Best Film
Deaths Scenes


Greatest Movie Death Scenes
Title Screen
Film Title/Year and Description

Commando (1985)

In this action film, enraged father Johnny Matrix (Arnold Schwarzenegger) found his young daughter Jenny (Alyssa Milano) in warlord Arius' (Dan Hedaya) villa basement. There, Matrix engaged in a massive knife-fight and struggle against Bennett (Vernon Wells), who was wearing leather pants and a chain-mail vest.

Bennett shot Matrix in the right arm with his gun, after which Matrix taunted him face-to-face, while holding up a large knife:

Come on, Bennett, throw away that chicken-shit gun. You don't just want to pull the trigger. You want to put the knife in me, and look me in the eye, and see what's going on in there when you turn it. That's what you want to do, right?...Don't deprive yourself of some pleasure. Come on, Bennett, let's party.

Bennett sneered as he threw away his gun: "I don't need the gun, John. I can beat you. I don't need no gun," and they slashed at each other with their long knives.

When losing the fight with the knives, Bennett reached for the weapon and threatened:

John, I'm not gonna shoot you between the eyes, I'm gonna shoot you between the balls!

Matrix retaliated by impaling him in the mid-section and against the wall with a large section of steam piping (thrown javelin-style) that he had pulled off another wall. With one of 'Arnold's' famous quips, he chided him as hot steam vapor emerged from the open end of the pipe:

Let off some steam, Bennett!

Impaled By Steam Pipe

"Let off some steam, Bennett!"

Day of the Dead (1985)

# 28

This third film in George Romero's original trilogy of "Dead" films featured the spectacularly gory, brutal and grisly death of maniacal army leader Captain Rhodes (Joseph Pilato).

Rhodes fled in a golf cart to an inner locked maximum security area, where he was pursued by Pvt. Steel (Gary Howard Klar), who machine-gunned the entry door, allowing the zombies to follow after him. Domesticated zombie Bub (Howard Sherman) found Steel scurrying into the lab, and targeted him with a gun he had found on the floor. As Steel attempted to defend himself against Bub, he was mobbed by the other zombies from another doorway and he committed suicide.

After rearming himself, Rhodes found himself face-to-face with Bub shooting at him in the hallway (one bullet struck him in the shoulder and another in the leg). Groveling on the floor, cornered and unable to find an exit, Rhodes was soon confronted and surrounded by other zombies behind an unlocked doorway. As Bub approached and kept firing from the other direction, and then saluted, Rhodes was ripped apart at the waist by the undead creatures.

He defiantly yelled out with his intestines exposed: "Choke on 'em!" The zombies then gorged themselves on flesh in the lab area and throughout the entire complex.

[Note: The scene was referenced in a memorable bloody homage in the parody/tribute Shaun of the Dead (2004), when cowardly David (Dylan Moran) was grabbed through The Winchester's glass windows and torn apart in a similar manner.]

Captain Rhodes Attacked by Zombies

Zombie Bub

Torn Apart in Hallway

"Choke on 'em!"

Prizzi's Honor (1985)

In the climactic finale of director John Huston's black comedy 'sleeper' hit, two ill-fated married lovers (who were both hired assassins) finally carried out their 'hit' contracts on each other, during a most-unusual love scene:

  • Charley Partanna (Jack Nicholson), a loyal hit-man for the Prizzi 'family'
  • Irene Walker (Kathleen Turner), a sultry blonde and another paid killer who had, unfortunately, betrayed the Prizzis

She had just told Charley: "Baby, we are gonna have a ball!" Having changed into an enticing silky nightgown, she also deviously offered: "Why don't you go warm up the bed? I'll be right there," but then attached a clip and a silencer to her revolver. In the bedroom, Charley also readied a sleek stiletto knife that he kept taped to his right leg.

When she entered the room, she took a shooting stance, aimed at Charley and shot, but missed (the bullet struck the feather pillow behind him). He hurled his knife at her, sending it into her throat and pinning her to the wall.

Afterwards, he phoned Maerose Prizzi (Anjelica Huston), his dirty-dealing, ex-fiancee and the shunned grand-daughter of the Prizzi patriarch Don Corrado Prizzi (William Hickey). He asked her for a dinner date ("Whaddya ya say, uh, we go to dinner tonight...What do I mean? I mean let's go someplace and get somethin' to eat...How about it?"). She was overjoyed when he told her that Irene couldn't join them:

"She had to go away. She won't be back."

She responded with the film's final line of dialogue: "How about it? Holy cow, Charley. Just tell me where you wanna meet."

Irene With Revolver

Charley With Stiletto

Pinned Through Neck Into Wall

The Return of the Living Dead (1985)

In this first of four zombie comedy spoofs (this one was directed by Dan O'Bannon) - a rip-off or reworking of George Romero's Night of the Living Dead (1968), brain-hungry, undead zombies were accidentally reanimated with the release of a mysterious toxic gas-chemical in a medical supply warehouse.

During the grisly warehouse basement murder scene, a sheet was pulled back to reveal a monstrous, undead Tar-man zombie (Allan Trautman). He announced himself with the brain-thirsty battle cry:


The creature cannibalistically bit into the brain of living victim Suicide (Mark Venturini), whose body twitched while sprawled on the floor as the zombie continued to munch and chomp on his head.

Tar-Man: "Brains!"

Rocky IV (1985)

The fourth installment of the popular sports franchise was directed and written by star Stallone, and was the most financially successful of the entire series, at $127.8 million.

Boxing champ Rocky (Sylvester Stallone) was planning to retire - the setup for Rocky's return to the ring was a major boxing exhibition match, held in Las Vegas ("the city of lights") at the MGM Grand Hotel's Ziegfeld Theatre. Unrealistically, the boxing stage was only half-surrounded by the audience. It was advertised on a bright neon sign, and described as "East meets West, age vs. youth in a goodwill exhibition match." The two combatants in the Reagan Era-allegory were:

  • Apollo Creed (Carl Weathers), an ex-champion from the capitalist US
  • Ivan Drago (Dolph Lundgren), a towering and domineering amateur boxer from the Communist Soviet Union

Creed, who hadn't fought a match in almost five years, asserted he was in the best shape of his life, stronger and quicker, and he stressed the importance of the fight: "This is not just an exhibition fight that doesn't mean anything. Look, this is us against them." A flamboyant show unfolded in the arena before the bout: a choreographed stage show with dancing show girls, patriotic American flag decorations, fireworks, and a performance by James Brown, the Godfather of Soul, singing Living in America. Drago turned and watched as Apollo was slowly lowered on a platform, wearing an Uncle Sam costume (the same one he wore before his first fight against Rocky in Rocky (1976)) and standing before a giant gold bull-head spewing steam from its nostrils, before joining in the dancing.

When the two fighters met in the ring for instructions, Drago said only three words:

"You will lose."

As the fight began, Apollo (known as "the Dancing Destroyer, the King of Sting, the Count of Monte Fisto...the Master of Disaster" but 40 lbs. lighter than his opponent) danced around with his trademark quickness, throwing jabs at Drago, who was waiting with a cocked right hand. But then, Drago unleashed his first punch - a devastating and merciless shot that caught the confident Apollo off-guard, and then followed up with punishing blows to the head and mid-section.

At the end of the first round, Apollo was seriously injured and bleeding when brought back to his corner, and the incredibly strong Drago was unphased. The ringside commentators were amazed by the show of Soviet strength - calling it a "pulverizing round" for Creed, while Drago's wife Ludmilla (Brigitte Nielsen, Stallone's real-life wife) calmly smoked a cigarette, confident of the outcome.

Rocky and trainer Duke (Tony Burton) pleaded with Creed to stop the fight ("He's killin' ya!"), but Creed refused:

"I'm here to fight. Promise me you're not gonna stop this fight...You don't stop this fight, no matter what!"

In round two, Drago further intimidated Creed by standing with his hands down before letting loose with another barrage of punishing punches in the corner ("Creed is being pounded without mercy"). Duke yelled for Rocky to "Throw the damn towel!", but Rocky honored Apollo's stubborn wish when he shouted out: "No!" And then with one final devastating left hook, Drago connected and Apollo collapsed face-first to the canvas. Pandemonium erupted in the ring and the crowd pressed in, as Drago was announced as the winner.

The victor spoke on the microphone: "I cannot be defeated...I defeat all man...Soon, I defeat real champion." And then Drago mercilessly, coldly, and remorselessly commented about Apollo's fatal condition (one of his few lines of dialogue):

If he dies, he dies.

Heartbreakingly, Apollo died in Rocky's arms in the ring. Rocky and Drago locked eyes.

The scene dissolved to Apollo's funeral, where sunglasses-wearing Rocky delivered a eulogy for his ex-opponent, trainer, and friend:

"I guess what matters is what he stood for, what he lived for, and what he died for...I'll never forget you, Apollo. You're the best."

At the end of his words and before leaving, he placed his own championship boxing belt (won from Creed in an earlier film) on the flower-adorned grave, although it wasn't buried permanently.

Apollo's death set up the subsequent pay-back return of devastated, vengeful heavyweight champion Rocky to the ring to challenge Drago.

Apollo Creed

Drago: "You will lose."

End of First Round: "Promise me you're not gonna stop this fight."

The Knock-Out Death Blow

Dying in Rocky's Arms

Rocky Locking Eyes with Drago

Apollo's Funeral

Witness (1985)


In an early scene in director Peter Weir's thriller film, 8 year-old Amish boy Samuel Lapp (Luke Haas) witnessed a brutal knifing murder in the men's restroom of the 30th Street Station in Philadelphia.

[Note: The killer was later identified as McFee, assisted by "Fergie" who held a coat over the victim's head.]

He was soon testifying to police Captain John Book (Harrison Ford) and positively identifying the killer as narcotics officer James McFee (Danny Glover).

Book found himself the target of corrupt cops when he reported on the case to his superior, Chief Paul Schaeffer (Josef Sommer) - he was wounded in an ambush, forcing him to flee to Amish country (Lancaster County) to protect Samuel and his mother Rachel (Kelly McGillis), and to hide himself.

Eventually, his whereabouts were discovered, and McFee, Schaeffer, and Ferguson (or "Fergie") (Angus MacInnes) (the second killer in the train station), came looking for him (with pump-action shotguns) at the Amish farmhouse where he was staying.

During the tense pursuit scene, the first of the trio to be killed by Book was Fergie. Book climbed to the top of an Amish corn silo, and tricked Fergie into entering the bottom of the large cylindrical concrete structure.

He then opened the control panel at the top, showering, smothering, and suffocating Fergie, who became trapped at the bottom when the cylinder began to fill with grain from above, and blocked his escape out of the small escape chute. Buried under the heavy weight of the corn grain, Fergie expired.

The Three Killers Approach Amish Farm

Fergie's Death in Corn Silo

Greatest Movie Death Scenes
(chronological by film title)
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