So you’ve been shot/stabbed/eaten/burned/dismembered/amputated/face melted by an ancient artifact, what are you going to do next? If you answered, “go into shock while screaming like an asshole” then you’re probably on track.
In the movies, of course, that’s a different story – people like to do cool stuff while dying in movies, act all badass for our amusement.
Let’s look at 20 such fallen heroes. Spoilers should go without saying. But we said it. Right there. So no one can complain.
20. Jasper in Children Of Men – “Pull my finger.”
Oh to go out with a fart joke – we should all be so lucky. They say that when you die you excrete your bowel contents, so it only makes sense to get that out of the way before the deed is done.
Michael Caine’s character in this film is pretty much what all our generation will be someday – old, immature stoners listening to noise music in the woods. You just wait.
19. Barbara in Shaun Of The Dead – “It’s been a funny sort of day, hasn’t it?”
It’s the ultimate mom death. She gets a chunk of her arm bitten out by a zombie and quietly keeps it to herself, not wanting to be a bother about it. Her blood is no doubt discharging from her body at an alarming rate, but she makes a note to be sweet until the end.
Her final words about how it was a funny sort of day directly contrasts what my own personal choice would have been, which would be something like, “OH MY GOD DON’T LET ME DIE TELL ME WHO I HAVE TO KILL SO I CAN NOT DIE!”
18. Pvt. Hudson in Aliens – Being The Ultimate Badass
We don’t know the full extent of what’s happening to Hudson in his last moments of being sunk down into the floor by the attacking xenomorphs, but he sure as shit isn’t being tickled down there.
What’s great about this role is that he spends the first part boasting about what a badass he is, then switches over to annoying fear-mascot for the remainder of the film – and yet, at the moment of death, he goes good on his word, reverting right back into the ultimate badass that he is – even ending with a defiant “Fuck you!” to the monster sucking him under.
17. Agent Coulson in The Avengers – Getting Off One Last Shot
I’m still in denial about this death, seriously hoping that Iron Man’s reference to the Life Model Decoys were some kind of harbinger for his return in the second. Whatever the case – the good news is that he will be appearing in the supposed S.H.I.E.L.D TV show – which takes place after the events of the film. So there’s hope.
16. Nada in They Live – Flipping Off The Aliens
Oh, Roddy Piper… you’ve given us so much.
The best part about flipping off aliens is that there’s a good chance they don’t understand the gesture, making it both confusing and ineffective. Then again, what one chooses to do in their dying breath is really between them and their mullet-haired maker.
Pretty certain that John Carpenter’s perpetual directing stance is kneeling next to the camera and snickering softly. While the guy can do horror, he is way better at doing 80s. In fact, John Carpenter IS the 80s in human form.
15. Ken in In Bruges – “I’m gonna die now… I think…”
Ken’s a great character in that he’s both compassionate and terrifying. His patience makes him stronger, because it appears to be a chosen attribute as opposed to something he’s forced into. Maybe it’s also that fact that we’ve seen him turn a child into a ferret. That was pretty intimidating too.
In terms of this death, I’m not sure why he didn’t just like… you know, yell down to Ray. Instead he jumps off of the tower to get his attention, which actually draws him closer to the man he’s trying to warn him about. Either way, the fact that he can talk after that earns him a number on this list.
14. Mr. French in The Departed – Annoyance/Indifference
Speaking of guys that look like the guy I just mentioned, Ray Winstone’s character – while also oddly compassionate in a scary uncle type of way – is kind of the flip side to the In Bruges character Ken. He’s a baby-face for sure, but a lot more imposing in terms of his persona. There’s very little surprise when, after being shot, he acts more annoyed than scared.
To finish it off he sticks a gun under his chin, exasperated at the situation (a goddamn car fire) and calmly exclaiming, “Fuck it” before blowing his brains out.
13. O-Ren Ishii in Kill Bill Vol. 1 – “That really was a Hattori Hanzo sword…”
Blanket rule: Unless you’re Ray Liotta in Hannibal, if you talk after part of your brain his been removed, then you are a total badass. Extra points if it has been chopped off with a sword.
The badassery here is a two-parter: one being the level of humility she shows to her enemy (even at one point apologizing for underestimating her talents), and second, being her ability to tell what type of blade has just turned her into one of those monkey heads in Temple Of Doom.