallow a globe of VX Gas. We saw a brief glimpse of what VX (at least in universe of The Rock) can do but Frye gets the full, gruesome effects of the chemical weapon. His death also leads to one of the most iconic scenes in action movie history as Stanley has to use his green flares to try and call off the carpet bombing of Alcatraz.
6. Cyrus the Virus in Con Air
Method of Death: Crashing through a glass walkway, falling onto construction equipment and getting head crushed.
Cyrus the Virus’ death is appropriately elaborate for how awesome and evil a villain he was in Con Air. Cyrus and some of other cons, after crashing their hijacked prison plane on the Las Vegas strip, steal a firetruck and force hero Cameron Poe and FBI Agent Larkin into a dangerous motorcycle chase. Cameron is able to board the firetruck and impales Cyrus in the foot with a piece of wood and throws him onto the truck’s ladder. Raising it up, Cyrus crashes through a glass, elevated walkway and thrown onto a piece of construction equipment on the strip (I think it’s some sort of rock crusher), and gets his head crushed to seal the deal.
5. Salim Abu Aziz in True Lies
Method of Death: Fired on a missile into a helicopter
James Cameron might need billions of dollars for his movies but it’s worth it when you get insanity like the finale of True Lies, where secret agent Harry Stamper commandeers a Harrier jet and rescues his daughter from the terrorists of Crimson Jihad. Terrorist leader Salim Abu Aziz manages to jump onto Harry’s jet and tries to work his way to the cockpit but Harry catches him and manages to roll the jet and throws Aziz onto one of the jet’s missiles, dangling by his backpack straps. With the classic one liner of, “You’re Fired”, Harry launches the missile and Aziz flies into a helicopter (conveniently carrying the rest of his terrorist group) and explodes.
4. Howard Saint in The Punisher (2004)
Method of Death: Shot, tied to a car bumper and dragged through explosions
The single elements of Howard Saint’s death would be bad enough by themselves, with him getting shot, dragged behind a car, set on fire and finally caught in an explosion but together they are the ultimate revenge by Frank Castle aka The Punisher. The fact that Frank also manipulated Saint into murdering his own wife and right hand man by faking them having an affair and also causing thousands of dollars in property damage just to make the explosions that kill Saint look like his iconic skull symbol should be enough to prove once and for all that no one should fuck with Frank Castle.
3. Rome in The Marine
Method of Death: Crashing a semi truck, getting a warehouse roof dumped on him and somehow coming back and getting strangled in mid-air by a chain.
A villain as over the top as Rome in The Marine deserves an equally over the top death and The Marine delivers. After kidnapping Marine John Triton’s wife, Rome tries to escape Triton by stealing a semi truck but Triton chases him down and forces the truck to crash through a warehouse, exploding everything in it’s path. Both Triton and Rome escape the truck and get into a vicious fight that, if I remember correctly, involves chainsaws and wrenches. Triton manages to collapse some flaming roof onto Rome and goes to rescue his wife from the nearby water. After sucessfully performing CPR and saving her, Triton is surprised to find Rome, although horribly burned, still alive and strangling him with a chain. Being Robert Patrick and a Terminator, Triton probably should have seen this coming but manages to get the chain around Rome’s neck, throws him and snaps the chain in mid-air, breaking Rome’s neck and finally killing him.
2. Hitwoman disguised as Pittsburgh Penguin’s Mascot in Sudden Death
Method of Death: Burned, cut and smashed through an entire kitchen and then strangled in a dishwasher
Even if Van Damme wasn’t fighting a giant penguin, this fight would still be over the top for the use of pretty much every kitchen utensil known to man. Van Damme’s Darren McCord uses stoves, deep fryers and knives to fight off the cuddly but deadly penguin and ultimately throws the penguin into the dishwasher, causing the straps for the penguin head to get caught and strangle the hitwoman.
1. Emil Antonowsky in Robocop
Method of Death: Getting mutated by toxic waste and smashed by a car
I don’t think there’s much to say about this death except it’s one of the most hilariously violent and disgusting deaths in movie history and Paul Verhoeven is a sadistic genius.