A Dozen Manly Movie Deaths
So, as is so often the case, you’re forced to sit through a tear-jerking chick-flick with your woman. As the score strikes up and the titular female lead watches her beau flat-line, all you can do to maintain your masculinity is flex your guns and stare at the cleavage of the striking beauty next to you. Sometimes you just have to do stuff you really don’t want to do, like, for instance, show emotion at an otherwise manly movie. Normally, any other time, this would show a sign of weakness and cause every other guy around to point and laugh. Yet there are exceptions. Hollywood has taken it upon themselves to put out a few kick-ass, gun-riddled, explosive, sword-slashing, dude flicks with really heart-wrenching death scenes specifically for guys to show their gals just how emotionally balanced and keyed-in they really are. But make no mistake; these films are full of brutality, massive butt-whippings, and manly men… they just make it OK for us to weep openly.
Unfortunately I don’t have the scene, but in this brilliant war film, Lee Marvin as John Reisman is in charge of twelve former prisoners sent into France on a suicide mission. In this sob-inducing scene, Reisman instructs Robert Jefferson (Jim Brown) to cradle a mass of grenades that will kill a group of women with their German Officers. It’s pretty sad, especially considering Brown is the only African American in the film and quite an enjoyable character.
Poor Seth Brundle; a victim of circumstance when his matter-teleportation pod traps a fly during its trial run. The genes from the fly splice with the genes from Brundle and slowly, painfully, Seth becomes the very insect he shared a moment with. Veronica (Geena Davis) can only stand by and watch as her once boyfriend vomits on his food, peels off his nails, and becomes even more Jeff Goldblum-like. In the end, even with his undying love for his lady and his hope for her, too, to join him as a bug, he sadly eats a bullet.
Willem DaFoe’s quite liked and often overly-compassionate Sergeant Elias falls victim to sadistic retribution from Tom Berenger’s Staff Sergeant Barnes when, during an escape from a jungle attack, Barnes shoots his antagonist three times and tells the retreating helicopter pilot that Elias is dead. As they lift off, Elias appears from the jungle being chased and severely wounded. Though Taylor (Charlie Sheen) calls out, all they can do is watch him succumb to his pursuers.
It’s quite obvious that Tony Montana (Al Pacino) is in a world of trouble when after botching a car bombing with his best henchman Alberto due to Tony’s aversion to killing innocent people, his life is threatened by Drug Kingpin, Alejandro Sosa (Paul Shenar). Tipped off to his location, Tony is beset upon by a scourge of hit men and though battles valiantly, is eventually riddled with gunfire and killed.
Pike Bishop (William Holden) and his gang: Dutch, Lyle, Tector, and Angel, offer their services to Mexican warlord, Mapache after Pike shoots his ex-girlfriend who happens to be on the warlord’s arm. Mapache offers them ten grand to rob a U.S. weapons train. Though the act is halted, they discover another way to get the guns but are savagely slaughtered in a massive gun fight.
Gerard Butler is at his macho finest as King Leonidas commanding his war-bred battalion of 300 Spartans against the scourge of King Xerxes. Though wave after wave of would-be destroyers are systematically slaughtered by the far better army, Leonidas’ stand comes to an end as Xerxes, a bit pissed at the Spartan’s refusal to call off his attack and his close call with a spear, impales him on a slew of arrows.
Ivan Drago (Dolph Lundgren) trains like a Soviet robot in the harsh conditions of his country. As his trainers and managers shop him around as the World’s Strongest Fighter, the pit him against only the greatest. Apollo Creed (Carl Weathers), itching to get back in the ring decides to condition himself for the ultimate battle much to the behest of Rocky (Sylvester Stallone). Rocky gives in and offers to assist in his training. Starting the fight in his trademark manner, Drago manages to catch Creed off-guard quickly and batters Apollo with a series of wicked punches. At the break, Rocky pleads with his friend to quit the fight, but Apollo is determined to finish, which only leads to tragedy when he collapses and dies after he hits the canvas from Drago’s continuous blows.
In a film where a bunch of sweaty men play volleyball and fly a bunch of jets, one has to wonder what kind of manly death is to be had here. Well, as it turns out, it’s quite a weeper when Maverick (Tom Cruise) and his co-pilot, Goose (Anthony Edwards) go into a flat-spin during a training mission and must eject the aircraft. Unfortunately, Goose gets launched up into the glass of the cockpit and dies after breaking his neck.
Russell Crowe is General Maximus Decimus Meridius. After refusing allegiance to Commodus who, in a fit of rage murders his father, Marcus Aurelius for choosing the General over his own son, Maximus is ordered to be executed. On the run, he discovers that his family has been cruelly murdered, and then collapses from wounds afflicted by his escape. Soon he’s brought back to health and trained as a Gladiator where, in the ring before a trial, he swears his vengeance on Commodus which he does exact, at the cost of his own life.
There is, unfortunately, an awful lot going on in this movie and a two sentence blurb is just not going to do it justice. Tom Hanks plays Michael Sullivan, Sr., an assassin who is protecting his son, Sullivan, Jr., portrayed by Tyler Hoechlin. Much goes on, plot twist occur, and ultimately Paul Newman (John Rooney) and his men are gunned down. Do yourself a favor and see this film. If not, read the Wiki entry here.
When Arnold is sent back to the past yet again in this killer cyborg sequel, it is on an opposite mission from the one in the original. This time he must protect young John Connor (Edward Furlong) from being killed by another, far more advanced Terminator played by Robert Patrick. Chases and battles ensue and eventually, the liquid metal bot is drown in a vat of molten steel. In the end, the friendly Terminator realizes that his very existence is enough to start the eminent annihilation all over again, and he self terminates. I could not, for the life of me, find a scene that I could embed, so here’s the link.
In honor of the new Trek film that gives us the introduction of best friends Kirk and Spock, this had to be the obvious choice for the final entry. After mortally wounding and defeating the sinister Khan in the Mutara Nebula, Khan activates the Genesis Device, which will reorganize all matter in the nebula—including the Enterprise. Though Kirk’s crew detects the activation of the Genesis Device and begins to limp away using only impulse engines, with the warp drive damaged they will not be able to escape the nebula in time. Spock takes it upon himself, though warned by McCoy, to fix the warp drives amid huge levels of radiation. Spock succeeds, thus slowly dying due to its poisoning. He and Kirk’s farewell is a manly movie death to beat all others.