There's not much of a backstory to how I came to thinking about this. I just started thinking about what really can make a movie. And one thing that came up was an awesome death. Some films try to have an epic passing away, but only so many films have a death that is so memorable that it's an icon for years.
But I'm not writing about the best deaths in cinema. These are just my own personal favorites. So don't say I forgot one, but feel free to share your own. And obviously there are huge spoilers ahead.10.) Chad: Burn After Reading
Burn After Reading was by no means one of the Coen Brothers' best films. When put up against classics like Fargo, Big Lebowski, or No Country for Old Men, it simply doesn't hold up. But it's funny as hell. In the rule of Chekhov's Gun, when we find out George Clooney's character, Harry, has never fired his gun, we know that gun's going off by the end of the film. The scene had some pretty raw intensity considering the overall comic feel of the film. I feel like the dumping into the lake could've been a great scene and am angry that the Coen Brothers' opted on a Greek Chorus scene with the CIA explaining it instead. But that scene always gets to me.
9.) Obi-Wan Kenobi: Star Wars
A lot of people would have this as number one, but I really don't care for Star Wars. My little brother was a total geek for it during his childhood while I'm more of a crime film and dark comedy kind of guy. But somebody has to admit that the most climactic death in Star Wars deserves a ranking, especially considering how few films of it's kind are capable of killing off a main character and not just being stupid.
8.) Jack Vincennes: L.A. Confidential
I loved this film, and possibly the most intense and well directed murders in film would be the shooting of Jack Vincennes. It came out of nowhere and showed us exactly what was going on in the film. I won't give away who did it, but I'll tell you that every scene with this character, watch closely to everybody's actions. This is a film you have to pay attention to.
7.) Carl Showalter: Fargo
Whenever the Coen Brothers pick on somebody, that person never sees the end of it. Or they do, so to speak. For instance, Donny in The Big Lebowski is yelled at and mocked and insulted throughout the film, and of course he's the only death. And in Fargo, Carl is shot in the face and lives, beaten by that huge guy who lent him the house, crashes through the tollbooth in rage, hurriedly buries the money, and then is killed by his partner and shoved in a woodchipper.
6.) Mr. Orange/Mr. White: Reservoir Dogs
I'm a huge Tarantino fan. The abrupt ending of Reservoir dogs was one of my favorite endings in film. It only gets better when the music starts playing. You have to laugh at it. Like with Carl, Mr. Orange is shot, spends the rest of the film in agonizing pain waiting to be saved, then is shot again, then gets murdered by his only friend. So great.
5.) Marvin: Pulp Fiction
Only could Tarantino show you a huge spray of brains and skull from an innocent bystander and make it one of the funniest scenes in movie history. Well, maybe not just him. The Coen Brothers' could, maybe. But this was the funniest death I've ever seen.
4.) Gennaro: Jurassic Park
I loved dinosaurs when I was a kid. T-Rex was the coolest, tied with raptors. And now I'm afraid of taking a shit when it's raining. Which is kind of weird, I suppose. But there's a lot of T-Rexes in my neighborhood.
3.) Toht: Raiders of the Lost Ark
You gotta love what passed for PG in the eighties. Once they ripped out somebody's still beating heart, the MPAA finally realized they were being ridiculous. After giving it a PG. The head explosion was pretty awesome, but the head melting is just too amazing. Especially one you watch a documentary on how they did it. Intense.2.) Julian Marty: Blood Simple
Like I said back in Fargo's section, when the Coen Brother's pick on somebody, they really fucking pick on somebody. Dan Hedaya's role, Julian Marty, is a vengeful husband whose wife is cheating on them. This was the first film by the Coen Brothers' and possibly my favorite. The ending to this film is my favorite in any film, over Fight Club, Citizen Kane, Reservoir Dogs, over any film ending I've ever seen. But that's a different story. Julian Marty is shot by his private eye after being lied to about a death. Then he's dragged around by his wife's thick lover, who drives him to the side of the road, nearly beats him with a shovel, then buries him alive. Holy hell.
1.) Rhodes: Day of the Dead
I came really close to just putting up the picture of the disembowelment, but this is a family place. Albeit, I'm not sure if it's even that worse than Toht's head melting. Though it's not as funny as Marvin, not as dramatic as Vincennes, and not as drawn out as Carl or Julian, this death is the most satisfying and most amazing, and gory, death scene I've seen. And it's zombies. So bonus points. And Bud with the gun, that still sends shivers down my spine. They're getting smarter.