I love it when there is a decapitation in a movie or video game. This past week I’ve immersed myself in Skyrim, and even though I’m known around the interweb for being a pretty impressive ninja, I’ve taken a different route with my character Arya, who is a high elf that could care less about stealthiness, and is far more focused on brutal killing with a two-handed battle axe built for destruction. I just unlocked the ability to kill mercilessly by decapitation and it incited memories of my cinematic affection for moments where truckers be losing their damn heads. For Kai, and those alike who are freaked out by the red dudes from Labyrinth, I didn’t include them, but I wanted to give them their props. Enjoy my homage to awesome death here! For the love of Ned Stark!
What Scottish rebel William Wallace endured before his eventual death is a trying endeavor to view. He was stretched and hung with a rope by his neck, ropes attached to his hands and feet in mid-air stretching as well, not to mention disemboweled. In defiance he still yelled “FREEEEEEEDDOOOOM”. In response he was beheaded.
9. SIN CITY
The silent and freaky cannibalistic serial murderer Kevin, played by Elijah Wood has a violent and brutal death given to him by a vengeful man named Marv, played by Mickey Rourke, for killing the prostitute named Goldie that he had fallen in love with. After the two duel till Kevin’s eventual end, Marv saws off his arms and legs dismembering him. He keeps him alive by using tourniquets and allows Kevin’s pet dog or wolf to eat him alive. Frustrated with his victims lack of reaction Marv saws his head off.
Before Bishop there was Ash, and he is the sole reason that Ripley felt entitled to know that there was an android on board. Ash was focused solely on his mission at hand and wasn’t programed to comprehend the value of human life (you have to wait for James Cameron to come along and push that issue, he loves his silly robots). The result was the decapitation of a milky Ash and a stunned Ripley. Shit got real.
Yes, Speed is cheesy and corny and is the brunt of plenty of jokes about buses, Bullock, ridiculous one liners (shoot the hostage!) and Keanu, but Dennis Hopper was epic in his role as Howard Payne, a nonsensical villain with a penchant for personal touches on his rampage of terror. The end of the flick is unforgettable along with Keanu’s line, “Yeah, but I’m taller.” Nonsense, but fun.
Thanks to good old Dad I have an affection for dudes like Dolph Lundgren and Christopher Lambert, but I find it difficult to deny that the original Highlander film was anything short of fun and epic entertainment. Besides it boasts an awesome role for Sean Connery. His demise and explanation of the only way to kill an immortal badass eventually came to a point where he lost his head, but that shit is so real it’s amazing.
5. MONTY PYTHON AND THE HOLY GRAIL
Tim the Enchanter insists that the guardian of the cave is a terrifying killer monster instead of the adorable white bunny it seems. Arthur and his knights are rather skeptical, and one in total disbelief. To prove Tim wrong he marches down to kill it. Score one for the killer bunny who rips the knights head completely off. Nom noms.
4. KILL BILL VOLUME ONE
It was forewarned not to question O’Ren Ishi’s heritage, because she’s a psychotic killer. When telling the tale of her rise to power in the Japanese hierarchy of crime lords, one man is verbally abrasive about the outrage of her position in regards to her heritage. O’Ren quickly responds by running across the table and beheading him. She holds his head and speaks calmly to everyone for a moment before tossing his head.
When Detective Mills realizes John Doe has murdered his beloved wife and cut her head off and mailed it to him, his mind goes into a flutter of inconceivable insanity. I remember watching this for the first time and trying to keep the chunks from rising in my throat, the idea was so incredibly appalling. When he shot John Doe it wasn’t shocking he did it, but being the finale of his well thought out symphony was maniacal and utterly genius.
2. THE OMEN
You cannot overlook the shock the death of the cursed photographer David Warner (Keith Jennings) suffered. The moment when a sheet of plate glass flew off the back of a braking truck and sliced cleanly through his neck decapitating him and sending his spinning head flying through the air is unforgettable. And gross.
1. LORD OF THE RINGS THE FELLOWSHIP OF THE RING
Nobody likes a good decapitation more than me other than Peter Jackson who decided it was important for Aragorn to behead just about every villain he came into contact with during the LOTR series. Perhaps in the future I will dedicate a list solely to Aragorn for his epic kills. The man is truly bad ass, and his fight with Lurtz is probably one of my favorite one screen throw downs ever. A formidable foe that’s ending was as exciting as they come.