Terrorism is so hot right now, but the truth is in movies, terrorists have always made good villains. The reason is obvious. Their goal is to create fear, which is exactly what the filmmakers behind action movies and thrillers want to do. Here are seven terrifying movie terrorists who got what they deserved at the end. Uh, spoiler alert.
Fry, "Saboteur." During WWII, the threat of Nazi saboteurs was all too-real. Acting as a kind of terrorist, a saboteur's job was to destabilize and create tension within American institutions and operations. The villain of Alfred Hitchcock's "Saboteur" is just such a character. As if that weren't enough, he frames American Barry Kane for his crime of setting fire to an aircraft factory. Kane goes on the run and eventually clears his name, while the Nazi terrorist falls off the Statue of Liberty. USA! USA! USA!
Ivan Korshunov, "Air Force One." Terrorists come and go, but Gary Oldman's Kazakhstani hijacker is one for the books. Consider what he's hijacking: Air Force One, the airplace built to transport the President of the United States. He would have gotten away with it, too, if it weren't for the fact that President Harrison Ford is a badass who can punch. Alas, he gets what he deserves in the form of mid-air strangulation by parachute cord, right after one of the all-time great action movie kiss-off lines: "Get off my plane!"
Hans Gruber, "Die Hard." As terrorist plots go, Gruber's capture of a sparkly new luxury high-rise and all of its inhabitants on Christmas Eve is pretty great. Unfortunately for him, one of those inhabitants if John McClane, which means Gruber also gets one of the great movie demises. Like Fry from "Saboteur," he falls from a great height (the top of the building he attacked, naturally). But he looks great on the way down. RIP Hans Gruber.
Montalban. And in "The Naked Gun," he plays a villain hell-bent on assassinating the Queen of England. Luckily for Freedom, Detective Sergeant Lieutenant Frank Drebin of Police Squad is on the case. This means Ludwig, you guessed it, falls from a great height. But after that he gets run over by a bus, a steam roller, and the USC marching band.
Salim Abu Aziz, "True Lies." The head of an organization known as The Crimson Jihad, has a plan to show his power to the United States – he's planted small nuclear warheads inside a variety of old statues, and he's going to detonate one. That is, if secret agent Harry Tasker (Arnold Schwarzenegger) doesn't stop him first. Tasker does America one better, though, and ends up firing a missile (with Abiz hanging on for dear life) into a helicopter full of terrorists. The one-liner he chooses for the occassion: "You're fired." Eh, not bad.
Stavros, "Double Team." Mickey Rourke knows how to play a bad guy, and he's in top form in the insane Jean-Claude Van Damme/Dennis Rodman film "Double Team." Stavros is an international terrorist and mercenary, offering his services to any government willing to pay the price. But when the agent played by Van Damme accidentally kills Stavros' young son, the terrorist embarks on a vendetta against him, kidnapping Van Damme's wife. The team of Rodman and Van Damme track Stavros to Rome, and a final fight in the Colosseum takes place amid land mines and a tiger (yeah, this movie is nuts). But in the end, Stavros ends up getting killed by his own bombs.
The Joker, "The Dark Knight." One of the many things "The Dark Knight" did right was turn The Joker from a clown-themed criminal into a full-fledged terrorist, who doesn't care about money or power but just wants to send the message to the people of Gotham City that they are no better than he is. He fails, and after a fight with Batman ends up making that classic terrorist move – a fall from a great height. Batman catches him though, so he can spend the rest of his life in prison. Hopefully.