9 of The Most Gruesome Movie Deaths In History
If there's one thing that audiences love, it's watching people die gruesomely. Practically since the dawn of the medium, people have been lining up around the block to watch various individuals skinned, maimed, conflagrated, and tortured. While far from a comprehensive list, these are 9 of the most gruesome deaths in movie history.
One of the first movies to show a protracted and lingering death sequence, the chief heavy of "Ben-Hur" is shown having been severely injured in the movie's famous chariot race sequence. He's bloodied and battered, and even though audiences are much more jaded now than they were in 1959, the scene still shocks.
The most famous death in "Psycho" is, of course, the shower scene. But the movie's other big sequence of violent death is even more shocking and gruesome. Detective Arbogast has diligently tracked the perpetrator of the shower murder to the Bates mansion, right next to the motel. He meets Norma Bates, who promptly slashes him across the face, then stabs him again after he falls down the stairs.
Gromek, "Torn Curtain"
The filmmaker responsible for the gory murders in "Psycho," Alfred Hitchcock, set out to show how truly difficult it is to kill a man in "Torn Curtain." Gromek is that man, and star Paul Newman has to stab him (the knife breaks of course), wrestle around with him on the floor, and eventually shove his head into a gas oven.
Philip Woode, "Sisters"
When Philip Woode picked up the sexy French-Canadian Margot Kidder after they appeared on a game show together, he probably should have known he was in a De Palma movie and kept his guard up. Instead, he gets brutally stabbed several times, including most memorably right through the mouth.
Pat Hingle, "Suspiria"
Dario Argento is another director known for the gory deaths in his horror movies. This is the "first victim" or his horror classic "Suspiria," who gets smashed through a plate glass window, graphically disemboweled with a butcher's knife, and hanged by the neck from the ceiling.
The victim in the famous chainsaw murder scene of "Scarface" gets it in one of the worst ways imaginable: chainsawed to death in a Miami hotel bathroom. While this scene might not be as explicitly gory as ones that would come later, the power of the images stick in the mind for a long time to come.
Nash, "The Hitcher"
Again, the lesson here is that just because you don't see everything in graphic detail doesn't mean the death isn't gruesome. Ask anyone to name a scene from the horror classic "The Hitcher," and it'll probably be the one where the hero's new girlfriend gets tied between a truck and a trailer and torn apart between them.
Then again, there is something to be said for showing everything. And you really do see everything in Quint's death in "Jaws," right down to the bits of Robert Shaw-meat dangling in the shark's teeth. An awesome death for an awesome man.
Bobby Sands, "Hunger"
Just because death comes slow for hunger-striker/political prisoner Bobby Sands doesn't mean it's not gruesome. He's starving himself to death in prison to protest his imprisonment status, and the brutal film from director Steve McQueen doesn't let up for a single second of his slow deterioration. The final show of the movie is of a single tear rolling down a skeletal, bedsore-covered and emaciated Michael Fassbender's (who played Sands) face. It doesn't get any more gruesome than that.